Sunday, May 24, 2015

The Pilgrims and the Puritans

The Pilgrims, or Separatists, were a Protestant group opposed to the aspects of the Roman Catholic Church that remained in the practices of the Church of England. They wanted to do away with or separate from the Church of England. The Separatists also opposed some of the public behavior          allowed in England.

In order to escape persecution, the Separatists fled to The Netherlands in 1608, where they were welcomed by the Dutch. The Pilgrims began to worry that their children were adapting too well to the customs in Holland and sought a new home.

In 1620, the Pilgrim leaders secured passage to North America to set up their own colony. Plymouth Colony was to be established in northern Virginia along the Hudson River, but the Mayflower was blown off course and the colony was founded farther north.

Elder William Brewster was one of the colonial leader. It would appear that the family followed Separatist beliefs through a couple of generations, with the Brewster and Turner families. Intermarriage with the Keeney and Douglas families and a move to the Connecticut Colony may have marked the end of Separatist practices.

The Puritans [Congregationalists] believed that the Church of England was in need of reform, by felt it was beyond help. They wanted to purify the Church. The Puritans settled in what became the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1630. Boston became its hub. The Puritan influence remained strong until the end of the century. As Anglicans, Presbyterians and others settled in Massachusetts, the influence of the Puritans waned.

The Lockwoods were among the families who arrived with the Winthrop fleet in 1630. The family would move to Connecticut in the 2nd generation and New York in the 3rd.

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