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!!!!