Myles Standish is among the most well-known of the Mayflower passengers, memorialized in Longfellow's famous book "The Courtship of Miles Standish". Little solid evidence of his ancestry has been found, however. In fact, no one seems to know who his parents were. One book I found to be informative is "Some recent investigations concerning the ancestry of Capt. Miles Standish", written by Thomas C. Porteus in 1914. The author discusses Myles's connection to the Standish family of Standish, Lanchashire, England, a place mentioned in Myles's will. Perhaps DNA testing has provided some evidence of the connection between them. If you are a descendant of Myles, consider getting tested!
Although his birthdate is unknown, the general consensus is that Myles was born in 1584, which would mean he was about 36 years old when he was recruited to guard the Mayflower passengers on their 66-day voyage across the Atlantic. He brought his wife, Rose Handley, along but she died in the first winter, like many others. Myles married again within a few years (before 1624), to a woman by the name of Barbara and together they had at least seven children. To this day, the union of Myles and Barbara has produced a bear minimum of 24,844 descendants within 15 generations (as of Apr. 27, 2022). You can view the Family List of Myles Standish on Wikitree, but surely there are many more not yet added to "the tree", especially recent generations. If you run the report and see that this number has grown, please let us know in the comments below!
Myles was appointed as Commander of Plymouth's first militia in defense of the colony. He held this position from the time he arrived until he died in 1656. My ancestor, Solomon Leonard (usually spelled Lenner or Lennardson), who arrived in Duxbury in 1637, was one of those men. (Source) According to this source:
"Along with the renowned George Soule, Miles Standish, John Alden, William Bradford and others – fifty-four in all – Solomon Leonard became one of the original proprietors of Bridgewater and one of the earliest settlers there."
A park in Duxbury is dedicated to Capt. Standish and features a towering monument in his honor. Have a look around in this interactive Google map:
Myles Standish Monument State Reservation (Alt. Link)
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