Introduction: In this article, Melissa Davenport Berry continues her series profiling descendants of the Mayflower settlers, giving more details of the tricentennial celebrations in Nebraska in 1920. Melissa is a genealogist who has a blog, AnceStory Archives, and a Facebook group, New England Family Genealogy and History.
Today I continue with my “Mayflower Descendants: Who’s Who” series, with more on the descendants who resided in Nebraska in 1920. It was a year to celebrate! It was the 300th anniversary of the Pilgrims landing on Plymouth Rock. The Nebraska families marked the occasion with a big parade, and the Omaha Herald featured the proud Pilgrim descendants.
Amongst others, the article highlighted two generations of Mayflower descendants:
- Thomas Casady, born Francis LeBaron “Fanny” Kasson, daughter of LeBaron James and Mary Jane (McFarland) Kasson; and her daughter Francis Christabel Casady, who would later become the wife of Rev. Jonathan Goodhue Sherman and mother to Thomas Sherman, Sallie Sherman Lloyd, and Marilyn Sherman Kitler.
- Casady and her daughter and grandchildren descend from Mayflower passengers Governor William Bradford and Thomas Rogers.
- The LeBaron name was a rare one in the genealogical circles and one of great interest due to its Plymouth connection.
This newspaper article contained a passage from John A. Goodwin’s book The Pilgrim Republic that describes the romantic tale of the first Frances LeBaron:
“In 1694 there was no surgeon at Plymouth, and the wife of Goodman Hunter is said to have been in much suffering for want of one. A French privateer had just been wrecked in Buzzard’s Bay; her accomplished surgeon, only 26 years old, was Francis LeBaron, supposed to be the scion of some Huguenot family then in royal disfavor, and bearing an assumed name. While in Plymouth, on his way to Boston as a prisoner-of-war, he heard of Goodwife Hunter’s wife’s case and treated it with great success. The selectmen secured his release by Lieutenant-Governor Stoughton, and his settlement at Plymouth as their surgeon.”
Francis LeBaron married Mary Wilder, daughter of Edward and Elizabeth (Eames) Wilder of Hingham, Massachusetts, in September 1695. Two sons from that marriage would marry Bartlett women, direct descendants of Mayflower passenger Richard Warren.
The article highlighted other Mayflower descendants in Nebraska:
- Benjamin F. Bailey, born Minnie Frank Bryant, daughter of Ebenezer Sumner and Louisa Maria (Turner) Bryant of Wareham, Massachusetts. She is a descendant of John Alden and Priscilla Mullins, Miles Standish, and George Soule.
- She married Dr. Benjamin Franklin Bailey, son of William and Mariette (Barnes) Bailey of Littleton, New Hampshire, in 1882. Minnie’s ancestry is published in the Lineage of National Society of the Sons and Daughters of the Pilgrims, Volume II on page 9. She was a member of this society in Nebraska.
It was not a little matter for Minnie and her husband to relocate to Lincoln, Nebraska. Many of her relations protested and Minnie shared her story with the newspaper:
“I was the first of that branch of my family to contemplate moving more than twenty miles from the Plymouth home. The relatives came from all over to try to persuade me to desist from such a wild and hazardous adventure. Not being able to move me from my determination, they endeavored to persuade my father to forbid my going, using as an argument that he could never hope to see me again. Indians, distance and hardships would separate us forever, until I began to feel that the same fortitude and determination which upheld my Pilgrim ancestors must sustain me. My husband promised that I should return each year, which promise has been faithfully kept. The little church in the suburbs of Plymouth where many generations of my family worshipped, has been bought and restored by my grandmother’s descendants, and one day in midsummer of each year the relatives meet in reunion and so keep alive the traditions and family interest.”
Pilgrim offspring, through the generations, promoted patriotism: Two mentioned in this article are:
- Joseph Reed Weeth, born Effie Francis Reed, daughter of Charles Edson Reed and Emily Newell; and her daughter Gertrude Emily Weeth. Mrs. Weeth and her daughter descend from Mayflower passenger Francis Cooke.
- Both mother and daughter were members of the Omaha Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution and filed their applications under patriot Benjamin Reed, a great grandson of William Reed and Esther Tomson, daughter of Lt. John Tomson and Mary Cooke, daughter of Francis Cooke.
- In 1932 Effie and fellow DAR darling Mrs. Raymond V. Cole dressed in colonial costume to pour the tea for a George Washington birthday celebration at the Fontenelle.
Stay tuned for more “Mayflower Descendants: Who’s Who.”
Note: An online collection of newspapers, such as GenealogyBank’s Historical Newspaper Archives, is not only a great way to learn about the lives of your ancestors – the old newspaper articles also help you understand American history and the times your ancestors lived in, and the news they talked about and read in their local papers. Do you have a family connection all the way back to the Mayflower Pilgrims?
- Mayflower Descendants: Who’s Who, Part I
- Mayflower Descendants: Who’s Who, Part II
- Mayflower Descendants: Who’s Who, Part III
- Mayflower Descendants: Who’s Who, Part IV
- Mayflower Descendants: Who’s Who, Part V
- Mayflower Descendants: Who’s Who, Part VI
- Mayflower Descendants: Who’s Who, Part VII
- Mayflower Descendants: Who’s Who, Part VII (conclusion)
- Mayflower Descendants: Who’s Who, Part 8
- Mayflower Descendants: Who’s Who, Part 9
- Mayflower Descendants: Who’s Who, Part 10
- Mayflower Descendants: Who’s Who, Part 11
- Mayflower Descendants: Who’s Who, Part 12
- Mayflower Descendants: Who’s Who, Part 13