|MY MAYFLOWER ANCESTOR: EDWARD DOTY|
|"The Mayflower Departing Delftshaven" by Charles Lucy|
|The first duel in New England
My 8-g-grandfather, Edward Doty, had the distinction of being a participant in the first duel ever fought in America. Edward fought a duel in single combat, with sword and dagger, against Edward Lister. Both men were wounded, one in the hand, the other in the thigh. Their punishment for this undignified behavior: the two men were sentenced to be tied together for twenty-four hours, without food or drink. But after an hour, "because of their great pains" they were released by the Governor Bradford. And so it was that Edward, also, had the honor of being the recipient of the first pardon ever issued by the hand of a governor in America.
This wouldn't be Edward's last run-in with lawful authority. When I'd finished reading about some of his encounters with the courts of New England, I wrote to a friend, "Wouldn't you know it? There was only one troublemaker on The Mayflower, and he was my ancestor." She wrote back, "I'm not a bit surprised.
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Edward Doty came to America on The Mayflower as a servant (some sources say "apprentice") of Stephen Hopkins. His parents and birth date are not known. However, we know that he was at least 20 on November 11, 1620, when he signed the Mayflower Compact. In August, 1643, his name appeared on the list of men, ages 16-60, able to bear arms, so he wasn't born before 1583. Most sources believe he was a young man at the time of the voyage to America, probably born not long before 1599. The passenger lists indicates he was "of London" but it's not known if this was his place of birth. Stephen Hopkins is believed to have married his second wife at Whitechapel, London. It's likely, therefore, that Edward Doty was born in the vicinity of London.
The Mayflower arrived at Cape Cod, November 11, 1620, and they first sought to find a suitable landing place. The shallop they'd brought along for exploration being out of service, a few of the more hardy men volunteered to make an inland journey. In all, sixteen went ashore and they were the first Englishmen ever to journey inland in New England. Edward Doty was in this party. They were gone several days and, by the time they returned to the ship, the shallop had been repaired. On December 6th, ten men set out to explore by water and Edward Doty was, also, in that number. It was on December 11th that they moored at Plymouth Rock.
Edward Doty was married twice, but nothing is known of his first wife. Since servants/apprentices were rarely married, it's assumed that his first marriage occurred after his arrival in America. Gov. William Bradford wrote in 1651: "But Edward Doty, by a second wife, hath 7 children and both he and they are living."
Over the years, Edward frequently appeared in court as a plaintiff or defendant. Most of the lawsuits were civil disputes, but some were complaints against him for trespassing, assault and battery and breaking the peace. He was said to have had something of a temper and was quick to stand up for himself against any perceived wrongs.
But, in 1624, Edward received his share of land allotment and, in 1627, in an allotment given to "heads of families and young men of prudence" Edward was, also, given a share, even though he was unmarried, which shows him to have gained the confidence of the governor. The inventory of his estate at the time of his death was listed as a net value of over 130 pounds. This was substantial for the time and showed that the one-time servant had achieved a greater-than-average level of prosperity during his lifetime.
Edward Doty's descendants have been documented and detailed in many books, most notably, "Mayflower Families through Five Generations, Volume 11, Parts 1 & 2." There are, also, many websites dealing with the Pilgrims and their descendants.
My Doty Line:
Thurston CLARKE: b. 1574, Ipswich, Suffolk, England; d. 10 December 1661, Duxbury, Plymouth Co., MA; m.
Faith LOCS: b. Ipswich, Suffolk, England; d. 1 June 1663, Duxbury, Plymouth Co., MA; child: Faith Clarke
Edward Doty: Birth: Bet. 1597-1602, probably Suffolk, England; d. 23 August 1655, Plymouth, Plymouth Co.,
MA; m. Faith Clarke: b. bet. 1618-1619, (On ship Franci, Ma) Ipswich, Suffolk, England; d. 21 December
1675, Marshfield, Plymouth Co., MA; Edward's children:
Samuel Doty: b. bet. 1643-1644, Plymouth, Plymouth Co., MA; d. September 1715, Piscataway, Union Co., NJ;
m. Jane Harmon: b. abt. 1661, Saco, York Co., Maine; children:
James Doty: b. 17 September 1686, Piscataway, Union Co.; New Jersey; d. bef. 1745, New Providence, New
Jersey; m. Phebe Slater; b. 28 July 1693, Piscataway, Union Co., New Jersey; children:
Benajah Doty: b. abt. 1723, Piscataway, Union Co., New Jersey; d. bet. 22 October-15 November 1780,
Onslow County, North Carolina; m. Elizabeth FARR: b. abt. 1725, Burke Co., Georgia; children:
m. (2nd) Elizabeth CHATWIN; children:
Nancy Doughty Warren: b. 15 May 1753, probably New Jersey; d. 1809, Laurens County, Georgia,
buried: Poplar Springs Cemetery; m. Josiah WARREN, see Warren Family Page for details of
Nancy's family. See Josiah and Nancy's marriage bond.
Benajah Warren: b. 25 October 1782, Montgomery County, Georgia; d. 4 January 1835, Jefferson County,
Mississippi; buried: Warren Cemetery; m. Ferriba Stringer in Montgomery County, GA: b. 7 May
1791, Montgomery County, Georgia; d. 16 August 1866, Jefferson County, Mississippi; buried: Warren
Cemetery; (see Warren Family Page and Garrett Family Page for details on Benajah's family and
Abba Ann Warren Garrett, my g-g-grandmother
Josiah Garrett, my g-grandfather
Edgar Garrett, my grandfather
Nancy Florelle Garrett Jackson, my mother
Nancy Lee Jackson Brister (me!)
James Michael Brister, Jr., my son
Sarah Elizabeth Brister, my granddaughter
Edward may have been a little cantankerous, but he lived to see a large family grown and, through perseverance and hard work, he prospered in this new land in an environment that was almost always difficult and many times brutal. And, since it could be said that his strength of body, will and spirit are probably responsible for the fact that he survived that first winter, those are, also, the reasons I'm here to talk about it. You won't catch me casting any aspersions in his direction. Matter of fact, I've taken a liking to my 8th g-grandfather. And I hope it can be said that a little of his fighting spirit has made its way down to me.
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Miscellaneous Doty Records
The Pilgrims & Adventurers: Paying Tribute
"Illustrations from The Romantic Story of the Pilgrims" - Published 1911
The Mayflower and Plimoth Plantation
Early American Homes
My G-Grandfather's Attic - Home
The Past Whispers
Old New Orleans