This blog brings you breaking news about the 14th New England Regional Genealogical Conference and the city of Springfield, Massachusetts.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Society Profile - The Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Descendants

The Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Descendants is one of the 22 participating societies in the 2011 New England Regional Genealogical Conference (NERGC).

The Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Descendants

The Mission of the Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Descendants is:

 To gather together to honor and perpetuate the memory of our Mayflower Ancestors and the ideals of American freedoms and democracy, which have evolved from The Mayflower Compact signed by the Pilgrim Fathers when they reached Cape Cod shores in November, 1620.


The renewed interest in American history brought about by the celebration of the centennial of the United States in 1876 spawned the formation of dozens of hereditary and patriotic organizations. By the mid 1890s organizations such as the Daughters of the American Revolution were attracting members interested in perpetuating the memory of their ancestors who had helped to found this country. Genealogy became a popular hobby and these organizations gave people the opportunity to socialize with others in their genealogical families. The idea of a society for descendants of the Mayflower passengers was realized first in the state of New York on December 22, 1894. Three more states followed in 1896: Connecticut on March 7, Massachusetts on March 28, and Pennsylvania on July 1. In 1897 these four state societies joined to form the General Society of Mayflower Descendants, which has since chartered state societies in all fifty U.S. states, the District of Columbia, and the Dominion of Canada.


 The Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Descendants was founded by George Ernest Bowman who gathered twenty-two men and eight women, many of them his relatives, to sign the papers of incorporation in Boston stating the purposes of the society were patriotic, antiquarian, and historical.


Eligibility in the Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Descendants
Massachusetts is one of fifty (50) state societies plus one in the District of Columbia and one in Canada. By virtue of membership in one of these societies, everyone is a member of the General Society of Mayflower Descendants. You can be a resident of any state or country and still join here in Massachusetts. The advantages of being a member here are listed under benefits.

The requirements to become a member are that you already know your lineage back to a Mayflower passenger, submit an application form with required fees, and are willing to provide two photocopies of all documentation needed under the guidance of the Historian.

The New England Regional Genealogical Conference (NERGC) is being held April 6-10, 2011 in Springfield, MA. More information is available from the conference website



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