Position Opening - Director of Genealogy and Research Services

The General Society of Mayflower Descendants is pleased to announce a new position in the Library at the Plymouth Office: Director of Genealogy and Research Services (DGRS). Please see the position description below, or download a PDF of the description here
The General Society of Mayflower Descendants is a nonprofit organization established in 1897 to educate the public about the extraordinary story of the Pilgrims who came to America on the Mayflower in 1620.

The member organization is the gold standard for proving direct lineage to the Pilgrims through a network of professional genealogists located in Plymouth, MA and State Historians throughout the United States and Canada. GSMD publishes the ‘Silver Books’, (sometimes called The Mayflower Families) – a substantial genealogical series made available to the public which authenticates approved hereditary lineage from the Pilgrims.

Job Description:

GSMD seeks an individual who is passionate about family history and has the skill and desire to become the Director of Genealogy and Research Services (DGRS) in the Plymouth office. This person will be the department head, working closely with the genealogy staff and verifiers. He/she will report to the Executive Director on administrative matters. Key to the position is proven experience in genealogical research as well as experience managing a staff or department. Ideally, the candidate will have authored published material on genealogy.

The position is considered a staff position, is paid accordingly, and receives benefits afforded all employees who work a certain number of hours per month. Benefits such as vacation are earned based on time in the position. The DGRS is expected to abide by a 40-hour workweek in the Library. The position is not eligible for overtime pay.

Key Responsibilities:

     Prepare membership applications for approval by Historian General (HG)

     Direct verifiers working in both contracted and in-house positions

    Analyze and measure appropriate staff skill levels and time needed to meet task requirements. Monitor the number of papers received and adjust staff schedules as necessary while staying within budget

     Serve as the final staff authority for determining if applications are complete and will likely be approved by the HG

    Maintain regular and productive communication with State Historians and provide continuing training and professional development for them

      Manage all library services, have sole authority over lineage-related matters, monitor day-to-day activities of those directly in his/her department, and counsel individual employees to correct deficiencies in work

      Perform any and all other duties assigned by the Governor General or Executive Director

     Demonstrate a willingness to improve skills through continuing education or certification, and encourage and supervise the certification of skills for departmental staff


     Demonstrated knowledge of genealogical procedures and standards

     Demonstrated knowledge of the Mayflower Passengers

     Published work in peer reviewed journals a plus

      At least five-years-experience in the genealogy field

     Demonstrated ability to supervise staff

     Possession of strong organizational skills

     Experience in setting and completing self-motivated goals

     Good interpersonal and communication skills

     Computer skills

     BA Degree; MA or MLS preferred, or equivalent

     Genealogical certification a plus, or equivalent experience (Board For Certification of Genealogists, Washington, DC)

To apply, please send a single PDF file with cover letter and resume to:
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
or mail to:
Walter Powell, Executive Director
The General Society of Mayflower Descendants
4 Winslow Street, PO Box 3297
Plymouth, MA 02361


Application Deadline March 15th


General Society of Mayflower Descendants

2014 Scholarship Program

Now in its fourth year, the General Society of Mayflower Descendants (GSMD) Scholarship Program is again offering three scholarships to assist deserving direct descendants of GSMD members as they pursue higher education. The scholarships are for $5000, $2000 and $500.   

In the spirit of the Mayflower settlers seeking to better themselves by moving to a new and uncharted world, special consideration will be given to applicants whose demonstrated commitment to bettering themselves makes them especially likely to benefit from the opportunities this scholarship will make possible for them.

ANCESTRY REQUIREMENT   For an applicant to be considered for a Mayflower Scholarship, the Application Form must include a valid GSMD membership number for either the applicant or for a parent, grandparent or great grandparent of the applicant.

If any documentation needs to be submitted to the GSMD to obtain a current GSMD membership number, applicants should begin work as early as possible with the Mayflower Historian in their state of residence to complete this process. provides a link to the Historians for every state society. Click on any state to see the complete list of state Historian

OTHER REQUIREMENTS   Each scholarship recipient must be a graduating senior; must provide the information requested for the application; and must enter a four-year college or university or two-year community college.

Though not an absolute requirement, recipients of the Mayflower Society Scholarships will most often be in the upper 10 percent of their class and score in the 75th percentile or higher on the SAT or ACT.


Begin the application process by downloading two files to your hard drive.

1) Application Instructions is a PDF file with instructions for filling out and submitting your application packet.  Adobe Reader is available at no charge for reading PDF files from CLICK HERE to view and download this file.

2) Submissions Materials is a WORD form file for preparing parts of the application to be submitted electronically.  CLICK HERE to view and download this file.

The Application Instructions guide you through filling out the Submission Materials form, writing the essay, assembling your Application Packet and submitting your application.

Applicants must submit by mail a complete application packet with all required documentation postmarked by the deadline.  Some parts of the application must also be submitted electronically; these must also be e-mailed by that date.  Incomplete or late submissions will not be considered.  


QUESTIONS.  Address all questions about the scholarship, or about any aspect of the application process, to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Mayflower Society Garden Walkway Project

Make your family a lasting part of the Mayflower Society Garden Walkway Project.

The Mayflower Society Garden Walkway Project is a way for you to leave a lasting memory of your family on the GSMD premises. Your inscribed brick will grace the gardens for years to come.

Donations will help maintain the beauty of the garden and grounds of the Mayflower Society House on Winslow Street in Plymouth.

Commemorative bricks are available for a donation of $150 per brick. The first group of bricks were unveiled at Congress 2011. The 4" x 8" laser-engraved red bricks will be dedicated by Mayflower Society families and friends each time we gather, with inscriptions honoring yourselves, your ancestors, or family members in a special statement of your choice.

A portion of your order, which is considered a donation, is tax deductible.


Strangers and Pilgrims Travellers and Sojourners: Leiden and the Foundations of Plymouth Plantation

Strangers and Pilgrims Travellers and SojournersThe General Society of Mayflower Descendants is pleased to present Strangers and Pilgrims, the latest work by Dr. Jeremy Dupertuis Bangs. This 928 page hard cover book adds to what is already known about the Pilgrims in Leiden, but more importantly delves into the customs and life of that time to consider why the Pilgrims made the choices and decisions they did. This book is a must read for Mayflower descendants, Pilgrim history followers, and American history scholars.

Purchase "Strangers and Pilgrims" from the GSMD Shop under Pilgrim Books.