Robert Fields, brother to Earl Dean, was indeed a member of the
Society - and I've obtained a set of his papers. There's good news and
bad news with those: They were done in 1969 long before the current
standard of documentation was adopted - and while he supplied wonderfully
precise dates for events (birth, death, marriage), there is little by way
of proof with his papers. There is another set of papers in Plymouth that
doesn't share as many generations, but is more recent and helps with some
of the earlier generations.
Here is a summary: You are generation 13, Francis Cooke is generation 1.
Generations 1-5 and the birth of Levi Cooke in 6 are covered by Mayflower
Families - a source accepted by Plymouth. The rest of generation 6 and
all of 7 and 8 are covered by MA vital records - and I have full citations
or copies for those so nothing needs to be done there. Gen. 9 is not as
strong, but will work. Lewis Augustine/Augustian's birth is in the vital
records and in a family Bible - copies of which I have. The Bible also
has his death date and his marriage date - and to whom married. This is
skimpy, but will work. The crucial proof here is for Lewis'
birth/parentage and we've got that.
That leaves gen. 10-13. Gen. 10 is covered by Robert Fields' papers, and
he gives places and dates for each event - but no proof. I can get the
marriage from ancestry (and that for the marriages in gen. 11 and 12), but
the rest we would need. By rest, Plymouth wants copies of birth (showing
parents), marriage, and death certificates for at least the most recent 3
generations (yours, your parents, and your grandparents in this line) as
well as for any event after 1900 (the deaths of Emma and Thomas Fields in
gen. 10, and the death of Susan Mary Crump Hunt in gen. 9). We use copies
to submit - not originals.
Our process is in 3 steps. The first is a Preliminary Application, which
I'll send you by mail. If you want to apply, this gets returned with the
application fees, and then I'll send a worksheet and complete set of
instructions (which you basically won't need as I've given you above what
will be needed). When the rest of the documentation is done, the last
step is for me to prepare a final application for your signature. That's
I suspect this isn't news to you at all, but you are a direct descendent
of at least Stephen Hopkins, Miles Standish, and John Alden as well as
Francis Cooke. You could do this through any of them - or do supplements
after you've done a first.
Last comment on Bibles. I don't know who owned the Bible that I have
copies for. Robert Fields' papers mention an Enoch Hunt Family Bible and
a Fields Family Bible. The other set of papers that follows your line
through Harriet Newell Cooke and Enoch Hunt and then goes through another
sibling mentions "Bible Record". I have the copy of one of them, but
don't know which. Obviously, it would help you if you could find - or
know who has - the other one(s). I mention this only as a side comment -
because it/they may be impossible to find. On the other hand, this branch
of your family has been in Monroe County for generations - and someone may
well have either left the Bibles themselves, or copies of the family pages
- with local historical societies etc...
Historian - Mayflower Society CT
Sunday, July 15, 2012