George Soule: Thankful for My Mayflower Ancestor

Pilgrims Transport by William Halsall

Millions of Americans can trace their roots to passengers on the Mayflower. These 102 individuals came to the New World in 1620 to worship as they felt convicted or to seek a better life. Without any clear ties to New England in my family tree, I never realized I was descendant of a Mayflower passenger — until earlier this year.

I visited RelativeFinder, a website by the BYU Family History Technology Lab, and entered my username and password for FamilySearch. From this information, RelativeFinder searches for famous people in your family tree. The search is based on the shared family tree at FamilySearch, which is notoriously incorrect (at least for me) most of the time. As I waited for the results, I reminded myself to treat anything that popped up as complete fiction.

At the top of my list was George Soule, Mayflower Passenger, my 10x-great-grandfather.

But as I looked at the links between George Soule and myself, it looked surprisingly…correct?! The family trees of Mayflower passengers are well-researched by the General Society of Mayflower Descendants and compiled into volumes that document at least the first five generations. Soule researchers have extended their lineages to seven generations on some lines in the Mayflower Families in Progress (MFIP) “pink books.” It is these books that listed George Soule’s descendents through Elizabeth Soles, born August 2, 1795, in Bladen County, North Carolina, who married Phillip Lemuel Faulk and migrated to Pike County, Alabama. These are my confirmed 4x-great-grandparents!

So this Thanksgiving is special to me, knowing I have a direct connection to a man who came to this land for religious freedom and a better life. George Soule landed at Plymouth as a servant of Edward Winslow, survived that first harsh year, and was one of the Pilgrims at the first Thanksgiving. After completing his indenture, George married, began a family, and amassed modest estate through hard work. Read more about George Soule on his Wikipedia page, at American Ancestors, or through his family association, Soule Kindred in America.

Grave Marker of George Soule

I have several family members who read my blog, and I’m sure they’re asking themselves, “Am I also a descendant of George Soule?” Here’s my line from the previously-mentioned Elizabeth Soles:

Elizabeth Soles (who married Phillip Lemuel Faulk) >
Mahala Elizabeth Faulk (who married James S. Fowler) >
Rebecca Lurana Fowler (who married James Monroe McKaskle) >
Lula McKaskle (who married George Washington McMurry) >
my grandmother Ethel McMurry Horne

There are hundreds of descendants of James Monroe McKaskle and Rebecca Lurana Fowler in and around my home community of Liddieville, Louisiana. If you are a descendant of one of their children — Mary Frances McKaskle, Charity McKaskle, Martille McKaskle, Nancy Bell McKaskle, Lula McKaskle, or Willie Keiffer McKaskle, Sr. — congrats, you’re also a Mayflower descendant.

Happy Thanksgiving!

4 thoughts on “George Soule: Thankful for My Mayflower Ancestor”

  1. Strangely enough, I never thought to have a connection to a Mayflower ancestor, despite my extensive New England heritage on my father’s side. It turns out, however, that we’re all directly descended from George Soule, through the Nichols and Silver family lines, as well as collaterally related to Capt. Myles Standish via Sarah Standish Soule. This 400th anniversary of the first Thanksgiving will therefore be a very special one, indeed, for my many family members all around the globe! Incidentally, my brother and I are also descended on the paternal side from Olivier Daigre (1643-1686), one of the original settlers of Acadie, in what was then Nouvelle-France, today’s Nova Scotia, Canada. : )

  2. Another year has passed, and I’ve learned even more about my dad’s family line from George Soule (ca. 1595-1687); additionally, it turns out that via marriage between the Standish and Soule Pilgrim families, we are definitely descended from Myles Standish (ca. 1584-1656), as well as from John Alden (ca. 1598-1687). All of this comes through the family of my great-great-great grandmother, Sophia Emily Nichols Silver (1792-1865); her son, Hon. William Riley Silver (1820-1890), was my great-great grandfather. Another of her children, my great-great aunt, Harriet Atwood Silver [Dunn] (1818-1858), converted to Mormonism, and was part of the Latter-Day Saints’ migration to Utah in the 1840s. She married Simeon Adams Dunn (1803-1883), who was a member of Prophet Joseph Smith’s circle in Nauvoo, Illinois, and who eventually became a senior leader of the Church under President Brigham Young; the latter even performed their marriage ceremony, at Winter Quarters (in what is now Nebraska) in 1847. To be honest, the more I learn about the various skeins of my family’s history, the more I am truly astounded; I never thought these would turn out to be so far-reaching, nor the people involved so genuinely diverse in their personal trajectories.

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