Introduction: In this article, Melissa Davenport Berry continues her series on Mayflower descendants, focusing on some more Pilgrim descendants who made their way to Michigan. 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 more focus on the lineage of Detroit, Michigan, residents who traced their lines back to Plymouth Colony Pilgrims.
To recap: In November of 1956 several scions of the Pilgrims attended a Compact Day celebration dinner to honor the 41 men on board the Mayflower who signed the compact on 11 November 1620. The Michigan Society of Mayflower Descendants hosted the event, and the Detroit Times reported on the attendee’s lineage and history. To read my first part see Mayflower Descendants: Who’s Who, Part 21
This article reported that historian of the group, Maurice Winslow Fox (1883-1970), son of the famed parliamentarian Emma Augusta Stowell and Charles Edgar Fox, has Mayflower ancestors Richard Warren and Edward Fuller. He told the press he enjoys his job tremendously in view of his long-standing interest in genealogy.
In the 1940s Fox published some of his genealogy research including “John Scott of Brookfield,” which appeared in the magazine of the Detroit Society for Genealogical Research.
Fox was an engineer and worked on the construction of the Panama Canal. He married Esther Gherke and there are descendants still around today.
Assistant historian, Mrs. Dwight Thomas Randall (1879-1972), born Myrtle Peck to Melvin Dewitt Peck and Rhoda Jane Moshier, traces her ancestry back to Francis Cooke and Richard Warren.
Warren came alone on the Mayflower, but his wife Elizabeth Walker and their five daughters (Mary, Ann, Sarah, Elizabeth, and Abigail) followed on the Ann, the third ship to arrive in Plymouth, in 1623. Later two sons, Nathaniel and Joseph, were born to the Warrens in the New World.
Mrs. Randall was the founding regent of the Sarah Ann Cochrane Chapter of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR) in Plymouth, Michigan, and also served as the State Historian.
Recording secretary of the Society, Mrs. Charles Bartlett of Highland Park, traces two lines back to Governor William Bradford, which makes her a cousin many times removed from Mrs. Henry B. Joy, born Helen Hall Newberry (1869-1958) to John Stoughton Newberry and Helen Parmelee Handy, also a Bradford descendant.
Mrs. Joy was a member of more than two dozen patriotic societies, musical and theatrical groups, and philanthropic and civic organizations. Her obituary published in the Detroit Times cited her dedication to the importance of community and patronage.
This obituary reported:
“The death of Mrs. Joy marked the close of an era in Detroit which emphasized gracious living at its best. She typified the finest of her generation by enthusiastic, eager service to the causes in which she believed…
“Hers was no lip service. This was her philosophy:
“Decide how you best can serve, then join others with the same ideal and purpose, and work. If there’s no group to join, then organize one.”
She gifted her home to the Louisa St. Clair Chapter of the DAR, and served as national recording secretary of the NSDAR, considered the second-highest office in the organization.
Her husband Henry Bourne Joy, born to James Frederick Joy and Mary Bourne, also has Mayflower lineage: passengers John Howland, Robert Cushman, Edward Tilley, and John Allerton.
One of the younger members of the Michigan Society of Mayflower Descendants profiled in the 1956 newspaper article above is Mrs. Robert W. Brandon of Pine Hill Drive, Birmingham. She is related to Mayflower passenger Myles/Miles Standish, “the gentleman who sent John Alden to do his courting for him, and thus wound up as one of history’s best known unrequited lovers.”
Mrs. Brandon was also a member of the Louisa St. Clair Chapter of the DAR. Her photo was featured in May 1954 in the Detroit Times when she participated in the planning of the annual Patriot Ball hosted by the Detroit Historical Guild at the Park Shelton Hotel.
This article reported:
“Whenever Mrs. Robert W. Brandon of Devonshire Road serves tea from her exquisite silver set, her imagination dips back to the time her grandparents were young newlyweds and counted the tea service among their wedding gifts.
“It will go with the Brandons to their new suburban home this summer as will a quaint pair of 60-year-old chairs.
“Mrs. Brandon will act as hospitality chairman at Saturday’s ball – an apt role for a descendant of Miles Standish!”
Stay tuned for more Mayflower!
Note: Just as an online collection of newspapers, such as GenealogyBank’s Historical Newspaper Archives, helped tell the stories of Michigan descendants of the Pilgrims, 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: group portrait of (left to right) Helen Bourne Joy Lee, Helen Hall Newberry, and Edith Stanton Newberry at the 30th wedding anniversary dinner of Helen Hall Newberry Joy and Henry Bourne Joy Sr. Edith wears the wedding dress of her mother-in-law Helen P. Newberry. Courtesy of the Detroit Historical Society.
Recent Articles in This Series: