Ancestral Notes

My Family History blog

My Plymouth Colony Ancestors – 1st generation in America

There are several early families of Plymouth that I descend from, one of which is Deacon John Doane, but there were some in Plymouth before the Doane family arrived.

The earliest arrival was Stephen Deane, who was on the second ship, the Fortune when it left Leiden, Holland in 1621. The Fortune arrived in Plymouth Colony in November of 1621, just days after the First Thanksgiving. He was there at the time of the first division of cattle in the Colony.

William Ring was on the Speedwell, the Mayflower’s sister ship, when it had to turn back to Holland because the vessel wasn’t seaworthy. He later died, leaving a widow and three children to cross the ocean without him in 1629. Mary Durant Ring died in July, 1631 in Plymouth Colony leaving a will. Her estate inventory lists clothing and fabric in interesting colors: black, gray, red, blue, violet, white, and green (hardly the dull shades stereotypically assigned to Puritans). The inventory also showed her to be a savvy businesswoman; the Governor owed her 2, and she was due another 2 of commodities “to come out of England”. She was owed 6 shillings worth of beaver from Mr. Wynslow that she explained as resulting from “timber that I lent [him] that cost me a pound of beaver, besides a piece more than they took of me”, and money from Goodman Gyles. Since there were no banks, and specie was notoriously scarce, people borrowed from each other. These accounts in her estate inventory indicate that Mary was an active player in the economic and financial life of Plymouth.

Mary died after the marriage of her two (surviving) daughters, and the birth (or expected arrival) of a grandchild. Her son Andrew Ring, however, was still a minor. As it was assumed that husbands would take care of their wives, Mary assigned most of her goods to her son, stipulating that her son-in-law Stephen Deane would play a large role in caring for the boy. She required Stephen “to help him forward in the knowledge & fear of God, not to oppress him by any burdens but to tender him as he will answer to God.”As overseers she named two men, “loving friends”, who had been in the Leiden congregation, Samuel Fuller and Thomas Blossom.

Elizabeth Ring married Stephen Deane, probably in 1630. The next year Mary Ring died, giving Stephen a great deal of responsibility for raising Elizabeth’s young brother Andrew. Mary specifically bequeathed to Elizabeth the ruff Mary “had of Goodman Gyles”. Elizabeth and her sister Susan were to equally divide all the residue of Mary’s estate that wasn’t given to anyone else. Two pieces of cloth were earmarked for Elizabeth’s child, a girl, also named Elizabeth. [16 ]

Stephen died, probably on 6 October 1634. Elizabeth then married on 16 September 1635 Josiah Cooke . He was not on the 1633 tax list, but he (or his son Josias) does appear on the 1634 list, assessed at the minimum 9 shillings. On 24 March 1633/4, he and Edward Doty were fined 6/8 apiece for breaking the peace. It must have been a fight. Since Doty drew blood from Cooke, Doty had to pay him 3/4d. Josiah became a freeman on 3 January 1636/7. In Plymouth he had been on a grand jury, and served as constable and surveyor. Josiah was among those moving to Nauset (later Eastham) around 1645. He was listed there as a freeman on an undated list probably from the 1640s. In Eastham in 1647 he became a deputy. He signed his will 22 September 1673; it was proved 29 October that year. In it he declared himself to be about 63 years old. He named his wife Elizabeth and a number of children and step children from his blended family, including step-son-in-law William Twining and step-grandson Stephen Twining.

Children of Stephen and Elizabeth (Ring) Deane:

i. Elizabeth Deane , b. ca. 1630; m. William Twining; had 7 children.

ii. Miriam Deane m John Wing as his second wife, but they had no children.

iii. Susanna Deane m (1) Joseph Rogers, and m (2) Stephen Snow; she had children with her second husband.

A genealogical Profile of Mary Durante Ring

Birth: Mary Ring was born about 1589, based on her estimated
date of marriage.

Death: She died in Plymouth in July 1631.
Ship: Unknown, 1629 or 1630

Life in England: Mary Ring has been tentatively identified as
the Marie Durante of Ufford, Suffolk who married Wylliam
Ringe of Petistree, Suffolk in 1601, but this identification has
remained unproved.

Life in Holland: William and Mary Ring were in Leiden by
May 16, 1614.William Ring, a say weaver, became a citizen of
Leiden on June 7, 1619.William Ring and perhaps the rest of
his family were aboard the Speedwell which accompanied the
Mayflower in 1620, but abandoned the voyage when the
Speedwell proved unseaworthy. He died in Leiden between 1620
and 1629.

Life in New England:Widow Mary Ring came to Plymouth
with her children in 1629 or 1630. She died in the epidemic of
infectious fever of 1633. Her will and inventory provide modern
researchers with a wonderful list of textiles available at the

Family: William Ring married Mary (possibly) Durant by
1609. If the Ufford attribution is correct; they married on May
21, 1601, in Ufford.They had three children.

Children of William and Mary Ring:
• Elizabeth was born by 1609. She married (1) Stephen Deane
by about 1630 and had three children. She married (2) Josias
Cooke on September 16, 1635, and had three children. He
died in Eastham on October 17, 1673. She died in Eastham
on May 3, 1687.
• Susanna was born about 1611. She married Thomas Clark by
July 1631 and had six children. She died between 1644 and
January 20, 1664/5. He married (2) Alice (Hallett) Nichols
shortly after January 20, 1664/5. She died by July 25, 1671.He
died on March 24, 1696/7.
• Andrew was born about 1618. He married (1) Deborah
Hopkins on April 23, 1646, in Plymouth and had six children.
He married (2) Lettice (_____) Morton about 1674.

For Further Information:
Robert C. Anderson. The Great Migration Begins. Boston: New
England Historic Genealogical Society, 1995.
Robert C. Anderson. The Pilgrim Migration. Boston: New
England Historic Genealogical Society, 2004.
John Insley Coddington. “The Widow Mary Ring, of
Plymouth, Mass., and her Children.” The American Genealogist 42
(1966): 193–205.
Mayflower Families through Five Generations: Vol. 6: Stephen
Hopkins. John D. Austin. Plymouth: General Society of
Mayflower Descendants, 1992.
A collaboration between PLIMOTH PLANTATION and the
Supported by the Institute of Museum and Library Services

Filed under: Doane/Doan, Family Files, Genealogy, , , , , , , , , ,

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April 2009
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