The Mayflower Children

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It is the goal of The Mayflower Society to join together people who share this heritage and to carry on the memory of our Pilgrim ancestors. The group of passengers who crowded aboard Mayflower for the crossing was not homogenous. Many of the passengers were members of the Leiden congregation, but they were joined by a number of English families or individuals who were hoping to better their life situations, or were seeking financial gain. These two general groups have sometimes been referred to as the "saints" and "strangers".

Although the Leiden congregation had sent its strongest members with various skills for establishing the new colony, nearly half of the passengers died the first winter of the "great sickness. Because of this, most parents decided to leave the girls behind in England or Holland, and would send for them later once everything was built and more comfortable.


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Thomas Rogers brought his son Joseph, but left behind his daughters Elizabeth and Margaret. Francis Cooke brought his son John, but left behind his daughters Jane and Hester.

Genealogies of Mayflower pa ssengers helps find descendants

Richard Warren had five daughters, Mary, Ann, Sarah, Elizabeth and Abigail, ranging in ages from years old, but he left them all behind. And Degory Priest also left behind his daughters Mary and Sarah. Despite the general belief that girls were weaker, 11 girls, ranging in ages from 1 through 17, did make the voyage on the Mayflower with their families.


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The youngest girl on the Mayflower was Humility Cooper, just about 1 year old. Her mother had died, so she came on the Mayflower in the custody of her aunt and uncle, Edward and Ann Cooper Tilley. Her cousin, year old Henry Samson, rounded out the family. Edward Tilley's brother John also brought his wife Joan, and their daughter, year old Elizabeth Tilley. Elizabeth Tilley may have had a strong friendship with another girl, Desire Minter.

Children on the Mayflower - The Mayflower Society

Desire's father William had died in Leiden, Holland, about , so she was put into the custody of John Carver, who brought her to America with him. Elizabeth would eventually name her first daughter Desire, presumably in honor of her friend. Mayflower passenger Stephen Hopkins was the only passenger to have been to America before.

Having made the voyage to Jamestown, he knew better than anyone what to expect with the voyage and in the New World.

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Knickers is just an earlier name for what we call marbles. The word knicker comes from the Old Dutch term "knikker," meaning marble and any game played with marbles in the early colonies was called knickers. Pilgrim children wouldn't have had glass or stone marbles -- unless they were smooth pebbles. They probably made their marbles from clay. Hopfrog -- known today as leap frog -- was a traditional game popular among children in the 17th century. It was ideal for Pilgrim children who wouldn't have wasted scarce resources on making gear for games.

Lummelen, or keep away was played exactly as it is today and stickball, beloved baseball or cricket adaptation played by kids in the city streets of modern neighborhoods, was just as appealing then as now.

Mutiny on the Mayflower

Pilgrim children had serious chores to do but their parents encouraged leisure activities that provided exercise. Jump rope, doubtless with silly rhymes, was called skip rope and hoops could be improvised with a barrel hoop and a sturdy stick.

An avid artist and hobbyist, he began professionally writing in , specializing in crafts-related articles for various websites. The database based on Word Net is a lexical database for the English Language. See disclaimer.



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