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FamilySearch Updates Its Genealogies Search Page

Fri, 09/18/2020 - 18:00

For 125 years, the Genealogy Society of Utah and its successor, FamilySearch International, have collected genealogies submitted through earlier research programs or created by partners and other societies. These genealogies are available online in Genealogies under the Search tab on FamilySearch.org. To further serve FamilySearch users, the Search options on the Genealogies search page have been updated.

Updates to the Genealogies Search Page

The landing page and results pages have been updated to make them more efficient and intuitive. The changes are summarized below.

Multiple Search Names

Rather than allowing for only a single, primary search name, it is now possible to search for alternate names a person may have used. For example, a woman’s name could be searched using her maiden and married names simultaneously.

Broad Searches Now the Standard

“Exact Search” check boxes no longer appear automatically by search fields. “Exact” searches limit the results to details that match input precisely—excluding records with spelling variations, indexing errors, or even place differences, often causing users to miss useful records.

However, exact searches can help narrow search results in some situations. To show the exact check boxes next to Name or Place entry fields, below the search fields, click the Show Exact Searches Fields option. Check the box next to a field to require an exact search for that field.

Filter Options above the List of Results

Filter options now appear above the table of results. Clicking filters opens pop-up lists with pertinent sub-options. For example, users can select from a list of countries in the Birthplace pop-up list; then, another pop-up gives locations within the selected country. Multiple filters can be applied simultaneously to narrow results. In addition, results can now be filtered by more than one value per field at the same time. For example, search results could be filtered to show only results with the death place as New York, in the United States, as well as the death place anywhere in Italy.

What Is the FamilySearch Genealogies Search Page?

FamilySearch’s Genealogies is a searchable collection of completed family trees from various sources. It also includes records that were previously submitted to FamilySearch under older programs, such as Personal Ancestral File. These records are held separately from the FamilySearch Family Tree and may hold valuable clues for current research.

Genealogies also includes recorded oral genealogies from cultures that typically pass their ancestry down by word of mouth rather than in written form. 

How to Use the Genealogies Search Page

Users can find names contained on the Genealogies search page much like a search in other FamilySearch search repositories, such as Records or Catalog.

Enter a primary name and other search criteria, such as birthplace, to look for ancestors in submitted family trees. In general, a search using just a few search fields provides a broader range of potentially applicable records. Clicking Search will display persons from trees submitted to Genealogies with matching information.

Each result provides the basic information about the person and identifies the corresponding Genealogies category. Details between different results for the same person may vary, but such details also supply clues for further research and verification.

The reliability of the records depends on the submitter of the tree. Some categories of trees, such as the Pedigree Resource File or Partner Trees, are pedigrees provided by users of FamilySearch.org or FamilySearch partners. Others, such as Community trees and Guild of One-Name Studies have usually been well curated by genealogical societies or experts.  Thus, the accuracy of the data in Genealogies varies according to the source, and all data should be validated before use.

Genealogies Categories

The What Are Genealogies section, now on the bottom of the page, provides summaries of the types of family trees included in the categories. The FamilySearch Research Wiki also has an article that gives greater detail. The categories included are as follows:

If you haven’t tried searching for your ancestors in FamilySearch Genealogies, give it a go! You may discover something that will help you smash a research brick wall or fill in details about your family that you have never discovered before.

Finding your Ancestors in Armenian Apostolic Church Records

Thu, 09/17/2020 - 18:00

The Armenian Apostolic Church is one of the world’s oldest Christian churches—and its home is in one of the world’s oldest countries. Modern-day Armenia traces its roots to those who lived in the Armenian Highlands for thousands of years. They lived at a geographical and cultural crossroads between Europe, Asia, and the Middle East and absorbed much from the societies of each. 

When you are searching for your Armenian ancestors, it’s important to take a look at the Armenian Apostolic Church. Understanding the history of the Armenian Apostolic Church is valuable when searching for Armenian family records.

The Early Armenian Apostolic Church

One of the most far-reaching influences on Armenian culture was the early appearance of Christianity. According to tradition, two early Apostles of Jesus Christ, Thaddeus and Bartholomew, preached and founded churches in Armenia as early as the first century AD. Despite ongoing persecution, the religion took root. It continued to spread as disciples visited Jewish Armenian communities and as Armenians interacted with neighboring Christians. By the mid-200s, the wider Christian church recognized the presence of organized churches in Armenia.

Some Armenian Christians experienced severe persecution in the late 200s. One was Grigor, a soldier who was imprisoned, in part for his faith. In the year 301, according to the church, Armenian ruler Trdat III experienced a severe illness. His daughter dreamed several times that only Grigor could cure her father. Released from prison, Grigor preached to Tiridates (Trdat) and healed him. Trdat and his entire court converted to Christianity.

Some scholars date this event at around 314, after Emperor Constantine legalized Christianity in the Roman Empire in 313. Whatever the precise year, the effect was profound. Armenia became the first country to adopt Christianity as a state religion. The soldier Grigor became St. Gregory the Illuminator, first bishop of the Armenian Church and the patron saint of the nation.

Over the centuries, the Armenian Church has provided both a spiritual home and a unifying identity for Armenians. In 405, Church leaders championed the creation (or revival) of an Armenian alphabet for use in scriptural translation. This alphabet strengthened Armenian identity and culture. The Armenian nation has been conquered and dispersed at various times over the centuries. Even when the country ceased to exist at times, the Armenian Apostolic Church has continued to speak for—and culturally unite—people of Armenian descent who were scattered around the world.

Armenian Church Records

In recent generations, church membership has remained important both to Armenians living in the country and to those living in other parts of the world. If you are of Armenian descent, the records of local Armenian congregations may be able to help you reconstruct your family tree. The church generally kept registers of infant baptisms, marriages, and burials, all of which might mention identifying details about relatives. Here’s an example:

Armenian Church register, 1900, Սուրբ Հակոբ parish in Davalu, Ėrivan (district), Ėrivan (province), Russian Empire, Vol. 47-2/258.

Whether church records may still exist about your relatives—and whether they are easily accessible online—depends on where your family lived and when they live there. Many records in Armenia were destroyed, but fortunately not all. Explore a collection of Armenian Church records from the Armenian Central Historical Archive that is now available on FamilySearch.org. Additional church records, histories, censuses, and other resources may have been created by various Armenian communities in Syria, Lebanon and Israel, Europe, North America, and elsewhere.

This resource on Armenian Church records can help you get started. It describes different kinds of religious records in Armenia, includes an Armenian word list to help you read old records, and points to additional resources. As in all genealogical research, ask your living relatives what they can tell you about your relatives’ names, where they were from, and what documentation they may have about the family. Then you can work from this known information backward in time to discover new and meaningful connections to your Armenian roots. With this information, you will be well on your way to building your Armenian family tree!

Search Armenian Records

Mayflower Passenger List and Other Mayflower Passenger Facts

Tue, 09/15/2020 - 23:00

In September 1620, the Mayflower embarked on its famous voyage to America, carrying 102 passengers and around 30 crew. View a comprehensive Mayflower passenger list below and learn who these passengers were.

Are you a descendant of one of these Mayflower passengers? Find out here!

Mayflower Passenger List

Click the plus sign (+) to view a comprehensive list of passengers on the Mayflower. You can also view the Mayflower passenger list broken down by separatists, non-separatists, indentured servants, and contracted Mayflower sailors.

Names in red indicates passengers who died at sea or during the winter of 1620–1621. Red names with an asterisk (*) indicate those who died at sea.

Each Mayflower passenger list is organized by surname and includes the person’s age at departure (if it is known). On the full Mayflower passenger list, the heads of each family group are labeled either as a Separatist, non-Separatist, servant, or ship’s crew. The relationship to the head of the household is also indicated. You can view an original Mayflower passenger list here.

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  • Alden, John—ship’s crew, 21
  • Allerton, Isaac—Separatist, 34
    • Mary Norris—wife, 30
    • Bartholomew—son, 7
    • Remember—son, 5
    • Mary—daughter, 3
  • Allerton, John—ship’s crew
  • Billington, John—non-Separatist, 38
    • Eleanor—wife, 33
    • John—son, 16
    • Francis—son, 14
  • Bradford, William—Separatist, 30
    • *Dorothy May—wife, 21
  • Brewster, William—Separatist, 54
    • Mary—wife, 40
    • Love—son, 9
    • Wrestling—son, 6
    • Richard More—ward, 6
    • Mary More—ward, 4
  • Britteridge, Richard—non-Separatist, 39
  • Browne, Peter—non-Separatist, 20
  • *Butten, William—servant to Samuel Fuller
  • Carter, Robert—servant to William Mullins
  • Carver, John—Separatist, 35
    • Katherine White—wife, 30
    • *Jasper More—ward, 7
  • *Chilton, James—Separatist, 64
    • Mrs. Chilton—wife, 58
    • Mary—daughter, 13
  • Clarke, Richard—non-Separatist
  • Cooke, Francis—Separatist, 37
    • John—son, 13
  • Crackstone, John—Separatist, 45
    • John—son, 20
  • Dorothy—servant to John Carver, 18
  • Doty, Edward—servant to the Hopkins family, 21
  • Eaton, Francis—non-Separatist, 25
    • Sarah—wife, 21
    • Samuel—son, 1
  • “Mr. Ely”—ship’s crew
  • English, Thomas—ship’s crew
  • Fletcher, Moses—Separatist, 55
  • Fuller, Edward—Separatist, 45
    • Mrs. Fuller—wife, 35
    •  Samuel—son, 12
  • Fuller, Samuel—Separatist, 40
  • Gardiner, Richard—non-Separatist
  • Goodman, John—Separatist
  • Hooke, John—servant to the Allerton family, 13
  • Holbeck, William—servant to the White family, under 21
  • Hopkins, Stephen—non-Separatist, 38
    • Elizabeth Fisher—wife, 25
    • Constance—daughter, 14
    • Giles—son, 12
    • Damaris—daughter, 2
    • Oceanus—son, born on the Mayflower
  • Howland, John—servant to John Carver, 21
  • Langmore, John—servant to the Martin family, under 21
  • Latham, William—servant to John Carver, 11
  • Leister, Edward—servant to the Hopkins family, over 21
  • Margesson, Edmund—non-Separatist
  • Martin, Christopher—non-Separatist, 38
    • Mary Prower—wife, 35
    • Solomon Prower—stepson, 14
  • Minter, Desire—servant to John Carver, 15-18
  • Mullins, William—non-Separatist, 52
    • Alice—wife, 48
    • Priscilla—daughter, 18
    • Joseph—son, 14
  • Priest, Degory—Separatist, 41
  • Rigsdale, John—non-Separatist
    • Alice Rigsdale—wife
  • Rogers, Thomas—Separatist, 48
    • Joseph Rogers—son, 17
  • Soule, George—servant to Edward Winslow, 21–25
  • Standish, Myles—non-Separatist, 23
    • Rose Standish—wife, 27
  • *Thompson, Edward—servant to the White family, under 21
  • Tilley, Edward—Separatist, 32
    • Agnes Cooper—wife, 35
    • Henry Samson—nephew, 16
    • Humility Cooper—niece, 3
  • Tilley, John—Separatist, 49
    • Joan Hurst—wife, 53
    • Elizabeth—daughter, 13
  • Tinker, Thomas—Separatist
    • Mrs. Tinker—wife
    • Boy Tinker—son, unknown
  • Trevore, William—ship’s crew
  • Turner, John—Separatist, 30
    • Boy Turner—son, unknown
    • Boy Turner—son, unknown
  • Warren, Richard—non-Separatist
  • White, William—Separatist, 30
    • Susanna Jackson—wife, 25
    • Resolved—son, 5
    • Peregrine—son, born on Mayflower
  • Wilder, Roger—servant to John Carver, under 21
  • Williams, Thomas—Separatist
  • Winslow, Edward—Separatist, 25
    • Elizabeth Barker—wife, 23
    • Ellen More—ward, 8
    • Elias Story—ward, under 21
  • Winslow, Gilbert—non-Separatist, 20
  • Allerton, Isaac—34
    • Mary Norris—wife, 30
    • Bartholomew—son, 7
    • Remember—son, 5
    • Mary—daughter, 3
  • Bradford, William— 30
    • *Dorothy May—wife, 21
  • Brewster, William— 54
    • Mary—wife, 40
    • Love—son, 9
    • Wrestling—son, 6
    • Richard More—ward, 6
    • Mary More—ward, 4
  • Carver, John—35
    • Katherine White—wife, 30
    • *Jasper More—ward, 7
  • *Chilton, James—64
    • Mrs. Chilton—wife, 58
    • Mary—daughter, 13
  • Cooke, Francis—37
    • John—son, 13
  • Crackstone, John—45
    • John—son, 20
  • Fletcher, Moses—55
  • Fuller, Edward—45
    • Mrs. Fuller—wife, 35
    •  Samuel—son, 12
  • Fuller, Samuel—40
  • Goodman, John
  • Priest, Degory—41
  • Rogers, Thomas—48
    • Joseph Rogers—son, 17
  • Tilley, Edward—32
    • Agnes Cooper—wife, 35
    • Henry Samson—nephew, 16
    • Humility Cooper—niece, 3
  • Tilley, John—49
    • Joan Hurst—wife, 53
    • Elizabeth—daughter, 13
  • Tinker, Thomas
    • Mrs. Tinker—wife
    • Boy Tinker—son, unknown
  • Turner, John—30
    • Boy Turner—son, unknown
    • Boy Turner—son, unknown
  • White, William—30
    • Susanna Jackson—wife, 25
    • Resolved—son, 5
    • Peregrine—son, born on Mayflower
  • Williams, Thomas
  • Winslow, Edward— 25
    • Elizabeth Barker—wife, 23
    • Ellen More—ward, 8
    • Elias Story—ward, under 21
  • Billington, John—38
    • Eleanor—wife, 33
    • John—son, 16
    • Francis—son, 14
  • Britteridge, Richard— 39
  • Browne, Peter—20
  • Clarke, Richard
  • Eaton, Francis— 25
    • Sarah—wife, 21
    • Samuel—son, 1
  • Gardiner, Richard
  • Hopkins, Stephen—38
    • Elizabeth Fisher—wife, 25
    • Constance—daughter, 14
    • Giles—son, 12
    • Damaris—daughter, 2
    • Oceanus—son, born on the Mayflower
  • Margesson, Edmund
  • Martin, Christopher—38
    • Mary Prower—wife, 35
    • Solomon Prower—stepson, 14
  • Mullins, William—52
    • Alice—wife, 48
    • Priscilla—daughter, 18
    • Joseph—son, 14
  • Rigsdale, John—non-Separatist
    • Alice Rigsdale—wife
  • Standish, Myles—23
    • Rose Standish—wife, 27
  • Warren, Richard
  • Winslow, Gilbert— 20
  • *Butten, William—servant to Samuel Fuller
  • Carter, Robert—servant to William Mullins
  • Dorothy—servant to John Carver, 18
  • Doty, Edward—servant to the Hopkins family, 21
  • Hooke, John—servant to the Allerton family, 13
  • Holbeck, William—servant to the White family, under 21
  • Howland, John—servant to John Carver, 21
  • Langmore, John—servant to the Martin family, under 21
  • Latham, William—servant to John Carver, 11
  • Leister, Edward—servant to the Hopkins family, over 21
  • Minter, Desire—servant to John Carver, 15-18
  • Soule, George—servant to Edward Winslow, 21–25
  • *Thompson, Edward—servant to the White family, under 21
  • Wilder, Roger—servant to John Carver, under 21
  • Alden, John— 21
  • Allerton, John
  • “Mr. Ely”
  • English, Thomas
  • Trevore, William
Who Were the 102 Passengers on the Mayflower?

The 102 passengers on the Mayflower included Separatists seeking religious freedom, families and individuals recruited by London merchants, indentured servants, and Mayflower sailors contracted to stay a year in New Plymouth.

Separatists, or “Pilgrims”

The Separatist passengers of the Mayflower were members of the English Separatist Church, a Puritan faction, who sought religious freedom in America.

The congregation could freely practice their religion in Holland, where they had been located for 10 years. However, the group sought to settle in America to preserve their English language and heritage while still enjoying religious freedom.

Famous Separatist Mayflower passengers include William Bradford, who led the congregation on the Mayflower and eventually became governor of Plymouth Colony, and William Brewster, who served as a religious leader in the colony.

Non-Separatists, or “Strangers”

The “strangers,” as they are sometimes called, included English families and individuals who were recruited by London merchants to help establish the Colony of Virginia. These individuals outnumbered the group of Separatists. Myles Standish was one non-Separatist known for his service as military adviser to Plymouth Colony (as well as for the famous love story captured in this poem).

Because the Separatists were financially strapped, they found a group of merchants who were willing to back their venture to America. The London Merchant Adventurers, a company of merchants looking to invest their money, agreed to fund the voyage in exchange for the colonists’ labor and partnered ownership of all goods generated during the first seven years in America. These merchants recruited the additional, non-Separatist families and individuals.

Indentured Servants and Wards

Both the Separatists and non-Separatists traveled with indentured servants. Sometimes the servitude was more of an apprenticeship, meaning that the servant would help the employer with a trade or profession in exchange for the employer’s instruction.

However, most of the indentured servants provided service in exchange for clothing, food, and lodging. In addition, some of the passengers labeled as servants would more accurately be described as wards under a guardianship agreement with the passenger.

One example was the More children—Ellen, Jasper, Richard, and Mary—who were all under the age of 8 when they boarded the Mayflower. The young children were taken in by three families aboard the Mayflower.

Contracted Mayflower Sailors

The Mayflower sailors were those who were contracted by the London Merchant Adventurers company to help establish the colony for one year. Once the contract ended, the sailors could return home, although all the surviving Mayflower sailors chose to stay.

Mayflower Crew

Although not usually included on Mayflower passenger lists, the Mayflower also carried around 30 crew members, led by Captain Christopher Jones.

Although the Mayflower sailors can be classified as Mayflower crew, these individuals are typically labeled as passengers because of their contractual obligation to stay in the colony for a year.

How Many Trips Did the Mayflower Make to America?

The Mayflower made only one full trip to America. The owner of the ship passed away in 1621 and a 1624 probate record describes the Mayflower as “in ruins”—likely dismantled and sold for scrap.

Mayflower Passengers Who Had Descendants

Only a portion of the Mayflower passengers are known to have living descendants. Modern Mayflower descendants can typically trace their lineage to one or more of the following individuals and couples.

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To see if you are a descendant of a Mayflower passenger, simply sign in to your FamilySearch account. (If you don’t have one, it is free and easy to create one!) Then click the link of the passenger’s name, and in the top right corner of the person’s profile page, select View My Relationship.

You can also search the name of an ancestor born before 1910 to see if they are in this collection of authenticated Mayflower descendant genealogies.

Search Mayflower Descendants

The Life and Legacy of William Brewster

Tue, 09/15/2020 - 15:54

As the Pilgrims made their way to America on the Mayflower in 1620, William Brewster served as a leader instrumental in establishing Plymouth Colony’s government and church services. In fact, were it not for William Brewster, the Pilgrims may not have even made the trip in the first place. Who was William Brewster, and how exactly did he influence the Pilgrims?

William Brewster’s Early Life

William Brewster was born in Yorkshire, England, in the 1560s to William Brewster Sr. and Mary Smythe. In his young adult years, he studied at Peterhouse, Cambridge. While there, he became involved in efforts to reform the Church of England. It became a passion that would guide the rest of his life, eventually leading to the fateful Mayflower voyage. 

William Brewster married a woman named Mary (maiden name unknown) around 1592. The couple had six children—Jonathan, Patience, Fear, an unnamed child who died in infancy, Love, and Wrestling.

William Brewster and Religion

William Brewster and his family were part of the Scrooby Congregation, a group of about 50 Separatists who believed that the Church of England needed to change. Because of their beliefs, many of the Separatists were arrested (including Brewster), fined, or watched constantly.

Fearing for their safety, William Brewster and the rest of the Scrooby congregation decided to leave England illegally and move to the Netherlands. There, they could practice their religion more freely.

While in Holland, William became the congregation’s elder, an authority figure responsible for helping members lead a respectable life. He also taught English at a university and started a printing press with Thomas Brewer. The two of them smuggled illegal religious books into England, eventually leading to Thomas getting arrested and William going into hiding. 

Why Did William Brewster Journey on the Mayflower?

William Brewster and the Separatists enjoyed religious freedom in Holland, so why did they journey on the Mayflower? Simply put, the congregation wanted to maintain their English roots. By sailing to America, the Separatists could practice their religion freely while still living in a British colony, thus preserving their English cultural heritage.

In addition to preserving his English heritage, it’s also possible that William Brewster was motivated to sail to America to avoid the legal repercussions of printing and selling Puritan books in England, where they were currently banned.

William Brewster played an integral part making the journey to America possible. He, along with Robert Cushman and John Carver, secured the charter to settle in the British Virginia colony, paving the way for the group to make the monumental voyage.

Voyage and Arrival in America

The Mayflower’s journey, which occurred at the height of storm season, was certainly no picnic. But to make matters worse, when Brewster and the other Mayflower passengers finally reached shore, they were nowhere near their intended destination. 

By landing in Massachusetts instead of the Virginia Colony, the Mayflower passengers had no legal system. The passengers came up with a written agreement, known as the Mayflower Compact, to work together to establish the Plymouth Colony.

William Brewster, the only college-educated Pilgrim, most likely wrote the Mayflower Compact, and nearly all the men aboard the ship signed it. The document served as one of the first examples of self-governance in America.

Life in Plymouth for the Brewsters

The first winter in Plymouth devastated the Pilgrims. Disease, hunger, and lack of shelter wiped out half of the settlers by the end of winter. Miraculously, William Brewster, his wife, Mary, and their children all survived.

As the only college-educated member of the community and the congregation’s elder, William Brewster served as a religious leader until a pastor arrived nine years later. Brewster continued his work in the church throughout the rest of his life, even after starting a farm in nearby Duxbury.

William Brewster’s Death

William died on April 18, 1644, at nearly 80 years old. He was buried in Burial Hill in Plymouth, where you can find a stone memorial honoring him as “Patriarch of the Pilgrims.” His wife, Mary, had died years earlier, in April 1627. At the time of William’s death, the pair had only two surviving sons, Jonathan and Love. 

William Brewster and His Descendants

Many people today can trace their ancestors back to William and Mary Brewster, including Bing Crosby, Julia Child, Katharine Hepburn, Henry Longfellow, Seth Macfarlane, Sarah Palin, and Zachary Taylor. 

Are You a Descendant of William Brewster?

See if you’re related to the famous William Brewster! Try diving into his genealogy for a deeper look at his family tree.

Take a Virtual Tour of the Mayflower

Mon, 09/14/2020 - 09:22

A critical delay, cramped quarters, stormy seas, and an arrival 500 miles off course—such were the twists and turns that defined the Mayflower ship’s voyage to America in 1620.  

Despite its less-than-perfect journey, the Mayflower is historically significant in part because of the voyage’s unexpected setbacks. The passengers’ response and resiliency to each obstacle left an indelible mark on American history.

Virtually explore the interior of the Mayflower and learn more about the fateful voyage.

Explore the Mayflower

The Mayflower was built shortly before its purchase in 1608. Experts estimate that the length of the deck was between 80 and 90 feet and that the ship was 24 feet at its widest point.

Click the arrows to explore the inside of the Mayflower, and learn more about life on the merchant ship!

Mayflower Voyage

It’s hard to imagine the pilgrims aboard any other ship but the Mayflower. However, the pilgrims and other Mayflower passengers originally planned to sail to America on the Speedwell. The plan was for the Mayflower—a merchant ship—to accompany the Speedwell and carrying cargo, crew, and passengers who had been recruited in England but who were not part of the Separatist congregation.

The two ships departed on August 5, 1620, but almost immediately the Speedwell began to leak. Both ships rerouted to Dartmouth, where the Speedwell was repaired. On its second attempt, the Speedwell made it 300 miles out to sea before taking on water. Both ships returned to Plymouth, England, where the Speedwell was deemed unseaworthy.

Boarding the Mayflower

By the time both ships arrived back in England, the passengers had spent nearly a month and half aboard the ships. Understandably, a few frustrated travelers abandoned the trip altogether.

However, 102 of the passengers—including three pregnant women—chose to continue. The passengers packed themselves into the Mayflower and once again set sail for North America. The group on the Mayflower included both Separatist members as well as many of those who had been recruited in England.

A Fateful Delay and Stormy Conditions

The Mayflower ship left England in September 1620, nearly a month after its original departure date. The delay meant that the Mayflower, with its 102 passengers and 30 crewmen, would cross the Atlantic at the height of the storm season.

Although the first month of the voyage saw clear skies and fair weather, October brought storms and rough seas. At times, the winds were so strong that the crew was forced to pull down the sails and let the ship drift.

Below deck, passengers became seasick and had to steady themselves from crashing into the walls as the boat rocked. During one particularly eventful storm, passenger John Howland fell overboard, only to catch hold of a trailing rope just in time to be rescued by the crew.

Though the passengers were often cramped, soaking, and sick during these bouts of bad weather, they kept up their morale by singing, praying, and playing games—even in the dim light below deck.

Despite rough seas and cramped conditions, only one passenger, William Butten, died at sea before reaching America. Two babies were born aboard the Mayflower—one before landing at Cape Cod and the other while docked at Cape Cod. 

Arrival at Cape Cod

In total, the Mayflower took 66 days to reach North America (not counting the earlier travel time with the Speedwell). The ship landed in November at Cape Cod, more than 500 miles from its intended destination.

The Mayflower attempted to continue south, where the passengers had legally obtained permission to settle. However, the rough seas and shoals forced the Mayflower to stay at Cape Cod.

Tension and the Mayflower Compact

Tension arose between the passengers, especially between the Separatists and the other passengers. Because the ship had landed outside the bounds of English law, some passengers threatened to strike out on their own, voiding the contracts that paid for their passage.

The potential mutiny and lawlessness concerned many of the passengers. To quell rebellion and create unity, the Mayflower Compact was created to establish a form of self-governance and maintain order in the colony. Learn more about theMayflower Compact.

Taking Shelter in the Mayflower

The passengers continued to live on the Mayflower as they explored Cape Cod. Many resided in the ship for as long as four months while they built homes and waited out the winter.

In April, the Mayflower set sail for England. All the surviving original passengers chose to stay in the new colony.

Where Is the Mayflower Now?

Despite its historical significance, we don’t know exactly what happened to the Mayflower, although a 1624 probate record gives some clues. The record labels the Mayflower as being “in ruins,” which likely means that the ship was scrapped for its timber.

A replica of the Mayflower, dubbed Mayflower II, was built in 1955. In 1957, Mayflower II replicated the journey of the original Mayflower. In commemoration of the 400-year anniversary of the departure and arrival of the Mayflower, the Mayflower II will yet again journey across the Atlantic.

Were Your Ancestors on the Mayflower?

Some estimate that as many as 35 million people worldwide descend from the Mayflower passengers. Search this extensive FamilySearch genealogical collection of descendants to find out!

Discover if You’re a Mayflower Descendant

History of the Armenian Diaspora

Fri, 09/11/2020 - 17:00

There are an impressive number of Armenian communities throughout the world, including in Canada, Russia, the United States, France, Romania, and Australia. According to some estimates, anywhere from two million to nine million more Armenians live outside of Armenia than inside it. Not surprisingly, the Armenian diaspora is one of the most noted aspects of the country’s culture.

What Is the Armenian Diaspora?

The term “Armenian diaspora” refers to the spread of Armenian people to different countries.  Many of the largest communities of Armenians outside Armenia have populations ranging well into the hundreds of thousands. Armenian communities are prevalent in Russia, in the Krasnodar and Stravpol regions as well as in Moscow. You can also find these communities in cities all around Europe and the United States, including Los Angeles, Paris, and New York. Los Angeles even has a neighborhood named “Little Armenia.” These Armenian communities come in different shapes and sizes, but many work to maintain unique Armenian traditions and culture.

How Did the Armenian Diaspora Start?

Throughout history, political and social climates have accelerated the spread of Armenian people throughout the world, making the movement more apparent. The most pronounced Armenian diaspora took place between 1914 and 1923, when discord within the Ottoman Empire (modern-day Turkey) caused mass deaths and migration.

However, the Armenian Diaspora began in ancient times. Armenia is one of the oldest known countries in the world, and it has been expanding its influence all the way back to the centuries before the birth of Christ. This expansion eventually resulted in the establishment of the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia, in modern-day Turkey, and additional communities in areas such as Persia.

The Middle Ages marked some of the first organized forms of the Armenian diaspora. Many empires controlled Armenia throughout history. Armenia itself was in decline during this time, which naturally led to communities forming outside of the country. These Armenian communities could be found in areas as far away as India, Poland, and Italy. However, not all migration happened because of political upheaval. Many Armenians throughout history travelled outside of Armenia because of an interest in trade and selling wares. Armenia merchants played a vital role in the economies of other countries such as China, Persia, and India.

Where Are Armenians Today?

The immigration of Armenian people has continued up to the present day. According to EVN Report, an Armenian weekly magazine, Armenia currently has one of the highest rates of a country’s population living outside the country. It ranks fourth, with nearly one-quarter of its entire population born in the last quarter century living outside of Armenia’s borders. These Armenians live in countries such as Russia, Syria, and the United States.

This spread of Armenians has not weakened Armenian culture; it has defined it. For example, the Institute of Armenian Studies at the University of Southern California has begun hosting a special event called “Innovate Armenia.” At this event, many displaced Armenians connect with their roots and each other. They enjoy Armenian food, games, and music. Participants also discuss the future of their shared heritage.

Many Armenians today feel inspired to establish their culture through their professions and interests, such as offering medical expertise or protecting the environment. One particular Armenian artist, Eduard Manukyan, has a studio in Los Angeles. While he has chosen a very American name for his business—Magic Brush Art Studio—he has been able to share his unique talent and perspective. This is because, according to Eduard, being Armenian has always meant being a contributor.

The diaspora has enhanced Armenian heritage throughout the ages because Armenian people tend to hold close to their identity and to each other. Often, their connections to each other have helped them to succeed in areas such as entrepreneurship and to contribute to the countries where they live.

Your Armenian Ancestors

Did you know a lot of well-known celebrities have Armenian heritage? Pop-singer Cher, celebrity Kim Kardashian, and world chess champion Garry Kimovich Kasparov are a few. All three are four generations or less away from their Armenian ancestors. Other well-known names include the romantic painter Ivan Aivazovksy, actor Ross Bagdasarian, and master music composer Aram Khatchadourian.

Do you have Armenian ancestry? If so, you have generations of rich heritage. The country of Armenia dates back thousands of years, making it one of the oldest known civilizations. Your heritage is key to what we know about the human family. Begin discovering your own family’s journey today by adding what you already know about your ancestors to the FamilySearch Family Tree. You might be surprised at the connections you find. Visit FamilySearch.org to learn how.

If you want to learn more about Armenian culture, check out TOTA’s Armenian Culture page. TOTA is a website “dedicated to sharing cultural knowledge and engaging experiences to create a more connected and respectful world.” The website has dozens of articles about Armenian history, heritage, and culture.

9 Mayflower Descendants as Famous as Their Pilgrim Ancestors

Thu, 09/10/2020 - 13:00

The Mayflower set sail for America in 1620 with 102 passengers. Though only 53 passengers lived to see the following spring, an estimated 35 million people worldwide are descendants of this small but hardy group. With that many descendants, it’s no surprise that you might recognize a few of them—you might even be one!

Are you a Mayflower Descendant? Find out here!

Here’s a short list of famous Mayflower descendants and the mark they, like their pilgrim ancestors, have made on American history.

Famous Mayflower Descendants of John Alden and Priscilla Mullins John Adams

The second president of the United States descended from John Alden and Priscilla Mullins through their son William Mullins, who was also a Mayflower passenger. Adams isn’t the only president to descend from a Mayflower passenger—George W. Bush, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and Ulysses S. Grant can also trace their ancestry to one or more Mayflower passengers.

Marilyn Monroe

Born in 1926 as Norma Jeane Mortenson, this famous Mayflower descendant later changed her name to Marilyn Monroe and became one of the most famous American actresses in history. She is even included in the Smithsonian’s list of “100 Most Significant Americans of All Time.”

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow is one of the most famous of American poets. His legacy includes the American classic “Paul Revere’s Ride.” Longfellow also wrote the long poem The Courtship of Miles Standish about the love triangle between three Mayflower passengers—Miles Standish and Longfellow’s ancestors John Alden and Priscilla Mullins.

Famous Mayflower Descendants of William and Mary Brewster Julia Child

Julia Child left her own mark on United States history with her famous cookbook Mastering the Art of French Cooking, which famously brought French cuisine to the American dinner table. 

Bing Crosby

The legacy of Harry Lillis “Bing” Crosby includes his famous role in the musical film White Christmas and his innovative singing style, which later influenced Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, and other celebrated American musicians.

Katherine Hepburn

The Brewsters’ descendants include yet another recognizable American actress, Katherine Hepburn. Hepburn has been listed in several publications, including the Encyclopedia Britannica, as one of the most influential women in history.

Famous Mayflower Descendants of William Bradford George Eastman

We have William Bradford, in part, to thank for “selfies.” After all, his descendant George Eastman founded the Eastman Kodak Company, which popularized the everyday use of cameras. Before his first camera, the Kodak, most cameras were used only professionally.

Clint Eastwood

It’s almost no surprise that Clint Eastwood is a descendant of William Bradford, one of the most famous of Mayflower passengers. Eastwood, an iconic American figure in his own right, is an actor most known for his roles in Western films.

Noah Webster

That’s right—the “Father of American Scholarship and Education,” Noah Webster, is a Mayflower descendant! If the name sounds familiar, it’s because Noah Webster is the Webster of the Merriam-Webster dictionary, which arose out of a dictionary he published.

To learn more about the Mayflower passengers behind these famous names, check out the following articles!

John Alden and Priscilla Mullins The Legacy of William Bradford John Howland and Elizabeth Tilley

John Alden, Priscilla Mullin, and Myles Standish—Plymouth’s First Love Triangle

Thu, 09/10/2020 - 08:37

You may be familiar with the Mayflower’s turbulent journey across the Atlantic, its landing off course, and the harrowing winter that followed—but did you know about the famous love story of Mayflower passengers John Alden and Priscilla Mullin?

Although we can’t know for sure if the story of John Alden, Priscilla Mullin, and Myles Standish was Plymouth’s first love triangle, we do know that it is the first Mayflower love story to be forever immortalized by a narrative poem—by the Aldens’ own descendant!

Who Were John Alden, Priscilla Mullin, and Myles Standish?

John Alden sailed on the historic Mayflower voyage in 1620 as a crew member. He was hired to make the trip as the ship’s cooper, or barrel maker. Myles Standish was also hired to join the voyage, but for his military experience. When the ship returned to England, however, both Myles and John decided to stay in Plymouth Colony rather than return home.

Priscilla Mullins originally made the voyage with her father, stepmother, and brother. When tragedy struck Plymouth during the first winter, Priscilla lost her entire family she had traveled with.

Despite her loss, John Alden and Priscilla Mullins became one of the first couples to get married in the new colony. According to oral history, John Alden and Myles Standish were romantic rivals, which became the inspiration for the famous poem The Courtship of Miles Standish.

The Courtship of Miles Standish

John and Priscilla Alden’s love story was popularized by The Courtship of Miles Standish, a narrative poem published by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, John and Priscilla Alden’s descendant, in 1858. The book spread like wildfire in both the United States and the United Kingdom.

In the book, Myles fancied Priscilla but was too shy to tell her, so he asked John Alden to relay the message. When John told Priscilla of Myles’s feelings, it instead sparked a romantic relationship between John and Priscilla. 

“Speak for Yourself, John”

“Speak for Yourself, John,” is one of the most quoted lines from The Courtship of Miles Standish. When John Alden relayed Myles Standish’s feelings for Priscilla, Priscilla famously replied, “Why don’t you speak for yourself, John?” In the poem, her reply leads to their courtship.

Is The Courtship of Miles Standish True?

While Longfellow took the idea from Timothy Alden’s A Collection of American Epitaphs and Inscriptions, there is little historical evidence to support the tale. It is difficult to say if Timothy Alden’s account is accurate since it was recorded almost two centuries after the fact. Even if it were accurate, Longfellow fictionalized the story to write The Courtship of Miles Standish.

The book’s fame played an important role in making the Mayflower pilgrims’ story a prominent part of American culture. Its fame even helped the pilgrims’ Thanksgiving celebration become a national holiday in 1863.

John Alden and Priscilla Mullin’s Legacy

Though the story of their courtship is questionable, we do know quite a bit about other aspects of John Alden’s and Priscilla Mullin’s lives and legacy.

John Alden played an active role in Plymouth Colony. He was one of the first signatories of the Mayflower Compact, and he served in several government positions, including treasurer, court deputy, governor’s assistant, and member of the council of war.

John’s skills as a carpenter and barrel maker also helped the colony survive its early years as the pilgrims built homes and meetinghouses. In the 1623 division of land among the colonists, John and Priscilla received four acres on the north side of Plymouth Colony on the first street at the base of Burial Hill. They built a small home there.

In 1626 an agreement was made between the Merchant Adventurers Company in England, which had financed Plymouth Colony, and members of the colony. Eight men, including John Alden, undertook the debt in exchange for boats, furs, and other items that belonged to the company. The agreement also gave them the right to trade for themselves for six years.

Later, John and Priscilla received 100 acres in Duxbury. The property was accessible by water from the bay and the river. The west end of the farm ran along the Green Harbor path between Plymouth and Marshfield.

In 1628, they built a home and farm on the property. For several years, the family traveled 10 miles to Sunday church services in Plymouth. The trip was a long and hard one. Eventually, the colonists petitioned to start another congregation in Duxbury, leading it to become a separate town in 1637. The couple also served as prominent and founding members of Duxbury.

When Did John Alden Die?

John Alden was the last surviving signatory of the Mayflower Compact. He died on September 12, 1687, and was buried in the Myles Standish Burial Ground of Duxbury, Massachusetts.

When Did Priscilla Alden Die?

It is uncertain when exactly Priscilla Alden died. She stops appearing in records in 1650, but oral histories put her death just years before John’s death. It is possible she died between 1650 and 1687.

Priscilla Alden is buried in the Myles Standish Burial Ground alongside her husband, John Alden. While the original location of their graves is unknown, commemorative stones were later placed near the headstone of their son Captain Johnathan Alden

John and Priscilla Alden’s Family Tree

Many people can trace their ancestry back to John and Priscilla Alden, who had 10 children together. It is estimated that John and Priscilla have more descendants than any of the other Mayflower passengers.

Notable descendants include John Adams, John Quincy Adams, Marilyn Monroe, Calvin Coolidge, George Orson Welles, and even Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, the author of the book on their courtship.

Are you a descendant of John and Priscilla Alden? Find out on FamilySearch.org. If you’re connected to Family Tree, sign in to your FamilySearch account and then click View My Relationship on either John’s page or Priscilla’s page to see if you’re related.

Discover John Alden’s Family Tree Discover Priscilla Alden’s Family Tree

Monthly Record Update for August 2020

Thu, 09/03/2020 - 18:00

FamilySearch expanded its free online archives in August of 2020 with almost 20 million new indexed family history records from all over the world. New historical records were added from Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ecuador, England, Fiji, Finland, France, Germany, Kiribati, Mexico, Micronesia, Niue, Norway, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, South Africa, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Venezuela, Wales, Zambia, and the United States, which includes Alabama, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.

United States, GenealogyBank Historical Newspaper Obituaries, 1815-2011, United States, Compiled Military Service Records Of Volunteer Union Soldiers Who Served With The U.S. Colored Troops, 1861-1866, andUnited States, Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Military Servicemen in World War I Records, 1919 are included as well.

Find your ancestors using these free archives online, including birth, marriage, death, and church records. Millions of new genealogy records are added each month to make your search easier.

Don’t see what you’re looking for? Check back next month and, in the meantime, search existing records on FamilySearch.

CountryCollectionIndexed RecordsDigital ImagesCommentsAustriaAustria, Vienna, Jewish Registers of Births, Marriages, and Deaths, 1784-191131,9580Added indexed records to an existing collection BelgiumBelgium, Limburg, Civil Registration, 1798-190620Added indexed records to an existing collection BoliviaBolivia Catholic Church Records, 1566-1996147,8450Added indexed records to an existing collection BrazilBrazil, Bahia, Civil Registration, 1877-197624520Added indexed records to an existing collection BrazilBrazil, Civil Registration, 1860-200619,3640Added indexed records to an existing collection BrazilBrazil, Minas Gerais, Civil Registration, 1879-194931,1350Added indexed records to an existing collection BrazilBrazil, Paraná, Civil Registration, 1852-199684,5690Added indexed records to an existing collection BrazilBrazil, Santa Catarina, Civil Registration, 1850-199934,5050Added indexed records to an existing collection CanadaCanada Census, 1851456,2010Added indexed records to an existing collection CanadaCanada, New Brunswick, County Register of Births, 1801-192081,5440Added indexed records to an existing collection CanadaNova Scotia Delayed Births, 1837-190443,3890Added indexed records to an existing collection CanadaOntario, Toronto Cemetery Records, 1989-19954850Added indexed records to an existing collection ChileChile, Catholic Church Records, 1710-19282,0910Added indexed records to an existing collection DR CongoDemocratic Republic of the Congo, Census, 198436,3850Added indexed records to an existing collection EcuadorEcuador, Catholic Church Records, 1565-2011637,1340Added indexed records to an existing collection EnglandEngland, Derbyshire, Church of England Parish Registers, 1537-1918650Added indexed records to an existing collection EnglandEngland, Essex Non-Conformist Church Records, 1613-19716,0480Added indexed records to an existing collection EnglandEngland, Herefordshire Bishop’s Transcripts, 1583-189820,4520Added indexed records to an existing collection EnglandEngland, Lancashire Non-Conformist Church Records, 1647-199615,9980Added indexed records to an existing collection EnglandEngland, Manchester, Miscellaneous Records, 1700-19166900Added indexed records to an existing collection EnglandEngland, Middlesex Parish Registers, 1539-1988364,6590Added indexed records to an existing collection EnglandEngland, Shropshire Parish Registers, 1538-191812,1930Added indexed records to an existing collection EnglandEngland, Warwickshire, Parish Registers, 1535-1963260Added indexed records to an existing collection EnglandEngland, Yorkshire Marriage Bonds and Allegations, 1613-188710Added indexed records to an existing collection FijiFiji, Indian Death Records, 1899-19222,5460Added indexed records to an existing collection FijiFiji, Passports, 1915-1991111,3020Added indexed records to an existing collection FinlandFinland, Tax Lists, 1809-191536,1830Added indexed records to an existing collection FranceFrance, Haute-Vienne, Census, 1836228,8070Added indexed records to an existing collection FranceFrance, Nord, Parish and Civil Registration, 1524-18935,413,6120New indexed records collection GermanyGermany, Prussia, Saxony, Census Lists, 1770-1934105,9610Added indexed records to an existing collection GermanyGermany, Rhineland, Diocese of Trier, Catholic Church Records, 1704-1957390,7550Added indexed records to an existing collection KiribatiKiribati, Vital Records, 1890-199112720Added indexed records to an existing collection MexicoMexico, Sinaloa, Civil Registration, 1861-192944,8700Added indexed records to an existing collection MicronesiaMicronesia, Civil Registration, 1883-19839,4910Added indexed records to an existing collection MicronesiaMicronesia, Death Records, 1970-19863,8730Added indexed records to an existing collectionNiueNiue, Register of Baptisms, 1926-19475910Added indexed records to an existing collection NiueNiue, Vital Records, 1818-19949650Added indexed records to an existing collection NorwayNorway, Oslo, Census, 1832-195434,5540Added indexed records to an existing collection OtherFind A Grave Index169,8840Added indexed records to an existing collection Papua New GuineaPapua New Guinea, Birth Records, 1888-200412330New indexed records collection ParaguayParaguay, Catholic Church Records, 1754-2015181,0910Added indexed records to an existing collection PeruPeru, Ayacucho, Civil Registration, 1903-199961,0140Added indexed records to an existing collection PeruPeru, Diocese of Huacho, Catholic Church Records, 1560-195249,0030Added indexed records to an existing collection PeruPeru, Junín, Civil Registration, 1881-200527,6570Added indexed records to an existing collection PeruPeru, Piura, Civil Registration, 1874-1996220,9610Added indexed records to an existing collection PeruPeru, Prelature of Yauyos-Cañete-Huarochirí, Catholic Church Records, 1665-201828,8040Added indexed records to an existing collection PeruPeru, Puno, Civil Registration, 1890-200524,3740Added indexed records to an existing collection Puerto RicoPuerto Rico, Catholic Church Records, 1645-196926,2680Added indexed records to an existing collection Puerto RicoPuerto Rico, Civil Registration, 1805-200116,2400Added indexed records to an existing collection South AfricaSouth Africa, Cape Province, Civil Deaths, 1895-1972550Added indexed records to an existing collection South AfricaSouth Africa, Cape Province, Probate Records of the Master of the High Court, 1834-19894,4560Added indexed records to an existing collection South AfricaSouth Africa, Church of the Province of South Africa, Parish Registers, 1801-200476,1640Added indexed records to an existing collection South AfricaSouth Africa, Civil Death Registration, 1955-196659,9620Added indexed records to an existing collection South AfricaSouth Africa, Civil Marriage Records, 1840-197388,1460Added indexed records to an existing collection South AfricaSouth Africa, KwaZulu Natal, Vital Records, 1868-197612,4270Added indexed records to an existing collection South AfricaSouth Africa, Natal Province, Civil Deaths, 1863-1955145,0180Added indexed records to an existing collection South AfricaSouth Africa, Orange Free State, Civil Death Registration, 1902-195418,5400Added indexed records to an existing collection South AfricaSouth Africa, Pietermaritzburg Estate Files 1846-1950370Added indexed records to an existing collection SwedenSweden, Örebro Church Records, 1613-1918; index 1635-18607,1560Added indexed records to an existing collection United KingdomEngland and Wales, Prerogative Court of Canterbury Wills, 1640-166028,8680New indexed records collectionUnited KingdomEngland, Cambridgeshire Bishop’s Transcripts, 1538-198336,4800New indexed records collection United KingdomGreat Britain, War Office Registers, 1772-19355,8080Added indexed records to an existing collection United StatesAlabama, Confederate Pension Applications, ca. 1880-1930’s1,6200Added indexed records to an existing collection United StatesArizona, Birth Certificates and Indexes, 1855-193016,3200Added indexed records to an existing collection United StatesArizona, Cochise County, Voting Records, 1882-1932235,4870New indexed records collection United StatesArizona, Graham County, Voting Records, 1882-192064,4290New indexed records collection United StatesArizona, Greenlee County, Voting Records, 1910-19262470Added indexed records to an existing collection United StatesArizona, Mohave County, Voting Records, 1876-192023,5150New indexed records collection United StatesCalifornia, County Birth and Death Records, 1800-1994122,8140Added indexed records to an existing collection United StatesCalifornia, Honor Roll of Californians who served in WWI, 1914-19189,2560New indexed records collection United StatesCalifornia, Los Angeles, Angelus-Rosedale Cemetery/Crematory Records, 1884-200220,5790Added indexed records to an existing collection United StatesCalifornia, San Francisco Chinese passenger lists, 1882-194762,2910New indexed records collection United StatesConnecticut Naturalization Records, 1795-19428160Added indexed records to an existing collection United StatesConnecticut, Military Census Questionnaires, 19173,3950Added indexed records to an existing collection United StatesHawaii, Collector of Customs, Ships’ Passenger Manifests, 1843-190033,4180Added indexed records to an existing collection United StatesHawaii, Hawaiian Islands Newspaper Obituaries, 1900-ca.2010107,0110Added indexed records to an existing collection United StatesHawaii, Various Islands, Circuit Court Divorce Records, 1849-19156,8340Added indexed records to an existing collection United StatesIdaho, County Marriages, 1864-19502510Added indexed records to an existing collection United StatesIdaho, County Naturalizations, 1861-19741,1140Added indexed records to an existing collection United StatesIdaho, Eastport, Arrival Manifests, 1924-19561310Added indexed records to an existing collection United StatesIllinois, Quincy, Greenmount Cemetery Records, 1875-19854,4150Added indexed records to an existing collection United StatesIndiana Marriages, 1811-2007544,8020Added indexed records to an existing collection United StatesIndiana, Harrison County, Index Cards to Corydon Democrat Newspaper Obituaries, 1861-2008376,3500New indexed records collection United StatesIowa, Black Hawk County, Waterloo, World War I Pledge Cards, 1917-1918430Added indexed records to an existing collection United StatesIowa, Dallas County, Violet Hill Cemetery, Lot Records, 1846-19886,5690Added indexed records to an existing collection United StatesIowa, Monroe County, Card Index of Births, Deaths & Marriages from Newspaper Clippings, 1898-2015120Added indexed records to an existing collection United StatesKansas, Lawrence City Cemetery Records, 1850-198829,6920Added indexed records to an existing collection United StatesLouisiana, New Orleans, Slave Manifests of Coastwise Vessels, 1807-18603690Added indexed records to an existing collection United StatesLouisiana, Orleans Parish Death Records and Certificates, 1835-195480Added indexed records to an existing collection United StatesMassachusetts, City of Boston Voter Registers, 1857-19201220Added indexed records to an existing collection United StatesMichigan Obituaries, 1820-2006445,8790Added indexed records to an existing collection United StatesMichigan, Census of World War I Veterans with Card Index, 1917-1919450Added indexed records to an existing collection United StatesMississippi, County Marriages, 1858-1979222,3900Added indexed records to an existing collection United StatesMontana Manifests of Immigrant Arrivals and Departures, 1923-195690Added indexed records to an existing collection United StatesNebraska, Lancaster County, Fairview Cemetery, Burial Records, 1864-1999520Added indexed records to an existing collection United StatesNew Hampshire, County Naturalization Records, 1771-20012,9880Added indexed records to an existing collection United StatesNew Jersey, County Naturalization Records, 1749-1986191,7140Added indexed records to an existing collection United StatesNew Jersey, Gloucester County, Clarksboro, Eglington Cemetery Records, 1880-19831,0100Added indexed records to an existing collection United StatesNew York, Church Records, 1660-195420Added indexed records to an existing collection United StatesNew York, County Naturalization Records, 1791-198033,0450Added indexed records to an existing collection United StatesNew York, New York, Index to Passengers Lists of Vessels, 1897-1902403,6350New indexed records collection United StatesNorth Carolina, Center for Health Statistics, Vital Records Unit, County Birth Records, 1913-1922224,3320Added indexed records to an existing collection United StatesNorth Carolina, Davidson County Vital Records, 1867-2006700Added indexed records to an existing collection United StatesNorth Dakota Manifests of Immigrant Arrivals, 1910-195213,6060Added indexed records to an existing collection United StatesOregon Passenger and Crew Lists, 1888-19561,024,6000New indexed records collection United StatesOregon, Lincoln County Voter Registration Index Cards, 1913-194223,1930New indexed records collection United StatesPennsylvania Cemetery Records, ca. 1700-ca. 1950273,5950Added indexed records to an existing collection United StatesPennsylvania Delayed Birth Records, 1941-197624,8880Added indexed records to an existing collection United StatesPennsylvania, Wayne County, Court of Common Pleas, Naturalization Records, 1799-1906470Added indexed records to an existing collection United StatesSouth Carolina, County Marriage Licenses, 1911-1951180,3720Added indexed records to an existing collection United StatesTexas, Confederate Army and Commanding Officer Card Index, ca.1861-ca.18652,8200Added indexed records to an existing collection United StatesTexas, Eagle Pass Arrival Manifests and Indexes, 1905-1954118,8820Added indexed records to an existing collection United StatesTexas, Hardin County Clerk, Death Records, 1908-19481,7340New indexed records collection United StatesTexas, Hardin County, Marriage Records, 1837-200938,7730Added indexed records to an existing collection United StatesTexas, Indexes and Manifests of Arrivals at the Port of Del Rio, 1906-195381,0460Added indexed records to an existing collection United StatesTexas, Manifests of Permanent and Statistical Alien Arrivals at El Paso, 1924-195480,9920New indexed records collectionUnited StatesTexas, Various Counties, Military Discharge Records, 1916-199025,6620New indexed records collection United StatesTexas, Washington County, Birth Records, 1903-199117,7950New indexed records collection United StatesUnited States, California, List of United States Citizens Arriving at San Francisco, 1930-1949650Added indexed records to an existing collection United StatesUnited States, Compiled Military Service Records Of Volunteer Union Soldiers Who Served With The U.S. Colored Troops, 1861-1866364,4400Added indexed records to an existing collection United StatesUnited States, GenealogyBank Historical Newspaper Obituaries, 1815-20113,904,0890Added indexed records to an existing collection United StatesUnited States, Iowa Naturalization Records, 1859-19901420Added indexed records to an existing collection United StatesUnited States, Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Military Servicemen in World War I Records, 1919320Added indexed records to an existing collection United StatesUnited States, Missouri, Recruitment Lists of Volunteers for the United States Colored Troops, 1863-1865510Added indexed records to an existing collection United StatesUnited States, New Jersey, Naturalization records from various counties, 1905-194454,4030New indexed records collection United StatesUtah, Brigham City Family History Center, Obituary Collection, 1930-201558,2430Added indexed records to an existing collection United StatesUtah, County Birth and Death Records,1892-195126,1090Added indexed records to an existing collection United StatesUtah, Salt Lake County, Enrolled Militia, 1895350Added indexed records to an existing collection United StatesVirginia, Bureau of Vital Statistics, County Marriage Registers, 1853-193565,9290Added indexed records to an existing collection United StatesVirginia, Bureau of Vital Statistics, Death Records, 1853-19126,9160Added indexed records to an existing collection United StatesWashington, County Birth Registers, 1873-196539,1760Added indexed records to an existing collection United StatesWashington, County Naturalization Records, 1850-198223,0970Added indexed records to an existing collection United StatesWashington, Seattle, Passenger Lists, 1890-1957100,0210Added indexed records to an existing collection United StatesWisconsin, County Naturalization Records, 1807-1992207,2330Added indexed records to an existing collection VenezuelaVenezuela, Archdiocese of Valencia, Catholic Church Records, 1760, 1905-2013140,1950Added indexed records to an existing collection VenezuelaVenezuela, Catholic Church Records, 1577-199511860Added indexed records to an existing collection WalesWales, Marriage Bonds, 1650-190033,1030Added indexed records to an existing collection ZambiaZambia, Archdiocese of Lusaka, Church Records, 1950-201523,0430Added indexed records to an existing collection 

When Did the Mayflower Land in America? The Answer Might Surprise You!

Tue, 09/01/2020 - 11:37

The Mayflower landed in America on November 21, 1620—or did it? If you could ask William Bradford when the Mayflower landed, he would say November 11, 1620—the date he recorded in his journal.

Similarly, accounts differ about when the Mayflower began its journey. Some say it departed England on September 16, 1620, but others claim the ship left on September 6. Which of these dates is accurate?

Well, actually, all the dates are right—sort of. Here’s why.

A Tale of Two Calendars

Simply put, the Mayflower passengers used a different calendar than we do now. According to their old-style Julian calendar, the Mayflower departed England on September 6, 1620. However, the actual anniversary of their departure, according to the Gregorian calendar we use today, was September 16, 1620.

Interestingly, at the time, many parts of the world already used the Gregorian calendar, which had been created nearly 40 years before the Mayflower set sail. Why did Mayflower passengers continue to use the Julian calendar?

For one, the new Gregorian calendar was proposed by and named after Pope Gregory XIII. Puritan Separatists such as William Bradford would have avoided something so closely associated with Catholicism.

In 1620, England itself was not using the Gregorian calendar. With England having broken from the Catholic Church in 1534, there was much opposition to following a Catholic pope’s decree.  Though many Catholic countries had already made the switch, England didn’t use the new calendar until around 1750.

Why the Actual Date of the Mayflower’s Landing is Important

Now, back to our original question: When did the Mayflower land in America? In terms of today’s Gregorian calendar, the Mayflower landed in America on November 21, 1620. Although you can argue that both Mayflower landing dates—November 11 and November 21—are accurate, recognizing the dates by our current calendar can put the Mayflower time line into perspective.

For example, the departure of the Mayflower on September 16 was an especially frightening prospect when considering that the Atlantic’s storm season was just around the corner. The November 21 landing date also puts the landing of the Mayflower that much closer to December, showing just how little time the pilgrims and passengers had to prepare for the chilling winter.

Discover How You Are Tied to Historical Dates

Now that you know some important dates in history, try learning about the important dates that directly relate to you! The FamilySearch time-line tool can help you explore and view major world and life events that occurred in your ancestors’ lives.

To use the time-line tool, just go to the Activities tab at the top of the FamilySearch home page, and select Where Am I From? from the drop-down menu. From that page, sign in to your FamilySearch account (or create a free account!), and then click the Time Line tab at the top of the activity page.

Tip: You might need to add some people to your family tree to get the most out of the experience. Here’s an easy guide for starting your family tree.

From there, just click the ancestor you want to learn more about, and you’ll be taken to a personalized time line!

For more ways to explore the Where Am I From? activity, check out this article.

Finding Your Ancestors in United States Church Records

Sat, 08/29/2020 - 18:00

In the United States, it’s most common to search for ancestors in civil and public records such as censuses, vital records, deeds, naturalization records, newspapers, and city directories. But sometimes these sources fall short. They may not have been kept for the time period or place you need. Perhaps they didn’t include your relatives or the details about them you need to know. A courthouse disaster may have destroyed records kept there (perhaps several record types kept there).

United States Church Records: A Brick Wall Resource

If you’re hitting a brick wall with your United States ancestors, consider looking for them in church or synagogue records. Many people affiliated with a religious institution, even if they didn’t attend regularly. Churches often recorded the names of members and those who were married or eulogized by the clergy or who participated in church rites. You may find details of a person’s birth and death, names and relationships of relatives, and other important genealogical clues, as in this infant baptismal record.

Baptismal record of Mary Tillinghast, daughter of Isaac [Tillinghast] and Catharine Leake, born 19 October 1812, was baptized at Mr. Leake’s house by Rev. Samuel Johnston. “New York, Buffalo, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church Records, 1812–1970.” Vol. 1., image 5, FamilySearch. St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral, Buffalo.

Church records can also reveal migration details, such as parents’ birthplaces or an immigrant’s overseas hometown. A church’s records would have survived many local courthouse disasters, since these records weren’t kept at courthouses. Churches often documented women, children, ethnic minorities, and poor people, who may appear less frequently in other kinds of records. Sometimes the records reveal unique and meaningful clues about people’s lives and culture. So although church records may not exist for every ancestor, they’re worth looking for, especially if you’ve hit a brick wall or just want to learn everything you can about a fascinating forebear.

Identifying Your Ancestors’ Church

During the colonial era of the United States and even during early nationhood, residents of some places had to worship in specific established churches, such as the Anglican Church in Virginia or the Congregational Church in Massachusetts. In French and Spanish territories, the Catholic Church dominated. Knowing the established churches of your ancestors’ homelands can make it easier to identify the churches they may have attended.

However, since colonial times, the United States has also been relatively tolerant of religious diversity. Your ancestors may have chosen where to attend church based on family traditions, personal beliefs, social pressures, or even practical considerations, such as which church was closest or which minister spoke their language.

You may be able to learn the religious affiliations of recent generations by asking relatives where their parents or grandparents worshipped. Look in genealogical documents you already have for additional clues. A marriage record may identify the officiant as a minister. Obituaries may mention the deceased’s church. Tombstones may have symbols on them that represent a particular faith tradition.

If you’re still not sure, turn to local histories and maps to learn what churches existed near your ancestor’s residence. Local histories may hint as to where certain groups of people generally congregated. Consider whether your ancestors were part of a migratory or ethnic group that has historical loyalties to a particular faith, such as the Presbyterian Church for Scottish ancestors or the Dutch Reformed Church for relatives from the Netherlands.

Locating and Accessing United States Church Records

If you find an ancestral church that still exists, contact it and ask whether old membership records exist and how to request copies, if the church provide that service. Some denominations maintain central or regional archives that house records of individual churches. Church records may also have been sent to university, private, or public archives. (Thousands are listed in the ArchiveGrid catalog.) An increasing number of United States church records are searchable on genealogy websites.

FamilySearch is home to thousands of United States church record collections. Search for these records in the FamilySearch Catalog under Search > Catalog. Search by place with the name of a locale or a county. If a church records category appears in the search results, open the category and review available entries.

Individual items may be available online. For example, the Society of Friends (Quaker) records shown above have been digitized and can be viewed from this catalog entry.

Even if you can’t locate membership records for an ancestor’s church, you may find published histories, photographs, auxiliary records, or all kinds of other documents related to that church. These records may reveal what your family may have experienced as members of a congregation or faith.

It may take time to find and access church records, so be patient. You may want to consult more advanced resources, such as How to Find Your Family History in U.S. Church Records by Sunny Jane Morton and Harold Henderson or items that are specific to individual faiths and places, such as “New England Catholic Church Records” by Jeanne Scaduto Belmonte.

Try it now! Search the FamilySearch Catalog for church records (or other interesting records) from an ancestor’s locale.

John Howland and Elizabeth Tilley: Their Life and Legacy in Plymouth Colony

Fri, 08/28/2020 - 09:04

This November marks the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the Pilgrims to the New World. In September 1620, the Mayflower started its journey with 35 crew members and 102 passengers, including John Howland and Elizabeth Tilley. This fascinating man and woman are estimated to have millions of descendants. Let’s learn more about them and find out if they are a part of your family story!

Who Is John Howland?

John Howland was born in Fenstanton, Huntingdonshire, England, between about 1592 and 1599. Based on his death date, which is recorded on his headstone and death records in Plymouth, he would have been born in about 1592. Some researchers believe his age at the time of death may have been inflated, which was common. Because Howland was listed as a manservant to John Carver on the Mayflower voyage, he was perhaps a younger man at the time of the voyage, perhaps under the age of 25.

In November 1620, the  Mayflower Compact was signed by nearly all the adult male colonists and two indentured servants. One of those indentured servants was John Howland. His signature on the famous document suggests he was likely an adult and at least 21 years old in 1620.

John Howland’s Voyage on the Mayflower: The One Who Fell Overboard

The separatist Pilgrims had originally planned on sailing to the New World in two ships. The Speedwell proved to be unseaworthy, and many of the passengers were moved to the Mayflower.

There were turbulent seas that autumn, and in one horrible storm, John Howland fell overboard. William Bradford wrote in his book Of Plymouth Plantation about John Howland’s near-death experience:

“It pleased God that he [John Howland] caught hold of the topsail halyards which hung overboard and ran out at length. Yet he held his hold (though he was sundry fathoms under water) till he was hauled up by the same rope to the brim of the water, and then with a boat hook and other means got into the ship again and his life saved. And though he was something ill with it, yet he lived many years after and became a profitable member both in church and commonwealth.”

Life at Plymouth

John Howland lived with Mr. and Mrs. John Carver as their manservant. Some have speculated that there was some type of family relationship between Howland and the Carvers, but no proof has been discovered. The first winter at Plymouth was exceptionally difficult. The colonists had landed too far north and too late to plant crops to get through the cold months. Howland and the Carvers, however, lived through the winter.

Unfortunately, Mr. and Mrs. Carver died the following spring. Because the couple’s children had passed away before the family had left Europe, it is speculated that John Howland inherited the Carver estate.

Who is Elizabeth Tilley?

John Howland married Elizabeth Tilley in about 1623. No official record of their marriage has been found, but a division of cattle record from 1627 reveals that the couple had two children by then. Their oldest child, Desire, was recorded as having been born in about 1624, which would likely mean the couple was married the year before.

Elizabeth Tilley was baptized on August 30, 1607, in Henlow, Bedford, England. Prior to 1856, when William Bradford’s Of Plymouth Plantation was discovered, scholars believed Elizabeth to be the adopted daughter of John Carver. However, this was not the case. Elizabeth had traveled on the Mayflower as a 13-year-old girl with her parents, John Tilley and Joan (Hurst) Tilley, and her uncle and aunt, Edward and Ann (or Agnes) Tilley.

Elizabeth’s parents and aunt and uncle all died that first winter, leaving her an orphan. She was then taken in by the Carvers. When the Carvers died in the spring, Elizabeth might have become the ward of John Howland. However, this theory is pure speculation—Elizabeth could have been placed in any household, and there is no evidence that there were any formal wardships for any of the orphaned children.

Elizabeth and John Howland: Children and Family Life

John and Elizabeth Tilley Howland initially built a house on First Street and over time acquired four acres on Watson’s Hill. They also purchased acreage in Duxbury and Rocky Nook (today’s Kingston, Massachusetts). Some of that land is owned by the Pilgrim John Howland Society.

John and Elizabeth raised 10 children:

  1. DESIRE, born in about 1624, and married in 1644 to John Gorham.
  2. JOHN, born on 24 February 1626 or 1627, and married on 26 October 1651 to Mary Lee.
  3. HOPE, born in about 1629, and married by 1647 to John Chipman.
  4. ELIZABETH, born in about 1631, and married first on 13 September 1649 to Ephraim Hicks and later, on 10 July 1651, to John Dickerson.
  5. LYDIA, born in about 1633, and married by about 1655 to James Brown.
  6. HANNAH, born in about 1637, and married on 6 July 1661 to Jonathan Bosworth.
  7. JOSEPH, born in about 1640, and married on 7 December 1664 to Elizabeth Southworth.
  8. JABEZ, born in about 1644, and married by 1669 to Bethiah Thatcher.
  9. RUTH, born in about 1646, and married on 17 November 1664 to Thomas Cushman.
  10. ISAAC, born on 15 November 1649, and married by 1677 to Elizabeth Vaughn.

John Howland held several prominent positions during his lifetime. He served as a Plymouth colony assistant and deputy for Plymouth to the general court, was in charge of the fur trading post at Kennebec, and was on the fur trade committee.

John Howland died in Plymouth, Massachusetts, on February 23, 1672 or 1673. Elizabeth died at Swansea, Massachusetts on December 21, 1687 or 1688.

Elizabeth Tilley and John Howland Descendants

Today, nearly 35 million people worldwide are estimated to descend from someone who sailed on the Mayflower. It is estimated that 10 million of those descendants live in the United States, and a large number of them are John Howland descendants.

Are you a John Howland descendant? You can find out by visiting his and his children’s profile pages in the FamilySearch Family Tree. First, sign in to FamilySearch.org (or create a free account), and then click this hyperlink that will take you directly to John Howland’s profile page.

On the far right of the profile page, click View My Relationship to see if you are related!

Tip: View My Relationship looks at your family tree to see if you are related. The more information you have added to your family tree, the better it can trace your relationship.

The Story of William Bradford and His Role in Plymouth Colony

Fri, 08/28/2020 - 00:15

Of the roughly 100 pilgrims that joined the Mayflower voyage and founded the Plymouth Colony, William Bradford stands out. After leaving his England home as a teenager in pursuit of religious freedom, he later became a leader in one of the most famous colonies in what later became the United States.

What Is William Bradford Known For?

William Bradford was one of the original settlers of the Plymouth Colony after leaving England on the Mayflower in 1620. Bradford was influential in shaping Plymouth’s government and became its governor in 1621. He went on to serve as governor off and on for over 30 years.

After his years of service, Bradford left behind a successful and thriving colony that would later be assimilated by Massachusetts. He is also known for his invaluable journal called Of Plymouth Plantation, which offers a detailed account of Plymouth Colony’s early stages and the lives of the Mayflower pilgrims.

William Bradford: Early Life and Religious Beliefs

William Bradford was born in Yorkshire, England, in circa 1590. This birth date and location is based on his baptism record, which shows he was baptized on 19 March 1589/90 in Austerfield, Yorkshire, England.

When Bradford was 12, he started attending the church services of Reverend Richard Clyfton, an English Protestant Separatist. There he learned of efforts to reform the Church of England and end all remaining Roman Catholic practices within the church. Bradford kept coming back and eventually formed a close relationship with William Brewster, of nearby Scrooby Manor.

Religious Persecution

When King James I took the throne in 1603, he started cracking down on reform movements. Reverend Clyfton’s congregation of about 50, including Bradford, started meeting in secret at Scrooby Manor. By 1607, they were discovered by the Archbishop of York. Many of them were imprisoned, fined, or watched around the clock.

Fleeing to Holland

Hoping to avoid further persecution, the Scrooby congregation decided to leave England illegally and go to Holland, where laws were more flexible. On their first attempt to leave, William Bradford and others were arrested and imprisoned after their ship captain betrayed them. By 1608, however, they made it to Holland and continued to worship together.

William Bradford and the Mayflower

After 10 years in Holland, Bradford and the Scrooby congregation were afraid of losing their English language and cultural heritage. Together, they decided to negotiate permission to settle in the New World, eventually making arrangements to settle in the Virginia Colony. By 1620, all preparations were made, and the group departed.

Originally, the Mayflower was intended to sail alongside a ship named Speedwell. The Scrooby congregation set sail on the Speedwell, but misfortune struck, and the ship soon began to leak. Both ships returned to port, and the pilgrims boarded the Mayflower alongside another group of settlers to depart yet again in September 1620.

Bradford and the rest of the pilgrims spent two long, cramped months at sea in stormy waters. In November, they were thrilled to spot the coastline and landed in Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

The Foundation of Plymouth Colony

The Mayflower was supposed to arrive in Virginia, where the pilgrims had a charter allowing them to settle. However, the stormy seas shifted their course north, landing them in Massachusetts. Passengers soon started arguing about what to do since the charter was no longer valid.

The Mayflower Compact

The threat of mutiny became apparent, so William Bradford and about 40 other men wrote and signed the Mayflower Compact in November 1620. Under the Mayflower Compact, the pilgrims agreed to work together to form laws and start a settlement. It became the foundation that later helped the pilgrims establish a government.

After multiple expeditions onto land, the pilgrims found the perfect site for Plymouth. In previous years, it had been the site of a Patuxet village before the Patuxet people were wiped out by a plague between 1616 and 1619. There were already fields for crops and water nearby.

Harsh Plymouth Winter

In December, Bradford and many others started to build the first homes for the pilgrims. Inadequate shelter and food throughout the winter made progress slow. Many pilgrims fell ill, Bradford included, after collapsing on January 11. He made a miraculous recovery, but not everyone was so lucky. By the end of the first winter, half of the pilgrims had perished. 

William Bradford as Governor

The first governor of the colony was John Carver. Carver was able to form peace treaties and alliances with Native American tribes, but he died shortly after. Following Carver’s death, William Bradford was elected as the governor of Plymouth, an office he held for most of the remainder of his life.

As governor, Bradford played an active role in the colony’s finances, trading, courts, laws, and relationships—basically, he had his hand in pretty much everything. He established democratic practices, such as town meetings that served as the first example of self-governance in the New World. These practices would later help shape national politics in the United States.

Furthermore, he made a point of welcoming all religious pilgrims to Plymouth as well as nonbelievers. He also proclaimed the first Thanksgiving, a tradition we still celebrate today.

William Bradford and Of Plymouth Plantation

Over a number of years, William Bradford wrote Of Plymouth Plantation, detailing the beginnings of the Plymouth Colony and the lives of the Mayflower pilgrims. He started writing the journal in 1630, which eventually covered the years 1620 to 1646. 

Of Plymouth Plantation quickly became recognized as a great literary work, both for its detailed history and for Bradford’s ability to tell stories. It has long been regarded as an American classic. It is also considered to be the best source of information on the beginnings of the Plymouth Colony. 

The manuscript went missing in 1780 during the British occupation and later appeared in a London library. American officials made multiple attempts to reclaim the manuscript. They were unsuccessful until the British eventually relinquished it in 1897.

William Bradford’s Death

William Bradford died on May 9, 1657, after nearly 40 years in the Plymouth Colony. Bradford had been sick for several months and even told his friends and family that he would die. True to his word, he died the very next day, at the age of 68. He was buried on Burial Hill in Plymouth, along with many of the original Mayflower pilgrims. 

William Bradford Descendants and Family Tree

William Bradford’s legacy lives on today, not only through his writing and the impact he had, but also through his descendants. 

William Bradford married Dorothy May in Amsterdam on December 10, 1613. Together they had one son, John, before leaving Europe. Dorothy tragically fell overboard and drowned in the Cape Cod harbor. Their son, John, went on to marry Martha Bourne, but they had no known children.

After the death of his wife, Bradford married Alice Carpenter Southworth in 1623 in Plymouth. Alice was a widow of Edward Southworth and had arrived in Plymouth weeks earlier on the ship Anne. She had two children prior to their marriage, Constant and Thomas. Together, William and Alice had three more children, William (born 1624), Mercy (born 1627), and Joseph (born 1630).

William and Joseph both married and had children, continuing a family line that can be traced today. Some celebrities have even been able to trace their lineage back to him, including Julia Child, Noah Webster, Clint Eastwood, Christopher Reeve, and William Rehnquist.

Are you a descendant of William Bradford? You can find out if you are related by visiting his profile page in the FamilySearch Family Tree. First, sign in to FamilySearch.org (or create a free account), and then click this hyperlink that will take you directly to William Bradford’s profile page.

On the far right of the profile page, click View My Relationship to see if you are related!

Tip: View My Relationship looks at your family tree to see if you are related. The more information you have added to your family tree, the better it can trace your relationship.

Were Your Ancestors on the Mayflower?

Some estimate that as many as 35 million people worldwide descend from the Mayflower passengers. Search this extensive FamilySearch genealogical collection of descendants to find out!

Discover if You’re a Mayflower Descendant