The Plymouth Colony Archive Project

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of Plymouth

Compiled by

Kim Baker

University of Virginia, Anth 509 Fall 1996

The earliest entry for Samuel (Samuell) Dunham in the records is 1643, when he is listed as "able to bear arms for Plymouth." From this point on, there is not much recorded about his personal or family life. From Anderson's The Great Migration Begins (1995), we know that Samuel Dunham of Plymouth was born to John Dunham Sr. (also of Plymouth) and Abigail Barlow around 1623; one of eight children born to Abigail, John's second wife. Also in this entry it states that Samuell led a particularly long life -- "in his 89 years of age". He was married on 29 of June 1649 to Martha (Beals) Falloway, daughter of John Beals and widow of William Falloway. It seems as if Samuel had a pretty good relationship with his father because they are often mentioned together in land deals as giving land to each other or being able to use each other's lands.

From the Plymouth Colony Records, we know that Samuel had a very active social/public life. He was propounded as a freeman in 1648. He was involved in a variety of land deals, served as a juryman on a variety of court cases, and was a member of the grand enquest. His public service also included being a deputy, surveyor of highways, constable, and finally marshall and goal keeper.

1643 Plymouth Colony Records 8:187-8

Dunham noted among a list of males that are able to bear arms from twenty-one years old to 60 years for Plymouth Company.

Pierce's Colonial Lists, 76

Dunham noted among a list of non-commissioned officers and privates for Plymouth Colony.

1646 Anderson 1995, 1123

"Sometime in 1646 the Plymouth inhabitants were divided up into 'teams.' The portion of the list that explains the significance of the teams is torn and destroyed. 'Mannasses Kemton' headed a tean consisting of Samuel Dunham, Ephraim Morton, and Thomas Morton."

1647 4 May 1647 Records 2:114

Dunham noted among a list of men propounded to take up their freedom at the next court.

1647 19 January 1647 Records 12:149-50

John Dunham gives his son Samuell six acres of upland ground provided that his son allows him a sufficient cartway into the woods to get to his own house.

The same day, Samuell sells the six acres to James Glasse for the sum of five pounds sterling. The records give more details on the method and time of payment, and states that Dunham reserved the use and propiety of the timberof the six acres for fire wood and other uses.

1648 7 June 1648 Records 2:122-3

Dunham propounded as a freeeman.

1650 18 February 1650 Records 12:202-3

John Dunham Jr. sells a twelve acre parcell of land, lying at Wellingsla near Plymouth, to Samuell Dunham for the sum of six pounds and ten shillings.

The same day, Samuell Dunham sells to John Dunham Sr. a house and lands amounting to the sum of approximately twenty-two and one half acres for the sum of thirteen pounds sterling. The records give the detailed locations of the three parcells of land: twelve, one half, and ten acre portions, and whose lands they are bordered by etc.

1653 3 May 1653 Records 3:27

At he court, "a neager maide seruant of John Barnes" accuses John Smith Sr., of Plymouth, of "receiving tobacco and other things of her which were her said masters, att sundry times, in a purloineing way." Neither side was able to produce sufficient evidence to clear the case from the court at this time, so the court ordered them to appear at the next court "for further hearing" and to produce sufficient testimony for clearing. At this court, John Smith Sr. charged that "samuell dunham said . . . that there was soe much liquore drunke att the house of John Rickard, where of John Barnes dranke soe much as hee coming into the house of the said Samuell Dunham, and assaying to drinke a pipe of tobacco, hee filled his pipe and could not light it" and that Barnes went on to threaten Dunham and Goodwife Whitney with bodily harm.

1658 Records 8:197

Name noted among a list of freemen for First, Plymouth.

1659 7 March 1659-1660 - 3 July 1677 Records 7:95-205

Dunham serves as a juror for a variety of cases brought before the court.

1661 9 September 1661 Anderson 1995, 422

Dunham sells to "'James Cole Senior of [Plymouth], shoemaker, all that his part, portion, or share of land at Punckateeset.''

1663 1 December 1663 Records 2:49

Dunham listed as owing the King the sum of ten pounds.

1664 8 June 1664 Records 2:61

Dunham noted as a member of the Grand Enquest.

1665 6 March 1665-6 Records 2:115

Member of the jury that heard the case of Joseph Howes who complained against Thomas Starr for opposing him and using threatening speeches to him in the execution of his office.

7 June 1665 Records 2:94

Dunham granted one share of land by the court which was purchased on the westerly side of the Namasskett River.

1668 3 June 1668 Records 2:180

Dunham noted among a list of the names of the deputies of the severall townes (probably for Plymouth).

1669 1 June 1669 Records 5:18

Dunham listed among a list of the members of the Grand Enquest.

1670 29 May 1670 Records 5:274

Dunham noted among "an exact list of all the names of the freemen of the jurisdiction of New Plymouth, transcribed by Nathaniel Morton, Secretary to the Court for the said jurisdiction, the 29th of May, Anno Dom 1670.

1671 29 October 1671 Records 5:82

Member of a jury that heard a variety of cases.

5 March 1671-1672 Records 5:88

Member of the group that viewed the corpse of John Barnes and concluded that he was killed when after stroking his bull before his barn, the "said bull suddenly turned about vpon him and gaue him a great wound with his horne on his right thigh, neare eight inches longe, in which his flesh was torne both broad and deep, as wee judge; of which wound, together with his wrinch of his neck or paine therof . . hee imediately languished ; after about 32 houres after hee died."

1672 5 June 1672 Records 5:91

Dunham noted among a list of the members of the Grand Enquest.

1674 Pierce 1968: 50

Dunham listed as a constable for Plymouth.

Records 5:145

Dunham listed as sworne as the constable for Plymouth.

7 July 1674

John Rickard, the son of John Rickard, and Samuell Dunham, the son of Samuell Dunham, were each fined three shillings and four pence for abusing an Indian and breaking the Kings peace.

1675 Pierce 1968:57

Dunham listed as a surveyor of highways for Plymouth along with three others.

1 June 1675 Records 5:166

Samuell Dunham listed as the surveyor of highways for Plymouth.

7 March 1675-1676 Records 5:188

Samuell Dunham and Sarah Fallowell, widow, are allowed by the Court to

administer on the estate of John Fallowell, deceased.

1680 1 March 1680 - 7 July 1681 Records 7:234-41

Dunham serves as a juror in a variety of cases.

1686 June 1686 Pierce 1968:39

Samuel Dunham listed under marshal and goal keeper for Plymouth.

1689 14 August 1689 Records 6:216

Samuel Dunham was by the said court appointed under marshall and

prison keeper.

1691 7 April 1691 Records 7:310

The previous October, "Samuel Dunham, of Winatuxet, the son of John Dunham

of Plimouth, prosecuted an action and obtained a verdict of jury and judgement

of court against John Andrew, of Plimouth." Details of amount of damages given.

Network of Relationships


Andrew, John suit against, 7 Arp. 1691

Barnes, John Dunham viewed corse of, with others, 5 Mar. 1671/1672

Dunham, John father of Samuell, 19 Jan. 1647

Dunham Jr., John land sale, 18 Feb. 1650

Dunham Sr., John land sale, 18 Feb. 1650

Farowell, John & Sarah Dunham administered of the estate of John with

Sarah, 7 Mar. 1675/1676

Glasse, John land sale, 19 Jan. 1647

Kemton, Mannasses head up a team of colonist incl. Dunham, 1646

Rickard, John sons of Rickard and Dunham get in trouble, 7 July 1664