Not much is known about the origins of Isaac Allerton. He was born about 1586 in England. There are clues that may point to the identity of Isaac’s father, but beyond that, everything is a mystery. What is known is that Isaac lived in Holland in the town of Leiden in the early 1600s. Leiden was a popular refuge for Pilgrims fleeing from religious injustice in England. While in Leiden, Isaac worked as a tailor. He married Mary Norris on November 4, 1611. The couple had three children, Bartholomew, Remember and Mary, all born in Leiden. They buried another child in Leiden on February 5, 1620. In September 1620, the Allerton family boarded the Mayflower. The Allertons all survived the voyage, but while the ship lay anchored in what is now Provincetown Harbor, in November 1620, Mary gave birth to a stillborn baby. The painting “Landing of the Pilgrims” by Henry Sargent, includes a depiction of Isaac and Mary Allerton. They are seen on the left side of the painting and have just disembarked from the shallop which ferried passengers from the ship to the shore. The painting is on permanent display at Pilgrim Hall Museum in Plymouth, Massachusetts.
Mary Allerton was one of many who died in Plymouth during the settlement’s first bitter winter. Legend states that those who died that winter were buried in unmarked graves during secret nighttime burials. Corn was planted over the graves, so that the Native Americans would not know how many of the settlers had died. The Cole’s Hill Monument honors all who died during the first year. (Mary Allerton’s name is in the far left column, second from the top). Beneath the monument, a crypt contains bones found during excavations in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Isaac Allerton and his three children survived the first winter in Plymouth and Isaac quickly became involved in the community. After the death of the first colonial governor, John Carver, Isaac was appointed assistant to Governor William Bradford.
In 1626, along with William Bradford and several others, Isaac agreed to take control of the colony’s debts in exchange for a monopoly in the fur trade. He traveled to London and negotiated a new agreement with the colonists’ creditors. In exchange for a payment made to the Merchant Adventurers investment group, Isaac received a grant of land at Kennebec (in present-day Maine) where the colonists started building a fortified trading structure.
Unfortunately, Isaac soon began taking advantage of his position, engaging the Pilgrims in business ventures that they had not authorized. As a result of these ventures, the colonists’ debt actually increased. He introduced some unscrupulous individuals into Plymouth colony and established his own trading post at Kennebec, becoming the colonists’ chief competitor.
In 1633, Isaac and his undesirable friends were banished from the colony. Isaac initially established a residence in Marblehead in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. He prospered quickly and by 1634 had several houses, warehouses, stages for curing fish and a fishing fleet of eight boats. In February 1634, however, one of his houses caught fire and was destroyed. The remainder of his property was subsequently lost. Shortly thereafter, the authorities of the Massachusetts Bay Colony ordered Isaac’s removal, although their reason for doing so is unknown.
Isaac then took up residence in New Amsterdam where he was immediately successful and greatly respected and his advice and opinion were highly sought after. He started trading tobacco and realized tremendous profits. He built a house and a warehouse within view of the East River and owned over 500 feet of waterfront property. In 1655, Isaac was among the wealthiest individuals in New Amsterdam.
In New Amsterdam, Isaac again became involved in politics and exercised his influence on several occasions. He also owned a grand house in New Haven, Connecticut and his seat in the meetinghouse of the First Church of New Haven was a seat of honor.
Isaac died in New Haven in 1659 and was the only member of the Mayflower Company to be buried in Connecticut.
The connection between my dad and Isaac Allerton is as follows: Eric Eastman – Blanche Savilla Jones – Edwin Jones – Seth William Jones – Stephen Chapman Jones – Seth Jones – Seth Jones – Elijah Jones – Abigail Hawkes – John Hawkes – Sarah Cushman – Mary Allerton – Isaac Allerton
Sources: http://www.sail1620.org/Biographies/isaac-allerton-saint-sinner-entrepreneur, http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=13252546, http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSln=Cushman&GScnty=1184&GRid=12498378&, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isaac_Allerton, http://www.legendsofamerica.com/ma-plymouthrock.html