Digital Illumination

In honor of the 102 brave souls who made the Mayflower voyage in 1620, the Society fills our lawn with luminaries in commemoration during Plymouth 400's Illuminate Thanksgiving held on the weekend before the Thanksgiving holiday.

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We have asked our members to submit their own candles and will be sharing them in a ‘Digital Illumination’ throughout the night of Saturday, November 18, 2017, when Illuminate Thanksgiving takes place. Here are their submissions:

Deputy Governor Beth Lambright of the Oregon Society writes: Our Oregon Society lights a candle (with ancestors name on it) for each ancestor.  In the middle is the William Bradford quote candle.

With our Grandchildren Noah and Nathan Wilson (and daughter Lissa Wilson) we light a candle board that has every person from our Mayflower Ancestors Francis Cooke, Stephen Hopkins, Elizabeth Fisher Hopkins and Henry Samson all the way down to each of us to remember our wonderful heritage.

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GSMD member Terrence Janas sent us this adorable photo of her daughter, Allison Rose Janas, with her hidden candle (it's behind her!) in remembrance of their Pilgrim ancestor George Soule. Allison is an 11x great-granddaughter of George Soule. 

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An Alden and a Mullins descendant, Patricia Claus of the Maine Society shared with us this beautiful display for her ancestors and the sacrifices they made.

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Luke C Davidson, a descendant of George Soule and a member of the Kentucky Society, recently moved to Massachusetts and has enjoyed showing his son Duxbury and Middleboro, where George eventually settled. He shared with us this heartwarming display in his home.

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Linda McAlvey shared this candle in memory of her 9th great-grandmother Mary Chilton, and several other Mayflower passengers, ancestors of both of her grandmother's.

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A member of Alden Kindred, Sonja Kirk lit a candle in memory of her 9th great grandparents, John Alden and Priscilla Mullins.

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Rhode Island Mayflower Society member Melissa Natusch sent us her display in remembrance of her 13th great-grandfather Francis Cooke and her 12th great-grandfather Richard Warren, featuring several pieces of GSMD insignia with Mayflower pride.

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On Saturday, November 18, the Society of Mayflower Descendants in the State of Illinois had it's Annual Meeting. GSMD Member-at-Large and Illinois' former Governor Jane Schleinzer writes to us:
"At our Annual Meeting we always have a New Member Welcome Ceremony. During the ceremony, we light a candle for the new member's ancestor. The last candle is lit for everyone else that was on the Mayflower. I've included a photo of the new members and the officers who performed the ceremony, and the candles. 

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Patty Haskins sent us these four candles for her ancestors, Mrs. Chilton, Mary Chilton, James Chilton and George Soule: 

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From the South Dakota Society of Mayflower Desendants, Brenda Lee Girard Dahlin shared with us her display for Henry Samson: 


Jo Anne Warn Farrell wrote to us: "In honor of Illumination Night and our Mayflower ancestors, my thoughts turn to my own ancestor, Francis Eaton. Representing the family and lit with a traditional bayberry taper, is my Rachel Eaton doll, daughter of Francis Eaton, and who is also my 10th great-grandmother."


Margaret Ann Gee of the New Mexico Society of Mayflower Desendants, sent us this display in honor of her 11th great-grandfather, William Bradford.
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Laurie Sutherland and Mark Sutherland are a Mayflower couple from the Illinois Society. 
Mark's ancestors are John Alden, Myles Standish, Henry Samson and William Mullins. Laurie descends from Thomas Rogers, Francis Cooke, Stephen Hopkins and Elizabeth Fisher Hopkins. Laurie holds the memory of the Mayflower's female passengers close at heart and is honored to have co-founded the Women of the Mayflower committee.
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Barbara Wirth sent us this candle in memory of Edward Winslow, her 9th Great Grandfather. She writes to us: "So proud to be a part of the Mayflower family!"
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Marianne Brewster Prescott writes to us, "William Brewster is my 10th Great Grandfather. We have 8 others and 2 wives. I have only joined under William Brewster. My candle honors Elder Brewster and all the brave pilgrims."
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Stephanie Scholten lit her candle in honor of her ancestors, Mary and James Chilton. Thank you for sending all the way from Newberg, Oregon!
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Nancy Anne Merwin wrote to us from the Connecticut Society: "Remembering my ancestors, William, Mary and Love Brewster, and William Bradford."

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Ann and Bob Miles reached out to us with their beautiful display. Ann wrote that her and Bob would like to honor, remember and illuminate their Mayflower ancestors. Bob is a descendant of Brewster and Hopkins, while Ann is a descendant of Mullins, Alden and Soule. They also just celebrated their wedding anniversary, so the display is complete with roses and their open wedding album. Congratulations, Ann and Bob! Thank you for sharing this with us.

Debbie Leszczynski sent us this adorable display, "My small way of honoring my 11 times great grandparents John Alden "Ships cooper" and Priscilla Mullins "Passenger"
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Lisaann VanBlarcom Permunian sent us her candle for her 12th great-grandmother Mary Chilton.
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Kate Grant sent us this display for her 9th great-grandfather, Governor William Bradford.
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And last, but certainly not least, is Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Descendants Life Member Jason Morley with his contribution for his ancestors: John Alden, Peter Brown, Francis Cooke, Edward Doty, Francis Eaton, William Mullins, Degory Priest, Henry Samson, George Soule, Myles Standish, William White... Thank you, Jason.


Thank you so much for your contributions. It is heartwarming to see that not only can one candle light a thousand here in Plymouth, but with the help of technology, the act of lighting a candle for our ancestors in commemoration can connect our Mayflower family. Thank you. 

The Mayflower Society wishes everyone a Happy Thanksgiving! 


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