16
September
2020
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00:15 AM
America/Denver

FamilySearch and Partners Digitize Mayflower Descendant Records

FamilySearch International, AmericanAncestors.org (New England Historic Genealogical Society) and the General Society of Mayflower Descendants (GSMD), in concert with the 400th Anniversary of the Mayflower, announced today that tens of thousands of Mayflower Society member applications (over one million images) and documented descendant family trees of the Mayflower passengers are now freely accessible online. There are an estimated 35 million descendants today of the 26 Mayflower couples that survived the first winter. The deceased generations in the applications are available online. Search the records at FamilySearch.org/Mayflower and AmericanAncestors.org.

In September 1620, 102 wet and weary Mayflower passengers and some 35 crew members departed from England, headed to the New World to establish the first permanent colony in New England. They would arrive in November 1620. Referred to as “Saints” and “Strangers” by some scholars, 52 were Separatists who escaped from England after several were arrested and jailed for their religious beliefs. For the previous decade they had found temporary safety in The Netherlands. They had not lived long there before they embarked for the New World. The rest were adventurers, tradesmen, or servants from England hoping for prosperity. By the end of the first New England winter, half of them had perished.

The descendants of these courageous pilgrims are in the millions today, and most have no idea of their historic roots.

Creating the Mayflower Database Online

The free online collection was created from two data sources—the 30-volume publication “Mayflower Families through Five Generations: Descendants of the Pilgrims Who Landed at Plymouth, Massachusetts, December 1620” and the documented applications for membership in the General Society of Mayflower Descendants, submitted from 1896 to early 2019.

The data was merged to create a single representation for each pilgrim and their descendants for the time period of the late 1500s to 1910.

Working together since 2017, the collaboration between FamilySearch, American Ancestors, and the GSMD has digitized over 113,000 Mayflower Society member applications and documented family trees for about half of the 26 Mayflower couples with surviving posterity (the remainder should be added by year end). The records were meticulously reviewed for accuracy by using the scholarly standard, “Silver Books" (named after the color of the covers).

It’s never been easier to trace your pilgrim heritage.

"This project will make the Mayflower Society's verification process easier and records more accessible. A great many people are Mayflower descendants who don't know it," said George Garmany, the governor general of the GSMD.

"This is an unprecedented collaboration between 3 of the ‘greats.’ FamilySearch is a giant of the field and brings the best technologies to bear. The Mayflower Society is one of the most esteemed hereditary societies, and it champions the story of the Pilgrims. And American Ancestors is the public face of the New England Historic Genealogical Society, the founding genealogical society in the world and best known for maintaining the highest standards in the field of genealogy," said Brenton Simons, president and CEO of AmericanAncestors.org.

Simons says the free online access to the documents and lineages from the verified Mayflower Society member applications sheds new light on one of America's greatest founding legacies.

How to Connect to Your Mayflower Ancestor

Garmany suggests that individuals start by looking at their own family tree, particularly if there's a large element in New England, to see if they might have a potential Pilgrim line. Then search the online database to see if that ancestral line has been previously verified through one of the member applications.

Of course, research is easiest if you know you share a surname with a surviving Mayflower passenger. You just work backwards toward a connection. But most people don’t have such luck, so the next step is to look for ancestors that have New England roots and go as far back as you can. Then go wide by looking at spouse names on every side. If you tie into any of the family trees of verified descendants—you’ve just added some very fun history to your family.

Search the Mayflower descendants’ family trees at FamilySearch.org/Mayflower and AmericanAncestors.org.

RELATED

Take a Virtual Tour of the Mayflower

 

 

About the New England Historic Genealogical Society

New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS)—known to many as American Ancestors—is the world’s largest nonprofit society dedicated to family history, serving more than 260,000 members and millions of online users with 1.4 billion records at AmericanAncestors.org. NEHGS was formally constituted in March of 1845 by an act of the legislature of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and is home to a world-class research library and archive, an expert staff, offers an award-winning genealogical research website, and maintains a publishing division producing original genealogical research, scholarship, and instruction each year.

About FamilySearch

FamilySearch International is the largest genealogy organization in the world. FamilySearch is a nonprofit, volunteer-driven organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Millions of people use FamilySearch records, resources, and services to learn more about their family history. To help in this great pursuit, FamilySearch and its predecessors have been actively gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical records worldwide for over 100 years. Patrons may access FamilySearch services and resources free online at FamilySearch.org or through over 5,000 family history centers in 129 countries, including the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Comments 1 - 20 (36)
Thank you for your message.
Townsend
18
April
2021
Trying to find out if there was a Townsend on the Mayflower and if a Herman Townsend, DOB1828 IN YONKERS,NY, is related. His father was also born in N.Y.S.
Lyn Rasmussen
19
April
2021
Hi, the Townsend surname is not found on the comprehensive list of the passengers on the Mayflower and can be viewed at http://mayflowerhistory.com/mayflower-passenger-list. Possibly your Townsend ancestor can over on another early ship. The Puritan migration to New England or "Great Migration" took place between 1620 and 1640 and included roughly 20,000 people who left England for New England. Resources at the New England Historic Genealogical Society, established in 1845, has many helpful resources. https://www.americanancestors.org/
Michelle Wood
11
April
2021
My family first settled in Main in the 1650. My first relative on my Scottish side is Peter Grant son of Alexander Stone Grant. My father's side are brothers James and John Wood from England. I heard my Great Aunt was in the Mayflower Society. I'd be interested in learning more.
Lyn Rasmussen
12
April
2021
Hi Michelle,
You know quite a bit about your family! Possibly connecting up with the General Society of Mayflower Descendants could help you discover the line which your Great Aunt applied. Here is the link to the GSMD. https://www.themayflowersociety.org/
Good luck and enjoy your journey,
Lyn
Lucy Lambert DIx née MacGillivray
23
March
2021
I was born and raised in New Mexico but have family lines going back to Jamestown and early Massachusetts. Some lines beside Lambert are Easley, Bennet, Clay, Husband, Seeds, Mitchell, Phelps, Armstrong, Lemmon, Lehman. Any connections you can find would be helpful to my search. Lucy Dix
Len brewster
17
March
2021
Can I use my ancestry dna test to see if I am related to William Brewster. My gg grandfather was a John l Brewster who died in Wisconsin 1867 ish, I can’t trace the paper trail past him
Sherrey Edwards Savage
09
March
2021
Edwards is my maiden name other grandparents names include Webb Stapler,Smith,Kerr. Do I have ancestors from the Mayflower?
Johnny monroe
06
March
2021
I have a tree on here I was justifying to see if my husband had ancestors from the mayflower too.
Jen Prince-Moughan
04
March
2021
It was recently suggested during a grandparent search on Ancestry.com that my grandfather, Fred P Prince sr. was a descendant of Henry Samson. It further related that he was my 11th great grandfather. However, it did not direct me to an adequate site or supporting documentation. I was rather surprised as this family line has been predominantly French Canadian. However with such a gap in generations I am stumped to know how to make the connection. If I were to make a stab in the dark, I believe I would begin with his Mother's family, LaBranche. I am very aware of my lineage from Andrew Ring and Deborah Hopkins through his wife, my Grandmother HazeL B. Noyes Prince, as her Mother was Martha (Mattie) B Ring Noyes, and our last direct descendant in out line. I would like to know how I might verify or correct this presumption on Henry Samson. Thank You
Alice Ann Little
26
February
2021
I have been notified by My Heritage that I am a Mayflower descendant via Josiah Richmond, born 1696, Taunton, Bristol, Province of Massachusetts Bay, died Jan. 30, 1763, Middleborough, Plymouth, Province of Massachusetts Bay. His wife Mehitable Deane. I would be pleased if anybody could help me in finding out my connection.
Nova Metzler-Metcalf
23
February
2021
I think I'm related to Edward Fuller,not sure
Jean Kelliher
14
February
2021
My great grandmother's last name was Kingsbury
Her mothers's last name was Schafer
I was told they were direct descendants of Mayflower pilgimage.
Karen Kay Threadgill
13
February
2021
My earlier message is not accurate. Edward Bangs' father-in-law Hicks arrived on the Fortune. Following him was Edward Bangs on the Anne in 1623.
Karen Kay Threadgill
13
February
2021
My ancestor, Edward Bangs, arrived in Plymouth on the next ship, The Fortune, in 1621. That would make him part of the Old Comers. Am I eligible for membership in the Mayflower Society?
Dianne Couey
09
February
2021
I would like to find out if im descended from any Pilgrims. My great grandmother is Goldie Wright.Her dad is Charles L. Wright and mom ,Hannah Jane Whittaker. Charles L. parents are Charles H. Wright and Mary A. Harlow. Charles H. parents are David Wright and Olive Harlow. Mary Harliw,s parents are Chandler H. Harlow and Mary Polly Banks. I just want to know if this is true and which pilgrims
Maxwell Glenn Hawkins
04
February
2021
I am a descendant of Richard warren.
Maxwell Glenn Hawkins
03
February
2021
Am I a descendant
Rebecca Joy Harris
20
January
2021
I am a descendant of John Hart as a grandfather signer of the Declaration of Independence. Would that make me a descendant of Stephen Hopkins who came over on the Mayflower. Another descendant of both men were Marvin Snow of New Jersey.
John William White
08
January
2021
John White baptized 1861 Saginaw MI. Looking for his parents. He was born in Alleghany PA 1829. Need help
Thomas Banneck
06
January
2021
I want to know how unique it is to be related to 11 passengers from 6 families plus Robert Cushman who planned the voyage.

What is the most amount of passengers on person has been related to?

I am related to
Edward Doty
Francis Eaton
Richard Warren
James Chilton
Chilton's wife name unknown
William White
Susanna White
Resolved White
Isaac Allerton
Mary (Norris) Allerton
Mary Allerton

Maybe that is a lot...not sure.
Best part is I am not done yet.
DULANEY
16
December
2020
Were there any Dulaney's on the Mayflower?
Dianne Fraser
01
December
2020
I have searched relentlessly but haven't been able to find my Mayflower connection. What is the best way to start the process?