top of page

An international guide to the Mayflower 400th anniversary in 2020

Pictured: "Mayflower Descendant: A Journal of Pilgrim Genealogy & History," a publication of the New England Historic Genealogical Society in association with the Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Descendants.

As we approach the 400th anniversary of the Pilgrim landing of 1620, I am excited to guide the New England Historic Genealogical Society in developing a range of programs, activities, publications, and tours that commemorate this historic landmark. In these efforts, I am aided by many fine colleagues, including Ryan Woods, Susan Fugliese, Ginevra Morse, Robert Charles Anderson, and others.

Today, I want to give you advance notice of something special in the works: we have broken our magazine format for the first time in eighteen years to produce a completely Mayflower-themed commemorative issue of "American Ancestors" -- currently at press.

This issue is the first international guide to 2020 events and activities, and includes highlights of programs and activities being planned by NEHGS and American Ancestors, Plymouth 400, the Wampanoag Nation, the General Society of Mayflower Descendants, Plimoth Plantation, New England Beginnings, Pilgrim Hall Museum, and the Alden House Historic Site, as well as our overseas partners at Mayflower 400 (UK), the Harwich Mayflower Heritage Centre (UK), and Mayflower 400 in Leiden and Heritage Leiden (The Netherlands).

The purpose of this issue is to educate our more than 250,000 members and the public about this commemoration sufficiently far in advance so that they may plan to participate in it. Whether or not you are a Mayflower Descendant, this story played an important foundational role in the formation of our democracy and in the history of our nation.

I am also honored to serve as a board member of Plymouth 400, Inc., which is organizing a series of major signature events and ceremonies for what will be an international commemoration. As I write this post, we are preparing to host an exhibit developed by Plymouth 400, "Our Story: 400 Years of Wampanoag History" at NEHGS, and we are putting the final details together for our tour next year to Leiden where we will examine firsthand the John Robinson congregation there and walk in the footsteps of the Pilgrims during their Dutch sojourn. I look forward to saying more about these activities in future posts.

bottom of page