Saturday, November 19, 2011

Thanksgiving Lessons In Genealogy

Thanksgiving day was and is traditionally held at my home, but in 2009 my daughter decided to hold the celebration at her new home in Plymouth.  Fitting she said that we as Myles Standish descendants should gather together where the Pilgrims held their first feast.

It was this day that I told my nine-year-old grandson, Brendan, that Captain Myles Standish was his 12th great grandfather.  You never saw eyes grow so big. I then proceeded to tell him that he was also a descendant of John Alden, William Brewster, George Soule, John Howland, James Chilton, Francis Cooke, Joseph Doty and Francis Cooke who all came over on the Mayflower.  "Really," he exclaimed, "those people are famous you know, really!"  All day long he would run to me with questions with pencil and paper in hand.  "Wait till I tell the kids at school."
 

Plimoth Plantation
 That summer, my husband and I took him and his sister to visit Plimoth Plantation.  He was so excited to try on John Alden's hat.

It made me happy to see him interested in his family history at such a young age as his curiosity has continued to grow.  I'm still trying to decide who will be the one to inherit my volumes of research with stories and pictures.

Today, in celebration of November 11, 1620 when the Mayflower Compact was signed, we took our now eleven-year-old grandson to a Mayflower Society dinner this day, whereas I am a member, held at the Stoneforge Tavern.  He got to stand up ten times as his Pilgrim ancestor’s names were called.  He has one more than me for he gained Stephen Hopkins from his grandfather, my husband. Brendan even kept count as to the number of cousins he had in the room.  Only an A+ student in math would think to do that.  He can even solve the rubics cube puzzle in 48 seconds. He told me if you know math equations you can do it.  Me, I've never been able to even come close.
We were told of the terrible news that the Francis Cook house had a chimney fire this very morning that ignited the thatched roof.  Workers quickly tore it off but there was significant damage to the structure. There will be 3000 people eating their Thanksgiving dinner at Plimoth Plantation this year.
http://boston.cbslocal.com/2011/11/19/fire-destroys-building-at-plimoth-plantation/#.TsgE9THaVTQ.facebook

Then Brendan watched the guest speaker dressed in and speaking Pilgrim portraying Thomas Williams, one of the signers of The Mayflower Compact, educating us all as to who he was and about his family.

I am so thankful that he is interested in family history and couldn't think of better way to create a new Thanksgiving day memory than to share this experience with him.

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