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Research: Mayflower Ancestors
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You have traced your genealogy back to New England and suspect you may have Mayflower ancestry. Or perhaps you have actually traced a family line back to a Mayflower passenger. This course will cover various aspects of conducting Mayflower research and how to properly document the line by utilizing New England original and derivative records as well as sources specific to Mayflower research.

We will first discuss the story of our Pilgrim ancestors and, believe me, their story is a fascinating one! From their religious persecution in England, to their exile in Holland and finally, their voyage to the wilderness of the New World, their determination, courage and abiding faith is an inspiration to us all.

The resources available to you in order to trace back and/or document your existing lineage, whether for your own satisfaction or for membership in the Mayflower Society will be fully explored. We will discuss family genealogies, town histories and New England vital records. There are libraries, societies and family associations you should know about and specific genealogical journals, websites, and social media tools which can make your journey a whole lot easier. We will discuss the role of DNA testing to prove a lineage and you will be provided with a selected reading list so that you may delve more deeply into the historical aspect if you so choose.

If you have ever wondered about the General Society of Mayflower Descendants, with headquarters in Plymouth, Massachusetts and what it’s all about, now is your chance to learn. We will cover its history, its objectives and its accomplishments. The society has definite documentation requirements for membership; these will be detailed as well as how and where to apply for membership.


Course Content

Module 1

 
Who Were the Pilgrims and Why Were They On The Mayflower?
Introduction 
 
England
• Religious Beliefs of the Separatists
• Scrooby – Where the Story Begins
• Fleeing England
 
Holland
• The Amsterdam & Leyden Years
• Lifestyles Clash – And More
• Leaving Holland – Making Choices
 
New England
• The Voyage of the Mayflower
• The Mayflower Compact
 
Passenger List & Those Who Left Descendants
• Passengers Who Left Known Descendants
 

Module 2
 
Mayflower Research Tools & Resources
Introduction 
 
Printed Materials
• Family Genealogies
• MF and MFIPs
• Multi-Family Genealogies
 
Town Histories
• Connecticut
• Maine
• Massachusetts
• New Hampshire
• Rhode Island
• Vermont
 
Periodicals & Journals
 
Original Records
• Vital Records
 
Probates and Deeds
• Probates
• Deeds (or Land Records)
 

Module 3
 
Repositories & Internet Resources
 
Repositories
• Public Record Offices
• Restrictions
• Archives
• Libraries
• Genealogical & Historical Societies
 
Online Resources
• Mayflower Websites
• Database & Record Websites
• Social Media
• Facebook Groups
 

Module 4
 
General Society of Mayflower Decendants
 
History of the Mayflower Society
• Mayflower Society House
• The Mayflower Society Today
• Historian General's Office
• Mayflower Library
• The Computer Age
 
Membership Information
• Membership Benefits
• Documenting Your Line for Membership
• Research Tips
 

Module 5
 
Did You Know?
 
 Old Style/New Style Dating
• Julian Calendar (Old Style)
• Gregorian Calendar (New Style)
• Double Dating
• What does it mean to us today?
 
Mayflower Family Associations
• Introduction
• Family Associations
 
DNA & Mayflower Research 
• Chromosomes, Mitochondria… and DNA - 101
• Mitochondrial DNA Testing
• Y-DNA Testing
 
The Benefits to Mayflower Research
 
Mayflower Research Library
• Early Historical Works
• Transcribed Records
• Pilgrim Biographies & Histories
• Pilgrims
• Early New England Settlers, 1600s-1800s
 
 

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