Mayflower Hat Maker: Degory Priest

Are you a descendant of Mayflower passenger Degory Priest? If you are, then please tell us your line. According to Wikipedia, Degory Priest: was a hat maker from London who married Sarah, sister of Pilgrim Isaac Allerton in Leiden. He was a signatory to the Mayflower Compact in November 1620 and died less than... (Read More)

Did You Miss These Mayflower Stories?

GenealogyBank is an outstanding source for documenting your Mayflower family lines. We have posted a number of blog articles about tracing your family history back to the Mayflower and its passengers. Take a moment and read these key articles for tips on researching your family history. [search_box] Mayflower Articles: Scary Mayflower Fact: Storm Cracked... (Read More)

Days of Thanksgiving Celebrated by Our Ancestors

Introduction: Mary Harrell-Sesniak is a genealogist, author and editor with a strong technology background. In this blog article, Mary searches old newspapers to learn more about Days of Thanksgiving that have been proclaimed throughout American history. While planning Thanksgiving celebrations, most of us dream of the bountiful feast set upon our tables: turkey, corn,... (Read More)

Light a Candle for Thanksgiving

Plymouth, England, and Plymouth, Massachusetts, are already beginning celebrations (which will culminate in 2020) for the 400th anniversary of the voyage of the Mayflower, with special events on both sides of the Atlantic. “As one small candle may light a thousand, so the light here kindled has shown unto many” –Plymouth Colony Governor William... (Read More)

Mayflower Genealogy: Finding Your Cousins Using Newspapers

Searching through GenealogyBank’s Historical Newspaper Archives recently, I found this old newspaper announcement for Margaret (Rogers) Smith’s 81st birthday. Margaret Anne (Rogers) Smith (1857-1943) didn’t come to America on the Mayflower ship – but according to this newspaper article her ancestor Thomas Rogers (c. 1572-Winter 1620/21) did. Ding! Hey – I am also descended... (Read More)

William Halsall: Artist of ‘Mayflower in Plymouth Harbor’

Marine artist William Formby Halsall’s 1882 “Mayflower in Plymouth Harbor” painting is a favorite of New Englanders and Mayflower descendants. What do we know about the painter – was he also a Mayflower descendant? William Halsall was born 20 March 1841 in Kirkdale, Lancashire, England, and came to America in 1858 at age 17.... (Read More)

Will You Mention Your Ancestors in Your Obituary?

Have you noticed how many obituaries include details about the ancestors of the deceased? George Green’s obituary summarizes his life, compactly detailing his accomplished life in a paragraph or two – and prominently, we learn that he “had deep roots in Michigan.” According to his obituary: He was officially recognized as a direct descendant... (Read More)

Ship Records for Genealogy: Newspapers & Passenger Lists

Every family historian wants to know the ship their ancestor came over on and the date that it arrived. Along with Thanksgiving, tomorrow we’ll be celebrating the arrival of the Mayflower in 1620. That trip took 66 days. Remarkably, when my ancestor William Kemp came to America 233 years later that trip still took... (Read More)