Climbing My Family Tree, Part 24

Immigrants Francis Cooke, Hester le Mahieu Cooke, Jane Cooke, and Experience Mitchell

Francis Cooke (my ten times great-grandfather) was a Mayflower passenger. I stumbled across his lineage while investigating the Packards in Part 22. Francis was born in England in 1583. Curiously, we find him living in Leiden, Holland, about eight years before John Robinson and the rest of the Pilgrims arrived. This period was before the time of Protestant persecution in England under King James, so the original motivation to move to Holland is unknown. His occupation was that of wool comber. Continue reading

Climbing My Family Tree, Part Four

Immigrants Joshua and Bathsheba Pratt

For our fourth episode, we return to Plymouth. Three years have passed since Isaac Allerton’s arrival on the Mayflower, and that first fateful winter when half the original colonists died. (See Climbing My Family Tree, Part One.)

Joshua Pratt, my nine times great-grandfather, sailed from England to Plymouth on the Anne in 1623. My research introduced me to Joshua quite some time before I learned of any of my Mayflower foreparents. I was ecstatic to “meet” Joshua as he was a true-to-life passenger on the ship that carried my fictional character, John Wilkins, on his journey to Plymouth in my book, John Wilkin’s New Plymouth. I found this to be an astonishing coincidence, as I knew nothing about Joshua at the time I wrote the book. Continue reading