The General Society of Mayflower Descendants (GSMD) and the New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) are collaborating to digitize and publish online for NEHGS members Generation 5 of each pilgrim bloodline, as described in the GSMD's "silver books." These are the books that spell out the descendants of each pilgrim, with the pilgrim being Gen. 1, his/her children Gen. 2, grandchildren Gen. 3, and so on through to the 2nd and sometimes 3rd great grandchildren. Generally that will get you to the early-mid 1700s, sometimes farther. If you can prove your lineage to the point at which it connects with a descendant who made it into a silver book, that should be sufficient for membership. Be sure you do NOT rely on any other online sources claiming to be a digitized silver book. The only edition acceptable for membership is the current edition and only the GSMD has the rights and they are authorizing only the NEHGS to digitize them. (The GSMD will also sell you a hardcover copy or you can consult one at a library or by contacting your state Mayflower Society historian.) The silver books fill about 2 shelves so it may take some time to get all of the different pilgrims digitized. Be patient. I checked my own people and found that they seem to have digitized both Fullers, John Howland, and James Chilton, but not Francis Cooke, John Alden, or George Soule, for example. For more information on this digitization project click here.
The author is an Arizona research historian who enjoys the challenge of looking for Mayflower descendants, hers and anyone else's.
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