Pilgrim Ancestors

By Hayden Hall - Copy Desk Chief

Lone Peak is home to a great diversity of students, each coming from a different legacy of those who came to America--after-all we are a nation of immigrants. But, none may be more famous than the pilgrim immigrants who traveled to America and settled the original Puritan-colonies that would ultimately shape America forever. You’d be surprised just how many of these pilgrims have descendants here in this school. In our nation, and especially in the area we live in, family history and heritage is celebrated, and knowledge of our ancestors is sought after, so there is no surprise that many students are plenty aware of their possible pilgrim lineage.

One interesting class that was newly offered at The Peak, was the Family History class. Taught by Miss Kay, the class focuses on the searching, finding, recording, and preserving the heritage of others and the students. This class offers a depth and insight into the pilgrim ancestors in Lone Peak High School, and with these descendant students, also comes the unique tales from their great-great-great… pilgrim grandparents.

McKell McIntyre, a junior here at Lone Peak High School, has a rather interesting story regarding her pilgrim ancestor, Dorothy. Interestingly enough, her last name was never mentioned and it ended up being lost to time without record. Dorothy survived the trip and ended up marrying soon after arriving and bearing two children. She died about two years after arriving at Plymouth. However, Dorothy was unique in the fact that she was actually the only maidservant on the Mayflower and came to North America as the only non-sovereign passenger, as she technically belonged to John Carver, who she, oddly enough, ended up marrying.

Maria Bailey, a Lone Peak sophomore, also has a pilgrim ancestor who came from that original Mayflower voyage, those nearly 400 years ago. Maria happens to be descended from Solomon Prower, another one of religious voyagers who escaped oppression from the Church of England. Prower had a reputation at the beginning of his life after being converted to some Puritan values, and actually was arrested for speaking out against a ritual of the Church of England and escaped through the Mayflower. He died the winter they arrived at North America, but his protesting legacy for his Puritan beliefs is a symbol of courage in the Bailey household. “We look up to him for standing for what he believes in. Our family values that part of our history and legacy.”

Junior Bryson Jensen’s pilgrim ancestor is somewhat of a hero in Plymouth history, a figure that those on the Mayflower greatly respected, Giles Heale. “We don’t know much about him, but we know he was important and that there was a good reason he went on the ship,” said Bryson, continuing to explain that he had not delved deep into the family history revolving around his interesting ancestor. It turns out, the reason he was so esteemed on the ship would be none other than him being the ship’s surgeon. Heale was one of the very few to survive the first few winters at Plymouth and even lived much past that, finally dying at the age of 68, quite late for that time. Without Heale, the ship may have experienced much more death than it did, and for that the voyagers would have been extremely grateful.

Jason Lindstrom, a senior at Lone Peak, was not afraid to share and express gratitude for his ancestor. “I love having the heritage and legacy I do, especially from such a historic-line like the pilgrims,” said Jason. Jason is descended from George Soule, a servant to another family of pilgrim voyagers, the Edward Winslow family. He had one of the biggest signatures on the Mayflower Compact, which Jason says, “is important to me because he signed something to change the course of this nation forever.” George Soule survived the few winters and grew up, reaching the good age of 61. His will is kept at the Library of Virginia and prized as an example of Puritan ideologies of death and the importance of heritance for land and prosperity. Jason is more than proud to have this kind of history in his lineage.

Lone Peak High School is likely home to many more than just those few unique stories and people from that original journey that began the nation we live in and respect today.

So, as we draw nearer to that annual celebration of gratitude and unity with family and friends, Thanksgiving, let us keep our cultural and ancestral heritage in our minds, because we always need to realize that everything we stand for and who we are comes from our past. After all, no matter who you are descended from, they did something to shape your lineage forever, so let’s celebrate that and remember those who began it all, the Puritan-pilgrims of Plymouth Rock.