Lineage society applications can feel overwhelming. There are a lot of documents to gather, which can be both expensive and time consuming. Everything must be checked to confirm that the society’s standards are met. But there are things you can do to make the process easier. Try out some of my favorite tips.
- Don’t complete the preliminary application right away. If you’re interested in Mayflower Society membership, the preliminary application is the first step in the application process – but you can start gathering the paperwork for the application without starting the process. I recommend prospective members do not complete the preliminary application until they’re sure they have most or all of the documents they need. If, for some reason, you’re not able to complete the application, at least you will have avoided the fee.
- Use Lineage Match. If you know the line between yourself and the likely ancestor, the Mayflower Society will check to see how much is already documented. There is a fee involved, but it’s often cheaper than researching unneeded lines.
- Check to see what vital records you and your family have at home. It’s not uncommon for someone to have an extra copy of a family member’s death certificate sitting in a file cabinet. The Mayflower Society does require the submission of vital records where they might exist, but they don’t require original copies: save the money and ordering time.
- Order your certificates early. No matter what the Mayflower Society has on file, most people end up needing to order some certificates from recent generations. Once you’ve checked to see what family members have, get your orders in: some states are taking up to 3 months to obtain certificates.
- Ask for help if needed. This can be a DIY project, but it doesn’t have to be. Genealogists specializing in lineage society applications can assist with questions about locating records or can assemble much of the application for you..