New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) and General Society of Mayflower Descendants (GSMD) Announce Collaboration
NEHGS to Digitize the Fifth Generation of Mayflower Descendants from GSMD “Silver Books” and 50 Years of Mayflower Quarterly
Mayflower Databases to Be Searchable on AmericanAncestors.org
GSMD Members to Enjoy Discounts on Membership in New England Historic Genealogical Society
July 13, 2017—Boston, Massachusetts—New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) has partnered with General Society of Mayflower Descendants (GSMD) to bring invaluable genealogical resources to their members. New searchable databases—to be found on AmericanAncestors.org—will be created from authenticated Mayflower Pilgrim genealogies and from 50 years of published Mayflower passenger scholarship from the Mayflower Quarterly as the program advances. In addition, GSMD members will enjoy generous discounts on new memberships in NEHGS, the founding genealogical organization in America.
Known as the “Silver Books” because of their distinctive covers, the Mayflower Families Through Five Generations series from the GSMD meticulously documents the first five generations of descendants of Mayflower passengers who arrived in 1620. This essential resource for studying family relationships resulting from the 25 families of the Mayflower who were known to have American descendants, has previously been accessible only in print format in publications produced by GSMD and available through the Bookstore at NEHGS. As a result of this new partnership, the fifth generation portion of these will be available online on AmericanAncestors.org for use in family history research by members of both organizations.
Brenton Simons, NEHGS President and CEO, made the announcement of the collaboration together with Lea Sinclair Filson, GSMD Governor General. At a signing ceremony to commemorate the historic partnership at the Massachusetts State House in Boston, Simons stated “We’re pleased to announce that NEHGS is partnering with GSMD to bring the fifth generation data online. We estimate that the project will include 7,750 fifth generation descendants, along with spouses and children, and approximately 150,000 birth, marriage, death, and deed records. Under the supervision of our Web team, the material will be digitized and made name searchable on AmericanAncestors.org by members of NEHGS and GSMD.”
GSMD Governor General Lea Sinclair Filson added, “This partnership with NEHGS will contribute enormously to the availability of our publications to family historians around the world. It will greatly facilitate genealogical research and help preserve GSMD’s history and diligence in spreading the Mayflower Pilgrim story.”
The “Silver Books” series is comprised of 31 volumes, of which the fifth generation of each will be brought online as a database as the digitization is completed. Fifty passengers on the Mayflower are known to have living descendants, however, the “Silver Books” treat the twenty-five families that left American descendants.
NEHGS’ Senior Genealogist of the Newbury Street Press and Mayflower Descendant Editor Christopher C. Child noted “When working with people on possible Mayflower ancestry, I am often searching through several volumes of the “Silver Books” to check their validity. Having the most recent documented generation online and searchable will greatly aid people seeking to verify this part of their Mayflower lineage.”
Partnership to Include Digital Indexing of Mayflower Quarterly
As an important additional element of the historic partnership between the two organizations, NEHGS will also undertake indexing of content published in the first fifty years of the Mayflower Quarterly—A Journal of Pilgrim History and Genealogy in Colonial New England. GSMD published this predecessor to the current Mayflower Journal from 1935 through 2015. Fifty volumes of the Quarterly, those issues published between 1935 and 1984, are to be indexed by article title and by the names included in them. They will be made available as page images on AmericanAncestors.org.
Updates concerning availability of these new databases to be offered exclusively by NEHGS may be found in announcements in the weekly e-newsletter of NEHGS, The Weekly Genealogist, or by registering at dbnews.AmericanAncestors.org.
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