Friday, November 27, 2009

For the Love of Spoons and Grappling Hooks

I just got off the phone with my oldest son (they will be at Pawley's Island with the grandparents through Sunday), and the first thing out of his mouth was:  "Yes Mom, we used the spoons!"  You are probably wondering what on earth I am talking about, but I thought I would use that to introduce the story of how my first ancestors arrived in our country.  (Beth AKA Social Climbers, you asked for this story! LOL).

Our family is lucky to have four ancestors arrive on the Mayflower.  These Separatists left all they knew in England, traveled to Holland for a few years (bet some of you didn't know that tidbit), and finally left for America. My children and I are descended from John and Joan Tilley (both died the first winter), their daughter Elizabeth, and John Howland.  Elizabeth and John later married in 1625.

But that's not the really amazing story.  This is...

During the Mayflower's voyage, John Howland fell overboard during a storm, and was almost lost in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Luckily, he managed to grab hold of the topsail halyards, giving the crew enough time to rescue him with a grappling hook.  William Bradford, in the falling-overboard incident, refered to Howland as a "lusty young man".  I always have to laugh at that!!!  So... I am very thankful for grappling hooks.  Had John Howland not been rescued, I would not be here!
But what about the spoon?  My parents went to Plymouth Plantation a number of years ago and had the opportunity to visit John Howland's home.  It's the only one still standing.  They also purchased pewter replicas of his spoon for my sister and me, as well as the grandchildren.  All the children love to use the spoons during our own Thanksgiving dinners.
This is the original spoon.  I couldn't take a picture of mine - it's still at the beach!

So here's to you, ten-great grandfather John... and our love of grappling hooks!


  1. What a great story--I hope you have shared that one with your students!

  2. What a great story! You're now on my blogroll yay! Go Gamecocks!

  3. hi! I'm visiting from Pink Green & Southern! What a GREAT story!! I wish I had a special story like this!! Happy Thanksgiving!!

  4. What a great story!
    Your story telling is terrific. You insprire me to put our story together in such a wonderful way that can be appreciated by my children. I'll get back to you on that !

    Hope you are enjoying your Thanksgiving weekend!

  5. Wow! I'm so impressed you could trace your family back that far!! Lovely story!

  6. That is an amazing story! I love it. Thank you for sharing. xoxo



Thanks for your sweet comments... They make my day just that more Golden!