Both of our great-grandparents, Alton B. Hastings and Laura A. Cushman, have family ties that date back to settling in America in the early 1600s.
Laura Cushman's family can be traced back Robert Cushman, who came to New England in 1621 on the ship Fortune, the second ship after the Mayflower to transport Pilgrims to America. (They weren't actually called Pilgrims until 200 years later.) But Robert Cushman's son, who also arrived on the Fortune, later married Mary Allerton around 1635. Mary Allerton herself had arrived on the Mayflower in 1620 as a four year old child and survived the first year in Plymouth when half of the other 102 passengers had died of disease over the winter. Through six more generations, Laura Cushman was the daughter of Job Cushman, who was born in 1833 and died in 1892. Laura Cushman Hastings had five children. One of them, Alice Hastings, married Clinton Porter, Jr. and the couple had four daughters, Mary, Jane, Louise, and Suzanne. With no sons to carry the Porter name beyond Clinton Porter, our entire family now holds on to the Porter name as a distant but valued connection to the early settling in America.
Alton Hastings is a descendant of John Hastings, who left England in 1634 on the ship Elizabeth and settled in Watertown, Massachusetts. Although the family had settled in Watertown Alton's grandfather moved to Thomaston, Maine, where Alton was born in 1857. He initially worked on several sailing vessels before entering the bakery business and eventually moving to Massachusetts. He had married Laura Cushman in Bath, Maine, in 1881 before moving to Brockton as owner of the A.B. Hastings and Son Bakery. Laura Cushman's family was also involved in the bakery industry, and some of us recall eating Cushman's products without realizing the connection to our great grandmother.