Welcome Mayflower Cousins

This blog is full of information for applications to the Society of Mayflower Descendants in the State of Ohio. Check back often to learn more about producing a successful application. Click the email link at the bottom to be notified of new posts as they happen.

Our contact information is:
Ann Gulbransen, Historian, ohmayflowerhistorian@gmail.com
Lee Martin, Assistant Historian, buckeyemayflower@gmail.com

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Massachusetts Vital Records

The library at the General Society in Plymouth has all the published Massachusetts vital records, but they are all transcriptions of the original records. Ancestry.com has now published a large collecction of images of the original records, and the collection is growing constantly as new towns are added. The Historian General has requested that you include photocopies of the original records for generations not included in the MF Silver Books or MFIP books. If you print the records from Ancestry, please make sure you get a clear copy (e.g. on a laser printer) and also include a zoomed in copy of the target record. If you don't have access to Ancestry, please let us know and we can print the copies for you.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Doty Genealogy update

The family of John Holmes, son of Desire (Doty) Sherman and Israel Holmes, as developed in MF 11:2: 24, is now to be seen to be corrected by the article in NEHGR 166: 85-97.  The six children found in MF 11:2,  ascribed to John Holmes and Sarah Thomas, are not to be seen to be the grandchildren of Desire Doty.  The four children named in this newly published article: Desire, Israel, Deborah and John are now to be considered the correct children of John Holmes and his wife Sarah Church, and therefore the true grandchildren of Desire (Doty) Holmes Standish. The birth date for John, son of Desire and Israel, is correct as found in MF 11:2; who he married, and who were their children, is where the Doty book went astray.

Thanks to Jay Lucas, Massachusetts Society historian, it is also to be noted that John Holmes’ wife, Sarah Church, is a Richard Warren descendant, as can be found in MF 18:1:130.  So these newly identified grandchildren of Desire (Doty) (Sherman) Holmes are also Warren descendants.  Sarah Church was the daughter of Nathaniel and Sarah Barstow Church; Nathaniel Church the son of Elizabeth², Richard¹ Warren.

So the family group of John Holmes and Sarah Church, as found in NEHGR 166:91-98 are Warren descendants as well as Doty; and the Warren 18:1:130 is also now seen to be incorrect as to the parentage of Sarah Church’s husband John Holmes, as the “probable son of Joseph and Sarah (Sprague) Holmes.”   The listing of Sarah Church and John Holmes’ children found in MF 18:1:130 is incomplete. So you will want to annotate both books, MF 11:2:24 and MF 18:1:130  with the corrected information following four children of John and Sarah Church Holmes.   Hopefully we will see something more specifically on those four children eventually (more on that below).

Saturday, November 3, 2012

How should I print census records for my application?

The first rule of census records is that if we cannot read them, we cannot use them! If you are printing census records from Ancestry.com, the first print should be the full image plus the reference data. Check the box to put the reference on a separate page to keep the census image large. Don’t click Print on the initial dialog box that Ancestry gives you. Click Cancel, then click File => Print Preview. Play with the size setting until the image is as large as you can get it without overflowing the page. You can also change the orientation of the page from portrait to landscape for the best fit.

Once you have a copy of the full image, you need to do a screen shot of the relevant lines for your ancestors. I have found that Ancestry’s print current view routine does not give me what I want. I use a piece of free software called PrintKey. You should be able to find it online. One of the features I really like is the ability to identify a rectangular area of the screen to save or print rather than the entire screen. You also have both print and save options - or a copy option if you want to put a screenshot into another document.

So, when you are done, you should have 3 pages for each census record - the full page, the citation and a close-up of your ancestors.

How to prepare your Mayflower Application

In the last couple of months, I have received applications from several people who did not follow our instructions on how to put an application together. This has meant lots more work for me to reorganize, photocopy and search online for better copies of documents. Please read these instructions carefully before you send in any documentation!

A couple of issues ago, I pointed all of you to the articles written by Alicia Crane Williams on AmericanAncestors.org. In one article, she recommended that you code your documents by generation and event. I can appreciate her thinking, but I would prefer that you do not attempt to code anything. It takes me longer to proof and correct what you might use as codes than it would be for me to do it all myself.

Completed worksheets and documentation should only be sent to the Historian (Ann). No documents or fees should ever be sent to the Assistant Historian (David).

You only need one copy of your completed worksheet. It must be signed. If you made corrections to the one that was sent to you on your computer, please highlight them so those same changes get made on your finished application. I tend to work from the documentation so if there is something you want me to see, make sure you highlight it!
If you hand-write your worksheet, please make sure it is legible.
When you record sources on the worksheet, abbreviate so I know which document you mean – you do not need a full citation as we will be sending the documents themselves to the Historian General in Plymouth.
If the information you want us to use is difficult to find on the document, please use a post it note to point out the relevant data. If I can’t find it, I can’t use it. This is critical on old, hand-written documents that may be hard to decipher.
Submit 2 copies of each piece of documentation (keep the originals in your own files). One copy will be sent to Plymouth and the second remain in the files of the Ohio Society until your file is put into storage at the Ohio Genealogical Society library. At that time, per your request on your preliminary application, the documents on the living will be returned to you, shredded or the critical details redacted.
All the documents you submit will be scanned, so do not staple pages together. All documents should be letter or legal sized and single sided. Any document or photograph smaller than 8 ½ x 11 must be either photocopied on a letter sized piece of paper, or securely taped to one.
Do not write on the front of your proofs; if needed, make any notes on post-it notes or other notes attached with paper clips. No highlighters please! You do not need post-its on birth, marriage or death certificates.
Note the generation number on the back of the documents in pencil.
Do not enclose any documents in plastic sheet protectors, file folders or binders.
Do not submit duplicates of documents if they support more than one generation – keep all pages of the document together and make a note on the back in pencil indicating the relevant generations.
All documents must be legible – if we can’t read it, you can’t use it.
Please do sort your documents by generation with your own generation at the top - you should have 2 complete packets of proofs. Keep each packet together with a clip or rubber band or put them in an envelope.
If you have a copy of a previous Mayflower Society application that parallels your line, please include one copy with your packet.
Do not include any documents that you have not referenced.
Do not include any documents for your children. We don’t need them until they are over 18 and ready to apply for full membership.
If several members of your family are applying at the same time, you can send all the documentation together. If this is a new line for the Society, one application will be sent to Plymouth to open the line, and then the other family members can be sent after the first line has been approved.

Don't Get Red Flagged - first published in 2011

At the Historian’s meeting at the Triennial Congress in September 2011, the staff at the Historian General’s office reviewed several common documentation problems that can result in a rejected application. Make sure this does not happen to you!

1. Relying on a single secondary source to link the line carriers - the link between the line carriers is the most important part of your lineage to prove. Primary documentation is the best to make the link, but if you have to rely on secondary sources, you must have more than one good secondary source to corroborate the link.
2. Including documentation that doesn’t support your line - remember, the document has to say what you are trying to prove! Census records from 1850-1870 include all the names in the household but no relationships so they are not sufficient to link line carriers.
3. Same name, wrong person - just because you have a John Smith in MA in 1800 and a John Smith in OH in 1850 does not mean they are the same man. You need more documentation to show they are indeed the same person.
4. Geographic leaps - we know our ancestors had to migrate from MA to OH, but make sure the path and the dates make sense!
5. Age discrepancies - make sure the ages of the parents make sense in relation to the birth date of the next generation.
6. Multiple marriages - all marriages for both the line carrier and the spouse should be noted. If Jane Doe married John Grey, but her death certificate says Jane White, you need to document when and how her name changed with marriage, divorce and death records.
7. Missing maiden names - this is particularly critical when the line carrier is female. Say Jane Doe is your line carrier and you are trying to document that John Smith Jr. was her son. If his birth record just says his parents were John and Jane Smith without her maiden name, you cannot be sure that John Sr. had not married twice to women named Jane without more proof.
8. Records from other generations - just because Jane Doe and John Smith were listed as the parents of Mary Smith does not prove that they were married or anything else about them.
9. Blank spaces - there should be no blank spaces in the documentation column where you have a place or date listed - you found that information somewhere. If your source is not admissible, we will put the data in [ ] to show that it is unproven.
10. Incomplete last three generations - make sure you have all applicable birth, marriage and death certificates for the last three generations. If events in previous generations occurred after such certificates were required by the state, we need to have them also. Remember to get long form certificates with parents’ names!

Genealogy Libraries in Ohio - first published in 2011

There are many libraries in Ohio that contain genealogy collections. Here is a list of a few that may help you with your research.
· Ohio Genealogical Society (www.ogs.org)
· Western Reserve Historical Society (www.wrhs.org)
· Ohio Historical Society (www.ohiohistory.org)
· State Library of Ohio (www.library.ohio.gov)
· Columbus Public Library (www.columbuslibrary.org) - if you are a member, you can access HeritageQuest and other databases online. You can live anywhere and be a member.
· Akron Public Library (http://sc.akronlibrary.org/genealogy/)
· Toledo Public Library (www.toledolibrary.org)
· Cincinnati Public Library (www.cincinnatilibrary.org/main/genlocal.html)

Check out your local library too - you may find lots of helpful information and even more helpful staff!

Articles on Application Process - first published in 2011

Alicia Crane Williams, General Society Assistant Historian General and Coordinator of the 5 Generations Project wrote a series of articles about applying for membership in the Mayflower Society that appeared in the American Ancestors magazine of the New England Historic Genealogical Society in 2006. Click on the links below to read her excellent advice on the application process and gathering the best possible evidence. If you are not a member of NEHGS, you will be prompted to register for a free guest account.

Application process - first published in 2011

The application for any lineage society can seem like a mysterious process. Here is a summary of the application steps for the Society of Mayflower Descendants. I have indicated the steps YOU need to complete and the ones we will do for you (OHMF).
You will be working with the Ohio Historian (Ann Gulbransen) and Assistant Historian (David Grinnell) as you develop your application. See below for which of us will help you with each step of the process.
1. YOU: Your first step is to complete a preliminary application. We cannot do any significant work on your file until you have submitted the prelim. If you did not submit an online inquiry about your lineage at the General Society website or have a family member with an approved lineage, we also ask you to complete a record of your lineage. You can download a copy of the preliminary application at www.ohiomayflower.org. Send the application to David, our Assistant Historian at the address on the form. You can send it by regular mail, scan it and send by email or sign it digitally and email it. (Let us know if you need directions on how to add a digital signature to a pdf document.)
2. OHMF: David will present the  preliminary application to the Ohio Board of Assistants for approval to proceed with the application.
3. OHMF:   David will create a worksheet for you to use as a tool to record the proof documents for your lineage. The worksheet is a rough draft and it is your responsibility to make any needed changes and additions. He will source the first 5-6 generations for you from the 5 Generations Project books and will try to get previously approved papers from Plymouth to help. If you already submitted a prelim and did not get (or cannot find) your worksheet, please contact David for a replacement. Once you have your worksheet from David, his job is done and Ann becomes your resource for the rest of the process.
4. YOU: Now is when you go to work to gather all the documents needed to prove your lineage. When we send the worksheet to you, we include guidelines to help. If you did not get these, please let either of us know and we will email a new copy. We understand that this process can take a long time and can be a lot of work, but we hope it will be rewarding.
5. YOU: Once you have everything collected, you will mail one signed copy of your completed worksheet and two copies of each document to Ann. She will review your documentation and work with you to rectify any gaps or weaknesses.
6. OHMF/YOU: Once all your documentation passes muster, Ann will send you a finished application for one more signature. You will be asked to pay your application fee at this time.
7. OHMF: Ann will send your signed application and one copy of your documentation to Plymouth for approval by the Historian General.
8. OHMF: Once the Historian General has approved your application, Ann will present your application to the Ohio Board of Assistants for them to elect you to membership. Once that is completed, Ann will notify you, and ask you to pay your dues for the current membership year.