The Mayflower Story

The Mayflower set sail on 16th September 1620 from Plymouth, UK, to voyage to America. But its history and story start long before that.

Its passengers were in search of a new life – some seeking religious freedom, others a fresh start in a different land. They would go on to be known as the Pilgrims and influence the future of the United States of America in ways they could never have imagined.

This story isn't just about the Mayflower's passengers though. It's about the people who already lived in America and the enormous effect the arrival of these colonists would have on Native Americans and the land they had called home for centuries.

More than 30 million people can trace their ancestry to the 102 passengers and approximately 30 crew aboard the Mayflower when it landed in Plymouth Bay, Massachusetts, in the harsh winter of 1620.

On board were men, women and children from different walks of life across England and the city of Leiden in Holland.

The Mayflower Story | Mayflower ( 

FREE Mayflower Mayflower Descendants Research : Mayflower Descendants • FamilySearch 

To be sure about your connection, to your ancestors; add official documents (birth, marriage, death) to everyone on your family tree.

Mayflower Passenger List

Mayflower (1620)

View the original list of passengers (PDF, 2.6Mb) from the handwritten manuscript of Gov. William Bradford, written up about 1651 (file link is to the State Library of Massachusetts).  Below is a complete list of all Mayflower passengers, along with a link to each for further information.

Do you have Mayflower ancestry, or do you believe that you do? Maybe your family has stories of Mayflower ancestry that you would like to prove to be true. Maybe you want to find and verify a Mayflower line in order to join the General Society of Mayflower Descendants. Perhaps you are writing a family history, and want to find an interesting or historically important line to include in it. Either way, you will want to know the best ways to begin researching and proving your potential Mayflower ancestry.

If you already know the name of your supposed Mayflower ancestor, it is easier to start with your Mayflower genealogy. The General Society of Mayflower Descendants publishes a set of what are called “Silver Books” that document the proven descendants of Mayflower passengers to five generations out from them. You can order the book that pertains to your supposed ancestor, or find it online or at a library that has genealogy books.

Once you have the first five generations beyond your Mayflower ancestor from the book, you can use traditional genealogy research techniques to bring the line forward to the present, and to you. The first five generations usually go to the late 1700s, which is about when public vital records began to be common in the United States, which is helpful in researching your family tree.

How to Begin Researching Your Mayflower Ancestors | Ancestral Findings 

To learn if you descend from a Mayflower passenger, the best first steps are to explore your family’s lineage. Tools such as and can be of great use, but use caution! Not every link to another generation has been carefully examined by previous tree builders – beware the child born before his parents or the daughter born to a five-year-old mother!

It’s best to use online resources as clues, not proof. Many times, though, you will find that generous genealogists have posted important vital records of your ancestors including birth, marriage and death certificates. If you can confirm these are your ancestors, use those as building blocks in your path back to a potential Mayflower passenger.

Vital records are your golden ticket in beginning your family genealogical journey. Many can found online or can be ordered from the county or state in which the event occurred. For Mayflower Society purposes, you need not order “certified” copies; certificates marked “informational” or “for genealogical purposes” are acceptable and may cost less.

Build your family tree one generation at a time being careful to confirm the link to parents as you go. This can be especially challenging for women whose maiden names were not recorded on Census records or other documents. If your family helped establish a new county, they may be featured in a historical book or a family genealogy book. Many of these can be found, in full, online, but be forewarned, not all are acceptable and each must be reviewed carefully.

Researching Your Mayflower Lineage - General Society of Mayflower Descendants (