Elizabeth Pabodie

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Elizabeth Pabodie
Known forAllegedly first white child born in New England
Parent(s)John Alden, Priscilla Alden
Elisabeth Alden Pabodie's grave in Little Compton, Rhode Island, the original headstone was inserted in a new monument in 1882

Elizabeth Pabodie (1623–1717), also known as Elizabeth Alden Pabodie or Elizabeth Peabody, was allegedly the first white child born in New England.[1]


Elizabeth Pabodie was born Elizabeth Alden in 1623, the firstborn child of the Plymouth Colony settlers Priscilla Mullins and John Alden, who were both passengers on the Mayflower in 1620.

She married William Pabodie (Peabody), a leader of Duxbury, Massachusetts, on December 26, 1644. All 13 of their children were born in that settlement before Elisabeth eventually moved to Little Compton, Rhode Island in the 1680s. She died on May 31, 1717 in Little Compton and was buried in the cemetery on Little Compton Common, officially called Old Commons Burial Ground. Her memorial is on Find A Grave as memorial #6868310.[1]


Elizabeth Alden Pabodie 5.jpg

Elizabeth Pabodie's first child was a daughter, Lydia; next came a son named William after his father.

In 1683 Lydia married Daniel Grinnell Jr; they also had 13 children together.

William the younger and his wife Judith had a daughter Rebecca Peabody, who married the Reverend Joseph Fish. Their daughter Mary Fish[2] married Gold Selleck Silliman (1732–1790), and they were the parents of Benjamin Silliman, the first person to distill petroleum, and grandparents of Benjamin Silliman, Jr.. The Sillimans started the Chemistry Department at Yale, a forerunner of the Sheffield Scientific School. Benjamin Silliman, Jr. married Susan Huldah Forbes; their daughter Alice Trumbull Silliman married William Richardson Belknap (1849-1914). It is through this lineage that the Belknap and Humphrey families of Kentucky descended.

Other descendants of Elizabeth Alden Pabodie and William Pabodie include Priscilla Pabodie, Rebecca Pabodie, Eleanor Belknap Humphrey (1876-1964), William Burke Belknap the younger, Alice Belknap Hawkes, Dr. Edward Cornelius Humphrey, Rev. Robert P. Shuler, Alice Humphrey Morgan, economist Thomas MacGillivray Humphrey, Barbara Morgan Meade, co-founder of the Washington, D.C. bookstore, Politics and Prose and whistleblower Edward Snowden.[3]

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was also a descendant of Elizabeth Pabodie. He made her parents John Alden and Priscilla Mullins famous through his poem The Courtship of Miles Standish.


  1. ^ a b Elisabeth (Alden) Pabodie and Descendants By Mrs Charles L Alden, Mary Langford Taylor Alden (E. Putnam, 1897)[1]
  2. ^ Schechter, Steven, Mary Silliman’s War, Review by: Carol Berkin, The Journal of American History, Vol. 81, No. 3 (Lincoln, Neb., 1994), pp. 1396-1398
  3. ^ Snowden, Edward J., 1983-. Permanent record (First ed.). New York. ISBN 9781250237231. OCLC 1114558657.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)