Wednesday, November 17, 2010

George Soule


Birth: Between 1590 and 1600 in England

Death: 1679 in Duxbury, Plymouth, Massachusetts, America

George Soule was born in England at the end of the sixteenth century. There is much speculation as to who his parents were, but nothing definitive has yet been determined.

He worked in the home of Edward and Elizabeth Winslow as a teacher to the couple’s children. He was still a young man when the entire family set sail on the Mayflower in 1620. William Bradford wrote of the group:

"The names of those which came over first, in the year 1620, and were by the blessing of God the first beginners and in a sort the foundation of all the Plantations and Colonies in New England; and their families ...Mr. Edward Winslow, Elizabeth his wife and two men-servants called George Soule and Elias Story; also a little girl was put to him called Ellen, the sister of Richard More."
William Bradford, Of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647, ed.

Upon his arrival to the New World, George became one of the signers of the Mayflower Compact.

Mayflower Compact

Between 1625 and 1627, George married Mary Buckett in Plymouth. Together, the couple had nine children:  Zachariah, John, Nathaniel, George, Susanna, Mary, Elizabeth, Patience and Benjamin.

By 1642, the family had moved to Duxbury where George served on a number of committees and survey teams. At one point he was even a deputy to Plymouth Court. Like the other settlers in Massachusetts, the Soule family’s doings were documented in court records and by William Bradford. Many of comments from the records relating to George Soule can be found at this website:

Before his death, George wrote a will, which he added to a month after it was written. The addition protects his daughter Patience from her brother, John. The full text of the will reads:

“In the Name of God Amen

I Gorge Soule senir of Duxberry in the Collonie of New Plymouth in New England being aged and weake of body but of a sound mind and Memory praised be God Doe make this my last Will and Testament in Manor and forme following Imprimis I comitt my soule into the hands of Almighty God whoe Gave it and my body to be Decently buried in the place appointed for that use whensoever hee shall please to take mee hence; and for the Disposall of my outward estate which God of his Goodnes hath Given mee first I have and alreddy formerly by Deeds under my hand and seale Given unto my two sonnes Nathaniel: and Gorge All my lands in the Township of Dartmouth; Item I have formerly Given unto my Daughters Elizabeth and Patience all my lands in the Township of Middleberry Item I Give and bequeath unto my Daughters Sussannah and Mary twelve pence a peece to be payed by my executer heerafter Named after my Decease; And forasmuch as my Eldest son John Soule and his family hath in my extreame old age and weaknes bin tender and carefull of mee and very healpfull to mee; and is likely soe to be while it shall please God to continew my life heer therfore I give and bequeath unto my said son John Soule all the Remainder of my housing and lands whatsoever to him his heires and Assignes for ever Item I Give and bequeath unto my son John Soule all my Goods And Chattles whatsoever Item I Nominate And appoint my son John Soule to be my sole Executor of this my last Will and Testament; and lastly I Doe heerby make Null and voyde all other and former wills and Testaments by mee att Any time made; and Declare this Instrument to be my last Will and Testament In Witnes wherof I the said Gorge Soule have heerunto sett my hand and seale this eleventh Day of August in the year of our Lord one Thousand six hundred seaventy and seaven;

Gorge Soule and a seale

The above Named Gorge Soule Did signe seale and Deliver this Instrument to be his Last Will and Testament in the prsence of us

Nathaniell Thomas
The Marke D T of Deborah Thomas

Item the twentyeth Day of September 1677 I the above Named Gorge Soule Doe heerby further Declare that it is my will that if my son John Soule above named or his heires or Assignes or any of them shall att any time Disturbe my Daughter Patience or her heires or Assignes or any of them in peacable Posession or Injoyment of the lands I have Given her att Namassakett allies Middleberry and Recover the same from her or her heires or Assignes or any of them That then my Gift to my son John Soule shall shalbe voyd; and that then my will is my Daughter Patience shall have all my lands att Duxburrey And she shalbe my sole executrix of this my last Will and Testament And enter into my housing lands and meddowes att Duxburrow, In Witnes wherof I have heerunto sett my hande and seale;

Gorge Soule and A seal

The above Named George Soule Did Signe and seale to this addition in the prsence of us Nathaniel Thomas

The Marke D T of Deborah Thomas”

A full list of George Soule’s belongings and estate can be seen at:

George Soule died in 1679 or 16980 in Plymouth (also spelled Plimoth and Plimouth, throughout history).

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