One at a time, I have been collecting birth, marriage, and death certificates, cemetery pictures, obituaries, census records, county and town histories, and other records that prove the births, marriages, deaths, and family links going back almost 300 years. Thankfully, the 100 years before that (approximately) has already been researched and confirmed by the General Society of Mayflower Descendants. At this point, I have a documented date and place for almost every fact connecting me back to Mercy Sampson -- an accepted Mayflower Descendant born in Kingston, Plymouth, Massachusetts on 15 May 1731.
I just need a couple more records before I feel I am ready to join the society. Now, whether or not my documents are enough or need supplementation is the big question. I have contacted the Oklahoma Society of Mayflower Descendants and submitted my preliminary application. They are in the process of reviewing the documents I have so far and will let me know what the strengths and weaknesses are.
This has been an interesting journey as I find and share information with my mom and grandmother about our ancestors' origins. None of us grew up with Mayflower family legends. Being a "Mayflower Descendant" isn't something any of us imagined. I discovered it quite by accident one day when I finally broke through one of the brick walls in our genealogy.
My grandmother came from a family of Iowa farmers. Their roots go deep there. Five generations lived in that beautiful state. Most of them were Iowa born, and any exoduses away were short lived.
|It is likely my 2nd great grandfather, Lee Beem (shown with his wife Anna), had no knowledge of his ancestors' Mayflower heritage. This was taken in 1905 for their wedding and is the earliest photo we have from this family line.|
Sarah's lineage was unraveled after a large number of Maine vital records were added to Ancestry.com. Finding Samuel and Sarah's marriage record from Rumford, Oxford, Maine was only the beginning of the breakthroughs. The records led me back a few generations in Maine. Town histories filled in some of the details.
Sarah was the daughter of Isaac Whittemore, Jr. and Mary "Polly" Dean. Isaac Jr. was the son of Isaac Whittemore, Sr. and his wife Deborah Weston. It was Deborah who was born in Massachusetts in 1758 and moved north into Maine with her parents John Weston and Mercy Sampson sometime before her marriage to Isaac in 1784.
By the way, I still need proof of John and Mercy Weston's deaths, if anyone is able to help. :)
This is just a glimpse at a long family history that could be compiled. There is so much to learn and discover!