Thursday, January 6, 2011

Coincidence? Or Fate? You Decide.

             Tim Mygatt and I were chatting at the Mt. Kisco Country Club bar. Part of the joy of a high school reunion is picking up where you left off twenty five, fifty years ago. I said I’d heard he was doing some work on his family genealogy. Tim said, yeah, the first Mygatt landed in Boston in 1633.

             "On the Griffin?" I asked.

The Griffin
             "How did you know?" he said.

              My ancestor, Thomas Judd may have came over on the Griffin. I have no proof, not even a scrap of evidence. I do know that Thomas Judd came from Tunbridge Wells in Kent, England to Boston in 1633. He bought four acres where now Harvard stands and followed Rev. Thomas Hooker inland to the banks of the Connecticut river. So did Joseph Mygett.  Mygett, Judd, Hooker and others founded Hartford, Ct.
            And later, Farmington, Ct.  So Thomas Judd was a follower of Thomas Hooker and Hooker was on the Griffin. So maybe, just maybe, Thomas Judd was on the Griffin.  His name is not on the surviving scraps of the original manifest of the Griffin. So maybe not. But it’s fun to think about.
Rev. Thomas Hooker
 Think of King Charles soldiers, their red and yellow tights muddied from the ride down from Kent, plumed helmets drooping in the rain, running onto the dock at Plymouth, England in 1633 and waving their pike staffs at the dot on the horizon, the Griffin.

            The Griffin was one of the several dozen ships that transported nearly 30,000 English men and women and horses and cattle in the great migration from England to the new world from 1630 until 1649 when King Charles was beheaded by Cromwell.

             On board the Griffin, Joseph and Ann Mygett; Tim Mygatt’s great great etc. etc. etc. grandparents were sailing away from the threat of jail and loss of all their property. They were hunted as enemies of the crown for the treason of not worshiping God in the Church of England but rather in their own home and in humble places like barns and simple wood churches. Good Congregationalists, (Congregationalism is more easily identified as a movement than a single denomination, given its distinguishing commitment to the complete autonomy of the local congregation) they saw the family as the center of the church, not the King, and certainly not Rome. So they were fleeing but they were also headed for the New World. To start a new life in a wilderness, and shape a government to serve the people.

           As was, I think, Thomas Judd. And I wonder if Joseph Mygett and Thomas Judd stood at the rail of that ship, nearly 375 years ago, watching the shores of the old world drift over the horizon. And a month later saw the New World rise up before them. And I wonder if they were friends, and if their wives got along. And if they stayed friends as their later generations moved to Farmington, to New Milford, CT. and New Preston, CT. as Mygatts, and to Kent, CT, and Roxbury, CT. as Judds.

The beautiful girls of Horace Greeley High have a slumber party. Anne, "same beautiful girl" has her finger in her mouth lower left.  Next to her Bette Pillar would later be Miss New York City. Starting from the top left they are: Dorinda, Sue, Linda, Barbie, Patty, Abby, Nona, Betty Ann, Susie, Carol, Anne, and Bette.

               And if they had any idea that over 300 years in the future, that their great, great, great. etc. etc. etc grandsons, would fall in love, one after the other, with the same beautiful girl.  (above pic was stolen from our class website)

               One final footnote: Tim and Anne got married and still are.

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