Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Dues Reminder --

January 31, 2010, is the deadline for paying CCGS membership dues for 2010. Use this Membership Renewal Form if you have misplaced the one mailed to you in October. Please send the renewal form with your check by January 31, 2010, to:

Cape Cod Genealogical Society
c/o Nancy Daniels
10 Mary Road
Eastham, MA 02642

    Sunday, December 20, 2009

    New CCGS Library computer doubles online access

    In October the CCGS Library acquired its second computer with Internet access for use by members and visiting patrons. This means researchers needn't worry about waiting their turn to access their favorite family history and genealogy databases.

    Melissa Speckhardt from Burgebrach, Germany researches her American ancestors on the Library's new computer recently while visiting her grandparents in West Harwich, MA.
    The Library's two desktop computers provide free access to the major online genealogy-related databases, including, HeritageQuest, World Vital Records, and New England Historic and Genealogical Society. More databases are in the works, according to Brenda Hayes, CCGS Library Program Director. See the complete list of available databases.

    The new computer, a contemporary Dell Desktop running Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition, is configured with a wide flat-screen monitor and a fast laser printer.

    Thursday, December 17, 2009 - a boon for genealogists

    At the December 2009 meeting of the Cape Cod Genealogical Society former CCGS co-president David Martin gave a presentation on the FamilySearch database and its usefulness for family historians.

    David recently returned as part of a team of 7 members who traveled to Salt Lake City in November 2009 to do research at the Family History Library, established in 1894 by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS). "The vast collection of information is truly impressive," he began, "with 5 floors of genealogy, including British, American, and International, arranged according to surname books and microfilms. More than 2,500,000 microfilms are available, representing data from 250 countries, in more than 1,000,000,000 (one billion) records, with more added every day."

    At the Library in Salt Lake City, or at any of the many branch LDS Family History Centers around the world, a researcher can access unique data bases that are accessible only through the LDS internal system. Included among these are: Holocaust records, British Newspapers of the 19th century, Periodical Source Index, digitized family histories from the Brigham Young University Library, World Catalog, American Civil War, World Vital Records, and considerably more. Using these databases the researcher can identify the call number of a book or a microfilm. "The books do not circulate," David said, "but the microfilm can be accessed at the Family History Library, or can be requested on a borrowing basis at any local Family History Center for a small fee."

    From home, however,  researchers can also access "a large family of websites associated with the FamilySearch.Org site," according to David. For example, a special “pilot” site at contains experimentally organized data that are evolving constantly. New data are being entered every day, with a long-term project involving digitization by volunteers. Eventually a huge proportion of the data base will be in digital form.

    David provided a list of the current websites associated with FamilySearch.Org which will be useful to family historians from home or elsewhere. "As with all web addresses, they may continually change," he warned and suggested that a Google search might find their changed address. These are the websites David recommended as most useful and their purposes, at least as of December 2009:
    David closed by saying that for latest updates on FamilySearch developments, members should vist Dick Eastman’s website for weekly information:

    Information on the Brewster Family History Center

    Tuesday, December 15, 2009

    Members tour new Web site

    As part of the traditional show-and-tell program at the December 9, 2009 meeting at the Brewster Ladies' Library, Webmaster Chris Geanacopoulos led the audience on a guided tour of the newly designed CCGS Website. "If you haven't been to the site recently, get ready for some big changes," he began.

    The first stop on the tour was the Upcoming Events page at the traditional home of the Cape Cod Genealogical Society at "We wanted people who come to our site to immediately know what we're up to," explained Chris. The Upcoming Events page lists the next 3-5 CCGS activities, and visitors can follow links to other pages to get the details. "Members who come to the site and visitors who see our link in the newspapers or on our printed materials can easily find what's happening next."

    Chris then took the audience to the Articles/News/Announcements section of the site and showed how the newest articles always appear at the top and work their way back through time. "At the top of the page, you'll find the freshest information about our activities and about genealogy in general," he said.

    "A new feature on our site is a list of links to other genealogy-related Web sites managed by our own CCGS members," announced Chris as he led them to the CCGS Member Sites section in the green sidebar. He added that any CCGS members who have their own sites that deal with some aspect of family history or genealogy are welcome to be included in the listing.

    To help visitors find older articles on the site, Chris drew the members' attention to the Topics and Archives sections of the blue sidebar. "Every article has at least one label that's listed under Topics in the sidebar," he explained. Next to each topic there is a number in parentheses to tell you how many articles there are under that topic. "Click on the topic list and you'll see them all, starting with the most recent one."

    "You can browse all the articles on the site by their titles in the Archives section," Chris explained while pointing to one of the triangles next to the year and months found under Archives. "The triangles are called 'twisties' and when you click on them, you twist the month open or closed to help make your way among the titles."  He added, "Next to search, this is probably the best way to find what's on our site."

    Finally, Chris told the audience how they can have the site's latest articles delivered to them electronically. In the Subscriptions Section of the sidebar visitors can add the site to their feed reader or sign up to have new articles delivered via email. "With a feed reader or email delivery," he said, "it's like having our site delivered to your doorstep."

    He concluded by inviting members to join in the fun of contributing articles to the site. "If you can handle a word processor, you're qualified to join us. An itch to write also helps a little, too." Interested members should email Chris at "We need your help to keep the changes going," he said.

    Thursday, December 10, 2009

    December Irish SIG meeting cancelled

    Pat Concannon, leader of the Irish Special Interest group, has announced that the meeting scheduled for December 28, 2009, has been cancelled, since it falls during the Christmas break.

    The group will hold its regularly scheduled meeting on Monday, January 25, 2010, from 10 to Noon at the Dennis Public Library. 

    The Irish Special Interest Group meets at the Dennis Public Library in Dennisport on the fourth Monday of each month at 10:00 A.M. All CCGS members interested in Irish Genealogy are invited to attend these meetings to discuss methods and sources for Irish research in both Ireland and the U.S. For information call 508-432-9601.

    Description of all CCGS Special Interest Groups (SIGs)

    Wednesday, December 9, 2009

    New Hours at the Brewster Family History Center

    During his presentation on the recent CCGS trip to Salt Lake City at the December 9, 2009 monthly meeting, David Martin mentioned that the LDS Family History Center in Brewster, MA is no longer open on Wednesday evenings, and that the new hours are Tuesday and Thursday 9 am - 1 pm.

    Located at 94 Freeman's way, The Brewster Family History Center maintains a broad permanent collection of microfilms, together with free access to online subscription and LDS databases.

    More on the Brewster FHC facility.

    Friday, December 4, 2009

    New Publicity Team for CCGS

    As of December 2009, our Society has a new two-member team for carrying out the all-important publicity of Society events, replacing the excellent work performed for several years by Jack Drake.

    Anne Stewart is handling a number of announcements, including publicity in local free magazines and distributed information to all of the Cape libraries. Anne has held a variety of positions in public service of the years, including an interior plant rental and maintenance business. Since moving to the Cape in 1997, she has been involved in remodeling old houses, gardening, and work at two Cape libraries. She lives in Harwich with her husband, Phil Inman, two mini-dachshunds, and a canary.

    Ed Barr is handling a variety of regular computer-based announcements about Society events, including the organization and updating of the data base of membership information. Ed has been engaged in human resource management in a variety of businesses in New York and elsewhere; he was most recently Vice-President of Human Resources for Stop & Shop; he founded and was Principal of a management consulting firm until 2001. Ed lives in Orleans.

    We welcome Anne and Ed to this important role for the Society!

    Thursday, December 3, 2009

    Joint Falmouth-CCGS Program Inspires Researchers

    The November 14, 2009 3rd Annual Joint Meeting of the Falmouth Genealogical Society and the Cape Cod Genealogical Society was a clear success. More than 70 people were in attendance at the West Barnstable Community Center to hear Michael Leclerc address two topics of great interest to all family historians—Techniques for Research in Genealogy and Breaking Through Brick Walls in Genealogy.

    Mr. Leclerc is a member of the professional staff at the New England Historic Genealogical Society. He is currently writing a lengthy volume on the descendants of Josiah Franklin, who was Benjamin Franklin’s British father.

    Presentation summary.

    Wednesday, December 2, 2009

    CCGS Library now open Saturdays 10-12

    CCGS Library Program Director Brenda Hayes announced today that beginning Saturday, December 5, 2009, the CCGS Genealogy Room and Library will now be open to members and the public on Saturdays, from 10 am to Noon.

    In making her announcement, Brenda expressed the hope that with Saturday hours, more people on Cape Cod will be able to use our facilities to learn more about their family history. "This could be a good experience for children, who often come with their parents on Saturday mornings," she added.

    The CCGS Genealogy Room and Library are located in the Dennis Public Library at 5 Hall Street, Dennis Port, MA. Members of the Cape Cod Genealogical Society are on hand to assist visitors with all aspects of family history and genealogy.

    In addition to its collection of genealogical books and magazines, the CCGS Library also has two computers and printers available for free access to online genealogy records databases including, HeritageQuest, (NEHGS), World Vital Records, and, among others.

    Learn more about the CCGS Library, hours, and holdings.