This book is the outgrowth of a boy’s attempt — many years ago — to learn something about his ancestors.
It has been calculated that, during the period 1620-1640, upwards of 22,000 Puritans and Independents (the figures have been placed as high as 50,000, showing that no exact record was kept) came to New England from English and Dutch ports. Those from the latter being Independents who had previously fled from England to Holland, to escape religious persecution.
It is obvious that it would be futile to attempt to locate the homes from which this throng started. In comparatively few cases the record or tradition has been preserved, but with a vast majority of these pilgrims, it is impossible to ascertain even the names of the counties from which they came.
Immediately after the Conquest, Aldingham was granted to Michael Flandrensis, or le Fleming, sometimes called Michael de Furness.
Sir Michael, son of William le Fleming, being drowned in the Leven, and dying without issue, his sister Alice carried the inheritance by marriage into the family of Cancefeld of Cantsfield, in Tunstall parish.
The abbot of Furness demised the manor of Aldyngham to Sir Robert Haverington, a.d. 1273, having come to his hands by the death of William, brother of John de Cansfeld.
William de Cancefield the last of the male line, was succeeded by his sister Agnes, who marrying Robert de Harrington of Harrington in Cumberland, constituted him lord of Aldingham.
The fret, that is borne on the arms of the Fleming and Harrington families, shows plainly that the Herald’s College considered a connecting link between the Fleming and the Harrington families.