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Plymouth Colony Division of Cattle, 1627

Caleb Johnson, a member of the General Society of Mayflower Descendants, provides the following notes on this record of cattle divisions:

On 22 May 1627, the Division of Cattle was recorded in the Plymouth Colony Records. This is a very important document because it names all the members of each household, including the names of women and children -- making it in essense a complete census of 1627 Plymouth.


At a publique court held the 22th of May it was concluded by the whole Companie, that the cattell wch were the Companies, to wit, the Cowes & the Goates should be equall devided to all the psonts of the same company & soe kept untill the expiration of ten yeares after the date above written & that every one should well and sufficiently pvid for there owne pt under penalty of forfeiting the same.

That the old stock with halfe th increase should remaine for comon use to be devided at thend of the said terme or otherwise as ocation falleth out, & the other halfe to be their owne for ever.

Uppon wch agreement they were equally devided by lotts soe as the burthen of keeping the males then beeing should be borne for common use by those to whose lot the best Cowes should fall & so the lotts fell as followeth. thirteene psonts being pportioned to one lot.

1 The first lot fell to ffrancis Cooke & his Companie Joyned to him his wife Hester Cooke

To this lot fell the least of the 4 black Heyfers Came in the Jacob, and two shee goats.

3 John Cooke
4 Jacob Cooke
5 Jane Cooke
6 Hester Cooke
7 Mary Cooke
8 Moses Simonson
9 Phillip Delanoy
10 Experience Michaell
11 John ffance
12 Joshua Pratt
13 Phinihas Pratt

2 The second lot fel to Mr Isaac Allerton & his Companie ioyned to him his wife ffeare Allerton.

To this lot fell the Greate Black cow came in the Ann to which they must keepe the lesser of the two steers, and two shee goats.

3 Bartholomew Allerton
4 Remember Allerton
5 Mary Allerton
6 Sarah Allerton
7 Godber Godberson
8 Sarah Godberson
9 Samuel Godberson
10 Marra Priest
11 Sarah Priest
12 Edward Bumpasse
13 John Crackstone

3 The third lot fell to Capt Standish & his companie Joyned to him his wife

To this lot fell the Red Cow wch belongeth to the poore of the Colonye to wch they must keepe her Calfe of this yeare being a Bull for the Companie. Also to this lott Came too she goats.

2 Barbara Standish
3 Charles Standish
4 Allexander Standish
5 John Standish
6 Edward Winslow
7 Susanna Winslow
8 Edward Winslow
9 John Winslow
10 Resolved White
11 Perigrine White
12 Abraham Peirce
13 Thomas Clarke

4 The fourth lot fell to John Howland & his company Joyned to him his wife

To this lot fell one of the 4 heyfers Came in the Jacob Called Raghorne.

2 Elizabeth Howland
3 John Howland Junor
4 Desire Howland
5 William Wright
6 Thomas Morton Juror
7 John Alden
8 Priscilla Alden
9 Elizabeth Alden
10 Clemont Briggs
11 Edward Dolton [Doty]
12 Edward Holdman
13 Joh. Alden

5 The fift lot fell to Mr Willm Brewster & his companie Joyned to him

To this lot ffell one of the fower Heyfers Came in the Jacob Caled the Blind Heyfer & two shee goats.

2 Love Brewster
3 Wrestling Brewster
4 Richard More
5 Henri Samson
6 Johnathan Brewster
7 Lucrecia Brewster
8 Willm Brewster
9 Mary Brewster
10 Thomas Prince
11 Pacience Prince
12 Rebecka Prince
13 Humillyty Cooper

6 The sixt lott fell to John Shaw & his companie Joyned

To this lot fell the lesser of the black Cowes Came at first in the Ann wth which they must keepe the bigest of the 2 steers. Also to this lot was two shee goats.

1 to him
2 John Adams
3 Eliner Adams
4 James Adams
5 John Winslow
6 Mary Winslow
7 Willm Basset
8 Elizabeth Bassett
9 Willyam Basset Junor
10 Elyzabeth Basset Junor
11 ffrancis Sprage
12 Anna Sprage
13 Mercye Sprage

7 The seaventh lott fell to Steven Hopkins & his companie Joyned to him his wife

To this lott fell A Black weining Calfe to wch was aded the Calfe of this yeare to come of the black Cow, wch fell to John Shaw & his Companie, wch pveing a bull they were to keepe it ungelt 5 years for common use & after to make there best of it. Nothing belongeth of thes too, for ye copanye of ye first stock: but only halfe ye Increase. To this lott ther fell two shee goats: which goats they possess on the like terms which others doe their cattell.

2 Elizabeth Hopkins
3 Gyles Hopkins
4 Caleb Hopkins
5 Deborah Hopkins
6 Nickolas Snow
7 Constance Snow
8 William Pallmer
9 ffrances Pallmer
10 Willm Pallmer Jnor
11 John Billington Senor
12 Hellen Billington
13 ffrancis Billington

8 The eaight lott fell to Samuell ffuller & his company Joyned to him his wife

To this lott fell A Red Heyfer Came of the Cow wch belongeth to the poore of the Colony & so is of that Consideration. (vizt) thes psonts nominated, to have halfe the Increase, the other halfe, with the ould stock, to remain for the use of the poore. To this lott also two shee goats.

2 Bridget ffuller
3 Samuell ffuller Junior
4 Peeter Browne
5 Martha Browne
6 Mary Browne
7 John fford
8 Martha fford
9 Anthony Anable
10 Jane Anable
11 Sarah Anable
12 Hanah Anable
13 Damaris Hopkins

9 The ninth lot fell to Richard Warren & his companie Joyned wth him his wife

To this lot fell one of the 4 black Heyfers that came in the Jacob caled the smooth horned Heyfer and two shee goats.

2 Elizabeth Warren
3 Nathaniell Warren
4 Joseph Warren
5 Mary Warren
6 Anna Warren
7 Sara Warren
8 Elizabeth Warren
9 Abigail Warren
10 John Billington
11 George Sowle
12 Mary Sowle
13 Zakariah Sowle

10 The tenth lot fell to ffrancis Eaton & those Joyned wth him his wife

To this lott ffell an heyfer of the last yeare called the white belyd heyfer & two shee goats.

2 Christian Eaton
3 Samuell Eaton
4 Rahell Eaton
5 Stephen Tracie
6 Triphosa Tracie
7 Sarah Tracie
8 Rebecka Tracie
9 Ralph Wallen
10 Joyce Wallen
11 Sarah Morton
12 Robert Bartlet
13 Tho: Prence.

11 The eleventh lott ffell to the Governor Mr William Bradford and those with him, to wit, his wife

To this lott fell An heyfer of the last yeare wch was of the Greate white back cow that was brought over in the Ann, & two shee goats.

2 Alles Bradford and
3 William Bradford, Junior
4 Mercy Bradford
5 Joseph Rogers
6 Thomas Cushman
7 William Latham
8 Manases Kempton
9 Julian Kempton
10 Nathaniel Morton
11 John Morton
12 Ephraim Morton
13 Patience Morton

12 The twelveth lott fell to John Jene & his companie joyned to him his wife

To this lott fell the greate white backt cow wch was brought over with the first in the Ann, to wch cow the keepeing of the bull was joyned for thes psonts to pvide for. heere also two shee goats.

2 Sarah Jene
3 Samuell Jene
4 Abigaill Jene
5 Sara Jene
6 Robert Hickes
7 Margret Hickes
8 Samuell Hickes
9 Ephraim Hickes
10 Lidya Hickes
11 Phebe Hickes
12 Stephen Deane
13 Edward Banges

1627, May the 22. It was farther agreed at the same Court: That if anie of the cattell should by acsident miscarie or be lost or Hurt: that the same should be taken knowledg of by Indifferent men: and Judged whether the losse came by the neglegence or default of those betrusted and if they were found faulty, that then such should be forced to make satisfaction for the companies, as also their partners dammage.

Go to Caleb Johnson's Mayflower History page. Our thanks to Mr. Johnson for presenting this cattle division from the Plymouth Colony court records.

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