SALT LAKE CITY — Because 26 Mayflower families survived their first winter in North America 400 years ago, there are an estimated 35 million descendants walking around today.

Could you be one of them?

Thanks to a collaborative effort by three genealogical organizations, it’s now easy to find out.

In timing with the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower landing at Plymouth, Massachusetts, in 1620, FamilySearch InternationalAmericanAncestors.org (New England Historic Genealogical Society) and the General Society of Mayflower Descendants, have worked together to create a free online database with access to tens of thousands of Mayflower Society member applications and documented descendant family trees of the Mayflower passengers, according to a FamilySearch statement.

George Garmany, governor general of the General Society of Mayflower Descendants, second from left, Brenton Simons, president and CEO of New England Historic Genealogical Society, third from left, and Steve Rockwood, president and CEO of FamilySearch International, fourth from left, discuss a collaboration to digitize records of Mayflower descendants during RootsTech at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City on Friday, Feb. 28, 2020. | Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

The new verified records, which include over 1 million images, are searchable at FamilySearch.org/Mayflower and AmericanAncestors.org.

The three partnering organizations started the project in 2017 and announced it last February at RootsTech, the largest family history conference in the world.

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RootsTech: Digitization project may connect you to a Mayflower passenger

George Garmany, governor general of the General Society of Mayflower Descendants, said it’s never been easier to trace your Pilgrim heritage.

“This project will make the Mayflower Society’s verification process easier and records more accessible,” he said in a FamilySearch statement. “A great many people are Mayflower descendants who don’t know it.”

The online database was built using the 30-volume publication, “Mayflower Families through Five Generations: Descendants of the Pilgrims Who Landed at Plymouth, Massachusetts, December 1620,” and the documented applications for membership in the General Society of Mayflower Descendants, submitted from 1896 to early 2019.

“This project will make the Mayflower Society’s verification process easier and records more accessible. A great many people are Mayflower descendants who don’t know it.” — George Garmany

The merger of these two sources produced a single representation for each Pilgrim and their descendants from the late 1500s to 1910, according to a FamilySearch statement.

One way to find out if you have a connection to Pilgrims, Garmany suggests, is by your scanning family tree for ties to New England. If you find something, use the database to see if that ancestral line has been previously verified through one of the member applications.

Another option would be to search relativefinder.org.

Before this project, the only way to view General Society of Mayflower Descendants records was as a member or with one of the historians, Lea Filson, a former governor general of the Mayflower Society said at RootsTech.

“I think that the genealogy community is going to be thrilled because what it’s really about is getting access to records to find out who you are and who your people are,” she said after the announcement.

“With 10 million people in America that are descended and 35 million worldwide, your chances are pretty good that you may find a line. The reason it’s so important to then join the general society is because then you’ve got an authentic, proven, approved lineage in our vault that will be there forever.”

To take a virtual tour of the Mayflower, visit familysearch.org.