2020 is the 400th Anniversary of the landing of the passengers of the Mayflower. Here is a very short summary of the voyage from Wikipedia: Mayflower.
Mayflower was an English ship that transported the first English Puritans, known today as the Pilgrims, from England to the New World in 1620. After a grueling 10 weeks at sea, the Mayflower, with 102 passengers and a crew of about 30, reached America, dropping anchor near the tip of Cape Cod on November 11, 1620.
|Mayflower Passenger List|
It is estimated that as many as 35 million people living today have ancestors from the above list. Digital copies of some of the original documents about the Mayflower passengers are available online from the State Library of Massachusetts. See https://archives.lib.state.ma.us/handle/2452/208249
The main genealogical source for researching a connection to one or more of the Mayflower passengers is a series of books called the "Silver Books" from the General Society of Mayflower Descendants. The name of the books comes from their silver colored covers. Here is the real name of the Silver Books is the Mayflower Families Through Five Generations. The entire series is being digitized and indexed through a partnership between the New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) and the General Society of Mayflower Descendants. See https://www.americanancestors.org/silverbooks. Here is a quote from that link describing the vast database.
NEHGS will post images from the “Silver Books” for all fifth-generation descendants with a complete index including: birth, marriage, death, and deeds for these descendants, their spouses, and children on AmericanAncestors.org. NEHGS will also create indexes on content within the first fifty years of issues of the Mayflower Quarterly (1935 through 1984) for all article titles and names included in that publication and post images on AmericanAncestors.org.
This database will involve 31 volumes of the “Silver Books” comprising about 11,800 relevant pages. Our preliminary calculations indicate that the index will have about 7,750 fifth generation descendants, along with their spouses and children. The actual record count will not be known until the indexing is completed, but more than 150,000 birth, marriage, death, and deed records in total are estimated.
Before you even dream of being a descendant of one of the Mayflower passengers, I would suggest that you become very familiar with the basic resources about the passengers and their descendants. The basic NEHGS resources are on their website AmericanAncestors.org. Before you waste your time looking elsewhere, I would suggest obtaining a subscription to that website. Some of the basic databases on the website that are invaluable for research in addition to the Silver Books include the following:
- The Mayflower Descendant: A Journal of Pilgrim Genealogy & History
- The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England 1620—1633 series
- Plymouth Church Records 1620-1859
- Barnstable, MA Probate Records 1685-1789