"Mayflower Families
Through Five Generations"

Volume Sixteen, Part 1

John Alden

Published by

General Society of Mayflower Descendants

pp. 14-17

William and Alice Mullins

William Bradford's list of passengers on the Mayflower includes the family of William Mullins (MD, 1:9):

Mr. William Mullines, and his wife; and 2 children Joseph & priscila and a servant Robert Carter

The fate of this family is given in Bradford's list of "increasings and decreasings" (MD, 1:13):

Mr. .Molines, and his wife, his sone, and his servant dyed the first winter. Only his daughter priscila survived, and maried with John Alden, who are both living [in 1650], and have 11 [sic] children.

The nuncuperative (oral) will of William Mullins probably written 21 February 1621, the day of his death, and copied 2 April 1621 (reprinted here from MD, 1:23 1-232):

in the name of God Amen: I comit my soule to God that gave it and my bodie to the earth from whence it came. Alsoe I give my goodes as followeth That Forty poundes in the hand of goodman Woodes I give my wife tenn poundes~ my sonne Joseph tenn poundes~ my daughter Priscilla tenn poundes~ and my eldest sonne tenn poundes Alsoe I give to my eldest some all my debts, bonds, bills (onelye yt forty poundes excepted in the handes of goodman Wood) given as aforesaid wth all the stock in his owne handes. To my eldest daughter I give tenn shillinges to be paied out of my sonnes stock Furthermore that goodes I have in Virginia as followeth To my wife Alice halfe my goodes & to Joseph and Priscilla the other halfe equallie to be devided betweene them. Alsoe I have xxj dozen of shoes, and thirteene paire of bootes wch I give into the Companies handes for forty poundes at seaven years and if thy like them at that rate. If it be thought to deare as my Overssers shall thinck good And if they like them at that rate at the divident I shall have nyne shares whereof I give as followeth twoe to my wife, twoe to my sonne William, twoe to my some Joseph, twoe to my daughter Priscilla, and one to the Companie. Ahlsoe if my sonne William will come to Virginia I give him my share of land furdermore I give to my twoe Overseers Mr John Carver and Mr Williamson, twentye shillinges apeece to see this my will performed desiringe them that he would have an eye over my wife and children to be as fathers and freindes to them; Allsoe to have a special1 eye to my man Robert wch hathe not so approved himselfe as I would he should have done.

This is a Coppye of Mr Muller's his Will of all particulars he hathe given. In witnes whereof I have sett my hande

John Carver, Giles Heale, Christopher Joanes

The will was carried back to England for probate by the Mayflower on her return voyage (ibid.):

In the month of July Anno Domini 1621. On the 23d day issued a commission to Sarah Blunden, formerly Mullins, natural and legitimate daughter of William Mullins, late of Dorking in the County of Surrey, but deceased in parts beyond the seas, seized &c., for administering the goods, rights and credits of the said deceased, according to the tenor and affect of the will of the said deceased because in that will he named no executor. In due form &c. swears

Mullins's will was discovered in the late 19th century by Henry F. Waters and published as part of his series, "Genealogical Gleanings in England," in NEHGR, 42:62-63. The will proves that William died before his wife, son, and servant, who are all mentioned in the instrument, and that Alice and Joseph were still alive when the Mayflower sailed, or else Gov. Carver would have annexed a statement regarding the deaths of two legatees. The date of the copy of the will also proves that the Mayflower did not leave New England until after 2 April 1621. The probate record proves that William Mullins resided at Dorking, co. Surrey.

In 1612 William Mullins bought a holding in Dorking with a house and an acre and a half of land and outbuildings between West Street and Back Lane (now Church Street) for 122 and took over a mortgage of 200. He sold this to Ephraim Bothal in May 1619 for 280 (Dorking pamphlet).

On 29 April 1616, a warrant was issued to bring "one William Mollins before their Lordships." On 1 May he appeared before the Privy Council and was continued technically in their custody "until1 by their Honours' order hee be dismissed." While the reason for his arrest is not given, it was most probably associated with the religious controversies of that time. The fact that he was a Dissenter may explain why William Mullins' marriage record is not found in the Parish Register for Dorking, nor are the baptisms of his children.

Claims of Huguenot and Plantagenet ancestry for William Mullins are entirely unsupported (see MD, 44:39-44).

WILLIAM MULLINS (John), born about 1572 (estimate only, based on marriage of parents); died at Plymouth, New England, 21 February 1621, the date he made his nuncupative will (Prince, 184).

He married ALICE - - - -, d. at Plymouth, "winter 1621" after 2 April 1621 (when copy of husband's will was made). Alice's maiden name is not known. Claims that she was Alice Atwood, daughter of of Nicholas Wood-Atwood and Olive Harman, derive from a mistake published by Elijah Francis Atwood (author of Ye Atte Wode Annals and article on the Atwood family in the Boston Transcript's genealogical column), which he later discarded when chronological evidence proved the connection could not be correct. Likewise, the source for the entry in Clarence Almon Torrey's New England Marriages Prior to 1700, which lists Alice's surname as "[Poretiers]?," cannot be found.

Because we have no marriage date for William and Alice and no baptismal dates for the children, we cannot prove that Alice was the mother of his children, but in the absence of other evidence, we are assuming that she was the mother of all the children.

Children of William and [probably] Alice () MULLINS:


ii. SARA, m. BLUNDEN, named in her father's will 1621.

iii. PRISCILLA, b. say 1600-1605. No birth or baptismal record exists and no recorded age has been found for Priscilla. If she were born in 1604, for example, she would have been 16 when the Mayflower sailed. Priscilla was probably not married until 1623, even though she had been orphaned in 1621. From this we assume she was a bit too young to be married at the time of her parents' deaths. The delay may, of course, have been observance of a period of mourning for her parents and brother, but considering the extreme circumstances that led other women to marry or re-marry as soon as possible (not to mention the fact that according to tradition Myles Standish was eager to take her as his bride), we think the delay more likely a reflection of Priscilla's youth.

iv. JOSEPH, d. at Plymouth, after 2 Apr. 1621 (when father's will copied).

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