The ancestry of Mary (Barrett) Dyer has evaded the efforts of many researchers and remains not only unproved, but it is clouded by a host of more or less equally vague possibilities. Consequently it has been the subject of much wishful thinking and romantic fabrication. The earliest certain record of Mary Dyer is that of her marriage to William Dyer at Saint Martin-in-the-Fields, Westminster, England, on Sunday, 27 October 1633. From that record we know that her maiden name was “Barrett.” We also know from later records and the evidence of her life that she was well-educated and “a person of no mean Extract and Parentage,” and “of an estate pretty plentiful.” It has also been surmised that her family was either from London or from the West Country.

For a survey of the proposed and/or explored ancestries of Mary Barrett, click on the Mary Barrett Ancestry tab.

A few years ago it was discovered that Mary Dyer had a brother, William Barrett, who died somewhere overseas, probably in late 1634. That narrows the search to a Barrett family that had siblings William and Mary, which sibling William was no longer alive after 1634, and which sibling Mary’s surname changes by marriage to “Dyer” after October 1633. See the A Brother Found tab for the article detailing this discovery.

Last, William Dyre’s own ancestry remains unproved and often misrepresented. See the William Dyre Ancestry tab for further discussion.