09 June 2010

Where is Captain John Alden buried?

Gravestones at Old South Church wall by rmason
Sometimes having a distinguished background doesn't count. Consider John Alden (1626-1702), a well-known and wealthy Boston ship captain and son of Mayflower pilgrims John Alden and his wife Priscilla Mullins. At the height of the witch hunt of 1692, the afflicted girls of Salem accused Captain Alden of witchcraft. He served 15 weeks in the Boston prison before escaping. After the rash of executions was over and accused witches were allowed to post bail and be released from jail, Alden surrendered.

Today, it's not known where his body was buried. In 1870, however, during excavations on Eliot Street, old bones and gravestones were found, including the stone that had marked John Alden’s grave. If you visit the Old South Church at 645 Boylston Street, you’ll find gravestones from three of the church founders—including John Alden’s—on the right side of the portico.

So, don’t give up on finding your relatives’ graves. You never know who will be unearthed next!

Have Alden Connections?

A family association, the Alden Kindred of America, owns the the Alden House Historic Site where Captain Alden grew up. The home is designated a National Historic Landmark and is open for tours Mid-May through Columbus Day. It is located at 105 Alden Street in Duxbury, Massachusetts.

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