I haven't posted in a while because I have been sick on and off. During this time when I basically could only sit, I have been doing more work on my family tree. I find it to be a lot of fun. My grandfather, Burroughs Strickland, was an avid genealogist and I guess I get it from him.
My favorite show on TV is "Who Do You Think Your Are?" and this week's show was about Ashley Judd who found out that one of her great-grandfathers was William Brewster who came to America on the Mayflower. After watching the show, I naturally went to my family tree to work on it and got the shock of my life! I was checking through the Strickland line (my mother was Donna Strickland Rodden, Mayor of Albion, NY for 13 years) and the name Brewster caught my eye. Jonah Strickland (1714-1798) was married to Patience DeWolf (1722-1806). Patience DeWolf's parents were Matthew DeWolf and Patience BREWSTER. "Hmmm", I said to myself, excitedly, "Could she be related to the famous William?" So I worked on that branch of the family.
Patience Brewster's parents were William Brewster (1669 - 1728) and Patience Reed. The dates for this William and this Patience were all wrong to be the Mayflower Brewsters because the Mayflower voyage was in 1620, but I was still excited. I went on to find that the 1669 William's parents were Benjamin Brewster (1633-1710 ) and Ann Addis. Ok, still no link to the William in 1620. Benjamin's parents were Jonathan Brewster (1593 - 1650) and Lucretia Oldham. I am thinking now that the Brewster's in my family line is a different branch from Mayflower Brewster.
Undeterred, I keep hunting and found out that Jonathan Brewster's parents were William Brewster (1566-1644) and Mary Wentworth! All kinds of historical records started appearing, including "Signers of the Mayflower Compact", "Genealogies of the Mayflower families", and "The Mayflower Reader Record". Sure enough, William Brewster who came to America on the Mayflower is my 10th great grandfather. I was really shocked. I had just learned all about him on TV and I share him as an ancester with the actress, Ashley Judd! Jonathan did not come over with his father but joined the family in November 1621, arriving at Plymouth on the ship Fortune.
I had heard from my grandfather that a family member came over on the Mayflower, and now I know it is true. So a message to my sister - Your 10th great grandfather came over on the Mayflower. A note to my sons, nieces, and nephews - Your 11th great grandfather came over on the Mayflower. Phew, what an exciting day. If you missed this week's "Who do you think you" episode, go to Hulu and you can see it there for free.
Pictures: Elder William Brewster, Younger William Brewster, painting of the Mayflower