A Genealogue Exclusive [What's That?]A book released this week explores the world of the Pilgrims in fascinating detail. In How the Pilgrims Lived, author Eric Fulham provides photographs and descriptions of household items that "came over on the Mayflower."
"I was worried at first that not many Mayflower relics had survived," Fulham admits. "But my research turned up thousands—from kitchen utensils to complete bedroom sets."
The section of the book devoted to Pilgrim furniture includes photos of 12 kitchen tables, 21 bureaus, and 73 rocking chairs, all of which were handed down in families claiming descent from Mayflower passengers.
"It's amazing that they were able to fit so much stuff onto that small ship," says Fulham. "No wonder it was so crowded!"
According to Fulham's research, objects that survived the 1620 crossing will appear on no less than 274 dinner tables this Thanksgiving. Myrtle Spaulding of Missouri will be using Mary Allerton's gravy boat, while the Jaques family of Florida will be seasoning their mashed potatoes with John Alden's salt shaker and Priscilla Mullins' pepper mill.
Fulham says that the items featured in the book were carefully selected from thousands presented by hopeful Pilgrim heirs.
"Sadly, some could not be included for lack of space. William Brewster's DVD collection alone would have taken up three pages."