There is no better feeling than to open up a compiled family genealogy and actually FIND the ancestor for whom you have hit a brick wall. There he is—his parents, his grandparents, all the dates and places, right there waiting for you. Perhaps the book even contains his line all the way back to a Mayflower passenger —how ecstatic are you? How quickly do you enter all of this information into your genealogy program and gleefully shout to the world that you have finally found your entire line? Not to put a damper on your discovery, but finding your genealogy, or part of it, in a family genealogy book is just the first step.
In the nineteenth and early part of the twentieth century, family genealogies were often written by members of that particular family who were very keen on getting their family into print. The author often related his family history in the most glorious terms—his people were heroes in every war, passengers on every famous ship, related to every politician and traced back to all the kings and queens. Unfortunately, one thing they were not so keen on was providing sources. Did they consult vital or church records? Did they scour cemeteries or court houses? Did they interview family members? In many, many cases, the sources for their information was not given. Does this make that particular family genealogy useless as a source? Certainly not— but you need to evaluate and verify what you find.
There are several multi-generation genealogies that pertain to specific Mayflower families, such as the following:
Alden, Ebenezer, Memorial of the Descendants of the Honorable John Alden. Randolph, Massachusetts: Samuel P. Brown, 1867. Available online at Internet Archive.
Alden, Mrs. Charles L., Elizabeth (Alden) Pabodie And Descendants. Salem: Eben Putnam, 1897. Available online at Internet Archive.
Allerton, Walter S., A History of the Allerton Family in the United States, 1585-1885, and a Genealogy of the Descendants of Isaac Allerton, “Mayflower Pilgrim”…Chicago, Illinois: Samuel Waters Allerton, 1900. Available online at Internet Archive.
Hall, Ruth G., Descendants of Governor William Bradford (through the first seven generations). 1951. Available online at Internet Archive.
Jones, Emma C.B., The Brewster Genealogy, 1566-1907…New York: The Grafton Press, 1908.Available online at Internet Archive.
Cushman, Joseph A., The First Seven Generations of the Cushman Family in New England. Massachusetts, 1964.
Doty, Ethan A., The Doty-Doten Family In America. Brooklyn, New York: Ethan A Doty, 1897. Available online at Internet Archive.
Fuller, William H., Genealogy of Some Descendants of Edward Fuller of the Mayflower. Palmer, Massachusetts: C.B. Fiske & Co. , 1908. Available on Internet Archive.
Fuller, William H., Genealogy of Some Descendants of Dr. Samuel Fuller of the Mayflower. Palmer, Massachusetts: C.B. Fiske & Co. 1910. Available online at Hathi Trust.
Howland, William, The Howlands In America. Gouverneur, New York: The York Press, Company 1939. Available online at Internet Archive.
Vinton, John, The Sampson Family. Genealogical Memoirs of the Sampson Family in America from the Arrival of the Mayflower in 1620 to the Present Time. Boston, Massachusetts: Henry W Dutton & Son, 1864. Available online at Google Books.
Standish, Myles, The Standishes of America. Boston, Massachusetts: Samuel Usher, 1895. Available online at Internet Archive.
Holton, Davis P. and Mrs. Frances K., Winslow Memorial. Family Records of Winslows and Their Descendants in America, with the English Ancestry, As Far as Known, Kenelm Winslow, 2 vols. New York: D-P Holton, MD, Publisher, 1877,1888. Available online at Internet Archive.
The above list is not complete but gives you an idea of what books are available for specific Mayflower lines. Most of the above genealogies carry the Mayflower lines up to the seventh generation and some beyond, therefore it is possible to find an early 1800s ancestor and in one book, find an entire line back to the immigrant ancestor.
Learn more about your Mayflower ancestors with our course “Research: Mayflower Ancestors”.