Here, gathered in our beloved South Dakota, are a few members of our Williamson / Mattson Clan. Charles and Luella are to be blamed (be kind, they didn't know what they were doing). We're generally a happy bunch and somewhat intelligent (notwithstanding our tenuous grasp on reality). I'm also proud to say that most of us still have our teeth.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

John Allerton, Our 11th Great Uncle.

Isaac Allerton (1586 – April 1, 1659) was one of the original Pilgram fathers who came on the Mayflower to settle the Plymoth Colony in 1620. He is believed to have been born in London, about 1585 or 1586 and was raised to become a tailor. A religious non-conformist, he apparently followed the Scrooby exiles to Leiden, Holland as a young man. There he married his first wife, Mary Norris (b. 1590), in November 1611. The couple had three children; Bartholomew, Remember and Mary.

Accompanying Isaac and Mary on the Mayflower were their three children and a 14 year old servant boy named John Hooke. Allerton's wife and John Hooke died aboard the Mayflower while it was still achored in Plymouth Harbor during the first winter. Both were buried in Cole’s Hill. Mary died from the effects of childbirth, after giving birth to a stillborn son on February 25, 1621. Because of this birth, Mary was the first woman to give birth in the New England Colonies.

Allerton, a Bronx neighborhood, was named in honor of Isaac Allerton.

Isaac Allerton the Businessman

While serving as the colony's business agent, Allerton began many business ventures of his own, relying on the colony's credit for collateral.. These ventures failed, thus leaving his colleagues back in Plymouth saddled with a greatly increased debt. Also, Allerton was asked to bring over trade goods to sell to the natives, however, Allerton brought over retail goods to sell to the colonists and fishermen who came over every year. Later on Allerton did not mark which goods were his and which belonged to the colony. When the goods were unloaded, Allerton took the most expensive items leaving the Plymouth colonists with the cheaper goods. In 1629 Allerton brought Thomas Morton back to New England, and allowed him to live in his house; this got the Plymouth colonists very upset. This rendered Allerton permanently persona non grata in Plymouth.

Isaac Allerton was one of the more active and prominent members of early Plymouth. He was elected as Governor Bradford's assistant in 1621, and continued as an assistant into the 1630s. In 1627, he was sent to negotiate the Plymouth Colony's buyout of the Merchant Adventurers, the investors who had originally funded (and had hoped to profit from) the Colony. The Colony was about 2500 pounds in debt; a small group of Plymouth's residents, including Bradford, Brewster, Standish, Fuller, and Allerton, sought to assume the debt themselves in return for the rights to profit from the company.

Allerton was sent to England to negotiate further, and would return to England on several more occasions. Unfortunately for the others, Allerton began to use his "free" trips to England to engage in some private gains, purchasing goods and selling them in the Massachusetts Bay and Plymouth. He also used his capacity as Plymouth's designated negotiator to engage the Colony in a number of unapproved money-making schemes: he went so far as to purchase ships (which he partially used for his own private trading), and to attempt to negotiate grants and patents for trade--all at great cost to the company and none of it approved by the others back at Plymouth. When his trading schemes failed, the Company found itself in far greater debt than it ever started out with.

When Allerton's 2nd wife died at Plymouth about 1634, and with the general ire of the Colony against him, he had little reason to stay. He moved to the New Haven Colony, and by 1644 had remarried to his third wife, Joanna Swinnerton. Isaac Allerton remained an active trader, and did regular business with the Dutch at New Netherland in modern-day New York. Records of his trading can be found in numerous other colonies as well, including Virginia and Barbados.

Governor Bradford wrote of Mr. Allerton:

"Mr. Allerton played his own game and ran a course not only to the great wrong and determent of the Plantation... but abused them in England also in prejudice against the Plantation," and later on he wrote

"Concerning Mr. Allerton's accounts. They were so large and intricate as they could not well understand them, much less examine and correct them without a great deal of time and help and his own presence, which was hard to get," and also "he screwed up his poor father in law's account".

Relationship Chart for 11th Great Uncle Isaac Allerton
Brother to 10th Great Grandmother Sarah Allerton

10th Great Grandparents, Degory Priest married Sarah Allerton.
Sarah Priest married John Combs
Anthony Coombs married Dorcas Wooden
Anthony Coombs married Ruth Getchell

Ruth Coombs married Nathaniel Toothacre
Mary Toothacre married Nathaniel Evans Jr.
Hannah Evans married John K. McCrillis
Joseph E. McCrillis married Almiria Swift

Isabel Deanora Helerson McCrillis married John Mayberry Dennis

Vesta Althea Dennis married Walter Edwin Pierce
Violet Mae Pierce married Walter Albert Mattson
Luella, Linda, John, Marvin

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