After 66 long days at sea, Mayflower finally landed on the shores of the New World on November 21, 1620. Among the 102 settlers who crossed the Atlantic Ocean from Plymouth, England in search of a better life were the ancestors of a man who would find such work three centuries later. it would be beyond their understanding. At the time, there were no still images, let alone moving images. However, Gere is one of 35 million people in the world who trace their lineage back to the Mayflower Pilgrims. According to Mayflower 400Gere is a descendant of William Brewster, as are Bing Crosby and Katharine Hepburn. Gere’s descendants also include a Lincolnshire married couple, John and Eleanor Billington.
During celebrations in Yorkshire marking the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower’s sailing, various dignitaries hoped that Gere would be the guest of honor. Yorkshire Post reports that Bassetlow MP John Mann said that Tory Dame Caroline Spelman, who was invited to take part in the celebration of the anniversary, “would be very glad to walk the streets of Scruby again. the descendants of the Pilgrims are with her, if she, with her good connections, can arrange it. The most popular would probably be Mr. Richard Gere.” Speaking in the House of Commons, Dame Caroline sighed, “Mr. Speaker, if only.” Interestingly, Clint Eastwood, Christopher Reeve, and Hugh Hefner also share a common Mayflower ancestor. His name is William Bradford.