Plymouth Roots Marilyn Monroe, Alec Baldwin & More Star Mayflower Descendants (PHOTOS)
A surprising number of all-star Americans can trace their heritage back to the 102 passengers who sailed to Plymouth Rock in 1620. Just in time for Thanksgiving, see the famous faces with roots on the ship, from Sarah Palin to the Baldwin brothers.
Clockwise from top left: Running Press / AP Photo; Matt Sayles / Invision / AP Photo; Landov; Mary F. Calvert / MCT / LANDOV; Chris Pizzello / Invision / AP Photo 8 Star Mayflower Descendants
Although just 102 passengers traveled aboard the
Mayflower from England to Plymouth Colony in Massachusetts during a blustery two-month trip in 1620, almost 400 years later, a surprising number of all-star Americans can trace their heritage back to these original settlers. This Thanksgiving, let’s all give thanks that we stole them from the Brits. Marilyn Monroe
Norma Jean Baker, the all-American girl who later became superstar
Marilyn Monroe, had roots all the way back to John Alden. And humble roots those were: Alden was a hired man, serving as the ship’s cooper, doing things like barrel making. His rumored big claim to fame is being the first person from the ship to set foot on Plymouth Rock.
There must have been charisma built into John Howland’s genes. His brood turned out well: Hollywood’s golden-age leading man Humphrey Bogart is descended from him, as is Alec Baldwin.
Saul Loeb / AFP / GettyImages George W. Bush
The dynastic Bush political family traces its roots back to three Mayflower passengers. Through mother Barbara, W. can trace his heritage to Henry Samson. On his father’s side, he’s descended from both John Howland and Francis Cooke—whom President Franklin D. Roosevelt was also distantly related to.
Matt Sayles / Invision / AP Photo Clint Eastwood
Dirty Harry’s day was definitely made when he found out that notable Mayflower passenger William Bradford was a few branches back in his family tree.
Mary F. Calvert / MCT / LANDOV Sarah Palin
What do George W. Bush and Sarah Palin have in common? Well, maybe some of their core values and political beliefs, but some genetics, too. These two famous Republican politicians were both descended from John Howland
and Henry Samson. Palin herself has three other Mayflower relatives.
Jason Merritt / Getty Images Hugh Hefner
Two of the most famous playboys of the 20th century have a common descendent: William Bradford, who served as governor of the settlement and was the original creator of the holiday we know as Thanksgiving. Maybe Hugh should see if Clint wants to join him at the Playboy Mansion for this year’s dinner.
Chris Pizzello / Invision / AP Photo Alec Baldwin
Alec Baldwin and his brothers’ lineage stretches back to John Howland, who was an indentured servant aboard the Mayflower. Let’s hope some of Howland’s longevity was passed down through the generations: despite his humble beginnings, he outlived all but one of his fellow passengers.
Chris Pizzello / Invision / AP Photo Richard Gere
Now this is true patriotism. Leading man
Richard Gere can trace his lineage back to not one, not two, but six Mayflower passengers.