The Society of Mayflower Descendants in the State of Illinois is a not-for-profit hereditary and lineage organization. It is affiliated with the General Society of Mayflower Descendants and in 1897 was one of the first state societies in the country to be recognized by the General Society.
Any person that is able to prove a bloodline to one or more passengers who sailed on the historic voyage to the Americas on the ship Mayflower in 1620 is eligible to apply for membership. The total current membership of the Illinois Society is about 1,100 members. The governance of our organization is entrusted to the Board of Assistants, a body of elected officers and board members. We have no permanent or paid staff and rely completely on the volunteer and uncompensated efforts of our membership.
In addition to reviewing, approving and maintaining document lines form Mayflower Passengers, the Society of Mayflower Desendants in the State of Illinois provides educational programs, publishes a newsletter for members, maintains a website, awards an annual educational scholarship, awards two research grants to Newberry Library scholars, assists non-members in searching family histories and provides support to libraries and schools across the state.
On June 10, 1897, the charter of The Society of Mayflower Descendants in the State of Illinois was granted by the Secretary of State in Springfield, Illinois. It became the first state society of the General Society of Mayflower Descendants, founded in January, 1897. The first meeting was held on June 14, 1897, (Flag Day) at the Auditorium Hotel to adopt a constitution, bylaws, and elect officers.
The Illinois Mayflower Society's membership is over 1,000 and there are over 250 Junior Associates, young people under the age of 18 who are eligible for membership.
The Great Prairie Colony was established in 2003 to serve members in the state outside of the Chicagoland area. It hold several meetings during the year in addition to participating in the May luncheon meetings and the November Annual meeting hosted by the State Society.
Who Were They?
As documented by William Bradford in his book Of Plymouth Plantation here is a list of the passengers of the Mayflower trip that came to America in the fall of 1620.
Mr. John Carver, Katherine his wife, Desire Minter, and two manservants, John Howland, Roger Wilder. William Latham, a boy, and a maidservant and a child that was put to him called Jasper More.
Mr. William Brewster, Mary, his wife, with two sons, whose names were Love and Wrestling. And a boy was put to him called Richard More, and another of his brothers. The rest of his children were left behind and came over afterwards.
Mr. Edward Winslow, Elizabeth his wife and two menservants called George Soule and Elias Story; also a little girl was put to him called Ellen, the sister of Richard More.
William Bradford and Dorothy his wife, having but one child, a son left behind who came afterward.
Mr. Isaac Allerton and Mary his wife, with three children, Bartholomew, Remember and Mary. And a servant boy John Hooke.
Mr. Samuel Fuller and a servant called William Button. His wife was behind, and a child which came afterwards.
John Crackston and his son John Crackston.
Captain Myles Standish and Rose his wife.
Mr. Christopher Martin and his wife and two servants, Solomon Prower and John Langmore.
Mr. William Mullins and his wife and two children, Joseph and Priscilla; and a servant, Robert Carter.
Mr. William White and Susanna his wife and one son called Resolved, and one born a-shipboard called Peregrine, and two servants named William Holbeck and Edward Thompson.
Mr. Stephen Hopkins and Elizabeth his wife, and two children called Giles and Constanta, a daughter, both by a former wife. And two more by this wife called Damaris and Oceanus; the last was born at sea. And two servants called Edward Doty and Edward Lester.
Mr. Richard Warren, but his wife and children were left behind and came afterwards. John Billington and Ellen his wife, and two sons, John and Francis.
Edward Tilley and Ann his wife, and two children that were their cousins, Henry Sampson and Humility Cooper.
John Tilley and his wife (Joan (Hurst) Rogers), and Elizabeth their daughter.
Francis Cooke and his son John; but his wife and other children came afterwards.
Thomas Rogers and Joseph his son; his other children came afterwards.
Thomas Tinker and his wife and a son.
John Rigsdale and Alice his wife.
James Chilton and his wife, and Mary their daughter; they had another daughter that was married, came afterward.
Edward Fuller and his wife, and Samuel their son.
John Turner and two sons; he had a daughter came some years after to Salem, where she is now living.
Francis Eaton and Sarah his wife, and Samuel their son, a young child.
Moses Fletcher, John Goodman, Thomas Williams, Digory Priest, Edmund Margesson, Peter Browne, Richard Britteridge, Richard Clarke, Richard Gardiner, Gilbert Winslow.
John Alden was hired for a cooper at Southampton where the ship victualed, and being a hopeful young man was much desired but left to his own liking to go or stay when he came here; but he stayed and married here.
John Allerton and Thomas English were both hired, the latter to go master of a shallop here, and the other was reputed as one of the company but was to go back (being a seaman) for the help of others behind. But they both died here before the ship returned.
There were also other two seamen hired to stay a year here in the country, William Trevor, and one Ely. But when their time was out they both returned.
These being about a hundred souls, came over in this first ship and began this work, which God of His goodness hath hitherto blessed. Let His holy name have the praise.
The elected Society Officers and Board of Assistants of the Society of Mayflower Descendants in the State of Illinois for the 2016-2017 year are:
Governor - John Schellinger
Deputy Governor - Leslie Lipschutz
Recording Secretary - Mary Morony
Membership Secretary - Donald Sherman
Treasurer - Jessica Schleinzer
Corresponding Secretary - Mary Gardner
Counselor & Education Chair - Max Brown
Co-Historian - Cary Stone-Greenstein
Co-Historian - Barbara Hofmann
Co-Historian - Vickie Wagner
Consulting Historian - Rosalie Clary
Elder - Carol Hyatt
Captain - Robert Anstine
Newsletter Editor & Webmaster - Karen Seda
Junior Member Chair - Jessica Schleinzer
Development & 2020 Chair - Arielle Dachman
Finance Chair - Jack Kemp
Scholarship & Family Photos Chair - Sue Erlick
Assistant - Sally Krigbaum
Assistant - Carolyn Pribble
Assistant - Judy Mayo
Past Governor - Jane Schleinzer
Purpose of the Illinois Society:
The objects of the Illinois Society shall be to perpetuate to a remote posterity the memory of our Pilgrim Fathers; to maintain and defend the principle of civil and religious liberty as set forth in the Compact of the Mayflower-- "for the glorie of God and the advancement of the Christian faith, and honor to our countrie;" to cherish and maintain the ideals and institutions of liberty, freedom, justice, and equality, and to oppose any theories or actions that threaten their continuity. To transmit the spirit, the purity of purpose and the steadfastness of will of the Pilgrim Fathers to those who shall come after us, an undiminished heritage of liberty and law. Our purpose is also to educate and to promote the objectives of the General Society.
Mission Statement of the Illinois Society:
To promote Mayflower history and ideals.
Below is the Mayflower Compact, signed in the cabin of the "Mayflower" on Nov. 21st, 1620 (which would be Nov. 11th of the Old Style Calendar).
"In the Name of God. Amen.
We whose names are underwritten, the loyal subjects of our dread sovereign Lord, King James, by the grace of God, of Great Britain France and Ireland King, Defender of the Faith, etc.
Having undertaken, for the glory of God, and advancement of the Christian faith and honor of our King and Country, a voyage to plant the first colony in the northern parts of Virginia, do by those presents solemnly and mutually in the presence of God, and of one another covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil body politic, for our better ordering and preservation and futherance of the ends aforesaid; and by virtue hereof to enact, constitute and frame such just and equal laws, ordinances, acts constitutions and offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the general good of the Colony; unto which we promise all due submission and obedience.
In witness hereof we have hereunder subscribed our names at Cape Cod the 11 of November, in the year in the reign of our sovereign Lord King James of England, France , and of Ireland the eighteenth, and of Scotland the fifty-fourth. Anno. Dom. 1620."
A downloadable and printable .pdf brochure about the Society of Mayflower Descendants in the State of Illinois can be found here.
Signers of the Mayflower Compact include:
*The Mayflower Passengers from whom descent has been proven.
**Includes descent from wife or child on the Mayflower.
The Mayflower Passengers who were too young to sign the compact, but from whom descent has been proven:
Richard More and Henry Samson