Written by Amy Johnson Crow’s Challenge 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks
Week 7: Love Valentine’s Day was this last week, but that doesn’t mean you have to focus on romantic love. Besides the ancestral love stories, you could share an ancestor who you love to research. Are there any “love” names in the family tree, like Lovie or Valentine? (Come to think of it, “Amy” is based in Latin meaning “beloved”… )
This weeks’ challenge leads me to share my love for my possible Mayflower ancestry or what I hope to be my Mayflower connection through my mother’s side. Her branch is where I find myself most of the time. I have a lot of early settlers in my tree and I find myself just amazed by each and every one of them.
In 1620, a brave group of 102 men, women and children sailed across the Atlantic on the Mayflower, searching for a life of religious and civic freedom. They arrived as winter was settling in and endured significant hardships as they struggled to establish a successful colony at Plymouth. Forty-five people died after that first winter.
Francis Eaton b. 11 SEP 1596 in St. Thomas, England and John Billington b. 01 Jan 1576 in Spaulding, England are perhaps my 10th Great Grandfathers. They are recorded as passengers on the Mayflower 1620. I say “Perhaps” because I am in the process of gathering actual documentation that proves this to be fact.
Francis took up the profession of house carpenter. He married his first wife, Sarah, around 1618. They had their first child Samuel in late 1619 or early 1620, my 9th Great Grandfather. Sarah died the first winter at Plymouth. Francis then remarried to Dorothy, the maidservant of John Carver, sometime before 1623. In the 1623, Division of Land at Plymouth, Francis Eaton received four shares: one for himself, one for his deceased first wife Sarah, one for Samuel, and one for his current wife Dorothy, all of whom came on the Mayflower.
Francis Eaton died in 1633, dying of a disease that spread through Plymouth that autumn. Francis Eaton’s estate included one cow and a calf, two hogs, fifty bushels of corn, a black suit, a white hat and a black hat, boots, saws, hammers, an adze, square, augers, a chisel, boards, fishing lead, and some kitchen items.
John Billington was married to Eleanor Bradford. It is their daughter Martha Billington that marries Samuel Eaton. John Billington was found guilt of murder in 1630 and was executed. This was the first execution in Plymouth Colony.
My history stays in Massachusetts and Connecticut for several generations until I get to my 6th great grandmother, Mary Hurd, and her husband, Obediah Obed Benjamin. They moved from Connecticut to Nova Scotia, Canada around 1760. From here the Family lines stay in Nova Scotia until 1889, when they move back to Massachusetts. Another interesting story for another day.
- Title History and genealogy of the Mayflower planters and first comers to ye olde colonie Author Ancestry.com Publisher Ancestry.com Operations Inc Publisher Date 2005
- Title Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England, 1620-33 Author Robert Charles AndersonP ublisherAncestry.com Operations Inc Publisher Date 2000
- Title American Annals Author Ancestry.com Publisher Ancestry.com Operations Inc Publisher Date 2002
My Parents were on a site seeing tour back in 2014. Back then I did not have have this information. I wish I would’ve. My mom passed away in 2017. I never got a chance to share this with her.
How neat would that be to stand next to this rock, knowing you’re in the same spot your great grandparents once stood.