Thanksgiving & Mayflower Trivia

We all enjoy the traditions and family gatherings of Thanksgiving. Here are some interesting facts about the pilgrims, the mayflower and Thanksgiving you may enjoy from a genealogical point of view.

President Taft was a descendent of Francis Cooke, one of the pilgrims who arrived on the Mayflower.  Speaking of the reason why the landing of the pilgrims was so important, President Taft declared, “They show no uses and no needs of a written constitution,” he continued. “They show a great capacity for self-government, which without making invidfuous comparisons, has lent moral fiber to the whole settlement of the United States.”

Politics entered intoCould William Bradford hold public office? a dedication of a monument for the pilgrims.



The Graves of some of the pilgrims were discovered in 1883 when they were making improvements to Cole’s Hill at Plymouth. Tablets were placed to mark the location.

The pilgrims did not land on Plymouth Rock (Sorry to disappoint you). Instead they actually landed on a sandbar and mud pits. That’s not near as glamorous as landing on a rock.

All those pictures we have of the pilgrims – (sorry to disappoint you again) – are actually of the dress of the Puritans who came later. The pilgrims enjoyed gay colors, such as green, pink and purple. “The inventories of their dresses make frequent mention of silk, satin and lace…”

And what is Thanksgiving without some mention of food. The pilgrims had turkey, but that pumpkin pie or cranberry sauce? Nope – they had no sugar. They feasted for three days and the Indians brought five deer and there must have been plenty of corn, squash, geese, ducks and fish.

Happy Thanksgiving! And enjoy your feast…….Ginny

“Taft Descended Pilgrims”; Date: Tuesday, November 29, 1910; Paper: Daily Oklahoman (Oklahoma City, OK); Volume 22; Issue 167; Page 9; Source:

“Great Monument”; Date: Thursday, August 1, 1889; Paper: New York Herald (New York, NY); Issue 213; Page 4; Source:

“Bones of the Mayflower Pilgrims”; Date: Thursday, November 29, 1883; Paper: Galveston Weekly News (Galveston, TX); Page 7; Source:

“Facts  About the Pilgrim Fathers”; Date: Sunday, December 26, 1920; Paper: Dallas Morning News (Dallas, TX); Section: Part 3; Page 4; Source:

“Pilgrim Descendents Relate First Thanksgiving Dinner”; Date: Thursday, November 25, 1976; Paper: Dallas Morning News (Dallas, TX); Section: AA; Page 1; Source:


One response to “Thanksgiving & Mayflower Trivia

  1. It sounds like they even had some dirty politics back then.

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