William Bradford's Register of Some of the First Deaths at Plymouth
The information given below concerning the deaths of passengers on the Mayflower has been extracted from Thomas Prince's A Chronological History of New-England, in the Form of Annals (Boston, N.E., 1736; Edinburgh Private printing, 1887-1888), 5 vols. In volume 3, Prince lists at intervals extracts from "A Register of Governor Bradford's in his own hand, recording some of the first deaths, marriages and punishments at Plymouth." According to Robert Charles Anderson's three volume The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England 1620-1633 (New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1995), p. 1809, this register has subsequently been lost.
November & December, 1620
During the voyage . . .
While at anchor off Cape Cod between November 9 and December 8 . . .
After dropping anchor in Plymouth Harbor, 16 December, 1620 and through the departure of the Mayflower on April 5, 1621 . . .
Digory Priest: January 1, "the year begins with the death of Degory Priest," . . . .
He was one of many who didn't make it to the first Thanksgiving. Still, today remains a good one for honoring our Mayflower ancestor. I'm aware of all sides of the story -- with the complexities of motivation, willfulness, greed, and generosity that make it such a human story. But I'm also always in awe of those people who took such entirely unknown risks out of a determination grounded in religious faith.