Georgia was granted a Charter by the General Society of Mayflower Descendants to form a State Society on October 31st, 1929. From the 22 charter members, the State Society has grown to an active membership of 330 members. Fifty two percent of the members reside in metropolitan Atlanta, approximately 33 percent throughout the rest of the State of Georgia and the remaining 15 percent live out-of-state.
About the Mayflower Compact
The original document is not known to exist today. The earliest copy of the text appeared in print in 1622 in 'Mourt's Relation.' "The earliest handwritten copy of the text was that by Governor Bradford in his history, 'Of Plimoth Plantation,' and was probably set down in his handwriting between 1630 and 1646. He did not list the signers, nor did he refer to the document as 'Compact' or 'Mayflower Compact.'"
Before Coming to the New World, the Pilgrims lived in Leyden, Holland from 1608 to 1620. While there, they absorbed the liberating influences of Dutch society and shifted toward a more democratic form of self-governance.
As the passengers aboard the Mayflower journeyed across the Atlantic, tensions arose among the three factions: the Separatists seeking religious freedom, the merchant-adventurers seeking their fortune, and the crew seeking their livelihood. It became apparent that if these passengers were to survive in an alien land, they needed to consent voluntarily to a cooperative form of government. Thus it was that The Mayflower Compact came into being and was signed by the adult male passengers in November, 1620. While the language of Shakespeare's day might seem quaint to us today, the spirit of democracy set forth in this famous document is timeless.
The Mayflower Compact
"In the name of God, Amen. We, whose names are underwritten, the Loyal Subjects of our dread Sovereign Lord, King James, by the Grace of God, of Great Britain, France and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, etc."
"Having undertaken for the Glory of God, and Advancement of the Christian Faith, and the Honour of our King and Country, a voyage to plant the first colony in the northern Parts of Virginia; do by these presents, solemnly and mutually in the Presence of God and one of another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil Body Politick, for our better ordering and Preservation, and Furtherance of the Ends aforesaid; And by Virtue hereof to enact, constitute, and frame, such just and equal laws, ordinances, Acts, Constitutions and Offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the General Good of the Colony; unto which we promise all due Submission and obedience. In Witness whereof we have hereunto subscribed our names at Cape Cod the eleventh of November, in the Reign of our Sovereign Lord, King James of England, France and Ireland, the eighteenth, and of Scotland the fifty-fourth. Anno Domini, 1620."
Benefits of Being a Member
Uphold the Mayflower heritage in the face of a rapidly changing world.
The principles established when the Mayflower Compact was written in 1620 exemplify the democratic form of government upon which our U.S. Constitution is based. Highlights from this heritage are needed for our descendants as the schools drift further away from the early history of our country and contemporary perspectives further erode the spiritual foundation of our country.
Establish a friendship with others whose roots hark back to the Mayflower.
Join members in the spring and November for the regularly scheduled meetings. Commit yourself to keeping the Mayflower Society strong and vital by joining its committees.
Receive special privileges.
The General Society of Mayflower Descendants, headquartered in Plymouth, MA, provides extensive genealogical and historical information. See www.themayflowersociety.com. Every third September members from all over the United States and Canada gather in Plymouth for special meetings and tours. Plimoth (sic.) Plantation welcomes Mayflower members at a special rate and provides a window into the past through its recreation of the original colony. See www.plimoth.org.
Receive publications from both the General Society and the Georgia Society.
The Mayflower Quarterly, published by General Society, provides a wealth of information about history, genealogy, and current activities of the various societies. The Georgia Society Newsletter provides information about the Georgia meetings held twice a year in the Atlanta area, and covers matters of interest to the members.