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Francis Eaton, (Mayflower)

Francis Eaton, (Mayflower)

Male 1595 - 1633  (38 years)

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  • Name Francis Eaton, (Mayflower) 
    Suffix (Mayflower) 
    Born 1595  Bristol, Bristol, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Died Nov 1633  Plymouth, Plymouth, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Notes 
    • From Caleb Johnson's website:

      ANCESTRAL SUMMARY: The English ancestry of Francis Eaton was only recently discovered.

      In 1929, Charles E. Banks in his English Ancestry and Homes of the Pilgrim Fathers brought to light a Bristol apprenticeship document dated 4 December 1626, in which John Morgan son of Edward Morgan was apprenticed to Francis Eaton, carpenter, and his wife Dorothy. In the margin the document it says "The Mr at New England", and on the reverse it states John Morgan would receive 25 acres of land in New England and 15 bushels of wheat.

      In Mayflower Families for Five Generations: Francis Eaton (volume1, updated in volume 9) and Plymouth Colony: Its History and Its People, this record was rejected as relating to Francis Eaton of the Mayflower because by 1626 Francis' wife was Christiana Penn, not somebody named Dorothy, and further the record says Eaton was "at New England" and"of Bristol", instead of being listed as "of Plymouth".

      The rejection of this record was challenged by myself on this webpage in September 1995, and was again challenged by David Greene, editor of The American Genealogist in his review of Mayflower Families: Eaton (The American Genealogist, April 1996, p. 125-6). The reasons for our objection was that the Francis Eaton listed in the Bristol records is called a carpenter, as was the Francis Eaton of the Mayflower. And further, there are no records of any Francis Eaton in America by 1626, except for the Francis Eaton of the Mayflower. The slow travel of news could easily be the cause for the delayed information about the death of Francis Eaton's wife.

      In response, David Greene requested Neil D. Thompson, FASG, to search the parish registers of Bristol for information on the Francis Eaton in the apprentice record, to see if he was the Mayflower passenger. The results of the successful search were published in The American Genealogist, 72:301-309. The baptismal record of Francis Eaton of the Mayflower was discovered in the parish of St. Thomas, Bristol, on 11September 1596, son of John Eaton. Two years earlier, the marriage of his parents were discovered: John Eaton and Dorothy Smith were married on 14 October 1594. Francis had other siblings as well: John (bp. 26 July 1595), Jane (bp. 20 January 1598/9), Samuel (bp. 8 November 1600), and Welthian (buried 20 March 1603/4). Francis' brother John died within three days of his baptism; and Jane, Samuel, and Welthian all died in March 1603/4 suggesting an illness wiped out the young children. The only brother Francis would remember would be Samuel--a significant find, since Francis Eaton of the Mayflower named his first son Samuel. Another record shows that in the 1615 will of Christopher Cary of Bristol, he gives to his eldest son "a garden ground, with a lodge in the same, in the parish of St. Phillip's, now in the occupation of Frances [sic] Eaton, house carpenter."



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      A back issue of The American Genealogist issue (volume72,July-October1997, number 3-4) with the Francis Eaton article can be ordered for $15from:

      The American Genealogist PO Box 398 Demorest GA 30534.



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      BIOGRAPHICAL SUMMARY: Francis Eaton was baptized in St. Thomas, Bristol, Gloucester, England in 1596, and came on the Mayflower at the age of 24, with his first wife Sarah and their "sucking child" Samuel. Sarah died the first winter,and Francis remarried to Dorothy (---), John Carver's maid servant. She died about two years later, and Francis married Christiana Penn about 1625 in Plymouth. Francis was a "house carpenter" by the age of 19, and is called a "carpenter" in the 1626 Bristol apprenticeship record and in his 1633 estate inventory.

      Francis died in 1633 in Plymouth, likely from a disease that was going around that year and also claimed Mayflower passenger Peter Browne. The inventory of Francis Eaton's estate included one cow and a calf, two hogs, fifty bushels of corn, a black suit, a white hat and a black hat, boots, saws, hammers, an adze, square, augers, a chisel, boards, fishing lead, and some kitchen items.



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      SOURCES: Neil D. Thompson, "The Origin and Parentage of Francis Eaton of the Mayflower," The American Genealogist 72 (1997):301-309

      Lee Douglas van Antwerp, Mayflower Families for Five Generations: Francis Eaton, volume 1 (Plymouth: General Society of Mayflower Descendants, 1988).

      George Bowman, "Francis Eaton's Estate Inventory, The Mayflower Descendant 1(1899):198-199.

      William Bradford, Of Plymouth Plantation, ed. Samuel Morison (New York:Random House, 1952).

      Eugene Aubrey Stratton, Plymouth Colony: Its History and Its People, 1620-1691 (Ancestry Publishing: Salt Lake City, 1986).


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      FRANCIS EATON
      Francis Eaton, with his wife Sarah and baby son Samuel, arrived in Plymouth in 1620 on the Mayflower.

      Francis was born in England around 1595. He died in Plymouth in 1633. His first wife Sarah, mother of Francis' son Samuel, died the first winter of 1621. Francis remarried (his second wife's name is unknown) and she also died. His third wife was Christian Penn who had arrived in Plymouth on the Anne in 1623. Christian and Francis had 3 children, Rachel, Benjamin, and an unknown child. (After Francis Eaton's death, his widow Christian married Mayflower passenger Francis Billington; they had 9 children.)

      Francis was, by trade, a carpenter.

      We know from the records that Francis had sold 4 acres of land in 1631/1632 to Edward Winslow and 32 acres of land to William Brewster. Not long before his death in 1633, he had sold his house to Kenelm and Josiah Winslow.

      That he was able to sign his own name to a deed indicates at least a basic level of education.

      Francis Eaton died without a will, but we do have the inventory of his estate at the time of his death.
    Person ID I6144088  7_families
    Last Modified 29 Sep 2006 

    Married Bef 1621  , , England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Children 
     1. Samuel Eaton, (Mayflower),   b. 1620, , , England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Bef 29 Oct 1684, Middleborough, Plymouth, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 64 years)
    Last Modified 29 Sep 2006 
    Family ID F1898710  Group Sheet

    Family 2 Christian Penn,   b. 1607, , , England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Jul 1684, Middleborough, Plymouth, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 77 years) 
    Married 1624-1625  Plymouth, Plymouth, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Last Modified 29 Sep 2006 
    Family ID F1898708  Group Sheet

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 1595 - Bristol, Bristol, England Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - Bef 1621 - , , England Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 1624-1625 - Plymouth, Plymouth, Massachusetts Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - Nov 1633 - Plymouth, Plymouth, Massachusetts Link to Google Earth
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  • Photos
    Mayflower in Plymouth Harbor
    Mayflower in Plymouth Harbor