Marilyn Monroe, Alec Baldwin and his three brothers, Clint Eastwood, former Vice President Dan Quayle, astronaut Alan Shepard and actor Christopher Lloyd are all descended from Pilgrims who came to Plymouth Rock on the Mayflower. At least eight presidents, including the father-and-son pairs John Adams and John Quincy Adams and George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush, can trace their ancestry to the 102 passengers of the Mayflower.Continue Reading
The Mayflower did not bring the first British settlers to America, as there were already several small settlements in Virginia, but these Pilgrims were the first settlers determined to make a permanent life for themselves in the New World instead of just exploiting its rich resources. From the inceptions of Plymouth Colony and Massachusetts Bay Colony, New England Puritan settlers maintained excellent family records, making it relatively simple for genealogists to trace lineages that go back to the Mayflower.
Several famous people belong to the elite group of people who are descended from more than one or two Mayflower passengers. Former Alaskan state governor and vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin is descended from at least six Mayflower passengers. Actor Dick van Dyke is also descended from six passengers, and actor Richard Gere is descended from no less than eight. Ancestry.org estimates that about 10 percent of all Americans can trace their genealogy back to at least one passenger on the Mayflower.Learn more about Genealogy