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Friday, November 18, 2005

Mayflower Myths and Missteps

Dick Eastman's article on Mayflower Ancestors is good, but neglects to mention the passengers supposed to have arrived on the Mayflower who did not.

My own ancestor Deacon John Dunham was a member of the Separatist community in Holland, but had the good sense to take a later boat. That didn't stop Isaac Watson Dunham from finding a place for him on the Mayflower. He wrote in his 1907 Dunham Genealogy that "It has been found to be a very difficult task to establish this John Dunham, of Scrooby, and re√ęstablish him, as the Plymouth John Dunham, who, as a Separatist, fled from England, escaped from his pursuers by assuming the name of John Goodman when in Holland and America."

A "very difficult task" because it is completely untrue. John Dunham was living happily with his wife and children in Leyden while the Pilgrim John Goodman was living out his short and miserable life in Plymouth.

Or consider George Carr, who, we are told, "married Lucinda Davenport and came to America in 1620, on the Mayflower, as a ship carpenter, bringing his young wife with him."

He located with the Pilgrims at Plymouth, and his wife was one of the unfortunate forty-one who died the following winter and early spring. [Edson I. Carr, The Carr Family Records (Rockton, Ill.: Herald Print. House, 1894), p. 12]
To support this theory, the book presents one of the most obvious forgeries ever printed: the purported diary of George Carr's sister-in-law:
Husband says he had a brother George Carr, who went to America in 1620.

[snip]

Next morning the boats were lowered and we landed, but what was my surprise! Lucinda, George Carr's wife, had died early in the spring before. My husband and George his brother and myself went to view her resting place. [ibid., p. 10]
See Caleb Johnson's old website for some other Mayflower hoaxes, fakes, and forgeries.

juan

even though it didn't happen at all
well, if it did, it wasn't so nice as explained by many American historians. How come they all overlooked the Gulf Stream? Any seafearer does know the Gulf Stream pulls at an average of 5 knots Westward whereas Mayflower could have barely reached 4 knots. how in the hell could she made it ?

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