Genealogical publications can be extremely helpful in your family history research. Genealogical and historical journals provide us with the latest research on a particular family as well as providing corrections of long-ago errors. Journal articles also teach us proper methodology in compiling a genealogy, documenting our research, and citing our sources.
How do you find journal articles of interest? PERSI, short for the Periodical Source Index is the largest subject index to all of the genealogical and historical periodical articles written since 1800 and was created by the staff of the genealogy department at the Allen County Public Library at Fort Wayne, Indiana. This index contains 2.7 million entries from thousands of publications. The articles are indexed according to family surname, locality, and research methodology. You can search PERSI at Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana or by searching it online through the subscription website Findmypast.
There are certain genealogical journals which are more apt to print articles concerning Plymouth Colony and Mayflower research and thus are likely to be of benefit to you in tracing your Mayflower lines. They include:
The Mayflower Descendant, published by the Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Descendants, was begun in 1899 with George Ernest Bowman as editor until 1937. The Mayflower Descendant is a rich source of material that has aided the research of Mayflower genealogies and Bowman himself did more to advance this cause than any other researcher of his time. He was the pioneer in Mayflower genealogies; it is from his many years of research and the continuing research of those who built on his work to provide us with what we know today.
This journal contains much in the way of ongoing transcriptions of records including church, cemetery and vital records; probates & deeds and records of town meetings. In addition to the multitude of source records will be found articles on Mayflower families, some correcting old data and others relating new discoveries. DNA discoveries are also featured in some of the articles. This journal is available to search on the New England Historic Genealogical Society’s website American Ancestors.
New England Historical & Genealogical Register, begun in 1847 is the longest continually published genealogical journal “focusing on authoritative compiled genealogies” and is included with membership in the New England Historic & Genealogical Society. It specializes in publishing well documented articles on colonial families and as well as the English origins of these immigrants.
Digitized copies of the Register are available on the American Ancestors website.
The American Genealogist (TAG) founded in 1922 by Donald Lines Jacobus. Jacobus has been called by many as one of America’s greatest genealogists and it was he who introduced and insisted on the necessity of citing original sources and thus improving genealogical standards. Frequent are its articles on Plymouth colony and Mayflower families where new research has often been uncovered and old myths put to rest by some of the best researchers in the field. Their issues are not available online, however, you can view a table of contents starting with volume 9 on their website, American Genealogist.
Learn more about journals that feature information on Mayflower passengers and descendants from our course “Research: Mayflower Ancestors”.