Stories of the Mayflower

Mayflower 400 is a commemoration, remembering the lives of the Mayflower passengers, the Native American people they encountered and their legacy.

There are countless stories connected to the pioneering voyage and its passengers - the places they came from, the people they were and the legacy they left.

From the beginnings of the Separatist movement in England to the first Thanksgiving in America, this section will seek to tell those stories.

It will also explore the ancestry and genealogy of the Mayflower passengers and their relevance and impact on society today.

  • The Mayflower Story

    The Mayflower set sail on 16 September 1620 from Plymouth, UK, to start its long voyage to America.

    But its history and story start long before that in the villages, towns and cities of England.

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  • Native America

    Mayflower 400 is a true four-nation commemoration between the Wampanoag Nation, the USA, the UK and the Netherlands.

    Native America is central to the Mayflower story, as is centuries of Wampanoag history and the voices of those determined to keep the stories of their ancestors alive through a series of commemorative projects, exhibitions and events.

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  • How the Mayflower arrived in a world already scarred by slavery

    When the Mayflower arrived in America, history often records the event as a ship arriving in a ‘New World’. But these shores were not new. The colonists aboard the Mayflower were stepping foot on lands that had been home to people for centuries.

    They were also not the first Europeans to make the journey. Jamestown was one of several established settlements in Virginia by the winter of 1620.

    Records show that by that year, the Virginia colony was already involved in bringing African slaves to America.

    When the Mayflower set sail from its final departure point in Plymouth in September 1620, it set a course for Virginia – its intended destination to build a colony. The ship was voyaging to a place already engaged in a slavery.

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  • Passengers of the Mayflower

    The Mayflower story begins with the origins of the people who became known as the Pilgrims - the passengers of the Mayflower.

    Their story starts with the beginnings of the Separatist movement in England, taking in a spell in Holland before the pioneering voyage. These pages seek to tell their stories.

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  • The Mayflower Voyage

    For the passengers and crew who boarded the Mayflower some four centuries ago, the odds were firmly stacked against them as they looked to cross the Atlantic to start a new life.

    Read stories about the historic journey, and how the colonists finally reached North America after 66 gruelling days at sea.

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  • The Mayflower Compact

    With America almost close enough to touch, the battered and broken Mayflower passengers knew their journey was far from over, for they had no right to settle on the land upon which they had unintentionally arrived.

    The Pilgrims anchored in what is now Provincetown Harbour, Massachusetts, and decided to draw up an agreement that would give them some attempt at legal standing.

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  • My Mayflower

    Mayflower 400 UK has been presenting a series of digital programmes in the build-up to the 400-year anniversary of the ship's historic voyage.

    My Mayflower tells stories of those forever linked to the ship's legacy and impassioned by the anniversary of its pioneering sailing to America in 1620.

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  • Virtual Voyages

    Our Virtual Voyages series showcases the places woven into the Mayflower story.

    Discover hidden secrets and fascinating insights, told through the eyes of the people who live and breath the stories of the colonists.

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  • Re-Informed

    Our Re-informed series allows artists and producers to give an insight to their work.

    Our explore the Mayflower story - without shying away from its challenging history.

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  • Mayflower Passengers List - an interactive guide

    The list of Mayflower passengers who voyaged from Britain to America in 1620 includes the Pilgrim separatists, non-separatists, servants, and crew.

    The Mayflower passengers are listed along with our interactive map which shows where each of the colonists originally came from and where they lived.

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  • Women of the Mayflower

    There are precious few records of the women who boarded the Mayflower, but their strength and role in the dramatic voyage and settling in a new land cannot be underestimated.

    Here, we take a closer look at some of the women and girls who boarded the Mayflower, and their origins in England.

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  • Who were the children of the Mayflower?

    Little is known about the children who sailed on the Mayflower some 400 years ago, but it is thought that there were around 30 on board the ship when the group departed Plymouth.

    Richard Pickering, Deputy Director of Plimoth Patuxet Living Museum, explores more about the children of the Mayflower.

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  • Celebrities who can trace their ancestry to the Mayflower

    With as many as 35 million people worldwide descended from the Mayflower Pilgrims, it’s little wonder that group includes celebrities, royalty, American presidents, statesmen and women, and famous writers.

    The General Society of Mayflower Descendants has identified numerous celebrities whose ancestry can be traced back to passengers on the Mayflower. Here are a few you'll recognise!

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  • How a piece of Plymouth Rock ended up in a London church

    Plymouth Rock is located on the shore at Plymouth Harbor in Massachusetts, and continues to divide opinion for those interested in the Mayflower story.

    According to legend, many believe it to be the place where the Pilgrims disembarked the Mayflower some 400 years ago, after crossing the Atlantic from England. So how, then, did part of the historic rock end up in a church in Central London?

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  • Learning

    The educational reach of the Mayflower programme is across all ages, abilities and activities, ensuring Mayflower is an inclusive opportunity, allowing all to understand the people and the voyage.

    The education pages on this website are here to help you explore the narrative and the wider context of the Mayflower voyage. 

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  • The story of Plymouth Colony's most successful businesswoman

    Elizabeth Warren crossed the Atlantic in the summer of 1623 with her five daughters to join her husband, Mayflower passenger Richard Warren.

    Historic records show that she was a good businesswoman. After Richard's death in 1628, Elizabeth never remarried and was a widow for 43 years - knowing that if she wed again, she would lose all legal identity and all financial power.

    At the end of her life, Elizabeth had one of the largest land holdings in the colony - 13 miles of coastline from what is now the town of Plymouth to the town of Sandwich on Cape Cod.

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