February 13, 2019, I was officially accepted into the General Society of Mayflower Descendants through my Ancestor, Pilgrim George Soule. I had received notification in June of 2018 that my application was accepted… “Congratulations and Welcome Aboard!” … and that my final paperwork would take about a month. Not quite…
My application was accepted at the state level by the [then] New Hampshire Historian. It was actually put together (and approved) by the General Historian of the Society who was helping out. This led to my misunderstanding of “being accepted” as a Member of the Society. From there, my application and proof documents were sent to Plymouth, Massachusetts where they underwent intense scrutiny. My application and proofs were inspected and verified multiple times with a proverbial fine-toothed comb and high powered magnifying glass. This process took 8 months.
As frustrating as the process was, I don’t regret it. There is satisfaction of knowing that the research I did over many years, is verified as truth. Acceptance into the Mayflower Society [according to their standards] is like being handed your Master’s Degree in Genealogy. It has, for me, never been an ego trip about “belonging”. It was about verifying the stories and blood connections of my Ancestors.
Acceptance into the Mayflower Society isn’t an easy process, but now that this line has been officially approved, it will be easier for other family members to apply and “piggy back” on my application. To do this, find our shared Ancestor. Everything from there back to George Soule has been proven. The shared Ancestor forward would need to be proven for you to be accepted. My first cousins sharing Grandma Hattie (Apsey) Roetman, would need to have documents for their parents, themselves and spouses. Second cousins share John E Apsey with me and would need documentation for his son/daughter and spouse(s), parents, etc.
The Mayflower Society wants birth, marriage(s), death, and divorce(s) records as applicable. For those born in the 20th century, only legal documents are accepted unless the local Clerk can verify that one doesn’t exist. Then [multiple] secondary sources are used.
One applies through their state society and each state has their own process, as well as application fee and dues. You can find links to each state’s website on the GSMD website.
Application fees are paid up front and are not refundable, so it is a good idea to have the majority of your line completed before applying. Most states give you a year after applying to fill in any blanks still needed. For reference, Michigan currently has an application fee of $100 and yearly dues of $32.
If anyone is wanting to apply and needs further help, please contact me.