Director of Genealogy and Research Services, General Society of Mayflower Descendants, Plymouth MA

About the Organization:

The General Society of Mayflower Descendants (GSMD) is a nonprofit organization established in 1897 to educate the public about the extraordinary story of the Pilgrims who came to America on the Mayflower in 1620.

The member organization is the gold standard for proving direct lineage to the Pilgrims through a network of professional genealogists located in Plymouth, MA and State Historians throughout the United States and Canada. GSMD publishes the 'Silver Books', (sometimes called The Mayflower Families) - a substantial genealogical series made available to the public which authenticates approved hereditary lineage from the Pilgrims.

Job Description:

GSMD seeks an individual who is passionate about family history and has the skill and desire to become the Director of Genealogy and Research Services (DGRS) in the Plymouth office. This person will be the department head, working closely with the genealogy staff and verifiers. He/she will report to the Executive Director on administrative matters. Key to the position is proven experience in genealogical research as well as experience managing a staff or department. Ideally, the candidate will have authored published material on genealogy.

The position is considered a staff position, is paid accordingly, and receives benefits afforded all employees who work a certain number of hours per month. Benefits such as vacation are earned based on time in the position. The DGRS is expected to abide by a 40-hour workweek in the Library. The position is not eligible for overtime pay.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Prepare membership applications for approval by Historian General (HG)
  • Direct verifiers working in both contracted and in-house positions
  • Analyze and measure appropriate staff skill levels and time needed to meet task requirements. Monitor the number of papers received and adjust staff schedules as necessary while staying within budget
  • Serve as the final staff authority for determining if applications are complete and will likely be approved by the HG
  • Maintain regular and productive communication with State Historians and provide continuing training and professional development for them
  • Manage all library services, have sole authority over lineage-related matters, monitor day-to-day activities of those directly in his/her department, and counsel individual employees to correct deficiencies in work
  • Perform any and all other duties assigned by the Governor General or Executive Director
  • Demonstrate a willingness to improve skills through continuing education or certification, and encourage and supervise the certification of skills for departmental staff


  • Demonstrated knowledge of genealogical procedures and standards
  • Demonstrated knowledge of the Mayflower Passengers
  • Published work in peer reviewed journals a plus
  • At least five-years-experience in the genealogy field
  • Demonstrated ability to supervise staff
  • Possession of strong organizational skills
  • Experience in setting and completing self-motivated goals
  • Good interpersonal and communication skills
  • Computer skills
  • BA Degree; MA or MLS preferred, or equivalent
  • Genealogical certification a plus, or equivalent experience (Board For Certification of Genealogists, Washington, DC)

To apply, please email a single PDF document with Cover Letter and Resume to:


or mail application materials to:

Walter Powell, Executive Director

4 Winslow Street, PO Box 3297

Plymouth, MA 02361

Deadline for applications is March 15th.

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