Finding a way to relate to something that happened almost 400 years ago may not be easy, but finding out if you are related to someone who was on the Mayflower is now easier than ever.
The bloodlines are slowly coming online as part of a partnership between the New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) and the Mayflower Descendant’s Society. The project will include digitizing thousands of 5th generation descendants and their children, which is information that used to only be found in books.
NEHGS estimates 10 million living Americans are Mayflower descendants, but many of them do not know their family history. By indexing and publishing the information online, they believe more will discover their past. The records, which will all be online by the end of the calendar year, can be found here.
"It's a way you can connect with the past in a very personal way," Ryan Woods, senior vice president and chief operating officer at NEHGS, said.
One descendants find out they are connected and have their information vetted, they can become a member of the Mayflower Descendants Society in Plymouth.
They expect membership and the number of descendants to grow ahead of the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower arriving in 2020.