Thursday, January 8, 2009

Cape Cod Genealogical Libraries

The libraries listed below collectively contain the most comprehensive genealogical resources on Cape Cod.

Cape Cod Community College - William Brewster Nickerson Room
The Nickerson Cape Cod History Archive is dedicated to serving the research needs of students and scholars in the history and culture of Cape Cod in its entirety. Used heavily by writers, historians and genealogists, the archive includes unique and rare deeds, manuscripts and personal papers, genealogical resources, historic photos and images, and various artifacts, notably scrimshaw. The archive also preserves the works of Cape Cod authors, artists, playwrights, poets and historians.

Genealogy resources include: American and British Ancestors, biographies of Cape Cod families, census indexes and records, vital records, military records, passenger lists, cemeteries, genealogy important manuscripts, and numerous databases on CDs.

The William Brewster Nickerson Room is located on the main campus of Cape Cod Community College, 2240 Iyannough Road, West Barnstable, MA 02668. Hours: Monday, Wednesday, Friday - 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Scholars with particular research issues are encouraged to contact Special Collections Librarian Mary Sicchio in advance at 508-362-2131, ext. 4445.

Cape Cod Genealogical Society - Library
The Cape Cod Genealogical Society Library houses volumes covering the following categories: biographies, cemeteries, history, Massachusetts towns, Mayflower Families, census records, tax lists, and "How-To" Genealogy Research Guides. Other holdings include genealogy journals and magazines, databases on CD, and a collection of local unpublished collections of letters, photographs, alphabetical listings of family members, histories, and family trees.

The Library is housed in the CCGS Genealogy Room at the Dennis Public Library, 5 Hall Street, Dennis Port, MA 02639. Volunteers are available to assist with the collection.

Sturgis Library - Special Collections
Sturgis Library is an independent public library in the Town of Barnstable, Massachusetts dedicated to serving local residents and promoting the study of Barnstable County history, genealogy and maritime culture.

Sturgis Library Archives include extremely rare and one-of-a-kind documents such as early deeds from many of the towns on Cape Cod, ships logs, whaling journals, manuscripts, family histories, diaries, letters and correspondence, cemetery records, photographs, historical documents, maps and charts.

Kittredge Maritime Center contains more than 3,000 books, journals, and an archive of Cape Cod manuscripts, documents, personal papers and letters.

The Lothrop Genealogy Collection includes Mayflower Society Records, extensive list of local/regional Town histories, Genealogical Notes of Cape Cod Families, Genealogical Notes of Barnstable Families, 1500 Barnstable County land deeds (1627-1859), 300 published individual Barnstable family genealogies, 500 unpublished manuscripts or privately published pamphlets of Barnstable history and genealogy.

Sturgis Library, at 3090 Main Street near the Barnstable County Courthouse on Route 6A, has the oldest library building in the country. P.O. Box 606, Barnstable, MA 02630. Telephone: 508-362-6636.

Eldredge Public Library - Waterman Genealogical Collection
Located on the second floor in a gallery overlooking the Library's main reading room, the Genealogy Department is considered one of the best of its kind on Cape Cod. The core of the holdings is the Edgar Frances Waterman Memorial Genealogical Collection, organized and integrated into the Library commencing in 1979.

The Collection includes: General reference guides for genealogical research, emigrant and passenger arrival lists, military pension indexes, Mayflower families, DAR indexes, heraldry, compendia of colonial lineages; County and town histories of New England and middle Atlantic and southeastern states to Georgia, Vital Records to 1850 for most Massachusetts towns, Canadian records, Vols. 1-7 "The Search For Missing Friends" - Irish research; and over 500 volumes of individual families, by surname, including many early Cape Cod families.

This collection and the other holdings are continuously being added to.

The Eldredge Public Library is located at 64 Main Street, Chatham, MA 02633. Phone: 508-945-5170. Fax: 508-945-5173.

Eastham Public Library - Genealogical Library Room
The Eastham Public Library is home to the Eastham Historical Society Archive. Collections include: oral history tapes and manuscripts, histories of Churches and campground meetings, Eastham Town Reports 1896-2006, Assessors' maps, data from the National Seashore Archives, handwritten genealogies with some documented, sea captains' logs, diaries of teachers, 50 indexed scrapbooks, vital records, audio-tapes of memories, and various cemetery records.

Family collections include: Atwood, Bangs, Chase, Daley, Doane, Fisk, Freeman, Gould, Harding, Hatch, Higgins, Holbrook, Hopkins, Horton, Jewell, Knowles, Lowe, Mayo, Merrick, Moore, Nickerson, Paine, Pratt, Quinn, Rogers, Smith, Sparrow, Schwind - among others.

The Eastham Public Library is located at 190 Samoset Rd. Eastham, MA 02642. The archives hours are Tuesdays from 1:30 to 6:30 p.m. More information is available by writing Marilyn Schofield at Box 163, Eastham, MA 02641 or by e-mail at

Falmouth Public Library - Genealogy & History Collections
Genealogy & History Collections at the Falmouth Public Library contain guides for researching family history, individual family histories, Vital Records to 1850 for most Massachusetts towns, New England Historical and Genealogical Register, 1847 to present day, Mayflower Descendants, and Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors of the Revolutionary War and Civil War. Holdings are in books, CDs, microfilm and microfiche. A listing of genealogical resources at the Falmouth Public Library can be found at

Volunteers from the Falmouth Genealogical Society assist individuals seeking genealogical help Tuesday afternoons from 2:00pm-4:00pm. No appointment is necessary. The Falmouth Public Library is at 300 Main Street, Falmouth, MA 02540. Phone: 508-457-2555.

Local Research Assistance

The following genealogists are available to help you in your research:
  • General Cape Cod Genealogy - Mary A. Ware
  • Cape Cod Vital Records, Land Records, and Probates - Rosalind and Marsha Costello, Box 517, West Barnstable, MA 02668
  • Coastal New England, 17th - 20th Centuries - Joyce Pendery
  • General New England Genealogy - Kathy Terkelsen
  • York County (Maine), Colonial Connecticut, Orkney Islands - Ralph Wadleigh
Please contact these individuals directly regarding scope of work and fees.

Barnstable County Deeds and Public Records

The Barnstable County Registry of Deeds provides full access over the Internet to the same records that are available to anyone using the computer search screens at the Registry of Deeds building in Barnstable Village. Records available:
  • Recorded Land indexes and images from 1704 to the present (complete).
  • Recorded Land Plan indexes and images (complete).
  • Land Court name index (incomplete).
  • Land Court Document images from 1899 to the present.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Cape Cod Genealogical Society Bulletin

CCGS BulletinThe Bulletin was the official publication of the Cape Cod Genealogical Society from its first issue in 1975, when it was called the Quarterly, until the Fall 2010 issue, when it ceased publication to make way for The Journal of the Cape Cod Genealogical Society, scheduled to begin in the late spring of 2011. The Bulletin had been in print continuously throughout its history, and for most years three issues were published: Spring, Summer and Fall.

The Bulletin focused on the genealogy of Cape Cod and related research. Many of the articles contained records and sources that are not available in any other publications.  Articles included short genealogies; census, land and probate records; birth, death and marriage records; member success stories; articles on the many aspects of genealogical research; book reviews; summaries of holdings of Cape Cod genealogical libraries and historical societies; and articles of humor and general interest to the Cape Cod researcher.

Printed copies of the Bulletin are available for research or purchase in the CCGS Genealogy Room.

Bulletin CD

The Bulletin CD contains every word, picture, map and diagram from each issue of the Bulletin, starting with its very first issue as the Quarterly in October 1975, and extending through the December 2010 Issue.

Each issue has been scanned into a searchable PDF file and is thus "every-word searchable." The CD is available for use or purchase in the CCGS Genealogy Room. It can also be purchased through the CCGS Shop.