Sept. 16, 1620 - Into the Unknown - 396 Years Ago

mayflowerThe Mayflower ship departed from England, bound for America with 102 passengers and a small crew of 30. The ship weathered dangerous Atlantic storms for 65 days and reached Cape Cod peninsula on November 21st. While still on the Mayflower ship, 41 men agreed to join together in a “civil body politic.” This document, Mayflower Compact, would become the foundation of the new colony’s government. Most of the Pilgrims and other passengers disembarked at Plymouth on December 26th for a very uncertain future in this new Plymouth Colony.

The ship that carried these 102 passengers was a merchant ship that carried barrels of wine and dry goods to different European ports. Originally, there was another ship that was also to make the trip with about half of those 102 passengers. Both had left England together on August 8, 1620. It was the Speedwell, but unfortunately, it began to leak right after leaving port. So now supplies and passengers all were together on the one ship, the Mayflower for the voyage and getting a late start.

The seas were very rough crossing the Atlantic. The trip of 2,750 miles was described as horribly unpleasant. Many of the passengers were so seasick they could scarcely get up, and the waves were so rough that one seaman, John Howland, was swept overboard but rescued by hanging onto a rope and pulled on board by a boat-hook. There was no place on this crowded ship to bath, so the smells were very bad. Plus they all stayed in one big below deck, no private cabins for anyone. The area was mostly cold and damp.

Being at sea for two months their food was what they brought with them, mostly dried meat and fish, grains and flour, dried fruit, cheese, and hard biscuits. When the weather was OK, they could have a fire on the top deck to cook. During storms at sea that was not possible. The main liquid to drink was ale (a form of beer) because it would keep.

PassengersThere were 18 married adult women on board. During the trip a child was born and he was named Oceanus Hopkins and his mother was Elizabeth Hopkins. After arrival at Plymouth Harbor, Peregrine White was the first child born, the son of William and Susanna White. One passenger died while on the voyage, William Butten, a young servant to Samuel Fuller.

To learn about each of these Mayflower travelers, click on the link to see a list and then you can click on each of those links to learn details about each individual. You just might have a distance ancestor in the group.  mayflower List

Illustations: Mayflower ship, passengers on shore and passenger list.

Related genealogy blogs:

Find Mayflower Ancestors

Beer for the Pilgrims

Searching for Pilgrim Ancestors

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