About Us
Mayflower pin picture
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Our History

Mayflower Pilgrims and our Members

Mayflower Compact 1620

Mayflower Children

School Programs

Albany Colony - Compact Award Schools

 

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Our History

The Society of Mayflower Descendants is a very special hereditary organization comprised of a diverse group of individuals who have documented their descent from one or more of the 51 surviving members of the original 102 passengers who arrived on the Mayflower in 1620 at what is now Plymouth, Massachusetts. Our ancestors were a very courageous group who, with strong convictions and determination, risked their lives to cross the Atlantic in a small, uncomfortable cargo ship and landed on unfamiliar soil in a wilderness. Half of them died during their first winter in America. The friendly and helpful natives played a vital role in the ultimate success of the Pilgrim colony.

We take great pride in the accomplishments of the Pilgrims. The Pilgrim leaders were passionate, Bible-reading, praying Christians who were unafraid to voice their great faith in God. These Separatists set the stage for religious freedom on the North American continent. Their goal was to worship God as they thought right, following God's Word and not the dictates of the established Church of England. In keeping with that tradition, one of our society's general officers is the Elder General, who leads prayer at the beginning of our meetings. However, we offer membership to individuals of all faiths who prove a line of descent from at least one of the Mayflower passengers. A list of the names of the 26 male passengers and 3 female passengers whose maiden name is known, currently known to have descendants may be found by clicking the "Membership" link at the top of this page.

Before landing, the Mayflower passengers developed the first written declaration of self-government. That document, the Mayflower Compact, was a precursor of the Constitution of the United States. Plymouth is the second oldest permanent English settlement on the American east coast.

A primary interest of our society is educating people about the role of the Pilgrims in the early history and development of what was to become the United States of America. The General Society of Mayflower Descendants is one of the three largest, most respected and prestigious hereditary organizations in America. Its members are fine, "everyday" folks. There are Mayflower societies in all 50 United States, the District of Columbia, and Canada, and we have members living in many other countries.

We welcome your interest in the Society of Mayflower Descendants and wish you success in tracing your ancestry back to a Mayflower passenger.

 

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Mayflower Pilgrims and our Members

The group of 102 passengers who crowded aboard Mayflower for the crossing was not homogenous. Many of the passengers were members of the Leiden congregation, but they were joined by a number of English families or individuals who were hoping to better their life situations, or were seeking financial gain. These two general groups have sometimes been referred to as the "saints" and "strangers."

Although the Leiden congregation had sent its strongest members with various skills for establishing the new colony, nearly half of the passengers died the first winter of the "great sickness."

Anyone who arrived in Plymouth on the Mayflower and survived the initial hardships is now considered a Pilgrim with no distinction being made on the basis of their original purposes for making the voyage.

Any person able to document their descent from one or more of the Mayflower Pilgrims is eligible to apply for membership in the Mayflower Society. The recognized Pilgrims are listed following the Mayflower Compact 1620 text below.

 

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Mayflower Compact 1620

Agreement Between the Settlers at New Plymouth : 1620
IN THE NAME OF GOD, AMEN. We, whose names are underwritten, the Loyal Subjects of our dread Sovereign Lord King James, by the Grace of God, of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, &c. Having undertaken for the Glory of God, and Advancement of the Christian Faith, and the Honour of our King and Country, a Voyage to plant the first Colony in the northern Parts of Virginia; Do by these Presents, solemnly and mutually, in the Presence of God and one another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil Body Politick, for our better Ordering and Preservation, and Furtherance of the Ends aforesaid: And by Virtue hereof do enact, constitute, and frame, such just and equal Laws, Ordinances, Acts, Constitutions, and Officers, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the general Good of the Colony; unto which we promise all due Submission and Obedience.

IN WITNESS whereof we have hereunto subscribed our names at Cape-Cod the eleventh of November, in the Reign of our Sovereign Lord King James, of England, France, and Ireland, the eighteenth, and of Scotland the fifty-fourth, Anno Domini; 1620.

Mr. John Carver
Mr. William Bradford
Mr Edward Winslow
Mr. William Brewster
Isaac Allerton
Myles Standish
John Alden
John Turner
Francis Eaton
James Chilton
John Craxton
John Billington
Moses Fletcher
John Goodman
Mr. Samuel Fuller
Mr. Christopher Martin
Mr. William Mullins
Mr. William White
Mr. Richard Warren
John Howland

 

Mr. Steven Hopkins
Digery Priest
Thomas Williams
Gilbert Winslow
Edmund Margesson
Peter Brown
Richard Britteridge
George Soule
Edward Tilly
John Tilly
Francis Cooke
Thomas Rogers
Thomas Tinker
John Ridgdale
Edward Fuller
Richard Clark
Richard Gardiner
Mr. John Allerton
Thomas English
Edward Doten
Edward Lieste
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Wives of Compact Signers who traveled on the Mayflower.

Priscilla Mullins Alden
Mary Norris Allerton
Elinor Billington
Mary Brewster
Susanna Chilton
Sara Eaton
Mrs. Edward Fuller
Elizabeth Fisher Hopkins
Elizabeth Tilley Howland
Alice Mullins
Joan Hurst Tilley
Susanna White
Susanna Winslow
 

Children on the Mayflower who left descendants:

Bartholomew Allerton
Remember Allerton
Francis Billington
Love Brewster
Mary Chilton
John Cooke
Mary Allerton Cushman
Samuel Eaton
Samuel Fuller
Constance Hopkins
Giles Hopkins
Joseph Rogers
Resolved White
 

 

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Mayflower Children

There were a number of children among the passengers of Mayflower. This was of great importance to the survival of Plymouth Colony. Many of the children had become accustomed to hard labor since they needed to work in Leiden to help support their families. As with many immigrant families in 17th century Holland, the Pilgrim fathers were generally hired for the lowest paying occupations.

When the struggling group of colonists faced the cruelties of the first New England winter with its illnesses and deaths, it was the children who many times stepped in to assist the adults. Undoubtedly, brave young souls were kept busy tending the sick, fetching firewood and water, helping to prepare food and doing whatever was necessary.

There were fewer deaths among the children that first cruel winter, which ultimately increased the chances of survival for the struggling colony.

To help today’s young students learn more about the struggles and accomplishments of the Pilgrims, the Mayflower Society offers an educational packet called “Coming to America.” It is available from the General Society and may be ordered from their Books and More shopping page.

 

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School Programs

The charter of the Society states as its purpose, “to assist in the education of Americans to the great heritage of liberty and law exemplified by the founders of our country.” To that end, the New York Society funds two Educational Programs: Compact Awards and Educational Outreach. Note that at present no Albany Colony area schools are included in the New York programs.

The Compact Awards

In 1923, the Compact Awards Program was initiated. It began with the awarding of a medal to a recipient for an essay on Pilgrim history and five private schools participate. In the 1930's the recipient also received a copy of the Mayflower Compact. Today the Society awards more than one hundred $100 savings bonds and a personalized engraved Mayflower Compact each year to students from 45 public and 10 private schools throughout New York State. The selection is made by the school to a student who has exhibited a proficiency in the history of the U.S. and an understanding of the Constitution.

Educational Outreach

Our Educational Program was begun in 1993 as a direct way to bring the real story of the Mayflower Pilgrims to students in the 2nd to 6th grades. Through our association with Plymouth Plantation, we fund the visits of their museum instructors to New York schools twice a year. The instructors, who are certified museum teachers, dress in authentic clothing of the 1620's, speak in the native dialect, and bring artifacts and clothing for the students to touch and try on. These modern day “Pilgrims” give students a direct “eye-witness” experience of Pilgrim life in 1627.

 

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Albany Colony - Compact Award Schools

This program is offered to the schools of New York State, upon request. The schools annually choose a student with outstanding scholarship in history and submit that name to the New York Society. The recipient then receives a US Savings Bond plus other material, as a reward.

Public Schools ( 49)

Bethlehem CHS
Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake HS
Canajoharie HS
Catskill HS
Cherry Valley-Springfield CS Clarence HS
Cleveland Hill HS
Colonie CHS
Columbia HS
Corinth CHS
Cortland JS HS
Coxsackie-Athens HS
Fairport HS
Fort Plain CS
Gilbertsville-Mt Upton CS
Guilderland HS
Hamburg HS
Hoosick Falls HS
Hunter-Tannersville CHS
Johnson City HS
Johnstown HS
Kenmore East SHS
Lansingburgh HS
Liverpool HS
Long Island City HS
Manhasset HS
Massapequa HS
Mexico Middle School
Niskayuna HS
North Tonawanda HS
Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons
 

Oneida HS
Owen D. Young CS
Penfield HS
Port Richmond HS
Rush-Henrietta SHS
Saint Saviour HS
Schalmont HS
Scotia-Glenville Middle School
Seton Catholic CHS
Seward Park HS
Silver Creek CHS
Springville-Griffith Institute
St. Johnsville CS
Union-Endicott HS
Vestal SHS
Waterford-Halfmoon HS
Waterville HS
Webster Schroeder HS

Private Schools ( 10 )

Allen-Stevenson School
Buckley School
Chapin School
Grace Church School
Kew-Forest School
Loudonville Christian School
Packer Collegiate Institute
Poly Prep Country Day Schoo
St. Bernard’
Trinity-Pawling School
 

 

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Mayflower pin picture courtesy the society Historian General Ann Lainhart

Ann Lainhart - 2008 Historian General of the Mayflower Society

 

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