- Approved over 2,000 Membership applications and supplementals and over 2,700 Preliminary Reviews, providing a robust stream of members and potential members to our Member Societies.
- Established several strategic partnerships to further our mission of raising public awareness and increasing understanding of the importance of the Pilgrim’s lives and legacies. Login and learn more about the benefits of these partnerships: New England Historic Genealogical Society and digitizing the fifth generation of the Mayflower Families Silver Books, Family Tree DNA and the Mayflower DNA Project and Muriel Cushing’s ongoing Pilgrim to Passenger Project. Stay tuned for more details in 2018 about a new partnership with FamilySearch to digitize and index all Mayflower applications.
- Expanded our Family Society Partnership Program to include 12 new Family Societies.
- Progressed our Silver Books Project to the sixth generation of ancestors, naming the seventh and, this year, published John Billington, Volume Twenty-One, Part 2, compiled by John B. Arthaud, FASG, and reviewed by Jane Fletcher Fiske, FASG.
- Released several new gift items exclusive to GSMD members only, including a Mayflower Descendant 2020 vanity license plate. For new Insignia, GSMD introduced a Past Colony Governor Medallion and 10 and 25 Year Member Anniversary Pins.
- Thanks to all our donors, grew our Garden Walkway Project by 130 inscribed bricks this year.
Visitors enjoyed learning about the Golden Age of Piracy from our re-enactors
- Our third annual Pirates Ashore family event, a re-enactment of the arrival of 80 “English Pirates” to Plimoth Colony in 1646, was a resounding community success this year and brought more than 400 visitors to the Mayflower Society House property in one day!
- Conducted our first lecture series at the Mayflower Society House featuring authors Dr. Kari Miller and George Goodwin, and a Colonial music concert with David and Ginger Hildebrand of the Colonial Music Institute.
Pilgrim Embarkation by Albert E. Clayton of Plymouth, England
- Opened the GSMD Member Welcome Center within the Mayflower Society House which showcases a new gift, the painting ‘Pilgrim Embarkation’ (pictured), donated to the Society by Ms. June Ayres of Worcester, MA.
- With funds raised by the Governor General’s 1620 Club, created an ADA-compliant bathroom within the center for public use, broadening our accessibility for visitors.
- A group of undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in Umass-Boston’s Summer Field School at the Fiske Center for Archaeological research completed surveys and shovel tests on the Mayflower Society house property. The project was directed by 2016 PARC recipients Dr. David Landon and Dr. Chista Beranek as part of ongoing efforts to locate as much evidence of the 17th Century community of Plymouth Colony as possible.
Descendants in England at historic Scrooby Manor
- The GSMD Historic Sites Committee organized 40 descendants for the 2017 Mayflower trip to visit historic Pilgrim sites in England and Holland. Login and read about their trip in the Winter 2017 issue of the Mayflower Quarterly Magazine.
- At the 41st Mayflower General Congress in September, approved several proposals and elected the following Executive Committee for the 2017-2020 term:
Governor General – George P. Garmany Jr., MD of the Colorado Society
Assistant Governor General – Susan E. Roser of the Canadian Society
Secretary General – Jane E. Hurt of the Kansas Society
Treasurer General – Elizabeth “Liz” W. Gaudreau of the Colorado Society
Historian General – Marjorie "Midge" K. Hurtuk of the Connecticut Society
Elder General – Rev. Dr. Thomas F. Pike of the New York Society
Captain General – Jeff Stark of the Wisconsin Society
Surgeon General – Naomi S. Mann, MD of the Louisiana Society
Counsellor General – Richard S. Gilmore, Esq. of the Massachusetts Society
Member at Large West – Lisa Pennington of the Texas Society
Member at Large East – Donald T. Studley, CPA of the Connecticut Society
Member at Large – Jane Schleinzer of the Illinois Society
- Proposals approved at Congress included moving forward from the ‘Joint Venture Agreement’ to forming a ‘Charitable Trust’ with First Parish Church to raise the necessary funds to restore and preserve the National Pilgrim Memorial Meetinghouse and the proposal of the New England Historic Genealogical Society and FamilySearch to digitize and index all Mayflower applications on file.
1620 Club Banquet at the Hotel 1620, Plymouth, MA
GSMD thanked our most generous donors with a local, historical tour and the 1620 Club Banquet in September. At the banquet, we awarded the 2017 Pilgrim Academic Research Award to Pilgrim scholar Jeremy Bangs. His colleague Jori Zijlmans of the Netherlands accepted the award on his behalf.
With regret, but warm wishes, Dr. Walter Powell retired as the first Executive Director of the General Society of Mayflower Descendants, giving us the opportunity to hire new Executive Director Susan Belekewicz in September 2017.
Successfully removed the balustrade on the Mayflower Society House to ready the roof for important repairs. We hope to restore a new balustrade replica in time for the 2020 celebrations.
2017 was a formative time for our Society and we look forward to working with our membership of Mayflower descendants, our 53 Member Societies, potential members, local organizations and the town of Plymouth as we prepare for the 400th Anniversary of the founding of Plimoth Colony in 2020.
Thank you for your support! It is because of you that we can look forward to continuing the long history of success of our Society!