Thursday, March 31, 2011

Happy 418th Birthday, Gov. Thomas Mayhew (1593-1682)!

Gawain's many-greats-grandfather

Thomas Mayhew is an ancestor on the Tupper line, and he was famous for being the first governor of Martha's Vineyard.  He sailed from England in 1631, only a few years after the Pilgrims.  He made at least two Atlantic crossings, and sadly his only son drowned at age 36 when he was on a ship voyage to England and the ship was lost at sea.  

What I find fascinating is the family's legacy of the "Missionary Mayhews."  The son who drowned, Thomas Jr, had been an amazing preacher to the local Indians. He had established Indian churches and schools, and after his death, his father, 60 year old Governor Mayhew, changed his life's focus.  Instead of being concerned with administrative and social affairs as in the past, he spent the next 25 years preaching and walking long distances to native camps to carry on his son's legacy.  This missionary effort has been lauded by historians.  You can read more about his life here.

I think he would love to have his descendants have a reunion at Martha's Vineyard sometime!

1 comment:

  1. I'd give him a car so that he didn't have to walk all that way.