Thanks to the Pilgrims, there’s a new way to distract your family from talking politics this Thanksgiving.
In a newly launched website, the Boston-based New England Historic Genealogical Society published what it’s calling the world’s first online gallery of Mayflower passenger descendants. And now, if you believe you have a little Alden, Bradford, Brewster or another of the 108 Mayflower passengers and crew blood in you, you can add your name to its map of descendents.
The website provides the names and biographies of the 108 Mayflower passengers and crew members who were known to have left descendents. Descendents can link to their Mayflower ancestor and post their name, photograph, and other identifiers, along with a brief synopsis on what it means to have your family come from the Pilgrims.
The Genealogical Society notes it does not verify the ancestry of the public posting. There is an official list of the Mayflower diaspora, people who have to their lineage confirmed by one of the society’s historians and can become members of The General Society of Mayflower Descendents. The Genealogical Society also gives verified descendents a family tree documenting each generation, as well as the evidence proving the lineage.
Confirming your Pilgrim heritage may also bring you into closer contact with some other famous Mayflower descendents, such as Marilyn Monroe (Alden), Julia Child (Brewster), or even Christopher Reeve (Bradford).
While the group already had an online database that allows users to look up ancestors, the new website allows for Mayflower descendents to connect with one another by posting their location.
There are an estimated 30 million living descendants of Mayflower passengers and crew scattered around the world, according to the group, which launched the website as part of its preparations for the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower’s passage in 2020.
The Mayflower II, a replica of the ship that carried the Pilgrims to Plymouth in 1620, is currently getting a $7.5 million makeover in time for 2020 festivities.Material from the Associated Press was used in this report. Aimee Ortiz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on twitter @aimee_ortiz.