Friday, October 20, 2017

Along the Pilgrim Trail ~ William Mullins of Dorking, Surrey, England

Along the Pilgrim Trail #6
Mullins descendants pose in front of the home of the Mullins family in Dorking, Surrey, England

Vincent and I recently took the General Society of Mayflower Descendants Historic Sites Tour of England, Wales and The Netherlands along with 41 other enthusiast participants (known as "The 43").  We traced the footsteps of the Separatists and the Mayflower passengers and crew all around these countries with some amazing tour directors, guides, historians and authors.  We were given access to places off the usual tourist trails, and behind the scenes.  We had a wonderful time, and I will be blogging about it over the next few weeks.

If you have been following this series you will see that some of the ancestral homes of the Pilgrims are quite interesting and open to the public, and some are churches which are not open all the time, and then again, some are private homes not open at all, or just ruins.  In Dorking, Surrey, England, we almost didn’t even stop.  Our tour director was planning on just driving the coach past this site, but when he spied a place to park the coach… plans changed!  All the Mullins descendants and most of the rest of the bus ran out to get photos.

Dorking is the home town of William Mullins (about 1572 – 1621), who was a Mayflower passenger and who also signed the Mayflower compact.  You may not know his story because he was one of the unfortunate passengers who died in the first cold winter in New England, along with his wife Alice and his son Joseph.  Fortunately, his daughter Priscilla survived, and later married John Alden.  The Aldens had eleven children, and  left many descendants, as you can see in the photo below!  Her father was the first to write a will, written by Governor John Carver and witnessed by Captain Christopher Jones of the Mayflower, and his ship surgeon Giles Healey. 

The Mullins family left two older children in England, Sarah (who married a Blunden) and William, possibly the children of William Mullins’ first wife.  It is unknown if these children left descendants.  The house in Dorking was quite large, because William Mullins was considered to be a prosperous man.  This building was sold in 1619 for 280 pounds, probably to liquidate his estate before his trip to the New World. According to some sources, he brought 300 pairs of shoes and boots on the Mayflower.   William Mullins’ will mentions his large inventory of shoes, and that he was from Dorking.

There is a "Mullins Coffee Shop" in this building now
Seen near the Mullins house!

Part 1 of this series "Babworth, Nottinghamshire":

Part 2 of this series “Scrooby Manor, Nottinghamshire, England


Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Along the Pilgrim Trail ~ William Mullins of Dorking,  Surrey, England”, Nutfield Genealogy, posted October 20, 2017, ( accessed [access date]).


  1. Heather, what a grand idea for a tour! Your post today caught my eye because I'm a Priscilla Mullins and John Alden descendant, too--hoping to complete my Mayflower application soon. How neat to see a photo of her father's home before the historic journey.

  2. William and Priscilla are two of my four descendants (Myles Standish and John Alden are the others). Great to see this! In fact, as I was starting my stint as managing director for Sunbeam in the U.K. and Ireland in 1979, I stayed for two months at the Burford Bridge Hotel, which is in Dorking! I even went to a pub in Dorking a number of times. All that time, not knowing that I was so near where my Mullins ancestors lived. Above my hotel was the Boxhill mountain, which provided a marvelous view of that whole area. It's great to have your photos and the information.