As part of our participation and support for the Mayflower 400 event (2020 will be the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower sailing from England to the USA) we have been researching where their passengers and crew came from.
The idea was to create an interactive digital map (see image below) where people can click on the pointers and learn more about who lived there before traveling to America. Many of these places are already planning to celebrate their involvement. Information about those plans can be found on links via the Mayflower 400 UK web site.
If anyone has additional information please could they contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Click anywhere on the map below to activate. It can be enlarged so you can see at the individual village and sometimes street level where people were born.
Key to pointer colour: Pilgrims & their servants – Merchant Passengers & their servants – Crew
Each pointer opens up a short summary of the life of that person, whether they were part of the Separatist/Pilgrim Congregation or a paying passenger or a servant of either group.
So what insights and information did we discover during our research that we did not know before?
- That almost half the people on-board the ship were fare paying passengers seeking a new life and not driven by religious convictions.
- That having arrived in America that it took weeks to find the place they wanted to settle and a few months more before they had constructed housing so they could all disembark. In the meantime only shore parties left the ship so conditions aboard must have been hard and contributed to the high death rate.
- Almost 50% of the passengers and crew died between December 1620 and the Spring/Early Summer.
- Due to illness and reduction in people available to build the planned 19 family houses and a number of community buildings only a few were completed. A year later only seven dwelling-houses and four community buildings had been completed.
It has been a really fascinating project to get involved with especially as Southampton played such an important role in providing all the supplies and provisions for both the Mayflower and her sister ship the Speedwell.
The economic, religious and geo-political background to the whole separatist movement and the exploration of the USA is equally interesting and one that Hampshire has a connection with through the 3rd Earl of Southampton, a relative of the Montagu’s of Beaulieu – who was a major financier and active member of of the Virginia Company.