WEST COUNTRY PROJECT
Search for The Passengers of the Mary and John 1630
Volume 17 - West Country Ancestries, 1620-1643 Part 1
Volume 18 - West Country Ancestries, 1620-1643 Part 2
Volume 19 - West Country Ancestries, 1620-1643 Part 3
Volume 22 - West Country Ancestries, 1620-1643 Part 4
Volume 17 was the first volume of the Mary and John series devoted entirely to extensive English ancestries of "planters" who came to New England from the West Country before 1644.
The West Country Project was begun in 1988, an attempt to identify English Ancestries of early West Country Immigrants or English planters to New England. The principal objective of the West Country Project was to determine how many of these families were interrelated to each other "before" they came over to New England.
Since 1990, we have expanded our searches for English ancestries to 3,000 to 4,000 people who we believe came to New England from the West Country (Counties of Dorset, Somerset, Devon and Cornwall) by 1643, the period of the GREAT MIGRATION.
While compiling English Ancestries in Volumes 17 and 18, we relied heavily on previous books and periodicals (TAG, The American Genealogist, NEHGS, New England Historical Genealogical Society, etc.) supplemented by new searches in English parish records, wills, etc. Each volume became more difficult to write because we were searching for ancestries that had been poorly documented in previous publications. This motivated us to increase our searches in the original records in England and the microfilm library in Salt Lake City. We followed up with Volumes 19 and 22 to complete the series based on The West Country Project.
From the beginning of the West Country Project, we invited our readers to share their documented ancestral findings so we could expand the English ancestries as far back as possible.
Searching for English ancestries of English planters is a very, very costly and time consuming process and it is a very inefficient process at that. Tens of thousands of Americans descended from the early English planters with many of them searching for the same ancestries, totally unaware of what others are doing and what others have already found. Being a clearing house, we can collect and digest material from thousands of people, combine it with our material and then share the results with everyone. The process then becomes a chain reaction because every time we publish a new volume more researchers contribute more material.
Some professional genealogists dismiss books compiled and published from secondary sources. Some take the position that if something is in print, why publish it? First, many of the most extensive genealogical books on families were written 50, 100 or even 130 years ago and they contain many errors. The authors of these books did not have access to the material that is available today, but that does not mean their works are worthless today. Secondly, most of the people searching for their own ancestry do not live in Boston, Salt Lake City Library, Chicago or Fort Wayne or in a city with an extensive genealogical library. And finally, most old genealogical books are out of print.
When we referenced books of any vintage we tried to correct mistakes with later material published in the New England Record, TAG and other notable periodicals. The Mary and John Clearing House borrowed many hundreds of books from the lending libraries of the New England Historical Genealogical Society, and spared no effort in trying to correct mistakes.
<<< Back to Vol. 17-19, 22.