Friday, March 22, 2013

Taking a "Rhea" break, spending a moment with the "Yeakley's"

I have been doing some research on my cousin's family tree. Her family is really interesting with multiple wives, Salem happenings and Mayflower descendents. It took a lot longer to go through her tree because there were so many interesting things to read as I did each family. Every time I found something that I thought would interest her, I sent it on. I did tell her that I was jealous because she has Mayflower descendents and some great uncle who was accused of witchcraft in Salem. We only have preachers and farmers. Her family is also Mormon and Annie Clark (her great grandmother) wrote a book that is used in their university. Patty's family is so much easier to document because the Mormon's were wonderful record keepers.

I can't seem to track the Rhea's back that far. I do need to look at the family in Pennsylvania and how they are related to the Ephrata Cloister but I think they landed in America much later than 1620. 

So I went looking at the Yeakley's and found that they were also Mayflower immigrants. I am still verifying my sources because in the middle of the family they seem a little thin. Still, I don't believe that I am too far off.

It seems that we may be related to William Brewster who was the Elder of the community. His daughter Patience Brewster married Thomas Prence who was the Governor of Plymouth and at one time presided over the Salem trials.

When we went to Plymouth, I didn't even consider checking to see if we were related. Plymouth is a fun place on its own and just being in that part of history was enough. Now I wish I'd spent more time. I was disappointed by the small size of Plymouth Rock but now I know it was divided four times. I learned that they didn't go directly to the mainland. I was appalled by the size of the Mayflower. It is really, really small. We are history buffs and love all those details.

I am going to continue looking for sources. If I find myself satisfied with the results, I will attempt to join the Mayflower Society. I don't so much care but my grandson (who is 12), finds it fascinating and they have a Junior Membership. It is a teachable moment and a connection to the past that affects him directly. We can have fun learning about the Pilgrims in more detail. What a great thing to share with him.

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