Sunday, July 11, 2010

The Rope Of Destiny

Events in history have changed the destiny of all the people of the world over time. We, the living, owe so much to our ancestors. Their actions, whether they were chance meetings of future spouses, decisions on migrations to other regions of the world, or they may have even involved the presence or use of ordinary inanimate objects. One or all of those actions may have affected the destiny of all of us and our future decedents.

During a recent History Channel program, it was stated that 10% of the people in America are descended from those who came across the Atlantic Ocean on the Mayflower. I am one of those descendants of John Howland who was a passenger on the Mayflower. John Howland is my 11th great grandfather. John Howland had ten children and eighty eight grand children of whom I am descended through his daughter Desire. According to author Nathan Philbrick’s book Mayflower, John Howland came over as an indentured servant. All passengers were not allowed on deck for fear of falling overboard and lost at sea. It is supposed that John grew restless and climbed up on deck. The Mayflower suddenly lurched during a storm and John tumbled in to the sea. This should have been the end of him, but dangling over the side of the ship, was a halyard rope used to raise and lower the upper sail. John was in his mid twenties and strong. His hand found the rope and he hung on even as he was beneath ten feet of sea. Several sailors took up the rope and hauled John in, finally snagging him with a boat hook.

I am one of probably thousands of descendants who owe their existence to John Howland of the Mayflower. Two Presidents; George Walker Bush, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, John’s ten children, eighty eight grand children, and I owe so much to him; to his shipmates, to the Mayflower and to the halyard rope that was trailing behind the ship. I am here today because of the presence of an inanimate object, a lowly twisted piece of hemp that just happened to be at a certain place and time in history. The “rope of destiny” saved all our lives.

My lineage:

John Howland>

Desire Howland Gorham>

Hannah Gorham Whilldin/Whilden>

Mary Whilldin Crowell>

Elishabee Crowell Godfrey>

James Godfrey>

Mathew Godfrey > and Thomas Godfrey>

Armina Godfrey Godfrey > (first cousins married) Henry Sheldon Godfrey>

Mary Elizabeth Godfrey McComsey>

Mathew “Mattie” Alice McComsey Smith>

Benjamin Franklin Smith>

Alda Lucille Smith Hopkins>

Harold Hubert Hopkins>

Geoffrey Ted Hopkins

Websites for more researching on the subject:

Pilgrim Hall Museum

History of Plymouth Plantation-Google Books

Wikipedia-John Howland

Mayflower History

The Pilgrim John Howland Society

By: Geoff Hopkins

Written for the blog; THOSE OLD MEMORIES © 2010

****Three weeks until the Midwest Family History Expo in Kansas City, Mo. Check out the schedule and attend a great genealogy conference. Speakers include: Thomas MacEntee, Leland Meitzler, Arlene Eakle, Tami Glatz, and Lisa Alzo- just to name a few.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Worthy Genealogy Event

Summer is in full swing and so are all the genealogy conferences that give us all the chance to polish up on our research techniques or to learn something new. If you have never attended a conference, now is the time to schedule a fun trip and take in one near you. Check out the internet and you will surely find a great conference near you, be it a state meeting, local presentation or even one of the bigger national gatherings. The chance to meet new friends, see all the great books/software offered by vendors, and of course to broaden your knowledge base make any conference a very worthy event to attend.

One such conference is the Family History Expo which is coming up soon in Kansas City, on the Missouri side of the line. July 30-31 are the dates of the conference with a special tour on July 29th for those who study LDS history OR have LDS roots. Taking in one of these genealogy conferences that is put on by Holly Hansen and her group is an exceptional chance to experience the conference atmosphere with classes that often rival the best National offerings. You can read the class agenda here. The Family History Expos are large in scope and classes, yet they have that wonderful feel of friendliness like being with a group of really good friends! We are lucky that the Family History Expos are coming to the mid west with their gatherings, giving more of us who live in more remote areas the access to their classes and vendors. Often, the Expos will also offer some classes which are pertinent to the area study- such is the case in Kansas City where several classes will be offered on Swedish researching. Many early immigrants settled in and established large communities within Kansas and the surrounding area. For anyone with Swedish ancestors, this is an opportunity to learn how to research your Swedish family even if they did not settle in the Kansas area. Kathy Meade will present several classes with information on searching for your Swedish ancestors, and using Genlines and Lenora Lynam will present "Finding Your Swedish Soldier." If you research Sweden and its emigrants, this is the conference for you!

Arlene Eakle will present several classes which will all tie together different aspects of southern researching. "Want Land. Will Travel. Southern Land Records: State by State" will be one of her classes. Arlene is most knowledgeable and her expertise will inspire anyone to get home and get busy finding those elusive ancestors.There will be many more great classes and the vendor area will offer many new great items as well as a nice selection of books to broaden our knowledge. The blogger's Cafe' area will introduce you to the world of blogging your history as Expo bloggers post live each day.

It is my honor to have been chosen for the second time to be an "Honor Blogger" for the Family History Expo in Kansas City. I will be updating you from both of my blogs with information, travel plans and daily updates on the fun at the conference when it starts. I will be attending with my son so this will be a fun Mother and son outing, something we have not done for years! My usual team travel partner and co-writer of The You Go Genealogy Girls blog will not be along on this trip but you can read her blog postings about the Family History Expo that she recently attended in Loveland, Colorado. Click here to review one of her fun and informative articles.

Hope to see you all in Kansas City, new friends are always welcome!

Those Old Memories
The You Go Genealogy Girls