Immigrants Robert Lee, Mary Atwood Lee, and Samuel Sturtevant Sr.
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My grandmother’s maiden name was Sturtevant, which can be traced back to Plymouth in the years following the Mayflower landing, and back to England before that.
Samuel Sturtevant Sr. (my eight times great-grandfather) was born in England around the year 1624. He was in Plymouth by 1640, which would put him in his teens at the time he immigrated. The name of his ship and his exact date of arrival are unknown.
Samuel was a respected citizen of Plymouth. He was Town Constable and a Juryman. He acquired “considerable” land and was one of the first to settle outside the original Plymouth frontier, settling to the north, in what became known as Plympton, and is currently part of Halifax.
He married Ann Lee in 1643, and together they had nine children. Ann’s parents, Robert Lee and Mary Atwood (my nine times great-grandparents) were also immigrants from England. Robert was a shoemaker. Robert and Mary also settled outside the original Plymouth frontier, becoming some of the first European settlers moving to the south of Plymouth Plantations, in the town of Barnstable.
My book, John Wilkin’s New Plymouth, is set in 1623, which predates Samuel Sturtevant Sr.’s arrival in Massachusetts by just a few years. It is interesting to know I had true-to-life ancestors living in Plymouth and the surrounding areas during the time addressed in my novel.
I am anxious to find a publisher for my book for two reasons.
First, I believe it to be quintessentially important for the next generation of youth to understand the United States of America is, and always has been a nation of immigrants.
Secondly, my book is grounded in historical fact, and shatters what has become a “fairy tale” version of Thanksgiving. The truth is that during the lifetime of my eight times great-grandfather, Native people suffered terribly. There was malfeasance and outright racism against the Indians, whom the Europeans considered to be “savages.”
How many readers know there was an Indian (Wituwamat) who was stabbed to death by Miles Standish’s men, then beheaded, only to have his head displayed upon a stake atop the Pilgrim fort in Plymouth on the orders of Governor Bradford?
It is essential our youth learn the truth about our nation, and I believe my book brings out the accuracy of our history in an interesting and objective format.
There is a long-standing oral tradition in my family that the Sturtevant line was originally named Stuyvesant. The family lore is that a Stuyvesant ancestor was responsible for purchasing Manhattan from the Indians for a handful of beads. The story goes that the family was so ashamed by this despicable deed they changed their name from Stuyvesant to Sturtevant and moved from New York to Maine.
As remarkable as this story is, I can find no facts in my family lineage to substantiate the claim. I find no link to the Stuyvesant name.
Eliphalet Sturtevant (my three times great-grandfather) moved from Massachusetts to Hebron, Maine sometime around the year 1800. He worked there as a carpenter and a farmer. I have found no connection to New York.
Samuel Sturtevant Sr. is the 31st of my direct ancestors who immigrated to North America, who I have highlighted in my Blog thus far. Like many of my other ancestors, we cannot be certain of his primary motive for immigration, but we can rest assured Samuel came here in search of a better life for himself and his future descendants.
The United States of America is a great country, filled with opportunity that is not readily available in many parts of the world. Samuel worked hard and earned himself a solid reputation in his adopted community. Even now, 377 years later, I continue to benefit from the choices he made.
Has your family benefited from immigration to America? Do you believe our diverse population makes us stronger? Do you want to be part of the solution? Consider the following:
American Refugee Committee (ARC) provides opportunities and expertise to refugees, displaced people, and host communities. They help people survive conflict and crisis and rebuild lives of dignity, health, security and self-sufficiency. ARC currently works with refugees and host communities in eleven countries around the world.
Please check out their website and see how you can make a positive change in the world starting today!
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My Family Tree:
- Robert Lee & Mary Atwood
- Samuel Sturtevant Sr. & Ann Lee
- Samuel Sturtevant Jr.
- William Sturtevant
- Isaac Sturtevant
- Samuel Sturtevant
- Eliphalet Sturtevant
- William Pratt Sturtevant
- Pliny Wyman Sturtevant»
- Electra Wyman Sturtevant
- Patricia Louise King
- Me (Alan deMeurers)
Running count of my direct immigrants from Europe to North America = 35