Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Pratt Stories - Mayflower Ancestor

The most famous ship of American history, the Mayflower, set sail out of Plymouth, England, in mid-July 1620 and dropped anchor off the tip of Cape Cod on 21 November 1620. One of 102 passengers was a Pilgrim named Degory Priest. He is our direct ancestor.  
He was one of the group that emigrated from England to Leyden, Holland. He was born about 1579, maybe in Devonshire. He married Sarah Allerton in 1611 in Holland. She was the sister of Isaac Allerton who also came over on the Mayflower. Degory and Sarah had two daughters, one of whom, Mary, would eventually marry our ancestor Phineas Pratt. When Degory came to America he left his wife and daughters in Holland.
Very little is known about Degory. He may be the same person as Degory Prust, son of Peter Prust, for whom there is a baptimal record in Devonshire. It is clear that he was a religious Separatist early on. He was a hatter in Leyden and may have been a hatter in London. He became a citizen of Leyden like many of the Pilgrims as that was a prerequisite for membership in the guilds.
 Sarah Allerton's parents were Edward Allerton (b 1555) and Rose Davis (b 1559). Her grandfather was William Allerton (b 1529). All three are our direct ancestors.
Almost half of the original Mayflower group died the first year and Degory was among them, dying on 1 January 1621. He survived long enough to be one of the signers of the famous Mayflower Compact, often thought of as America's first written consitution.
Degory's widow, Sarah Allerton, after receiving word of his death, remarried in Leyden. In 1623 she and her new husband together with two of her children (including our ancestor Mary Priest) and at least one of his migrated to Plymouth on the ship Anne. It was there that Mary and Phineas met and eventually wed.
NEXT: The story of Phineas Pratt

Emailed Sept. 4

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