Whenever you see a depiction of a young Pilgrim couple in the forms of cards, paintings, or even salt and pepper shakers used at Thanksgiving, it certainly represents the most famous Pilgrim Mayflower couple: John and Priscilla (MULLINS) ALDEN.
John ALDEN was a cooper aboard the Mayflower who would end up being one of the most famous and influential Pilgrim leaders. Priscilla MULLINS was a teenaged girl traveling with her parents William and Alice and brother Joseph; she was to be the only member of her family to survive the harsh first winter of 1620-1621.
John and Priscilla married in 1622, and had eleven children; among them was John Jr., who was accused of witchcraft.
I believe that this couple captures the imaginations of so many because their marriage was considered to be a true love match in an age where love usually had much less to do with marriage than did money and property. It was a story about a young man and woman who came through hell to survive, find true love with each other, prosper, and live happily ever after. It's a classic fairy tale story, really.
John and Priscilla Alden have probably the most numerous descendants of any other Mayflower passengers. Through several families which were originally from Massachusetts but which ended up in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia in the mid-18th century, I can count myself among them.
My ancestral line:
John ALDEN (1599-1687) m. Priscilla MULLINS (1604-1688)
Joseph ALDEN I (1624-1697) m. Mary SIMMONS (1644-1696)
Joseph ALDEN II (1667-1747) m. Hannah DUNHAM (1669-1748)
Mehitable ALDEN (1707-1739) m. Barnabas EATON (1703-1790)
Hannah EATON (1730-1809) m. John CLEMENTS (1719-1805)
John CLEMENTS (1750-unk) m. Sarah PERRY (1750-unk)
Hannah CLEMENTS (1771-1835) m. Jonathan BAKER (1769-1852)
John BAKER (1792-1861) m. Mehitable HILTON (1796-1861)
George Albert BAKER (1842-1914) m. Hannah Melissa SPECHT (1843-1924)
Jessie May BAKER (1873-1927) m. Thomas Parker SIMMONDS (1871-1953)
Estelle May SIMMONDS (1893-1930) m. Horace William HOWES (1882-1976)
Henry Richard HOWES (1913-1987) m. Dorothy Elizabeth PALMER (1918-1984)
S. HOWES (1937-1999) m. my father (b. 1933)
Me (b. 1974)