This is the year I verify that my husband, Rob and I have Mayflower connections. Rob’s journey will be much easier than mine because a great uncle of his already submitted an application and was accepted into the Mayflower Society through William Brewster. All I have to do for him is recreate that application and add any additional pieces of evidence. It’s all about proving the parent/child relationship from one generation to the next.
On Family Search (www.familysearch.org) there is a connection made for me to Degory Priest on my maternal line. If this is true, he would be my 12th great-grandfather.
On the website American Ancestors (a subscription site, part of the New England Historic and Genealogical Society), I found an article that explains how to document your lineage back to a Mayflower passenger.
The first 5 generations are already done for you (Degory Priest is considered the first generation). They are published in a set of books called the “Silver Books” because (you guessed it), they are silver. They also list the children of that 5th generation, giving you 6 generations of names, dates, and places. After that, you’re on your own for the proof. For me, the person from the 5th generation is Sarah Swan (Ebenezer Swan, Mary Pratt, Mary Priest, Degory Priest).1
Sarah Swan was born on 26 Feb 1700/01 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, British America, and married Ephraim Cook in Cambridge on 14 Dec 1727.2 They had 10 children including my potential 7th great-grandmother, Sarah Cook.
So now I need to link the remaining generations down to me. And like all genealogy questions, you start with what you know and move backward. Hopefully, when I do get further back those documents will connect with Sarah Cook. If they don’t at least I’ll know who my ancestors are not.
Won’t you join me on my Mayflower Journey?
Genealogy Tip: When starting a lineage application, read through it carefully and educate yourself on what the society needs to approve your application. There are many online sources to help you with whatever society you are trying to join.
1 “Mayflower Families Fifth Generation Descendants, 1700-1880,” online database, AmericanAncestors.org, New England Historic Genealogical Society (https://www.americanancestors.org/databases/mayflower-families-fifth-generation-descendants-1700-1880/image?; accessed 10 Jan 2023), entry for Degory Priest, Vol. 8, pp. 72-3; citing “Mayflower Families Through Five Generations: Descendants of the Pilgrims who landed at Plymouth, Mass., December 1620,” Plymouth MA; General Society of Mayflower Descendants, 1975-2015.