How Many Distinct Mayflower Family Surnames Were There?


Quick Answer

Passengers on the Mayflower had 53 distinct family surnames. The Mayflower left Plymouth, England, in September, 1620, with 102 passengers. Approximately 40 of these passengers were Protestant-Separatists who hoped to establish a church in the New World.

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Full Answer

The Mayflower's voyage took approximately two months, and the passengers started the second permanent English colony in America. By spring 1621, approximately half of the Mayflower's passengers had died. The surviving passengers are ancestors to several famous Americans, including Julia Child, Humphrey Bogart and Norman Rockwell. United States Presidents James Garfield, John Adams and Zachary Taylor also trace their genealogy to Mayflower passengers.

Julia Child is descended from William and Mary Brewster. William Brewster studied at Cambridge and served as an assistant to Elizabeth I's secretary of state before joining the Protestant Separatists and fleeing to Holland. Humphrey Bogart has John Howland in his ancestry. John traveled as an indentured servant and was swept overboard in a storm during the Mayflower's voyage. He managed to grab one of the ship's ropes and other passengers pulled him to safety. Norman Rockwell is descended from Stephen Hopkins who was one of the non-Separatist passengers on the ship. He served as an emissary to the Native Americans in Plymouth.

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