Thursday, November 27, 2008
Our Plymouth Forefathers
Recently, I came across a surprising connection to the Mayflower Pilgrims. Surprising since I've been collecting family group sheets since 1970 and this is the first I had heard of it. Judah Bowerman (1723) is the grandfather of Alpheus Gifford (1793). His mother had been listed as Jane Harby (with no further links). Using the internet, however the mother seems to be Jane Clefton as the wife of Thomas Bowerman. That marriage is still a little iffy in my documentation but if she holds up as Judah's mother, then the connection extends back to William Brewster as our 11th Great Grandfather. This picture is a painting of him in the US Capitol. (On the male side of the Bowerman line, we connect back to Anthony Annable who came to Plymouth on the third wave that landed in 1623 via the ship 'Anne'). So regardless we have connections to the Pilgrims in Plymouth.
While there are many things that can be said about the settlement in the new world, the thing that struck me most was the account of their escape from England to Holland that took place in about 1608. Google Books has a digitized copy of 'Our Plymouth Forefathers' and chapter 2 mentions William Brewster and describes the religious and political situation leading to their desire to leave England. I found the escape attempts very exciting and hope you'll enjoy the link, especially at this time of Thanksgiving. Let's appreciate what our forefathers endured to create the society we now enjoy.