I wrote earlier about my application to the Mayflower Society. My application was approved and I recently received my membership certificate to “The General Society of Mayflower Descendants”. To become a member, I had to document that I was descended from one of the Mayflower passengers. My Mayflower Ancestor was John Howland.
I have a few photos to share, but they are terrible because the Marriott Hotel has really bright lighting. And, I swear, their lights seem to add at least 40 lbs. to the subjects wearing navy blue in each photograph! (ha)
I’ve copied the text below from Wikipedia —
Of the passengers, 37 were members of the separatist Leiden congregation seeking freedom of worship in the New World. The Mayflower launched with 102 passengers, as well as at least two dogs, and a crew of 25-30 headed by Captain Christopher Jones. One baby was born during the trip and named Oceanus Hopkins. Another, Peregrine (meaning “wanderer”) White, was born on the Mayflower in America on November 20, before the settlement at Plymouth. About half of these emigrants died in the first winter. Many Americans can trace their ancestry back to one or more of these individuals who, ‘Saints’ and ‘Strangers’ together, would become known as the Pilgrims.
During the luncheon, a list of the passengers’ names was called. I need to rephrase that to read “a list of the passengers who lived long enough to breed” names were called. When your ancestor’s name was called, you were asked to stand. It was fun seeing the people who shared your ancestor.
One gentleman stood at the calling of almost every name! Plymouth had a very small gene pool in those days and as soon as one Pilgrim died, their spouse remarried another Pilgrim. So it is possible to be related to almost everyone who survived the voyage. Eventually they got some new blood in their community or the Pilgrims would have all ended up looking alike. Sort of like the history of the Hapsburg Dynasty. The Hapsburg’s inbreeding led to the inheritable trait titled the “Hapsburg Lip” or “Hapsburg Jaw” which is medically known as Prognathism.
Again, copied from Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hapsburg_Lip#Mandibular_prognathism_.28progenism.29
Prognathism is well recorded as a trait of several historical individuals. The most famous case is that of the House of Habsburg, among whom mandibular prognathism was a family trait; indeed, the condition is frequently called “Habsburg Jaw” as a result of its centuries-long association with the family. Among the Habsburgs, the most prominent case of mandibular prognathism is that of Charles II of Spain, who had prognathism so pronounced he could neither speak clearly nor chew as a result of generations of politically motivated inbreeding.
Poor Charles II, all of the inbreeding had also taken its toll on his mental capacity and his ability to sire offspring and produce an heir (he was impotent). And this led to their downfall. But I digress. . .
Joining a genealogical society such as “The Mayflower Society” is only interesting to me because I was adopted and had no clue what my background was. As it turns out, it I am pretty much a W.A.S.P. (White Anglo Saxon Protestant). I have an occasional Catholic or Reformed Latter Day Saint mixed into the gene pool, but my Haplogroup is H, which includes about 40% of Europeans. I’ve copied this info. below from http://www.familytreedna.com
Mitochondrial haplogroup H is a predominantly European haplogroup that originated outside of Europe before the last glacial maximum (LGM). It first expanded in the northern Near East and southern Caucasus between 33,000 and 26,000 years ago, and later migrations from Iberia suggest it reached Europe before the LGM. It has also spread to Siberia and Inner Asia. Today, about 40% of all mitochondrial lineages in Europe are classified as haplogroup H.
In today’s world of political correctness, the only ethnic or cultural group you can make fun of is the one you belong to — so that gives me the perfect opportunity to segue into a few horrible WASP jokes —
Q: What’s a WASP’s idea of social security?
A: An ancestor on the Mayflower.
Q: How does a WASP propose marriage?
A: “How would you like to be buried with my people?”
Q: How many WASPS does it take to change a light bulb?
A: Three. One to call the electrician and two to mix the martinis.
Q: How do you tell the Bride at a WASP wedding?
A: She is the one kissing the golden retriever.
And Finally, a quick look at the Urban Dictionary to get a current definition of WASP — http://www.urbandictionary.com
White Anglo-Saxon Protestant
Descendants of colonial-era immigrants from the British Isles–especially England, but also from Wales and Scotland (irrespective of the fact that Scots and Welsh people are predominantly descended from Celts, not descendants of Angles and Saxons)–who belonged to the Presbyterian, Congregationalist, and Episcopalian (Anglican) denominations of Protestantism.
The term is redundant because all Anglo-Saxons are white.
To this day in America, the W.A.S.P.s are the one group about which–in a politically correct atmosphere–jokes can be made with impunity.