Monday, October 08, 2018


My 9x great grandfather John Dunham Sr. has been the subject of much discussion by genealogists over the years. There is the question of John Singletary/ John Dunham which I won't go into here. And then there is the confusion caused by Isaac Watson's book which had many errors that were accepted by the genealogical community of the 19th century as fact.

I debated dicussing those errors here but then decided if I did so they might end up on someone's online family tree and spread further. Instead here is a link to the book, Dunham genealogy: English and American branches of the Dunham family. This is an edition published in 1907. What alarms me is that there are editions published as recently as 2017.

Luckily, more thorough research from reputable genealogists has produced these facts:
John Dunham  Sr was born in England around 1588/9. He married Susannah Keno around 1615 and they were part of the English Separatist community in Leiden Holland where they had three children together before Susannah's death. John's second wife was Abigail Barlow (or Ballou) who he married on 22Oct 1629 in Leiden. Their first three (possibly four) children were born in Leiden before the family arrived at Plymouth Plantation in 1632.  John's occupation is listed in the Plymouth records as weaver but he managed to acquire quite a bit of property and he was a prominent member of the community. He also was active in the town government  where he served on committees and worked as a town officer several times, He and his sons also occasionally were involved in some scurrilous incidents over the years. He died in Plymouth on 2Mar 1688/9.

John Dunham Sr.'s children with Susannah Keno, all born in Leiden, were:

John Jr., b. about 1616; died 6Apr 1692
Humility, b. around 1618
Thoma, b. around 1619; died around 1677

His children with Abigail Barlow/Ballou:
Samuel, b. in Leiden about 1623; died in Plymouth 20Jan 1711
Jonathan, b. in Leiden about 1625
Abigail, b. in Leiden around 1627
Joseph, b. 1631 (probably in Leiden)
Hannah, b. in Plymouth 1634; died in Plymouth 1Apr 1708
Persis, b. in Plymouth 1635
Benajah, b. in Plymouth 1637
Daniel, b. in  Plymouth 1639

I am descended from sons John Jr. and Joseph.

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