About The Mayflower Society

Mayflower II and Shallop

About The Mayflower Society

In 1876, while America was celebrating its centennial, many Americans became interested in perpetuating the memory of their ancestors who helped found our country. To commemorate the courageous, steadfast spirit and contributions to American democracy of the Mayflower Pilgrims, several states in the northeast began to mobilize.

The first Society of Mayflower Descendants was established in New York City on December 22, 1894 as a society for lineal descendants of the Mayflower Pilgrims. Three more states followed in 1896: Connecticut on March 7, Massachusetts on March 28, and Pennsylvania on July 1. Delegates from the existing Societies met in Plymouth, Massachusetts, to form the General Society of Mayflower Descendants on January 12, 1897.

Mayflower Societies quickly formed across the nation. The first state to be chartered by the General Society was Illinois in 1897. Almost 10 years later, in 1906, Colorado was the first state west of the Mississippi to be chartered. 

Society House 1951 04

The General Society purchased the Edward Winslow House in Plymouth in 1941, and the house became the Society headquarters in 1960, serving as a symbol of unity. By 1963, all 50 states and the District of Columbia had established Societies. Canada followed 17 years later in 1980, and the Society of Mayflower Descendants in Europe and the UK was recently chartered in 2016. Australia is the newest Member Society.

Pilgrims Landing by Haywood

While nearly half of the 102 Mayflower passengers who arrived on the shores of Massachusetts died during the first winter, 26 families of passengers are known to have left descendants. Since its founding, the Society has welcomed over 100,000 members who could prove Mayflower descent and has an ever-growing number of members across the globe

  • The Mayflower Society, or General Society of Mayflower Descendants (GSMD), is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. 

Our international headquarters is on the campus of the historic Mayflower Society House in downtown Plymouth, Massachusetts.

  • Membership requires proof of direct lineal descent from one of the passengers who traveled to America on the Mayflower in 1620. Our educational mission includes telling the story of the Pilgrims as well as maintaining the highest standards possible for genealogy research into the lineage of the Pilgrims. 
  • We operate a genealogy research library at our Plymouth headquarters and publish the GSMD Silver Books, a series of genealogy books that follow the descendants of the Mayflower passengers.

Our Mission

The General Society of Mayflower Descendants is committed to research on the lineal descent of the Mayflower Pilgrims and education about the Pilgrims who traveled aboard the Mayflower in 1620. The Society provides education and understanding of why the Mayflower Pilgrims were important, how they shaped western civilization, and what their 1620 voyage means today and its impact on the world.

Our Vision

As the leading organization perpetuating the memory of the 1620 Mayflower Pilgrims through excellence in research and family history.

Our Values

  • Preserve and maintain the highest genealogical standards proving the lineal descent from the 1620 Mayflower Pilgrims. 
  • Engage and promote new Pilgrim scholarship, research, and publications.
  • Instill a passion for history and awareness of the Mayflower Compact and the Pilgrim story through education. 
  • Support our Member Societies and encourage the establishment of new Member Societies which share our mission and vision and promote the interests common to all. 
  • Protect, preserve, and interpret our historic properties.

Pilgrims with Known Descendants

Any person able to document their descent from one or more of the following Mayflower Pilgrims is eligible to apply for membership in the Mayflower Society:

  • John Alden
  • Bartholomew Allerton
  • Isaac Allerton
  • Mary (Norris) Allerton
  • Mary Allerton
  • Remember Allerton
  • Elinor Billington
  • Francis Billington
  • John Billington
  • William Bradford
  • Love Brewster
  • Mary (  ) Brewster
  • William Brewster
  • Peter Browne
  • James Chilton
  • Mrs. James Chilton
  • Mary Chilton
  • Francis Cooke
  • John Cooke
  • Edward Doty
  • Francis Eaton
  • Samuel Eaton
  • Sarah (  ) Eaton
  • Moses Fletcher
  • Edward Fuller
  • Mrs. Edward Fuller
  • Samuel Fuller
  • Samuel Fuller (son of Edward)
  • Constance Hopkins
  • Elizabeth (Fisher) Hopkins
  • Giles Hopkins
  • Stephen Hopkins
  • John Howland
  • Richard More
  • Priscilla Mullins
  • William Mullins
  • Degory Priest
  • Joseph Rogers
  • Thomas Rogers
  • Henry Samson
  • George Soule
  • Myles Standish
  • Elizabeth Tilley
  • John Tilley
  • Joan (Hurst) Tilley
  • Richard Warren
  • Peregrine White
  • Resolved White
  • Susanna (Jackson) White
  • William White
  • Edward Winslow

Though the crew of the Mayflower certainly made significant sacrifices in completing the journey, the Mayflower Society recognizes only those passengers who stayed to form Plymouth Colony. The crew returned to England in the spring of 1621 so no members are listed above and descent from a crew member does not qualify one for membership.

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