The Hopkins and The Browns: How Family Embodies History
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This is an examination of the lives of my ancestors, the Brown and Hopkins families, who moved to the New World in the first half of the seventeenth century. I first examine the Hopkins family through whom I explore the Mayflower journey and the lives of the Pilgrims. I then explore the journal of a Puritan minister who exemplifies Puritan family life and beliefs about death. Finally, I examine the Brown family who were politically active, but also do not represent the typical Puritan and who also became involved in the Salem Witch Trials. They provide a starting point for further exploration into the lives of people who came to settle in Massachusetts Bay Colony. Some of the stereotypes of Puritans are exemplified by my ancestors while others are shown not to reflect the reality of the typical Puritan. Life in the New World, like it is now, was a varied experience. Through the experiences of my family and the people they interacted with, I attempt to provide a glimpse into the reality of the lives of Puritans living in the seventeenth century and how they do, or do not, live up to the modern stereotypes we have created in the centuries since they lived.