The Mayflower Descendant

A Journal of Pilgrim Genealogy & History

About the Mayflower Descendant

Mayflower Descendant—a journal of Pilgrim genealogy and history—is one of the most highly respected scholarly journals in the field of genealogy. The journal is published twice per year, in winter and summer. Each issue is approximately 100 pages plus an annual every-name index in summer. The result of an agreement with the Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Descendants (MSMD), New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) assumed a ten-year stewardship of the venerable journal the Mayflower Descendant in 2015.

First published in 1899 by George Ernest Bowman, founder of the Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Descendants, which published the journal until 2014, Mayflower Descendant has long been a highly regarded source of scholarship relating to Mayflower families and their genealogies, their origins in England, and their lives and places of residence in America, from the earliest settlements to their migrations north and westward. Under NEHGS, Mayflower Descendant continues to be a significant source of genealogical and historical scholarship.

Topics to be explored in forthcoming issues:

  • Further genealogical analysis of Pilgrim families in New England and their origins in England and the Netherlands.
  • Towns in Plymouth Colony, England, and the Netherlands with which Pilgrims are associated (similar to items in The Great Migration Newsletter).
  • Genealogical summaries of families in eastern Massachusetts into which Mayflower descendants married, with which they were often associated, or which bore Pilgrim surnames.
  • Mayflower families beyond the fifth generation, often in locations beyond eastern Massachusetts (the “Mayflower diaspora”).
  • Further record transcription from eastern Massachusetts or from areas into which Mayflower descendants moved.

Winter 2022 Issue Now Available

The Winter 2022 issue (Vol. 70, No. 1) of Mayflower Descendant is now available. See below for a preview of this issue. Subscribe for the year of 2022 today to get your copy!

Mayflower Descendant Winter 2022
Preview the latest issue

Volume 70, No. 1, Winter 2022

Editor’s Introduction

Ceremony of Remembrance Remarks
D. Brenton Simons

Notable Mayflower Descendant: Story Musgrave
Richard Hall

Thomas4 Foster of Plymouth, Husband of Mary Morton
Edward Charles Horton

The Orcutt Family of Scituate, Bridgewater, and Weymouth, Massachusetts (continued from Vol. 67 [2019]: 32)
Christopher Challender Child

Sarah, Wife of Moses Simmons of Duxbury: A Possible Parentage
Raymond T. Wing

Mehetabel Packard of North Bridgewater, Massachusetts, and Readfield and Hallowell, Maine: an Alden and Cooke Descendant
Christopher Carter Lee

The Parentage of Elizur Gates: A Thomas Rogers Line
Katrina Fahy

A Search for Lydia (Winslow) Montgomery’s Father Reveals a Lost Branch of Winslows in Eighteenth-Century Lincoln County, Maine
Lael Montgomery with Rhonda R. McClure

Wellfleet Vital Records, 1763-1844 (continued from Vol. 68 [2020]: 97)
Andrew P. Langlois

Eastham and Truro [Mass.] Town Records, 1671–1783 (continued from Vol. 69 [2021]: 177) Peter Burgess

Seen Elsewhere in 2020
Scott Andrew Bartley

How to Subscribe

You can purchase subscriptions from the Bookstore at NEHGS. American Ancestors/NEHGS members and GSMD members receive 20% off the subscription price.

Search the Database

Mayflower Descendant was first published by the Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Descendants in 1899. It is an essential source of information on many New England families, and its focus is not limited to those with Mayflower lineage. The journal includes transcriptions and abstracts of deeds, wills, vital records, and other original documents. In addition, it features compiled genealogies and analytical studies of genealogical problems.The database covers volumes 1 to 68 (1899 to 1935, 1937 and 1985-2020, The journal did not publish in 1936 or between 1938 and 1984.). The database includes more than 350,000 records.

Mayflower Descendant Database Search image

General guidelines

  • It is advisable to send an email describing your proposed article to the editor at mayflower@nehgs.org.
  • Ideally, your article should be written as a Microsoft Word file and submitted as an email attachment to mayflower@nehgs.org. If you prefer to submit a paper copy or a file on CD, mail to Editor, Mayflower Descendant, 99–101 Newbury Street, Boston, MA 02116.
  • Please consider sending us copies or scans of original documents along with your article.
  • Please do not submit articles that have been published previously, either in print or online.
  • Please do not submit an article that you are also submitting to another journal.

Download a Register-style template.

How to submit an article

The editor welcomes articles, especially from new authors. Articles typically focus on subjects of interest to descendants of early Massachusetts residents and fall into one of the following categories:

  1. continuing genealogical analysis of the Pilgrim families in New England and their origins in England and Holland, and re-examinations of older problems;
  2. focus on towns, both in Plymouth Colony and in England and Holland from whence Pilgrims sprang;
  3. genealogical summaries of other “non-Mayflower” families in eastern Massachusetts;
  4. treatment of Mayflower families, often beyond the fifth generation, in geographical locations beyond eastern Massachusetts, highlighting the Mayflower “diaspora”; and
  5. continued record transcription of important genealogical records.

Writing guidelines

  • In Microsoft Word, use 12-point type, with notes in 10-point type, and with 1.5-inch side margins. You can download a Register-style template or use Microsoft Word’s “normal” style.
  • Please do not create your own formatting and styles; do not use any automatic features or indexing.
  • If applicable, try to identify the parents of spouses mentioned in the article.
  • Pay attention to double dating, i.e., dates in January through March before 1752. It may be necessary to view the original record (if possible) to determine the correct date.
  • Ensure that you have included a citation for each statement of fact that is not common knowledge. Each should be cited to one or more reliable sources.

If you are writing about a seventeenth-century New England family, please consult the following three works and review the sources suggested in each:

  • Clarence Almon Torrey, New England Marriages Prior to 1700, CD-ROM (NEHGS, 2011), which is also available on CD-ROM and as a database at AmericanAncestors.org.
  • Melinde Lutz Sanborn, Third Supplement to Torrey’s New England Marriages Prior to 1700 (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2003).
  • Martin E. Hollick, New Englanders in the 1600s: A Guide to Genealogical Research Published Between 1980 and 2010, Expanded Edition (NEHGS, 2012).
  • Robert Charles Anderson, The Great Migration Directory: Immigrants to New England, 1620-1640, A Concise Compendium (NEHGS, 2015).