Esther/Hester Mahieu (mtDNA)

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status summary

As of 30 Aug 2017

  • Page created for Esther/Hester (Mahieu) Cooke.
  • Pilgrim Francis Cooke Society contacted.
  • recruitment of individuals who are mtDNA descendants of Esther/Hester (Mahieu) Cooke. Folks who believe they are matrilineal (all female line) descendants of Esther should Read me First

IMPORTANT: Read me First


For more information see: Wood, Ralph V., Mayflower Families Through Five Generations: vol. 12 Cooke. Names in bold font have mtDNA descendants who have mtDNA tested.

First Generation

Given the fact Esther/Hester was married about Jun 1603 and her last child was born circa 1626, it is believed she was born circa 1582-1585.[1] She was the daughter of Jacques and Jeanne (Unknown) (le) Mercier.[2] The family were originally French Walloons from the Lille, Flanders (at that time part of the Spanish Netherlands, but now part of Normandy France).[3] The family moved from Lille to Canterbury, Kent, England. Whether they moved before or after Esther/Hester was born is unknown. They later moved to Leiden, Holland shortly before Esther/Hester's marriage.[4] She was married to Francis Cooke in Leiden about 30 Jun 1603 (see Media:Marriage record of Francis Cooke and Esther Mahieu.jpg and transcript).[5]

It is said the Cooke family went to Norwich, Norfolkshire, England in 1606 [6] but were back at Leiden in early 1607 [7] Francis Cooke, and his eldest surviving son, John, emigrated to the New World aboard the Mayflower in 1620. Esther/Hester and the rest of the children stayed behind, but came over in 1623 in either the Ann or Little James. The Cookes spent the rest of their life at Plymouth Colony. Francis' simple will gave his entire estate to his wife with no provisions regarding how the estate was to be divided after her death. On 8 Jun 1666 the widow and children wrote out an agreement to divide the land at Rocky Nook (now Kingston) into five shares, with the eldest son, John receiving two shares, and the other children receiving one share apiece.[8] This is the last known record of Esther. It is presumed she was deceased before her grandson (John Wright) wrote his will on 18 Dec 1675.

  3. Edward Winslow, "Hypocrasie Unmasked" version available online at:
  4. Her marriage record called Esther of Canterbury
  5. MD 8:48-49
  7. ibid.
  8. Anderson, The Great Migration Begins I:469, citing PCLR 3:73

Esther/Hester and Francis had seven children: one infant (sex unknown), a daughter Elizabeth[1] who died young, two sons, and daughters Jane, Hester and Mary.

Second Generation

Jane (b1613-b1650/1) married Experience Mitchell aft May 1627 in Plymouth. They had one son & two daughters, Elizabeth (c1628-c1684) and Mary (c1632-1699)

Hester (b1620-c1672) married Richard Wright 21 Nov 1644 Plymouth. They had four sons & two daughters, Esther (c1649-1717) and Mary (c1654)

Mary (b1627-1714/5) married (Lieut) John T(h)omson 26 Dec 1645 Bridgewater. They had six sons & six daughters. Mary (c1651-1734), Esther (1652-c1706), Sarah (1657-1730, never married), Mercy (c1671-1756, never married), Elizabeth (1653/4-1716/7, married Thomas Swift and is said to only have had one son) and Lydia (1659-1741/2 married James Soule. While they had three daughters, the mtDNA line eventually died out).

Third Generation

Elizabeth Mitchell (c1628-c1684) married John Washburn (II) 6 Dec 1645 Duxbury. They had seven sons & four daughters, Mary, Elizabeth, Sarah and Jane.

Mary Mitchell (c1632-1699) married James Shaw 24 Dec 1652 Plymouth. They had one son & two daughters, Mary and Ann (1680-1680). Mary married second John Jenney but they had no children.

Esther Wright (c1649-1717) married Ephraim Tinkham 1678. They had four sons & two daughters, Martha (c1678-1758, m. John Soule [II]) & Mary (c1691-1751, m. Henry Wood) While Mary had three daughters, none of them had any surviving daughters.

Mary Wright was born Plymouth about 1654 and died there after 1 Nov 1711. She married bef 1685 Hugh Price and they had one child (Boston): Mary (1685).

Mary Tomson (c1651-1734) married (Capt) Thomas Taber Jun 1672 Dartmouth. They had eight sons & five daughters: Lydia, Sarah, Mary, Bethiah and Abigail.

Esther Thomson (c1652-c1706) married William Reed abt 1675 Weymouth. They had four sons & five daughters, Bathsheba, Mercy, Mary, Hester and Sarah.

Fourth Generation

Mary Washburn was born Bridgewater about 1662 and died Easton 28 Feb 1739/40. She married about 1690 Samuel Kingsley and they had Hannah (c1691 m. Edward Hayward), Sarah (c1694 m. ___ Hayward), Mary (c1696 m. Thomas Willis), Samuel (1699), Benjamin (1701), Susanna (c1702 m. Samuel Packard (IV) & Joseph Knapp), Abigail (c1704) and Bethia (c1706 m. William Brett)

Elizabeth Washburn was born Duxburrow (now Duxbury) in 1665 and died Norton 27 Feb 1741/2. She married twice: First James Haward/Howard (d. 1690) and second about 1692 Edward Seal[e]y. By her first husband (James Howard) Elizaeth had: Elizabeth (1686 m. Thomas Buck), Mercy (1688-1705 unm.) and James (1689). By her second husband (Edward Sealey) Elizabeth had: Benjamin (1693) and John (1697).

Jane Washburn was born Duxburrow (now Duxbury) about 1667 and died Bridgewater before 21 Sep 1698. She married Hingham before 28 Jul 1690 William Orcutt (II) and they had (born Bridgewater): Joanna (c1694 m. Benjamin Edson) and Elizabeth (1696 m. Ebenezer French)

Sarah Washburn Duxbury about 1675 and died Bridgewater in 1746. She married Bridgewater 12 Jan 1696/7 John Ames (II) and they had Elizabeth (1697 m. Joseph Bassett), John (1700), Sarah (1702 m. Abiel Packard), Abigail (1705 m. Thomas Wade), Jonathan (1707), Deborah (1710-1755 unm.), Daniel (1712), Benjamin (1715) and Joshua (1718).

Mary Shaw was born Weymouth 24 Mar 1659/60 and died Norton 8 Aug 1722. She married Weymouth by 1679 Hezekiah King (d. 1706) and they had: Mary (1679), Samuel (1686), as well as two more sons.[2]

Martha Tinkham was born Middleborough about 1678 and died there Feb 1758. She married Middleborough 8 Dec 1701 John Soule (II) and they had Martha (1702 m. Thomas Thompson), Sarah (1703 m. Jonathan Snow), John (1705), Esther (1707, unm. in 1759), Mary (1709 m. Obadiah Sampson), James (1711), Rebecca (1713-1759 unm.), Nathan (1717) and Rachel (1719 m. Ebenezer Vaughan).

Mary Price was born Boston 25 Jul 1685 and died Halifax 29 May 1748. She married Plymouth 20 Jan 1706 Samuel Sturtevant (III) and they had at least two children: Lemuel (1711) and Samuel (1716).

Lydia Taber was born Dartmouth 8 Aug 1673 and died 1723. She married about 1695 John Kenney and they had Ruth (1696), Thomas (1698), Jonathan (1703), Mary (1705 m. John Kirby) and Hannah (1709).

Sarah Taber was born Dartmouth 28 Jan 1674/5 and died 1735. She married Dartmouth 1 Dec 1702 William Hart and they had Archipas (c1703), Luke (1708) and William (1710).

Mary Taber was born Dartmouth 18 Mar 1676/7 and died there 6 Jul 1753. She married Manasseh Morton and they had Mary (c1718 m. William Dexter) and Seth (1722).

Bethiah Taber was born Dartmouth 3 Sep 1687 and died 24 Apr 1753. She married before 1710 Caleb Blackwell and they had Jane (1710/1 likely d.y.), Sarah (1714 m. George Nye), John (1717/8), Mary (1720 prob. d.y.), Bethia (1722 m. ___ Nye), Alice (1725 m. Nicholas Crapo) and Seth (1729)

Abigail Taber was born Dartmouth 2 May 1693 and died after 1785. She married Tiverton (now part of RI) 1 Dec 1715 Ebenezer Taber and they had Paul (1716), Thomas (1717), Mary (1719 m. John Taber), Joseph (1721), Hannah (1723 m. ___ Hart), Lydia (1728 m. Fortner Taber), Walter (1731) and Jacob (1735).

Bathsheba Reed was born about 1676 and died 1722. She married before 1699 Nicholas Porter and they had (first two Weymouth, rest Abington) Nicholas (1699), William (1702), Bathsheba (1707), Daniel (1708), Susanna (1710 m. Abner Bradford), Job (1714), Esther (1716 m. Joshua Fobes), Abner (1718) and Sarah (1722).

Mercy Reed was born Weymouth about 1680 and died Abington 4 Feb 1737/8. She married twice: First about 1699 Nicholas Whitmarsh (d. bef 1706) and second, Bridgewater 27 Nov 1706 (Ens.) Andrew Ford (III). By her first husband (Nicholas Whitmarsh) she had one child: Nicholas (1699). By her second husband (Andrew Ford) Mercy had: Jacob (1711), Hester (1714 m. Jacob Porter), Mary (1719 m. Jacob Reed (II)) and Andrew (1721).

Mary Reed was Weymouth born 1683 and died before 1759. She married Bridgewater 25 Dec 1707 Josiah Allen and they had Micah (1708), Josiah (1711/2), Mary (1714 m. Benjamin Vickery), Esther (1717 m. James Edson), Sarah (1719 m. Japheth Byram), Nathan (1721), Elizabeth "Bettie" (1724) and William (1726).

Hester Reed was born about 1685 and died 1721. She married Joseph Allen and they had

Sarah Reed was born Weymouth 21 Mar 1693/4 and died Amenia, NY 17 May 1750. She married Bridgewater 14 May 1712 (Dea.) Hezekiah King and they had eleven children: Hezekiah (1715), Sarah (1717 m. Charles King), Samuel (1719), Esther (1721 m. Daniel Porter (II)), Mary (1723 m. Paul Smith), Marcy (1725-1725), Bathsheba (1726 m. Joshua Mead), William (1727), John (1730), Marcy (1732 m. Job Mead), Alice (1733/4 m. Isaac Mead).

  1. Media:NL-LdnRAL AR 1004 270 042.jpg.jpg, transcription.
  2. TAG 68:23 states probate record of John Shaw (father of Mary) has Mary King, widow and her four sons and one daughter (none named).

mtDNA results J1c2+G16153A

According to the Mayflower DNA project at Family tree DNA[1] the project currently[2] has four members who apparently are matrilineal (all female line) descendants of Esther/Hester. They all fall under the J1c2 mtDNA haplogroup. They also all have one additional mutation (HVR 1 G16153A) which may create a subclade of J1c2 sometime in the future.

  2. as of 21 Apr 2024

Tested lines

Currently, the descent of three of these four individuals is as follows

 Hester le Mahieu (c1582-p1666)
   Jane Cooke (b1614-b1641)
     Elizabeth Mitchell (c1628-c1683)
       Mary Washburn (b1662-1740)
         Mary Kinsley (c1698-c1770)
           Rhoda Willis (1727-1802)
             Mary "Molly" Lathrop (1755-1844)
               Mary "Polly" Johnson (1774-1824)
                 Rebecca Perkins Johnson (1810-1879)
                   Ellen Gray (1832-1883)
                     Mary Louise Waterman (1865-1967)
                       Hazel Louise Raybold (1889-1958)
                         Beverly Langdale (1916-1982)
       Elizabeth Washburn (1665-1741/2)
         Elizabeth Howard (1685-1760)
           Elizabeth Buck (1717-1752)
             Elizabeth Monk (1750-1810)
               Sarah "Sally" Downing (1778-1859)
                 Mary Ann Bryant (1808-1881)
                   Almira Drew Dean Smith (1842-1914)
                     Etta Rosella Makepeace (1873-1941)
   Mary Cooke (b1627-1714/5)
     Esther Tomson (1652-c1706)
       Bathsheba Reed (c1676-1722)
         Bathsheba Potter (1707-c1745)
           Tabitha French (1742-    )
             Hannah Ward (1766-1846)
               Mary Sarah Fillmore (1803-1853)
                 Eliza Butler (1828-1902)
                   Mary Ann Delahunty (1859-p1930)
                     Mary Jane McCann (1882-1968)

One of these individuals has recently been accepted into the General Society of Mayflower Descendants via this lineage. Their traditional "paper trail" ancestry was insufficient to prove this lineage, but the GSMD accepted the line based on the additional HVR1 mutation G16153A to the J1c2 haplogroup.[1]

  1. Conversation with tester in Oct 2020

References and External links

  • Wood, Ralph V., Mayflower Families Through Five Generations: vol. 12 Cooke, General Society of Mayflower Descendants, Plymouth, MA. Second edition 1999 (Susan E. Roser and Judith H. Swan compiled a 2017 Addendem now published with this volume)
  • Roser, Susan E., Mayflower Increasings From the Files of George Ernest Bowman at the Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Descendants, Genealogical Publishing Co., Baltimore, MD, Second edition 1995, 1996. pp. 36-41
  • Roser, Susan E., Mayflower Passenger References (from contemporary records & scholarly journals), [ Stewart Publishing & Printing] Canada. Second edition, 2015
  • Bangs, Jeremy Dupertuis, The New England Historical and Genealogical Register 143(1989):195-212 "The Pilgrims and Other English in Leiden Records: Some New Pilgrim Documents"
  • Bangs, Jeremy Dupertuis, The Mayflower Descendant 56(2007):150-62 "De Lannoy - Le Mahieu Research"
  • Bangs, Jeremy Dupertuis, The Mayflower Quarterly 78(2012):140-44 "Looking for Hester Mayhew and Francis Cooke in the Norwich City Records Office"

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