If you apply before January 1st, the Descendants of Cape Cod and the Islands is giving a discount to charter members. (This is one of those groups that you pay a biggish fee up front to join but do not have to pay annual dues.) Those who join in 2015 pay only $200 plus a $35 application fee. Laggards who join after 1-1-2016 will pay $250 plus the fee. Note also, that one need not have an ancestor who was an islander or lived on Cape Cod to join. Your forebear could also have been an absentee landlord pre-1700, a Wampanoag inhabitant, a trader, a surveyor, a soldier, or a judge hearing cases pertaining to those areas. Remember, Martha's Vineyard was part of New York from roughly 1665-1691 (don't quote me) and an "armchair land owner" need not have ever left England. A slave brought to the area or a POW such as the Scottish prisoners sold in New England circa 1651 who later became a resident, carried on a trade, owned land, or performed a service there (military or civil) could also qualify. Check out your roots and see if someone unexpected makes the cut. And remember the ladies! "Land owner" did not always mean "male." Neither did "slave."
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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- Fuller, Edward
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