You missed a good one! The Women of the Mayflower Project
Well, you didn't miss it completely, because its an ongoing project. On Saturday, 10 September 2011 in Plymouth, Massachusetts I attended a wonderful presentation of research by three renowned genealogists, Caleb Johnson, Simon Neale and Jeremy Dupertuis Bangs. Their work will be published in upcoming editions of the Mayflower Quarterly, so you can catch up.
The Women of the Mayflower is a project sponsored by the General Society of Mayflower Descendants to identify and investigate the maiden names and families of the wives of the male passengers on the Mayflower. Only three women's lingeages have been identified, Mary Norris Allerton, Joan Hurst Tilley, and Katherine White Carver. Several others are still nameless, and their identities are still lost to time. In 2010 Governor General Judith Swan of the Mayflower Society came to New Hampshire and spoke about this project, and I've been very interested in the research ever since.
The first researcher who presented his research was Caleb Johnson, who has a wonderful website, and has authored books including Here I Shall Die Ashore (the story of Stephen Hopkins) andThe Mayflower and Her Passengers. He was assigned to find the ancestry of Alice Mullins, mother of Priscilla Mullins Alden. He did exhaustive research in all the villages where William Mullins lived, including looking at the extended family of all the Mullins relatives, business contacts, and people named in other records. This is what kind of research is possible when you are funded by the Mayflower Society! His charts and slides took my breath away, with his possibilities of extended kinship found in records. No definite conclusions were made, but many discoveries were made on the Mullins family.
Simon Neale is from Kew's National Archives in the United Kingdom. He was assigned to research the two wives of Stephen Hopkins. He also did exhaustive research on Hopkins families in London. The last to present was Jeremy Bangs, who did research on the Walloon Mayflower families such as Delano and Cooke. Jeremy is the author of many books including Strangers and Pilgrims, Travelers and Sojourners, 2009, and Indian Deeds, 2002. If you have read his books, you know that he does meticulous work with many footnotes and details. His research reflected this attention to leaving no stone unturned as he he traveled from France and Holland to England. His story of finding kinships among the records in Norwich, England was fascinating.
In Plymouth, Massachusetts, across the street from Plymouth Rock is a memorial to the Women of the Mayflower. It was erected in 1920 on the 300th anniversary of the arrival of the Mayflower in the New World. On the back of the memorial is the following list of names. Remember, in 1920 this was all that was known of the women and girl passengers on the Mayflower. Some of the women have been identified since 1920, but we have a long way to go. As Caleb Johnson pointed out during the lecture, although this was exhaustive research, some women's names may never be known.
Mary Norris Allerton
Elizabeth Hopkins now identified as Elizabeth Fisher Hopkins
------------- Tilley now identified as Joan Hurst Tilley
Susanna Fuller White "Fuller" is not her maiden name
Dorothy Bradford now identified as Dorothy May Bradford
Katherine Carver now identified as Katherine White Carver
Maid Servant of the Carvers, name unknown now known only as Dorothy
------------ Martin now identified as Mary Prower Martin
Elizabeth Winslow now identified as Elizabeth Barker Winslow
Copyright 2011, Heather Wilkinson Rojo