The First Thanksgiving

WE ARE DECENDANTS

The official site of the South Carolina Society of Mayflower Decendants

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Organized August 11, 1938 at Greenville, South Carolina

More than one hundred years ago, a group of descendants of the Pilgrims who sailed on the Mayflower in 1620, saw the need for a national society to honor their memory. The intention was to remember these Pilgrims who established Plymouth Colony, in what was then called the northern part of Virginia.

Today there are tens-of-millions of individuals descended from these brave souls. It is the goal of The Mayflower Society and the South Carolina Society of Mayflower Descendants to join together people who share this heritage and to carry on the memory of our Pilgrim ancestors.

2020 Centennial Commemoration
2020 Commemoration

Just a few short years from now, 2020 will be upon us, marking the 400th anniversary of the  voyage of the Mayflower and the founding of Plymouth Colony. This is an exciting opportunity for GSMD to commemorate our Pilgrim ancestors and to share their inspirational story with the world!

Pilgrims coming ashore
Luncheon Meeting

Bi-annual luncheon meetings are held each year to discuss our society and its ongoing commitments to the state of South Carolina. If you are an interested applicant or want to more know more about our society, these are a great way to learn more.

Governor Bonnie Mucia present this years scholarship recipient
Scholarships

The Society is proud to award two categories of scholarships each year. Each category has two awards. Please read through the descriptions of the two types of scholarships and decide if you or your child qualify for either.

Pilgrim History

The Pilgrims were a group of English people who came to America seeking religious freedom during the reign of King James I. After two attempts to leave England and move to Holland, a Separatist group was finally relocated to Amsterdam where they stayed for about one year. From there the group moved to the town of Leiden, Holland, where they remained for about ten years, able to worship as they wished under lenient Dutch law. Fearing their children were losing their English heritage and religious beliefs, the resumption of war and their inability as non-citizens to find decent jobs, a small group from the Leiden church made plans to settle in Northern Virginia - as New England was known at the time. In August 1620 the group sailed for Southampton, England, where other English colonists who hoped to make a new life in America met them. They planned to make the crossing to America in two ships, the Speedwell and Mayflower. However, after many problems the Speedwell was forced to return to England where the group was reorganized. In their second attempt to cross the Atlantic, they boarded the Mayflower in September 1620 bound for the New World. They arrived as winter was settling in and endured significant hardships as they struggled to establish a successful colony at Plymouth.

In time their colony flourished and lead the way to establishing religious freedom and creating the foundations of the democracy Americans enjoy today. Their celebration of the first Thanksgiving has grown to become a festive national holiday. For additional information of the history of the Mayflower Pilgrims, visit this Site created by the late Duane Cline, Mayflower Society Former Education Committee Chair.

We encourage you to learn more about the Pilgrims and their life. Visit our friends at:
Plimoth Plantation, a 17th century living history museum.
Pilgrim Hall, America's oldest continuously-operating museum with the country's largest and most significant collection of 17th century possessions, their wills and estate inventories, owned by the Pilgrims and other residents of Plymouth Colony.
Pilgrim Fathers Origins, a website celebrating the origins of the Pilgrim Fathers.
The Pilgrims' Leiden, history of the Pilgrims’ stay in Holland.
You can find an interesting video on the Pilgrims' journey on the Mayflower at: maryamesmitchell.com under "Genealogy Trivia."