Pilgrim’s Progress – The Mayflower Society

Update on My Application to Join The Mayflower Society

Two weeks ago I wrote about my intent to join The General Society of Mayflower Descendants. I began that process and sent my initial information to the historian of the Utah Chapter of The Mayflower Society. He was very prompt (and VERY helpful) in responding. In fact, my instincts tell me he did more than is “expected,” and in fact filled out some of the paperwork on my behalf.

Just like I reported in my first post about this process, he reviewed the existing evidence on my behalf. He even filled out my application and then pointed out where I need vital records to prove my relationship. Below is a portion of my Application that he filled out for me. Under “References” you will see the repeated use of “MF 4.” This refers to the fourth volume of the so-called “Silver Books.”

A portion of the Application showing descendancy from Edward Fuller.

The Silver Books

The Silver Book project, originally known as the Five Generations Project, traces the descendants of the Mayflower pilgrims. The aim of the project is to bridge the research gap between Plymouth Colony’s beginnings and Revolutionary times for researchers

These authoritative books are now advancing beyond the first five generations from the Mayflower. They represent meticulous research of primary sources done by professionals and experts in the area. While research continues their findings are also available as the “Mayflower Families in Progress” pamphlets. Both the books and the pamphlets are available for sale to the public.

Vital Records

Immediately after receiving the partially completed application, I began gathering vital records to substantiate the more recent generations. The Historian indicated on the application for which people I needed birth, marriage, or death certificates. I was fortunate that nearly all of the people I needed documentation for, lived and/or died in Arizona. I say fortunate because I can get these online at the Arizona Department of Health Services (http://genealogy.az.gov/)!

In addition, I asked my parents for copies that they had in their possession. I have nearly gathered everything that was requested and I look forward to seeing what is next in my journey to join The Mayflower Society!

Birth Certificate of Florabel Tiffany Taylor.


While searching for the records to document my line to Edward Fuller I came across this gem of a photo on FamilySearch.org. The picture below represents four generation of women starting with my great-grandmother, Florabel Tiffany and her twin sister Oradel. Florabel is the one looking sassy on the far right! Standing is their mother, Ellen Celeste Earl (Tiffany). The twins are flanking their grandmother (Ellen’s mother), Zilpha Diadama Fuller (Earl). Seated on the far left is the matriarch, Ellen Celeste Woodward. The photo was taken over 100 years ago in August of 1912.

Four Generation Photo

Ellen Celeste Woodward was born in Worcester, Massachusetts in 1831. She married Elijah Knapp Fuller in 1851 in Salt Lake City, Utah. She and Elijah were early converts to the Mormon faith and pioneered across the plains to Utah. They moved to Harrisburg (near St. George) in Southern Utah in 1861/1862. By the 1900 census they were in Pine, Gila, Arizona. This amazing woman reached 85 years of age. Clearly, the pioneering spirit of the Pilgrims continued to flow strongly through her veins!

This photo is a treasure. It was “hiding in plain sight” in the Memories section of FamilySearch. Another great reason to just spend time browsing through the Gallery there! A great thing to do when you only have a short time to spend on family history!

Pilgrim’s Progress

One final note. To be clear, “Pilgrim’s Progress” has nothing to do with the “Pilgrims” of The Mayflower, other than their fate with the rest of humankind to pass through this life on our eternal journey. The author, John Bunyan, wrote the allegory in 1678, and was contemporary to some of the non-conformists that came to the Plymouth Colony. I just liked the sound of it!

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