Ancestry Line to The Mayflower

Elizabeth Tilley, born in England in 1607, came to the New World on the Mayflower in 1620 with her parents, John and Elizabeth Tilley. She was orphaned that first winter at Plymouth, Massachusetts, when her parents died. Gov. and Mrs. John Carver took her in.

She married John Howland, who’d been washed overboard when the Mayflower encountered a storm, but was caught in the halyards and rescued. He was the bond servant of Gov. Carver, signed the Mayflower Compact, earned his freedom, and was a well-respected citizen.

Their daughter Desire married John Gorham, who was killed in King Phillip’s war, even though he wasn’t a soldier.


Son Shubael Gorham married Puella Hussey in 1695 on the island of Nantucket. Their daughter Lydia married Joseph Worth of Nantucket.

North Carolina

Joseph and Lydia Worth’s son Daniel married Eunice Hussey. (Son David Worth was the ancestor of C. E. Charles, who wrote me all about my Marshall ancestors, and eventually took me to see where they’d lived.)


After their daughter Rhoda married Sylvanus Swain, they moved to Wayne County, Indiana. Daughter Cynthia married Thomas Marshall. Thomas Marshall didn’t move to Dallas County, Iowa, with the exodus from Wayne County, although his father, Miles Marshall, brothers, and a son and daughter did.

Thomas Marshall. His house still stands near Economy, Wayne County, Indiana.


Thomas’s daughter Rhoda married John Neal, who’d fought for the Confederacy, deserted, then joined the Union. They moved to Dexter, Iowa, after the Civil War.

John and Rhoda Neal had six children, five daughter, then a son, Orlando Swain Neal.

Seated: Rhoda, Orlando Swain, and John Neal

O. S. Neal married Nellie Keith. They were my father’s grandparents, but my stories about them came from my mother, whose family lived in Dexter near by during the scarcity years of the Great Depression.

O. S. and Nellie Neal had three sons and one daughter. My grandfather Kenneth was the middle son, but anyone who descends from any of these folks, had ancestors who came over on the Mayflower.

Neals: O. S., Marjorie, Kenneth, Nellie, Keith, and Maurice (Marjorie’s twin)

Kenneth Neal married Ruby Blohm at Dexter, and my father, Warren Neal, was their oldest child.

Kenneth, Warren, and Ruby Neal

This is just a sketch of my connection to the Mayflower.

Sources: Nantucket Vital Records, Mayflower Society, Civil War records


  1. check your dates…. believe you mean 1620?

    Isaac Allerton is my Mayflower connection, although Robert Cushman was the agent for the Maryflower and stayed behind with the speedwell…came on the Fortune next year with his son Thomas, who he left with the Bradford’s will he went home to arrange things..but died of the plague… We descend from Thomas who married Mary Allerton, who came with Mayflower age 3…She was the last survivor. .. . google has a lot more information… I have been the Plimoth village and ‘met my ancestors’ (actors) and to Plymouth England twice to walk where they walked and boarded the Mayflower… Interesting to know the Neal story now….

    • Oh, how fascinating! Plymouth and Nantucket are on my bucket list, but fibromyalgia still insists that I can’t travel. (I’m not giving up easily!)

      My husband descends from Thomas Rogers, but through his son left behind in England. Society of Mayflower Descendants still accepts the genealogy!

      The Mayflower connection wasn’t part of my childhood lore. We lived in Idaho when I got interested in genealogy. Someone had sent Aunt Nadine Shepherd a family tree on a blueprint, which I copied by hand and ran into Elizabeth Tilley’s parents deaths at Plymouth in 1961. Rhoda Marshall Neal has a favorite brother, Swain (Civil War), whose son Thomas Worth Marshall was a Washington civil engineer–designed roofs for Senate and House Chambers at the Capitol. He was also editor of Hinshaw’s “Encyclopedia of American Quaker Genealogy.” My guess is that’s who did the blueprint chart!

  2. What a grand lineage! Marleen & I visited Plymouth Rock during a Fall Color bus tour a couple of years ago. Frankly, it was a little disappointing because it was much smaller than I had imagined it to be. I’ll send you a picture.

    • Yes, the rock is very disappointing, but you have to imagine how much bigger it was 400 years ago. For years thousands of pieces were chipped off of it for souvenirs. It was split by nature also and cracked split when it was moved all over before being returned to the original location. There is a fairly large piece of it (100 lbs. or so) in Pilgrim Hall Museum in Plymonth. You are welcome to touch it.
      There is a lot more to see in Plymonth. One of the best is The National Monument to the Forefathers. It stands on a hill above the bay. I have been to Plymonth many times (dozens) and I was there several times and no one told me about it. I was just driving around and stumbled on it. Now whenever I am Plymonth I go to see the Lady. Every time I leave I go to tell her good-bye. It is an extremely large tall column with a lady on top. Many other statues and reliefs at the base. Be sure to look for it and walk around it. If you are headed to Plymonth find me and I will tell you other sites. There are a couple of books I would recommend,: Mayflower by Nathaniel Philbrick (good but a large part of the book is on ,King Phillip’s War). and Thanksgiving by Eugene Cheney (easy read for all ages over 10).

      • Are you the Kenneth Callison on the Iowan’s Making History FB page? Well, Plymouth IS on my bucket list, but I’ve had fibromyalgia for nearly two dozen years. I don’t let it define me (about to publish my second book of Iowa history, after self-publishing the WWII history just a year ago), but it does rule my days. I have Philbrick’s Mayflower book, but need to get my head out of the Depression Era (second book, same family) to wade in.

        I didn’t grow up knowing about the Mayflower connection, and have urged cousins to embrace it and teach it to their children. This is the first year that a couple of them have 9-year-old grandsons who were interested in my post! May make historians out a some of them after all!

  3. Interesting to Grandpa Cushman’s diary mentions Swain Neal so many times…they were farm neighbors and traded work all the time in the early 1900s… and now I know that BOTH had Mayflower connections…… I know Grandpa THOUGHT he did, but it wasn’t proved up, till after he died..I wonder if Swain knew? and 100 years later the Cushmans and Neals were all over the place around Dexter and a lot of us still know each other in 2020.

  4. Thank you, Joy. I’m sharing this with my grandson, Jackson. At age 9 he is starting to develop an interest in history. I think he will love this. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

    • Be sure to get them a copy of “Three Young Pilgrims” by Cheryl Harness. The illustrations in it are fabulous, including a cut-away of the Mayflower. The maps are pictorial and just amazing.

  5. I recommend the Three Young Pilgrims by Cheryl Harness too…. Mary, in the book is my multi-great grandmother….

  6. Have you seen the book SAINTS AND STRANGERS? BY George F Willison
    copywright 1945. I have picked up a couple of copies (for my 2 children) at
    used book places… probably mentions your ancestors as is a good history of
    the Pilgrims.

    • Saints and Strangers is a good book and a good read, but it does stray a little from accuracy. The Pennsylvania Society of Mayflower Descendants has an extremely good amount of educational material that is excellent for children and adults. The General Society also has educational materials and Plimonth Plantation has a large amount of merchandise, if you can’t locate them on the net try Plimonth Pawtucket the new name, but a search under the former name should work. The Cheney book, Thanksgiving will come up in a Google, or check the New London Librariam. I am in Winterset my email:

      • Thank you, Kenneth. Even your email address announces your history! I’ll probably dip into Mayflower stories once a year, but am in the middle of my second book (of at least three). The five Wilson brothers are featured on the Dallas County Freedom Rock at Minburn. Only two came home. They were my mother’s brothers. Leora’s Letters is the family WWII story. Leora was their mother, and my delightful grandmother. If you’d like a free copy of the book, send a mailing address to

  7. Very cool! And yes, the rock is rather small. Not at all what I expected when I saw it. But you know the old saying, “Dynamite comes in small packages!”

  8. One of my anscestors (Babbitt) who came over in the Winthrop fleet in 1630 was the first person killed in King Phillips War. My line to him was through my father’s paternal grandmother. That family intermarried many times with the family of my father’s Mother’s line, (Macumber) but none of these two lines crossed in my descent until my grandparents were married in 1905. Funny thing the founding American families heads both came with with Winthrop. My first three Mayflower lines came through my Grandmother and about 4 decades later I found 2 coming through her husband.

    • You’re serious about all of this, aren’t you? I gave up genealogy to be a Cub Scouts den mom, etc., but by then had learned that the three graves we’d been taking flowers to in Perry all these years, that only one of my mother’s brothers is buried there. I was in my mid-40s! I’ve devoted my energy to learning what happened to those three brothers and eventually wrote the book, which came out just after all five Wilson brothers were featured on the new Dallas County Freedom Rock at Minburn (which is where the family was tenant farming when the war broke out).

      My husband’s ancestry goes back to Thomas Rogers of the Mayflower, through the Walkers of Taunton, MA. Not through the son who was with Rogers on the ship, but the General Society of Mayflower Descendants nevertheless recognizes the descent. I’ve only been “back east” on our senior class trip (1962 Earlham), but also on my bucket list in Nantucket because of all the whaler and Quaker ancestors I’ve read about.

  9. My neighbor is interested in genealogy and I told her about my family history that was compiled by you in the 1970’s. I brought them out to show her and started reading them again, after many years. I searched for Orlando Swain Neal online and found this link! I was so surprised! I am grateful that you have done this, it is interesting to me, but I have not done any research. Keith J. Neal was my grandfather, Keith B. Neal was my father. Thank you, Victoria Boothe (Neal)

    • Thanks so much for getting a hold of me! My heart goes out to you on the loss of your father. When he first popped up on my Facebook, I did a double-take with his name, as you can imagine. I’d met some of his siblings but not him. Bud Neal (Merritt Winsell) even helped me with that original genealogy. I even found you among the descendants. Where do you live now? (My email:

      • I just figured out how to find you again!
        “Uncle Bud” was a wonderful man and I smile each time I think of him.
        I live in Hamilton Montana now. My husband’s family built a log home here in the early 1980’s. We have purchased it from his siblings and are restoring it. We traveled a bit with his employment, but I have felt like this was home from my very first visit. I feel blessed to be here.
        My siblings and my cousin, Mike Neal, are living in California. I think my sister Mary spent some time with but did not get very far.
        Who knows, one of us might pick it up in the future.
        I hope you are feeling better, fibromyalgia is tough. God bless!

      • My, what fun to hear from you! Bud’s namesake, Merritt Winsell, was just mentioned recently on social media, so I told about Dad’s cousin who was named for the first Dexter boy to die in WWI, the only son of a doctor, now buried at Arlington.

        Keith Neal was Grandpa Kenneth’s older brother. Their folks were O.S. and Nellie Neal, who were neighbors of my mother’s family during the Great Depression. “Leora’s Dexter Stories: The Scarcity Years of the Great Depression” was just published via KDP (Amazon) June 3. I enjoyed getting acquainted with Dad’s grandparents through my mother’s stories!

  10. It looks like you descend from Nantucketers who established the New Garden Friends in Greensboro, NC and then followed Levi Coffin to Fountain City, Indiana? I went to the New Garden cemetery in Greensboro and saw the Worth name quite a bit. I tried to go to the Levi Coffin house in Newport, Indiana but because of Covid restrictions was not able to go in.

    • Those names ring a bell. I worked on genealogy so long ago! Nantucket has been on my bucket list, but now that I’m nearly 77 and still stuffer from fibromyalgia, I’ll most likely visit in my dreams. I’m in the process of publishing my second book, about closer ancestors, and the third is mostly mapped out. My grandmother lost three sons during WWII, and I needed to make sure they’re never forgotten!

  11. That is my main goal. I want my ancestors remembered. Levi Coffin is considered to be the “President of the Underground Railroad.” Your ancestors may have been involved as well.

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