Mayflower Project Reliable Sources

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General Society of Mayflower Descendants

Silver Books (Some local public libraries have these books)
Mayflower Ancestral Index
The Mayflower Descendant
Mayflower Journal

Mayflower Journal: bi-annual publication of the General Society of Mayflower Descendants. Pulication Years 2016?-2018.

Before the Voyage, Leiden

Pilgrim Documents online Leiden archives.

Plimoth Plantation

Pilgrim Hall Museum


  • Bradford's History Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation (Massachusetts Historical Society, 1856) Citation: <ref name=Bradford>Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation (Massachusetts Historical Society, 1856) pp</ref>
    • Bradford's Original Manuscript. Bradford, William, 1590-1657. Of Plimoth Plantation: manuscript, 1630-1650. State Library of Massachusetts "List of Mayflower Passengers." Citation <ref name=BradfordMan>Bradford, William, 1590-1657. ''Of Plimoth Plantation: manuscript, 1630-1650. [ State Library of Massachusetts] "List of Mayflower Passengers." In Bradford's Hand. </ref>
  • Morton, Nathaniel. New England's Memorial. First published in 1669. Published with additions several times since. 1826 1855 others
  • Pope, Charles Henry. The pioneers of Massachusetts, a descriptive list, drawn from records of the colonies, towns and churches and other contemporaneous documents. Boston: C.H. Pope, 1900. (
  • Pope, Charles. The Plymouth Scrap Book (C. E. Goodspeed & Co., Boston, Mass., 1918)
  • Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Compact and its Signers. Boston (Massachusetts: Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Descendants, 1920) link
  • Verburgt, J W. The Pilgrim Fathers in Leiden, Holland. (Leiden, 1970) at Family Search Unsourced but easy to read (52 pages) account of the Pilgrims in Holland. Author was a former archivist of Leiden.

The New England Historical and Genealogical Register (Membership required).

  • Anderson, Robert Charles Pilgrim Village Families Sketch: Francis Cooke, New England Historic Genealogical Society.
  • Bangs, Jeremy Dupertuis .The Pilgrims and other English in Leiden records: some new Pilgrim documents, The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, July 1989, p. 195-214.
  • Christensen, Ernest M. "The Probable Parentage of Stephen Hopkins of the Mayflower," in The American Genealogist, vol. 79 (October 2004): 241-249.
  • Davies, Edward J. "The Marriage of Richard Warren of the Mayflower." The American Genealogist. (April 2003) v. 78, no. 2, p. 81-86. Also online at pdf file includes the text of Augustine Walker's will.
  • Fuller, Francis H. "Early New England Fullers," New England Historical and Genealogical Register 55(1901):192-196.
  • Fuller, Francis H. "Fullers of Redenhall, England," New England Historical and Genealogical Register 55(1901):410-414.
  • Greene, David, L., "Notes on Francis Eaton of Plymouth," The American Genealogist. (Vol 72, Page 305) New Haven, CT: D. L. Jacobus, 1937-. (Online database accessed 28 January 2016. New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2009 - .)
  • Johnson, Caleb, "New Light on the Mayflower Passengers." (Vol 80, Page 94) The American Genealogist. New Haven, CT: D. L. Jacobus, 1937-. Link at AmericanAncestors ($)
  • Johnson, Caleb. "The Probable English Origin of Mayflower Passenger Peter1 Browne, and his Association with Mayflower Passenger William1 Mullins", The America Genealogist vol. 79 no. 3 (July 2004):161-165 .
  • Johnson, Caleb ; Allen, Sue and Neal,Simon "The English Origin and Kinship of Mayflower Passengers William1 White and Dorothy1 (May) Bradford of Wisbech, Cambridgeshire", The American Genealogist, vol. 89 no. 2 (April 2017):81-94.
  • MacGunnigle, Bruce Campbell; Sherman, Robert M.; and Wakefield, Robert S. "Was Matthew Fuller of Plymouth Colony a Son of Pilgrim Edward Fuller?", The American Genealogist 61(1986):194-199.
  • Ward, Robert Leigh. 'English Ancestry of Seven Mayflower Passengers,' The American Genealogist (Oct. 1976) 52:203
  • Waters ,Henry Fitz-Gilbert "Richard Warren of the Mayflower and some of his Descendants." The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, 1901, Vol. 55:70-78.

Great Migration
  • The Great Migration Begins series, published and sold by NEHGS, contain biographies of each Mayflower Passenger and their known children. Often primary source documents are cited as references. There is a subset of the Great Migration Series has been published recently. titled "The Pilgrim Migration". It covers the immigrants to Plymouth Colony and their wives and children.
  • Anderson, Robert Charles. The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England (New England Historic Genealogical Society, Boston, 1995)

George Ernest Bowman and Susan Roser

  • History of Mayflower Families Through Five Generations Project .pdf download

"George Ernest Bowman, editor of the Mayflower Descendant (1899-1937), had announced in 1899 his idea of tracing both male and female descendants of the Pilgrims down to Revolutionary times. He devoted his years to gathering and publishing source material on the Pilgrims and their descendants but did not publish this as a genealogy. In 1956, a skeleton of his findings of the first three generations, edited by Herbert K. Shaw, was published by the Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Descendants as Families of the Pilgrims." Note: Families of the Pilgrims can be borrowed at Archive. Sourcing is not nearly as complete as in the Mayflower Families in Progress.

  • Bowman, George Ernest, and Sherman Ruth Wilder. The Mayflower Reader: a selection of articles from The Mayflower descendant Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1978. Google Books Link

  • Susan Roser has written a number of well-sourced books on the Mayflower passengers and their descendants. Amazon page containing a list Some are available from the publisher Genealogical Publishing Co., Baltimore, MD

Vital Statistics

Most of the Towns in Massachusetts, have had their vital records published as Vital Records of "Town" Massachusetts to the end of the Year 1849 / to 1850. Doing a search will usually find a 'free' copy.

  • Records of the Colony of New Plymouth, in New England: Deeds, &c., 1620-1651. Book of Indian records for their lands, New Plymouth Colony, Massachusetts. General Court, Press of W. White, 1861. Google Book
  • Plymouth Wills: C.H. Simmons, Jr., Plymouth Colony Records, Volume 1, Wills and Inventories, 1633-1669 (Camden, Maine, 1996)
  • TAUNTON: Free Vital Records. eg. Citation. <ref name=TauntonVR>Vital Records of Taunton, Mass to the year 1850. Boston, Massachusetts: NEHGS Vol 1 Births. (1978) Vol. II Marriages (1928); Vol. III Deaths (1929) [URL Vol # p. #]</ref>
    • Taunton, Plymouth: founded 3 Sep 1639. Taunton, Bristol, Plymouth 2 Jun 1685. Taunton, Bristol, Province of Massachusetts Bay, 14 May 1692.


Mayflower Society DNA Project Family Tree DNA Project administered by the General Society of Mayflower Descendants documenting the Y-DNA of male Mayflower passengers and mtDNA of female Mayflower passengers. wiki documents the Y-DNA and mtDNA of Mayflower passengers, their spouses, and the spouses of their children and grandchildren.

Family Genealogies & Family Society Websites

There are numerous published books -- dating from the early 1800s through the day before yesterday -- that present the genealogy of a particular family. Often these sources are the best (or only) information we have to work with regarding an individual or a family group. Unfortunately, however, family genealogies range in quality from superb to horrifyingly bad. Some are even fraudulent. In evaluating the reliability of a particular genealogy, we should consider whether the author cited their sources, and consider whether those cited sources are reliable. In reviewing citations, consider the age of the work. A book published recently should be considered doubtful if it lacks good standard reference citations. However, because 19th-century authors typically did not use modern-style citations, we need instead to look for informal descriptions of where their information came from. Regardless of the citation formats, spot-check their information against those sources you are able to access, to see whether the primary sources validate the information found in the family genealogy. Check the credentials and reputation(s) of the author(s). Consider where and how the work was published. Do not treat the "official" work of a family association as having any special credibility or legal authority over a family's history -- their publications should be evaluated the same way that we would evaluate another author's work. Finally, don't hesitate to ask other WikiTreers (in G2G) for advice regarding the reliability of a particular work.

Societies (some have indexed databases)

Family Genealogies

  • Fuller, William Hyslop. Fuller Genealogy (C.B. Fiske & Co., Palmer, Mass., 1908)
  • History and Genealogy of the Hopkins Family in America; James Kimble Young, Jr.,; 1950.
  • Stephen Hopkins of the Mayflower and Some of His Descendants. Compiled by Timothy Hopkins of San Francisco. Prepared for Publication by Margaret Griffith, California Genealogical Society.
  • Stuber, Vera Harpst. "The Rogers Pilgrims and Pioneers A Family History, Ancestors and Descendants of Calvin Otis Rogers". Vera Stuber, 1991.
  • Bryant, Maria Whitman Genealogy of Edward Winslow (E. Anthony & Sons, Inc, 1915) Reliablity: Almost no sourcing. Facts should be checked.

Other Books

  • Rixford, Elizabeth M. Leach."Families Directly Descended from All the Royal Families in Europe (495-1932) and Mayflower Descendents". Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2002.

Useful Links

  • Cyndi's List - Mayflower, Pilgrims & The Plymouth Colony. Links to websites, mailing lists, etc., with a focus on the Mayflower and related topics. Cyndi's List
  • Caleb Johnson's list of Mayflower Passengers List of all the passengers, also includes other primary source documentation such as Bradford's History and Plymouth County Records. Caleb Johnson's list
  • A website of the Society of Mayflower Descendants They will screen your eligibility for membership (for a fee). List of passengers who are known to have left descendants. Society of Mayflower Descendants
  • Pilgrim Village Families Sketches. By Robert Charles Anderson. Short sketches on Mayflower Passengers. Does not require NEHGS membership. Pilgrim Village Families Sketches.
  • The Genealogical Advertiser Vols. 1 through 7 A quarterly published first in the late 1800's until sometime in the 1930s. Contains probate records of Plymouth Colony, Abstracts from the First Book of Plymouth County, Plymouth County marriages, etc. (Vol. 2 and 3 are also available at -- but again $$). Access at ebooks for free!
  • The Plymouth Colony Archive Project presents a collection of fully searchable texts, including: court records, colony laws, seventeenth century journals and memoirs, probate inventories, wills, town plans, maps, and fort plans; research and seminar analyses of numerous topics; biographical profiles of selected colonists; and architectural, archaeological and material culture studies. This Plymouth Colony Archive Reliability: Excellent - a collection of primary documents.
  • Davis, William T.. Ancient Landmarks of Plymouth. Part II: Genealogical Register of Plymouth. Boston, MA, USA: Damrell & Upham, 1899. and Genealogical Register of Plymouth Families (1975 reprint of Ancient Landmarks). Unsourced and badly layed out.

Reliable with Conditions and/or Unreliable Sources

  • Find a Grave. Because there were very few recorded burials, and few surviving stones for pre-1700 persons, Find a grave memorials without stones or burial places should not even be added to Mayflower profiles. There are memorial stones, created by later generations, that have been added to find a grave. Linking to these to show the memorial stone is acceptable, but do not necessarily take the information provided, without verifying with a quality, reliable source, in which case the reliable source is a better citation than Find a grave.
  • Find a Grave Indexes - Don't use the indexes. Go to Find a Grave and cite that instead.
  • Wikipedia. Wikipedia articles can be problematic. Genealogical information in an otherwise well-researched article may not be supported by a source at all or the source may be one that WikiTree would consider unreliable. When citing Wikipedia as a source for parent/child relationship(s), birth, marriage, and/or death information, please include not only a link to the Wikipedia article and date accessed but also the source(s) cited by Wikipedia for genealogical facts from the article.

Unreliable Sources

  • User generated trees such as Geni, MyHeritage, Ancestry, FamilySearch, Rootsweb, Geneanet, etc. These kinds of sites can be used to find details that can lead to reliable sources. Some trees cite sources that can be used for your profiles when you have checked them out. Never use a user generated tree as source.
  • Unsourced or badly sourced gedcom imports.
  • Generic repositories: eg. or Why Ancestry and FamilySearch Aren’t Sources
  • FamilyTrees, Community Trees, Historical Trees such as those found on, and others. These databases may use old and outdated Mayflower applications, older Mayflower 5 Generations books, and other outdated sources. While these trees may be helpful clues, the actual sources that these trees cite are what we use on the Project profiles.
  • Conglomerate indexes eg. Millenium Files, Yates Publishing Indexes.
  • International Genealogical Index (IGI) (FamilySearch Historical Records) where up to 50 % of the entries are user generated.
  • Published books, articles and blogs that do not have sources listed.
  • See also Category:Frauds_and_Fabrications

Come back to

  • Perkins, Frank Herman and Burbank, Alfred Stevens Handbook of Old Burial Hill, Plymouth, Massachusetts: Its History, Its Famous Dead, and Its Quaint Epitaphs (Pilgrim Bookstore (Plymouth, Mass.) Published by A.S. Burbank, Pilgrim Bookstore, 1902) image of John Howland memorial stone p. 51 See also p. 17

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Comments: 9

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Regarding the Mayflower Society DNA Project at FTDNA, see my recent G2G comments here: That effort does not seem to be officially operated by the Mayflower Society, and there are many anomalies in the DNA data as reported. I would not consider it as a de facto reliable source.
posted by Edison Williams
You might want to list the official Leiden Archive website about the pilgrims as well. Database that links to scanned official documents.

posted by Michel Vorenhout
Yes, definitely, Ive added it...........
posted by Anne B
Thank you............................
posted by Anne B
It was there, but I've added the lists in a couple of other spots, including here to make it more obvious.
posted by Anne B
Is there a list of Mayflower passengers that could be linked to on the project page? I've been using this one:

Also, the list on the Relationship Finder Quick Links is short several passengers, as you may be aware.

posted by John Kingman
The link to no longer works. It should be changed to Thx.
posted by Traci Thiessen
Could you please add user generated trees, generic repositories and IGI to unreliable sources.

This would be most helpful for us mentors.

You are welcome to copy anything you find useful from

Sue, We now have a standard "Reliable sources page" for Projects. I'm going to propose a merge between that page and this one. So I'm not reinventing the wheel.
posted by Anne B