The Pilgrim Fathers UK Origins Associations receives dozens of emails from Mayflower descendants each year asking for our help with a range of Pilgrim-related topics. We pride ourselves in being as helpful as we possibly can in the interest of trans-Atlantic friendship but every now and then we receive a request that really stirs our emotions and makes us go just that little bit further. Below is just one example...
Mayflower Pilgrim, William Bradford was born in Austerfield in the spring of 1590. As a teenager, Bradford was so inspired by Babworth preacher, Richard Clifton that he regularly walked the eight miles journey from his home to Babworth, to hear him preach. He also became a member of the Separatist congregation who met in secret at Scrooby Manor. After sailing on the Mayflower in September 1620, William Bradford rose to become one of the principal figures in 17th century New England serving for several decades as Governor of the Plymouth Colony.
Now, with the help of the Pilgrim Father’s UK Origins Association, Tashi completed the pilgrimage over the weekend of 24/25 th September 2016 carrying some of her father’s ashes with her. In honour of her father’s passion for cycling, she rode her bicycle, a BikeE semi recumbent ideally suited to her physical abilities.
‘It has been a real pleasure to be able help Tashi to complete her own special pilgrimage’ Chairman Sue Allan said. ‘It is one of the prime the aims of our Association to help build a special bond between us, our area and Mayflower descendants from the USA and so after hearing about Tashi’s desire to go on her own very special pilgrimage around the Mayflower Trail, how could we have let Bradford descendant pass through without offering her as much support as possible?
And so the Association not only vetted and paid for accommodation to suit Tashi’s personal needs but they also supported her every step of the way as their special guest.
“This pilgrimage has been a dream of mine since I was a small child reading about my famous ancestor. The curious-sounding names of the villages would run on repeat through my growing mind. It was surreal to then find myself pedaling along a country road and come upon signage that informed me I was in fact arriving in Austerfield… Bawtry… Scrooby. And to be able to stay the night at the Mayflower Inn in Austerfield was just wondeful ! Sue’s guiding, expertise, and companionship were truly invaluable, as was her patience with writing pages and pages of notes to this Deaf pilgrim. My dad would have loved this trip and it was my great honor to carry it out in his memory. I’m forever grateful to Sue and the Pilgrim Father’s UK Origins Association for helping me realize this mission.”
One Descendant's Story
For American student Tashi Bradford, it should have been a very special father-daughter cycle ride around the Mayflower Pilgrim sites in our area. Sadly before it could happen, Mr Bradford died.
However, Tashi was determined to complete the ride in memory of her father.
‘I'm one of the many American descendants of Mayflower Pilgrim Governor William Bradford.’ Tashi explains. ‘I moved to Preston, England four years ago, and my Dad had wanted to come visit me so we could go to Austerfield together, but he got cancer and passed very quickly, within less than two months after diagnosis. He was an avid cyclist, and big on family history too. We were particularly interested in seeing the Bradford house and the church where he was baptized. We’d planned to go to Scrooby too.’