Find out if you have family ties to America's first permanent English settlement—just in time for its 400th anniversary.
It's probably a bit childish, but I can't help it. Whenever someone brags to me that she's a Mayflower descendant, my nose goes a little higher In the air when I respond,“My ancestor arrived 13 years earlier. In 1607, to be exact. To Jamestown.” Maybe it's because I feel outnumbered - the Jamestowne Society <www.jamestowne.org> has 3,660 current members and 6,678 since its 1936 founding, compared to the General Society of Mayflower Descendants' <www.mayflowersclciety.com> 27,000 members and 75,000 accepted lineages.
Why the disparity? Whereas the Mayflower colonists consisted of family groups, the first ships to Jamestown carried all men. Not until more than a year later did wives and children travel with colonists to join the original settlers - that is, those who survived. Some historians estimate Jamestown had an 80 percent mortality rate from 1607 to 1625.