Mayflower family: GSMD Research Library connects the dots for Chilton descendants

Equipped with their great-grandfather’s family tree and determination, these three sisters were hoping to learn more about their possible Mayflower roots. 

When sisters Kate Brendler, Jane Buchi and Elizabeth Sandri paid a visit to the GSMD Research Library in Plymouth last week, they came to explore their family's roots – a possible connection to Mayflower passenger James Chilton, outlined on their great-grandfather's hand-drawn family tree.

chilton tree

From left to right: Kate Brendler, Jane Buchi and Elizabeth Sandri.

What they didn’t know was that their great-grandfather was actually an early member of the Mayflower Society; GSMD Research Library staff confirmed that he joined 100 years ago, in 1919, on the eve of the 300th anniversary of the Mayflower voyage.

Now, 100 years later, his great-granddaughters came to Plymouth to see if they could confirm their Mayflower lineage – on the cusp of the 400th anniversary.

… Anybody have goosebumps?!

 Many families hold tradition that they are Mayflower descendants; does yours? If you are interested in exploring membership to the General Society and think a relative of yours may already be a member, contact Membership Services at

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