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Anyone who can document his or her lineage from one of the following twenty-nine Mayflower passengers is eligible to apply for membership in the Society of Mayflower Descendants. Although one need not be a resident in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in order to join, and the Pennsylvania Society welcomes all who wish join, prospective applicants are cautioned that if they live outside of the Commonwealth, with the exception of General Society events, they will only receive notification of events held within the Commonwealth. Thus if they anticipate taking an active part in the Society of Mayflower Descendants by holding office, serving on committees, attending social events, etc., they would do best by applying to the state Society in which they reside. Additionally, if a move to a state other than the one in which they plan to join is anticipated, they should be aware that Life Memberships are not transferable. Dual membership, however is possible, but dues are then payable to each state society.

The Pilgrims

Most people know the story of the Mayflower which set sail in 1620 for the New England Coast of America. It carried 102 passengers of English origin. Most of the passengers were Pilgrims who were seeking a new home which would be free from religious persecution, yet one in which they could retain their English identity and way of life. The remainder of those on board were seeking a new home for the betterment of their personal situation, or for possible financial gain.

The Mayflower Compact

Signing of the Mayflower Compact by J.L.. FerrisWhen the Mayflower was safely anchored at Cape Cod, the Pilgrims drew up a civil document which established the democratic system by which they wished to govern themselves. This document has come to be known as The Mayflower Compact.

John Quincy Adams described The Mayflower Compact as "the first example in modern times of a social compact or system of government instituted by voluntary agreement conformable to the laws of nature, by men of equal rights and about to establish their community in a new country."

Winston S. Churchill said of the Compact, "...one of the remarkable documents in history, a spontaneous covenant for political organization."

The Mayflower Descendants

In remembering those early settlers and founders of democracy, the descendants of those Pilgrims have formed a Society for the purpose of 1) perpetuating the memory of their Pilgrim fathers, 2) maintaining the democratic principles of civil and religious liberty as set forth in the Mayflower Compact, and 3) fostering the ideals and institutions of American Freedom.

Why Should You Be Interested?

1. You Would be honoring the memory of those forefathers who helped set the pattern for our great democracy.

2. You would enter into the fellowship of people who share a common history and ancestry in the passengers of the Mayflower.

3. By joining the Society of Mayflower Descendants, your genealogical record would be filed in a secure place.

4. Having your records on file with the Society, it would be easier for your descendants to establish their genealogical lines. It would be a gift to your descendants to do this for them now. Make your family heritage available to them.

5. Through the programs of the Society history can be made to come alive for you.

6. This is an era of mobility. If you should move to a new locality, your annual membership can be transferred. This would enable you to meet new people more quickly and easily, and thus, become better acquainted in your new home. It could be your own Welcome Wagon, so to speak.

7. As a member, you would receive our General Society's Mayflower Quarterly, which provides up-to-date information on new discoveries in family lineage's.

Eligibility

Anyone who can document his or her lineage from one of the following twenty-nine Mayflower passengers is eligible to apply for membership in the Society of Mayflower Descendants:

The 29 passengers from whom descent has been proven are:
Alden, John Fisher, Elizabeth Priest, Degory
Allerton, Isaac Fletcher, Moses Rogers, Thomas
Billington, John Fuller, Edward Samson, Henry
Bradford, William Fuller, Samuel Soule, George
Brewster, William Hopkins, Stephen Standish, Myles
Browne, Peter Howland, John Tilley, John
Chilton, James Hurst, Joan Warren, Richard
Cooke, Francis More, Richard White, William
Doty, Edward Mullins, William Winslow, Edward
Eaton, Francis Norris, Mary  

Although one need not be a resident in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in order to join, and the Pennsylvania Society welcomes all who wish join, prospective applicants are cautioned that if they live outside of the Commonwealth, with the exception of General Society events, they will only receive notification of events held within the Commonwealth. Thus if they anticipate taking an active part in the Society of Mayflower Descendants by holding office, serving on committees, attending social events, etc., they would do best by applying to the state Society in which they reside. Additionally, if a move to a state other than the one in which they plan to join is anticipated, they should be aware that Life Memberships are not transferable. Dual membership, however is possible, but dues are then payable to each state society.

Categories of Membership:

Regular a.k.a. Annual Membership: Those who are eighteen or more years of age. Annual Dues $40.00

Lifetime Membership: only pays one time during application procedure and encourage to contribute yearly (One time payment depending on age as follows: From birth to 10: $1020; 11 to 20: $960; 21 to 30: $900; 31 to 40: $810; 41 and older: $700.) - Those of any age.
**Those under the age of 18 may not hold office or vote.**

Junior Membership: Those who have not reached their 18th birthday may join under the sponsorship of a current SMDPA member blood relation without filing lineage papers. This category is NOT recognized by the General Society and membership expires on the individual's 25th birthday. They do receive newsletters. Annual Dues $15 per household.

Emeritus/Emerita Membership – After fifty years (50) of regular or life membership in the Society, or any combination thereof, a member shall be considered an emeritus/emerita member. Regular emeritus/emerita members will be excused thereafter from payment of annual dues.

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