The past few months I’ve enjoyed delving into my Mayflower ancestry and discovering new relatives who are also descendants of my Pilgrim grandparents. This research has led to articles about all seven of these Pilgrims, the last of which is Thomas Rogers (1571-1621), my 10th great-grandfather.
Thomas came to New England with his son Joseph, and the rest of his children came on later voyages. We have records of at least one of his other children, John, coming to Plymouth about 1630. Sadly, Thomas died the first winter in Plymouth, leaving his children orphans. According to FamilySearch, both Joseph and John had children.
Interested in learning more about other descendants that came through this line, I decided to search GenealogyBank’s Historical Newspaper Archives for “Thomas Rogers” with the keyword “Mayflower.”
I decided to search specifically in GenealogyBank’s “Historical Obituaries” collection, as I’ve had good luck in the past finding new relatives using those types of records.
The first obituary of the search results was that of John H. Paine (1883-1962), a lawyer from Harwich, Massachusetts.
John was a former attorney, banker, land title administrator and justice of the peace in Harwich, and was a descendant of four Mayflower Pilgrims: William Brewster, Thomas Rogers, Stephen Hopkins, and William White. This means I am doubly related to him – William Brewster and Thomas Rogers are my ancestors, too.
John Paine was very well-connected. A graduate of Boston University Law School, he served in many prestigious public service positions and was a member of several elite organizations in the Harwich community.
To find more details about John’s life, I searched GenealogyBank with his name and the keyword “Harwich.”
From the results of this search, I found that John’s obituary also appeared in the Boston Record American.
This article gave me one other interesting detail about John’s life: he edited a history of Harwich which was written by his father, Josiah Paine.
By making a quick search of Google using the search: “history of Harwich, MA + Josiah Paine” I was able to locate the book in question.
It’s a great day for genealogy!
Genealogy Tip: Using keywords to search obituaries in GenealogyBank’s Historical Newspaper Archives can help you find specific articles about your family, or locate new relatives who share a common ancestor that you weren’t aware of previously.
- Full List of Mayflower Passengers in Gov. Bradford’s Newly-Restored Journal
- Documenting Mayflower Descendants for the 400th Anniversary (1620-2020)
- Using the Keyword ‘Mayflower’ Can Help You Find Other Pilgrim-Descended Cousins