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The Mayflower Descendant

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Read the history of the Mayflower Descendant

The Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Descendants has published its genealogical scholarly journal, The Mayflower Descendant, since 1899. Created by George Ernest Bowman, founder of the Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Descendants and the father of Mayflower genealogy, the journal focused on transcriptions or abstracts of original records that were not available to the general public. Many important documents have been preserved in text and photos within the pages of the journal, allowing countless researchers to enjoy the rich resources found within its pages.

In early 2015 MSMD reviewed options for the best possible stewardship of this journal. We are thrilled to announce a new ten-year agreement with the New England Historic Genealogical Society to publish The Mayflower Descendant. Publication will be twice a year, and continue the tradition of high genealogical scholarship focused on the Mayflower passengers, the towns they founded, their extended families, and their eventual migration away from Plymouth Colony.

MSMD Board of Assistants member Polly FitzGerald Kimmitt CG(SM) will serve on the Editorial Board as Consulting Editor, providing a liaison between MSMD and NEHGS. There is no institution better qualified than NEHGS to maintain the high standards George Ernest Bowman put in place so many years ago. We know our members will enjoy seeing this new iteration of our journal come to fruition.

PDFs of every past issue are now available for sale in our store.

Person Surname Indexes are available for free!

Volumes 60-63 [2011-2014] are available from our office. Digital downloads NOW AVAILABLE!!!

Volumes 1-59 [1899-2010] can be purchased from the MSMD online store & are also available (for a fee) on the website of The New England Historic Genealogical Society. Visit their for more information.

Volumes 1-34 (1899-1937), were reprinted in softcover by Heritage Books and some are still available on their website.

Many early volumes can be found for free on Google Books

You can use the Periodical Source Index (PERSI) as a subject index to past issues. Over the past 30 years the Allen County Public Library (ACPL) Genealogy Center has created more than 2.5 million searchable index entries in the Periodical Source Index (PERSI), indexing every article from more than 8,000 different periodicals, including magazines, newsletters and journals, by location, topic, surname, ethnicity and methodology. ACPL is now partering with to enhance PERSI by linking index entries with their corresponding articles. Check for updates.  



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