The printers at the time made quite a stir with King James I when they published the "Perth Assembly," which was critical of him. It was so controversial that King James sent agents to capture William Brewster, who had to flee to England to avoid them.
He would board the Mayflower with the rest of the Pilgrims. While many on board were Separatists, and despite Soule being apprenticed to a Pilgrim, he seemed to be more of a Stranger who wanted to go to the New World for adventure.
After arriving in Plymouth, the Pilgrims endured a hard winter that killed half of those who came with them. George Soule survived the winter and, in 1623, was given an acre of land. He married his wife three years later; she had also been given an acre of land in 1623.
George did well in the colony and became an influential person. As early as July 1627, George Soule was one of a group of 58 "Purchasers or Old Comers" who assumed Plymouth Colony's debt to "The Adventurers," the promoters and capitalists who financed the voyage of the Mayflower and other early ventures and expenses of the colony.
In return, the group received profitable trading concessions in Maine, at Cape Ann, on Buzzard's Bay, and subsequently on the Connecticut River. The General Court voted on March 5, 1639/40, to pay these "Purchasers or Old Comers" for the surrender of their patent.
Land records show that he acquired extensive holdings in Duxbury, Dartmouth, Middleboro, Marshfield, and Bridgewater but resided only in Plymouth and Duxbury.
He would serve in multiple offices within the colony. This included
- Deputy to the Plymouth Colony Court
- Grand Jury
- Petit Jury
- Committee to draw an order concerning the disorderly drinking of tobacco
- Many other committees and offices throughout his lifetime.
His wealth accrued, and at the end of his life, he deeded much of it to his children upon his death.
George Soule was born to unknown parents, but the best guess is that they were Jan and Maekan Solid from Amsterdam. They were most likely Protestant refugees who fled England due to the persecution. This is the best guess, and there is ongoing research and DNA studies still trying to verify his origins.
Soule married Mary Bucket. She was not a passenger on the Mayflower but instead came 3 years later to Plymouth on the Anne. She met and married George in 1626, and the two had an excellent marriage from all accounts.
The couple's children all lived to adulthood, which was rare in the colony. Some, like John Howland, managed that feat. The number of children and the number of grandchildren they had set the foundation for many descendants who can trace their ancestry to the Soule Family.
Family Tree Chart
Parents: The names of the parents are somewhat disputed. Listed below is the best guess of who they may have been.
Jan Solis (1560 - ???)
Maeken Solis (1565 - ???)
Mary Bucket (1605 - 1676)
Zachariah Soule (1627 - 1663) - He married but did not have any known children.
John Soule (1632 - 1707) - He was the sole executor of his father's estate and served as a surveyor. He and his wife had 12 children.
Nathaniel Soule (1637 - 1699) - He is believed to have committed adultery with a Native American woman, and the two had a child who died in 1674. He and his wife would have four children. All living into adulthood.
George Soule Jr. (1639 - 1704) - George was a seaman and had some influence within the colony. He and his wife had 8 children.
Susannah Soule (1642 - ???) - She married and had 9 children with her husband Francis West. She moved from Plymouth shortly before King Philip's War.
Mary Soule (1644 - 1718) - She and her husband had 9 children. It is unclear when she actually died. She was listed in her husband's will in 1718, but there is no record of her afterward.
Elizabeth Soule (1646 - ???) - She was fined twice for fornication but eventually married Francis Walker. The two had 1 son before she died.
Patience Soule (1648 - 1706) - She was the only daughter who received property in her father's will. She married and had 8 children.
Benjamin Soule (1651 - 1676) - He was killed during King Philip's War when Metacomet attacked Plymouth.
Last Will and Testament
This was written in the 17th century and contains Old English
In the Name of God, Amen
I Gorge Soule senir of Duxberry in the Collonie of New Plymouth in New England being aged and weake of body but of a sound mind and Memory praised be God Doe make this my last Will and Testament in Manor and forme following Imprimis I comitt my soule into the hands of Almighty God whoe Gave it and my body to be Decently buried in the place appointed for that use whensoever hee shall please to take mee hence and for the Disposall of my outward estate which God of his Goodnes hath Given mee first I have and alreddy formerly by Deeds under my hand and seale Given unto my two sonnes Nathaniel: and Gorge All my lands in the Township of Dartmouth; Item I have formerly Given unto my Daughters Elizabeth and Patience all my lands in the Township of Middleberry Item I Give and bequeath unto my Daughters Sussannah and Mary twelve pence a peece to be payed by my executer heerafter Named after my Decease; And forasmuch as my Eldest son John Soule and his family hath in my extreame old age and weaknes bin tender and carefull of mee and very healpfull to mee; and is likely soe to be while it shall please God to continew my life heer therfore I give and bequeath unto my said son John Soule all the Remainder of my housing and lands whatsoever to him his heires and Assignes for ever Item I Give and bequeath unto my son John Soule all my Goods And Chattles whatsoever Item I Nominate And appoint my son John Soule to be my sole Executor of this my last Will and Testament; and lastly I Doe heerby make Null and voyde all other and former wills and Testaments by mee att Any time made; and Declare this Instrument to be my last Will and Testament In Witnes wherof I the said Gorge Soule have heerunto sett my hand and seale this eleventh Day of August in the year of our Lord one Thousand six hundred seaventy and seven;
The above Named Gorge Soule Did signe seale and Deliver this Instrument to be his Last Will and Testament in the prsence of us Nathaniell Thomas
The Marke D T of Deborah ThomasItem the twentyeth Day of September 1677 I the above Named Gorge Soule Doe heerby further Declare that it is my will that if my son John Soule above named or his heires or Assignes or any of them shall att any time Disturbe my Daughter Patience or her heires or Assignes or any of them in peacable Posession or Injoyment of the lands I have Given her att Namassakett allies Middleberry and Recover the same from her or her heires or Assignes or any of them That then my Gift to my son John Soule shall shalbe voyd; and that then my will is my Daughter Patience shall have all my lands att Duxburrey And she shalbe my sole executrix of this my last Will and Testament And enter into my housing lands and meddowes att Duxburrow, In Witnes wherof I have heerunto sett my hande and seale;
The above Named George Soule Did Signe and seale to this addition in the prsence of us Nathaniel Thomas
The Marke D T of Deborah Thomas