Plymouth County Biographies

Part of the Massachusetts Biographies Project

Edward Doty

Edward Doty (By 1599 - 1655). Came on the Mayflower as a sevant to Stephen Hopkins. He was a signer of the Mayflower Compact. Edward Doty was a member of the exploratory party, led by Myles Standish, that departed on December 6, 1620, in the shallop to search for a suitable site for settlement. He was a member of Capt. Myles Standish's first Military Company. He died in Plymouth 23 Aug 1655.


Spouse 1: Unknown

Spouse 2: Faith Clarke, daughter of Thurston & Faith Clarke.
Born: 1619, England
Died: December 1675
Marriage: 06 Jan 1634/5. Married (2) John Phillips, March 14, 1666/7.

Edward 1637 m. Sarah Faunce
John 1639 m. (1) Elizabeth Cooke, (2) Sarah Jones
Thomas abt 1641 m. Mary Churchill
Samuel abt 1643 m. Jeane Harman (in Piscataway, New Jersey)
Desire 1645 m. (1) William Sherman, (2) Israel Holmes, (3) Alexander Standish
Elizabeth abt 1647 m. John Rowse
Isaac 08 Feb. 1647/8 m. Elizabeth, widow of William England.
Joseph M 30 April 1651 m. (1) Deborah Ellis. (2) Sarah Edwards.

Had an illigetimate child with Elizabeth Warren.
Mary abt 1653 m. Samuel Hatch

The Pilgrim Edward Doty Society.
Williams, Alicia Crane. Researching Your Mayflower Ancestors Part II: Who Came on the Mayflower: Separating the Facts from the Myths. On-line at the New England Historic Genealogical Society.
Robert Charles Anderson. The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England, 1620-1633. Vol. 1-3. Boston, MA, USA: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1995.
Pope, Charles Henry. Pioneers of Massachusetts. p. 142
Mackenzie, George Norbury, ed.. Colonial Families of the United States of America. New York, NY, USA: 1907.
NEHGR, Vol 1 (Jan. 1847), pg. 53.
Pilgrim Hall Museum (On-line Database).
Mayflower Passenger List found on Caleb Johnson's Mayflower site.

"Edward Doten was a London youth who came over in the Mayflower as an apprentice of Stephen Hopkins. The first account we have of Edward is in Cape Cod harbor where he signed the cabin contract. He was treated to all intents and purposes as one of the company. Stephen Hopkins was a tanner of London, and joined the Pilgrims at Southampton and did not go to the Low Countries. The Mayflower arrived at Cape Cod, November 11, 1620, and the first duty of the Pilgrims was to find a suitable landing-spot. The shallop they brought with them for shore explorations was out of commission, and a few hardy ones volunteered to make an inland journey. Sixteen in all went ashore, and they were the first Englishmen permanently to land in New England. In this party was Edward Doten. They started November 15, and were gone several days. A few Indians whom they met ran away from them, and they found some Indian corn, which they bore back to the ship, the first they had ever seen. On December 6th, the shallop being made ready, a party of ten set out by water, and of these Edward was one. The weather was extremely cold, the seas rough and boisterous, and they encountered much hardship. They beat off the Indians, discovered their stores of corn, their habitations, and graves. On Friday, December 8, in a terrible snowstorm, they reached a point of land now known as Clark's island. Here they rendezvoused all day of the 9th, and Sunday, as became men of their profession. It is said that Edward Doten attempted to first leap on the island, but was checked, the master's mate allowed to first land, after whom the island was named. On Monday December 11 (our 21st, Forefather's Day), they sounded the harbor, and sailed for the aminland, mooring at Plymouth Rock. It was a hard winter for the Pilgrims, that first winter at Plymouth. They were little prepared for such rigorous climate, and their suffering was consequently great. Disease attacked them; death thinned their numbers. Edward Doten bore his part of the inconveniences with the others, but, being young and strong of frame, hw was carried through safely.

"The next allusion we find to Edward is when he fought a duel in single combat with sword and dagger with Edward Lister, both being wounded, the one in the hand, and the other in the thigh. They were adjudged by the whole community to have their head and feet tied together, and so to remain for twenty-four hours without meat and drink; bet after an hour, because of their great pains, they were released by the governor.This was the first duel fought in New England, and the first pardon ever issued by the hand of an American governor. It was also the second offense committed in the colony. Lister seems to have soon after, whether voluntarily or by compulsion, left the plantation, and died some years later in Virginia. Edward, it must be remembered, was not of the ascetic race, like the Scrooby farmers and Notinghamshire sectarists who composed the bulk of the Mayflower list. He had seen London life in abundance, his blood ran quicker, he possessed a spryer temper than they, and thus got into escapades which were rendered venal through the effervescence of youth. He seems later in life to have retrieved his somewhat lively character, and began to accumulate property. In January, 1631, he was rated at one pound seven shillings, and there were many lower ratings than this. He was made a freeman in 1633. He was a litigant, due, no doubt to his warm blood and a determination to stand up for his rights, January 1, 1632, John Washburne haled him into court for wrongfully taking his hog, but the jury brought in for Edward. In April, 1633, Will Bennet complained of Edward for diverse injuries—that he sold him a flitch of bacon at the rate of three pounds, and that it was not worth above half that sum. This was referred to Robert Hecker and Francis Eaton, to decide as they should think meet between man and man. Edward called Bennet a rogue, whereat he brought him into court on a summons for slander, and Edward was fined fifty shillings. In 1634, at a general court, an apprentice of Edward's (this shows he was getting up in the world, to keep an assistant), John Smith, asked the court to free him from his master Edward, to whom he had bound himself for ten years, as the master did not keep him properly. At a court of assistants held March 24, 1634, Edward and Jason Cook were finded six shillings for breaking the peace. They got into a fistic altercation, and Edward drew the first blood. March 7, 1636, at a court of assistants, George Clarke complained against Edward for damages in a land trade. The court ordered Edward to repay Clarke eight pounds. At the same session, Edward was convicted for assault and battery and assessed twelve pence, and in another action of the same kind, smae parties, ten shillings. Up to 1650 he was in court either as plaintiff or defendant in twelve other causes. In 1624 the people requested the governor to set off land, and Edward received his share on what is now [1910] Watson's hill. In 1627 there was another allotment 'to heads of families, and to young men of prudence,' and Edward was given a share under this designation, though unmarried, which shows him to have gained the confidence of the governor. At a general meeting, March 14, 1635, he was given hay ground on Jones river, on High Clifford or Skeat Hill, near the present border of Kingston. In 1627 he sold land to Russell Derby for one hundred and fifty pounds. To this deed he made his mark, as to all other documents. In 1637 he was allotted sixty acres on Mount Hill; also, he owned land in Yarmouth, Cohasset, Dartmouth, Lakenham and Punckquasett, now Tiverton, Rhode Island. In 1638 he went bail for Samuel Gaston for forty pounds; in 1639 for Richard Derby in the sum of twenty pounds; in 1642 for John Hassel, of Seakonk; in 1643 for John Smith, of Eele river. He was a privat in the militia, and lived in the town of Plymouth, High Cliff, Plain Dealing, which is the name Theodore Roosevelt adoped for his Virginia country place.

Source: William Cutter, Genealogical and Personal Memoirs relating to the families of the state of Massachusetts, 1910.