BOSTON (AP) — Figuring out whether you're a descendant of a Pilgrim is now just a mouse click away.
A monthslong effort to digitize and index the authenticated genealogies of Mayflower passengers has been completed and is available online, the New England Historic Genealogical Society announced Wednesday.
The society's Pilgrim database project launched last year with the cooperation of the General Society of Mayflower Descendants includes 193,000 birth, baptism, marriage, death and burial records through five generations of 50 of the 51 Pilgrims known to have descendants.
The database includes authenticated information on more than 7,300 families, or more than 59,000 people, descended from the small band of Mayflower passengers who survived the first brutal winter in their new home in Plymouth, Massachusetts, including John Alden, William Bradford and Myles Standish. The records, which also include deeds, go up to 1880.
Interest in Pilgrim genealogy is surging with the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower's 1620 arrival in the New World fast approaching. There are an estimated 10 million living Americans and as many as 35 million people worldwide who descended from the Pilgrims, according to the General Society of Mayflower Descendants.
Anyone who can link their roots to the organization's detailed records is eligible for membership.
The records are "making it easier than ever to learn whether an individual is descended from one who planted the first permanent settlement of New England in Plymouth Colony and ultimately laid the foundation for America," said D. Brenton Simons, president and CEO of the genealogical society.
The genealogical society, established in 1845 and a leading national resource for genealogists and family historians, is offering a three-month membership at its website, americanancestors.org to people who want to pursue the Mayflower records.