The Society of Mayflower Descendants in the State of Maryland issued a challenge in the latest Mayflower Quarterly for other societies to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the pilgrims' arrival by commissioning an artist to do a historically accurate painting of an event in Mayflower history. They have already commissioned a painting of Samoset's greeting to the surprised pilgrims: "Hello, Englishman." Their governor is personally commissioning a painting of pilgrim James Chilton. The challenge stipulates that societies hire an artist with the ability to depict people & events in Europe, North America, or the Atlantic with great historical accuracy. If that sounds like you or you know an artist who specializes in historically accurate 17th century scenes, approach a state society about commissioning a painting. A word of caution, though: not every group will accept the challenge because not every group has a place to put such a painting or much of a historical link to the events. Read up on your Mayflower history! For example: Stephen Hopkins was making his second trip to the New World, having sailed previously to VA. Mayflower passengers during their lifetime went to what is now ME, RI, CT, and NY. Native American events could include the story of how it was that Samoset came to speak English. The options are endless, so historical artists, do your research, look for an angle and historical link, and go for it.
An effort is underway by what looks to be a group of various state Society members with some support at the General Society level to help members of DAR and SAR link back to a Mayflower passenger from their Revolutionary War patriot. It's called the Patriot to Passenger Project. You can download the database to look up your patriot ancestor and see if any other descendant has proven Mayflower descent through that patriot. (Many lines in the "silver books" end a generation or two prior to the Revolution.) This is a "work in progress," with an email address asking for suggestions. A few thoughts if you are using this: Many/most of the names in the database right now are immediately recognizable surnames, like Alden, Gorham, and Cushman. If you don't see your patriot on there you are invited to submit his or her information. Also, always check the DAR's GRS ancestor database first, to see if your patriot has been redlined, meaning the service and/or genealogy is in doubt. Periodically an ancestor who was just hanging around, minding his/her own business, is redlined for a variety of reasons, including someone else submitting an application for a different patriot of the same name and casting confusion on your perfectly clear lineage. Sometimes the lineage is fine but the patriotic service was the "stuff of legend." DO CHECK; if it's a lineage problem you will run into the same thing with your Mayflower application and will have to correctly prove your link to the patriot.
Welcome to the Historic Inventory of Dartmouth Homes and to the Winslow Heritage Society (under Family Societies.) Kudos to Town of Dartmouth, MA's Historical Commission, for this pictorial history of historic houses, buildings, and land, which includes some owner and resident info. It means a lot to those of us who live far away and will never see these places. Thumbs-up also to the new (2014) GSMD-approved family society that includes ALL of the Winslow, not just pilgrim Edward. They would like any descendant of the many Winslow siblings to take part and particularly to provide some DNA. Welcome aboard!
If you belong to the New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) and have noticed the mention in their weekly online newsletter of their new Mayflower Society membership service, I have more details for you. (If you are not a member and are serious about genealogical research in the northeastern U.S. & Canada and want access to Midatlantic & UK data, you should be.) The new service is not cheap, but makes joining the General Society of Mayflower Descendants (GSMD) as painless as possible.
You must be an NEHGS member to use the service. Membership starts at $89.95 per year, although there are options ranging into the thousands of dollars for life members, patrons, life-member couples, etc. who make a one-time payment. Those come with additional discounts on research & consultation and significant tax deductions. All members get free access to their enormous library & archive in Boston.
Option One is the all-inclusive service, meaning the NEHGS does everything for you that is legally possible (you must get your own birth certificate, for example), for a flat rate of $2,800 to $3,600 depending on your membership level.
Option Two, if you are not even sure if you have a qualifying ancestor, is to hire the NEHGS to evaluate your lineage specifically for a Mayflower ancestor. That costs a fraction of the all-inclusive service.
Option Three, if you just want help with a particular roadblock, their longstanding research service is available at hourly rates that vary by membership level. Actually, anyone can hire the NEHGS to do research, but members get discounts of $20 - $40 per hour. They can generate an analytical report along with the document if you have to plead your case to a lineage society. NEHGS's opinion carries a lot of weight due to the quality of their archival holdings and their research staff.
The arrangement they have right now is with the Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Descendants specifically, but you can inquire about having the NEHGS work with the state society of your choice. There is also the option of joining in MA and transferring or holding dual membership in a second state. I always recommend people join where they can actually participate in events and get a newsletter that has relevance to their own life.
To get started, go to the NEHGS web site, hover the cursor over the word "services" in blue and click on "Find the Right Service." (This connects to explanations of all their research services.) Or if you know you want their Mayflower Society service, pick "Services and Products" and scroll down until you see the option "Lineage Society Applications" and select that. Or you can just click here.
Good luck to you in search for your Mayflower ancestor!
Looking for the origins of Samuel Fuller, who died in Stowe, VT, around age 85. He has a DAR entry but it isn't correct because he did not live to 105. My current hypothesis is that he was the son of William and Deborah (Rider) of Middleborough, born in 1762. Proof needed to get his descendant out of the Mystery/Fun Photos section.
Registration is open to get your name on the list for the 400th anniversary license plates bearing special numbers like "1620" and low numbers (1-99), to be held live in Boston on June 3rd. Nonwinners/nongamblers can get a regular quadricentennial plate with a random plate number any time for $40, $28 of which goes to Plymouth 400, the consortium putting on the big celectration. Obviously this is only for cars registered in Massachusetts but maybe those of you in other states might like to get to work on persuading your state to offer special license plates for the quadricentennial year, at least, 2020. Here is the URL, if you are in MA: http://myplymouthplate.org/
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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