Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Descendants (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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This article describes a collection of records scheduled to become available at FamilySearch.org.
Massachusetts, United States
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Flag of Massachusetts
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Location of Massachusetts
Record Description
Record Type Lineages
Collection years 1600-1992
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites




What is in the Collection?

This collection covers from the 1600s to 1992. The Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Descendants is a lineage based organization and, as such, its members must prove their descent from immigrants who came on the Mayflower to be eligible for membership. This collection includes the following:

  • Membership documents no. 1-9730
  • Pedigree papers no. 1-9370
  • Bowman Card File Index
  • Issues of the publication, the Mayflower Descendant, beginning with vol. 1 issue 1

Lineage books and pedigree files may include copies of vital records submitted as documentation.

You will be able to browse through images in this collection when it is published.

The Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Descendants was founded in 1896. Members of the society must document that they had an ancestor who came to Plymouth, Massachusetts, on the ship, the Mayflower. There were approximately 128 passengers and crew aboard the ship when it arrived in Massachusetts in November of 1620. The genealogical collections of the society document the eligibility of members. Members of the Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Descendants also become members of the General Society of Mayflower Descendants.


These records were created to document the lineage of members of the Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Descendants, and to record additional research about the people who came to America on the Mayflower.

Collection Content

Sample Images

What Can this Collection Tell Me?

The records in this collection generally include the following information:

  • Full name of applicant
  • Birth date
  • Birth place
  • Birth dates and places of ancestors of the applicant
  • Death dates and places of ancestors of the applicant
  • Marriage dates and places of ancestors of the applicant
  • May include siblings or complete family group records

How Do I Search the Collection?

To search the index it is helpful to know:

  • The name of the individual or individuals
  • Identifying information such as their birth, marriage, or date and place
  • Name of their spouse

Begin your search by finding your ancestors in the index. Name indexes make it possible to access a specific record quickly. Remember that these indexes may contain inaccuracies, such as altered spellings, misinterpretations, and optical character recognition errors if the information was scanned.

Compare the information in the records to what you already know about your ancestors to determine if this is the correct person. You may need to compare the information of more than one person to make this determination.

What Do I Do Next?

When you have located your ancestor’s record, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details that can lead you to other records about your ancestors. Add this new information to your records of each family.

I Found Who I was Looking for, What Now?

  • Use the marriage date and place as the basis for compiling a new family group or for verifying existing information.
  • Use the birth date or age along with the place of birth of each partner to find a couple's birth records and parents' names.
  • Use the birth date or age along with the place of birth to find the family in census records.
  • Use the residence and names of the parents to locate church and land records.
  • Compile the entries for every person who has the same surname as the bride or groom; this is especially helpful in rural areas or if the surname is unusual.
  • Continue to search the records to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives who may have been born, married, or died in the same county or nearby. This can help you identify other generations of your family or even the second marriage of a parent. Repeat this process for each new generation you identify.
  • When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct.

I Can't Find Who I'm Looking for, What Now?

  • Look for variant spellings of the names. You should also look for nicknames and abbreviated names.
  • Look for another index. Local genealogical and historical societies often have indexes to local records.
  • Search the indexes and records of nearby counties.
  • Try alternative search methods such as only filling in the surname search box (or the given name search box) on the landing page leaving the other box empty and then click on search. This should return a list of everyone with that particular name. You could then browse the list for individuals that may be your ancestor.


Citing this Collection

Citing your sources makes it easy for others to find and evaluate the records you used. When you copy information from a record, list where you found that information. Here you can find citations already created for the entire collection and for each individual record or image.


Collection Citation:

"Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Descendants, 1600s-1992." Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2017. From Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Descendants, Braintree, MA.

Image Citation:

The image citation will be available once the collection is published.

How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.