It’s been an oddly ambiguous couple of months here in the BlackenedRoots household with regards to my application to join the Mayflower Society.
As you’ll remember from my last update on this topic, I mailed off my initial stab at documenting my Mayflower line to the State Historian for the California Mayflower Society nine weeks ago. I expected to wait a week or two and hear back from the Historian about parts of my Mayflower line that needed to be better documented. That’s how I figured the Mayflower Society dance went—submit your best effort, be told many parts are weak, resubmit with better documentation for those parts, be told that still a few parts are too weak, resubmit with better documentation for those last few parts, be told that still one part is too weak, resubmit with yet more documentation for that one last line, and finally be told that your pedigree is ready for the scrutiny of the National Office.
Mine didn’t quite go like that.
I submitted my initial attempt at documenting my line on May 25th. I heard back almost immediately (in snail mail terms—on May 29th; about 5 days) from the State Historian. She accepted my submitted documentation, completed my application by adding GSMD-formatted citations of said documentation, and sent me a completed membership application ready to sign and send to GSMD national headquarters. This almost seemed too good to be true, but perhaps my standards and those of the Mayflower Society are more closely aligned than I realized.
I discovered four errors on the application (things like spelling my grandmother’s maiden name as “Asken” instead of “Askew”), and I saw that I was requested to point out any errors that I found. Since the application is going to become a historical document in its own right, I wanted everything to be perfect and I dutifully made a note of every error and emailed the State Historian with the errors. I figured she could revise the application and send me a new hardcopy to sign and return. She was on vacation and requested I send her the hardcopy corrections by regular mail, which I did right away and then waited eagerly for the updated application to arrive so I could sign it and have it sent along to National.
One week passes. Then two weeks. Then three weeks. Finally, four weeks pass and no revised application arrives. This concerns me, as I’m worried that the State Historian either forwarded along the uncorrected application, or hand-corrected it herself and sent it along. Either way, it looks like my application will either be incorrect or possibly sloppy. Ah well. It works the same for me either way, but there’s going to be tongue-clucking generations down the line.
Finally, I email the State Historian and she tells me that she just amended my signed application and sent it along weeks ago to National. For my descendants reading this—I’m so sorry my application was messy; I really tried to avoid that.
She also tells me that due to the uptick in applications (because the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower is right around the corner), the wait time for review by National is about three months. They’ll inform her when their review is done and then she’ll inform me.
So I’ve still got about a month of waiting to go.
Curiously, my request to join the public Facebook page of the Society of Mayflower Descendants in the State of California was just approved on July 26. For those of you not familiar with that process, it usually takes a couple of hours to a couple of days to join a Facebook group. So this was s suspiciously long delay. Does this mean that they don’t approve new members for the Facebook page until they hear from National that a member has been approved? I got excited that this meant something was coming, but it’s been a couple of days since the approval and I’ve heard nothing. Of course it probably means nothing—other than someone just didn’t realize they had a pile of pending approvals to process.
But ever the optimist, it’s possible the State Historian is away from her office and I’ll get my acceptance letter in the mail any day now. I’ll just keep thinking that until it arrives in another month, as the State Historian stated. Either way, I’ll either soon be a member or will get a request for more documentation from National. I’ll let you know either way.