Friday, August 4, 2017
"Just" a Two-Step Process
Think you have roots reaching back to the passengers who landed the Mayflower at Plymouth Rock four hundred years ago? If so, you are in for some good news. According to the website of the California Mayflower Society, application to join is only a two step process.
Of course, those two steps require giant strides.
All you need do to start is download and print the Society's Preliminary Review Form. Oh, and follow the instructions on the form. All of them. Plus, be sure to send a self-addressed envelope. But no proof. No documentation. Not even any filing fee. Not yet. They will get back to you.
Step two is what you do after you hear back from the Society. If the Society finds the information you sent to outline a credible claim of descent from one or more of the fifty one Mayflower passengers on their list, their office will send you a "Preliminary Application for Membership." You complete this application, send it in with the required fee, and you get yet more instructions on how to document all the stuff you just submitted to the office.
The process may be heralded as a "two step" process, but every step of the way has a multi-part set of instructions.
In my case, I'll be preparing the application to submit to the California Mayflower Society, simply by virtue of the fact that I reside in California. Despite my long-standing "genealogy guinea pig" status, if you have relied on A Family Tapestry as the example showcase of "do as I do" and you live in, say, North Carolina or South Dakota—or even Canada or somewhere else in the world—you won't want to copy this step. The California office only accepts California residents' applications. Everyone else needs to consult this list for where to send that application.
Of course, the trick to getting started with all this is to have a fairly credible notion of just which Mayflower passenger you might have descended from. Thanks to a fellow genealogical researcher who alerted me to the fact during the Thanksgiving weekend of 2013, I know who I will be targeting. I'll share more of that next week.
Above: "Mayflower in Plymouth Harbor," 1882 painting by British-born American artist William Formby Halsall; courtesy Wikipedia; in the public domain.