Do you have Pilgrim roots? Were your ancestors on board the famed Mayflower pilgrim ship? The answers can now be found, thanks to a digitized index of passengers and their descendants.
The New England Historic Genealogical Society recently announced that an ongoing effort to make Mayflower passenger records available online has finally paid off.
The famed ship set sail with 102 passengers from various places across England. The ship's trajectory was blown of course by three months of chaotic storms and winds, thus forcing them to land in what is now Plymouth, Massachusetts, instead of the planned destination of Hudson River, New York.
Considered to be some of the first settlers in America, countless modern-day Americans can trace their lineage back to the Pilgrims.
Thanks to a months-long project aimed to digitize and index the authenticated genealogies of Mayflower passengers, it is now easier than ever to discover whether you’re a descendant of a Pilgrim.
The largest searchable online database of Mayflower ancestors is now online! The Mayflower Families Fifth Generation...Posted by New England Historic Genealogical Society on Wednesday, June 13, 2018
The Historic Genealogical Society’s Pilgrim database project includes authenticated information on more than 7,300 families descended from those on board the Mayflower ship.
The database launched last year, collecting some 193,000 birth, baptism, marriage, death and burial records through five generations of 50 of the 51 Pilgrims known to have descendants from the vessel in the year 1620 (almost 400 years ago!)
Famed ship passengers include John Alden, William Bradford, Myles Standish, Isaac Allerton, William Brewster, Francis Cooke, Henry Samson and more.
It is believed that as many as 35 million people worldwide may have descended from these men and their comrades.
As per D. Brenton Simons, president and CEO of the genealogical society, these newly-digitized records are "making it easier than ever to learn whether an individual is descended from one who planted the first permanent settlement of New England in Plymouth Colony and ultimately laid the foundation for America".
Anyone who can link their roots to the organization’s detailed records is eligible for membership.
You can also learn more about the General Society of Mayflower Descendants on their dedicated Facebook group and their events here.
Where do the Irish fit in to the Pilgrim's story?
A famed historian actually believes that the first Thanksgiving was all to do with a group of Irish people.
According to the "Observant Citizen," a columnist for the Boston Post newspaper, the Pilgrims had spent months on board the ship after arriving to Massachusetts.
The columnist believes that what we now know as Thanksgiving has its roots in the generosity of a ship of Irish people who landed beside the Pilgrims, bursting with provisions, in Massachusetts Bay in the freezing winter of 1621.