Saturday, 30 July 2016

Our immigrant ancestors -- Governor Thomas Mayhew

A few years ago, a wonderful fellow Mayflower descendant clued me into an incredible little book originally published in 1942 that lists alphabetically, with very brief biographical sketches, the names of 2,500 of the earliest immigrants to America. I periodically go through Immigrant Ancestors: a list of 2500 immigrants to America before 1750 when on one of my all too often research binges, and at last count, I have 26 direct ancestors listed in it.

Yes, these are immigrants to America, but as I've noted, I have many ancestral links to New England, including Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard, Connecticut and New Hampshire. In fact, at one point very early on, one of my ancestors, Governor Thomas Mayhew (1593-1682), held the land titles to Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket. He received the original land grants in the 1640s.

Thomas is my 9th great grandfather. He arrived at Plymouth Colony as part of the Great Migration of Puritans in 1631/32 from the Southampton area, where he was a merchant. He was born in Wiltshire. Read what is said about him in Immigrant Ancestors (l). Yes, there's a discrepancy in the dates given in that 1942 publication, but as more and more confirmed, sourced documentation has come to light, this is common.

The never ending story continues....

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