The Mayflower Pilgrims
In 1620, a brave group of 102 men, women and children sailed across the Atlantic on the Mayflower, searching for a life of religious and civil freedom.
These Pilgrims landed in Plymouth harbor, establishing the first permanent European settlement in New England. Only half survived that first difficult winter. Now, nearly 400 years later, from those few survivors, there are now millions of Pilgrim descendants.
In addition to bringing their values and spirit of adventure with them to the New World, the Pilgrims created a heritage of liberty and law by drafting a document of self-government, the Mayflower Compact, which they signed onboard the Mayflower at Provincetown. The Mayflower Compact is considered by many to be a forerunner to the Constitution.
The General Society of Mayflower Descendants
To honor Pilgrim ancestors and to keep their story alive, the General Society of Mayflower Descendants was created in 1897. It is the Society’s goal to join together people who share this heritage and to carry on the memory of our Pilgrim ancestors. Mayflower Society memberships are granted through 54 societies representing all 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, Canada, Europe and Australia.
The Nebraska Society of Mayflower Descendants
The Nebraska Society of Mayflower Descendants was organized May 19, 1923, under authority of a Charter granted by the General Society of Mayflower Descendants dated December 16, 1922 and now has more than 270 members living in Nebraska, across the country and around the world.
Governor: Kathryn Morrissey, Omaha
Deputy Governor: John Keller, Lincoln
Secretary: Bonnie Kolowski, Omaha
Treasurer: Robert Harvey, Omaha
Historian: Marty Beerman, Omaha
Elder: Ann Reinert, Lincoln
Counselor: Rob Laughlin, Omaha
Captain: Steve Hunt, LaVista
Surgeon: Audrey Paulman, M.D., Omaha
2021 Board of Assistants
Stephanie Donsig (2021), Lincoln
Judy Moore (2021), Syracuse
Verla Ringenberg (2021), Lincoln
John Reinert (2022), Lincoln
Fran Ruh (2022), Omaha
Cheryl Clark (2023), Elwood
Cindy Rademacher (2023), Kearney
Marty Beerman (Past Governor), Omaha
Education: Kathryn Morrissey, Omaha
Junior Members: Cindy Rademacher, Kearney
Public Relations: Tom Masters, Lincoln
Membership: Marty Beerman, Omaha
Pilgrim News Editor: Stephanie Donsig, Lincoln
Photographer: John Keller, Lincoln
Scholarship: Gretchen Harvey and Marty Beerman, Omaha
Scholarship Auction: Cheryl Clark, Elwood
General Society Officers
Deputy Governor General: Gretchen Harvey, Omaha
Assistant General: Marty Beerman, Omaha
Click here to see a roster of current members. Current as of Nov. 14, 2020.
Thirty-one governors have led the Nebraska Society since its first members joined in 1923. See the list here.