Proving Your Lineage
If you think you may be a Mayflower descendant, we encourage you to research your family tree. Your goal is to locate documents that link each generation back to the Mayflower. For each person in your lineage, you would ideally have photocopies of these vital records:
Start with yourself and your parents and work backward in your lineage. Interview your parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and even family friends. You may discover that others have already completed some of the research or possess some of the documents you need.
Vital records have been kept by individual states since the early 1900s. For documents before then, search newspaper announcements, wills, census records, cemetery records, court records, military records, immigration records, pension records, church registers, and even handwritten records found in old family Bibles. The internet offers tips and resources for locating these items.
Please note that you must make a photocopy of each document and record exactly where you found it. Handwritten copies are not accepted.
Collect documents back to the sixth generation of your Mayflower ancestor. Our society historian may be able to supply your remaining Mayflower lineage, as published in Mayflower Families Through Five Generations.