Documenting Mayflower Descendants for the 400th Anniversary (1620-2020)

I found another Mayflower descendant this week: Merton Chesleigh Lane (1893-1975), formerly of Tacoma, Washington. He wasn’t in the large online family tree sites – but he is now.

An article about Mayflower descendant Merton Chesleigh Lane, Seattle Daily Times newspaper article 19 November 1961
Seattle Daily Times (Seattle, Washington), 19 November 1961, page S-3

I spotted him because he was interviewed in the Seattle Daily Times when he was “recently elected governor of the state (Mayflower) society.”

The article noted that he was the “tenth (generation) from John Alden and Thomas Rogers and ninth from William Bradford, William Brewster, Edward Doty, George Soule, Richard Warren, Edward Winslow and William White.”

Great – that makes us related via almost all of these Mayflower passengers. With that information I added him to my online family trees and began the process of reconfirming and documenting his multiple lineages back to the Mayflower.

Are you doing your part?

Pay it forward and take the time to search for Mayflower descendants in GenealogyBank’s Historical Newspaper Archives and document your discoveries in your online family tree sites. My goal is to document as many Mayflower descendants as possible in preparation for the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the Mayflower in 1620.

I want to make it easy for all genealogists to discover their Mayflower roots – and GenealogyBank is helping me do just that.

Tell us what Mayflower lines you have documented using GenealogyBank.

Related Mayflower Articles:

36 thoughts on “Documenting Mayflower Descendants for the 400th Anniversary (1620-2020)

  1. I am descended from Mayflower passenger Stephen Hopkins through his daughter, Constance, who married Nicholas Snow.

    Gayle Thorpe Baar
    Scranton, PA

    1. Hi Cousin Gayle,
      I am also a direct descendant of Stephen Hopkins through Constance and Nicholas Snow. I have my certificate from the Mayflower Descendants Society in Plymouth, MA confirming it.

      Ginny Kraus
      Brockton, MA

      1. So am I! My sister recently found this out while researching our family genealogy! Funny thing is, I read as a kid and still have the book “Constance” that was written about Constance Hopkins life on board the ship and and those first years in Plymouth, who would have know she was an ancestor!!

  2. Interested in documenting my Mayflower connection through William Bradford… How do I get started..

    1. Matthew- Start with the most recent ancestor that you can document and work back. Find sources that prove your connection with marriage, birth, death, probate records, estate records and similar documents. There are books available and you can check with your library on the subject as well as going to their website for the Mayflower association

  3. Matthew

    I found my Mayflower Descendants by going to my local Mayflower Descendants Library (I am fortunate to live about 40 miles from Plymouth, MA) and gave them about 6 or 7 husband and wife combinations which I thought might be possible descendants. They put the names into their database and I got hits to Mayflower passengers on all 7 couples. I am direct descendants to 15 Mayflower Passengers. 10 on my father’s side and 5 on my mother’s side. If you do not live near a Mayflower Descendants Society Library you can get a subscription to New England Historical & Genealogical Society in Boston, MA. They have just formed a partnership with the Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Descendants and are putting Mayflower records online on their website Check it out… Good Luck !!

    Ginny Kraus

    1. Thank you for alerting us Michelle.
      Are you documenting your family history line online – on online family tree sites like FamilySearch or Ancestry?
      That is a valuable way to preserve and pass down your family history for the rest of the family.

      Tell us what you are doing to preserve your research.


  4. While researching my father’s lineage I found a direct connection to George Soule, 9th great grandfather. Fun to discover, like solving a mystery novel!

    1. Thanks great cousin!

      Are you documenting your family history online – on online family tree sites like FamilySearch or Ancestry?
      That is a valuable way to preserve and pass down your family history for the rest of the family.

      Tell us what you are doing to preserve your research.


  5. It appears that l have a connection through John Alden and Priscilla Mullins.
    Using MacFamilytree to create my tree. Also on Ancestry and MyHeritage.

  6. Peregrine White, born on the Mayflower Nov 1620, is my 9th Great Grandfather — kind of amazing.

    1. Hi Cousin –
      Good to hear from you.

      Are you putting your family history online – along with the old family photos?
      Which sites do you use: FamilySearch, Ancestry – all of them?


  7. Hello, I’m an 11th genereation of William Brewster. My nieces and I were looking for our ancestors and came across Mary Wentworth, who is related to my Grandmother Eva Thornsburg. Her father is George Thornsburg. Mary married William Brewster.

    1. Good to hear from you.

      Are you putting your family history online – along with the old family photos?
      Which sites do you use: FamilySearch, Ancestry – all of them?


  8. Hello! I am looking, quite desperately, for anyone connected to Mercy Standish (1670-1722). She is the daughter of Alexander Standish and Sarah Alden, wife of Caleb Sampson (Samson), mother of Mary Sampson who married John Little.

    I am a Little, and want to make the connection. I can’t seem to find another Little who is following the same line.

    I can be sure I am following the correct line if I had more information on Charles Cone Little (1817-1862), born in Ohio.

    1. Connie — The best place to start with searching your ancestors is always with what you already know, and then go back. So with searching Charles Cone Little start with what information you can prove. Have you been able to confirm that Charles is in your line? Do you have any records about where he lived, married, or what he did for a living? If not, research his children, find out as much as you can about them. If you know the last place that Charles lived, you can research the town and library in that area. They may have a history about him or newspaper article. This is a great way to find stories about your ancestors. The library in the town that he lived in may have written an article about one of the Mayflower descendants living in that area.

  9. Kinda fun this! I am a Dutch descendant of one of the Mayflower passengers, Moses Fletcher. His daughter Priscilla is my link. The Fletcher family lived in Leiden for about 10 years after moving from England, before sailing to the New World. That was where his daughter got married to a Dutch guy and had children — and didn’t go with her father.

  10. I am co-founder and VP/Web Editor for a website several Eaton descendants published over 18 years ago , and we have been diligently collecting a database of more that 250,000 Eaton descendants as well as some of their inter-connected families. As descendants of Francis Eaton, one of the original signers of the Mayflower compact and ship’s carpenter, we are trying to update the more recent generations of Eaton families to follow up on the last “silver” book published by the Mayflower Society which details only 5 completed generations. The task is even more difficult since most of the “male” line has given way to descendants of Eaton daughters. thus mudding the waters. If anyone is a descendant of Francis Eaton, please advise and hopefully we will be able to update our database in the process

  11. Janet WHITE here: I have discovered eight Mayflower passengers since my visit to Plymouth last year. It started with 1. John HOIWLAND, then his wife, 2. Elizabeth TILLEY and of courser her her parents, 3. John TILLEY and 4. Joan Hurst ROGERS, 5. Stephen HOPKINS 5 and his wife 6.Elizabeth FISHER (whose daughter, Damarius II HOPKINS married Jacob COOKE, (whose daughter Elizabeth COOKE married John Edward DOTY son of 7.Edward Planter DOTY, and 8. Francis COOKE, whose son was the above Jacob COOKE.
    John DOTY and Elizabet COOKE’s daughter was Elizabeth DOTY who married Rev. Joshua MORSE
    Ther son, Cpt. Theadore MORSE married Thankful CROCKER
    Their daughter Thankful MORSE married Daniel HOWLAND (1749-1825)
    and their son Daniel HOWLAND (lost at sea) married Jessie CAMPBELL (who may have returned to Scotlamd)
    Their daughter Mary Campbell HOWLAND (* born abt. 1813 in Massachusetts or Edinburgh) married William MUIR (at St. George’s Church, Edinburgh, Scotlland): both of their fathers involved in shipping….
    Their son William Campbell MUIR married Annie Stevenson ESDAiLE
    parents of my grandma Florence Campbell MUIR (born 1878) who married Robert WADDELL
    Daughter F. Jean WADDELL married Gerald WHITE
    Daughter Janet WHITE = me!
    *If I can find Mary Campblell HOWLAND’s birth certificate or birthplace, I will be able to send all my “Proofs” to Mayflower Society…they have proofs down to Daniel HOWLAND (lost at sea)

  12. Hi, I’m a descendent of John/Francis Billington. I sent for the paperwork to register but need to get my grandparents and parents documentation to complete it. The line is through my paternal grandmother and no one had any idea! Maybe someday my daughter or I will finish up the task.

  13. I am a descendant of John & Eleanor Billiington (nee Bradford)/Francis Billington on my Maternal line. I am descendant of John Tilly, Joan Hurst & John Howland & Elizabeth Tilly on my maternal line

  14. I made a typo on previous I am a descendant of John Tilly, Joan Hurst and ElizabethTilly John Howland on my Paternal line.

  15. I am a descendent of Moses Fletcher through his daughter Priscilla. I am having a difficult time determining Mose’s parentage. Can anyone help?

  16. Oh, just seeing this. I am descended from Richard Warren > Elizabeth Warren Church> Col. Benjamin Church>Capt. Constant Church>Mary Church Trevett> Capt. John Trevett of the Continental Marines, Rev. War.

  17. I just found out during the application process for DAR membership, a researcher discovered that I am a descendant of John Howland and Jennifer Tilley my 9th ggparents through Jabez, Samuel, and Mehitable Howland. I have 5 children and 11 grandchildren that are also descendants.

  18. Felicity Cooper was the first family member to touch American soil. Brave, independent, and a survivor.

  19. I am a descendant of 13 Pilgrims, some through both of my parents (all Plymouth County natives.) I am a Life Member of the General Society of Mayflower Descendants (MA Chpt.); a Charter Member of the New England Company of the Jamestowne Society (a new Company as of 2023!); a Member of DAR; etc.

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