Thanksgiving holds special meaning for Pilgrim descendant

Every Thanksgiving since I was a child I have revisited my roots through the Pilgrim, John Howland. John and his brothers George, Arthur and Henry were born near Newport, County Essex, England. John came to this country on the Mayflower. His brothers came later.

I am a direct descendant of Henry. My grandmother on my mother's side was a Howland from that line. I always wonder how the Pilgrims of yore would view today's Thanksgiving.

The most interesting and memorable part of John's journey on the Mayflower was that during a violent storm a monstrous wave swept him overboard. John was several fathoms under the water when he managed to surface. He was rescued by fellow passengers using a boat hook and rope.

This event is documented in "Families of the Pilgrims" published by the Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Descendants in 1955. I love this story. It explains much of the clumsiness found in my family to this day. I wonder what other adventurous traits I may have inherited from the Howlands?

So, Thanksgiving has a special meaning to me. It is more than being thankful or being blessed. It's not just turkey, stuffing, potatoes and gravy. It is about a connection with my family. Thanksgiving is about family. Blessings to all.

Diane Vincent

Bay Village

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Volume 5, Issue 24, Posted 9:56 AM, 11.26.2013