Thursday, November 21, 2013

Mayflower Ancestors

     As Thanksgiving approaches, my thought turn to Plymouth and the story of the Pilgrims feast of thanksgiving with the Indians. I do not remember when I first learned that I was descended from some of the Pilgrims but I certainly knew as early as elementary school. My grandfather's brother William Lawrence Cone had produced an extensive Cone Genealogy which mentioned several of the Mayflower passengers but I did not know that he and his father were members of the Mayflower Society.

The General Society of Mayflower Descendants (commonly called the Mayflower Society) was organized in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1897 in an effort to honor the memories of their Pilgrim ancestors. Membership is limited to those who can prove descent from one of the 102 passengers who arrived aboard Mayflower in 1620. I had always assumed that the Cones had traced their lineage to Stephen Hopkins for the acceptance into the Mayflower Society. My great grandfather Frederick Naaman Cone's great grandmother was Rhoda Hopkins and direct descendant of Stephen and Giles Hopkins. Today I was reading "Mayflower Ancestral Index, Volume 1" compiled by Milton E. Terry, PhD. and Anne Bordin Harding published by the Society in 1981 and discovered that they had proven their descent from William and Mary Brewster.

So for interested Cones out there, I will repeat the lineage here.

7859 Frederick Naaman Cone son of William Warner and Eliza (Utley) Cone*
7866 William Warner Cone, son of  Naaman and Joanna (Warner) Cone
36787 Joanna Warner daughter of Thomas and  Rhoda (Hopkins) Warner
17896 Rhoda Hopkins*, daughter of  Elisha and Drusilla (Conant) Hopkins
23368 Elisha Hopkins, son of Nathaniel and Abigail (Merrick) Hopkins
23368 Abigail Merrick, daughter of Joshua and Lydia (Mayo) Merrick
23197 Lydia Merrick, daughter of Thomas and Barbara (Knowles) Mayo
23261 Thomas Mayo, son of Nathaniel and Hannah (Prence) Mayo
27343 Hannah Prence, daughter of Thomas and Patience (Brewster) Prence
4708 Patience Brewster, daughter of William and Mary (?) Brewster, Pilgrims

William Brewster was born circa 1566 some sources suggest Scrooby, Nottinghamshire, England and others Doncaster, Yorkshire, England. The son of William and Mary (Smythe) (Simkinson) Brewster, joined a large family of half siblings. His father William was the postmaster in Scrooby for some time. He was the third William Brewster in a line going back to William Brewster 1510-1558 and his wife Maud Mann(1513-1558).

Pilgrim Brewster was an educated man who had studied at Peterhouse, Cambridge and then entered the service of diplomat William Davison. His skill in Latin proved extremely useful in his travels with Davison which included the Netherlands. Unfortunately, his employ was terminated when his mentor was imprisoned and William returned to Scrooby and was able to obtain the position of postmaster once held by his father.
It was in Scrooby that he became a member of the Separatist Congregation. Perhaps his earlier experiences in Holland helped him recommend that the Congregation relocate to that country.

While living in Leiden, William taught English at Leiden University and also printed pamphlets on religion directed at the English market. It was his publication of a pamphlet that criticized the English king and the royal effort to seize Brewster that led to the congregations decision to depart for the New World. Brewster was the lay leader of the congregation that sailed on the Mayflower and was accompanied by his wife Mary and sons Love and Wrestling. He remained the congregation's religious leader until Pastor Ralph Smith arrived in 1629.

The Brewsters moved to Duxbury in 1632 and began to farm there. His daughters Fear and Patience both died in the smallpox epidemic of 1634. William lived until April 10, 1644. He is buried in Burial Hill, Plymouth.

Eliza Utley Cone and Rhoda Hopkins have other lines to the Mayflower but those are stories for another day.

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