Newest Mayflower Ancestor

Elder William Brewster (≈1566-1644) is my 10th-Great Grandfather on the Crosby side and he is, by far, the most famous ancestor I have discovered.

William Brewster was born in Scrooby, Nottinghamshire, England about 1566. In 1591 he married Mary Wentworth (1568-1627) and together they had six children:  Jonathan, Love, *Patience, Fear, Elizabeth & Wrestling. (Patience is my 9th-Great Grandmother.)  In 1620, William and Mary, along with their sons Love and Wrestling, traveled to America aboard the Mayflower. (Edited 2/15/16: There is no proof that Mary’s last name was Wentworth.)

During the first decade of the 1600s William founded a Separatist church in England. When the existence of the church was discovered William, and the other parishioners, fled to Amsterdam to avoid prosecution. William was a leader (Elder) of the church and instrumental in the planning for the migration to America. From the time of the arrival of the Mayflower in America (1620) until his death in 1644, William was the leader of the Plymouth Colony.

Currently, I am in the process of “proving” my lineage from William Brewster to the General Society of Mayflower Descendants (GSMD). Presently I have proven the lineage to myself. However, the standards of proof for the GSMD are more stringent.

My lineage from William Brewster:
William Brewster > Patience (Brewster) Prence > Rebecca (Prence) Freeman > Rebecca (Freeman) Perry > Samuel Perry > Moses Perry > Elisha Perry >  Sarah (Perry) Landers >  Eliza (Landers) Tinkham > Sarah (Tinkham) Crosby > Roy Crosby > Maurice Crosby > Me.


One of the first steps to establishing proof, is to submit a query form to the librarian of the GSMD. The form asks for the names of the applicant’s descendants and their spouse. The names are compared against the known Mayflower descendants. This process takes about a week.

While waiting for a response from the GSMD I checked the web site Books We Own and found an owner of the “First Five Generations of Mayflower Descendants” volume that pertains to William Brewster. I submitted a request to have my lineage checked and within a few hours I received a response that confirmed the lineage from William to Moses Perry. So generations 8 though 13 were confirmed.

Previously I submitted two other applications for membership to the GSMD and successfully proved my descent from both Peter Browne and James Chilton. For both of the applications I established proof from myself to Eliza Landers Tinkham (generations 1-5).

One source used on my earlier applications was “Yarmouth Nova Scotia, Genealogies” which was published in 1898 by the Yarmouth Herald. This same source lists the descendants of Moses Perry  (my 5th-Great Grandfather) all the way to Eliza Landers Tinkham, which fills the gap and completes my lineage. However, the GSMD does not like to rely too heavily on secondary sources.  So further research needs to be done to document Elisha Perry and his daughter Sarah Perry Landers.


I received an email today from the library at the GSMD.  Two previous applications were found that follow my lineage from William Brewster through to Elisha Perry.  This means that I only need to prove that Sarah Perry Landers (1791-1863) was:

  1. Elisha’s daughter and
  2. The mother of Eliza Landers Tinkham

"Yarmouth NS Genealogies" Red denotes Sarah's parentage and marriage. Blue denotes her marriage and daughter.

Proving Item #1 is probably going to be more difficult than Item #2, unless Yarmouth Genealogies is accepted as a stand-alone source. (Pertinent entries shown above)

Deciphered, the entries from the Yarmouth NS Genealogies show that Sarah (born 1791) was the daughter of Elisha and Sarah Perry and that she married Thomas Landers.

Eliza Tinkham's Death Certificate (Click to enlarge)

As for proving Item #2 (that Sarah was Eliza’s mother) there are two sources:

  • In the Yarmouth Genealogies: the blue circle shows that Eliza Landers (Daughter of Thomas & Sarah Landers) married Benjamin Tinkham, son of Seth Tinkham 2d.
  • Eliza Tinkham’s death certificate partially corroborates the information found in the Yarmouth Genealogies.
    • Father’s name was Thomas Landers
    • Mother’s name was – - – Perry
    • Her husband is listed as Benjamin Tinkham;
    • Birthplace for Eliza and her parents was Nova Scotia


The next step will be to send out some queries in search of church records. Churches were the primary keeper of records of marriage, birth (baptism) and death.  One of the old GSMD applications passes though Sarah’s sister and hopefully a source will be listed for that sister. If so, then I may find the name of the church where records for Sarah exist. Only time will tell.


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3 Responses to “Newest Mayflower Ancestor”

  1. Mandy Stephenson
    August 1, 2012 at 8:58 pm #

    Please contact me at the email address I provided to leave this reply. I believe this gentleman is an ancestor of mine but all I have is a letter my maternal grandmother gave me before she died in 2010. She received the letter from a first cousin of hers and I wonder if you have more information regarding the genealogy of Mr. Brewster. Supposedly, this cousin wrote to London and gleaned this information. It’s all so fascinating and I’d like to see if you can help me trace this or direct me in my efforts. Thank you.

    • Jacqueline Roach
      October 17, 2012 at 12:04 am #

      I would love to get in contact regarding William Brewster’s genealogy as well. I am the 14th generation of Rebecca Freeman. I think it would be amazing to see how large the family has grown.


  1. William Brewster, still witnessing history. | E Pluribus Me - February 23, 2012

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