Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Applying to the Mayflower Society - Missing Documentation

The Florida local chapter of the Mayflower Society responded back to me today to let me know that I am missing two documents.  This doesn't mean they accept all the other documents, but just that I am missing two.

The Mayflower Society requests that you provide birth, marriage and death certificates for each generation.  Once you go back about a hundred years or more these become impossible to find (in many cases they don't even exist) and the society understand this.  However, where they do exist, such as all viral records in the last 100 years, they do require them.

I provided newspaper obituaries for my great grandmother, Elizabeth Fuller, and great grandfather, Robert Armstrong,  but I need to provide the death certificates which should be obtainable from the city where they lived/died.

I am going to drop requests for both those death certificates in the mail tomorrow.

They lived and died in Cape Elizabeth, Maine and I am requesting these death certificates directly from them.  Only $10 fee (in total).

Here is their website.

What I really appreciated was that the Historian of the Ft Lauderdale chapter had this to say about my application:

"I want to commend you on a job well done.  I have never seen anything more detailed than yours."

Well that feels good...

Monday, November 14, 2016

Applying to the Mayflower Society - Providing Documentation

In my last post, I mentioned that I had been researching my family for quite sometime.  I know some people spend a life time on this, but I have been working on it for about 6 years.  However, I will admit that I haven't been as diligent in conducting a lot of new research for the last few years.

I just felt it was time to put my "money where my mouth was" and prove that I am descended from Stephen Hopkins of the Mayflower.

I compiled all my research and just forwarded it the Ft Lauderdale Chapter of the Mayflower Society for review.   Here is the write up of information I sent to them (I have excluded the last 3 generations for privacy reason).  I have not included all the documents I sent to them, but if you would like to see any of them please contact me.

I will let you know what the next steps are when I hear back from them.


1.  Stephen Hopkins
2.  Giles Hopkins and Catherine Wheldon(Mayflower Families Vol 6 page 10 record 3)
3.  Deborah Hopkins and Josiah Cooke(Mayflower Families Vol 6 page 30 record 18)
4.  Deborah Cooke and Moses Godfrey(Mayflower Families Vol 6 page 113 record 88)
5.  David Godfrey and Priscilla Baker(Mayflower Families Vol 6 page 452 record 424)
6.  <dau.>  Godfrey and Peter Bishop(Mayflower Families Vol 6 page 453 record 424)

6.  Daughter Godfrey and Peter Bishop

Daughter Godfrey (her name is unknown) and Peter Bishop lived in New London, CT.  These records were lost in the fire of 1781 when Benedict Arnold burned the city during the Revolutionary War.

Daughter Godfrey and Peter Bishop had 4 children:
  • Simeon Bishop (b. 1755)
  • Elizabeth Bishop (est.1757 )
  • Lemuel Bishop (b. 1758 )
  • William Bishop (b. 5/5/1759)

Record of daughter Godfrey and Peter Bishop is captured in the “The Genealogy of the Bishop Family of Horton, NS” published in 1918(a).

7.  Elizabeth Bishop and Noah Fuller

Elizabeth Bishop was born in New London, CT probably about 1757.  These records were lost in the fire of 1781 when Benedict Arnold burned the city during the Revolutionary War.   Elizabeth Bishop married Noah Fuller on Nov 6 1777 (i).  The date of her death is unknown.  Proof of her relationship to David Godfrey is proven as she is mentioned as his granddaughter in his will (ii).

Noah Fuller was born in about 1750 likely in Salem, MA.  No records have been found of his birth.  His marriage to Elizabeth Bishop is shown in the Horton, Nova Scotia Township Book (i) which contains the towns early vital records.  Proof of his relationship to his father Noah Fuller is in Noah Fuller Sr. Will (iii).  There is no record of his death, but based on land transaction records it occurred after 1838 in Nova Scotia.

The Horton Township Record indicates that Noah and Elizabeth had at least 9 children: 
  • Lemuel  (b. 2/4/1779)
  • David (b. 4/13/1781)
  • Rebeccah (b. 12/17/1783)
  • Charlotte (b. 1/22/1786)
  • Olive (b. 2/21/1790)
  • Eliza (b. 7/4/1793)
  • Mary (b. 12/6/1797)
  • Noah (b. 4/2/1800)
  • Benjamin (b. unlisted)
8.  David Fuller and Mary Cary

David Fuller was born Apr 13, 1781 in Horton, Nova Scotia (i).  David Fuller married Mary Cary on Sep 10, 1812 (iv) .  The date of his death is unknown.   

Mary Cary was born about 1791(v).  She died in Portland, Maine on Sept 14, 1873 (v).  She is proved to be David Fuller’s widow based on being referred to as David’s widow in death notice (vi).

The Horton Township Book record records five of David and Mary’s Children (iv): 
  • Lavinia (b. 9/23/1813)
  • Rebecca (b. 8/23/1815)
  • Sephrona (b. 10/31/1817)
  • Matilda (b. 11/4/1819)
  • Martha (b. 10/18/1821) 
David and Mary had at least six additional children not recorded in the Horton Township Book records (it is also possible they moved to neighboring Windsor, but I cannot confirm):
  • David Bishop Fuller (b. 10/17/1823)
  • Benjamin (b. 12/1825)
  • James (b. 9/25/1827)
  • Theodore (b. 1829)
  • Andrew (b. 10/7/1831)
  • Collingwood (b. 1/6/1836)
 There was no legal requirement for births to be recorded in Canada at this time and Canadian records from this period are sometimes incomplete.

David and Marry lived in Horton (or the surrounding area) Nova Scotia.  They last appear in Nova Scotia in the Horton, Nova Scotia Census of 1838 (vii).  This shows David’s family as 13 total people.  This lines up well for what I believe I know about his family.  It indicates 5 women in the household above 14 years old.  This would include Mary (the mother) and 4 of the daughters.  The oldest daughter, Lavinia would have been 25 at this time and would likely be married and no longer be living at home.  I have not been able to find a record of Lavinia’s marriage to George Voye of Horton, Nova Scotia.  However, their first recorded child born is listed as Milward Voye born 4/14/1841.  In addition, the 1838 Horton Census indicates 1 male over age 14 presumably David (the father).  It indicates five males 14 years old or under (David Bishop, Benjamin, James, Theodore, Andrew, missing son) and two sons under age six (Collingwood and missing son).  It seems likely that there were two sons that must have died young.  Most of the David and Mary’s children are two years apart, but there is a five year gap between the birth of Andrew and Collingwood.      

David and Mary don’t appear in the next King’s County Census of Nova Scotia in 1851.   They left Nova Scotia and arrived prior to 1850.  The US Census from 1850 show them living with their sons:  James, Theodore, Andrew and Collingwood (Collingwood is listed by his middle name Elijah) (viii).  David and Mary must have arrived in Portland, Maine between 1840-1850, because they do not appear in the 1840 US Census.

Just in case there is any concern that the David and Mary Cary Fuller of Nova Scotia are not the same David and Mary Cary Fuller of Portland, Maine.  I have included several of their sons’ death records and daughter’s death record which indicate their birth in Horton, Nova Scotia and their parent’s names as David Fuller and Mary Cary.  In addition the fact that David Bishop Fuller’s middle name is “Bishop” is obviously referring to his grandmother’s family the Bishops.

·        David Bishop Fuller – Death 6/11/1901 (ix)  (Lists father are David Fuller and Mother as Mary Cary and birthplace as Horton, Nova Scotia.  Maine Death Record – June 11, 1901 – Proof of David Bishop Fuller’s middle name being “Bishop” comes from his son, William S. Fuller’s death record from 9/30/1916 (x) which states his father’s full name of David Bishop Fuller.
·        Andrew Hanley Fuller – Death 9/19/1914 (xi) Obituary lists Andrew’s birthplace as Horton, Nova Scotia and living in Portland, Maine
·        Benjamin Fuller – Death 12/2/1911 (xii) (Lists father as David Fuller and Mother as Mary Cary and place of birth as Nova Scotia)
·        Matilda Fuller Marine – Death 10/3/1901 (xiii) Matilda Fuller married Thomas Marine while living in Nova Scotia and moved to Standish, Maine prior to 1900.  (Lists father as David Fuller and Mother as Mary Cary and place of birth as Nova Scotia)

9.  James Henry Fuller and Margaret Armstrong O’Hagen

James Henry Fuller was born Sept 12, 1827 in Horton or Windsor, Nova Scotia (xiv).  He married Margaret Armstrong O’Hagen (Margaret was married prior to this marriage to Patrick O’Hagen) on Dec 31, 1882 (xv),  James Fuller died on Dec 21, 1917 at Sailor’s Snug Harbor on Staten Island, NY (xvi).  I have provided his death certificate from Sailor’s Snug Harbor and his application to live there.  Sailor’s Snug Harbor was an old age home for sailors.  He was probably too old to live on his own and his daughter was quite young.  The home was for American sailor’s which may be why he stated he was born in Eastport, Maine (which is close to the Canadian border).  We know this is the same James Fuller because it is the same exact birth date, his daughter is named Elizabeth in the document and on his daughter, Elizabeth’s marriage record it indicates that her father lives in New York (xviii).  

James and Margaret had one child together: 
·        Elizabeth Margaret Fuller  (b. 2/11/1886)

James wife, Margaret Armstrong O’Hagen Fuller was born about 1842 in Maine.  She died on Dec 23, 1891 (xvii)

10.  Elizabeth Margaret Fuller and Robert Edward Armstrong
Elizabeth Margaret Fuller was born on Feb 11, 1886 in Portland, Maine (xix).  She married Robert Edward Armstrong on Oct 22, 1910 (xviii).  Elizabeth died on Sep 23, 1971(xx).

Robert Armstrong was born on Apr 24, 1880 in Cape Elizabeth, Maine(xxi).  Robert Edward died Mar 31, 1963 in Cape Elizabeth, Maine (xxii).

Robert and Elizabeth had 4 children: 
·        Shirley (b. 7/22/1912)
·        Ruth  (b. 2/20/1914)
·        Marion  (b. 5/23/1917)
·        Robert  (b. 4/16/1920)

(a)         The Genealogy of the Bishop Family of Horton, NS pg. 9-10 published 1918
(i)               Horton Township Book, Horton, Nova Scotia  - Noah Fuller and Elizabeth Bishop Record
(ii)              David Godfrey’s Will
(iii)            Noah Fuller Sr. Will
(iv)            Horton Township Book, Horton, Nova Scotia – David Fuller and Mary Cary Record
(v)             Mary Cary Fuller Maine Death Record – Sept 14, 1873
(vi)            Mary Cary Fuller Death Notice, appeared Daily Eastern Argus Newspaper (Portland, Maine), Sept 16, 1873
(vii)           1838 Kings County Census – Horton Township
(viii)         US Census 1850 Portland, Maine
(ix)            David Bishop Fuller Maine Death Record – June 11, 1901
(x)             William S. Fuller Maine Death Record – Sept 30, 1916
(xi)            Andrew Hanley Fuller Obit – Sept 19, 1914
(xii)           Benjamin Fuller Maine Death Record – Dec 12,1911
(xiii)         Matilda Fuller Marine Maine Death Record – Oct 3, 1901
(xiv)         US Naturalization Record (F460) of James Fuller, Sept 4, 1872
(xv)          Maine, Marriage Records – James Fuller and Margaret Armstrong O’Hagen - Dec 31, 1882
(xvi)         James Fuller Death Certificate (Sailor’s Snug Harbor) and Application to Sailor’s Snug Harbor – Dec 21, 1917
(xvii)        Maine, Death Record – Margaret Armstrong O’Hagen Fuller - Dec 23, 1891
(xviii)      Maine, Birth Record  - Elizabeth Fuller – Feb 11, 1886
(xix)         Maine, Marriage Record - Elizabeth Fuller ad Robert Armstrong – Oct 22, 1910
(xx)          Elizabeth Armstrong Obituary, Portland Press Herald Newspaper (Portland, Maine), Sept 24, 1971
(xxi)         Maine, Birth Record – Robert Armstrong - Apr 24, 1880
(xxii)        Robert Armstrong Obituary – Portland Press Herald Newspaper (Portland, Maine) , Apr 2, 1963

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Applying to the Mayflower Society - Preliminary Results

The good news is I submitted my Preliminary Review on November 6th and the website stated to expect 3-6 weeks for a reply.   They responded in only 3 days!!  Which was great.  I appreciated the quick response.

However, they were only able to tell me that no one had "proven" my family line back to the Mayflower, yet.   They were able to confirm the first six generations.  Stephen Hopkins to "daughter Godfrey".   Unfortunately, I already knew that.

Here is the part of the family lineage they confirmed.

1. Mayflower Pilgrim;  Stephen Hopkins
2. Son/Daughter:  Giles Hopkins              Spouse:  Catherine Wheldon
3. Son/Daughter:  Deborah Hopkins         Spouse:  Josiah Cooke
4. Son/Daughter:  Deborah Cooke            Spouse:  Moses Godfrey
5. Son/Daughter:  David Godfrey             Spouse:  Priscilla Baker
6. Son/Daughter:  "Daughter" Godfrey     Spouse:  Peter Bishop

Yay!  Only 7 generations to prove.

As part of the Preliminary Review results, the Mayflower Society send them to you and the local chapter to alert them of your interest in becoming a member.  While I was reviewing the results, I received a call from a very nice lady, Linda, the Historian for the Ft Lauderdale, FL chapter.

We had a great talk and she is very happy to help me complete my full application for membership and help me prove my lineage.

Luckily, I have been conducting this genealogy research from quite some time and have been documenting my research.  I should be able to submit my initial application for their review in a few days and start the process of seeing what questions they have on my research and seeing what documents or proof I may be missing.

I will keep you posted.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Applying to the Mayflower Society - Step 1

I have been researching my family tree for over 5 years.  It has been a labor of love and I have found it rewarding and interesting.

Based on my research, I believe that I am descended from Stephen Hopkins of the Mayflower.  

I have amassed all my research.   While I am very confident in my research, I decided I would like to "prove" my research to be accurate by applying for membership to the Mayflower Society.   I know that many people apply for the Mayflower Society each year, so I decided to document my application process, how long it takes and what I learn during the process.

Hopefully you will find this of interesting.

The first step is going to their website.  https://www.themayflowersociety.org

The application process is handled at the state membership societies.  I live in Florida, so that would be the logical society for me to join.  It is interesting to note that different societies have different membership fees and I don't believe there is a requirement for you to join the society specifically for the state you live in.

The Mayflower Society has a Preliminary Review form you can submit to the society for a cost of $25.  Why use this form?  The idea is that if other descendants have already proved genealogy relationship for some of your ancestors to the Mayflower then you don't have to provide as much documentation.  For example, lets say an uncle has already provided all the family documentation to join the society, you have a lot less work to do.

I have used his Preliminary Review form several years ago and there wasn't much from any family members who had documented a relationship from my family to Stephen Hopkins.  This was disappointing, but also was several years ago.  I am going to submit again in the hopes that someone has done some of the work for me. 

Here is the genealogy I am submitting today.  I have left off the last 3 generations as I want to protect the privacy of the most recent family members.

Once submitted, it is supposed to take three to six weeks to hear back to inform me of where there are information gaps in linking my genealogy to Stephen Hopkins and communicate next steps.   

1. Mayflower Pilgrim;  Stephen Hopkins
2. Son/Daughter:  Giles Hopkins          Spouse:  Catherine Wheldon
3. Son/Daughter:  Deborah Hopkins     Spouse:  Josiah Cooke
4. Son/Daughter:  Deborah Cooke        Spouse:  Moses Godfrey
5. Son/Daughter:  David Godfrey         Spouse:  Priscilla Baker
6. Son/Daughter:  Elizabeth Godfrey    Spouse:  Peter Bishop
7. Son/Daughter:  Elizabeth Bishop      Spouse:  Noah Fuller
8. Son/Daughter:  David Fuller             Spouse:  Mary Cary
9. Son/Daughter:  James Fuller             Spouse:  Mary Armstrong O'Hagen
10.Son/Daughter:  Elizabeth Fuller       Spouse:  Robert Armstrong 

I will blog about each step in the process.