Tuesday, January 21, 2020

General Society of Mayflower Descendants Application Process - Step 1

I bravely announced two goals for 2020 in a blog post two weeks ago, and the first goal was:

*  I want to apply to the General Society of Mayflower Descendants for at least one ancestral line - the William White line.  Several friends of mine recently applied and one received membership in GSMD so it can be done.  I feel a responsibility to do this for my cousin Laura who asked for help several years ago, and sent me the information she had collected, and I have not progressed past reviewing her material and my material.  I summarized it in Do I Have Enough Information to Join Society of Mayflower Descendants?  

The first step in the process, outlined on the California Mayflower Society "Join" page is to email your name and address to the society, download, fill out, and send in the Preliminary Application Form, and review the Standards of Evidence.  I emailed, they sent the Form and the Standards, and I downloaded them and reviewed them.

Here is the blank Preliminary Application Form - it is a PDF form that the applicant can type into, save and send back (I used my snipping tool to make it an image):
I found my list for the William White line, and entered the information.  The image below shows only the line from William White and not the applicant information:
That took about 15 minutes.  I saved the PDF form all filled out, and sent it via email to my California society contact person.  Easy peasy.

She told me in the next email:
"The first review may take about a week. I have it sent to the San Diego Colony Membership Chair (CMC) for them to see if the line you've provided is plausible. If it is, she will check with previously approved applications on file with Plymouth and if anyone has a similar line like yours. Then she will reach out and let you know next steps to proceed with the application process.
"After that, it's about making sure all the documents meets the criteria set by the Society and once the application is ready for approval, it is forwarded to the State for their first approval -- and then onward to Plymouth for final approval. Right now, we've been receiving a lot of applications in Plymouth (a couple thousand a month) and so the verification process is about 6 months from the time it is received."
Okay!  I'm ready.  I need to start my documentation process.  I have seen a sample Application for Membership and, based on the Standards of Evidence, have a pretty good understanding of what I need to submit for each generation.

My thought is to create a MSWord document with each generation as a chapter and add the evidence, source citations, and any necessary discussion to each chapter.  I do need to go to the San Diego County Recorder's office to obtain my mother's birth certificate and my own birth certificate - I have only birth registrations for us at this time, which don't list the parents.

My goal is to share with my readers my progress in pursuing this goal for 2020 as I go through it.  So stay tuned!  It may take awhile, but it's on my bulging to-do list.  My challenge is to remember to look at the list once in awhile.

I welcome any thoughts or experiences from my colleagues and readers who have succeeded in this application process:

*  What was your process to document your ancestral line?  
* What helped you get through the entire application process?


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Betty B said...

My husbands application is currently in the queue in Plymouth, submitted last August. My state historian was very precise and helpful as far as the exact format of document submissions. We did have some back and forth to fill in gaps. It can be challenging to decide how many proofs are too many. Her fresh eyes exposed some lack of clarity.
The most annoying issue for me was that some recently obtained certificates did NOT specify what state and/or town they came from. Seriously, an early 2000s official death certificate did not specify which state it was from on its header. The state historian and I are hopeful that our clarifications will be accepted by Plymouth. So my advice, be sure your documents all say where they are from in the body of the document.

John said...

Randy: I successfully completed two applications to demonstrate and prove descent from Richard Warren via two of his daughters. I have read that more people are descended from Richard Warren than any other Mayflower passenger becuase all of his children survived to adulthood, married and had children who survived. While Richard came over on the Mayflower alone, his wife and children followed a year or two later as I recall. When I was a young boy and my family visited the Plymouth Plantation recreation I remember being told by my grandmother that we were descended from Richard Warren (although it had not been proved until decades later when I acoomplished it). I recall that the docent at Plymouth Plantation mentioned that the Warren home was the only one with glass windows (as opposed to oiled paper) because Mrs. Warren brought the glass windows over with her when she and their children joined Richard. My proof of descent was greatly assisted by the fact that several previously approved descendants had their lines accepted and approved. I had to show that one of my ancestors was a known child in those previously approved lines, but one that had not been known to have married and had children. Once I showed and documented the marriage and children and subsequent marriages and children, my application was approved. The whole process took maybe two months start to finish. If you connect to an already approved line and can document the connection you should be able to get your application approved fairly routinely. Good luck!