Saturday, April 9, 2011

I Have an Ancestor Who Came Over on the Mayflower

This evening, Sweetie and I were watching Who Do You Think You Are.  In this episode Ashley Judd is researching her ancestors.  She follows her family into New England and eventually traces them to the Plymouth Colony and to one William Brewster who came over on the Mayflower.  It was pretty exciting because she learned a lot about William's story, the religious persecution he suffered and his imprisonment in England before being able to leave for America.

I began to wonder if any of my fairly recently discovered New England lines might trace back to the same voyage.  Statistically it is not that much of stretch to be among the descendants of those few.  Each generation is currently adding thousands to their descendants.  I remember taking a genealogy class at BYU where the professor explained that it is a statistical impossibility, for example, that anyone out of Europe was not a descendant of Charlemagne.  Each generation results in myriad more families marrying into his lines.  With that notion in mind, I suspected that such might also be the case with the Plymouth Colony.

I went to and clicked on my own family tree.  Knowing which lines go into New England I began to examine each seeking those that lead, first, into Massachusetts.  In moments I found some and not only did a line lead back to the Plymouth Colony but actually lead to the very same William Brewster!
What a thrill to be sitting here watching my very distant cousin Ashley Judd walk into the very jail cell in which Brewster and William Bradford had been incarcerated.

It is one thing to know their names, but to see their places and hear their stories, is my favorite part of Family History.

For those of you who are related to me, here's how it goes:

      William Brewster came to Plymouth, Massachusetts on the Mayflower in 1620.  His son
      Jonathan Brewster, 1593-1659, presumably came with him.  He is buried in New London, CT (that's
                                                        info for you Steve).  His daughter
      Mary Brewster, 1627-1645, died in Plymouth, MA.  Her son
      Ezekiel Turner, 1650-1703, died in New London, CT.  His daughter
      Lucretia Turner, 1698-1756, also died in New London , CT.  Her son
      William Calkins, 1724-1762, died in New London, CT.  His daughter
      Temperence Calkins, 1758-1785, died in Brome, Quebec (I think).  her son
      Stephen Scoville, 1783-1869, died in Scugog, Ontario.  His son
      Oliver T. H. Scoville, 1824-1894, is buried in Unionville, MI.  He was a Civil War Vet.  His daughter
      Amaressa Scoville, 1844-1872, she is buried next to her parents in Unionville, MI.  Her daughter
      Mary Elizabeth Beattie, 1875-1904, she is buried in Afton, WY.  Her daughter
      Hazel Beattie Brown Dabel, 1897-1968, she is buried in Freedom, WY.  Her son
      Winslow B. Weber, 1922-1999 is also buried in Freedom, WY.  His son is

Now, as I traced this back to me I found a few date mistakes and find myself a bit skeptical the Ezekiel Scoville, husband of Temperence Calkins is actually Stephen Scoville's father.  I've been trying to decide a family to work on for the Family History Class I'm currently taking and think I now have my answer.  I need to be sure of the parentage of Stephen Scoville.  Pretty fun project.  I've been to Stephen's grave on Scugog Island in Ontario and am very anxious to confirm that the pedigree in Family Search is correct.

I don't mean to single out this particular ancestor.  I'm sure William Brewster is someone to be pleased to have in my family tree.  But there are thousands, some famous, most not, who mean just as much to me.  I love them and love discovering their stories, leaning of their courage, faith, faults and trials.  It's such a wonderful time to be alive.  A time when I can sit in front of the TV and watch such inspiring stories come alive, while holding my computer on my lap and searching records from the past, right here in the comfort of my own home.  Contrasting that with my stroll down the street in the recreated Plymouth Colony, and my visit aboard the tiny ship that carried my ancestors across a raging sea, I count myself truly blessed that they sacrificed so much so I could enjoy this - in complete freedom!

1 comment:

Cindi said...

well, how cool is that!

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