|Wedgwood saucer commemorating|
the Mayflower 350th anniversary
in 1970, inherited from my
Note to my family members: The Woodruff line of my family does not have any Mayflower connections that I’ve been able to discern, and given that I have traced the Woodruff line back to the days of the Pilgrims, it is unlikely that one will emerge. The Mayflower descent outlined below is through my mother’s family, so it applies to my mother, my brother, his son, our maternal first cousins, my mother’s maternal first cousins (full and half-cousins), and me (and many other extended family members too).
About the Mayflower Crossing
The Atlantic crossing was originally intended to consist of two ships, the Mayflower and the Speedwell. The Mayflower had been purchased in England and the Speedwell in Leiden, Holland, and the two ships met up in Southampton, England to commence their journey. The Mayflower originally had 91 passengers plus crew from England and the smaller Speedwell had 31 passengers, English religious separatists who had settled in Leiden during the preceding twelve years, plus crew.
|Mayflower II, a sea-worthy replica ready for launch |
in 2019 after the 63 year old ship was completely
refurbished at Mystic Seaport
During the winter, when a contagious disease spread through the ship, many of the settlers and crew died, leaving only 53 Pilgrims and about half the original crew. The passengers lived on board the ship through the winter, building their colony and supplementing their provisions until they were finally able to disembark and take up residence on March 21, 1621, more than seven months after they had originally departed Southampton. The Mayflower then set sail on April 5, 1621 to return to England. The ship made excellent time due to favorable winds, arriving just a month later on May 6, 1621, and the Mayflower captain, Christopher Jones, reported the colony’s new location, no longer the mouth of the Hudson.
|Cushman family monument at the |
Burial Ground in Plymouth, MA
The Fortune started a return journey to England with a valuable cargo to trade on behalf of the colony, but was taken by the French, who commandeered the goods, finally allowing the ship to return, with crew and passengers but no cargo, to London. Robert Cushman had returned on Fortune, leaving his son behind, in the care of William Bradford, governor of the colony. Robert died in England in 1625 without making a return journey.
Disproving an Accepted Mayflower Connection