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   Deane   Paxson logo
compiled and copyright by MJP Grundy, 2002

          Stephen Deane was a Puritan who emigrated to Plymouth Colony in 1621 on the Fortune. He died in 1634 in Plymouth. He married Elizabeth RING, a daughter of the widow Mary Ring. That much is known about him. Robert Charles Anderson, in what appears to be a definitive multi-volume study, The Great Migration Begins writes that Stephen Deane's origins are unknown.[1] If any reader knows of primary sources that can prove where Stephen came from, and the names of his parents, please e mail me at .

          I have not yet been able to do any primary research recently. Instead I draw heavily on the work of Eugene Aubrey Stratton, one time Historian General of the General Society of Mayflower Descendants. I presume that he is not one to jump to unproved conclusions. His work is based primarily on William Bradford's Of Plimouth Plantation (which I read some years ago) and the 12 volume Records of the Colony of New Plymouth in New England (1620-1691), along with a great many other impeccable sources. More recently I've updated with work from Robert Charles Anderson.



English Separatist Roots: the Ring Family

          Rather than creating separate pages for the RING and DURRANT lines, I'll just summarize here what we know of them. My interest in them is focussed on Mary, thought to have been born Durrant, widowed as Ring, and her daughter Elizabeth Ring who married Stephen Deane.

          There is a possibility that it was "our" William RING, of the parish Petistree, union of Woodbridge, in the Eastern Division of the County of Suffolk, who married Mary DURRANT at Ufford, Suffolk, on 21 May 1601. Their daughter Elizabeth RING was baptised at Ufford 23 February 1602/3.[2] Ufford, also in the union of Woodbridge, is two and a half miles northeast from the town of Woodbridge. Ufford is in the lowlands along the river Deben which was subject to periodic flooding. "Anciently", said Lewis in 1842, there was a chapel there called Sogenho, but it no longer exists. The Earls of Suffolk took their name from Ufford.[3] Unfortunately, the dates don't work out quite right. If Mary was born ca. 1589, she wouldn't have been married until ca. 1609, and Elizabeth wouldn't be born until ca. 1610. It is possible that the Elizabeth who was baptised in Ufford may have died young, and a second daughter of the same name may have been born later.[4]

          The Rings were among the Separatists who removed to Leiden in 1607 and thereafter. Mary Ring witnessed a betrothal in Leiden in 1614. Although there was great economic hardship for the English Separatists in Holland, at least at first, the Dutch authorities left them alone to worship as they pleased. However, the Dutch government was not so tolerant of its own separatists. Two incidents seemed like portents of unpleasantness to come. On 28 April 1619 a group of some twenty Dutch boys threw stones at 63-year old James CHILTON and his daughter. James was hit on the head and knocked to the ground. It appears that the boys were more exercised about Dutch separatists than foreign ones, but were not too particular who was the butt of their wrath. Then on 15 July 1619 the Dutch government published an edict prohibiting [Dutch] separatist religious gatherings. A final consideration, and perhaps the most persuasive, was the attraction felt by the English teens toward the less-disciplined youthful Dutch. In contrast, the English Separatists tried to maintain a strict Puritan culture for their own young people.[5]

detail from 'The Mayflower arriving in Provincetown Harbour, Nov. 11th 1620', a commemorative plate

          Mary was literate. She could sign her name, and her estate inventory included the following books: a Bible, "Dod.", Plea for Infants[6], Ruine of Rome[7], Troubler of the Church in Amsterdam, Garland's Of Vertuous Dames, a psalm book, "Pennery", and one pair hinges, the whole lot valued at 4 shillings.[8]

          William Ring was part of the group who decided to emigrate to the new world. He was on the leaky Speedwell when it had to turn back to England in 1620. Stratton suggests he probably returned to Leiden, where he died. Sometime around 1629 his widow Mary and their three children, Elizabeth, Susanna, and Andrew, emigrated to the Plymouth Colony.[9]

          If the estimated arrival of Mary Ring and her children in 1629 is correct, then the many web references to Elizabeth Ring's marriage to Stephen Deane in September 1627 are incorrect. Most reputable sources seem to give 1630 as the year for the marriage of Elizabeth Ring and Stephen Deane.[10]

          Mary died 15 or 19 July 1631 in Plymouth. Her estate inventory lists clothing and fabric in interesting colors: black, gray, red, blue, violet, white, and green (hardly the dull shades stereotypically assigned to Puritans). The inventory also showed her to be a savvy businesswoman; the Governor owed her £2, and she was due another £2 of commodities "to come out of England". She was owed 6 shillings worth of beaver from Mr. Wynslow [sic] that she explained as resulting from "timber that I lent [him] that cost me a pound of beaver, besides a piece more than they took of me", and money from Goodman Gyles. Since there were no banks, and specie was notoriously scarce, people borrowed from each other. These accounts in her estate inventory indicate that Mary was an active player in the economic and financial life of Plymouth.[11]

          Mary died after the marriage of her two (surviving) daughters, and the birth (or expected arrival) of a grandchild. Her son Andrew Ring, however, was still a minor. As it was assumed that husbands would take care of their wives, Mary assigned most of her goods to her son, stipulating that her son-in-law Stephen Deane would play a large role in caring for the boy. She required Stephen "to help him forward in the knowledge & fear of God, not to oppress him by any burdens but to tender him as he will answer to God."As overseers she named two men, "loving friends", who had been in the Leiden congregation, Samuel FULLER and Thomas BLOSSOM.[12]

          Mary's will is interesting because its detail of things mentioned gives us a good glimpse into the material culture of these early settlers. In 1631 Plymouth Colony had only been in existence eleven years, yet the degree of comfort was probably not too different than experienced back in England among people of a comparable economic status. Mary's undated will was signed (she was literate) when she was "sick in body". It was proved 28 October 1633. She left to her minor son Andrew "all my brass and pewter, my new bed and bolster, two white blankets, 1 red blanket with the best coverlet and the curtains, 3 pair best sheets and 2 pair best "pillow beeres", 1 diaper cloth and 1 diaper towel and a half dozen napkins, all unmade woolen cloth except one piece of red for daughter Susan as much as will make a bearing cloth and remainder to Stephen Deane's child." Also to her son Andrew, "my bolster next best, my trunk, my box, my cupboard, all my cattle [which were to be kept for him by Stephen Deane], half the corn growing in the yard where I dwell, the other half to Stephen Dean; rest of the corn in other places to son Andrew". She left to Andrew all shares of land due to her, presumably from future divisions in the town, "all my tools" which were not specified. That language often was used for a craftsman or artisan passing down the specific tools of his trade. Frustrating that they are not described. Mary specified that Andrew should have the money owed to her and the commodities coming from England except for a piece of green say [a kind of cloth] that was to go to Stephen Deane to make a coat for his daughter. Andrew was also to get a piece of new linen, all her books, 2 pair pothooks and her trammel, 1 coarse sheet to put his bed [i.e. mattress] in, a piece of black stuff [fabric], and "all handkerchiefs buttoned and unbuttoned" and "buttons for his handkerchiefs unbuttoned", a linen cap that was his father's, and a silver whistle. There were also a few other bequests: 1 wooden cup with a foot to Mrs. Warren "as a token of my love", specific items to each daughter and the residue to be divided equally among the two girls.[13]

          Children of William and Mary (Durrant?) Ring who emigrated to Plymouth (I do not know if there were other children remaining in Leiden or who died there):

i. Elizabeth Ring, probably b. ca. 1610, perhaps in Leiden; m. ca. 1629/30 Stephen DEANE in Plymouth;

ii. Susan Ring, m. __ CLARKE. She was bequeathed her mother's "bed with my grey coverlet and 2 ticks of the 2 pillows" (but the feathers were to go to Andrew), and enough red woolen cloth to "to make a bearing cloth". Susan was also to divide the residue of her mother's estate with her sister Elizabeth.[14]

iii. Andrew Ring, a minor when orphaned, and left to the care of his brother-in-law, Stephen Deane; m.__; had a daughter.



Second Generation of the Ring Family

          Elizabeth Ring was the oldest daughter who accompanied her mother, the widow Mary Ring, from Leiden to the Plymouth Colony. They were among the last of the English Separatists who had fled from England to the comparative haven of The Netherlands between ca. 1607 and 1612.

          The date and place of Elizabeth's birth are unproved. John I. Coddington seems to have done the most thorough study, and his conclusion is that the baptism at Ufford, Suffolk, on 23 February 1602/3 would have made her thirty years old when she married in ca. 1630. Although this is possible, it is highly unlikely. Instead, he suggests a birth date of ca. 1610, possibly in Leiden. It is unclear just when her parents, William and Mary Ring, arrived in Leiden. It is also unknown when her father died in Leiden, sometime between their aborted effort to leave on the defective Speedwell and ca. 1629 when the widowed Mary and her three children finally did leave.[15]

          What is not in doubt is that Elizabeth did marry Stephen DEANE, probably in 1630. The next year Mary Ring died, giving Stephen a great deal of responsibility for raising Elizabeth's young brother Andrew. Mary specifically bequeathed to Elizabeth the ruff Mary "had of Goodman Gyles". Elizabeth and her sister Susan were to equally divide all the residue of Mary's estate that wasn't given to anyone else. Two pieces of cloth were earmarked for Elizabeth's child, a girl, also named Elizabeth.[16]

          Stephen died, probably on 6 October 1634. Elizabeth then married on 16 September 1635 Josiah COOKE. He was not on the 1633 tax list, but he (or his son Josias) does appear on the 1634 list, assessed at the minimum 9 shillings. On 24 March 1633/4 he and Edward DOTY were fined 6/8 apiece for breaking the peace. It must have been a fight. Since Doty drew blood from Cooke, Doty had to pay him 3/4d. Josiah became a freeman on 3 January 1636/7. In Plymouth he had been on a grand jury, and served as constable and surveyor. Josiah was among those moving to Nauset (later Eastham) around 1645. He was listed there as a freeman on an undated list probably from the 1640s. In Eastham in 1647 he became a deputy. He signed his will 22 September 1673; it was proved 29 October that year. In it he declared himself to be about 63 years old. He named his wife Elizabeth and a number of children and step children from his blended family, including step-son-in-law William Twining and step-grandson Stephen Twining.[17]

          Children of Stephen and Elizabeth (Ring) Deane:

i. Elizabeth Deane, b. ca. 1630; m. William TWINING; had 7 children.

ii. Miriam Deane m John WING as his second wife, but they had no children.

iii. Susanna Deane m(1) Joseph ROGERS, and m(2) Stephen SNOW; she had children with her second husband.



Immigration to New England: the Deane Family

          It is not my intention to reproduce here a history of the Plymouth Colony. But it is necessary to review a few points about it in order to make sense of the records we have that mention Stephen Deane. He arrived in 1621 on the Fortune, the second ship to bring Separatist colonists and other settlers to Plymouth, and therefore he shared much of the early history of the colony with those who had come the year before on the Mayflower.[18]

          The expedition of the original colonists on the Mayflower was at least partially financed by selling shares to a number of so-called Adventurers who hoped to make a profit from their investment. Therefore along with the members of the Leiden congregation there were other Separatists from England as well as those William BRADFORD called "Strangers" who were not part of their church but were sent by the investors. Each settler, male or female, over the age of sixteen was given one share. The approximately seventy Adventurers paid £10 per share to raise the capital for provisions, equipment, and the voyage. According to the agreement with the Adventurers, the colonists were to share everything in common for the first seven years. Then the profits were to be totalled and divided among the share holders. Not surprisingly, already by 1623 there were complaints that some people were being lazy and others were doing more than their share of the work. So it was decided to give each man, woman, and child the use of one acre for their own personal cultivation, although everyone was supposed to continue cultivating the common land.[19] Even though the colonists sent back some valuable shipments of furs, for a variety of reasons the colonists seemed to become increasingly indebted to the Adventurers. A new agreement was negotiated by Isaac ALLERTON in London on 26 October 1626 by which the Adventurers sold all the "stocks, shares, lands, marchandise, and chatles" to the Purchasers for £1,800. The Purchasers were 58 individuals living in the Colony. Among them were our ancestors John HOWLAND and Steeven [sic] Deane. Although the next year the Purchasers assigned both the shares in the company and its debt to twelve Undertakers (eight in Plymouth and four in London) these 58 continued to be privileged above all others when it came to future land grants in Plymouth. Part of the deal was that in exchange for taking responsibility for repayment of the entire debt the colonists would grant the Undertakers certain monopoly privileges, most importantly the fur trade. Stephen was one of the 27 men who signed it.[20].

          On 22 May 1627 it was decided that the cattle and goats belonging to the Company be divided by lot among all the present inhabitants, including servants, women, and children. The division was made in twelve lots of thirteen people each (meaning there were 156 free white inhabitants at the time). The twelfth lot included Stephen Deane.  Their share was the "greate white backt cow wch was brought ouer with the first" in the Anne, the bull, and two she goats.[21]

          In 1627 "Phillip Delanoy" [sic] sold Stephen one acre on the north side of town between the first and second brook, which had been allotted to Philip in 1623. The price was £4. Two years later, 10 Februrary 1629/30 Stephen sold this acre plus his own "inheritance", both acres for £4, to Robert HIXE.[22] I don't know why the price had apparently halved in two years. One other thing the deed shows, is Stephen's signature. He signed deeds in 1627 and 1630; he owned a Bible "and other books" valued at £1, showing that he was literate.

          In 1629 or 1630 the widow Mary RING and her children Elizabeth, Susan, and young Andrew, arrived in Plymouth Colony. Soon Stephen and Elizabeth Ring were married. Their first child, a girl named Elizabeth, was born before Stephen's mother-in-law died in July 1631.[23]

          Stephen's name appeared on the list of Plymouth freemen ahead of those admitted in January 1632/3.[24] Either that month or in February 1632/3 the court gave Stephen permission to build a grist mill. He was granted monopoly rights on the conditions that he handle all the colony's needs, and that he charge no more than "one pottle" out of every bushel of grain that he ground.[25] A pottle is a liquid measure equal to two quarts. A bushel holds 32 quarts. So Stephen was permitted to charge 1/16 or a bit over 6%.

          On 25 March 1633 a tax rate was drawn up listing inhabitants and how much money each owed. Stephen Deane was charged 9 shillings, the minimum amount.[26]

          On 2 January 1633/4 the new governor, Thomas Prence, and twelve freemen, one of whom was Stephen, assessed eighty individuals for another tax levy that could be paid in grain or its equivalent. The amounts assessed varied from 9 shillings (45 individuals) to £2/5sh (two men). The collection was made on 27 March 1634 and this time Stephen Deane was assessed 12/.[27] By this time his mill was up and running and he was able to make a modest profit, raising his economic standing.

          Stephen made one more real estate transaction, on 10 March 1633/4, purchasing for £20 the "late dwelling house of Godbert Godbertson". William BRADFORD acted as executor for the Godbertson estate.[28]

          Stephen died, probably in late September 1634. His estate was inventoried on 2 October 1634 for a total value of £87.19.6, of which £42 was real estate. This was in three parcels: house and fens at Fresh Lake worth £2, his dwelling house and garden, worth £20; and his mill worth £20.[29] It appears that Stephen was upgrading his situation, moving from a little old house at Fresh Lake to the probably larger one purchased from the Godbertson estate six months earlier. Final settlement of the estate was made on 5 April 1669 when William TWINING acting for himself by right of his wife, Elizabeth, plus Miriam Deane, his wife's sister, and Susanna SNOW, his wife's other sister, who were the three joint heirs of Stephen Deane's land. "All the lands" of Stephen Deane, deceased, were sold that day to Peter WORDEN for £8.[30] I do not know if some of the land had been disposed of earlier, or was considered his widow's third. If not, there had been a large deflation in the price of real estate.

          The widowed Elizabeth then married on 16 September 1635 Josiah COOKE. Josiah and his family were among those moving to Nauset (later Eastham) around 1645. He was listed there as a freeman on an undated list probably from the 1640s. In Eastham in 1647 he became a deputy; earlier he had been a grand juror, surveyor, and constable. He signed his will 22 September 1673; it was proved 29 October that year. In it he declared himself to be about 63 years old. He named his wife Elizabeth and a number of children and step children from his blended family. These included his son Josias, son-in-law Joseph HARDING, and step-son-in-law William Twining; his daughter Bethiah Harding, grandsons Joseph Harding and Amaziah Harding, granddaughter Anne SNOW, and step-grandson Stephen Twining; and step-daughter Miriam Deane.[31]

          Children of Stephen and Elizabeth (Ring) Deane:[32]

i. Elizabeth b. ca. 1630 in Plymouth; m. ca. 1650 William TWINING.

ii. Miriam, b. ca. 1632; m after 31 Jan. 1692/3 John WING, son of John Wing, as his second wife; they had no children. John Winge [sic] was on the 1643 Able to Bear Arms List for Sandwich.[33]

iii. Susanna, b. ca. 1634 in Plymouth, m(1) 4 Apr. 1660 in Eastham, Joseph ROGERS, and m(2) 28 Oct. 1663 in Eastham Stephen SNOW; she had children with her second husband.



Second Deane Generation in the New World

          Elizabeth Deane, daughter of Stephen and Elizabeth (Ring) Deane, was born about 1630 in Plymouth, and died in February 1708/9 in Pennsylvania. She married William TWINING.

          Elizabeth was an infant when her grandmother, Mary RING, died, bequeathing her a piece of red cloth, and enough green say, shipped from England, to make her a coat.[34]

          Elizabeth and her husband lived in Eastham, Barnstable County, and were members of the established Congregational church. In 1677 William was a deacon in the church. But at some point after that they became convinced of the faith and practice of the Religious Society of Friends, known in derision as Quakers. Sometime before 1697 they removed to the more congenial colony of Pennsylvania, settling in Newtown, Buck County. There they were active members of Middletown Monthly Meeting. Elizabeth was appointed to two small committee charged with the delicate task of laboring with women whose behavior gave Friends cause for concern.[35]

          Elizabeth was buried in Middletown on 28 Twelfth Month (February) 1708/9.[36] Click here for information on Old Style and Quaker dating.

          Children of William and Elizabeth (Deane) Twining (may be incomplete):[37]

i. Elizabeth Twining3, m. John ROGERS, of Eastham, son of Joseph and Hannah. Joseph and his father Thomas had arrived on the Mayflower in 1620.[38]

ii. Susanna Twining, b. 25 Jan. 1652/3 or 28 Feb. 1653/4.

iii. William Twining, b. 28 Feb. 1653/4; d. 23 Jan. 1733/4; said to have m. Ruth COLE. However, Ruth (Cole) Young is listed as the third wife of Jonathan Bangs, who made his will 19 Oct. 1677 at the age of 86.[39] This needs further research; it seems possible there were two women named Ruth Cole?

iv. Anne Twining, b. 1654; m. Thomas BILLS. It appears that Thomas Bill[s] was the second husband of Elizabeth SARGENT, daughter of William.[40] Presumably after her death Thomas went on to marry the Twining sisters, Anne and Joanna, one after the other. Elizabeth Sargent's family line has been traced back to English royalty, but that doesn't help the Twining family find blue blood in their veins.

v. Joanna Twining, b. 30 May 1657; d. 4 Jun 1723 in Shrewsbury, Monmouth Co., New Jersey; m. her sister’s widower, Thomas BILLS.

vi. Stephen Twining, b. 6 Feb. 1658/9 in Eastham, Mass.; d. 18 Apr. 1720 in Newtown, Bucks Co., Penna.; m. Abigail YOUNG;

vii. Mehitabel Twining, b. 8 Mar. 1660/1; d. 8 Jul 1743 in Newtown, Bucks Co., Penna.; m. Daniel DOANE; settled in Bucks Co., Penna.


          The story of this particular family continues with the Twining line.



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This page was last updated 7m/23/2012.