Mayflower descendants

+12 votes

So in the United States being able to claim descent from a mayflower passenger is a big deal. I was just on the Mayflower Project page and I read: The Mayflower Project currently covers the passengers of the Mayflower, and their descendants for two generations. In the future, it may be expanded to cover other early European settlers in that area.

So now, I'm thinking wouldn't it be a good idea to identify all profiles with Marflower descent. Something as simple as a [[Category: Mayflower Descendant]] although the list would be huge and perhaps not all that useful. Or (brainstorming here) what about a line of text and maybe it just says Mayflower Descendant. It could be posted right under the Categories section, above the biography and would quickly tell anyone looking at the profile that this person is a descendant of a Mayflower passenger. Please have a look at my example - maybe it could be bold, maybe italics, is it too big? what about another colour? Just want to get something out there and get feedback.

This idea came to me while I was working several generations down in the Gorham family. Capt. John Gorham was married to Desire Howland whose parents were passengers on the ship. There was nothing outside adding a line or two in the biography that would tell me this profile was in any way connected to the mayflower. 


WikiTree profile: John Gorham
in The Tree House by Eugene Quigley G2G6 Mach 7 (75.8k points)

Thanks but the project only covers the passengers of the Mayflower, and their descendants for two generations. I'm working below that level.

Eugene, perhaps you are suggesting a template or project box versus a category.

5 Answers

+4 votes
Best answer
I think one possible answer is to use a Mayflower Descendant category where you can show strong proof. A source like the Mayflower through five generations books. Those would cover a large number of descendants and also provide a well established source.

For descendants that are in Mayflower Society lines, adding the line number would also be a good source. This would be easy for anyone interested to pull from the Mayflower library.

The Magna-Carta project does set a good example. The Magna-Carta project, in citing Douglas Richardson and others, has done a good job of identifying known descendants that are in lines to known gateway ancestors. The MC project does not go to any 'unproven' gateway ancestors.

The web is full of claimed Mayflower lines that are not supported by the books or Mayflower library.
by PM Eyestone G2G6 Mach 3 (34.0k points)
selected by Eugene Quigley
I like the Magna Carta icon. I'm just looking for something simple - not ostentatious and not taking up a lot of space. I played around and made some attempts at what I think is suitable on John's profile:
I would also add some Mayflower sources to his profile. He should be in several of the Mayflower through 5 generations books, for example. Keep the bar high! :)
I agree, adding quality sources is important. My reason for creating this profile was because of his activity in Nova Scotia and not because of his Mayflower ancestry. Regardless, I know of his ancestry and used him as my example. I don't have access to ''John Howland of the Mayflower, Volume 1'' which covers the Gorham line through Desire Howland. My wife is descended from Desire's sister, Elizabeth, and I do have that book "Volume 4" and can properly cite pages as I go. I guess I'm just trying to sell people on the idea of creating something that goes beyond the reach of the current Mayflower project without creating a new project or category. Thanks for your comments.
There are mistakes in the Mayflower books as well. They are not gospel! They are cerainly a good first year source, but also is NEHGS, Vital Records, Anderson, Richardson, Torrey,TAG; second tier would be family histories and genealogies. At least that is what I have found:).
+6 votes

I am a bit divided on my answer:

On the one hand I do not see any reason there should not be a template for Mayflower descendants which can be used to indicate which Mayflower passenger(s) a person is descended from. In the real world there are lots of lineage based organizations (NSSAR, NSDAR, UEL, BOMC, etc.) that people are proud to be members of and it makes sense to reflect that same pride here.

On the other hand however, I feel that profiles should be about the individual's own life and times - their ancestors (should) have their own profiles. I also worry about the potential 'overkill/clutter' - just going back 10 generations (very roughly year 1700), a person today theoretically has over 2000 ancestors. If only 1% of these ancestors were involved in 'defining moments' of history that is still alot of content on a profile that does not contribute to the story of the individual.

Now if the template was for members of the Mayflower Society and/or for Wikitree members who are Mayflower descendants (even if they are not members of the Mayflower Society) that is different - the organizations a person chooses to belong to, or to be associated with, does tell us something about the person.

by Rob Ton G2G6 Pilot (275k points)
I like the idea of a user box for this. I created user boxes for WikiTreers who are part of a Scottish clan, and those who are part of the Acadian diaspora. I always meant to make more. Being a descendant of a Mayflower passenger is exactly the kind of thing I was envisioning.
+3 votes

I like the idea of having a template for it with a small photo of the Mayflower.  With a template, all it does is show up on the profile.  So you're not using a category and filling it up with hundreds of thousands of profiles.  I would imagine there are a lot of people that don't know they're connected to the Mayflower and would be excited once they make the link to a descendant.

The Magna Carta project has a template they created to go on profiles of descendants of the barons.  I don't see the harm in a template for descendants of the Mayflower...

As to Rob's comment on the number of ancestors, it's actually 1,024 in ten generations.  I've got a 'tree' on my profile page with this information.

  • 1024 great great great great great great great great grandparents
  • 512 great great great great great great great grandparents
  • 256 great great great great great great grandparents
  • 128 great great great great great grandparents
  • 64 great great great great grandparents
  • 32 great great great grandparents
  • 16 great great grandparents
  • 8 great grandparents
  • 4 grandparents
  • 2 parents




by Darlene Athey-Hill G2G6 Pilot (438k points)
1024 in the tenth generation. 2046 in all ten generations combined.
0 votes
Agree may help other s seaching their families, may take awhile for me o catch up big family
+1 vote
Society of Mayflower Descendants in the State of Washington. Online sirname search for mayflower descendants
by Anonymous Vickery G2G6 Pilot (240k points)

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