On 24 September 1704, the Plymouth Colony Court of General Sessions granted liquor licenses to several colonists. Each deposited a bond (“surtie”) with the court to ensure orderly behavior of their patrons, except, for some reason, the last man listed. That would be my seventh great-grandfather Eleazer Dunham (1659-1719). He’s listed as an “inholder,” that… Read More


I feel like Ruth Mendell could tell me a lot. Here’s the background. On 17 Nov 1864 my great-great-grandfather Seth Dunham married Lavina Jessie Springston in Napa, California. He was 38; she was 15. This particular genealogical mystery is about Lavinia’s ancestry. Lavina’s parents were William Springston, born about 1818 in Ohio, and Nancy, who… Read More


He was not a pirate under Captain Jack Sparrow, but he did sail the seas and served under a another Captain Sparrow, for a very different cause. My fourth great-grandfather James Dunham was born 12 Sep 1758 in Plympton, Plymouth, Massachusetts, the son of Cornelius Dunham (1716-1766) and Patience Barrows (1724-1807). James was a sailor,… Read More


Plimouth Plantation

The earliest Dunham ancestor to come to North America was John Dunham, a Separatist who fled religious persecution in England by first emigrating to Leiden, Holland, and then to Plymouth Colony. He was my ninth great-grandfather. He was born about 1589; a record exists that year of his baptism at the Church of St. Mary… Read More


When my great-great-great grandparents James Dunham (1788-?) and Betsy Gilpatrick (1795-1860) were married in 1814 in Orland, Hancock County, Maine, they created a link between my Dunham ancestors and the ancestors of John Hancock, signer of the Declaration of Independence. Governor Hancock is actually my second cousin. He is seven times removed because he and… Read More


Perhaps it has become a bit trite to say that you can’t choose your family. As worthwhile and notable as the lives of many Dunhams have been through the past centuries, it is only to be expected that some will fall short of what we might hope to learn about our ancestors. Certainly it is… Read More


My 9xgreat-grandfather Nathaniel Morton was the secretary of Plymouth Colony, having arrived there in 1623 at the age of 10. As secretary, he was the keeper of the records of the colony and compiled the colony’s first published history, based largely on accounts of his uncle Governor William Bradford. The following excerpt of Morton’s history… Read More