Our Almost-Pilgrim Ancestors


People want to trace their family tree back to the Mayflower so they can claim Pilgrim ancestors. I joke that our ancestors missed the boat and came over a few years later.

In 1620, the Mayflower reached America, and most of us are familiar with the story of the Indians bringing food to the Pilgrims. Some the passengers were Separatists, escaping religious persecution in England.

Our ancestor came 17 years later in 1637. Here’s the start of the story from the Tower Genealogical Society, ” John Tower(1), and his friend Samuel Lincoln emigrated from Old Hingham, England to Boston, Massachusetts, by ship, a voyage that took eleven and one-half weeks. After disembarking in Boston, John and Samuel traveled together by horseback to Hingham, Massachusetts, where they both settled.”

Hingham Invitation
Hingham Invitation by GoingPlaces

Why did they leave Hingham, England for America? The history page for Hingham says, “Puritan residents of Hingham, led by the former vicar of Hingham, Robert Peck and his associate Peter Hobart, emigrated to the then colony of Massachusetts. Those who left were so prominent in the community that the town was forced to petition Parliament for help, claiming that it had been devastated by the loss.”

The Church of England sought to enforce its practices and those who did not want to follow the government sanctioned religion opted to emigrate. It was not only religion that inspired their travel across the ocean. Samuel Lincoln writes in his early history that a spirit of “adventure and enterprise” motivated the settlers.

John Tower married Margaret Ibrook. They had ten children together. She lived to be 83, and he lived to be almost 93.

You can read more about them and their descendants in this book, available from Amazon in hardback and also as a 99 cent Kindle book.


3 thoughts on “Our Almost-Pilgrim Ancestors

  1. Virginia,

    My earliest English ancestors came to Mass Bay in 1634, a fact that a very good friend, a verified Mayflower descendant, used to taunt me about. I finally came up with the retort that stopped the taunting forever. To wit, that first isn’t always smartest…that my “late-to-the-party” ancestors had the good sense to wait until the area was more habitable, i.e. land cleared, crops planted, a system for winter food storage established, and shops and churches erected, etc.

    Feel free to use the same comeback next time you’re confronted by a Mayflower descendant taunting you because you aren’t one.

    Have a great day!

    Liked by 1 person

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