List of Mayflower Names, Pg 1
One of the original 102 Pilgrims
Arrived on the Mayflower at Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1620
As a young man George Soule became a teacher to Edward Winslow’s children. The Winslow family from which Edward was descended lived in the nearby parish of Kempsey, County Worcester, and it is probable that this early neighborhood association explains the apprenticeship of George Soule to the Governor. It is supposed that George Soule was in London when he joined Winslow on the voyage. Droitwich, the family home of the Winslows at that time, was a salt mining place connected in a business way with the Salters' Company of London in trade, and thus the Winslow-Soule association was established. Soule came with Winslow to America on the Mayflower in 1620 and was one of 41 signers of the Mayflower Compact in November of 1620. Soule was among the one half of the population that survived the first winter in Plymouth and was present at the time of the “First Thanksgiving” in 1621.
In about 1626, probably in Plymouth, Massachusetts, George Soule married a woman named Mary (likely Mary Buckett/Beckett). Mary Beckett came to America on the Anne and they were married in Plymouth. (She died in Duxbury, Massachusetts in December 1676). They had nine children.
Children from this marriage were:
Zachariah Soule was born before 22 May 1627.
Nathaniel Soule was born about 1637.
George Soule was born about 1639.
Susanna Soule was born about 1642.
Mary Soule was born about 1644.
Elizabeth Soule was born about 1648.
Patience Soule was born about 1648.
Benjamin Soule was born about 1651.
George Soule died in 1679, leaving a sizable estate, and is buried next to John Alden and Priscilla at Duxbury; and near to Miles Standish. He, John Alden and others bought land for Governor Prence.
George Soule made out his will on 11 August 1677, and added a codicil to it on 20 September 1677. The codicil is quite interesting as it gives a little insight into a family squabble between son John and daughter Patience:
“If my son John Soule above-named or his heirs or assigns or any of them shall at any time disturb my daughter Patience or her heirs or assigns or any of them in peaceable possession or enjoyment of the lands I have given her at Nemasket alias Middleboro and recover the same from her or her heirs or assigns or any of them; that then my gift to my son John Soule shall be void; and that then my will is my daughter Patience shall have all my lands at Duxbury and she shall be my sole executrix of this my last will and testament and enter into my housing lands and meadows at Duxbury.”
*Note: The name Soule is English and means dweller at or near a muddy pond.
The fort and the militia
The Pilgrims had brought with them several different varieties of cannons, which they hauled up to the second story of the fort and mounted in a way that could command the whole harbor. The largest was a minion cannon, which was brass, weighed about 1200 pounds, and could shoot a 3.5 pound cannonball nearly a mile. They also had a saker cannon of about 800 pounds, and two base cannons that were much smaller, perhaps about 200 pounds and which shot a 3 to 5 ounce ball. Various other gun ports in the fort could be opened and closed for the smaller cannon to be moved and pointed in any direction necessary. Observation windows provided a clear view of the town, the harbor, and the nearby woods. By 1627, Plymouth's fort had six cannon, plus four small ones positioned near the governor's house at Plymouth's main intersection. The fort served not only for defense, however. It was also the Pilgrims meetinghouse, where church services, town meetings, and court sessions were held.
Captain Myles Standish was the Pilgrim's military leader, responsible for organizing the militia and defending the colony. He had been a lieutenant in Queen Elizabeth's army and was stationed in the Netherlands, where he made friends with the Pilgrims and their pastor, John Robinson. He is remembered as having been unusually short, with ruddy-red hair, very faithful and loyal, yet with a quick temper that often made his face turn red, earning him the nickname "Captain Shrimp" by some of those who did not like him. He was routinely elected and re-elected to the position of militia captain throughout the first few decades of the colony. He was responsible for training the men in the use of their armor, guns, and cannon; he established and appointed the watch shifts, and organized and trained the men for various forms of attacks that could be made against the colony. Luckily for Captain Standish, there were never any direct attacks on Plymouth itself, though the town occasionally sent him and some of his militia to help other neighboring English colonists with their disputes with the Indians, and they occasionally used the militia to arrest trespassers or others that were violating the terms of their trading contracts, or otherwise causing problems.
In late 1623, Emmanual Altham wrote a letter from Plymouth to his brother back in England, and reported that there were about twenty houses, but only about five of them were "very fair and pleasant". By that time, several additional ships carrying passengers, including the Fortune in 1621, and the Anne in 1623, had arrived. The Fortune brought mostly young, undisciplined men, who the company hoped would contribute labor. The Anne brought many of the wives and children to the colony--many of the men had left behind their wives and children in England until the colony was better established. In 1624, Captain John Smith recorded that Plymouth had about 32 houses, "whereof 7 were burnt the last winter."
In 1628, Plymouth was visited by the Dutchman named Isaac de Rasieres, and he wrote a more detailed description of what he saw:
"New Plymouth lies on the slope of a hill stretching east towards the sea-coast, with a broad street about a cannon shot of 800 feet long, leading down the hill; with a crossing in the middle, ... The houses are constructed of clapboards, with gardens also enclosed behind and at the sides with clapboards, so that their houses and courtyards are arranged in very good order, with a stockade against sudden attack; and at the ends of the streets there are three wooden gates. ... Upon the hill they have a large square house, with a flat roof, built of thick sawn planks stayed with oak beams, upon the top of which they have six cannon."
The earliest houses in Plymouth had thatched roofs, but because they were more likely to catch on fire, the colony eventually passed a law that required new homes be built with plank instead. Most houses had dirt floors, not wooden floors, and each had a prominent fire and chimney area, since this was the only source of heat as well as the only way to cook. Each house would have had its own garden, where vegetables and herbs could be grown. Each family was also assigned a field plot just outside of town, where they could grow corn, beans, peas, wheat, and other crops that required more space to grow, as well as to raise larger livestock.
Families in Plymouth
The wife was first and foremost required a "reverend subjection," to be fully submissive to her husband. She was to obey her husband's lawful commandments, as if they came from Christ himself. She was to be mild, obedient, and courteous. She was to dress and behave modestly, and to speak with meekness. The wife, however, was second-in-command in the household, and commanded the children and servants. Although the husband had final authority in all matters, he was expected to give his wife the latitude and authority to run, organize and manage the household. The wife was required to have the husband's consent before she dispose of any jointly-owned property; however she was entitled to do what she wanted with her personal belongings which she had prior to marriage, and with any gifts she received from friends or neighbors which were intended for her use. The wife was required to dwell with her husband wherever he should choose to establish himself. If a husband needed to take residence in a place not fitting for his wife, then she must live where he placed her, and come to him as soon as he required. A married woman in Plymouth Colony would typically have a child every two or three years throughout her child-bearing years; families with 8 or 10 children were not uncommon. During the early years of childhood, the mother was expected to be the primary teacher, role model and governor of the children; later in life the father was expected to take on a greater role, instructing them in work ethic, religion, morals, and values.
Children were expected to both love and fear their parents, to be obedient in all things, to be submissive equally to mother and father, and to speak in a restrained and proper manner. Pilgrim parents did not "spare the rod," and corporal punishment was considered necessary for the proper upbringing of children. Children were expected to have the full consent of parents before taking up any occupation, and parental consent was required for marriage. Children were expected to help with the household chores. When a parent or parents died, the children were expected to see to a proper burial, work to pay off any of their parents' debts, and to protect their parents' honor from defamation after their decease.
The Pilgrims did not bring any large livestock animals with them on the Mayflower. In fact, the only animals known with certainty to have come on the Mayflower were two dogs, an English mastiff and an English spaniel, who are mentioned on a couple of occasions in the Pilgrims' journals. Although not specifically mentioned, it seems likely that they had with them some chickens, because chicken broth was given by Mayflower passenger Edward Winslow to the Wampanoag sachem Massasoit when he was sick in early 1622; and it is also likely they brought some pigs, and perhaps even a few goats. In 1623, Emmanual Altham visited Plymouth and reported there were six goats, fifty pigs, and many chickens.
The first cattle arrived at Plymouth on the ship Anne in 1623, and more arrived on the ship Jacob in 1624. Onboard the Anne in 1623 were three cows, nicknamed the "Great Black Cow", the "Lesser Black Cow", and the "Great White-Backed Cow". By 1627, both the "Lesser Black Cow" and the "Great White-backed Cow" had calves. Onboard the Jacob in 1624 were four black heifers (a heifer is a young female cow that has not yet had a calf.) The four black heifers were nicknamed "Least", "Raghorn", "Blind", and "Smooth-Horned". There was also a "Red Cow" that belonged to the poor of the colony, which had a red female calf around 1625, and a male calf in 1627.
By May 1627, there were 16 head of cattle and at least 22 goats living in Plymouth. Sheep are almost never mentioned in any Pilgrim writings, but in January 1628 the Plymouth Court recorded that Myles Standish purchased from Abraham Pierce two shares of the "Red Cow" in exchange for two lambs.
And probate estate inventories for three Mayflower passengers made in 1633 (Samuel Fuller, Francis Eaton, and Peter Browne) show that all three men owned several rams, sheep, and lambs. The first horses and oxen did not begin arriving until the 1630s, most being brought to the Massachusetts Bay Colony to the north.
During the Mayflower's voyage, the Pilgrims main diet would have consisted primarily of hard biscuit, salt pork, dried meats including cow tongue, various pickled foods, oatmeal and other cereal grains, and fish. The primary beverage for everyone, including children, was beer. Wine may also have been drunk, as was aqua-vitae--a more potent alcohol. The occasional juice from a lemon was also taken, to prevent scurvy. The Pilgrims believed (and rightly so) that water was often contaminated and made people sick. The brewing and fermenting processes killed most of the parasites that caused these diseases.
Once the Pilgrims had settled themselves in Plymouth, they slowly began to learn about other food sources. The bay was full of fish, although the Pilgrims had poorly equipped themselves for fishing. There were clams, mussels, and other shellfish that could be gathered, and the bay was also full of lobster. Waterfowl such as ducks and geese were hunted, as were wild turkeys and other birds, and even the occasional deer.
The Pilgrims had also brought seeds with them, to plant English vegetable and herb gardens, as well as larger crops such as barley, peas, and wheat. And while exploring Cape Cod, they managed to "borrow" large baskets full of Indian corn they had found buried in the ground on a hill they named Corn Hill.
After they made contact with their Wampanoag neighbors, through the assistance of "Squanto" (Tisquantum), the Pilgrims learned the Indian techniques for planting and growing corn (which involved manuring the ground with shad caught in Town Brooke), and learned how to catch eel in the muddy riverbeds.
Each house had a prominent fire pit and chimney, where the cooking was normally done by the women and girls. Several "recipe books" from the period exist, that provide some interesting insights into cooking at the time. Perhaps the most famous of these is Gervase Markham's The English Housewife, first published in 1615. A recipe for cooking a young turkey or chicken reads:
"If you will boil chickens, young turkeys, peahens, or any house fowl daintily, you shall, after you have trimmed them, drawn them, trussed them, and washed them, fill their bellies as full of parsley as they can hold; then boil them with salt and water only till they be enough: then take a dish and put into it verjuice [the juice of sour crab-apples] and butter, and salt, and when the butter is melted, take the parsley out of the chicken's bellies, and mince it very small, and put it to the verjuice and butter, and stir it well together; then lay in the chickens, and trim the dish with sippets [fried or toasted slices of bread], and so serve it forth."
For roasting venison [deer], the another recipe says:
"[A]fter you have washed it, and cleansed all the blood from it, you shall stick it with cloves all over on the outside; and if it be lean you shall lard it either with mutton lard, or pork lard, but mutton is the best: then spit it [put it on a spit that can be hand-rotated over the fire] and roast it by a soaking fire [a slow-roasting fire], then take vinegar, bread crumbs, and some of the gravy which comes from the venison, and boil them well in a dish; then season it with sugar, cinnamon, ginger and salt, and serve the venison forth upon the sauce when it is roasted enough."
For sauce for a turkey, another recipe says:
"Take fair water, and set it over the fire, then slice good store of onions and put into it, and also pepper and salt, and good store of the gravy that comes from the turkey, and boil them very well together: then put to it a few fine crumbs of grated bread to thicken it; a very little sugar and some vinegar, and so serve it up with the turkey: or otherwise, take grated white bread and boil it in white wine till it be thick as a galantine [a sauce made from blood], and in the boiling put in good store of sugar and cinnamon, and then with a little turnsole [a plant used to as red food coloring] make it of a high murrey color, and so serve it in saucers with the turkey in the manner of a galantine."
An assortment of wooden trenchers (plates); earthen pots, bowls, porrigers, tygs, and jugs, and pewter platters.
The Pilgrims are often depicted in "popular culture" as wearing only black and white clothing, with large golden buckles on their shoes and hats and long white collars. This stereotypical Pilgrim, however, is not historically accurate. The Pilgrims, in fact, wore a wide variety of colors. This is known because when a person died, an inventory was made of their estate for the purpose of probate: and often the color of various clothing items were mentioned. For example, long-time church member, Mary Ring, died in Plymouth in 1633, and her estate included a "mingled-color" waistcoat, two violet waistcoats, three blue aprons, a red petticoat, a violet petticoat, blue stockings, and white stockings. In addition, she owned gray cloth, blue cloth and red cloth, ready to make additional clothing. Plymouth's Church Elder William Brewster, who died in 1644, owned green drawers, a red cap, a violet coat, and a blue suit. And Governor William Bradford, when he died in 1657, owned a green gown, violet cloak, and a red waistcoat.
For the upper body, men usually wore a long, short-sleeved, off-white linen shirt, with collar. On top of that he wore a doublet, which was relatively close-fitting, with long sleeves, broad padded shoulders, and buttoned down the front with tabs at waist. A cloak was often draped over the shoulders. A lace collar and cuffs were worn, as was a felt or knit cap. Older or more revered men often wore over the top of everything a full-length wool gown. For the lower body, breeches or drawers were usually worn. These were front-buttoning, rather baggy pants which extended to the knee level. Stockings were knee-length, often made of wool; they were held up with tied ribbons referred to as garters. Shoes were either low cut leather shoes, or higher-cut leather boots.
Until about the age of eight, children--both boys and girls--wore gowns. These gowns were similar to a woman's dress, with a full-length skirt, high neckline, and long sleeves, but were laced up and fastened in the back. Older boys simply wore smaller versions of men's clothing, and older girls wore smaller versions of women's clothing.
The Pilgrims strongly believed that the Church of England, and the Catholic Church, had strayed beyond Christ's teachings, and established religious rituals, and church hierarchies, that went against the teachings of the Bible. This belief put them at odds with church officials, who in the early years of King James I, tried to have them arrested and thrown in jail for refusing to attend church services and participate in Anglican church rituals. For this reason, many of the Pilgrims fled to Leiden, Holland, where there was religious freedom. However, the Pilgrims had difficulty adjusting to the more permissive Dutch culture, and had difficulty supporting themselves because their usual way of supporting themselves (farming) was not possible in the Netherlands, where there is little farmland and the economy where the economy was primarily based on shipping and trade.
In Leiden, the Pilgrims church grew, as additional people fled England. The church pastor was John Robinson. Their church was created around the model of the New Testament, so they had a Church Elder (William Brewster), some deacons, and a deaconess. They strictly honored the Sabbath, by not performing any labor on Sunday. They studied the writings of earlier Protestants and Separatists, such as Martin Luther and John Calvin, and they even established a printing press to illegally distribute new Separatist and Puritan books in England.
The Pilgrim church had a number of religious differences with the Church of England and the Catholic Church. Here were some of the main points and differences:
Predestination. The Pilgrims believed that before the foundation of the world, God predestined to make the world, man, and all things. He also predestined, at that time, who would be saved, and who would be damned. Only those God elected would receive God's grace, and would have faith. There was nothing an individual could do during their life that would cause them to be saved (or damned), since God had already decided who was going to be saved before the creation of the world. However, God would not have chosen blatant sinners to be his elect; and therefore those who were godly were likely to be the ones God had elected to be saved.
Sacraments and Popery. To the Pilgrims, there were only two sacraments: baptism and the Lord's Supper. The other sacraments of the Church of England and Roman Catholic church (Confession, Penance, Confirmation, Ordination, Marriage, Confession, Last Rites) were inventions of man, had no scriptural basis, and were therefore superstitions--even to the point of being heretical. The Pilgrims opposed mass, and considered marriage a civil affair to be handled by the State (not a religious sacrament). Icons and religious symbols such as crosses, statues, stain-glass windows, fancy architecture, and other worldly manifestations of religion were rejected as a form of idolatry. They also rejected the Catholic and Anglican Book of Common Prayer, believing that prayer should be spontaneous and not scripted.
Church Hierarchy.The legitimacy of the Pope, the Saints, and the church hierarchy were rejected, as was the veneration of relics. The church of the Pilgrims was organized around five officers: pastor, teacher, elder, deacon, and deaconess (sometimes called the "church widow"). However, none of the five offices was considered essential to the church. The Pastor was an ordained minister whose responsibility was to see to the religious life of the congregation. John Robinson was the pastor of the Pilgrims, but was never able to get to America before his death in 1625. The Teacher was also an ordained minister who was responsible for the instruction of the congregation. The Pilgrims apparently never had anyone to fill that position. The Elder was a lay-person responsible for church government, and he was also the church's eyes and ears, assisting the Pastor and Teacher in admonishing the congregation. William Brewster was the Elder for the Plymouth church. The Deacons collected offerings, and attended to the needs of the poor and elderly. John Carver and Samuel Fuller both were deacons during their life. The Deaconess attended the sick and poor, and often played the role of midwife for the congregation. The Deaconess of the early Plymouth church is not named, but may have been Bridget Fuller.
The church building itself had no significance to the Pilgrims, and was kept intentionally drab and plain, with no religious depictions, crosses, windows, fancy architecture, or icons, to avoid the sin of idolatry. At Plymouth, the Pilgrim's church was the bottom floor of the town's fort--the top floor held six cannons and a watchtower to defend the colony. The church room was also the town's meetinghouse, where court sessions and town meetings took place. Isaac de Rasieres, who visited Plymouth in 1627, reported how the Pilgrim's began their church on Sunday: "They assemble by beat of drum, each with his musket or firelock, in front of the captain's door; they have their cloaks on, and place themselves in order, three abreast, and are led by a sergeant without beat of drum. Behind comes the governor, in a long robe; beside him on the right hand, comes the preacher with his cloak on, and on the left hand, the captain with his side-arms and cloak on, and with a small cane in his hand; and so they march in good order, and each sets his arms down near him." During the early years of Plymouth, failing to bring your gun to church was an offense for which you could be fined 12 pence.
The Pilgrims faithfully observed the Sabbath, and did not work on Sunday. Even when the Pilgrims were exploring Cape Cod, they stopped everything and stayed in camp on Sunday to keep the Sabbath. The Pilgrims did not celebrate Christmas and Easter. They believed that these holidays were invented by man to memorialize Jesus, and are not prescribed by the Bible or celebrated by the early Christian churches, and therefore cannot be considered Holy days. "It seems too much for any mortal man to appoint, or make an anniversary memorial" for Christ, taught the Pilgrims' pastor John Robinson.
The Pilgrims considered marriage a civil affair, not to be handled by the church ministers, but instead by civil magistrates. Marriage was a contract, mutually agreed upon by a man and a woman. Marriage was created by God for the benefit of man's natural and spiritual life. Marriages were considered important for two main reasons: procreation of children to increase Christ's flock; and to avoid the sin of adultery. Pastor John Robinson taught that the important characteristics to find in a spouse are (1) godliness, and (2) similarity--in age, beliefs, estate, disposition, inclinations, and affections. In the 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 husband to his wife must be like Christ's to his church." The Pilgrims refused to include religious symbolism in a marriage ceremony, including the exchange of wedding rings, which they considered a "relic of popery ... and that it is a diabolical circle for the Devil to dance in."
Item Meddow Land
Item bed and beding and wearin Clothes
Item a Gun
Item a Chest and Chaire
Item 2 paire of Sheers a tramell and wedge
Item to other old lumber
Item by Debts Due to the estate
An Acompt of Debt Due unto John Soule to be payed out of his fathers estate
Anno: 1674 Impr for plowing in one bushell of wheat & one bushell of pease
for reaping Rye and pease
Item one Day plowing Greensword
Item for plowing in weeding
Item 2 Dayes and an half plowing in of Rye
Item to Willam Clarke
1675 Item for one Day plowing in of pease & two Days Reaping of Rye
Item 1 locke for a Barne Dore
Item for Goods taken up att Edmun Mufords att Boston viz: 4 yards 1'2 Carsey
Item for 7 yards of penistone 2 s 09 d pr yard
Item for 10 yards of Canves att 1 s 6 d pr yard
Item for buttons and silke
Item for blew linnine
Item for thred browne Coullered
Item for four yards of Red Cotton att 2 s 6 d pr yard
Item for three hundred of shooe Nailes
Item payed to Mr Mumford upon the old accoumpt
1676 for Drawing 13 load of Brush and hedging about a feild
Item for plowing in of pease and wheat 2 Dayes
Item for Makeing a prteing fence between the orchyard
Item for makeing stone wall about the orchyard
Item for 12 yards of teicking of William Vobes
Item for 20 yards of Canvis att 1 s 9 d pr yard
Item for Dowlis of Mr hetman 7 yards att 2 s 3 d pr yard
Item for eight yards of Osenbrigg of mr Thomas att 1 s 2 d pr yard
Item for serge for a paire of briches
Item for one paire of sheets
Item for Diett and tendance since my mother died which was three yeer the Last December except some smale time my sister Patience Dressed his victualls
Item for funerall charges
George Soule : 1650
"And seeing it hath pleased Him to give me [William Bradford] to see thirty years completed since these beginnings, and that the great works of His providence are to be observed, I have thought it not unworthy my pains to take a view of the decreasings and increasings of these persons and such changes as hath passed over them and theirs in this thirty years..."One of his [Edward Winslow's] servants died, as also the little girl, soon after the ship's arrival. But his man, George Soule, is still living and hath eight children."William Bradford, Of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647, ed.Samuel Eliot Morison (New York : Knopf, 1991), p. 443-7.
George Soule's wife, Mary
1 March 1658-9 : "John Smith, Junir, of Plymouth, Goodwife Howland, the wife of Henery Howland, Zoeth Howland and his wife, John Soule and Goodwife Soule, the wife of Gorge Soule, of Duxburrow, Arthur Howland and his wife, of Marshfeild, Mis Cudworth, Goodwife Coleman, Willam Parker, and his wife, of Scituate, haueing bine prsented for frequently absenting themselues from the publicke worship of God, were sentanced by the Court to pay, according to order of Court, each ten shillings, to the collonies vse."Plymouth Colony Records, Vol. 8, pg. 95.
Updated 14 July, 1998
GEORGE SOULE IN 17TH CENTURY RECORDS
"The names of those which came over first, in the 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. Edward Winslow, Elizabeth his wife and two men-servants called George Soule and Elias Story; also a little girl was put to him called Ellen, the sister of Richard More."William Bradford, Of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647, ed.Samuel Eliot Morison (New York : Knopf, 1991), p. 441-3.
George Soule: Signer of the Mayflower Compact
"I shall ... begin with a combination made by them before they came ashore ; being the first foundation of their government in this place. Occasioned partly by the discontented and mutinous speeches that some of the strangers amonst them had let fall from them in the ship: That when they came ashore they would use their own liberty, for none had power to command them, the patent they had being for Virginia and not for New England... And partly that such an act by them done, this their condition considered, might be as firm as any patent, and in some respects more sure."The form was as followeth : IN THE NAME OF GOD, AMEN. We whose names are underwritten, the loyal subjects of our dread Sovereign Lord King James, by the Grace of God of Great Britain, France and Ireland King, Defender of the Faith, etc. Having undertaken, for the Glory of God and advancement of the Christian Faith and Honour of our King and Country, a Voyage to plant the First Colony in the Northern parts of Virginia, do by these presents solemnly and mutually in the presence of God and one of another, Covenant and Combine ourselves together into a Civil Body Politic, for our better ordering and preservation and furtherance of the ends aforesaid; and by virtue hereof to enact, constitute and frame such just and equal Laws, Ordinances, Acts, Constitutions and Offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the general good of the Colony, unto which we promise all due submission and obedience. In witness whereof we have hereunder subscribed our names at Cape Cod, the 11th of November, in the year of the reign of our Sovereign Lord King James, of England, France and Ireland the eighteenth, and of Scotland the fifty-fourth. Anno Domini 1620."William Bradford, Of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647, ed.Samuel Eliot Morison (New York : Knopf, 1991), p. 75-76.
George Soule and the 1623 Division of Land
The 1623 Division of Land marked the end of the Pilgrims' earliest system of land held in common by all. Governor Bradford explains it in this way:"And so assigned to every family a parcel of land, according to the proportion of their number, or that end, only for present use (but made no division for inheritance) and ranged all boys and youth under some family. This had very good success, for it made all hands very industrious, so as much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been by any means the Governor or any other could use, and saved him a great deal of trouble, and gave far better content. The women now went willingly into the field, and took their little ones with them to set corn; which before would allege weakness and inability; whom to have compelled wold have been thought great tyranny and oppression."
Plymouth Colony Records, Deeds, &c, Vol. I 1627-1651 also tells of the 1627 Division of Cattle:
In 1621, King James I authorized the Council for New England to plant and govern land in this area. This Council granted the Peirce Patent, confirming the Pilgrims' settlement and governance of Plymouth. Peirce and his associates, the merchant adventurers, were allotted 100 acres for each settler the Company transported. The Pilgrims had a contract with the Company stating all land and profits would accrue to the Company for 7 years at which time the assets would be divided among the shareholders. Most of the Pilgrims held some stock. The Pilgrims negotiated a more favorable contract with the Company in 1626. In 1627, 53 Plymouth freemen, known as "The Purchasers," agreed to buy out the Company over a period of years. In turn, 12 "Undertakers" (8 from Plymouth and 4 from London) agreed to pay off Plymouth's debts in return for trade benefits.
Forecastle: Where the crew's meals were cooked, and where the crew's food and supplies were kept.Poop House: Nothing to do with a bathroom, the poop house was the living quarters for the ship's master (Christopher Jones) and some of the higher ranking crew, perhaps master's mates John Clarke and Robert Coppin.Cabin: The general sleeping quarters for the Mayflower's twenty or thirty other crewmembers. The crew slept in shifts.Steerage Room: This is where the pilot steered the Mayflower. Steering was done by a stick called a whip-staff that was moved back and forth to move the tiller, which in turn moves the rudder.Gun Room: This is where the powder, shot, and other supplies were stored for the ship's guns and cannons.Gun Deck: The gun deck is where the cannon were located. On merchant ships, this deck was used to hold additional cargo. In the Mayflower's case, the gun deck is where the passengers lived on the voyage to America.Capstan and Windlass: Large apparatus which were used to lift and lower heavy cargo between the decks.Cargo Hold: This is where the Pilgrims would have stored their cargo of food, tools, and supplies during the voyage.
The Gun Deck, sometimes referred to by the Pilgrims as "betwixt the decks" or the "tween deck," is where the Pilgrims lived for most of the voyage. They occasionally ventured to the upper deck, especially during calmer weather when they would be less likely to get in the way of the seamen and there was less danger of being swept overboard. The gun deck had about four gun ports on either side of the ship for cannon. Even though the Mayflower was a merchant ship, it needed to be able to defend itself from pirates, and needed to be prepared for the possibility of conscription (when England was at war, the King or Queen could turn merchant ships into military vessels.) The height of the gun deck was around five and a half feet.
During the voyage, the 102 Mayflower passengers lived primarily on the gun deck, or the 'tween deck. The length of the deck from stem to stern was about 80 feet, of which about 12 feet at the back belonged to the gun room and was probably off-limits to the passengers. The width at the widest part was about 24 feet. Various hatches provided access to the cargo hold below. The windlass and capstan, both used to haul heavy items by rope between the decks, also took up floor-space, as did the main mast in the middle, and the sprit sail mast in the front. Many of the families built themselves small little "cabins," simple wooden dividers nailed together, to provide a small amount of privacy. Others, especially the young single men, just took up any old spot--many found shelter within a shallop, a 30-foot sailing vessel that the Pilgrims brought with them, and which they had dismantled and stowed on the gun deck. The two month voyage, with many young men living inside of it, caused considerable damage to the shallop, and cost the Pilgrims several weeks of time to fix after they arrived.
GEORGE Soule (Immigrant) was born between 1593 and 1600 in England. He died in January 1679 at the age of 86 in Duxbury, Plymouth County, Massachusetts. George immigrated 1620 to England on the Mayflower, as an indentured servant to the Edward Winslow family. He was the children's tutor. Although this implies he was of lesser status to Winslow, the families were closely associated in many matters. This friendship and intermarriage continued even to descendants living in Detroit several hundred years after they set sail in 1620.
George Soule was one of the signers of the Mayflower Compact.
George married Mary BUCKET (BECKET) before 1626 in Plymouth. At the first division of cattle, George and Mary were married, with Zachariah born at that time. Mary was born 17 January 1599/1600 in England. She died December 1676 in Duxbury, Plymouth County, Massachusetts.
He made is will 11 August 1677 in Duxbury. A codicil was made 20 September 1677. The codicil implored his son, John, to not harass his sister, Patience, and her family when they inherit the lands he bequeathed Patience. If John did harass his sister, he would lose his inheritance, she would get all of John's inheritance and be named the executrix of her father's estate. The will and codicil were witnessed by Nathaniel Thomas and Deborah Thomas.
GEORGE Soule (Immigrant) and MARY Bucket (Immigrant) were married. MARY Bucket (Immigrant) died in December 1676 in Duxbury, Plymouth County, Massachusetts.
notes from http://www.dicksoule.com/genealogy/downloads/SouleGeorgeNarrative.pdf
Theories on the Parentage of George Soule of the Mayflower
copied from: http://www.sole.org.uk/index.htm
The Search for the English Origins of Mayflower Passenger George Soule
By Caleb Johnson
This article was published in the December 2005 edition of Soul Search, the journal of The Sole Society
This three part series is reproduced with the kind permission of Soule Kindred
PART 1: ECKINGTON, WORCESTERSHIRE
Before any attempt is made to ascertain the English origins of Mayflower passenger George Soule, it is important to briefly summarize what is known about him. Many of the more significant facts were recorded by William Bradford, governor of Plymouth. In 1651, Bradford wrote several pages containing “The names of those which came over first, in ye year 1620 and were (by the blesing of God) the first beginers, and (in a sort) the foundation, of all the plantations, and colonies, in New-England. (And their families).” On this list is found:
Mr. Edward Winslow, Elizabeth his wife, and 2 men servants, caled Georg Sowle, and Elias Story; also a litle girle was put to him caled Ellen, the sister of Richard More.
George Soule was one of the signers of the “Mayflower Compact,” according to Nathaniel Morton who first recorded the names of the signers in his 1669 book, New England’s Memorial. George Soule received one acre in the 1623 Division of Land at Plymouth “on the South side of the brooke to the baywards.” In the 1627 Division of Cattle, George Soule is listed with his wife Mary and eldest son Zachariah, joined with the family of Richard Warren. They received shares in “one of the 4 black Heyfers that came in the Jacob caled the smooth horned Heyfer and two shee goats.”
Since children during this time period were very regularly named after their parents and grandparents, it is worth noting the names of George Soule’s children. He and wife Mary had nine children: Zachariah, John, Nathaniel, George, Susanna, Mary, Elizabeth, Patience, and Benjamin. The names Zachariah, Nathaniel, Patience, and Benjamin appear to be Puritan-influenced names that are not probably to be found in George’s parents. Children George and Mary were presumably named after their parents. That leaves only John, Susanna, and Elizabeth as names that could have been inherited from a grandparent.
Others who have searched English records have had trouble determining the age of George Soule—a necessary piece of information to accurately formulate a theory on his origins and eliminate unnecessary candidates. Charles E. Banks, writing in G.T. Ridlon’s History, Biography and Genealogy of the Families Named Soule, Sowle and Soulis (Lewiston, Maine, 1926), at page 141, states that because “his age is not known and no document has survived here which connects him with an English parish, two prime clues are lacking.” Nils Wilkes, in his In Search of George Soule of the Mayflower at page 43, notes with a little more precision, “George Soule must have been born in England somewhere between 1590 and 1600.”
However, it is possible for us to considerably narrow his age from that given by Banks/Ridlon and Wilkes. First, George Soule signed the “Mayflower Compact.” In order to have done so, he needed to have been of legal age. On 8 September 1623, William Bradford wrote a letter to the English investors in the Pilgrims’ joint-stock company to answer some of their concerns and complaints about the government the Pilgrims had established. Bradford wrote: “Touching our government you are mistaken if you think we admit women and children … for they are excluded, as both reason and nature teacheth they should be; neither do we admit any but as are above the age of 21 years, and they also but only in some weighty matters, when we think good.” In other words, the men over 21 in the colony were only allowed to participate in government for “some weighty matters,” and women and those under 21 were barred from participation. George Soule, therefore, was over 21 years of age on 11 November 1620, and thus was born in 1599 or earlier.
Additionally, George Soule came in the capacity of a “manservant” to Edward Winslow. Manservants were essentially apprentices, except in many cases they were not being taught a specific trade, but were simply housed and fed by their master for a contractual period of time, in exchange for labor. This was often done when a father died, leaving a wife and children without enough estate to care for themselves; or when a family became too large to support itself. The contractual period of service ended at age 25, or sometimes earlier. So when George Soule came on the Mayflower as a manservant for Edward Winslow, he must have been under 25 years of age, meaning he was born sometime after 1595. These facts place George Soule’s birth at between 1595 and 1599.
Additionally, it can be noted that George Soule was not married in 1623. He only received one share in the Division of Land: if he were married he would have received two shares. His future wife, Mary Buckett, arrived on the ship Anne in July 1623. She is listed elsewhere in the Division of Land, receiving one share “on the south side of town towards the eele-river.” However, George and Mary were married and already had one child by 22 May 1627, the date of the Division of Cattle. So he was married at least by 1626. George Soule would not have been eligible to marry until his contract was up, which normally would occur when he reached the age of 25. His marriage right around 1624-1626 fits in perfectly with the chronology given above for a birth between 1595 and 1599.
Previous researchers seem to have assumed that George Soule’s origins should be found in county Worcester, near the birthplace of his master Edward Winslow. However, this need not be the case. Edward Winslow left county Worcester for London by 1613, where he became a printer’s apprentice, and then left for Leiden, Holland by 1618. Winslow probably made his contact with the Soule family through one of the other Pilgrims in Leiden, or through one of the London investors that were underwriting the voyage.
THE PREVAILING THEORY: ECKINGTON, WORCESTERSHIRE
The most popular theory on the origin of George Soule has him coming from Eckington, county Worcester. This theory was worked primarily by G.L. Ridlon and Charles E. Banks through the 1920s, and was further investigated by Nils Wilkes about 1986. Though none of the researchers came to any conclusive conclusion, both Ridlon and Banks offered tentative theories and suggestions, which over the intervening 75 years have often been presented as if they were documented fact. A closer examination of the Eckington Soules is thus a necessary beginning-point for any investigation.
A careful examination of the records of Eckington, county Worcester, reveal that there are three different George Soule’s living there in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. Research is hampered somewhat by the fact that the parish registers for Eckington do not begin until 1678, and only the pre-Mayflower years of 1612, 1615, and 1617 are available in Bishop’s Transcripts. So most of the information about the Soule family of Eckington comes from probate and manor records.
Let us now take a look at each of these three Georges, to determine if any meet the necessary qualifications to have been the Mayflower passenger.
GEORGE SOULE, SON OF ROBERT SOULE, SALTER OF LONDON.
On 5 February 1580, Robert Soule “citizen and salter of London” sold to his brother Thomas his lands in Eckington, county Worcester. The deed was witnessed by his sons Edward and George. On 20 September 1581, George Soule of Evesham leased land in Eckington and the neighboring parish of Birlingham. On 17 August 1583, George Soule had a daughter Mary baptized at All Saints, Evesham. This is his only child of record for him. Robert Soule was a gentleman, and had his coat of arms confirmed by the College of Arms in London on 18 June 1591. Robert Soule, salter, made out his will, proved 17 April 1595 at St. Giles Cripplegate, London. In his will, he bequeaths son George £10, and mentions George had received a “great house or inn” at Evesham, county Worcester.
This George Soule could not be the Mayflower passenger. He was an adult in 1580, so clearly was born well outside the 1596-1599 window calculated previously. It has been suggested that perhaps he had a son George. But there is no record of any such son. Additionally, this George Soule had a fairly high social status and wealth, being the son of an armorial gentleman and having received a “great house or inn.” If he ever did have a son George, he would not make a likely candidate to have been a manservant to Edward Winslow.
GEORGE SOULE, SON OF ROBERT SOULE, HUSBANDMAN OF ECKINGTON
On 5 February 1612/3, Robert Soule, husbandman of Eckington, made out his will. He bequeathed to wife Elizabeth his lease of land in Eckington, and upon her death it was to transfer to his son George. Son Thomas received a malt mill, cistern, and watering trough, while son Robert received the “residue” of his goods that were not otherwise disposed of. Daughters Alice Warde, Anne, and Eleanor are also mentioned. An estate inventory was made on 12 March 1612/3, and the will was proved the next day, 13 March 1612/3. On 10 October 1613, George Soule and his mother Elizabeth signed a lease of land in Eckington.
Charles Banks noted that this George “answers best of all the candidates the demands of identification, in point of time, locality and relationship to a Sole family which had contact with Governor Winslow both in London and Worcestershire.” Nils Wilkes denoted this man as “George ?Pilgrim?” on his tree of the Soule families of Eckington.
However, this George Soule is almost certainly not the Mayflower passenger. He signed a lease agreement in October 1613, which would indicate he was 21 years of age or older at the time. This puts his birth at sometime before 1592. His brother Thomas—presumably a younger brother since he received only a malt mill, cistern and watering trough in his father’s will—was married on 2 May 1606 to Winifred Moore. If younger brother Thomas was married in 1606, then he was probably about 25 years old, putting his birth at 1581-1584—so this would push George’s birth to sometime before 1584 at least. Once again, this is far too old to have been the Mayflower passenger. In addition, as will be discussed under the next George Soule, this man was probably still living in Eckington on 31 August 1647.
GEORGE SOULE “THE YOUNGER” OF ECKINGTON, MOLECATCHER
On 5 June 1631, Eckington parish registers record the marriage of George Soule to Susan Nash. If he were about 25 when he married, this George would have been born about 1606—right about the same time period that Thomas Soule, mentioned above, was married to Winifred Moore. Because of the timing, I therefore suspect this George is probably the son of George Soule discussed above. George and Susan had a daughter Frances baptized on 13 November 1636 at Eckington. A few years earlier, the parish registers record the marriage of Grizzigon Soule to Thomas Roberts on 2 February 1627; Grizzigon was perhaps George’s sister. On 13 February 1633/4, George Soule, molecatcher of Eckington, had a legal dispute with Mary Taylor. Mary was ordered to keep the peace with George, and George signed a release indicating Mary had paid her debt for molecatching. On 9 June 1637, George Soule was in trouble for having stolen a sheep from Thomas Roberts—presumably his brother-in-law. Apparently the family dispute was mended, because George was a witness to Thomas Roberts’ will in February 1643.
On 31 August 1647, George Soule “the younger” is listed on an account of men of Eckington that were quartering troops and horses during the English Civil War. Because he is referred to as “the younger,” we can presume there was an older George Soule still living in Eckington at the time: probably George’s father George, as I surmised above. Since both Georges are living in Eckington in 1647, they obviously were not the Mayflower passengers. Younger George made out his will on 17 October 1651, proved ten years later on 22 June 1661. His will mentions wife Susanna, and daughter Frances, as well as kinsman Thomas son of Thomas. I presume that is Thomas, son of his uncle Thomas.
These three George Soules (son of Robert the salter; son of the Robert the husbandman; and the molecatcher), can thus all be eliminated as candidates for the Mayflower passenger, because they were either too old, or still living in Eckington after the Mayflower’s departure. There are no other known George Soules in any Eckington records. Therefore, we must discard the theory he was from Eckington, and move on to search for his origins elsewhere in England.
There are more George Soules somewhat to the west of Eckington in the parishes of Berrow, Dymock, and Redmarly D’Abitot, in county Worcester, as well as Asperdon, county Hereford. Additionally, there are some George Soules living in Flitwick and Tingrith, county Bedford, which is not too far from Henlow, the origins of the Mayflower. Tilley, Samson, and Cooper families; and the Bedfordshire Soules appear to have reached across into northern county Hertford, into the parishes where Mayflower passenger Richard Warren is thought to have originated. These families will be investigated as this research, funded by the Soule Kindred in America, Inc., progresses.
found on ancestry.comBiography of Mayflower Ancestors - George Soule1620, Plymouth Colony
GEORGE SOULE "George Soule's birthplace was England (possibly at Eckington, Worcestershire), and the date of birth was about 1600. He died at Duxbury before 1 February 1680. He was married at Plymouth before 1627, to Mary Bucket who died at Duxbury in Decmber 1676. Nothing is known of Mary Becket prior to her arrival at Plymouth on the Anne in July 1623. Their children were: Zachariah, John Nathaniel, George, Benjamin, Mary, Patience, Susanna, and Elizabeth; all but Zachariah and Benjamin has proven descendants. Of his English ancestry nothing is known for a certainty, although some sources say that he was the son of John Soule of Eckington, Worcestershire. He was of the London contingent of the Mayflower company and came over as a "servant" of Edward Winslow.
In the cabin of the Mayflower on 21 November 1620, the Compact was signed, George Soule's name is thirty-fifth on the list. We hear no more of him at Plymouth until the division of land in the spring of 1623, at which time, he being single and a Mayflower passenger, was eligible for a one acre plot. The following spring (1624), his wife to be, Mary Bucket, was also eligible for a one acre plot as a passenger on the Anne. In the division of livestock in 1627 he is listed in Richard Warren's company and we see from the listing that he was married then and one son, Zachariah, had been born. In 1637, during the troubles with the Pequot Indians, George Soule volunteered his services. In 1645 he moved to Duxbury where he served as a Selectman and as a Civil Magistrate. He was a representative to the General Court for the years 1642-1645, 1650-1651, and 1653-1654. His will and an inventory of his este are on record at Plymouth."
Source: Register of the Society of Mayflower descendants in the District of Columbia, 1970.
Found on ancestry.com
George Soule was born in England, and orphaned when fire destroyed his home in England. He was brought up by his brother, Robert Soule of Selter County, England, a wealthy London salter. George came to New England aboard the Mayflower in 1629 among a company of adventurers off to the New World, and was a signer of the Mayflower Pact. He came as a teacher to wealthy Pilgrim Edward Winslow's children, and was listed as a manservant to the Winslow family. It is logical that Winslow bore the cost of Soule's passage. Mary Beckett, his sweetheart in England, came to America on either the "Ann" or the "St. James". She and George were married in Plymouth, Massachusetts. George kept a diary and brought a library over from England which was the best in America at that time. He was very scholarly. The family was poor, however, and many nights the family of ten went to bed hungry.
found on ancestry.com