In January 1897, the four founding states met in Plymouth, Massachusetts to organize the General Society of Mayflower Descendants. They were:
- New York, founded 22 December 1894
- Connecticut, founded 7 March 1896
- Massachusetts, founded 28 March 1896
- Pennsylvania, founded 1 July 1896
Only four years later, Michigan joined the growing tribute to our Pilgrim ancestors by joining the General Society of Mayflower Descendants as a member society. Michigan received its charter on 8 February 1901 and was organized on 3 April 1901.
Michigan was the first in many achievements.
- Michigan elected the first Female Governor General, Mrs. Frank W. Lanham (Cay).
- Michigan was the first to invite the General Society to meet outside Plymouth and New York City.
- Michigan provided the founder of the North Carolina Society, Burnham Standish Colburn.
- Michigan provided the first Editor of the Five Generations Project.
- Michigan was among the first to enter Junior Members and to have a state newsletter.
The Michigan Society's greatest accomplishment is to pay tribute and to continue the memory of the Mayflower Pilgrims.
Constitutional Objectives of the Society of Mayflower Descendants
To perpetuate to a remote posterity the memory of our Pilgrim Fathers. To maintain and defend the principle of civil and religious liberty as set forth in the Compact of the Mayflower
To cherish and maintain the ideals and institutions of American freedom, and to oppose any theories that threaten their continuity. To transmit the spirit, the purity of purpose and steadfastness of the will of the Pilgrim Fathers to those who shall come after us, an undiminished heritage of liberty and law.
To promote the interests that are common to all the state Societies of the Mayflower Descendants which can best be served by a federal body, and to secure united efforts to discover and publish original matter in regard to the Pilgrims, together with existing data known only to antiquarians, and to authenticate, preserve and mark historical spots made memorable by Pilgrim association.