The ship that carried passengers from Plymouth, England to the New World (what would be later named Plymouth Rock in Massachusetts was call ‘The Mayflower‘. There were 102 passengers and a crew of thirty. Of that group of passengers; there were seventy-three males and twenty-nine females. There were included in the company nineteen male servants and three female servants, along with some sailors and craftsmen hired for short-term service to the colony. The ship traveled in the Fall of 1620 to the New World for a very rough journey of two months. Two passengers died in route. The ship returned to England in April of 1621.
Life in this new land was very difficult for the new settlers, the Pilgrims. That first winter nearly half of the passengers who had landed on the Cape Cod region of Massachusetts died from the harsh weather and environment.
The number of descendants from that original small group who settled there is enormous over the decades. There is a General Society of Mayflower Descendants, started in 1897, with a web site to assist those looking to see if there is a connection in their own family tree. Remember you could have an ancestor who was one of the servants or a craftsmen in the colony.
To assist view the list of surnames and see if you have seen any so far on your family tree. Here is a list of passengers, full names and where they came from before boarding the Mayflower. Also go back as far as you can, but start with the known relatives. It can be a difficult trace back but due to long time research done by earlier descendants of those Mayflower passengers, you just might find a connection.
Governor William Bradford wrote of the journey on the Mayflower, its passengers and life at Plymouth in those early years of the 1620s. A digitized copy of his journal is available online.
Photos: Mayflower, Passenger List from Gov. Bradford’s journal (State Library of Mass); and the Plymouth Colony.
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