Although Thanksgiving is a holiday very much about family, I have not uncovered any stories that have been passed down in my family about the day. Many genealogy bloggers are taking this opportunity as we, in a sense, reenact the First Thanksgiving (in America) to share their descent from Mayflower passengers.
My research into my own family history has not found (yet) any verifiable connection to 103 individuals that sailed aboard the Dutch cargo vessel, departing Plymouth, England and arriving in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1620. There are, however, some potential connections, which include descent from Richard Warren, Francis Cooke, and Stephen Hopkins. They are potential connections because I not only have these surnames in my ancestry, but those baring these surnames in my line are traceable to Massachusetts in the mid- to late 1600’s and through the 1700’s. I have not been able to make a definitive connection, however.
Although I have not established a link to the Pilgrims that celebrated the First Thanksgiving, and perhaps I never will, I still enjoy the holiday as a time to be thankful, reflect on our national heritage, reflect on my own heritage, celebrate family, and EAT LOTS OF FOOD! A great genealogy related quote I came across reminds me of Thanksgiving: “Generations pass like leaves fall from our family tree. Each season new life blossoms and grows benefiting from the strength and experience of those who went before.” ~ Heidi Swapp