Here, gathered in our beloved South Dakota, are a few members of our Williamson / Mattson Clan. Charles and Luella are to be blamed (be kind, they didn't know what they were doing). We're generally a happy bunch and somewhat intelligent (notwithstanding our tenuous grasp on reality). I'm also proud to say that most of us still have our teeth.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Our Second Mayflower Ancestor

The Mayflower

From the Fortress of Solitude
Pleasant Grove

Hello All,
Tonight we learn about our 10th Great Grandfather Degory Priest who arrived in America on the Mayflower and signed the Mayflower Compact. With him on the journey was our 11th Great Uncle Isaac Allerton.

Degory is our second ancestor who sailed on the Mayflower. In an earlier post we discovered that our 10th Great Grandfather Francis Cooke was also aboard. Aren't the perfect American pilgrim family? I believe its time we groom one of the children to run for president. They'd have the perfect genealogy for the job!

Degory Priest, Born 1579

It is thought that Degory Priest may be the "Digorius Prust" baptized in Hartland Co., Devonshire, England on 11 August 1582, the son of Peter Prust. In April 1619 in Leyden, Degory Priest stated in a record that he was 40 years old, making him born about 1579. He married Sarah (Allerton) Vincent on the 4 November 1611, Leyden, Holland. She was a sister of the famous Isaac Allerton, also a Mayflower passenger. Both are stated as being of London in their marriage record. They had two daughters in Leyden.

Very little is known about Degory Priest. Since he was married in Holland in 1611, it is clear that he was a religious Separatist very early on, and was an early member of the Pilgrims' Leyden congregation. He was a hatter in Leyden and may have been a hatter in London. Degory became a citizen of Leyden in 1615. Many of the pilgrims similarly became citizens as that was a prerequisite for entrance into the guilds.

The Signing of the Mayflower Compact

He came to America on the Mayflower, leaving behind his wife and two daughters. Almost half of the original Mayflower group died in the first year and Degory was among them, dying on 1 January 1621.

The Mayflower Compact (click to enlarge). Find the signatures of both our 10th Great Grandfathers -
Francis Cooke and Degory Priest

He had survived long enough to be one of the signers of the famous Mayflower Compact, often thought of as America's first written constitution. Bradford's contemporary history says that many of the passengers "dyed soon after their arrival, in the generall sickness that befell. But Digerie Priest had his wife and children sent hither afterwards, she being Mr. Allerton's sister".

Relationship Chart

Degory Priest married Sarah Allerton
Sarah Priest married John Combs
Anthony Coombs married Dorcas Wooden
Anthony Coombs married Ruth Getchell

Ruth Coombs married Nathaniel Toothacre
Mary Toothacre married Nathaniel Evans Jr.
Hannah Evans married John K. McCrillis
Joseph E. McCrillis married Almiria Swift

Isabel Deanora Helerson McCrillis married John Mayberry Dennis

Vesta Althea Dennis married Walter Edwin Pierce
Violet Mae Pierce married Walter Albert Mattson
Luella, Linda, John, Marvin