Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Plymouth Colony

I feel very blessed to have a lot of information about my ancestors, and sometimes I think a lot about my ancestor, John Jenney, who lived in Plymouth Colony.  He arrived in 1623 on the Little James, 3 years after the Mayflower.  He and his family (wife Sarah and several children including Samuel, whose line I am in) were what we call pilgrims.  You have also heard them called separatists, and they called themselves first comers.  

The whole reason that the separatists left their home was to be able to worship God in the way they felt was right.  These were English people who left England and lived in The Netherlands before deciding to risk it all and go to the new world.

At that time, the Church of England was the national church and people had no say in how it was conducted.  It became so much about hierarchy and titles and corruption, that it no longer felt like it was about God.  The separatists wanted a church they felt covenanted to, one that was about the principles instituted by Jesus and His early followers.  

I think about that decision process.  They left everything they had ever known to go to an unknown wilderness.  They did not know that they would even arrive safely.  If they did arrive, they knew most of them would die.  They could not bring their things with them.  They left family and friends so far behind they would never see them again. 

That is a statement about faith.

I may never have to make that kind of statement.  We are so blessed to live in America where that statement has already been made on our behalves.   Our ancestors came to this land to worship God.  He drew them here and protected them until we stand here today.  I find it so frightening that we have gotten so far from that statement of faith and reliance on God as a country.  Today we have a different statement to make.  This country was built by people who knew God and followed His will.  The farther we turn from Him, the more trouble we will find.

Lesson over. So anyway.....this is the John Jenney house in Plymouth Colony.  He started building it in 1624.  This picture was not taken until 1640.  HA!  This is not the original house, but a correct replication.  John left detailed drawings of what he built.  

John Jenney built a grist mill in Plymouth Colony, so in a way, he fed the colony.  Today, the mill is an educational facility that teaches about life in the 1600s.  

The Jenney line comes down through the generations to Ida Jenny (my great grandmother) to Ezra Taylor (grandfather) to my Mom, and then me.  How cool is it to know that?

My paternal line in North America dates back farther than that, but that is another story....

What do you know about your ancestors??

Normal Girl


Anonymous said...

On my father's side, my great, great, (to the 11th great) uncle is William Penn, founder of Philadelphia... My mom and aunt traveled back to Scotland to visit the land of our ancestors and discovered the family homestead and that the founder of their line was hanged as a horse thief. This fact, along with their dismay was the one time both my dad and my uncle jointly had a great laugh.

The Diplomat

Imaginina said...

William Penn....not too shabby. Perhaps that is where you get your diplomatic skills!

I have ancestors that were hanged for counterfeiting.

Maybe they should hang more people these days. It might make people behave.

Anonymous said...

Loved your blog on the Plymouth Colony. I, too, am a Mayflower spinoff, claiming William Bradford as my 9 or 10 times grandfather. When we visited "Plimouth Plantation," in 2005, I found him talking to strangers in his home. I waited until all were gone and then introduced myself as his grandaughter. He was somewhat taken aback as I was probably 20 years his senior. He did, however,, agree to have his picture taken with me (against the rules). It was silly but I actually got tears in my eyes. My own little time warp.

Down the line one of those Bradford girls married a Tupper of Earl Tupper-Tupperware-fame. We're lucky we don't all burp a lot. I would not have my picture taken with Earl.

Thanks for writing about Plymouth Colony and sending me on a little trip down memory lane. I will dig out my little, silver Plymouth Rock charm and put it on my Rock/Stone theme round robin bracelet.

Happy Sharon

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