Famous Descendants of the Mayflower

Happy Thanksgiving! A holiday known just as much for bringing families together as the food everyone partakes in, Thanksgiving holds a special place in the hearts of America.

William Bradford Governor of Plymouth Colony is related to Christopher Reeve

The First Thanksgiving

The very first Thanksgiving can be traced to 1621. In 1620, the 102 Pilgrims aboard the Mayflower arrived to the New World.

After enduring a harsh winter where only half of the Mayflower s original passengers and crew survived, the settlers were aided the next spring by neighboring Native American tribes. They were taught to cultivate corn, catch fish in the rivers and avoid poisonous plants. To celebrate their first successful harvest in the New World, Governor William Bradford1 organized the large feast and invited the colony s Native American allies to join in the festivities.

In what is remembered as the first Thanksgiving, the Pilgrims and Native Americans joined together to share an abundant meal that included lobster, seal and swans on the menu. The tradition would continue to be celebrated on and off for years before the holiday was formally recognized by the U.S. Congress in 1941.

Are you a Mayflower descendant?

Were your ancestors present for the first Thanksgiving? Check out how a few famous faces are related to some prominent Mayflower passengers.

William Bradford

The governor of the Plymouth colony for over 30 years, Bradford played an intricate role in the success of the colony. His detailed manuscripts on the founding of the Plymouth colony are invaluable to understanding the lives of these early American settlers.

They also provide one of two known written accounts of the first Thanksgiving celebration.

Superman star Christopher Reeve is a direct descendant of the Plymouth governor. Bradford is Christopher Reeve s 8th great grandfather2!

Geni William Bradford Governor of Plymouth Colony is related to Clint Eastwood

William Bradford is also Clint Eastwood s 10th great grandfather3.

John Alden is related to Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

John Alden

One of the original settlers of the Plymouth colony, John Alden4 started his journey as a crew member aboard the Mayflower and elected not to return to England with the ship, deciding instead to remain in the newly found colony of Plymouth. For many years, Alden acted as assistant to the governor of the colony.

Did you know John Alden was poet Henry Wadsworth5 Longfellow s 4th great grandfather6?

Geni John Alden is related to John Adams 2nd President of the USA Signer of the Declaration of Independence

Second President of the United States John Adams is also a direct descendant of Alden.

John Alden was President Adams s second great grandfather7.

Geni John Alden Passenger is related to Dick Van Dyke

Alden is also actor Dick Van Dyke s 9th great grandfather8!

Posts by Amanda

Find more Mayflower passenger profiles in the Great Migration: Passengers of the Mayflower, 16209 genealogy project on Geni!

Post written by Amanda

Amanda is the Social Media Coordinator at Geni.

If you need any assistance, she will be happy to help!

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  1. ^ William Bradford (www.geni.com)
  2. ^ 8th great grandfather (geni.com)
  3. ^ 10th great grandfather (geni.com)
  4. ^ John Alden (www.geni.com)
  5. ^ Henry Wadsworth (www.geni.com)
  6. ^ 4th great grandfather (geni.com)
  7. ^ second great grandfather (geni.com)
  8. ^ 9th great grandfather (geni.com)
  9. ^ Great Migration: Passengers of the Mayflower, 1620 (www.geni.com)
  10. ^ (www.geni.com)

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Famous Descendants of the Mayflower

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