Ancestor: John Howland
Descendant: Mary Ann E.
The story, on my dad's side, was that we had an ancestor, John Smith, who came over on the Mayflower and fell overboard on the crossing.
It made some sense, since my paternal grandmother was a Smith. So I started researching and found that the ancestor was John Howland, on my paternal grandfather's line.
As a Navy Nurse stationed at Chelsea Naval Hospital one of the doctors loaned the book "Saints and Strangers" to me and -- lo and behold -- there was the story of John Howland being swept overboard in a storm, catching a halyard and being pulled back on!
So parts of the story were passed down correctly and it was exciting to learn this while living in Chelsea. Travel to Plymouth was an easy drive and exciting.
Years later I took my kids to Plymouth, Plimoth Patuxet Museums, and the Jabez Howland House. We are descended from the son Jabez, and to think that at least three generations of our Howlands had lived in or have been to the house.