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Preserving a 400-year heritage from Richard Warren

Updated: Nov 11, 2023

It‘s a unique coincidence that The Australian Mayflower Society's eldest and youngest members are from the same family……the Grangers. Keith Quimbach tells the story of this Australian family's connection to their Mayflower ancestor, Richard Warren.

Robert & Beverly Granger with their great-grandson AJ on his birthday.

Robert Granger celebrated his 80th birthday in January and his great-grandson Alec Joao (AJ) Granger celebrated his 1st birthday in February, making them the eldest and youngest members of the Australian Society of Mayflower Descendants.

Having just kicked off our Australian Society's Junior Membership Program in February, I am extremely proud to announce Robert and Beverly Granger sponsored Alec Joao (AJ) Granger to become our first junior member.

Robert, his son Scott, Scott’s two sons (Keenan and Hayden) and Keenan’s son AJ now make up FOUR generations of the Granger Family alive today in Australia – and they’re all descendants of the Mayflower passenger and Compact signer, Richard Warren.

Scott Granger (centre) and his family members, with Keenan (left) and Hayden (right)

The Granger’s connection from the Mayflower to Australia is somewhat unique. Some of their American relatives originally came to Australia with the whaling industry back in the 1800s, others came for the gold rush. Others have come to Australia from America, Europe and Canada and stayed because of their military involvement during WW1, WW2, the Korean war and the Vietnam war. Several married Australians following their arrival.

The Richard WARREN connection - a shipwrecked whaler

The Granger’s earliest connection to Richard Warren dates back to June 10th 1857 when family member Prince Francis Little of New Bedford, Connecticut married Catherine Kelly of Ireland in Sydney, New South Wales.

Prince Francis Little was one of those unique individuals - a whaler with the position of ‘boat steerer’, one of the most responsible members of the crew. He sailed aboard the Logan, from New Bedford. When the Logan was shipwrecked in 1855 off of Rapid Reef Australia, Prince Little decided to stay in Australia. He was one of only 17 survivors.

Because Prince Little was an experienced whaler and a boat steerer, he was offered a position as a water policeman along with a few other crew members, working on a rotational basis patrolling every three days. They were allowed to have one night of liberty in Sydney, although they were still considered to be on duty at all times. The area of their patrolling responsibility is known today as the Sydney Harbour Bridge area, the heart of one of the most beautiful harbours in the world.

Not unlike his Mayflower ancestor Richard Warren, Prince Little had not only survived a treacherous journey but also made a successful new start in a distant land.

A dramatic account of the 'Logan' which mentions Prince Little

Who was Richard Warren?

Richard Warren, born in England, was a young married man when he sailed aboard the Mayflower in 1620. He left his wife Elizabeth Walker and their five daughters in England until June of 1623, when they came to the colony aboard the ‘Anne’.

Richard was one of the 41 male signers of the Mayflower Compact. He shared a similar background with another signer of the Compact, George Soule. There is no known history about either one of their parents. Both Richard Warren and George Soule survived the first winter, however half of the original 102 passengers – perished that first harsh winter due to the cold, lack of food, and the diseases that plagued them living onboard the Mayflower.

Richard Warren’s long line of descendants

Notable descendants of Richard Warren include the Civil War Army General and 18th President of the USA, Ulysses S. Grant; the former President Franklin D. Roosevelt; and astronaut Alan B. Shepard.

According to many writers and other historians – there are more descendants – an estimated 14 million - from Richard Warren than any other passengers from the Mayflower.

Other Richard Warren descendants in our Australian Society include: Judy Arnold, Connie Riley, Lisa Apfel, Philip H. Koether and the GSMD Governor General Jane Hurt.

Our Australian Society is proud of our extended Mayflower Family heritage. We hope and pray that our future generations will move forward and build on their legacy.

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