That would be Ben Mackowski. Check out his blog at http://www.whyruntothetardis.com if you want to wish him a happy birthday or are a fan of Dr. Who, Sherlock, Marvel Comics, Supernatural, and similar shows. It's a great site, if I do say so myself. All the news for all your fandom.
If you are like me and have zero time to volunteer for another lineage group that doubles as a "service organization," consider one of the family lineage societies. Nothing against the service-oriented groups, I belong to a couple, but frankly at the end of the day, it's the same people, doing the same community service, but reporting it to each group they belong to. Precious little history gets taught or learned in return for the time involved. As a historian, I'm not happy about that. Family societies, with their narrower focus and emphasis on genealogy and history are different. You don't have to be in a parade, organize a garage sale, volunteer at a food bank, package medical supplies, or other activities unrelated to the core purpose of the group. While some may need to do fundraising, it is specifically for their own scholarship fund or for the upkeep of that ancestor's property and if you live thousands of miles away they won't expect you to take a turn mowing the 20-acre lawn.
For example, Soule Kindred in America publishes a newsletter three times per year, underwrites its own modest research efforts on the origins of George Soule and wife Mary Becket in Europe, participates in General Society research, and has a get-together almost every year in different locales around the country. The 2015 reunion was in Indiana, home of the Allen County Library. The 2017 reunion will be in Duxbury, MA. They also have a database and a forum where you can post your Soule questions. I know a few members personally and have found them all to be very welcoming, bright individuals interested in history and genealogy.
From time to time this year I will post a writeup about a different Mayflower family group but in the meantime, check them out on the Links page to your left.
Two ways: show your work, and always double-check your work. I ran across 3 new lines for 2 brothers while doing the promised upgrades. Due to incomplete cross-referencing among the various Silver Books (probably impossible to avoid) I 'only" had Daniel S. Howard and Gorham Bradford Howard down for 6 lines, when they actually had 9 Mayflower lines each - and counting. (I still don't know why the younger brother was named for the family of John Howland & Elizabeth Tilley's son-in-law and for the family of Gov. William Bradford.) Trying to update the original lines was awful because I had not been writing out the complete lineages with each person so I had to retrace my steps. In doing so, I found that I had incorrectly calculated the number of generations removed in a couple of instances and had to correct the mistake in 5 places. Incidentally, 9 puts them ahead of previous record-holder among the names enshrined here, Lawrence Soule, who had 8 pilgrim ancestors. Maybe I should check him again, too.
Best wishes for successful genealogical sleuthing in 2016! We ring in the New Year with our latest posting, Jane (Goodspeed) Thomas, a "bazillionth cousin," and Gen. 7 Warren descendant. You can read about her and see her photo on the Warren page.
If you believe in New Year's resolutions, make this the year you join a lineage society. If you have already joined one, join another. Better yet, become an active volunteer. I have yet to meet a lineage group that is not looking for "new blood." (They might have more luck if they stopped referring to it as such.) Seriously, the amount of work is staggering and able hands are always welcome.
Dr. Maura Mackowski is an Arizona research historian who enjoys the challenge of looking for Mayflower descendants, hers and anyone else's.
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