Mayflower Hat Maker: Degory Priest

Are you a descendant of Mayflower passenger Degory Priest?
If you are, then please tell us your line.

Painting: “The Mayflower Compact, 1620,” by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris
Painting: “The Mayflower Compact, 1620,” by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris, 1899. Source: Library of Congress.

According to Wikipedia, Degory Priest:

was a hat maker from London who married Sarah, sister of Pilgrim Isaac Allerton in Leiden. He was a signatory to the Mayflower Compact in November 1620 and died less than two months later.


Searching in GenealogyBank’s Historical Newspaper Archives, I can easily find hundreds of articles about descendants of other Mayflower Pilgrims such as Thomas Rogers, Stephen Hopkins or Dr. Samuel Fuller – but, articles about Degory Priest descendants – not so much.

I only found six persons who mentioned their descent from him in their obituaries, such as this one for Patricia Sayward.

obituary for Patricia Sayward, Amesbury News newspaper article 17 March 2009
Amesbury News (Amesbury, Massachusetts), 17 March 2009

Patricia A. (Woodward) Sayward’s (1929-2009) obituary tells us that “she was a descendant of Degory Priest” and that she had two ancestors who fought at the Battles of Lexington and Concord. She was active in both the Mayflower Society and the Daughters of the American Revolution.

Here are the other five individuals I found whose obituaries mentioned that they were descendants of Degory Priest:

If you are a descendant of Degory Priest – or any other Mayflower passenger – please tell us about it in the comments section.

Related Mayflower Genealogy Articles:


10 thoughts on “Mayflower Hat Maker: Degory Priest

  1. Mr. Kemp,
    I knew a deceased member of our Pasco County Genealogy Society who was an descendant of Degory Priest from his daughter Mary (Mariah) who married Phineas Pratt. She left our society 5 notebooks of names of her ancestors. Because of your article, I checked it out and have traced her family back to when James Litchfield married Hannah Pratt on May 15, 1760 in Hingham. This set of books were her notecards, organized into families, has no sources, just names and dates. I am sure she had sources, but we do not have them. Her name was Charlotte Tower Litchfield, 1926 – 2004 and she always told us about her Degory Priest. If you would like more information or to see them, please email me.

    1. This is good news Virginia. Thank you for letting us know that Charlotte Tower Litchfield’s (1926 – 2004) genealogical notes and papers have been preserved at the Pasco County Genealogical Society’s research collections. See:

      Knowing that she was a descendant of Mayflower Pilgrim Degory Priest – will let her many ‘cousins’ use her papers as a road map to retrace, document and confirm her conclusions.

      Thank you for letting us know about this important resource.

  2. Charlotte Tower Litchfield was a descendant. If you want more information from Pasco County Genealogical Society who hold her papers, please email me.

  3. There are a large number of families in England who are direct descendants of Jean de Lanoy, kinsman of Philippe de Lanoy who became Recorder of New York in 1685 (I believe) and led to your great president Franklin Delano Roosevelt. I have been tracing my own branch of this family, here in England since 1605. The records of the Huguenots here in England are very complete and I am surprised that many of your members do not know of the work that has been done here. So much more research yet to do!

  4. Thanks for alerting us Myma.
    Are you putting your research online?
    Please tell us where your research is online so we can learn more about our UK cousins.

    Thanks again.

  5. Good work cousin Michelle.
    Looking at Phineas Pratt – I have his line down to your Myrtle Shockey that married Samuel Jackson Null (1881-1962). Thanks for the information – I’ll work on extending that line and adding the additional descendants to the tree.

    Thank you for responding to this post.


  6. Degory Priest
    Mary Priest m. Phineas Pratt
    Aaron Pratt
    Aaron Pratt
    John Pratt
    John Pratt
    Minot Pratt
    John Pratt
    John Pratt
    Marietta Pratt Baynard

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