Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Dennis, Cape Cod : featured library resource for September 2015

Are you aware that our Genealogy Room has dozens of volumes of histories and records for Cape Cod towns?  In honor of one of our newest library volunteers, Katharine Reid Peace, this month we feature one of those treasures.  Dennis, Cape Cod : from firstcomers to newcomers, 1639-1993, was written by Katharine's mother, Nancy Thacher Reid.

This hefty volume, weighing in at almost a thousand pages, was published in 1996 by the Dennis Historical Society.  The history of Dennis is presented in seven chronological periods:
  • The Firstcomers, 1638-1691
  • Wars and whales, 1691-1763
  • New country, new town, 1763-1815
  • Citizens of the world, 1815-1865
  • Steam, wind and fire, 1865-1900
  • Wars, wind and more fire, 1900-1945
  • The Newcomers, 1945-1993
Each of these sections consists of between 9 and 17 chapters.

Although I did not read the complete volume for the purposes of this review, it makes delightful, informative, and compelling reading.  Here are some of the passages that caught my attention: agricultural and marriage practices of the native Indian populations, the arrival of the Quakers, the life of minister Josiah Dennis after whom the town is named, local son Reuben Hall being captain of one of the vessels raided in the Boston Tea Party, the development of the salt-making business after the Revolutionary War, and the fire of May 1900 that destroyed several homes and threatened the entire village.  The degree to which the history of the town is caught up in wars (with the Indians, the French, the British, the South, and Europe) is striking.

This impressive work of scholarship is worthy of study by anyone interested in the history of the town of Dennis and of the Cape generally.  It is rounded out by appendices covering colonial documents and lists, Dennis citizens in military services, and a number of post-colonial town documents.  Extensive notes cover the text and illustrations.  A select bibliography and an index covering both names and subjects enhance the usefulness of the volume. We hope you will come enjoy this and other resources at the Society's Genealogy Room in Dennisport.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

September Meeting to Address Researching Your Civil War Ancestors

September will start our new Cape Cod Genealogical Society monthly programs.  Reminder that most of our regular meetings will now be held on the 3rd Tuesday of the month! 

This year marks the 150th anniversary of the Civil War in our nation's history. Many genealogists have been focusing their attention on those ancestors who lived and fought during that time. In his presentation, "Civil War and Genealogy: Research Clues are Everywhere," our September speaker, Mr Fred Wexler, will make suggestions for little known sources of information that you may not have been aware of  for your research.

Fred Wexler, past president of the Cape Cod Civil War Roundtable, has given over 100 presentations on a variety of aspects of the Civil War, including as a guest speaker at the Bistoe Station Battlefield 150th Anniversary Celebration in Virginia. Originally from New York, he retired to the Cape Cod area after spending 30 years in corporate America. Although he was educated as a scientist and attorney, since his retirement, he has pursued an interest in Civil War history through membership in the Cape Cod Civil War Roundtable. In  2004, Mr Wexler was instrumental in the creation of the Dorchester Kneeling Soldier Civil War Memorial.

Our meeting is scheduled at the Brewster Ladies Library on Tuesday, September 15, 2015, at 10 AM.
You are invited to come a little earlier for socializing and coffee and donuts at 9:30.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Have you got a brick wall you need help solving?

Genealogy Roadshow, a PBS series focuses on assisting individuals connect to their past, using genealogical techniques and methodologies, will be taping in Boston in the fall. They are looking for people in our area of New England, who would like help solving a family history dilemma.  This is your opportunity to get another opinion on that brick wall you have been staring at all this time.
Genealogy Roadshow
Their staff of experienced genealogists is especially interested in your unsolved genealogical  mysteries and unanswered family questions. They will follow both genealogical and historical ties in order to come up with the answers you are looking for.
Each week, Kenyatta Berry, Josh Taylor, and Mary Tedesco use participant's family stories, documents, and heirlooms to discover information about their ancestry. If you have never seen this program, there are videos available from previous seasons at Genealogy Roadshow.
In order to have your brick wall considered as one of this season's adventures, you should complete this application.
Good luck!