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2. JOHN 2 DUNHAM (John 1) baptized 19 February 1614/15 Henlow, Bedfordshire, England, [1] died at Plymouth, Plymouth County, Massachusetts 6 April 1692 in his 77th year. [2] John married about 1640 MARY (--). [3] She died in Plymouth 20 March 1698. [4]

John 2 Dunham would have been about 15 years old if he came to Plymouth with his family in 1629-30. While it is not known which ship brought the Dunham family to Plymouth, it is possible that they arrived with those last English residents of Leyden who came to Plymouth in 1629. A possible ship may have been the Mayflower, which left Gravesend in March with thirty-five passengers, mostly from Leyden. She arrived 15 May 1629 with thirty-five passengers, only 23 of whom are definitely known. [5] He probably married his wife Mary about 1640 when he would have been 25 years old. He was probably the John Dunham on the "Able To Bear Arms" list of 19 May 1643 in Plymouth. John Dunham, the father, was still living, but at age about 54 years may have been excused.

John 2 Dunham has often been given a wife, Dorothy. The book, New England Marriages Prior to 1700, by Clarence Almon Torrey, p. 229 lists John Downham & 1st wife Dorothe --?--, and a child b. 14 March 1643 in Braintree, Massachusetts. This John Downham is a separate family, and in fact John and Dorothy Downham had children recorded in Braintree at the same time that John and Mary Dunham were having children in Plymouth. [6]

Known as John Dunham, Jr,. he was listed in Records of Plymouth Colony Vol. 1, p. 36-37, March 1651, with the names of those “that have interest and proprieties in the Townes land at Punckateesett over against Road Island.” Page 53 notes “the bounds of John Dunham, Junior: his grant of forty acres of land on the southwest on Colchester is bounded . . .,” and pages 57 & 99 refer to land of John Dunham Junior at Winnatuxett. In 1665 he was granted lot number 7 lying on the west side of Nemassakett River (Middleboro). [7]

From Plymouth County Land Record 4:67, dated 8 June 1664, a statement shows that Anthony Snow, Ensign Mark Eames, Joseph Warren, Richard Wright, William Harlow, Nathaniel Morton, Ephraim Morton, William Paybody, JOHN DUNHAM, JR. & John Rogers "have liberty to look out land for accommodations." [8]

There are no land records that show that John 2 Dunham ever lived in Barnstable, but there must have been some close association with the people who lived there. His oldest daughter, Mary, 3 married 20 November 1662 James Hamblen, Jr., and his next daughter, Susanna 3 Dunham born say 1654 married in Barnstable 20 January 1673 Bartholomew Hamblen. Both James Hamblen, Jr. and Bartholomew were sons of James Hamblen one of the earliest settlers in Barnstable. [9] His oldest son John 3 also married in Barnstable 1 March 1679/80 Mary Smith, daughter of Rev. John and Susanna (Hinckley) Smith.

In the will of John Dunham Senior of Plymouth dated 25 January 1668 he states, “As for my son John Dunham whoe is my eldest sonne I have given him his portion alreddy both in land and other things to what I was able and beyond my abilitie.” [10]

The will of John 2 Dunham of Plimouth was dated 2 February 1691/2, and proved 16 April 1692. [11]

To “wife Mary Dunham and to my Daughter Mercy Dunham my house I now dwell in with all” personal property except as specified, “Also...all my land about two miles off from my now Dwelling house and the orchard there it all Containing About” 16 acres, “Also...one acre of meadow lying at Doties meadows” in Plymouth, also 40 acres “at Colchester in the Township of Plimouth aforesaid I give to my said wife and daughter Mercy to be equally divided betwixt them But...if my wife need her share of the land for her Support she may sell it...which land I value at” £10; but, if she does not sell it, “after her decease my son John Dunham” to have one half of it, “hoping he will be tender and Carefull to help his mother while she lives” [John Jr. died before his mother; see more under Mercy.]
To “my son John Dunham my Best Cloth Coat hereby Signifying he hath already Received his full portion”
To “my Son Bartholomew Hamlin and my daughter Susanna his wife I Give all the Rest of my wearing Cloaths both linnen and woollen from head to foote”
To “my son James Hamlin one shilling and to my daughter Mary his wife one shilling:”
To “my son Robert Barrow one shilling and to my daughter Lidia his wife and to the heirs of her Body for Ever thirty acres of land which I have lying at Monponset in...Plimouth.”
“my wife & Daughter Mercy to be Executrixes” and “my loving friends Isaac Cushman and Ephraim Morton junr to be overseers” of the will.

The witnesses were John Cotton and Samuel Sturtevant. “Mr Jno Cotton one of the witnesses” made oath to the will at Plymouth, 16 April 1692, before “William Bradford Esqr Dept Governr and Mr Ephraim Morton Associate.”

Children of John and Mary (--) Dunham: [12]

12. i. MARY 3 DUNHAM, b. say 1642-3
13. ii. JOHN 3 DUNHAM, b. say 1647-8
iii. JONATHAN 3 DUNHAM, b. 12 August 1650 d. 26 August 1650 [13]
iv. SAMUEL 3 DUNHAM, b. 25 February 1651/2 [14]
Samuel Dunham, son of John Dunham, was burned to death in his house 24 Jan. 1687/88.[15] As noted by Mrs. John E. Barclay in TAG, Vol. 30:147, Sam was unmarried. As shown by Plymouth Probate Record 1:11-12; administration was granted 13 March 1687/8 to John Dunham Jr. "upon the estate of his brother Samuel late of Plymouth, deceased." The estate papers show that he owned land in Barnstable and Plymouth.” From the Plymouth Colony Court of General Sessions the following pertains to Samuel Dunham. “Report of inquest into the death of Samuel Dunham, son of John Dunham: ‘We repairing to Winnitusett where his house was, do find his body partly consumed by fire, and having viewed that part of his body which we found we saw no wound about it, but do judge that he was burned to death in his house— Sworn 28 Jan. 1688.’ Lists 13 witnesses."[16]
Winnitusett/Wenatuxet River is a 6 mile long river in Halifax, Plymouth and Carver. Wenatuxet was a village in Plympton/Middleboro.
14. v. SUSANNA 3 DUNHAM, b. say 1654
15. vi. LYDIA 3 DUNHAM, b. say 1656-8
vii. MERCY 3 DUNHAM, b. say 1660-70
She was still unmarried when her mother died 20 March 1698/9.[17] She is probably the Marsey Dunham who married in Plymouth November 1701 Joseph 4 King.[18] He was her first cousin once removed, the son of Samuel and Sarah3 (Dunham) King, Jr. (Samuel 2, John 1 Dunham). He was born in Plymouth 16 February 1680. They had one child, Nathaniel, born 26 May 1707 and died 7 February 1734/5.[19]
Joseph and Mercy King were dismissed to the new church society in Plympton in September 1703.[20] Mercy King died 15 January 1719.[21] Joseph King married second 3 November 1719 Widow March Spooner.[22] She was Mercy (Branch) Spooner, and she had married first Ebenezer Spooner, son of William and Hannah (Pratt) Spooner. Hannah Pratt was daughter of Persis 2 (Dunham) Pratt. see DJD-6-Persis-2


1. TAG 71:130-133.
2. Plymouth VR p. 135 (says John Dunham Sr. decd. April 6 1692 in his 79th year).
3. TAG 30:146.
4. Plymouth VR p. 136; MD 16:63.
5. Banks, The Planters of the Commonwealth, GPC reprint 1979, p.64-5.
6. TAG 30:146.
7. Ply. Co. LR from Mayflower Descendant,Vol. 36 #1, p. 38.
8. Mayflower Deeds & Probates p. 448.
9. Otis, Barnstable Families, Vol. 1 p. 522-5.
10. Simmons, C. H. Jr., Plymouth Colony Records, Volume 1, Wills and Inventories 1633-1669, Picton Press 1996, p. 480-81.
11. Will #6860; Plymouth Probate, Vol. 1:135-6, as abstracted in MD 31:160-61.
12. TAG 30:146-48.
13. Plymouth VR p. 658.
14. Plymouth VR p. 659.
15. Plymouth VR:134 & M.D. 15:214.
16. Plymouth Colony Court of General Sessions, September 1678, Vol. 1:193.
17. TAG Vol. 30:148.
18. Plymouth VR p. 89; MD 14:35.
19. Plymouth VR p. 40.
20. Plymouth Church Records 1:191, 193, 217.
21. MD 18:142.
22. MD 14:38.

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