Deacon John Dunham of Plymouth, Massachusetts – 1589-1669 

John Dunham was born about 1589 according to his age at death: “Yr 1668 on the first of March dyed John Dunham Godly and well esteemed Deacon of the Church one of 80 years old” [Plymouth Church Records, as printed in Vol. 1, p. 144]. In the Mayflower Descendant [18:57]: “John Dunham Sr. of Plymouth aged about fourscore years died 2 March 1668 he was an approved servant of God and a useful man in his place being a Deacon of the Church of Christ at Plymouth.”

His will, dated 25 Jan. 1668/9, was exhibited to the Court 4 June 1669 [Plymouth Col. Wills, II pt. 2, p. 53]. It names wife Abigail executrix; John, eldest son; Benajah; son-in-law, Stephen Wood; son Daniel; son Thomas; 12 pence to each of the others if they demand it. A copy of the will may be seen in the Mayflower Descendant [17:113].

We do not know when John Dunham and his family arrived in this country. The first record found in Plymouth is in the tax list dated 2 Jan 1633, when he is taxed 9s. [Plymouth Col Rec. 3:10]. There are numerous references to him in the colony and town records.

First marriage: He must have married Susanna Kenny by 1614, when he was twenty-five. By her, he had the 3 children given by Dexter, and probably in the order given. No date of Susannah’s death is found, and no birth record of these children:
1) John, born about 1615-16, according to age of death.
2) Humility, born 1617-18, of whom we find no further record.
3) Thomas, born 1619-20.

Second marriage: In Leyden (city in South Holland, Netherlands),
22 Oct. 1662, to Abigail Barlow, daughter of Thomas. Date of her death has not been found, but she outlived her husband, being executrix of his estate in 1669. She was the mother of a least 8 children, but no records of their births have been found and the order of their birth is unknown except where age at death implies an approximate date of birth.

The eight known children by Abigail Barlow are as follows: Samuel; Abagail; Persis; Jonathan; Hannah; Joseph; Benajah; Daniel.

Source: Notes on the Dunham Family of Plymouth Massachusetts, Mrs. John E. [Florence] Barclay, The American Genealogist 30 (1954): 143-55