Born in England. Arrived in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1620 on the Mayflower and
Born in England. Arrived in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1620 on the Mayflower.
William Mullins, a Mayflower passenger and signer of the Mayflower Compact, was born in Dorking, County Surrey, England. He sailed on the Mayflower with his wife Alice, his children Joseph and Priscilla Mullins and a manservant, Robert Carter. He also brought over 250 shoes and 13 pairs of boots, his profession being a shoe and boot dealer. Alice’s maiden name has not been identified, and longstanding claims that her maiden name is Atwood, or Poretiers, are without basis.
The Mayflower passengers can be placed into two general groups. The first group, the Leyden Group, were the religious Separatists who had originally fled from England to Leyden, Holland. The initial Leyden group had come to Holland in 1608 from the general region of England where Nottinghamshire, Yorkshire and Lincolnshire meet (from towns like Scrooby and Austerfield), but over time additional members arrived and joined the church in Leyden, especially from Separatist groups from Canterbury and Sandwich, Kent; Norwich and Yarmouth, Norfolk; Colchester, Essex; and London. The second group, the London Group, were in some way associated with the investors who were putting their money into the joint-stock company the Pilgrims were using to fund their voyage. Some had Puritan sentiments. Some were relatives of the Leiden group, but had not made the migration to Holland. Some had financial schemes rolling through their minds. And some simply wanted to go to Virgina to start a new life with new opportunities. It is thought that William was of the London company, and the reasons for his migration, not necessaritly religious, are not known.
William died 21 Feb 1621. His original will has survived, written down by John Carver the day of Mullins’ death. In it he mentions his wife Alice, children Priscilla and Joseph, and his children back in Dorking, England, William Mullins and Sarah Blunden. He also mentions a Goodman Woods and a Master Williamson, who have not been identified. The will was witnessed by the Mayflower‘s captain Christopher Jones, the Mayflower‘s surgeon Giles Heale and Plymouth’s governor John Carver.
On 2 Apr 1621 Governor John Carver certified a copy of William‘s will (a photograph of which may be viewed — > HERE), which was carried back to England on the Mayflower. The probate record, made 23 July 1622, proves that the former residence of William Mullins was at Dorking, in the County of Surrey, and that he had left behind, in England, a married daughter, Sarah (Mullins) Blunden, who was appointed administratrix by the court. From the will we learn that his wife’s given name was Alice, and that his eldest son, William, was left in England, also that the widow, Alice (—) Mullins, and her son Joseph were alive when the Mayflower sailed, as otherwise Governor Carver, in forwarding the copy of the will to be probated, would have annexed a statement of the death of these two legatees. Alice and son Joseph also died sometime after 2 Apr 1621, during the first year in Massachusetts (as did Robert Carter).
William and Alice Mullins’ daughter, Priscilla Mullins (1602-1688), married John Alden (1599-1687) sometime after their arrival in Plymouth, and their lineage continues under his heading.
 They missed their intended destination and landed unexpectedly on the coast of Massachusetts.