Introduction: In this article, Melissa Davenport Berry continues her series on Mayflower descendants, focusing on Winslow Brewster Standish, a descendant of Myles Standish. 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 series “Mayflower Descendants: Who’s Who” with a focus on Winslow Brewster Standish (1834-1910): veteran soldier, antiquarian, selectmen, and Yankee peddler during the turn of the century in Plymouth, Massachusetts.
Winslow was a seventh-generation lineal descendant of Mayflower passenger Myles Standish. Other Pilgrims in his tree include George Soule, John Alden, and Pricilla Mullens.
- Winslow Brewster Standish
- Joshua Standish Jr. and Mary Shaw (other children listed below)
- Joshua Standish and Susannah Cobb
- Moses Standish II and Mary Eddy
- Moses Standish and Rachel Cobb, great granddaughter of George Soule
- Ebenezer Standish and Hannah Sturtevant
- Alexander Standish and Sarah Alden, daughter of John Alden and Pricilla Mullins
- Myles Standish and Barbara [surname unknown]
Winslow possessed such a likeness to his ancestor Myles Standish that he was the model for both the bas-relief Pilgrim monument “Faith” and the Myles Standish Monument on Captain’s Hill, Duxbury, Massachusetts. He was called upon to portray his ancestor in pageants around the country.
In 1929 the Coulee City Dispatch paid homage to Captain Myles Standish.
This article reported:
Thanksgiving approaches, and as our thoughts turn to the Pilgrim Fathers, none is more worthy of remembrance than Capt. Myles Standish. For he was “the first military commander of our country and the greatest example of protection and preparedness that ever existed. The compact which he and his associates signed on board the Mayflower was the foundation of our form of government. The law-abiding, God-fearing Pilgrims could not have existed without the strong arm of Capt. Myles Standish.” Such was the tribute paid to him recently by Major Myrick, captain of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company of Boston…
Like his Pilgrim progenitor and many that succeeded him, Winslow was eager to serve his country and enlisted in Company E, 29th Massachusetts Regiment, under Major Samuel Doten at the start of the Civil War.
During his service, Winslow fell ill with malaria and was hospitalized in Washington, D.C. He received a special visitor – President Lincoln, or “Uncle Abe,” as he called himself – who lit up with excitement when Winslow told him he was from Plymouth and his surname was Standish. The two men had a lively exchange on Mayflower pilgrim Myles, the brave military captain of the New World.
Lincoln’s last words to him: “Plymouth is my Mecca. If I live, I shall visit Plymouth and place my foot on that sacred rock. To me it is sacred.”
Winslow returned to Plymouth and drove a peddler’s cart until he opened his own store, “The Old Curiosity Shop,” a retail enterprise that put him on the map.
In 1902 the New York Daily Tribune did a spotlight piece on the thousands who flocked to Plymouth to determine their family tree or secure Mayflower relics. Winslow’s shop was credited to be the most popular haunt.
This article reported:
By far the prize place for the would-be Pilgrim or Mayflower descendant is the Old Curiosity Shop, which is on the harbor front, not a stone’s throw from the rock on which the Fathers landed. It is kept by Winslow Brewster Standish, an old man, and direct descendant of the redoubtable Miles [Myles], of Colonial fighting fame. He has kept this shop for the sale of everything old, and some things not so old, for a number of years, and his collection of relics is just as large to-day as it was in the beginning, though his annual sales are enormous.
“There are enough Mayflower relics treasured in the United States,” says old Mr. Standish, “to fill two of the largest ocean liners.”
Winslow served as a town selectman and member of the Mayflower Lodge, Collingwood G. A. R., and the Patuxent Colony of Pilgrim Fathers.
He married Sylvia M. Maybury, daughter of Joseph Maybury and Betsey Cleveland Reed, in 1861. They had no children – however, many of his siblings carried on the line.
Other Standish children:
- Mary Shaw Standish married Robert Hall Aldrich
- Susanna Cobb Standish married Ichabod T. Holmes
- John Doten Standish married Lydia Oldham, 2nd Almira T. Vaughn
- Ruth Shaw Standish married Frederic Gleason
- William Miles Standish married Lydia Ann Chase, 2nd Anne M. Capendale, 3rd Ellen A. Reed
Family lines in the tree include Stetson, Briggs, Clapp, Sprague, King, Ford, Pratt, Morton, Ring, Vaughn, Bryant.
If you want to catch more on Winslow, there is an article “Old Plymouth Path New Trod” (p. 153-161) in the Overland Monthly, Vol. 49, 1907, by F. S. Drenning.
Stay tuned for more on Mayflower descendants!
Note: Just as an online collection of newspapers, such as GenealogyBank’s Historical Newspaper Archives, helped tell the stories of Winslow Brewster Standish, they can tell you stories about your ancestors that can’t be found anywhere else. Come look today and see what you can discover!
Note on the header image: a photo of the Myles Standish Monument, Duxbury, Massachusetts. Credit: Pete Forsyth; Wikimedia Commons.
Recent Articles in This Series: