For whatever reason, weebly's link to facebook went offline for about 2 weeks and just came back on. That left me to notify readers of new blogposts via Twitter. The facebook capability is back and here are the announcements you missed -- Two milestones: the 2,000th write-up was posted and the 1,000th individual was profiled; thank you, International Plastic Modelers Society (IPMS), for the invitation to present at the 2018 national convention; I passed the DAR's Genealogy Education Program (GEP) III course & offered reasons members ought to take their classes; free microfilm storage cabinets to anyone who can haul them away; deadline looming for booking genealogical research by the NEHGS before the price increase; I was accepted as a member of the Guild of Colonial Artisans and Tradesmen 1607-1783. (Nearly all pilgrim descendants qualify AND you can submit other lineage society papers as your genealogical proofs.) These are all in the August 2018 section of the Archives to your right.
At the bottom left of the screen, beneath the Descendants Index pages is the new, still-under-construction All-Surname Index. The purpose of this new feature is to help you find female non line-carrying ancestors, in-between ancestors, and brick wall ancestors, thus giving you some direction in searching your family for pilgrims. For example, let's say you know you have a great-great grandmother surnamed "Briggs." There was no Briggs on the Mayflower but there are some Briggs families in Bristol Co, MA, the next county over from Plymouth Co. You have ancestors in Bristol Co and want to find out if YOUR Briggs ever married into a Mayflower line. You find the surname Briggs in the All-Surname Index and it says "ALD." Alden. After that are two names: Mary Gray Pearce and Samuel Tolman. This means, yes, the Briggs family connects somehow to John Alden & the Mullinses. How did the Pearces and Tolmans link to Alden? And might they link to YOU? You can either go straight to the Alden-Mullins section and find these two people or (because you want to see if Mary and Samuel link to someone besides the Alden-Mullins family), you go to the J-P section of the Descendant Index, find Mary Pearce, and click on the blue "Alden" next to her name. That takes you to the Alden-Mullins section and you scroll down to find Mary and read up on her. You can either scroll down further amongst the Alden-Mullinses to find Samuel Tolman or click on the Q-Z section of the Descendant Index, find Samuel Tolman, click on "ALD" and look for him. Mary and Samuel have only one Mayflower link outlined here, Alden-Mullins, but the average is two and some people have as many as nine. The idea is to push you to look at pilgrims you never thought about (or never heard of.) In Mary's case you would learn that her mother was Sarah Read/Reid Briggs of Assonet (Freetown), Bristol Co, MA. In Samuel's case there's no specific link given but there are other useful hints. Off you go with fresh leads!
If you are in Arizona, the AZMayflowerSociety.org web site has a list of the six libraries to which the state organization has donated sets of silver books. Download that list from the "Resources" list in the "Membership" section up top. Then head to the library, pick up the Alden silver books (all 5) and start looking for your Briggses or relatives you know married into the Briggs clan. If you can't get to a library, and IF you are a member of the New England Historic Genealogical Society, you can search on the NEHGS website (americanancestors.org) for a Gen 5 descendant surnamed Briggs. The All-Surname Index on MayflowerFaces.com, when complete, will link to (almost) any surname that pops up between the descendant whose picture is posted here and a pilgrim. Having only completed Alden-Mullins there are hundred and hundreds of these intermediate surnames to be posted, so check back from time to time. Many thanks to Ben, the co-administrator of this site for formatting that page - and for fixing the Tallies (Per Pilgrim) section so the headcount lines up neatly.
This is per the latest edition of the NEHGS's American Ancestors magazine, which arrived yesterday. They will not be screening the women's version of the organization (Daughters of Colonial Wars) but they WILL be doing the final review of both new member and supplemental applications for the men, who join the General Society of Colonial Wars, founded in 1892. Unfortunately almost nothing on the GSCW web site is accessible to someone who is not already a member, but there IS a mailing address if you are interested in finding out what the specific membership requirements are: G.S.C.W. - Langsdale Library, 1415 Maryland Ave., 3rd Floor, Baltimore, MD 21201.
I am very happy to have received my certificate of acceptance today from this group, which honors ancestors who brought specific hands-on skills with them to the New World or took up such occupations after they arrived. Skilled workers and merchants were indispensable to the survival and thriving of colonies. Artisans and tradesmen were also not all males, so this is a good way to "remember the ladies." Women were printers, poets, victualers, and so on - check out the list of trades and crafts on the Guild of Colonial Artisans and Tradesmen web site for ideas. A number of Mayflower passengers are approved ancestors - John Alden, cooper and William Brewster, printer you might know about but were you aware that Degory Priest was a hatter at some point in his life? Myles Standish and John Howland get credit for being merchants for their involvement in trading posts. Several members of the Leiden congregation worked in the textile industry while living in Leiden (William Bradford, John Tilley, Francis Cooke) and you get extra credit if you know what a "fustian worker" was. Not everyone has been claimed, though. Poor Edward Winslow, printer and author, for example, qualifies in 2 categories but none of his descendants have joined. How ironic, for the only pilgrim to have his picture painted in his lifetime. If you belong to Soule Kindred in America, you can try and make the case that young George Soule might have been a printer's helper for William Brewster and Edward Winslow and their "underground press" while in Leiden. Since you have until 1783 for your ancestor to have become a skilled worker, you Billingtons can join as descendants of young Mayflower passenger Francis Billington. Your "inner philanthropist" might be suitably motivated to join by clicking on "projects" and seeing that the group puts its money where its heart is, with significant financial support to groups like the Plimoth Plantation apprentice program, the Water Mill Museum in NY, the Museum of Old York in ME, the Willard House & Clock Museum in MA, the Museum of Early Trades & Crafts in NJ, and similar places not in New England. BEST OF ALL - THIS IS ONE OF THOSE RARE GROUPS THAT LET YOU TURN IN AN APPROVED APPLICATION FROM A HIGHLY REGARDED LINEAGE SOCIETY (GSMD, DAR, probably others) IN LIEU OF DOCUMENTS.
If you have a large enough microfilm collection that you need a dedicated cabinet to store them in, the Family History Center in downtown Mesa is closing and has "about 30." They will be available for pickup on Sep. 15 between 8 am and noon unless you make other arrangements. There are different size cabinets and they are FREE, you just have to come get them. The pickup site is their former building at 41 S. Hobson. The contact phone number is 480-760-1034 if you have questions. They ask that people spread the word.
If you think you need the assistance of the New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) in solving a genealogical conundrum - or a genealogist, registrar, or Mayflower Society historian has suggested you seek their help with a particularly nebulous link - you probably know from earlier posts that their prices are going up considerably on September 1st. The NEHGS has sent a message to members saying that those who "commission a new research case or add to your current research case" by Aug. 31st will still get the old price. That is a seriously good offer because hourly rates will jump from $105 per hour for nonmembers to $110 and $85 per hour for members to $90. It does not take a rocket scientist to calculate that getting by a $90 annual membership now and booking your research now that membership would pay for itself in less than 4 hours of work.
Six years ago I started this site, inspired by Maureen Taylor's Last Muster books (plus the fact that I have seen so few pictures of my own ancestors) and plus the fact that not being a Time Lord I can't run to my Tardis and zip back to 1620 with a camera. 1,000 images seemed like a lofty goal. If you've been following along, you know that the idea was also to see if there might be enough commonality in the images to spot characteristic features of individual Mayflower passengers and guess what they might have looked like. Well...other than being 99.9% white, the commonality seems to be two eyes, two ears, a nose, and a mouth. Most of these folks are mutts like me, the average being 2 pilgrim lines apiece. Even looking at sibling or parent-child pairs with just 1 pilgrim ancestor there's no way of knowing if any resemblance was to the pilgrim or not. That could be true even with the few Gen 5 & 6 images, although I read recently that children often look more like ancestors than they do a parent. Since most images here are B&W, lemon yellow, and blurry, eye & hair color are a guess and almost no one is "good looking." Disappointingly few text sources described physique (tall, rotund, double-jointed, hairy-armed, etc.) We also assume no "paternal anomalies" in these lineages.
If you're interested in this angle, look at the index to find people with only 1 known pilgrim ancestor and check them out. Browse the pilgrim sections for people with many lines from just 1 pilgrim. An example is William Faunce, who went online last week, with 11 Warren lines, 7 paternal and 4 maternal. Look at large families, such as the 10 Blish-Jones pictures (9 siblings and their mother) in the Edward Fuller section. They powered us over the 1,000 mark this week.
Plans are in the works for an "every surname index" so you can look up surnames in your family and see which pilgrim lines they married into. I know people come here in hopes of finding their own pilgrim ancestor and I hope to make the site more useful that way. I have standing requests for scans of hardcover images to replace those I cropped from old digitized books, and for photos of people in middle age with teeth and hair, and of men without giant beards and women without bonnets. (If I had 2 photos of the same person at a different age or different angle, I did post both.) I also want more images of people of mixed racial ancestry and more females. In the meantime, many thanks to those who helped with this site, in particular librarian Sarah for the photo scans and assistant webmaster Ben. (All the typos and cockeyed photos and any genealogical errors are mine alone.)
Well, I successfully limped through the final Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR)'s Genealogy Education Program class, GEP III. (I can't put a link here because it's in the members-only section. If you're a member, hover over "Genealogy" near the top right on the members-only main page and select "DAR Genealogical Classes.") All GEP classes are centered on how to do an application the way the DAR wants, so they are accurate and can be processed quickly by their "genies." Class III has 11 sections, 9 with a quiz at the end and 2 that involve writing case studies. Those are excellent practice for organizing your evidence and thinking, and seeing holes in your argument before you mail off your application, not after. You will write analyses for any lineage society's HQ when you need to convince them a shaky link was correct. My one gripe with GEP III is that there was no model of what they wanted the case studies to look like, so I had to guess. (More so with the second than the first.) However, you get feedback and can use that to make a 2d or 3d guess if needed.
DAR's reputation rests on the honor it pays to ancestors who served the American cause during the Revolutionary period (roughly 1775-1783) so they are extremely strict on proof of service AND proof that your ancestor did not slack off later. For example, if a soldier served in combat 1776-1780 but records show he was fined for missing militia drills on the town green in 1781, that disqualifies him, no matter how many bullets he took earlier. You will have to search for some qualifying service after that missed drill date. With the Mayflower Society, they know who was on the ship and who missed the boat (literally.) You do not have to prove passenger status. (They are much, much stricter than other organizations on bloodline proofs, though.) If you belong to DAR and want to put some rigor into your research and analysis skills for ANY lineage society, I recommend GEP I, II, and III.
The honor of being the 1,998th, 1,999th, and 2,000th images (in the Bradford, Brewster, and Warren sections) posted here goes to Daniel Faunce, who joins his son William (also an Alden-Mullins descendant.) Welcome, Daniel. Magically, I found an outstanding image, one that meets all the criteria mentioned on the home page (no hat, no facial hair, not extremely young or extremely old) and no people or objects to crop out or explain away. This image is courtesy of the Amherst College Archives and Special Collections department, with my gratitude. Even better, Daniel's picture as a 21-year-old new graduate and member of the Class of 1850 turned out to be part of a daguerrotype collection that has been mentioned (and shared) on the archives blog, "The Consecrated Eminence." The March 23, 2018 blogpost corrects an identification of an earlier Class of 1850 sitter and links to earlier posts about the collection. Not only is it a treasure for those looking for 19th century ancestors, it gives insight into how archives operate. If you have a collection of old images to donate, don't be shy about contacting the special collections department of a museum or university library near you or with some obvious link to the subject matter. In the meantime, enjoy looking for your Amherst ancestor. (They look so young!)
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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