Female Bef 1631 - 1711  (> 80 years)

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Generation: 1

  1. 1.  Mercy PRENCE was born Bef 28 Sep 1631, Plymouth, Plymouth, Massachusetts (daughter of Gov. Thomas PRENCE and Patience BREWSTER); died 28 Sep 1711, Eastham, Barnstable Co., Massachusetts.

    Other Events:

    • Death: Bef 23 Nov 1698, Eastham, Barnstable, Massachusetts, USA

    Mercy married Major John FREEMAN 14 Feb 1649. John (son of Edmond FREEMAN and Bennett HODSOLL) was born 1625, England; died 28 Oct 1719, Eastham, Barnstable Co., Massachusetts. [Group Sheet]

    1. John FREEMAN was born 02 Feb 1650, Eastham, Barnstable, Massachusetts, USA; died , young.
    2. John FREEMAN was born Dec 1651, Eastham, Barnstable, Massachusetts, USA; died 27 Jul 1721, Harwich, Massachusetts.
    3. Thomas FREEMAN was born Sep 1653, Eastham, Barnstable, Massachusetts, USA; died Between 09 Feb 1715 and 1716.
    4. Patience FREEMAN was born , Eastham, Barnstable, Massachusetts, USA; died 15 Feb 1745.
    5. William FREEMAN was born Abt 1660, Eastham, Barnstable, Massachusetts, USA; died 1686.
    6. Edmund FREEMAN was born Jun 1657, Eastham, Barnstable, Massachusetts, USA; died 11 Feb 1718.
    7. Mercy FREEMAN was born Jul 1659, Eastham, Barnstable, Massachusetts, USA; died 1744.
    8. Hannah FREEMAN was born Abt 1664, Eastham, Barnstable, Massachusetts, USA; died 15 Feb 1743.
    9. Prence FREEMAN was born Between 03 Feb 1665 and 1666, Eastham, Barnstable, Massachusetts, USA; died , young.
    10. Nathaniel FREEMAN was born 20 Mar 1669, Eastham, Barnstable, Massachusetts, USA; died 04 Jan 1760.
    11. Bennet FREEMAN was born 07 Mar 1670/71, Eastham, Barnstable Co., Massachusetts; died 30 May 1716.

Generation: 2

  1. 2.  Gov. Thomas PRENCE was born Bef 1600, Probable near Lechlade, Gloucestershire, England (son of Thomas PRENCE and Elizabeth TODLERBY); died 29 Mar 1673, Plymouth, Plymouth Co., Massachusetts; was buried 08 Apr 1673.

    Other Events:

    • Fact: Treasurer of Plymouth Colony
    • Fact: Served Plymouth Colony as Governors Assistant
    • Fact: Elected as the 4th Governor of Plymouth Colony
    • Fact: Served as Commissioner of the United Colonies
    • Fact: Second term as governor of Plymouth Colony
    • Fact: Elected Governor of the Jurisdiction of New Plym


    Thomas came in the "Fortune" that arrived at Cape Cod November 9, 1621.

    Excerpt from "Dawes-Gates, Ancestral Lines":
    His residence was first at Plymouth, but before the spring of 1632 he had followed his father-in-law, William Brewster, to Duxbury, where Patience Brewster, the wife of Thomas Prence, died in 1634 and where the residences of these two families continued until 1644, at which time the beloved Elder William died and Thomas Prence removed with his family to Nauset on the Cape. In this change he was accompanied by six other families, including those of John Doane, Josiah Cooke, and Edward Bangs, a total of forty-nine souls. there he was instrumental in forming the fourth church in the infant colony and in 1651 the settlement was renamed Eastham. While Thomas was still resident in Duxbury, and aged on about thirty-four, he was elected governor in 1634, serving then for the term of one year. In 1638 he was again the recipient of the same honor, but five years previously a law had been passed requiring the governor to reside in Plymouth, so he declined the office. On the insistence of the court he agreed to accept the position if the residence clause were waived. That request was granted, and he served during the year 1638. For more than forty years after 1632 he continuously served as an assistant or magistrate, except while holding the chief office of governor.
    While resident in Eastham, and immediately following the death of Governor Bradford, Thomas Prence was unanimously chosen to succeed him, and thereafter for sixteen consecutive years, or until his own death in 1673, he held the office of governor. On his election in 1657 the court again granted him the special concession of waiver of residence, permitting him to continue to live at Eastham, where he had a farm of at least two hundred acres of the richest land in the vicinity.

    Thomas Prence was the most distinguished of the settlers of Eastham, though not the best educated. At the time of his removal in 1645, he was holding the position of an assistant to Gov. Bradford, and had twice been chosen governor of the infant colony --first election in 1634, and second election in 1638. He was a native of Lechlade, a parish in Gloucestershire, England, it is understood, and born about the year 1600. He came to Plymouth in the ship Fortune, in November 1621. At the time of his removal he was residing in Duxbury. His farm at Eastham contained many acres, It was situated northwest of Town cove, in that part now included within the present town of Eastham.His house stood on the east side of the county road, near where Mr. E. Doane's house now stands. It is said his farm comprised the "richest land" in the place. the famous old pear tree planted by him while a resident, and which was blown down in 1849, stood but a few rods westward from the site of his house. He was a large landowner. He owned land in what became afterwards Harwich and Truro, besides tracts at Tonset and other localities in the Colony. He disposed of most of his landed estate before his death. His tracts at Sauquatucket, now Brewster, which came to him by grant, on the account of having been a "Purchaser or Old-Comer," he sold to his son-in-law, Major John Freeman, in 1672. His "half share" at Paumet, both "purchases and unpurchased," or Lovell's Creek," he sold to Mr. Thomas Paine in 1670......

    Gov. Prence continued in the office of an assistant by successive elections till 1657, when he was unanimously elected to the office of governor, as successor to Gov. Bradford, who died that year. As the law required the governor to reside at the seat of government, a dispensation was obtained for him, and he was allowed to remain at Eastham, as he desired. Mrs. Bradford was engaged to entertain him and his assistants while at Court; an attendant was appointed to attend him in his journey to and from Plymouth, and occupied the place provided by the government at a place called Plain Dealing, which the late Judge John Davis, a native of Plymouth, says was "nearly two miles from the centre of the town on the road to Boston." The late William Russell in his Guide to Plymouth, says the place called Plain Dealing, "extended near "Mr. Hedges," and in the vicinity of "Starts Hill." At this place, while occupying the gubernatorial chair, he died March 29, 1673, in his 73d year. He was "honorably interred at Plymouth, April 8th." Judge Davis says" "the Plymouth church records, in expressing Mr. Prence's character and his amiable and pleasant conversation, depart from their usual course by an indication of his personal appearance, from which it ay be supposed that it was peculiarly dignified and striking. He was excellently qualified for the office of governor. He had a countenance full of majesty, and therein, as well as otherwise, was a terror to evil doers. Besides holding the office of governor, Mr. Prence was a great number of years an assistant of Gov. Bradford. He was one of the commissioners of the United Colonies many years; colonial treasurer and one of the council of war. He was one of those who stood bound to the adventures for the payment of the sum they demanded for their interest in the stock, trade, etc., of the colony, when the purchase was made in behalf of those who came in the three ships, viz; Mayflower, Fortune, and Ann.

    Thomas married Patience BREWSTER 05 Aug 1624, Plymouth, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA. Patience (daughter of Elder William BREWSTER and Mary ?) was born Bef 1600, Scrooby, Nottinghamshire, England; died 12 Dec 1634, Plymouth, Plymouth Co., Massachusetts; was buried , Burial Hill, Plymouth, Massachusetts. [Group Sheet]

  2. 3.  Patience BREWSTER was born Bef 1600, Scrooby, Nottinghamshire, England (daughter of Elder William BREWSTER and Mary ?); died 12 Dec 1634, Plymouth, Plymouth Co., Massachusetts; was buried , Burial Hill, Plymouth, Massachusetts.


    Patience arrived in the "Anne" about July 10, 1623 with Fear Brewster.

    1. Thomas PRENCE was born Bef 22 May 1627, Plymouth, Plymouth, Massachusetts; died Bef 13 Mar 1672, England.
    2. Rebecca PRENCE was born Bef 22 May 1627, Plymouth, Plymouth, Massachusetts; died Bef 18 Jul 1651, Sandwich, Massachusetts.
    3. 1. Mercy PRENCE was born Bef 28 Sep 1631, Plymouth, Plymouth, Massachusetts; died 28 Sep 1711, Eastham, Barnstable Co., Massachusetts.
    4. Hannah PRENCE was born Bef 12 Dec 1634, Plymouth, Plymouth Co., Massachusetts; died Bef 23 Nov 1698, Eastham, Barnstable Co., Massachusetts.

Generation: 3

  1. 4.  Thomas PRENCE was born , England.

    Thomas — Elizabeth TODLERBY. [Group Sheet]

  2. 5.  Elizabeth TODLERBY
    1. 2. Gov. Thomas PRENCE was born Bef 1600, Probable near Lechlade, Gloucestershire, England; died 29 Mar 1673, Plymouth, Plymouth Co., Massachusetts; was buried 08 Apr 1673.

  3. 6.  Elder William BREWSTER was born Between 1566 and 1567, Doncaster, Yorkshrie, England (son of William BREWSTER and Mary SMYTHE); died 10 Apr 1644, Plymouth, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA; was buried , Buriel Hill, Plymouth, Mass..

    Other Events:

    • Death: 16 Apr 1644, Plymouth, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA
    • Death: 20 Apr 1644


    Elder William was educated at Cambridge University and became an attach, in the suite of William Davidson the English Ambassador to the Court of Holland, and afterwards with him suffered the displeasure of Queen Elizabeth. After spending some time in Leyden, he came to America in the MAYFLOWER, which landed at Plymouth Rock on December 21, 1620. His wife's name was Mary and she was known as "Dame Brewster."
    The following interesting account is from Governor Bradford's list of Mayflower passengers:
    "The names of those which came over first in ye year 1620 and were (by the blessing of God) the first beginners and (in a sort) the foundation of all the plantations and Colonies in New England (and their families)."
    "Mr. William Brewster, Mary his wife with 2 sons whose names were Love and Wrasling and a boy was put to him called Richard More and another of his brothers the rest of his children were left behind and came over afterwards."
    Elder William Brewster was Chaplain of the first Military Company organized at Plymouth under command of Captain Myles Standish. He served in the Indian wars. His son Jonathan Brewster was a member of the same company and took part in the Pequot War.

    Abstract of his will:

    Letters of administration on the estate were granted to his sons, Jona, and Love, June 5, 1644
    Wearing apparell, household utensils & appraised by Capt STANDISH and JOHN DONE. May 10, 1644
    Articles at his house in Duxbury, by STANDISH & PRENCE, May 18.
    His Latin books by MR. BRADFORD, MR. PRENCE and MR. REYNER, May 18, sixty three volumes
    His English books by MR. BRADFORD and MR. PRENCE. Between three and four hundred volumes

    Excerpt from "Dawes-Gates Ancestral Lines": William Brewster, son of William and Prudence (--) Brewster of Scrooby, England, lived a life of amazing variety, of infinite loyalty to principle, of marvelous endurance, and of great meekness and righteousness. He was born about 1566-1567, probably at or near Crooby, where his family certainly lived by the time he was five years old. As a youth, having prepared himself by the study of Latin and Greek, he matriculated on December 3, 1580, at St. Peter's more commonly called Peterhouse, the oldest of the courteen colleges which at that time formed the University of Cambridge. He did not complete the course (which then required seven years, sometimes twelve, fourteen, or more), and, indeed, he probably left the university by 1583-4, for about that time he entered the employ of William Davison, then an ambassador for, and later Secretary of State to, Queen Elizabeth. Inregard to this relation, it is said of William Brewster that Davison "trusted him above all other that were aboute him, and only imployed him in all matters of greatest trust and secrecie. He esteemed him rather as a sonne then a servante...... With Davison, William Brewster went into Holland in August, 1585, on a diplomatic mission, returning soon after January 22, 1585-6. Davision was presently deliberately and wrongfully accused by the Queen with responsibility for the execution of Mary, Queen of Scots, and in consequence was, on February 14, 1586-7, thrown into the Tower. Wiolliam Brewster remained near for some time to comfort and, if possible, to aid his friend and patron, but this occurrence definitely colsed his career in the political or diplomatic field. "Afterwards he wente and lived in ye country....," which doubtless meant at Scrooby.
    It is recorded of him that "He did much good in ye countrie where he lived, in promoting and furthering religion, not only by his practiss & examply, and provoking and incouraging of others, but by procuring of good preachers to ye places theraboute, and drawing on of others to assiste & help forward in such a worke; he him selfe most comonly depest in ye charge, & some times above his abilities... After they were joyned togither in communion, he was a spetiall stay & help unto them. They ordinarily mett at his house (Scrooby) on ye Lords day, (which was a manor of ye bishops,) and with great love he entertained them when they came, making provission for them to his great charge." It seems, therefore, to have been the income from his interests and services at Scrooby which enabled William Brewster to entertain and aid the Separatists as he did.

    William married Mary ? Abt 1590, Scrooby, Nottinghamshire, England. Mary was born Between 1565 and 1569, England; died 17 Apr 1627, Plymouth, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA; was buried , Burial Hill, Plymouth, Massachusetts. [Group Sheet]

  4. 7.  Mary ? was born Between 1565 and 1569, England; died 17 Apr 1627, Plymouth, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA; was buried , Burial Hill, Plymouth, Massachusetts.

    Other Events:

    • Also Known As: Mary Love
    • Death: 27 Apr 1627


    Notion: The name of Mary Wentworth has been proposed for the wife of William Brewster. "The American Genealogist", " The Mayflower Descendant: A Quarterly Magazine of Pilgrim History and Genealogy" and the" New England Historical and Genealogical Register", all confirm that additional research must be done before accepting this surname as fact. In addition, a privately published pamphlet by John G. Hunt, "Of Mary Brewster, Wife of William Brewster of the Mayflower, from Plymouth, England to New Plymouth, New England" (1985) suggests that William Brewster's wife was named Mary Wyrall of Loversall, near Doncaster. This has yet to be proved. ( This taken from William Brewster of the Mayflower and His Descendants for 4 Generations by the General Society of Mayflower Descendants.

    "Mayflower Quarterly:vol. 75, No. 4 - December 2009": Mary Brewster - Mother to Millions of Americans
    Written by Kathleen M. (Kathy) Myers -13th generation descendant of Mary and William Brewster, through their son, Love Brewster.

    Throughtout North America the early settlers planted lilacs. A Hardy plant, lilacs provided beauty in the lives of those who cleared the land, built homestead, tilled the soil, and raised families. Toda, lilacs are still found growing in the places where these early people planted them, some hiding the foundation of byildings that vanished long ago. Such a location is one-acre plot of land in Duxbury, Massachusetts, where there is a "...huge lilac bush covering the cellar hold of the last house t this location. The acre plot, now owned by tghe Duxbur Rural and Historical Society, is practically the same one-acre that Elder William Brewster bought from Francis Eaton in 1631... on which he built his house." "Tradition holds that either the Elder or his son Jonathan ordered the lilacs from Holland, for the flower is not native to North America. I like to think they were planted in memory of Mary Brewster.

    Not a lot is known about Mary Brewster's early life, not even her maiden name. She may have been a Yorkshire or Nottinghamshire girl. the year of her bith, 1569, is based on an affidavit she filed in Leiden, Holland in 1609 where her age was listed as 40.
    Elizabeth I of England had been on the throne just a year when mary was born. I can only speculate whether mary brewster received an education beyond the wifely skills her mother would have taught. In Tudor England,"...the education of girls was for the privileged and the rish. Its aim was to produce wives schooled in godly and moral precepts....Most girls were taught the wifely arts, how to manage a household, neddlework, herbs and wild plants that oculd be used in healing, meal preparation, and their duty to their futher husband. But foremost was their strong religious training."
    To the Pilgrims, "...marriage was a civil affair...a contract, mutually agreed upon by a man and a woman. Marriage was created by God for the benefit of man's natual and spiritual life. Marriages were considered important for two main reasons: Procreation of children to increast Christ's flock; and to avoid the sin of adultery. Paster John robinson taught that the important characteristics to find in a spouse are (1) godliness, and (2) similarity - in age, beliefts, estate, disposition, inclinations, and affections. In marriage, "the wife is specially required a reverend subjection in all lawful things to her husband,' and the husband is 'to give honor to the wife,' as the Lord requires 'the love of the hsband to his wife must be like Christ's to His church.'
    William Brewster found in Mary a spouse that was close in age, shared his beliefs, and may have shared his estate in life, meaning they were of the same social class. The record does not reveal whether or not theirs was an arranged marriage as many were in those times. In Tudor England educating women to read was considered a waste of time but often educated men, such as William Brewster was, taught their spouses and daughters to read. Compatibility and affection was key to a marriage contract that lasted until her death 35 years later. Brewster never remarried, living 17 years beyond her.
    As a typical 16th Century wife, Mary Brewster was responsible for the household. She was assigned the tasks of baking bread, brewing beer (drinking water was not fit to drink), curing and salting meats, cooking vegetables, preserving fruits and making pickles and jams. While candles and soap may have been purchased, country women made their own. They spun wool and linen for use in the household and for clothing. Mary, along with the assistance of her older children, would have milked the cows, gathered the eggs, and grown and tended the garden.
    Life with William Brewster was filled with joy and anxiety. The early years at Scrooby Manor were joyful. Her first two children, Jonahtn (b.1593) and Patience (b.1600) were born there. By 1602 William Brewster had become more involved in the Separatist movement, and Scrooby Manor became a meeting place for the dissenters. mary Brewster would have found friends among this group of people. by 1606 the dissenters had formed the Separatist Church of Scrooby and the authorities were pressuring the. 1606 was the same year that Mary gave birth to their daughter who they named Fear. Just over a year later, the family fled to Holland.
    During their time in Holland, Mary gave birth to three more children, sons Love and Wrestling and a child who died. It was in Holland that Mary Brewster was first introduced to the lialac bush. "The lilac is native to Eastern Europe and grows wild in the forests of Hungary and Romania." Popular on the continent, the lilac did not make its way to England until "....sometime before 1629 when the first record of its existence appears in wirting."
    While the crossing began with good winds and good weather, many of the passengers were sea-sick at first. They had to contend with a crew of 30, some of who danced on the deck, and made fun of their seasickness, some who used profanities. About half way through the voyage, the "Mayflower" ran into strong storms which caused water to leak into the ship, dripping and falling on the 102 passengers squeezed in the deck below, a space seventy-five feet long and not quite five feet high. It was the space between the upper deck and the hold which contained their provisions.
    As the wife of the appointed Elder of the group and as one of the oldest women on the voyage, Mary was a respected member of the community. She mothered the younger women and children with her strong religious faith and moral influence. As women in that era depended on other women or mid-wives to deliver their babies, she may have been called upon to assist with the birth of Oceanus Hopkins aboard the "Mayflower" as it crossed the Atlantic, and again with the birth of Perigrine White, the son of Susanna and William White, while the ship was anchored off of Cape Cod.
    Shortly after the arrival of the "Mayflower", Dorothy Bradford, wife of William Bradford, fell off the ship and drowned. Mary (Norris) Allerton gave birth to a stillborn son. Soon, what has been called "the dying time" began. When it was over Mary Brewster was one of just five adult women to survive the first winter. By the first Thanksgiving, only four adult women survived. Mary Brewster, Eleanor Billington, Elizabeth Hopkins and Susanna White Winslow. With so few remaining, the skills Mary Brewster learned at her mother's knee were vital to the survivors.
    I reflect on the courage of mary Brewster and the other women of the "Mayflower". I believe it was their great love of God and gtrust in His promises that carried them through. How many of us today have that kind of courage? To endure religious persecution; to cross the Atlantic Ocean in a small ship; to be deposited on a hostile shore during a New England winter; to lose half of the company in a few short months; to wather the "Mayflower" sail away to England leaving them with no means to return; to be self-relient and self-sufficient.
    Mary Brewster died in 1627 and never lived in the house built by her husband on the one acre of land in Dusbury where the lilacs still gro."...With him came his sons, Love and Wrestly, and Richard ore, the little boy who grew up in the Brewster household. to his father's house Love brought his bride, Sarah Collier, and here were born their children, William, Nathaniel, Wrestling and Sarah. Nearby, on the west side of the creek, the Elder's oldest son, Jonathan, lived in a house he had built on his father's land. The Elder William Brewster died in 1643 and his estate was divided between his two sons, Love getting all east of the creek, and onathan west of the creek. How long the Brewster house stood is not known, but by 1648 both Jonathan and Love had left the Nook and the Brewster lands had been sold out of the family."
    These were the people who tended the plants and watched the lilacs grow - her loving children and grandchildren whose descendants today number in the millins. The Brewster lilacs, planted in moemory of Mary Brewster.

    1. Jonathan BREWSTER was born 12 Aug 1593, Scrooby, Nottinghamshire, England; died 07 Aug 1659, Norwich, New London, Conn.; was buried , Brewster Cemetery, Brewster's Neck, Preston, Conn..
    2. 3. Patience BREWSTER was born Bef 1600, Scrooby, Nottinghamshire, England; died 12 Dec 1634, Plymouth, Plymouth Co., Massachusetts; was buried , Burial Hill, Plymouth, Massachusetts.
    3. Fear BREWSTER was born Bef 1606, Scrooby, Nottinghamshire,England; died Bef 12 Dec 1634, Plymouth, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA.
    4. Child BREWSTER was born Bef 1609, Holland; died 20 Jun 1609; was buried , Leyden, Holland.
    5. Love BREWSTER was born Bef 1611, Holland; died Between 06 Oct 1650 and Jan 1651, Duxbury, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA.
    6. Wrestling BREWSTER was born Bef 1614, Leyden, Holland; died Between 22 May 1627 and 05 Jun 1644.

Generation: 4

  1. 12.  William BREWSTER was born Between 1535 and 1545, Scrooby, Nottinghamshire, England (son of William BREWSTER and Maude MANN); died 10 Aug 1608, Scrooby, Nottinghamshire, England; was buried , Scrooby, Nottinghamshire, England.


    William was appointed by Archbishop Sandys, in January 1575-1576, receiver of Scrobby and bailiff of the manor house in that place belonging to the Archbishop, to have life tenure of both offices.

    William — Mary SMYTHE. Mary was born 1538, Scrooby, Nottinghamshire, England; died Jul 1590, Scrooby, Nottinghamshire, England. [Group Sheet]

  2. 13.  Mary SMYTHE was born 1538, Scrooby, Nottinghamshire, England; died Jul 1590, Scrooby, Nottinghamshire, England.
    1. 6. Elder William BREWSTER was born Between 1566 and 1567, Doncaster, Yorkshrie, England; died 10 Apr 1644, Plymouth, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA; was buried , Buriel Hill, Plymouth, Mass..
    2. Amy Anne BREWSTER was born 1571, Sudbury, England; died 22 Jul 1608, Sudbury, Suffolk, England.
    3. Prudence BREWSTER was born Abt 1568.
    4. John BREWSTER was born 1565.
    5. Edward BREWSTER was born 1568.
    6. James BREWSTER was born 1568, Scrooby, Nottinghamshire, England; died 14 Jan 1613, Sutton, Nottinghamshire, England.
    7. James BREWSTER was born 1561.