Alexander Alvord Theory

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Alexander Alvord and the Mary & John 1630
- A Theory

The question has been asked as to how Alexander Alvord (1627 - 1687), founder of the Alvord family, came to America. I've been working on a theory for some time now that John Hoskins (1585 or 1590 -1648), who married Ann Fyler, may have been Alexander Alvord's uncle and that he was the one who brought the three young Alvords (Benedict (11), Joanna (8), and Alexander (3), to New England on the Mary and John in 1630. White states that Benedict Alvord came in the "Mary and John," in 1630 with his brother Alexander and sister Joan. The fact that their names do not appear in the early Dorchester records could support the possibility that they arrived in New England at a very young age.

Samuel Morgan Alvord's Genealogy of 1908 shows a diagram on page 18 listing Joan Hawkins as the mother of Alexander Alvord. Yet other sources have questioned whether she was Alexander's mother. In 1992 during a visit to the Latter-Day Saint's Genealogy Library in Salt Lake City, I came upon a film listing Thomas Alford ( b. abt 1593 or 1595) as Alexander's father and Joan Hoskins as his mother. Since then I have found other listings to support the possibility that Joan Hoskins was the wife of Thomas. Joanna Alvord b. 08 Dec 1622 at Whitestaunton is listed as having Thomas Alvord as her father and Joan Hoskins as her mother. Joan Hoskins is also listed in another source as the spouse of Thomas Alford. (See references below.) Could it be that Joan Hawkins and Joan Hoskins were the same person? Or that Joan Hoskins was Alexander's mother?

Certainly many names have variations. Hoskins was spelled in various ways such as Hosken, Haskings, Hawkins Hodgekins etc.

John Hoskins is listed as being a Baron in Herfordshire. If Joan Hoskins was John's sister, she would have been an appropriate bride for Thomas Alvord of Whitestaunton as they were people of education and means.

Xpoer - Christopher Hoskins (c. 19 June 1568 in Bruton) is listed as the father of John Hoskins, (b. 1590 Hereford), William (c. 10 Feb 1593 Bruton), Joan ( c.16 March 1595 Bruton), Andrew ( c 14 April 1599 Bruton), Elizabeth (c. 28 Feb 1604 Bruton), and Anne (c. 11 May 1606 Bruton).

William Hodgekins/Hoskins' spouse was Ann Winthrop. Could this be a link to the Winthrop Fleet? The Mary & John was within the bounds of the territory of the company headed by Winthrop and was in contact with him.

Joan's death date is listed as 1636. Her husband predeceased her. It is possible she knew she was dying by the year 1630 when the Mary & John sailed for New England. At this time orphans and widows did not have the protection of the Crown. Could it be that rather that leave her three children orphaned in England she chose to have them travel to the new world with their uncle?

Queen Elizabeth died in 1603. James I, Mary Queen of Scot's son, ascended the throne and held it from 1603 - 1625. King James I alienated the Puritans by his high church views and the possibility of an alliance with Spain which could have meant a return to Catholicism and a renewal of the earlier strife between the faiths. The atmosphere of the new court was disreputable to say the least, and James' unpopularity was enhanced as despite having a wife (Anne) and four children, he lavished diamonds, money and affections on his favorites, chiefly the Duke of Buckingham, George Villiers. In the early 1600's the plague still occurred on a regular basis during the warmer weather and dead bodies lay in the streets awaiting removal by the plague cart. Crops repeatedly failed to the point where even the wealthy could not buy decent food, and yet King James I continued to drain the coffers while the poor starved.

Charles I - 1625-1649, married Princess Henrietta Maria of France who was Catholic, and retained the dissolute Duke of Buckingham as his advisor. He dissolved Parliament when they refused to vote more money for him, attempted to levy illegal taxes, and ruled by "Divine Right" along with the Duke of Buckingham.

With all these events and more going on, it is no wonder the Puritans sought to find a better life for themselves and their children by leaving England.

In the Alvord genealogy there is a photo of a court roll kept at Whitestaunton Manor which states that "King Charles' Troopers were there at the date given 1649." One could assume that King James I also made use of Whitestaunton, and from the scandalous goings-on at that court it is possible Joan wanted to make sure her children were removed from the situation even if it meant she might never see them again. Or she may have felt she would recover and join them later in New England.

The Ship Passenger Lists by Carl Boyer lists John Hoskins; 1630 with three relatives. Banks: The Winthrop Fleet of 1630 Source #1064 lists John Hoskins (4). The three relatives could have been the three Alvord children. The four could have been the children and someone to care for them. Or it could include his son Thomas as well as the three children.

The date of John Hoskin's marriage to Ann Fyler in 1630 is interesting. Romance aside, why would a forty or forty-five year old man with a twenty-year old son, who has just arrived in a new land take on the responsibility of a twenty-year old wife if there weren't three children who would need mothering while a homestead was built?

With genealogy there are always unanswered questions especially as we go back in time. As I have said, this is a theory. Theories often lead to facts and can certainly make for a good discussion. Your comments and suggestions are welcome. Genealogy is a puzzle that has no end which makes it all the more exciting .

Penelope Alvord Barrott, New Zealand 2001

References: Samuel Morgan Alvord's Genealogy of 1908 Ancestry of John Barber White by Almira Larkin White, 1913 p. 243 Alexander Alvord - Thomas Alford father Joan Hoskins mother - (LDS Film - Input 822923 Batch 7328815) Joanna Alvord - Thomas Alvord/Joan Hoskins parents b. 08 Dec 1622 Whitestaunton (LDS Batch #7328815 Serial Sheet 88) Joan Hoskins listed as the spouse of Thomas Alford Abt. 1593 Whitestaunton, Somerset, England (LDS Batch number F802111, Sheet 11, Source Call No. 1260815 - Stiles "Windsor Ct. Film GS 54740. ) Banks: The Winthrop Fleet of 1630 Source #1064 CSL F67.B21 01949262 LC Card # 30017289 Hoskins John (4) "Origin undetermined. Freeman 18 May 1621 (M.C.R.I.366) Removed to Windsor (Pope). Plus various web sites, microfiche from Whangarei N.Z., and books from Hartford Ct, Windsor Ct, Salt Lake City, Utah



Last Updated ( Thursday, 05 October 2017 15:10 )