Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy 391st Thanksgiving, Pilgrims (1620)!

(Thanksgiving did not become an official holiday until 1863)

our family at First Feast
We have eight Pilgrim ancestors who sailed on the Mayflower: seven through Wealthea Bradford Hatch's ancestry (William Bradford, William, Mary, and Love Brewster, Stephen and Elizabeth Hopkins, and Francis Cooke), and one through Asa Calkin's line (Myles Standish).
chart showing who survived the first winter
gray silhouettes on bottom half died before

We feel a great love and admiration for these folks: nonconformists, brave rebels, adventuresome souls, risking life and leaving family behind to seek the unknown, and finding hardship and unsought fame.  The Brewsters were religious leaders, Bradford was a governor, Standish a nonreligious, fiery-tempered soldier. Hopkins was a seafaring adventurer who'd already survived a shipwreck in Bermuda. Francis Cooke was a woolcomber whose family joined him later--a wide variety of pilgrims and we're happy to claim them all!

With their religious interest in the Hebrew Bible, the Pilgrims modeled their Thanksgiving harvest festival after the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles, or Sukkot. They were grateful for a promised land and safe harbor there.  
Plimoth plantation

Mayflower 2

the famous rock

Plymouth Cemetery

Bradford's headstone

view to the sea

plaque honoring Pilgrims in Amsterdam
on the church they attended there for a time

 I'm so grateful for family.
Happy Thanksgiving!


  1. Those pilgrims were really incredible people.
    I'm grateful for the love of genealogy you share with us. And I'm grateful to know that I have so many cool ancestors!

  2. Happy Thankgiving! Thanks for posting the story of your Mayflower ancestors! I have included your posts at the compendium at this link