Thursday, May 23, 2013

You Never Forget Your First Time!

The romantic would surely envision and even suggest that the ideal first time should involve a yearning to be free, pristine natural surroundings by blue waters, a little adventure and exploration, and perhaps even some danger and uncertainty -- and these were all involved in my first time.  I will never forget my first time, as I shall reveal below with some detail  . . .

When I was 13 -- about the time my interest in girls really began to develop -- I spent much of my time wondering about life and the world of adults.  It was about this time that I also began listening to and enjoying the subtleties of adult conversation and the topics they enjoyed discussing and laughing about while the younger children in the family were occupied in games and childhood activities out of sight.  Piecing together what appeared to be coded clues from the adults led me to want to discover and delve into the activities that so clearly gave the adults such pleasure and fun that they enjoyed talking and laughing about them whenever they got together during holidays and occasions like weddings.

After my first time, the thrill was so intense, so entirely satisfying following the pursuit, that I felt I had fully matured and arrived.  I simply could not contain myself and, somewhat unusually, I had to immediately share the news and the story with my entire family!  Here is how it happened . . . 

I had been in pursuit of the females for a few years, but there had been five to try to conquer and I met resistance at almost every turn.  I was hitting a brick wall with every attempt to solve the mystery of the young women.  I was ready to give up and retreat back into defeat, but the goal and the anticipation of success drove me on.  I felt in my bones that the answer lay with the Cook and that I had to chase the quarry through her connection with the Church; the prospect of connecting with a Carpenter was simply wrong and clearly was not going to happen.  I decided the consummation of this ambition and the fulfillment it would bring were too important to abandon. It was necessary for me and for my future family to put this consuming desire behind me -- and I thought for some reason that my maternal grandmother really wanted to see me victorious even if she was no longer around to know about the extent of my efforts or the final realization of the dream that was beginning to obsess me.  With the thought of my grandmother firmly in mind, I decided it would be the Cook or nothing.

Within a few short months of my determined decision to pursue the Cook and abandon the Carpenter it finally happened. Eureka!  I had found the secret, conquered the female mystery and emerged triumphant.  I had to admit that it felt like nothing else I had experienced up to that time. It was transformative.  It was my first time and I knew I would never forget it.  

The emotion and the feeling of victory with Cook lasted for quite a while, but I admit that eventually it started to fade and although Cook was the one, The First, it really was not enough.  I had to reclaim that intense feeling and so after a few weeks I set my sights back on the Carpenter with renewed confidence and self assurance.  It was not the same as the first time and I suppose it never can be, but the Carpenter chase did have its own rewards and I have pursued many of them since.  I must also admit, that I did go back to a Cook again and had another intense eureka moment -- though via a different route. 

But . . . as all of you no doubt know, there is simply NOTHING like the first time that you are able to melt the frozen resistance to your concentrated efforts and appeals, that you are able to assail the brick wall and gain entrance to the inner secrets on the other side.  The feeling is so intense, so gratifying that you have to have it again and so you pursue it as often as you can knowing there will be more failures and obstacles than breakthroughs, but the rewards of success are just too great, so you are driven onward without end.  It is the same whether you are a man or a woman!
My grandmother was the one who said during an overheard gathering of adults during some long ago holiday event, that we were descended from adventurous stock that yearned for more freedom and that uncertainty and danger on a long ocean crossing preceded the exploration of a new world abundant with natural resources.  It was she who mentioned the name Warren, but she never said whether the connection was through the Carpenter line or the Cook(e) line.  She was a Cooke and her husband, my grandfather, was a Carpenter.  

Living in New England it was not long before we visited Plymouth Plantation and learned about the people who came to America on board the Mayflower.  There were no passengers named Carpenter on the Mayflower -- and definitely no Tews since they did not arrive until 1640 -- but there were father and son passengers named Cooke (Francis and John) and other passengers named Eaton (Francis Eaton, his wife, Sarah, and their son Samuel).  My maternal grandmother's maiden name was Ruth Eaton Cooke.  

Some years ago I began my pursuit to prove Mayflower descent, which no one in my family had ever done before.  Fairly quickly I abandoned any thought that the descent was through the Carpenter family of my grandfather and began looking into the Cooke and Eaton possibilities. So far those too obvious lines of potential connection have proved to be dead ends -- and it was, after all, the name Warren that my grandmother had specifically cited.  

Richard Warren was not a Pilgrim.  He was one of the "Planters" or "Strangers" recruited to the adventure and he came over on the Mayflower alone.  His wife Elizabeth and their five daughters came a couple of years later and then two sons were born in the new world taking shape as Plymouth Colony.  

Richard and Elizabeth Warren had the good fortune to have all their children survive to adulthood and marry, AND all their children had children.  There are many lines of descent leading back to Richard Warren and mine goes through the Cooke family for five generations back to the time Benjamin Cooke married Abigail Church.  Abigail was the daughter of Ebenezer Church whose great great grandfather married Elizabeth Warren, the fourth daughter of Richard and Elizabeth Warren. 

The direct connection to Richard Warren through his daughter Elizabeth was the first genealogical brick wall I broke through.  It was the connection I was able to discover and document sufficiently to be accepted for membership in the General Society of Mayflower Descendants -- and I still remember the eureka feeling when I made the necessary connections and they held up to repeated examination.  It was almost electric and it was the first time I had ever had such an intense rush of discovery!  It was not long before I had another eureka moment when I realized there was a second connection to Richard and Elizabeth Warren that went through Benjamin Cooke's son Russell Cook.  Russell married Mary Vinal Otis.  The Otis lineage led back to Mercy Little's marriage to Job Otis and it was Mercy's grandfather Thomas Little who married Anna Warren, Richard and Elizabeth Warren's second daughter.

Here are the details of my first time -- the discovery and documentation of my Mayflower descent.  I will NEVER forget how it felt when it happened!
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What follows is my double descent from my 10X great grandparents Richard Warren (Mayflower passenger) and his wife Elizabeth Walker.  Richard and Elizabeth had seven children, all of whom lived to adulthood, married and had children.  Their children were: Mary (born circa 1610); Anna (born about 1611/2); Sarah (born about 1613); Elizabeth (born about 1615); Abigail (born about 1619); Nathaniel (born at Plymouth Colony about 1624); and Joseph (also born at Plymouth Colony by 1627).  I am descended from two sisters --  Elizabeth Warren Church and Anna Warren Little. 

Richard Warren m. Elizabeth Walker

Elizabeth Warren m. Richard Church                         Anna Warren m. Thomas Little

Joseph Church m. Mary Tucker                                     Ephraim Little m. Mary Sturtevant

Joseph Church m. Grace Shaw                                     Mercy Little m. Job Otis, Sr.

Caleb Church m. Deborah Woodworth                          Job Otis, Jr. m. Thankful Otis 
                                                                                        (1st cousins)

Ebenezer Church m. Hannah Wood                               David Otis, Sr. m. Mary Vinal

Abigail Church m. Benjamin Cook                                 David Otis, Jr. m. Ruthy Otis
                                                                                         (1st cousins)                                   

Russell Cook m. Mary Vinal Otis                                   Mary Vinal Otis m. Russell Cook

George H. Cooke m. Susannah C. Appell                      George H. Cooke m. Susannah C. Appell

Walter W. Cooke m. Florence L. Flagg                           Walter W. Cooke m. Florence L. Flagg

Ruth E. Cooke m. Everett S. Carpenter                            Ruth E. Cooke m. Everett S. Carpenter
(my maternal grandparents)                                             (my maternal grandparents)

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The photograph of Mayflowers (Epigaea repens) or Trailing Arbutus, is by reverend barry.  It was obtained on flickr from Yahoo! under the permission and license granted there by the copyright holder. The owner's permission and license allows sharing and remixing so long as the original work is given attribution  -- such as this.  See, . 

Epigaea repens grew abundantly in the area of what is now Plymouth, Massachusetts when the Pilgrims arrived in 1620.  There is a tradition that the Mayflower passengers gave the flowering plant the name "Mayflower" and for this reason it was chosen as the state flower of Massachusetts.  [It is also the provincial flower of Nova Scotia.]

The photograph of the man with the scythe at Plymouth Plantation is taken from the website of the General Society of Mayflower Descendants, of which I am a member.  Its use is believed to be allowed under fair use. 
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Copyright 2013, John D. Tew
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  1. John, some of us refer to this wonderful "feeling" as genea-gasms.

    We're cousins in the Richard Warren line - I descend from Elizaberth Warren and Sarah Warren, who married John Cooke, son of Francis Cooke.

  2. Cousin Randy: A great term I was unaware of until now, but I certainly understand how it came into use. ;-) As I mentioned in the post, my maternal grandmother's name was Ruth Eaton Cooke (with the "e") and I have so far come up empty on any descent from Francis or John Cooke (or the Eatons). Perhaps you have some information on the Cookes that we could share? I have had a feeling for some time now as I follow your blog and see all the New England ancestors you have in the same are where my ancestors resided, that we might have a connection. Nice to know we do. It will not surprise me at all if we discover more as time goes on.

  3. Great story John. Growing up I had imaginings of my family coming over on the Mayflower, but it was not to be. My dad's side is just a bunch of farmer's from Virginia. Where they came from, I haven't figured that out yet (lol).