My Claim to the Mayflower

Sketch of Peter Pan September 2019 by Wendy Harty

Favorite quote from the author of Peter Pan J.M. Barrie “So come with me where dreams are born and time is never planned.”

I love my name.

Wendy from the Disney Movie produced in 1953, Peter Pan. She is slender, fair skinned, light brown hair and blue eyes. Her goal in life is to keep the spirit of Peter Pan alive. She helps look after the lost boy brothers in Neverland.

Jean named after my mother, Verna Jeane Waddell. She dropped the last e to keep it simple when writing on forms.

Waddell my father’s last name, John Gordon Waddell and

Harty my married name given to my children.

In different branches of the ancestry tree is found the name Keziah: Keziah Atwood 1726-1794 the subject of my story, her daughter Keziah Atwood Gibbs 1749-1834, Keziah Kimball 1737-1815, cousin, Keziah Doane 1706-1738 Hannah Doane’s sister, and Keziah Duncan, 1735 daughter of Keziah Doane.

Forbidden (novel continued)

Keziah wasted no time doing her chores on Saturdays. She couldn’t wait for her father, Stephen Atwood to get home. There had been a hurricane out in the Atlantic and Stephen was the best carpenter that the town of Eastham had so his skills were needed to repair the roofs and windows damaged from the wind and storms. Keziah watched her shadow lengthen as the afternoon wore on. She’d left sweeping the porch for last so she could see her father coming up the path, past the meeting house, then stop and give greeting to her grandfather. Grandfather David was known as Doc Doane. Today she could see he was in a hurry; probably another baby on the way she mused. Finally her father was home and after supper was finished would be her favorite time of the week.

Hannah Atwood reached the Bible down and placed it before her husband, Stephen. Which of the stories would he entertain them with tonight? The children had scrubbed for meeting tomorrow. The family being Puritans would attend at 10:00 when the great bell rang and again go at 2:00 to the meeting house. But tonight was family time and Hannah was happy to sit and rest her leg. She could see how pleased Keziah was when her father beckoned her forward and placed her in his lap. Stephen opened the Holy Book to Job, took Keziah’s hand and helped her point to the letters.

K e z i a h. The most beautiful daughter in all the land he read aloud and then began to tell them the story of Job. God allowed Job to be tested by Satan. Thieves stole his animals. A tornado blew the house down and killed his children. His skin was covered in boils. And through it all Job refused to curse to God and so God gave Job more than he had before in riches and a family. Job’s second daughter is named Keziah. Nowhere in all the land were there found women as beautiful as Job’s daughters, and their father granted them an inheritance along with their brothers.

Isn’t Stephen’s will interesting in that both the sons and daughters were given an inheritance and Hannah, his wife, given the estate. (ref: Blog 1) The English heritage would be to give the estate to the oldest son.

The Bible had been in the Atwood family and passed down in England and had crossed the ocean to the New World at Plymouth Colony. The Atwood’s were descended from knights of the shire, bodyguards to English kings and members of Parliament. The first Atwood listed was John Atwood. They lived in a great manor house called Sanderstead. John and his family before him had belonged to the Letherseller’s Company. Sir Nicholas Atwood his father was Assistant Sergeant of the Queen’s Carriages, serving Queen Elizabeth I in the 2nd year of her reign onwards. When in the country the Atwood’s resided at Court Farm and here one night when the roads were especially bad and Queen Elizabeth I was returning from one of her trips, she spent the night at Court Farm.

Sanderstead appears in the Doomsday Book of 1086 with a population of 26.

All Saints’ Parish Church, at Sanderstead, England, has a large connection with the Atwood family. The first dated 1525 is a monument of John Attwoode and his wife Dyones. On the south side of the church was the graveyard where the Atwoods had their plots. Sir William Atte Wode born about 1270 was “Sir” and captain of the Kings Guard on duty at Westminster Palace, where parliament sat. His two sons Richard and William became “Sergeant at Arms”. They travelled with the King and invaded France. John Attewode and Denes had a son named John Hewson Attewode keeper of the kings falcons. He inherited Sanderstead Manor in 1530. During this time Henry VIII confiscated Church property. The village was granted by Henry VIII following the Dissolution of the Monasteries. It was sold to John Ownsted in 1591. When he died in 1600, he bequeathed it to his two sisters and cousin Harman Atwood. In the local church on the south wall of the sanctuary was a wall tablet with effigies: here lyeth Nicholas Wood thirde sonne of John Atwood of Sanderstead Corte who served Queen Elizabeth. deceased the XIIIth of May 1586 and left behind him a wife and children IX VII sons Harman John Nicolas Thomas James John Richard Allis and Suan.

The above Nicholas Atwood married heiress Lady Alyce Olive Harman at St Martins, London on Jan 30, 1569. Perhaps these two had a romance at the court of Henry VIII as both families were members at the the King’s court. The children: Harman, Oliver, Alice, Susan, John (Johannes), Nicholas, Thomas, James (Jacobus), John (Johanem), Derick, and Richard.

It is John (Johanem) Atwood, that is my 9th great grandfather marrried to Joan Coleson. In England he was a leather seller belonging to the Leather Seller’s Company and belonged to the guild. He and his other brother John (Johannes) came on the ship, Matthew and sons John, Henry and Stephen my 8th great grandfather soon followed him to the colonies May 31, 1635. Before they were allowed to leave England they were compelled to take an oath of allegiance that they would be loyal to their King and their mother country.

Governor William Bradford, of Plymouth Colony, Massachusetts recorded an earthquake on June 1, 1638 that was great and fearful. A rumbling noyse and the earth began to shake causing the platters, dishes and such to fall. The Atwoods would have felt their first earthquake and probably heard these words at the meeting house, ” So powerful is the mighty hand of the Lord, as to make both the earth and sea to shake, and the mountains to tremble before him, when he pleases, and who can stay his hand?”

Brother to my John, John (Johannes) Atwood became Assistant Governor of Plymouth Colony in 1638 to Governor William Bradford. This John was elected by the other colonists and as the partners of the Plymouth Colony in America felt cheated…”After diverse days” spent on the matter, John Atwood got partners in London and Plymouth to agree on a compromise. The three sons of John: John, Henry and Stephen bought land at Plymouth Colony and were faithful attendants at Town Meetings which they were required to attend. John bought town land, Henry farm land and they all shared meadowland. All three were on list of names to Bear Arms August 1643 and they asked to become Freemen on June 1, 1647, which allowed them to vote. All three married prominent Puritan families. Stephan moved to Eastham and married Abigail Barlow Dunham on November 16, 1644 at Eastham, my 8th greatgrandparents.

Stephen and Abigail Atwood had eight children all born at Eastham. Medad the youngest born January 16, 1658 married Esther Cole in 1684 and they had eight children the Stephen Atwood born March 20, 1695 who married Hannah Doane and whose daughter Keziah my novel is about.

My Claim to the Mayflower

Nicholas Atwood and Olive Harman also had a daughter, Alice, who was sister to my 9th great grandfather, John (Johannes) Atwood. She was born in England, 1574 and married William Mullins. He was a maker of leather shoes. They set sail along with their children Priscilla and Joseph. Their provisions were low with delays of a month. The people were worn out from being in the cramped spaces; the high waves constantly crashed until they arrived on the shores of the New World at Cape Cod, on November 9, 1620. William Mullins was a signatory to the Mayflower Compact, to follow the community’s rules and regulations for the sake of order and survival.

William Mullins died February 21, 1621 and Alice Mullins died March 15, 1621 and they are buried in Plymouth Colony along with about one half of the Pilgrims that did not survive that first winter. During that winter, the passengers remained on the ship and suffered an outbreak of a contagious diseases; a mix of scurvy, pneumonia and tuberculosis. Only 53 people lived to disembark on March 21, 1621. Joseph aged 14 died February 22-28 and did not survive either but daughter Priscilla did. She inherited 21 dozen shoes and 13 pair of boots left in her father’s will. Other items: oiled leather and canvas suits, breeches, shirts, jerkins, hats and caps, hose, stockings, belts and haberdasherie. She married John Alden and became the subject of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem called The Courtship of Miles Standish.

6 thoughts on “My Claim to the Mayflower

  1. Hello! It looks as if we have the same family history. Sir Nicolas Atwood (Assistant Sergeant of the Queens Carriages) is my 13th great grandfather! I’d love to know more if you have any history.


  2. Hello! It looks as if we have the same family history. Sir Nicolas Atwood (Assistant Sergeant of the Queens Carriages) is my 13th great grandfather! I’m starting to dig into my history, I’d love to know more if you have any history.


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