Congratulations to Rebecca Delano (Bisbee) Hamlen, who is not actually a Delano but IS a 12-pilgrim descendant, tying with Jessie Murdock for most Mayflower ancestors. You will meet people today who have more than that but given that these people lived 200 years ago, 12 is pretty amazing.
I had heard of Washington Old Hall in northeastern England (Tyne and Wear), ancestral home of George Washington's "Wessyngton" ancestors by 1183 A.D. but apparently they picked up and moved west a couple of centuries later, then picked up and moved again centuries after that, winding up in the English Midlands at a place now called Sulgrave Manor. It was from there that the Washingtons who went to Virginia Colony in what would become the United States departed. (Side note: immigrant John Washington's father, Rev. Lawrence Washington (1602-1653), played an "instrumental" role in driving some of your New England ancestors out of the UK for religious reasons, according to his wikipedia writeup.) Visiting such locales on a trip to the UK can bring home some of the lessons your history teachers tried to hammer into your head.
The UK is actually stuffed with sites of historic interest. One way to find out which have a distinct American connection is via groups such as the New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS), which organizes focused tours to destinations of member interest. If you are a Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) member you can join an Overseas Chapter. (If you're a "pin person," yes, there's a pin for that.) In England, both the St. James Chapter in Westminster and the Walter Hines Page Chapter in London support the Benjamin Franklin House ("the world's only remaining Franklin home") and the American Museum in Britain ("the only museum of America decorative and folk art outside the U.S.") in Bath. The St. James Chapter also supports the John Paul Jones Birthplace Museum in Scotland and the Ulster American Folk Park Centre for Emigration Studies in Northern Ireland. (Side note to knitters: a company called "KnittingTours.com" will take you there.) The WHP Chapter supports Sulgrave Manor and the Second Air Division Memorial Library in Norwich, which includes some WWII air bases, for the modern or military history enthusiast. There are Overseas Chapters in 13 foreign countries and any DAR member can join for an Associate Membership fee of typically $15-35. I have belonged to the Walter Hines Page Chapter for about 5 years and have just applied to the St. James Chapter, and am a former member of the now-defunct Washington Old Hall chapter. DAR members, give it a try. The rest of you, broaden your horizons and visit another country. Both the UK and Netherlands, home of the Leiden American Pilgrim Museum, are easy places to venture forth if you're a first-time overseas traveler speaking only English.
Normally I don't like to keep dipping into the same book or the same family but mix it up to make this site of interest to ALL Mayflower descendants. Noticing that William Bradford was approaching the 100-descendant picture milestone, though, I could not resist, and posted a number of his Cleaveland/Cleveland descendants' images & bios.
Both spellings are found in the same family. The GSMD's silver books and thus the NEHGS's searchable Mayflower Families Fifth Generation Descendants, 1700-1880 database use "Cleveland." (The latter will find your person in a "Cleaveland" search but change the name to "Cleveland." So does Weebly's spellchecker, unfortunately.)
Dr. Maura Mackowski is an Arizona research historian who enjoys the challenge of looking for Mayflower descendants, hers and anyone else's.
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