Dorothy, John Carver's maidservant

William Bradford, in his passenger list of the Mayflower, simply enumerated that John Carver's household included a "maidservant," but her name was not stated.  Bradford later commented that Carver's maidservant "married, and died a year or two after here in this place."  Whom she had married was not stated by Bradford either.

Identifying anything further about John Carver's maidservant has required piecing together a complex puzzle.  The first piece of the puzzle is the 1623 Division of Land, in which Francis Eaton received four acres, when he should have only been entitled to three acres (one for himself, one for his wife Sarah, and one for his son Samuel.)  Looking at William Bradford's commentary on Francis Eaton, he states that "Francis Eaton his first wife died in the general sickness; and he married again, and his 2 wife died, and he married the 3 and had by her 3 children."  His third wife was Christian Penn, whom he married about 1626.  In order for Francis Eaton to have been entitled to four acres of land, his second wife had to have been a Mayflower passenger.  And the only known woman on the Mayflower whose marriage cannot be accounted for is John Carver's maidservant.  Therefore, Francis Eaton must have married John Carver's maidservant.  The final piece of the puzzle comes from a 1626 apprenticeship record from Bristol, England, which mentions Francis Eaton, carpenter in New England, and his wife Dorothy.  Since his first wife's name was Sarah, and his third wife's name was Christian, this record provides the name of his second wife, and thus the name of John Carver's maidservant.