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By Joan Reed Miller

Date of birth: c. 1584, location perhaps Isle of Man
Baptized: unknown
Marriage 1: Rose (maiden name unknown). died 29 Jan 1620/21
No children
Marriage 2: Barbara (maiden name unknown). died after 6 Oct 1659
Children: Seven (7)
1. Charles b. circa 1624
2. Alexander b. circa 1626, married (1) Sarah Alden
                                             married (2) Desire Doty, Sherman, Holmes
3. John b. before 22 May 1627
4. Myles b. circa 1629, married Sarah Winslow
5. Lora b. after 22 May 1627
6. Josiah b. circa 1633, married (1) Mary Dingley
                                                    (2) Sarah Allen
7. Charles b. after 1634
Death: 3 Oct 1656 Duxbury, MA
Burial Site: Standish Cemetery, Duxbury, MA

 

A possible portrait of Myles Standish by an unknown artist.

  • Myles Standish was probably born on the Isle of Man or at least his ancestors lived there. Based on the claim in his will to various lands, there is much recent (1997) on his ancestry. These lands belonged to the Standish family living on the Isle of Man.
  • He was first elected treasurer in 1644 and was frequently elected to that office up to 1655. On 3 May 1653 he was appointed Governor in the absence of the Governor.
  • He was one of the first to settle in that part of Plymouth Colony that was to become Duxbury and lived there the rest of his life.
  • Captain Myles Standish and his wife, Rose came on the Mayflower. His second wife Barbara came over in 1623 on the Anne.
  • In the 1623 Division of Land, Capt. Myles Standish received 2 acres and Mrs. Standish received one acre. This proves he had married Barbara by this time.
  • In the 1627 Division of Cattle Capt. Standish is listed with wife Barbara and children Charles, Alexander and John.
  • On 2 July 1638 Captain Myles Standish was granted 300 acres of uplands.
  • Myles Standish is listed as Capt. Standish in the 1643 list of Duxbury men 16-60 able to bear arms. This implies he was born after Aug 1583. Son Alexander, is also in the same list.
  • On 9 May 1654 Capt. Myles Standish sold to Capt. Thomas Willett his purchaser's right at Sowansett, Mattapoisett and places adjacent. Mrs. Barbara Standish consented to the deed.
  • The inventory of Elizabeth Hopkins dated 6 Oct 1659 mentions "a matter in Mrs. Standishes hand." This is the last known reference to Barbara.
  • The will of Captain Myles Standish Sr. of Dusburrow, dated 7 March 1655/6, proved 4 May 1657, mentions dau. Lora Standish, deceased; Mary Standish "my Daughter in Law' deceased; wife Barbara Standish; son Josias Standish "upon his marriage'; sons Alexander, Myles, Josias and Charles Standish' Mercye Robinson; servant John Irish Jr.
  • In 1890, Rev. Eugene J.V. Huiginn came to Duxbury, MA as a new minister of the local Episcopal Church. He was an avid antiquarian and fascinated by Pilgrim History. Because Huiginn felt a prior exhumation in 1889 had not adequately investigated a site where Captain Myles Standish was buried, he obtained permission from the Town of Duxbury to open the graves again and, on April 25 and May 12, 1891, Huiginn and a small team excavated two different portions of the purported Standish burial plot. The graves of four individuals were uncovered. That of an elderly mad alleged to be Myles Standish, two adult women alleged to be Lora Standish (Standish's daughter) and Mary Dingley Standish (Standish's daughter-in-law), and one of Standish's two sons (Charles or John) who had died young. A Physician, Dr. Wilfred G. Brown of Duxbury was present and was able to identify the gender and age at death of the subjects, consistent with the historical death records of the above mentioned members of the Standish family. Standish, in his will requested to be buried between his daughter and daughter-in-law. Rather conclusive evidence.
  • Huiginn led an effort to have a substantial memorial placed over the Standish family plot. Constructed in 1893, the memorial is built around the two small pyramidal stones which originally marked the plot and consists of a castellated stone was with cannons mounted on each corner. Three large boulders beare the names of Myles Standish, Lora Standish and Mary Dingley Standish. The cannons, dating to 1853, were purchased from the Boston Navy Yard.
  • Standish's remains were placed in a copper box, which in turn was placed in a cement chamber beneath the memorial. A copper tube containing time capsule material was also placed within the chamber.

 

REFERENCES
General Society of Mayflower Descendants
Huiginn, Eugene J. Vincent. The Graves of Myles Standish and Other Pilgrims (1891)
Mayflower Families Through five Generations (Silver Books)
Brown, Patrick T.J. and Forgit, Norman R. Duxbury...Past and Present. Duxbuty Rural and Historical Society (2009)
Archaeological Dig a Great Success, The Lamplighter: The Newsletter of the Duxbury Rural and Historical Society.