The Mayflower

In the days surrounding Thanksgiving some people start talking about what they are thankful for.  Others (mostly school kids) start talking about the Pilgrims.  The main topic is that the Pilgrims built the Mayflower and left England to escape religious persecution.  They arrived in the New World, stepped off onto Plymouth Rock and befriended the Indians with whom they had the first Thanksgiving.  A quick Google search can give you a much better idea what really went on.  (You didn’t really think I was going to do all that research and make a report did you?)

Anyways…when I was a kid, one of my relatives, I think it was my mom’s cousin, was into genealogy.  She was working on her own line, when she made the amazing discovery that we were descendants of one of the Mayflower passengers.  (Sadly, she wasn’t a descendent) I have known this and accepted it as true from a young age.  It’s never really been a big deal to me.  (Although sometimes it’s fun to have bragging rights) 

Then one Thanksgiving when our whole family was gathered (this was probably 15 years ago or so) my cousin and I were chatting about our heritage and the story of the Mayflower.  He was doubtful that it was really true.  He thought that it was something like all the people that claim to be reincarnated from Cleopatra or Plato or some such.  Nobody claims to be reincarnated from Leo the baker, it’s always someone famous.  My cousin figured our line came over to to the New World on some little no name dingy or some such and just thought it sounded better to say they arrived on the Mayflower.  

When I reminded him that everything was carefully documented he just brushed it off.  I was finally exasperated with him (Hey! My bragging rights were at stake here!) and came up with the perfect reason this had to be true.  (You know, other than all that research that proved it in the first place)

I suggested that if it was all made up, then our ancestor would be someone like the esteemed Myles Standish, Stephen Hopkins or William Bradford.  But our ancestor was none other than the indentured servant Edward Doty.  His main claim to fame seems to be that he was the first member of the new civilization to be thrown into the stocks for fighting.  Not exactly something everyone is proud of.  It was kinda hard for my cousin to argue with that. 

Sigh…I guess that might explain a few things…

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!!!! 

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13 Responses to The Mayflower

  1. Jay says:

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and your familty too.

    I don’t know, that’s still a pretty cool story about being a decendent of some who came over on the Mayflower. Even if it was a hooligan. haha

    Hey, on my dad’s side of the family there are mostly outlaws and indians so I can relate.

  2. Peggy says:

    Happy Thanksgiving to our own Mayflower Madame!!! I envy all your turkey sandwiches later on in the week!

  3. mjd says:

    Happy Thanksgiving,
    My family always claimed that we were descendents of Ethan Allen, which would fit some of my clan, swearing at the British in such a way that the redcoats had to surrender. However, we have not found evidence of the cussing relative in our genelogical research.

    That is a good story about your ancestor; it is fun to know who was here before us.

  4. Kell says:

    Happy Thanksgiving to you guys! And you should keep your bragging rights. I would!

  5. gawilli says:

    Great story! Hope your thanksgiving is the best!

  6. Susan says:

    I can be a hooligan named the Mayflower Madame!

    MJD, I hesitate to show my woeful retention of history, but I had to look him up as all I could think of was furiture!

    I hope you all had a wonderful holiday as well!

  7. oddmix says:

    I am descended from John Alden and Priscilla Mullen. Stay out of those stocks.

  8. Newt says:

    The hubsters family also descends from the Mayflower folks. I don’t know the name of the family then though. I’ll have to check with the mum in law. For me it’s cowboys and fiesty Italians in the family history.

  9. Chelle P. says:

    I haven’t a clue where my family is from so it’s pretty neat you’ve got this story to tell. My maiden name is untraceable more than 2 or 3 generations back and my Mom’s maiden name is so bloody common, we’d never figure it out!

    I’m thinking the “Mayflower Madame” would be a great Hallowe’en costume. 🙂

    Great story and I hope your Thanksgiving was grand!

  10. Tink says:

    My great-great-grandfather on my Mom’s side was a drummer boy in the war…

    My great-great-grandfather on my Dad’s side thought he was in the mafia.

    I’m SCARED to know any more. 🙂

    Hope your holiday went well.

  11. Coffespaz says:

    That is a terrific story!! I love the fact that some families are still able to follow the heritage line that far back. My family history is so shrouded in mystery and secrecy that I am not sure I want to know anything. Though we have been able to find out that some members of my mother’s family were very good in business, even going as far as owning a peice of an old gold mine out west somewhere. Family history is very intriguing, I really think it has a part of molding who we are today.

    Hope you had a wonderful holiday and got to use your bragging rights again! 🙂

  12. Susan says:

    There are actually a few million people decended from the Mayflower. But…mine was the first in the stocks…except for that other guy he was fighting with,but let’s not worry about him!

    Tink…why does that not surprise me?

  13. Susan says:

    I am also a relative of Edward Doty…guess we’re related.

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