The tale of Priscilla Mullins and John Alden is of significant interest especially to anyone interested in tracing ancestors that were pilgrims. John held the position of cooper while he was serving aboard the Mayflower ship. Working with barrels that stored food, clothing and other objects that were needed to make the crossing; his skills were invaluable to his fellow pilgrims as he also helped with the construction of houses. The position that John held onboard the mayflower was an important one however he was often under appreciated. Priscilla’s younger brother and parents were not as fortunate as Priscilla, they did not survive the first winter, and Priscilla had only just become a teenager when along with the other young women of the colony she helped to feed everyone.
It was Henry Longfellow that recorded the story of Priscilla and documented her courtship to Miles Standish, the captain. Captain Standish held an interest in marrying the girl who had no family. After a while they began a romance and were soon married and formed their own family together. In memory of the other strong-minded women the Alden family Kindred America , that came from John and Priscilla’s offspring , give a dinner for all women that are leaders of their community, just like Priscilla was years ago. The annual Awards Dinner is held in order to raise funds for the Alden museum.
The Alden family Kindred America is home to a database of Alden family descendants which can be found on its website, making it an ideal starting point for performing an LDS family search when looking for descendants that may have been pilgrims on the Mayflower. There are many names on the lists of surnames. You only need to click and you will find out more about each name. It is an excellent tool for genealogists. If you have ancestors from New England you could check and see if you are indeed an Alden descendent yourself.
The Alden family Kindred America meeting is a unique event that happens every single year. The first Saturday of August is the event’s annual start date. The descendants of the Alden family arrive in the middle of the morning from all over the country to meet up with fellow Alden descendants to catch up. They stay together at the Historic site of the Alden House in Duxbury. This Alden family house has always been lived in, owned as well as operated by members of the Alden family since the construction of the house.
During their stay the Alden family descendants enjoy the hospitality that the Alden house has to offer such as an ice cold tea and other refreshments. The annual Alden family reunion always finishes with a family portrait taken at on the lawn outside the house. A huge collection of family photographs dating back from the early 1900’s is on display on site at the Alden house.
After the reunion, the attendees will take a leisurely stroll around the grounds and taking in the grandeur of the property, which also hosts a large modern like barn with refreshing air conditioning. After this there is a trip back through time with a tour of the old Alden house. One of the first things that are most notable about the property is that the house faces in the opposite direction that it should. When you open the front entrance door of the house you are greeted by woodlands and a and a small lawn, back in the day this house would have faced the other way in order to take advantage of exposure to the sun. When the house was originally built one room would have been built directly on top of another, the house was tall and comprised of wooden frames that were thin. Visitors entering through the front door would have found themselves immediately in the parlor, which would have housed a single large bed. In earlier times the bed was considered to be the furniture showcase. The entire family would sleep together; some would sleep in the bed while others would have slept in straw piled up on the floor. There was a single fireplace where all the cooking would have taken place.
As time went by some modifications were done to the house. Some rooms were added and ladders were also put in. They also added insulation to provide the family more comfort. Of course the Alden house was not built by John however one of his sons or grandchildren did it. It was probably built back in the 1700s as some studies have analyzed the wood. If you visit the site you will learn a lot of new interesting facts about it through the virtual tour. You may also check if you are part of the family by doing an LDS family search.
Some people also wonder about a gun found inside one of the walls of the house in 1924. This gun is now at the National Firearms Museum located in Fairfax in Virginia and can also be found on the museum’s website.
If you are interested in the story you can visit the Alden House Historic Site from June to September. Private tours on scheduled times may also be done. You might even have a membership for a nominal fee. You may also do a LDS family search and see if you are part of the family.
This big and interesting family came out of only two people: Priscilla and John Alden. Now the Alden Kindred of America as well as the Alden House Historic Site can be excellent places for research and entertainment with culture.