Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Pilgrims and Midge

The Hostess by midgefrazel
The Hostess, a photo by midgefrazel on Flickr.
This is a photo taken of me (by my daughter) on Thanksgiving Day, 2006 in my Bridgewater home.

Family history often precedes knowing and proving you are a descendant of those who came early to New England. Many of mine came later than the Mayflower. My paternal grandparents came here from Scotland. We are all immigrants.

My maternal grandparents lived a short distance from the house I grew up in. I know that my mother [my parents] did not grow up in that house as my grandparents bought that house after she graduated from high school. It was a beautiful English Tudor style home which still stands. I spent all my early years at Thanksgiving and Christmas there. [Collage of Houses]

One Thanksgiving, before 1955, my grandparents raised their glasses and toasted to their Mayflower ancestors. As the only child in my family, I was used to the weird grownup conversation but this was something else. "Pilgrims?", I said. "Which ones?" I'd just had that in school. The fact that both grandparents knew their families had them, freaked me out. But, they didn't know which ones. Dinner went on. I remembered.

The winter after my grandfather died, my grandmother showed his family Bible. That's when I became a genealogist. But still, no Pilgrims.

In April of 2004, I bought a $125 book, The History of Stonington, Connecticut, by Judge Richard Anson Wheeler. It was the best money I have spent yet. It may not be perfect but the way it is written helped me piece my grandfather's ancestors together.

On page 340 in the Denison family section, it lists George Denison, grandson of Capt. George as marrying "Mercy Gorham, daughter of Jphn Gorham and wife Desire Howland, daughter of John Howland of the May Flower (sic)."  So, I am a Howland.

On page 515 in the Palmer family section, it lists "Thomas Palmer marrying Mrs. Priscilla Chesebrough, daughter of Samuel Chesebrough and wife, Priscilla Alden, and granddaughter of  Daid Alden and wife Mary Southworth of Duxbury, Plymouth Colony, and great-grandaughter of John Alden and Priscilla Mullins of Mayflower fame." So, I am an Alden.

Proving this took a lot of time but at least I had a start.

1 comment:

Carol P. said...

Neat story, Midge, of toasting the ancestors, but no one knowing exactly who they were...

Happy Thanksgiving!