1. Edward Doty

Mayflower passenger

From the Mayflower History Website, by Caleb H. Johnson:

Edward Doty's English origins have not yet been discovered. Some sources claim he was baptized on 14 May 1598 in either Dudlick, Shropshire or "Thurburton Hills", Suffolk. I have investigated these in English records, and found both to be complete hoaxes.

However, there is a real Edward Doty baptized on 3 November 1600 at East Halton, Lincolnshire, England, son of Thomas Doty. The Doty families of East Halton are regularly using the names Thomas, Edward, and John: the first three names Mayflower passenger Edward Doty assigned to his first three children. Even if this particular Edward Doty is not the Mayflower passenger himself, I strongly suspect the true Mayflower passenger will be found amongst this general Lincolnshire Doty family.

Edward Doty came on the Mayflower in 1620 as a servant to Stephen Hopkins and was apparently still a servant in 1623 when the Division of Land was held, indicating he was under the age of 25 during that time. He signed the Mayflower Compact in November 1620, so he was likely over 21 at the time. This narrows his likely birth date to around 1597-1599.

Edward Doty married twice, according to William Bradford. However, nothing is known of his first wife. His second wife, Faith Clarke, came on the ship Francis in April 1634 with father Thurston Clarke, and they were married the following January in Plymouth.

Edward Doty appears to have been somewhat of a troublemaker throughout his life at Plymouth. In June 1621, he engaged in a sword and dagger duel with fellow Hopkins servant Edward Leister; both were wounded before being separated, and were punished by having their head and feet tied together for an hour (it was supposed to have been for a whole day, but they were let go early because of their apparent suffering). Edward Doty made regular appearances in Plymouth Colony Court, as can be seen by the table below summarizing some of his court records:

1632/3 Sued by Joseph Rogers, failed to pay a contract with six pigs, as had been agreed. Rogers won.

1632/3 Sued by William Bennet for dealing fraudulently in a trade of bacon for beaver skins. Bennet won.

1633 Sued by William Bennet for slander. Doty fined 50 shillings.

1633/4 Sued by his apprentice John Smith to be freed from his 10-year contract. Court agreed, and required Doty to give him double payment in apparel for having given so little to his apprentice.

1633/4 Fined 6 shillings 8 pence for "breaking the peace", and awarded Josias Cooke 3 shillings 4 pence because Doty caused him to bleed during their fight.

1634 Doty sued Francis Sprague over a debt: Doty won 6 shillings 6 pence, plus a peck of malt.

1636 Edward Doty and Joseph Beedle sue and counter-sue for "matters beign raw and imperfect" and were sent to an arbitrator.

1637/8 Fined 10 shillings for breaking the peace, by assaulting George Clarke.

1641 Sued George Allen. Reason and outcome unrecorded.

1641/2 Sued Thurston Clarke. Doty awarded 12 bushels and 1 peck of Indian corn, and 12 shillings money or an additional 4 bushes of corn, plus 11 shillings for charges. John Jenny then entered an attachment to receive 31 shillings 6 pence from Clarke before it was paid to Doty, of which the court ordered him to then pay Doty five and a half bushels of Indian corn and 3 pence to settle the account.

1641/2 Court orders Edward Doty to keep his two cows and a steer fenced in during the summer, or pay Thomas Symons for all damage caused by his cows in Symons' cornfield.

1641/2 Sued George Clark. Doty awarded four bushels of Indian corn.

1643 Doty ordered to pay five bushels of Indian corn to John Groome, for Manessah Kempton's use.

1647 Samuel Cutbert sued Edward Doty for taking wood from his land. Doty ordered to pay 7 shillings damages plus court fees.

1650 Edward Gray and Samuel Cutbert sue Edward Doty for damage done by his cows to their corn. Doty ordered to pay 1 bushel of Indian corn to each.

From Mayflower Families Through Five Generations, Vol. 12 p. 1-3:


Edward Doty was a passenger on the Mayflower, a servant in the household of Stephen Hopkins [1] His name is shown near the end of the list of signers of the Mayflower Compact, followed only by the name of his fellow-servant, Edward Litster [2].

Edward Doty was one of the ten Mayflower passengers who took part in the famous journey of exploration of Cape Cod Bay that led to the discovery of Plymouth Harbor and the selection of Plymouth as the new home of the Pilgrims [3]

Nothing reliable has been found concerning his birth or parents. Since he signed the Mayflower Compact, he was probably an adult at the time, or nearly so; hence probably born before 1603. In 1643, he was listed in a census of men capable of bearing arms between the ages of 16 and 60 [4]. This would place his birth some time after 1583 In 1651, Bradford wrote "... But Edward Doty by a second wife hath 7. children, and both he and they are living." (emphasis added) [6]. This is the only intimation we have of his first wife. It is probable that Doty married a woman arriving in Plymouth on a later ship; and that she died, possibly in 1633, when there was "an infectious fevoure" from which more than 20 people died [7]. It is also possible that Bradford had heard of an earlier marriage, occurring some time before the Mayflower voyage, which would imply that Edward Doty was somewhat older, and probably a household servant to Stephen Hopkins rather than an apprentice

In any case, there were almost certainly no surviving children of the first marriage. The seven children referred to by Bradford [5], were soon joined by an eighth, and, within three years, by the ninth and last. All these children are accounted for in the wills of Edward Doty and his wife, or by the deeds of his sons, in which they sold land they had received from their father Edward Doty.

During his lifetime, Edward Doty was often at loggerheads with his neighbors. Plymouth Colony Records contain no fewer than 30 lawsuits brought by Edward Doty, or, more frequently, against him [8]. Most of these suits were civil actions, but there were also three complaints brought against Doty for assault, and one for slander. It is significant that he lost most of these cases, whether initiated by him or by his adversaries

Nevertheless, by the time of his death, Edward Doty had achieved a substantial measure of material success. He left to his family an estate that compared favorably with those of men who had more to begin with than the one-time servant of Stephen Hopkins.

References: [1] BRADFORD'S HIST., pp. 531-532; [2] MD 1:78-79; [3] MD 3:45-46; [4] PLYMOUTH COLONY RECS 8:187; [5] NE CHRON. HIST. p 190; [6] BRADFORD'S HIST. p. 539; [7] BRADFORD'S HIST. pp. 374-375; [8] PLYMOUTH COLONY RECS 1:passim; 2. passim; 7.passim


EDWARD1 DOTY came to New England in the Mayflower in 1620 as a servant in the household of Stephen Hopkins [1]. He died in Plymouth 23 Aug. 1655 [2].

Edward Doty's birth and parents have not yet been found. Since he was a signer of the Mayflower Compact on 11 Nov. 1620 [3], he was probably at least 21 years old at the time. In Aug. 1643, his name appeared on a list of men of ages 16 to 60 able to bear arms [4]; thus he was not born before 1583. Since his service to Stephen Hopkins appears to have been in the role of apprentice, it is probable that he was a very young man in 1620, born not long before 1599.

His place of birth is unknown. He was referred to, along with Stephen Hopkins, as "of London" [5], which may or may not have been his place of birth. Stephen Hopkins, the man he served, is believed to have married Elizabeth Fisher, his second wife, at Whitechapel, London. It is likely, therefore, that Edward Doty was born in the vicinity of London.

Note: Two entries in the LDS International Genealogical Index give County Shropshire as a birthplace for Edward Doty in 1599 [6]. However, both references are based upon allegations made by Gustave Anjou that are believed to be fictitious [7].

Edward Doty was one of ten volunteers who set out on the famous journey in the ship's boat on 6/16 Dec. 1620 that culminated on Monday, 11/21 Dec. in the landing at Plymouth. The journey was marked by many hardships, including a fight with Indians [5].

Edward Doty was noted for his belligerence. On 18 June 1621, he fought the first - and only - duel in Plymouth Colony. His opponent was his fellow-servant, Edward Litster or Leister; and their weapons were swords and daggers. They succeeded in wounding each other before they were separated. The entire colony assembled to decide their punishment, which was that the two men have their heads and feet tied together for a period of twenty four hours. However, before one hour had passed, their evident suffering, coupled with their humble appeals for pardon, secured their release. [8].

Edward Doty was married twice, but nothing is known of his first wife. Her existence is known only through a reference by William Bradford, who wrote, in March or early April 1651 [9]: "But Edward Doty by a second wife hath 7 children, and both he and they are living" (emphasis added) [1]. It is unlikely that Edward Doty was married before coming to New England, because servants were rarely married. It is far more likely that he had an unrecorded marriage some years after arriving, perhaps to one of the single women arriving in 1629 or 1630.

Edward Doty m. (2) Plymouth 6 Jan. 1634/5 FAITH CLARKE [10], b. prob. England ca. 1619 [1]], daughter of Thurston and Faith ( ) Clarke [11, 12]. She had arrived in New England on the last of April 1634 in the ship Francis with her father, Thurston Clark [11].

Edward Doty frequently appeared in Court as plaintiff or defendant. Although most of the law suits he was involved in were civil disputes, some were complaints lodged against him for trespassing, assault and battery, and breaking the peace. He lost most of these suits, both civil and criminal, whether appearing as defendant or plaintiff. [13]

On 7 Mar. 1652, Edward Doty was recorded as one of thirty four purchasers of land at Dartmouth. He received one full share of land. [14]

The will of Edward Doty, signed 20 May 1655, proved 5 Mar. 1655/6, left a double portion of his estate to son Edward, the other sons (not named) to have equal shares, with a third of the estate to go to his wife. The daughters are not mentioned at all.  The inventory of his estate, taken 25 Nov. 1655, recorded a net value of over 130 pounds.[2] This was a substantial estate for the time, and showed that the one-time servant had achieved a greater-than-average level of prosperity during his life in Plymouth.

Each of the sons disposed of his share of the land in Dartmouth bequeathed to them by their father: Edward on 16 Oct. 1665 [15]; John and Thomas on 17 May 1667 [16]; Samuel on 10 July 1668 [17]; Isaac on 5 July 1672 [18]; and Joseph on 13 May 1672 [19].

Widow Faith Doty m. (2) Plymouth 14 Mar. 1666/7 John Phillips [2], as his third wife, after signing a pre-nuptial agreement that preserved her rights to oversee her children and to dispose of her property [20]. She died and was buried in Marshfield on Tuesday 21 Dec. 1675 [2].

On 9 May 1671 Faith Phillips sold to son John Doty, for a "valluable and Considerable sume of mony" the house and land at High Cliff, as well as sixty acres of upland, six adjoining acres of meadow, and the land at Sepecan [21]. The will of Faith Phillips, written 12 Dec. 1675, proved 8 June 1676, left sums of money to daughter Mary, daughter Elizabeth, and daughter Desire, and mentions her son John. [2]

Edward and Faith (Clark) Doty had nine children. The births of Isaac and Joseph appear in the Plymouth Vital Records [22, 23]. Edward was identified in his father's will [2]; and John, Desire, Elizabeth, and Mary were named in their mother's will [2]. Sons Thomas and Samuel are identified by their sales of the lands inherited from their father [16, 17].

Son Edward Doty was the oldest child: he received a double share of his father's estate. Since he was identified as a freeman in 1658 [24], he must have been born not later than 1637. John Doty received a musket in a distribution of weapons in April 1661; hence he was probably at least 21 at the time [25]. Since his name appears consistently before that of his brother Thomas in their deed of sale to John Smith [16], it is likely that John was the elder of the two. Samuel, who sold land in 1668 that he had inherited from his father [26], was probably born about 1644.

Of Edward Doty's daughters, Desire, who died 22 Jan. 1731 aged 86, [27] must have been born about 1645. Mary Doty's youngest child, Desire Hatch, was born 25 Sept. 1698 [28], so it is unlikely that she was born before about 1653. Elizabeth, whose name appears between those of Desire and Mary in the settlement of their mother's estate [2], was doubtless born between her sisters, probably about 1647.

Children (DOTY) born Plymouth:

2	   i	EDWARD' b. prob. 1637 or earlier
3	  ii	JOHN, b. by 1640
	 iii	THOMAS, b. prob. 1641-2
	  iv	SAMUEL, b. prob. 1643-4
	   v	DESIRE, b. ca. 1645/6
	  vi	ELIZABETH, b. ca. 1647
	 vii	ISAAC, b. 8 Feb. 1648/9 [22]
	viii	JOSEPH, b. 30 Apr. 1651 [23]
	  ix	MARY, b. ca. 1653

References: [1] MD 1:16; [2] MD 3:87-91; [3] MD 1:79; [4] PLYMOUTH COLONY RECS. 8:187; [5] MD 3:45-6; [6] IGI, Shropshire, Eng.; [7] TAG 63:215; [8] NE CHRONOLOGY p. 190; [9] MD 1:163; [10] MD 13:83; [11] BANKS PLANTERS pp. 121-4; [12] MD 17:215; [13] PLYMOUTH COLONY RECS. 7:passim; [14] MD 4:185-8; [15] MD 38:2; [16] Plymouth Colony LR 3:1:98-9; [17] Plymouth Colony LR 3:1:126; 118] Plymouth Colony LR 3:2:261; [19] Plymouth Colony LR 4:8; [20] PLYMOUTH COLONY RECS. 4:163-4; [21] MD 27:96; [22] MD 15:27; [23] MD 16:237; [24] PLYMOUTH COLONY RECS. 8:197; [25] PLYMOUTH TOWN RECS. 1:44; [26] Plymouth Colony LR 3:1:126; 127] MARSHFIELD VR p. 409; [28] SCITUATE VR 1:172.

The following are excerpts from the most recent report (Fall 1998) from The Pilgrim Edward Doty Society research team in England about the young pilgrim Edward Doty: "The object of this report is to describe our continued research into the challenging problem of the origins of Edward Doty, whose name was spelt with variants as Dotte, Dotey, Dowghty and Doughty/Doughtie. Edward Doty emigrated to New England on the Mayflower in 1620, at which time he was described as the servant of Stephen Hopkins. There is apparently no evidence in contemporary American records as to his age at any point, and thus we cannot calculate his year of birth. Similarly, we have no direct evidence as to where he was born, but since Stephen Hopkins was from London it is reasonable to assume that this was also Edward Doty's home. He is said to have married twice, but we have no evidence whatsoever about his first wife, such as her name or where and when they married, or whether she accompanied him to America. He married secondly to Faith Clark(e) on 16 January 1635 at Plymouth, Massachusetts. Edward Doty was buried at Plymouth on 23 August 1655. Previous research in English sources has identified a promising candidate to have been the emigrant ancestor from the City of London. Edward Doughty/Doughtie was born in the year 1593 (he was aged 21 on both 13 November 1614 and on 28 January 1615), and was apprenticed to Reynold/Reginald Green(e), a citizen and haberdasher of the parish of St Dunstan in the West, London, in about 1607. Normally an apprenticeship lasted about seven years, but Edward appears to have changed masters in the early part of 1611, probably because Green(e) was harsh and unsatisfactory. In November 1614 Edward was described as the servant of John Whaley, a merchant tailor and gentleman of Milk Street in the City of London. In January 1615 Edward was described as a gentleman of the parish of St Lawrence Jewry, through which the north part of Milk Street runs. We do not know for certain what became of Edward Doughty after January 1615; it is possible that he was the "Edward Doughtie" buried at St Dunstan in the West on 4 June 1635 but equally he might have been the emigrant ancestor." Our research team has been trying to verify the above information that might make the connection between Edward the apprentice in London and Edward the passenger on the Mayflower. They have searched for and found the will of Reynald Greene, but unfortunately it made no mention of his erstwhile apprentice Edward Doughty. They also search for Doty wills in a minor probate court of the Dean and Chapter of St Paul's and uncovered several wills. However, they were wills of either Edward Doty the emigrant to America or Edward Doty the apprentice. The research team also followed up on the two depositions they uncovered in the case of Nethersole v Green(e), where Edward Doty testified. The case settled out of court, so there was no record of further proceedings or of any activity of the Edward Doty who was deposed in that case. The research team also conducted a very lengthy search of the records relating to apprentices and membership as a freeman in the City of London livery Company of Haberdashers. Although they found no record of Edward Doty, they did find three men with the last names Dowty or Doughtie. It is possible that one of these men was Edward's father or uncle, although further research still must be done to verify this notion. The researchers also checked the church records of parishes that adjoined St Lawrence Jewry, where they believe Edward Doty may have resided. They uncovered a Richard Doughty who was married in 1594 and had one daughter in 1595. Iti is possible that thely were relatives of Edward and that Richard was Edward's uncle. The research team also followed up on its investigation of Winifred Warren, who was baptized in January of 1588. They found records of a William Warren who was married to Isabel and had 12 children only three that survived beyond the age of five. They lived so close to Milk Street, where the researchers believe Edward Doty lived. This evidence strengthened their theory that this was the Edward who married Winifred Warren in December 1613 at St Mary le Strand. However, they have yet to find firm evidence that this Edward Doty was the emigrant ancestor. In conclusion, we have again concentrated upon London sources since the best clue we have is that the emigrant ancestor was a servant of Stephen Hopkins of London in 1620. The best candidate in London and Middlesex remains the apprentice Edward Doughty, who was born in 1593. As a result of this phase of our research, we are now much more confident that he was the man who married Winifred Warren at St Mary le Strand in 1613. We also believe that he was closely associated with two men who were haberdashers, Thomas Doughty and Richard Doughty. However, we have not yet been successful in our main objective, which is to find some positive evidence that the apprentice Edward Doughty emigrated to America in 1620. Without such evidence, we are still left wondering whether or not the apprentice was the Edward Doughtie who was buried at St Dunstan in the west on 4 June 1635. Further research in London and Middlesex would certainly be possible, searching further wills, parish registers, city livery company records and more miscellaneous sources, such as tax lists and depositions. However, it is only fair to emphasize that firm conclusions may continue to be slow to emerge because of the sparse surviving records."

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