Mayflower Society Documentation Requirements

The General Society of Mayflower Descendants requires applicants to present documented evidence proving the carrier-line in each generation. Full documentation for spouses is expected as well for birth, marriage and death, but not parents of the spouse. The spouse is considered an important part of each generation.

An applicant can use a previously approved application for a person who descends from the same ancestors for the generations they share in common. Using an existing application gives you a framework and does some of the work for you. You must bring all previously approved generations up to modern General Society standards. This usually required obtaining additional vital records or documentation.

As described below, primary sources are preferred, and usually only one primary source document is required. A secondary source may be accepted by itself, but more often is combined with other secondary or circumstantial sources. Circumstantial sources nearly always required additional sources for support. Sources deemed not accepatable are considered so because they are either not independent, considered hearsay or consist of a claim rather than evidence or proof.


Primary Source Evidence

  1. Vital Records of Birth, Marriage and Death
  2. Church records
  3. Bible records which provide relationship
  4. Marriage bonds and licenses
  5. Land Deeds
  6. Wills, Probate records, Guardianships or Orphan’s Court Records
  7. Military Service or Pension Records
  8. Cemetery and Morticians Records (usually for death only)
  9. Social Security Application Papers (usually for birth)
  10. Contemporary family letters and diaries. Contemporary is defined as produced at the time of the event.

Secondary Source Evidence

  1. County or Town Histories
  2. Family Genealogies (published only)
  3. Federal/State Census records 1850 or later. (Note: If they do not show family relationship, two sequential census records should be submitted or the census will be considered circumstantial evidence).
  4. Newspaper Obituaries
  5. Newspaper Marriage Notices
  6. Photo or photocopies of gravestones inscriptions (the cemetery name, and complete location should be included)
  7. Affidavits (dependent on time period).

Circumstantial Source

  1. Federal/State Census records which do not show family relationship.
  2. Family Bible records that do not show family relationship.

Unacceptable Sources

  1. Mayflower Index Number, DAR Patriot Indexes, or Indexes to any other Lineage Papers (including State Mayflower Society Lineage Books).
  2. International Genealogical Index (IGI, Ancestral File (AFN) and Pedigree Resource Files.
  3. Copies of lineage papers that have been submitted to other Lineage Societies
  4. Genealogical Compendiums such as “Virkus”, “Savage”, and “Farmer”.
  5. Family Group Sheet and Pedigree Charts.
  6. Information from Family Web Pages sourced from the Internet.
  7. Who’s Who Books (if no other source of information is available, this may be considered).
  8. Social Registers
  9. Social Security Death INDEX (SSDI) (used often to obtain Social Security Application)
  10. Most unpublished handwritten, typed or computer-generated genealogies.

Good luck as you begin your research!