Monday, April 19, 2010

The Pilgrim Archives

Today is Dutch-American friendship day and in honour of that, I'd like to point all of you Americans (and everybody else) who have Pilgrims in their ancestral tree to the Pilgrim Archives.

The Pilgrims were English Protestants, who fled England to escape oppression. They lived and worked in Leiden from 1609 to 1620. From 1620 groups of Pilgrims travelled onwards to North America. The Pilgrim Archives tell the story of the Pilgrims themselves and the 17th century Leiden that was their home.

During their stay in the city the Pilgrims got married, bought houses, got involved in disputes and made wills. In the database on the site you will find the documents the Pilgrims left behind. All records consist of the following data:

Names of all the people mentioned in the document, in the modern English or Dutch
Places and streets mentioned in the document, in the modern English or Dutch
Description of the source (archive, volume)
Number of archive
Number of source
(sometimes) additional number of source
page or number of act.
A short description of the content of the document.
The full transcription of the document itself
A scan of the document

You can search by name, date, place, street and you can do a free search.

Pilgrims who travelled to America are indicated in the text of the description by a letter for the ship they travelled with: M for Mayflower, F for Fortune, ALJ for Anne and Little James, M2 for the second Mayflower.
Those Pilgrims who travelled separately have an approximate year of emigration behind their name.

It's a great resource! Have fun researching!