This could be a landmark decision for lineage societies. The Mayflower Society has now accepted DNA evidence as proof of a descent from one of the passengers on that little ship.
John Hawes married a granddaughter of Mayflower passenger John Howland, Desire Gorham. Therefore, John and Desire Hawes’ children were descendants of a Mayflower passenger. They had a son John Hawes, who left New England and popped up in North Carolina. Same person? If so, his issue could join the General Society of Mayflower Descendants.
Historian General Ann S. Lainhart and Assistant Historian General Alicia Williams recently accepted this line — on the basis of a Hawes DNA study of the Hawes Y chromosome.
Everyone involved in DNA genealogy seems to agree that the various lineage societies would accept DNA evidence sooner or later but this is the first such occurrence I am aware of. The fact that the acceptance came from Ann Lainhart and Alicia Williams further reinforces the acceptance. (Ann Lainhart is one of the nation's top experts on Mayflower and other New England genealogy while Alicia Williams is another expert in all the Mayflower genealogies with special expertise in the John Alden family.)
Lainhart notes in an article in the June 2006 issue of The Mayflower Quarterly that the Myles Standish family and the Pilgrim Edward Doty Society are starting Y-line DNA projects. That’s the male line, also known as the surname line. For information, visit www.mylesstandish.org and www.edward-doty.org.