Thursday, November 27, 2014

Saluting Those Ancestors who were part of the First Thanksgiving

Dear Grandparents,
     Pausing to give thanks is a bit easier for me today. We're not having our Thanksgiving meal until Saturday when my sister Peg and her husband Hugh can join us. So I have a bit more time than if I were cooking today. That time has allowed me to think of those of you who were involved with the first Thanksgiving.
     When asked about my Mayflower ancestors, I usually name four: William Bradford, William Brewster, Edward Doty and Stephen Hopkins. That is really unfair to the other family members who traveled on the Mayflower.
      William Brewster's wife Mary and two of their children, Love and Wrestling, also made the voyage on the Mayflower. She was about 51 when she made the trip and lived another seven years.
I am descended from two of their children, but not Love and Wrestling. My 9th great-grandfather Jonathan arrived in Plymouth 9 November 1621 in "Fortune" while my 10th great-grandmother Patience arrived 10 July 1623 in "Ann" with her sister Fear. All were William and Mary's children left behind in Leiden for the Mayflower voyage.
     Stephen Hopkins was also accompanied on the Mayflower by his wife and several children. I am descended from his son Giles, by his first wife. Stephen and second wife Elizabeth Fisher Hopkins had a son Oceanus born during the voyage.
     William Bradford's wife Dorothy May traveled with him. They had been married 17 December 1613 in Amsterdam. While William was on an exploratory mission ashore, Dorothy slipped on the icy deck of the Mayflower and fell into the frigid waters of Plymouth Harbor. The date was 7 December 1620, just 10 days short of their 7th wedding anniversary.
Provincetown, MA memorial to Pilgrims who died at sea
or on board the Mayflower in Cap Cod Harbor Nov./Dec. 1620
So I would be more correct in stating that I have seven ancestors who arrived in Plymouth on the Mayflower. I promise, I will not slight you again. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!