The Mayflower sailed from Southampton, England on Sept. 16, 1620. The ship arrived at Cape Cod on Nov. 11, 1620. One hundred two passengers arrived in Massachusetts Bay that year. Only 52 of those who landed survived that first winter. Among the survivors, there were descendents of 27 surnames:

  • John Alden
  • Isaac Allerton
  • John Billington
  • William Bradford
  • William Brewster
  • Peter Brown
  • James Chilton
  • Francis Cooke
  • John Crackstone
  • Edward Doty/Doten
  • Francis Eaton
  • Moses Fletcher
  • Edward Fuller
  • Samuel Fuller
  • Stephen Hopkins
  • John Howland
  • Richard More
  • William Mullins
  • Degory Priest
  • Thomas Rogers
  • Henry Samson
  • George Soule
  • Myles Standish
  • John Tilley
  • Richard Warren
  • William White
  • Edward Winslow

   While researching our family tree, I discovered information on Eunice Cole’s (2g grandmother) line that placed a family member in Plymouth, Massachusetts, about the time (well almost) that the Pilgrims landed on the Mayflower.

   That got the adreniline pumping. There was the possibility that we were descendants of a person that came over on the Mayflower. I started looking for a membership form to the Mayflower Society.

   The family member I am speaking of is Hugh Cole, who was Eunice Cole’s 3g-grandfather. This would make him my generations 7g-grandfather. It turns out Hugh was married three times. It seems that multiple marriages were not uncommon in Plymouth, Massachusetts. A high death rate combined with a relatively small number of immigrants, apparently made for slim pickings. Surviving spouses were recycled.

Hugh Cole




Mary Foxwell


Elizabeth (Lettice) Shurtleff


Mary Shelley

   You may have already noticed that the name Cole does not show up on the above list of Mayflower families. Eunice is a descendant of Hugh Cole and Mary Foxwell, there are no Foxwell’s on the list either.

   It turns out that Hugh was married to folks who had been married to folks who were Mayflower descendants, but was never married directly to a descendant. No need for the Mayflower Society membership form now.

   Here’s were I try explain who married whom. The names highlighted in red are from Mayflower list above.

   Francis Cooke married Hester Mahieu. They had seven children, one of whom was named Jacob Cooke. Jacob’s first marriage was to Damarius Hopkins. His second marriage was to Elizabeth (Lettice) Shurtleff. If you look at the above table of Hugh’s marriages, you will notice that Elizabeth was Hugh’s second wife.

   Richard Warren married Elizabeth (maiden name unknown). They had seven children, one of whom was Mary Warren. Mary married Richard Bartlett. They had eight children, one of whom was Rebecca Bartlett. Rebecca married William Harlow. William Harlow’s second marriage was to Mary Shelley. You guessed it, Mary Shelley was Hugh’s third wife.

   As time permits, I’ll add some more tables in attempt to make the information a little easier to assimilate.

    So that’s this families Mayflower connection. Please remember that I am depending on the research of others for this information. I have not personally verified all of the information presented here, but I have no reason to believe the information is incorrect. Please see the bibliography and refernce given below.

  • Susan E. Roser Mayflower Increasings, 2nd Edition Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., Baltimore, 1996

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