Life as a Plimoth Pilgrim

Find out more about life in 1621 from these past interview transcripts

  • Grades: 1–2, 3–5, 6–8, 9–12

Elizabeth and Damaris Hopkins
Stephen and Elizabeth Hopkins traveled on the Mayflower with their daughter Damaris when she was 3 and a half. While at sea, Elizabeth gave birth to son Oceanus. Also traveling with the family were Stephen's children from his first marriage, Gyles and Constance, and two servants, Edward Doty and Edward Leister.

John Alden 

John Alden was a cooper, or barrelmaker, on the Mayflower. He decided to stay in New Plymouth, where he married Priscilla Mullins (see previous interview with Priscilla Mullins below). In New Plymouth, Alden became a husbandman, or farmer, as well as a cooper.

Elinor Billington 
Elinor Billington came to Plimoth with her husband John and her sons, John and Francis. She was one of the few adult women who lived through the first winter in Plimoth and survived its terrible sickness. Elinor's family sometimes experienced trouble for not following all the rules and for disobeying the leaders.

John Howland 

After falling overboard on the Mayflower journey, John Howland arrived safely in New England as a servant to the first governor of Plimoth Colony. Later, he became a yeoman farmer and one of the assistant governors to Governor Bradford. He is married with two small children.

Elder William Brewster 

William Brewster served as an elder of the Separatist church in Holland and in Plimoth. He was the religious leader of Plimoth for many years. He and his wife, Mary, sailed on the Mayflower with their two younger sons, Love and Wrestling. Their other children - a son, Jonathan, and daughters, Patience and Fear - were left behind in Leiden, Holland.

Priscilla Mullins 

Priscilla Mullins traveled on the Mayflower with her parents, her brother, Joseph, and a servant, Robert Carter - all of whom died during the first winter in Plimoth. She is planning to marry John Alden, the cooper aboard the Mayflower.

Elizabeth Hopkins 

Elizabeth Hopkins is originally from London. She arrived in America with her husband, Steven, and her two step-children, Giles and Constance. She gave birth to a son, Oceanus, during the Mayflower voyage.

Each Pilgrim is portrayed by an interpreter from the Plimoth Plantation, the "living history" museum devoted to the recreation of Pilgrim life, and the story of the Wampanoag people among whom they settled. Plimoth Plantation also provides a wide variety of teacher resources and in-classroom educational experiences for students throughout the nation.

  • Subjects:
    Early Exploration and Settlements, Colonial and Revolutionary America