I first visited the library of the General Society of Mayflower Descendants almost thirty years ago while on a genealogy research trip to Plymouth, Massachusetts.
Located behind the Mayflower House Museum, the library is a jewel tucked away in a beautiful setting.
I remember opening the door on that visit and being greeted with the familiar smell of old books and the sight of full books shelves that surrounded the library tables. I frequently stop and absorb my first impressions when entering a new research location to set a memory of the scene, time and environment firmly in my mind. Such was the case in that visit to the library.
The women behind the counter immediately greeted us and asked if they could be of service. Fortunately for me, their help was invaluable as they introduced me to a cousin who happened to be there at the same time as my visit. He and I had corresponded on and off for years about our common Plymouth lineages. That morning, a spur of the moment decision found him skipping work and driving to Plymouth to visit the library.
We sat at a table and compared research notes. Within minutes we realized that the other held the key to unlocking a brick wall in our respective research. The resources in the library demolished the walls in their entirety.
Some people call events such as these, “Serendipity”. I do too at times but only when used as a descriptive title that others can reference. I believe that there are other forces at work when we enjoy ‘serendipity’ in our genealogy research.
The memory of my first visit to the Mayflower Society Library was obviously very pleasant. I’m sure you’ll find that yours will be as well. Plan to stop in and visit during your next trip to Plymouth. The address is 4 Winslow Street – Just west of Plymouth Rock.