Thursday, December 30, 2010

Web Workshop part of Mentoring series January 6, 2011

Thursday, January 6, 2011, in the auditorium of the Dennis Public Library from 2-4 pm. Directions.

As part of the series of mentoring sessions for January, Webmaster Chris Geanacopoulos will present a workshop on Finding Your Way on the Web, or how to get the most out of your Web browsing experience.

Topics will include:
  • The Internet, the World Wide Web, and what your PC does for you.
  • How pages on the Web differ from pages in books, magazines and journals.
  • What to do if you get lost, or forget where you came from, or how to find that great site you stumbled upon last week....
  • Managing a list of favorite Web sites.
  • Problems with printing Web pages.
  • Using your browser’s tabs
  • Copy/Paste from a Web site.
  • Emailing Web pages to others
  • Questions and answers.
Please email Chris at to let him know you are coming. Beginners are welcome.

Click for the complete January CCGS Mentoring Schedule.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

January Mentoring Program Announced:

Listed below are four Mentoring Sessions which are being offered in the month of January. Since some of our sessions have generated a lot of interest, you must contact the mentor prior to the session to register to attend. A Mentor may need to limit the number of attendees in a session.

Thursday January 6, 2011
Topic:   Finding Your Way on the Web

Mentor: Webmaster Chris Geanacopoulos will provide some background on the Internet  and will show you some useful tips for browsing the Web. This is in a Workshop format so there is no limit on attendees. Beginners welcome. Q&A afterward. Contact Chris at
Place:   Auditorium, Dennis Public Library, Hall St., Dennis Port, MA
Time:   2pm to 4pm

Thursday January 13, 2011
Topic:   The Art of the Genealogical Interview
Mentor: David Martin,
Place:   Genealogy Room, Dennis Public Library, Hall St., Dennis Port, MA
Time:   2 pm to 4 pm

Tuesday January 18, 2011

Topic:   Beginners Genealogy — Pointers on how to find your relatives
Mentor: Nancy A. Daniels,
Place:   Eastham Public Library, downstairs conference room
Time:   11 am to 1 pm

Wednesday January 26, 2011
Topic:   Unlocking the Genealogical Secrets Available at Sturgis Library
Mentor: Bebe Brock,
Place:   Sturgis Library, 3090 Main St. (Rt 6A), Barnstable, MA, Genealogy Room
Time:   2 pm to 4 pm

We welcome all members and those interested in Genealogy to attend!

If you would consider being a Mentor for one session, please contact Nancy A. Daniels at for details!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Wellfleet Vital Records Available in Print

As part of a multi-volume project, the Mayflower Descendant (publication of the Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Descendants) is publishing the entire list of Wellfleet Vital Records from 1763 to 1844.  The first installment was in 2008, with their Volume 57, page 124. The second installment is currently available in the Summer 2010 Volume 59, no. 2, starting on page 115. A third installment will appear in a future issue. The transcriber is Andrew P. Langlois, and most of the records were recorded at the time of Sam Waterman, Town Clerk.  Anyone with Cape Cod, as well as Wellfleet, ancestry will want to consult this transcription. Some of the prominent surnames are Rich, Lewis, Whitman, Higgins, Freeman, Cole, Covell, and Atwood, to name only some. The website of the Society is

Friday, December 10, 2010

Genealogists' Input on 2010 Census

The National Archives is currently seeking input from the general public about what should be permanently kept from the recently completed 2010 Census. At the moment, the appraisal and records schedule of that census are available for public review and comment. Genealogists are especially invited to go to, to read the entire posting and see how to let the Archives know what you think.  All comments must be in by 30 December, and they will become part of NARA's official file dealing with the records schedule. Let's all take advantage of this one-time opportunity to have a say in the availability of these records.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Exciting Re-Discovery of Cape Town Boundaries

Three members of the Cape Cod Genealogical Society--Bebe Brock, David Martin, and Robert Ward-- spent the morning of Wednesday, December 8, 2010 traipsing through the woods of Dennis and Yarmouth seeking the ancient surveyors marker stones which were laid out to define the boundaries of the Cape Cod towns of Barnstable, Yarmouth, Dennis, and Brewster. They joined a group led by Michael Farber, a retired lawyer and surveyor, who has made it his interest to find these stones which demarcate the bounds of the towns.

The whole process is known as the Cornerstone Project. Farber has followed the work of E. Morse Payne, a member of CCGS, who had discovered earlier that the bounds of the Cape Cod towns were set by Governor William Bradford in 1641 by surveyor-sightings from a ship anchored in Cape Cod Bay.

Bradford and his assistants used a line drawn on a north-south axis from Race Point, Provincetown, to Hyannis Harbor to determine additional lines drawn from this line to set the boundaries of Sandwich, Barnstable, Yarmouth, and Harwich--the original Cape towns.

The day began at a surveyor's stone by the south side of Hallets Mill Pond in Barnstable.  The group then proceeded to Scargo Hill Tower where an excellent view was found of Cape Cod Bay and both Manomet Point in Plymouth and Race Point in Provincetown. They then went to the Sears Cemetery near the Bound Brook Conservation Area where a stone demarcating the boundary between Yarmouth and Harwich (now Brewster) lay and followed the line between the towns over rolling hills finding three marker stones in succession, all along a clear Magnetic North line. Adjoining the nature preserve is a superseded section of the King’s Highway which is now Route 6A. The tour ended at the mouth of Namskaket Creek in Brewster, where additional markers had been laid, marking the boundary between what was then Harwich and Eastham (now Orleans).   

Michael Farber has agreed to attend a meeting of the Cape Cod Genealogical Society to speak on the Cape Cod Cornerstone Project and his discoveries of the surveyors’ stones, as well as the important need for volunteers to assist in transcribing Cape Cod official town land records from the 17th and 18th centuries.                                                                                                                       
--Robert Ward

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Previous Bulletins Available

The Cape Cod Genealogical Society BULLETIN's final issue appears in December 2010, and then a brand new JOURNAL of the Cape Cod Genealogical Society will first appear in June 2011.  Copies of nearly all past issues of the BULLETIN are available, since its inception in the mid-1970's.  Available past copies are to be ready for purchase for $1 each at the Program Meetings of January through May 2011.  If you need to fill in a missing issue or two, or are just interested in the content of a particular issue after you peruse the table of contents, you will want to take advantage of this one-time opportunity.  After that time, all except one file copy of these past Bulletins will be sent to a recycling center; then, past issues will be available only through the available CD of past issues. Do stop by the registration table and take a look!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Using the New NEHGS Website

As a long-time member of the New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS), I have received "The Weekly Genealogist" e-mail on a weekly basis to keep me informed of changes which they make. However, they recently changed their website to Like many of our members, I suppose, I was very disappointed at first because I was so used to using the old New Eng Hist Gen website that these web pages seemed like a step backwards. I was having very little success now with doing searches.

Then, in Volume 13, No. 47 of  "The Weekly Genealogist," published on November 24, 2010, they recommended a new tutorial which they had posted to teach how to better use the new website. I HIGHLY recommend it! It takes 15 or 20 minutes but really helped me to clarify how to better use the site and get better results.

This web tutorial for using, the new online home for NEHGS, covers basic navigation, search options and tips, filtering and sorting results, using the image viewers, and customizable profile features. You can view the tutorial on the homepage.

Try it! You'll like it!  --  Nancy Daniels

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Mentoring Sessions for December 2010

Listed below are three Mentoring Sessions which are being offered in the month of December. Since some of our sessions have generated a lot of interest, YOU MUST CONTACT THE MENTOR prior to the session to register to attend. A Mentor may need to limit the number of attendees in a session. We look forward to your participation.

Thursday, December 9, 2010
: Writing Your Family History
Mentor: David Martin,
Place: Dennisport Public Library, Hall St., Genealogy Room
Time: 2 pm to 4 pm

Friday, December 17, 2010
Topic: Ancestors Who Came to Cape Cod and Plymouth 1620 to 1700
Mentor: Dan McConnell,
Place: Dennisport Public Library, Hall St., Genealogy Room
Time: 10am to Noon

Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Topic: New Member CCGS Orientation and Beginner Genealogy
Mentor: Nancy A. Daniels,
Place: Eastham Public Library, Samoset Rd, downstairs
Time: 11 am to 1 pm

Becoming a Mentor--A Great Opportunity

CCGS began its Mentoring program in the Spring of 2010 when we saw a need for one-on-one genealogy discussions. The Education Committee had completed a Member Survey which showed a great deal of interest in a variety of topics. The survey also indicated that members had some knowledge which they would be willing to share with other members.

Thus, the Mentoring Program was born, thanks to the initiative of Nancy Daniels. Our core philosophy for this program is Members Helping Members. ALL of us have a knowledge about at least one aspect of genealogy that we have developed over time. Whether it is, for example,  how to stay organized, how to use Census records, or how to do Irish or German, etc. research, we have all had success in some area of Genealogy and have the capacity to help our fellow members in a small group setting.

We have been able to provide between 3 and 4 different Mentoring Sessions each month. As the word got out, this program became very popular and a few sessions had too many attendees to be effective ( a nice problem to have!), and so we have limited the number to attend. All wishing to attend need to contact the Mentor, showing their interest. If the session is already full, you will be on a waiting list, and that will encourage the Mentor to repeat the session.

There are a million different topics that could be great Mentoring topics. You can probably think of 4 or 5 that you would like to see happen right now! Our biggest hurdle is to find members who are willing to take the first step in BEING a Mentor. We need your help. If we are going to continue this program, we need you to step up and offer to be a Mentor. Just try it once, and we know you will be hooked.

Here are some comments from experienced Mentors, when they were asked why they became a Mentor:

• So many people have helped me along my genealogical journey that it felt good to have the chance to give back, & I hope the participants benefited. Also, every sharing is a learning opportunity---Barb

• One-on-one is the ideal way to help someone, I think. And, like Anna in the King and I, by your students you are taught—Joan

• I enjoyed being a mentor very much, as I think I was able to help people to make progress, whether they were beginners or more experienced. I like sharing what I have learned over the years.—Dan

• I definitely like doing this. Reasons: my knowledge gets to be useful to others; I get good feelings from helping others; and it is proving to be a way of keeping current members getting an additional benefit from membership.--Dave

• I am excited and fulfilled when even one aspect of my Mentoring session helps a member. I have seen the Mentoring session turn into 4 or 5 of us helping each other. I learn something with each session held.—Nancy

CCGS provides wonderful educational sessions and great monthly programs, but the Mentoring Program is one of the best features of our Society because it is Members Helping Members! We all love the chance to talk about our genealogy and how it is going or not going. In this small-group format you can do just that, and get some help at the same time.

Now is the time, however, to consider becoming a Mentor. Try it! If you are unsure, you can speak to one of our previous Mentors to get some help. We know you will truly appreciate the help you are giving to your fellow members.

To become a Mentor or ask any questions, contact

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Update on Ancestry.Com Developments

Note: This column is a regular contribution by Carol Magenau of the Cape Cod Genealogical Society, to keep members and others updated on latest developments at
Since September 2010, has loaded many new small databases of Canadian material, including reports of court cases, educational institutions, directories of societies and professions, and burial and church records. Many of these cover a limited period of time. Several United Kingdom resources are new, including databases of genealogical material in magazines (Illustrated London News, Penny Magazine), "notes and queries" for several counties, and some military award indexes (e.g., UK Military Campaign Medal and Award Rolls, 1793-1949).

Also included are London (England) Baptisms, Marriages, and Burials, 1538-1812. For France, there are a few new directories, as well as for Australia (New South Wales, Australia, Register of Coroners' Inquests 1796-1942). For Italy, two civil registration records databases and one new item for Germany (Lubeck draft registration lists) have been added. For the USA there are some new military and prison records (e.g., World War II prisoners of the Japanese; Fort Leavenworth and McNeil Island penitentiary records).

As usual, many existing databases were also updated. Any of these databases can be searched specifically by going to the "What's Happening" box on Ancestry's home page, and then clicking on "View all new records", and then clicking on whatever database(s) are of interest.

And big news for Mac users: FamilyTreeMaker is now available for the Mac computer!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Mentoring Sessions for November 2010

Listed below is the final Mentoring Session being offered in November. Since some of our sessions have generated a lot of interest, participants need to contact the Mentor prior to the session to register to attend. A Mentor may limit the number of attendees to a session. We hope for continuing good participation in these events.

Date: Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Topic: Using Census Records
Mentor: David Martin,
Place: Dennis Public Library, Hall St., Genealogy Room
Time: 2 pm to 4 pm

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

CCGS Llibrary - New Books October 2010

CCGS Librarian Betsy Ferris announces there’s something new for everyone at the Cape Cod Genealogical Library this fall.

The Journey Takers, by Leslie Albrecht Huber, our featured speaker in September, is a brand new book about how to tell a family history engagingly.  (See review.)  You will find this volume listed with Biographies at 92 ALBRECHT.

Eight new books added to our collection in October were gifts from CCGS Member Mona Lamkin.  These include several of interest to those researching Irish immigration, books of interest to those with ancestors from early Philadelphia, or Vermont, or those looking for information on the graveyards of New York City. 

Irish Relatives and Friends is a collection of personal notices compiled by Laura Murphy DeGrazia and Diane Fitzpatrick Haberstroh from “Information Wanted” ads in the Irish-American 1850-1871, which was published in New York City for the Irish immigrant community.  The book includes useful indexes of personal names, Irish place names, U.S. and other place names, and New York City street names.  The book is listed under Sources at 929.3 DeG.

Grosse Ile, Gateway to Canada 1832-1937, by Marianna O’Gallagher is listed in our catalog under Canadian history at 971.6 O’GA.  The book is an illustrated history of Grosse Ile in the St. Lawrence, which served as a human quarantine station for European immigrants to Canada, including many from Ireland.  The volume includes an alphabetized list of orphans in the Catholic orphanage of Quebec in 1847.

Another book useful for researching immigration is Passenger Arrivals at the Port of Philadelphia 1800-1819, edited by Michael H. Tepper.  The Philadelphia "Baggage Lists" are an extensive list of names arranged alphabetically by surname and including the name of the ship and date of arrival in port.  You will find the book in our library among those on Sources at 929.3 TEP.

Philadelphia Maps, 1682-1982: Townships - Districts - Wards, is a guide to the history and chronological development of political divisions within the city of Philadelphia from early settlement to the present day.  It is listed among Guides to research at 929.1 PHI.

Burial Grounds of Vermont, edited by Arthur L. and Frances P. Hyde, was published by the Vermont Old Cemetery Association in 1991.  This is a comprehensive list, by county, of all cemeteries in Vermont including number of graves and dates of first and last burials.  The book is listed under Cemeteries at 929.5 HYD.

Another book about burials in Vermont includes more extensive information than simply gravestones.  Soldiers of the Revolutionary War Buried in Vermont, and anecdotes and incidents relating to some of them, was written by Walter H. Crockett, and delivered before the Vermont Historical Society in the Hall of the House of Representatives on October 27, 1904.  There are 4,608 names of Vermont Revolutionary War soldiers.  You will find the book among Sources at 929.3 CRO.

The Graveyard Shift, a Family Historian’s Guide to NYC Cemeteries, by Carolee Inskeep, was published in 2000.  This alphabetical listing of cemeteries in New York City including a brief description and contact information for each, may be found under Cemeteries at 929.5 INS.

And finally, Your Family Reunion, How to Plan It, Organize It, and Enjoy It! by George G. Morgan describes a reunion from the planning and organizing stage to pursuing genealogical research during the festivities and staying in touch with relatives afterwards.  This is a Guide to be found at 929.1 MOR.

CCGS Library Online Catalog

The Journey Takers by Leslie Huber - A Review

[Review submitted by CCGS Librarian Betsy Ferris]

Immediately after listening to our wonderful speaker, Leslie Albrecht Huber, at the September 2010 meeting of the Cape Cod Genealogical Society, library volunteers Brenda Hayes and Betsy Ferris scrambled to purchase Leslie’s latest volume for the CCGS Library.  Her new book, The Journey Takers, is a story of her family, and even more a book about how to research and tell a family story, using many types of sources and resources, documenting information properly, and making the narrative as flowing and readable as a novel.

In this fascinating little tale are tips and inspiration for genealogist readers who travel vicariously with the author, chapter by chapter from Germany to Sweden, to England and back to Utah. The Journey Takers is listed in the Biography section of the CCGS Catalog of books under 92 ALBRECHT, Albrecht being the first family surname investigated along this literary journey. It is a wonderful read with extensive notes and bibliography.

More on The Journey Takers.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

New England Regional Genealogical Conference -- 2011

The New England Regional Genealogical Consortium, of which the Cape Cod Genealogical Society is a charter member, is sponsoring the Eleventh New England Regional Genealogical Conference this coming April 6 to 10, 2011, at the Sheraton Springfield Monarch Place and Springfield Marriott, in Springfield, Massachusetts. The 2011 NERGC Conference will have as its theme, Exploring New Paths to Your Past.

In keeping with the conference theme, Exploring New Paths to Your Past, NERGC 2011 will help genealogists explore:

*New research pathways, methodologies, and strategies, including technologies and online resources.

*The pathways their ancestors followed into and out of New England (including where and why they moved and settlement and migration patterns).

*Ethnic genealogy of all types, especially British isles, Irish, Italian, French-Canadian African-American, and Native American.

*New approaches to discovering their ancestors’ worlds through directories, maps, atlases, gazetteers, and online imagery.

*Systematic approaches for finding and utilizing record sources.

*The wealth of information available in New England’s repositories.

*New ways to plan and prepare for a successful research trip, including resources close to home.

*General genealogical skills and techniques.

*Family history writing and publishing.

The 2011 NERGC Conference will build upon our previous excellent conferences with informative speakers, interesting workshops, an ancestors road show, local interest activities, special interest groups, an exhibitors hall, a Society Fair, and luncheon and dinner banquets. The featured speakers will be John Philip Colletta and Paul Milner.
CCGS’s own Robert Ward will make a presentation on the Genealogical Resources of Cape Cod. He will include information about the genealogical and historical societies and library repositories of the Cape, including web resources, with a little bit of Cape Cod history.

Volunteers will be needed to help in all aspects of the conference. If interested, contact Christine Bard at

For further information, and to get a 2001 NERGC Conference Program, contact the 2011 NERGC website at:

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Ellis Island Oral Histories Available Online

Since 1973, the Ellis Island Oral History Program has been recording interviews with nearly 2,000 immigrants who came through Ellis Island during the years that the Immigration Station was in operation, 1892 through 1954. According to the National Park Service at Ellis Island, “Interviews since the mid 1980s have included accounts of everyday life in the country of origin, family history, motivation for immigration, the journey itself from home across the ocean to New York, arrival and processing at Ellis Island and adjustments to living in the United States.”

With the recent announcement of their Ellis Island Oral Histories collection, has made these recordings available online. The recordings are free - you do not have to be a paid subscriber to to hear them, although you’ll be asked to register with the site by giving your first and last names along with your email address.

Using Advanced Search you can look for oral histories by name, place of birth, age, name of the ship, and other keywords.

Even though your ancestor is unlikely to appear in the search results, others who have traveled from the same place of origin, or came on a similar voyage on the same ship may have had experiences close to those of your ancestors.

By listening to several interviews of people similar in circumstances to your ancestors you may be able extract the common experiences and apply them to your own narrative about your immigrant ancestors.

I've only just begun to explore this interesting database. Checking the ethnic backgrounds relevant to our household, I found 35 listings for Greece, over 150 for Poland, and 73 for Ireland. Next is a search on the names of the ships our ancestors came on to get the stories of what their trip may have been like.

Explore the Ellis Island Oral Histories and leave a comment about your experiences.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Mentoring Sessions to Continue in October

The already successful Mentoring sessions provided by Society members in May, June, and September of this year are scheduled to continue with a set of new topics.  Each Mentoring session is informal with the Mentor working with and sharing ideas for anyone who attends; it would be much appreciated if anyone interested in a particular session could contact the Mentor a few days in advance so that she or he can bring enough copies of any handouts and be generally prepared.

Scheduled for October 2010 are:

Monday October 4, 2010
Topic: Old Barnstable Families and their Homes
Mentor: Prof James Gould (
Place: Sturgis Library, RT 6A in Barnstable Village
Time: 10 am till noon

Wednesday October 13, 2010
Topic: Immigration: How to use as a research tool
Mentor: David Martin (
Place: Dennis Public Library, Hall St., Genealogy Room
Time: 2 pm to 4 pm
(Please note the date change from October 14)

Thursday October 28, 2010
Topic: Irish Immigrants to MA in the 19th Century
Mentor: Barbara Schweizer (
Place: Dennis Public Library, Hall St., Genealogy Room
Time: 10am till Noon

Friday October 29, 2010
Topic: Did your family come to New England during 1620-1640?
Mentor: Dan McConnell (
Place: Dennis Public Library, Hall St., Genealogy Room
Time: 10 am till noon

Please plan to participate and take advantage of these excellent resource people!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Copying Tintypes

[A story of persistence and luck - submitted by CCGS member Barbara Knisell]

Several years ago I had a local photography studio make prints from three large tintypes of my great-great grandparents and their son-in-law (my great grandfather) so that my sister and I could each have a set. Now that I’m making up albums for my two cousins, I wanted to give each of them a set of three. I decided it might be less expensive to have my local Staples do the job.

The first person I spoke to tried to print one. All she got was a black image and gave up. I went back a second day and asked a young man if he could do the job. He said it would be better if I took the tintypes to a photo shop.

When I took them to a local photo shop the employee started asking what size I’d like? I said, “ I would like them the size they are already." He started to measure them and came up with a price of $15 each. I told him I was making up albums for my cousins, so I would need six pictures altogether. I wasn’t going to spend that much and said, “Thank you, anyway.”

Great-great grandmother Isabella Quin Dimock.
Thinking about what I was going to do next, it dawned on me that I could just bring the prints that the photography studio had made to Staples and have copies made from those.

It was late on a Saturday afternoon when I took my prints into Staples. There was yet another person working in the copy area. When I showed her the prints, she asked me if I had the tintypes with me, which I didn’t. She said she’d like to work with the originals. I related my experiences with the previous employees. She told me that she’d worked for Staples for ten years and she had printed out images from tintypes in the past.

I then went home to have supper and pick up the tintypes to take back for “April” to do her thing! At 69 cents a copy, she did the job just as I’d wanted ! “April” works there only on Saturdays.

The picture shown above is a scanned version of the copy made at Staples from the original tintype. It shows my great-great grandmother Isabella Quin Dimock, who was born in Buffalo, NY on October 16, 1831. She died in Toronto, Canada on April 26, 1914. I'm guessing the tintype was taken somewhere in the 1860's or early 1870's.

Share your experience copying tintypes by adding a comment.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

NEHGS Launches New Website

The New England Historic Genealogical Society has recently launched its new website,

The new site contains "all of the Society’s New England and New York content, features, articles, and resources, as well as weekly updates and databases in a variety of regional and ethnic specialties, such as sources for mid-Atlantic, Irish, and African American research," NEHGS announced the day of the launch, August 19, 2010. "provides online access to some of the most important research tools and resources available, and includes a new image viewer, faster navigation and search results time, and more unique content. This expanded scope allows greater opportunity for NEHGS to bring unique content to its members and the public while establishing new and beneficial collaborations with likeminded non-profit organizations and important commercial entities."

NEHGS's original site at still remains, and while many of the same online databases can be accessed from there, the organization announced these new features for
  • More exclusive content: more unique, searchable, highly vetted materials for New England, New York, and other regions added weekly
  • Enhanced search engine: an all-new, true “master search” that will search across all databases and other web-based content, with faster results and easier navigation
  • Personal research profile: a social networking feature for NEHGS members to develop an online profile and input family research information, and even share them with others
  • Improved images: a state-of-the-art new image viewer that will provide easier saving, and viewing of images and data
  • Timely information: more news on our homepage and an enhanced blog “The Daily Genealogist” will bring our weekly electronic newsletter to the next level with stories and helpful research tips
Be sure to visit You can sign up for the NEHGS "Guest User" program if you are not a NEHGS member and enjoy may aspects of the site for free.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Vital Records Access for Barnstable County, 1640-1920

A free public website,, is now available which displays transcripts and, where available, digital images of original Town Records (births, marriages and intentions, and deaths) of the 15 towns on Cape Cod.

It is a work in progress; Harwich has been completed, and a few other towns are now being phased in. The project must be supported by historical societies and town halls which have preserved copies of their old hand-written journals on disk. To include images of the original journal entries, a disk from the town hall's archivers is needed.

The web-pages are presented by town, event, and year of the event. A surname index for each town  provides easy access to a transcription of a family's records. For example,the transcription web-page contains the link to a photocopy of the original journal entry, thus replacing the need to contact the town itself for copies of the record. The goal is to consolidate one county-wide index for Barnstable County, so that, for example, when one looks up "Nickerson", it will then list links to all Nickerson vital records in the county.

How To Participate--This work is being done by volunteers, many of them seniors who on long wintry nights become reinvigorated by working on the project.  The project involves: opening an email from the coordinators with an attachment of a copy of a source document, and then copying the information into a spreadsheet on the home computer. To participate in the project, contact the local historical society in your town (see the Historical Societies link on the right-hand list in the blue section on the home page of this blog, to find how to contact your local historical society).

Friday, September 3, 2010

3-Part Education Series is a Success

A special offering of a Genealogical Workshop by CCGS took place on three Monday afternoons in August, 2010 at the Jacob Sears Library in East Dennis.  Twenty participants, including several non-members, took advantage of the opportunity.

The first session provided an overview of general genealogical methods, and served as a review for experienced family historians as well as an introduction for several who are new to this pursuit. The second session focussed on Immigration to the United States and Migration across the United States, all in relation to searching for the identity of and facts about ancestors (a brief version of this presentation will form the basis for one of the regular Society Program meetings early in 2011). The third session featured the variety of computer software that is available for organizing and keeping genealogical data, followed by a "live" examination of some of the most useful genealogical websites; participants were able to connect in real time due to the availability of laptop computers for everyone to share.

Presenters included: Nancy De Nise on general genealogical techniques as well as church records; Judy Terry on using land and deed records for genealogy; Brenda Hayes on using library resources including the Society's own collection at the Dennis Public Library in Dennisport; Carolyn Weiss on a variety of topics including Migration, general genealogical methods, computer software for genealogy, and useful internet sites; and David Martin on general genealogical methods and Immigration in genealogy.

Plans are now being discussed on another offering of a version of this course later in 2011 in which Census topics could be substituted for Immigration and Migration. Anyone with suggestions on educational offerings is invited to send them via David Martin at

Research Trip to Boston - November 9, 2010

The Cape Cod Genealogical Society is sponsoring a research bus trip to Boston on Tuesday, November 9, 2010.

Destinations include:
  • Massachusetts Archives - Columbia Point (Mass Registry of Vital Records and JFK Presidential Library are close by).
  • Boston Public Library - Copley Square. You will need your BPL library card. You can get one free at the entrance.
  • New England Historic Genealogical Society - Newbury St. (additional cost of $15 at entrance if non member of NEHGS).
The bus will leave promptly at 8:00 am from Patriot Square, Dennis, on Route 134-Exit 9A. We will then pick up passengers at the Burger King Park & Ride at Exit 6, and the Sagamore Park & Ride. The return trip will leave Boston about 3:15 pm to arrive on Cape Cod at about 5:00 pm.

The cost for this trip is $35.00.

We suggest you bring a brown bag lunch, although there are some spots to eat near all facilities.

See our Research Guides to help plan your trip.

Non-Members are Welcome to join us!

To sign up, print and return the registration form (pdf).

For more information, call Ellen Geanacopoulos at 508-432-5469.

Friday, August 20, 2010

New Mentoring Season Begins

September is the start of our new year for the Cape Cod Genealogical Society, and we have put together the following Mentoring Sessions for you to take advantage of. A Mentoring Session is two hours focused on a particular genealogical topic with insights provided by one of our members.

Please contact the Mentor at the appropriate e-mail address below before the session so they can be prepared for you. We hope you will participate and enjoy:

Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Topic: Records and What They Tell You
Mentor: Sam Slicer
Place: Thirwood Place, 237 N. Main St. South Yarmouth
(Stop at front desk to be directed to the room)
Time: 10 am to 12 pm

Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Topic: How to use Ancestry and other on-line Databases for your Genealogy Research
Mentor: Ed Barr
Place: Dennis Public Library, Hall St., Genealogy Room
Time: 3 pm to 5 pm

Thursday, September 23, 2010
Topic: Gravestones--Proper Care, Cleaning and Repairing
Mentor: Robert Carlson
Place: Dennis Public Library, Hall St., Genealogy Room
Time: 1 pm to 3 pm

Thursday, September 30, 2010
Topic: Ideas to Try to Unblock that Brick Wall
Mentor: Nancy Daniels (
Bring your tough ancestors and we’ll try to give you some ideas to find more information.
Place: Eastham Public Library, downstairs room
Time: 11 am till 1 pm (Please contact Nancy so she knows what resources to prepare for this session).

Note: We are also in need of new Mentors who would be willing to lead one of these types of sessions ON ANY GENEALOGY TOPIC YOU ARE COMFORTABLE WITH! It is low-key and is strictly a member- helping-member program! Please consider donating your time in this project by contacting Nancy Daniels at

Thank you!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Family History Day with NEHGS

The second Family History Day sponsored jointly by the New England Historic Genealogical Society(NEHGS) and will be held on Saturday, October 16, 2010 at the Seaport Hotel and World Trade Center in Boston.  The day will consist of lectures, meeting with expert staff, digitizing family documents, and learning about the resources of both NEHGS and Ancestry.  Anyone interested is encouraged to register early in order to hold a spot, at   Several CCGS members attended the first session of this kind in Spring 2010 and found it to be highly useful.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

John Lothrop Presentation by CCGS President

On Tuesday, October 28, 2010, beginning at 7pm, CCGS President Dan McConnell will give a presentation on the Reverend John Lothrop in regard to his stance for religious freedom and the migration of his congregation to Barnstable.  Dan is an expert on this topic and is active in several genealogical societies related to the Lothrop story. He has also published two different articles in the Cape Cod Genealogical Society Bulletin, one on Lothrop and the roots of his church in England and America(Fall 2008), and another on the Howes, Lothrops, and Linnells of England and Barnstable (Fall 2007). This presentation which promises to be very informative will be given at the Sturgis Library in Barnstable Village, which also has a historic connection to the Lothrop family.  All are welcome.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

CCGS Library - New Addition

CCGS Librarian Betsy Ferris has announced that a new history of New Bedford has recently been added to the collection of books about Massachusetts towns at the CCGS Genealogy Room library. A New Bedford Historical Sketch; How the Core Community Grew, by Robert Ricketson Murphy, published in 2008, is a gift from Society member David Martin.

The volume gives historical details about the development of the city, such as the origins of many street names. A large fold-out street map of New Bedford indicating Wards of the city is included in the back, providing a good view of the area covered by census enumeration districts. Although there is no index, a comprehensive table of contents lists information covered.

The Cape Cod Genealogical Society's online library catalog currently contains 84 volumes dealing with towns in Massachusetts, with emphasis on Cape Cod and southeast Massachusetts.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

2010-2011 Program Schedule

Meetings 10 - 12—When at Brewster Ladies’ Library (BLL), 1822 Main Street (Rte 6A) Brewster, Massachusetts. See below for individual days, dates and locations.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Beyond Names and Dates: Uncovering Your Ancestors’ Stories
Leslie Huber. (BLL)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Googling for Genealogists
Michael Marx. (BLL)

Saturday, November 13, 2010 - Joint Meeting with Falmouth Genealogical Society. 10:00 am. West Barnstable Community Center, Route 149
Latest Developments in Internet Genealogy and Across USA; Migrations and Their Genealogical Significance
Michael Leclerc, New England Historic Genealogical Society

Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Sharing Our Genealogical Stories
Members of the Society. (BLL).

Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Immigration & Migration
David Martin & Carolyn Weiss. (BLL)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Cape Cod Genealogical Resources
Robert Ward. (BLL)

Saturday, March 19, 2011
The Value of Probate in Genealogical Research
Anastasia Welsh Perrino. (BLL)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Don’t Call Your Relations; Let Them Call You
Marian Pierre-Louis. (BLL)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011
How the Cape Was Settled Because of Geography
Jim Gould. (BLL)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Annual Luncheon
Program Topic: "The Great Migration, 1620-1640"
Melinde Sanborn (Old Yarmouth Inn)

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Workshop Deadline Extended

The previously-posted deadline of June 30, 2010 for registration for any of the 3 August 2010 Genealogy Workshops has been postponed now until July 31, 2010.  The Monday, August 9 session will focus on an Overview of Genealogical Methods; the August 16 session will focus on Immigration and Migration; and the August 23 session will focus on Computers in Genealogy--both using the Internet and genealogical software for recordkeeping. All sessions will be at the Jacob Sears Library, from 1:30-3:30 PM; see the Upcoming Events announcement for a link to do registration and to send your fee by check made out to CCGS.  Each session is $15 for members or $40 for all 3 sessions, and $20 for non-members or $50 for all 3 sessions. Questions? Contact David Martin at

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Immigrant genealogy resources at CCGS Library

For those inspired by by Marcia Melnyk's speech about tracing European ancestors at the Annual Luncheon on June 16, 2010 (see summary), library staffers Brenda Hayes and Betsy Ferris are reminding members and other researchers that the CCGS Library has two of the books Marcia recommended in her talk--They Came in Ships: A Guide to Finding Your Immigrant Ancestors Arrival Records, by John Philip Coletta, and A Genealogist’s Guide to Discovering Your Italian Ancestors, by Lynn Nelson. The two volumes are located in the how-to section (929.1).

And for anyone interested in researching immigrant ancestors who do not happen to be Italian, the library also has guides to discovering other immigrant groups—African-American, English, German, Hungarian, Irish, and Scandinavian, along with a good collection of the study guides for foreign research published by the Mormon Church.

See the Library's complete listing of study guides online.

The Library will be open all summer.  Happy ancestor hunting!

Alert -- Sandwich Town Archivist Position Eliminated

The Town of Sandwich has eliminated the position of Town Archivist as of July 1, 2010, due to the need to cut the town budget. Long-time CCGS member and friend, Barbara Gill, has occupied that valuable position for many years.

George Brennan reported in the Cape Cod Times on Thursday, June 18, 2010, that the "Friends of the Sandwich Town Archivist" has announced plans to accept donations to be used to pay her $11,000 salary. Without an archivist, access to the town records will be limited--a critical problem for anyone carrying out genealogical or historical research related to Cape Cod, especially its early years. In addition, much important analytical work with the Archives is being carried out by Barbara.

The press release from the "Friends of the Sandwich Town Archivist" went to say that anyone who donates $25 or more before July 13 will receive a chance at a drawing of prizes donated by two local artists -- Kathryn Kleecamp and David McDermott. The drawing will take place at the meeting of the Friends group at the Sandwich library, on July 13 at 3 p.m.

Donations may be sent to Friends of the Sandwich Town Archives, 142 Main St., Sandwich, MA 02536. CCGS members will want to consider supporting this important cause.

[Submitted by CCGS Past-President Robert Ward]

Thursday, June 17, 2010

President's 2009-2010 Year-End Review

[The following are remarks presented by outgoing President Bob Ward at the Annual Luncheon Meeting, June 16, 2010.]

The Cape Cod Genealogical Society had a very good year in 2010. We enjoyed a host of society activities, well attended and informative. 

Monthly Programs
Our monthly membership meetings attracted many of our members to hear interesting and informative talks by some of the region’s best genealogical speakers. David Dearborn, senior research fellow at the New England Historic Genealogical Society led off in September, speaking on Scottish genealogical research. Ralph Wadleigh from the Falmouth Genealogical Society, followed up several months after with his experiences researching his ancestors in the Orkneys. Donald Sparrow, a life-long resident of Eastham, spoke on growing up Cape Cod.

Our November joint meeting with Falmouth Genealogical Society was a great success with Michael LeClerc, of NEHGS, as our speaker. He will be again be our speaker for another joint meeting with FGS this coming fall. Our own Carolyn Weiss and Dan McConnell presented fascinating and informative talks; Carolyn on Tips for Searching the US Census Online, and Dan on the Congregation of John Lothrop, which emigrated as a body to settle in Barnstable. Marian Pierre-Louis spoke on early African-American communities in New England. This past May, Rev. Gary Marks of the Pilgrim Church in Plymouth spoke to us of the Rev. John Robinson, pastor of the Pilgrim church in Leiden, Holland, and the spiritual mentor of those who sailed on the Mayflower.

Two genealogical workshops were held in October. They were organized and presented by Bebe Brock, Nancy Denise, Judy Terry, Carolyn Weiss, and David Martin. Topics presented in the two-part series included using the internet, land records, Bible records getting started in genealogy, standards of evidence, military and immigration records and death records.

Our Special Interest Groups, three in number, have become more active again. These are the Irish SIG under Pat Concannon, the Computer Users Group which had been under Nancy Daniels, but is now looking for a leader (any volunteers, please, and the Cape Cod Families Group under Bebe Brock). Each of these SIGs meet once a month and provide for those attending a sharing with those of similar research interests.

New this year is a Mentoring Program. The idea is that those who have expertise and experience in a particular aspect of genealogy will meet with others to share that expertise. It has taken off and provided those attending with some great ideas and tips in research techniques and sources.

Research trips to several sites in Boston were again held by the society, one in December, 2009 and another in May, 2010. These were a great success, attracting 27 members and even making a profit for the Society above the cost of transportation.

Seven people traveled to Salt Lake City in October to research at the Family History Center there. The trip was deemed a success by those who were on it. The trip was sponsored and organized by our Educational Committee.

A three-part genealogical course is set for August 2010 under the direction of the Education Committee and will be held at the Jacob Sears Library in Dennis.

A research trip to Washington, D.C is set for October 2010. It will take in several major research facilities found there.

The publicity committee gained two new members, Ed Barr and Anne Stewart. They were off to a flying start and have provided good information on the society’s activities the various media outlets here on the Cape.

Our Society's Genealogical Library at the Dennis Public Library in Dennis Port, continues to attract many patrons who wish to

Marcia Melnyk Advises on Immigrant Genealogical Research

At the Annual Meeting and Luncheon for CCGS, genealogist Marcia Ianizzi Melnyk gave an engaging presentation on Immigrant Research Strategies.

She described surname searches, using a variety of spellings, and then narrowing down the region from which ancestors originated. In order to find possible alternate spellings, put the name into the Mormon data base on, and one can then see the variations in spellings. One also should look up a name both with and without its prefix—e.g., as both Dowell and McDowell.

Marcia clarified a frequent misunderstanding. She pointed out that immigration officers in places like Ellis Island normally just verified the immigrant’s information that she/he already gave to the authorities at the departure city; errors may have occurred there rather than in America. She also indicated that many individuals on their own initiative changed the spellings of their names in order to Americanize them. The only original records created at Ellis Island were those done for stowaways. Men were allowed to leave their home country only if they were not of an age for being eligible to serve in the home country’s military.

The so-called “Island of Tears” name that is associated with Ellis Island came about because when an immigrant family member was found to have a communicable disease, he or she were sent back to the country of origin at the ship’s expense, but the ship would not pay for other family members to join that member. Thus, some families were sadly split up permanently by such events.

She made several recommendations for researchers:
  • Research the record before using the record for research, i.e., analyze the nature and quality of the record first.
  • Find a good historical map of a home country region and look at the geography of that region in order to understand ancestors' living patterns. 
  • Remember that in some countries, e.g., Italy, women retained their maiden names rather than adopting husbands' names, thus providing a strong alternative for frustrating searches.
  • Before “crossing the pond” to do research in the home country, first make sure that one has exhausted all of the possible avenues of research in the USA.

Luncheon Speaker Marcia Melnyk (left) answers questions from members about European immigration research

A full summary of Marcia’s presentation will be available in the August 2010 issue of the CCGS Bulletin.

Leadership Changes in CCGS for 2010-2011

At the Annual Meeting and Luncheon of the Society on Wednesday, June 16, 2010, at the Old Yarmouth Inn, the following members were duly and unanimously elected to serve as officers for the year 2010-2011:

    President: Dan McConnell
    Vice-President: Carolyn Weiss
    Recording Secretary: Ellen Geanacopoulos
    Corresponding Secretary: Bebe Brock
    Treasurer: Robert Ward

Appreciation was expressed to the outgoing officers--to Bob Ward for leadership for two years as President, to Dan McConnell for two years of arranging outstanding program presenters, to Nancy Daniels for 8 years of diligent work as Treasurer, to Bebe Brock for her continuing work as Corresponding Secretary, and to Carolyn Weiss for her work as Recording Secretary.  Appreciation was also given to Maureen Quinn for her hard work as Membership Chairman; she will be stepping down as of August 1, 2010 and handing over the responsibility to Bonnie Cormier.

CCGS continues to be fortunate in the quality and dedication of its leaders!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Military Records for Massachusetts--A Treasure Trove

A fire on 12 July 1973 at the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis left the top floor of the military personnel records facility in ruins. This floor had contained some 22 million personnel folders, filed alphabetically, for U.S. Army personnel discharged from 1912 thru 1959 and of the U.S. Air Force discharged from September 1947 through 1963.

However, for Massachusetts we have good news. The military records of Massachusetts veterans from 1636 to1940 are at the Military Museum in Worcester. Included are the archives of the Office of the Adjutant General as well as military records of Massachusetts soldiers, marines, and sailors from 1775 to 1940. Records are found at the Massachusetts National Guard Military Museum and Archives, 44 Salisbury St., Worcester, MA 01609. Telephone: (508) 797-0334, open Tuesday through Friday, 9-4. Col. Len Kondratiuk, Director of Historical Services, has been a guest speaker for CCGS in the past.

(Records from 1941 to the present are located at the Office of the Adjutant General at 239 Causeway St. in Boston, (617) 727-2964.)

Military history in Massachusetts began on 13 Dec 1636, when the General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony ordered the organization of the colony's militia companies into the North, South, and East Regiments.

The Military Museum and Archives, established in 1995, has objects and exhibits from all of the wars in which citizens of Massachusetts served. The Civil War Room has original colors, weapons, equipment, and documents on display.Of particular Civil War interest are the muster books and correspondence of the various Massachusetts regiments. A data card can be found on every one of the approximately 160,000 Massachusetts soldiers, marines, and sailors who served in the Civil War.

Other exhibit rooms include the early Massachusetts Militia, the 23rd Infantry "America" Division (1942-1971) and the Yankee Division honoring the service of the 26th Infantry Division, Massachusetts National Guard (1917-1993). Rooms are also dedicated to the Korean and Vietnam Wars.

For anyone searching Massachusetts military ancestors, a visit to Worcester needs to be on the agenda!

[Information provided by Brenda Hayes, CCGS Genealogy Room and Library]

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Census Language Difficulty

In the 1850 Federal Census, the Peter White (Pierre LeBlanc) family of Millbury is shown in Figure 1.

As you see, the parents came from French Canada (Qu├ębec). Their entry into the United States was in 1843. Thus, this was their first census here.

Learning English and being understood by the census taker was not easy. Peter found it easy to call himself by his Anglicized name, but Victoria had difficulty.

Her name (Victoire) is pronounced Victwa in French, and the census taker apparently did not understand. What must have followed were attempts to explain, such as “like the Queen!” or “Queen Victoire.”

So the result, as you see in Figure 2, is “Queen V. White”

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Ireland Genealogy--A New Resource

An important resource for those who are researching their Irish genealogy has now been put online by the National Archives of Ireland.  As of June 3, 2010, the Archives announced that the 1901 Census of Ireland is available on their website; these data are searchable in all informational categories.  This resource, when coupled with the previously available 1911 Census of Ireland that has been online for some time, now means that the data for all 32 counties of Ireland are now available for all.  A truly exciting development!

--Pat Concannon, Irish Special Interest Group

CCGS new books May 2010

CCGS Librarian Betsy Ferris has announced that two new books have been donated to the Cape Cod Genealogical Society’s library by the author, Richard F. Whalen.

Truro; the Story of a Cape Cod Town, is the story of four centuries of history in Truro, beginning before its incorporation in 1709 as the tiniest town on the Cape, through the end of the 20th century. The readable, anecdotal volume also includes an extensive bibliography and discussion of major local sources.

A companion volume, Everyday Life in Truro, Cape Cod, from the Indians to the Victorians, includes a chronology of Truro history.

Richard F. Whalen, a year-round resident of Truro, has been active in the town's civic affairs and is currently a trustee of the Truro Conservation Trust. He is the author of Shakespeare: Who Was He?, and his articles on Shakespeare and Truro history have been published in a number of magazines and journals, including Harper's Magazine and the Historical Journal of Massachusetts.

The Cape Cod Genealogical Society's online library catalog currently contains 83 volumes dealing with towns in Massachusetts, with emphasis on Cape Cod and southeast Massachusetts.

Research Trip to Boston helps many

The spring bus trip sponsored by the Cape Cod Genealogical Society brought 27 genealogists and family historians from Cape Cod to Boston looking for their ancestors. Destinations for the May 19, 2010 excursion were the research facilities at the Boston Public Library and the New England Historic and Genealogical Society (NEHGS).

Many who went to the Boston Public Library visited the Microtext Department to research the microfilm records available, with most looking for obituaries found in old newspapers from around the country. Others searched the extensive collection of microfilmed city directories. Some researchers, fearing the microtext and newspaper collections may be in danger of being closed as a cost-saving move by the City of Boston, gave this venue their top priority.

Among those visiting the New England Historic and Genealogical Society on Newbury Street was Veteran CCGS member Roberta Bratti, who was thrilled to find information on her Knight line in a rare book at the NEHGS Library. "They went down in the vault to get it for me," she said.  "There are only four copies of it in the world!  It helped me a lot."

At the end of the trip, one passenger decided to join CCGS. "I'm hooked. Sign me up!" said Patricia Quasha from Dennis, having restarted her family research after a long lapse.

For two family historians this was their first trip to a large research facility. Fellow passengers advised them to take things slowly. "You'll need at least one more visit to figure out how the place works and where things are," said one. To that end, the Cape Cod Genealogical Society will offer another chance to visit Boston area research facilities with its fall trip, planned for late October or early November.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Historical Societies - Cape Cod and the Islands

The genealogical holdings of the historical societies of the Cape and Islands (Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard) range from biographies, genealogies, diaries and letters to captains' logs, applications to the National Historical Register and vintage photographs. Contact the individual historical society to inquire about specific holdings, family memorabilia, and to confirm hours of operation. In addition, it is possible to link to a free public website for some vital records located in Cape historical societies and town halls, in order to access particular records.

Cape Cod Historical Societies

Barnstable Historical Society
The Barnstable Historical Society is located next to the Sturgis Library in the Daniel Davis House and Museum, 3087 Main St. (Route 6A), Barnstable Village (location changed from across the street). The House is open from mid-June to mid-October, 1:00-4:00 p.m. or by appointment. Call 508-362-2982, or write to PO Box 829, Barnstable Village, MA 02630.

The genealogical collection contains family histories; documents supporting applications for the National Register of Historic Buildings (which contain lots of genealogical information); cemetery records; and a collection of manuscripts covering all the towns of Barnstable.

The Sturgis Library, located next door, also has items of historical interest, including the Hooper Genealogical Room and access to back issues of the Barnstable Patriot from 1830 to date.

Bourne Historical Society
The Bourne Historical Commission along with the Bourne Archives are housed in the Jonathan Bourne Historical Center, 30 Keene St., Bourne. It is open Mondays and Tuesdays from 9:00 a.m to 2:30 p.m and Wednesdays from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Visitors are welcome during these hours. Telephone 508-759-8167 or e-mail to Their website is

Materials in the Bourne Archives include retired town records, histories of five Bourne villages, family collections, photographs, maps, and oral histories.

Brewster Historical Society
The Brewster Historical Society buildings are open 1pm-4pm, Thursday, Friday & Saturday, July, August and September. The Museum, in a mid-19th century Homestead located at 3171 Main St. (Route 6A - East Brewster), houses four permanent galleries, a special exhibits gallery, and archives which are available to researchers by appointment during the winter months. The Brewster Historical Society can be contacted by phone at 508-896-9521 or by e-mail at Their mailing address is PO Box 1146, Brewster, MA 02631. Their website is

Chatham Historical Society
The collection of the Chatham Historical Society is housed in the Atwood House, 347 Stage Harbor Rd., Chatham. Telephone is 508-945-2493. Their records include real estate tax records from the early 1800s to present, Chatham newspapers from the mid-19th century through the early 20th century, old letters, photographs, ships’ logs, ledgers and similar archives, and documents relating to

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Ancestry.Com Updates regularly publishes a helpful list called “Genealogy databases posted or updated recently” with dates. This update covers May 1-15, 2010.

Out of 35 resources listed for May 1-15, 20 of the new ones are in German, and most are family histories.

New databases in French:

• Marriages in Marseilles
• Vital records for Alpes-Maritimes, a department in southeast
    France, including Cannes and Nice

New databases in English:

• Alabama Civil War Muster Rolls, 1861-1865
• Queensland (Australia) Passenger Lists, 1848-1912.

Nine databases have been updated, including:

• Obituary collections for the US, Canada, UK & Ireland, Australia,
    New Zealand, and the Caribbean
• New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957
• US Federal Census Mortality Schedules, 1850-1885
• 1880 US Federal Census
• Selected US Naturalization Record Indexes, 1791-1966.
The latter three are annotated as "Free Index."

This Ancestry update column will be posted periodically by Carol Magenau.

Mentoring Sessions Set for June, 2010

The third straight month of member-mentoring sessions is now set for June 2010.  Anyone interested in attending any of these sessions is invited to contact the Mentor in advance, to let them know of your interests and enable them to better plan for helping you.  Mentors' email addresses follow their names in the scheduled sessions below--all that is needed is to click on the email address and you can easily reach them with a message. Thanks to our Mentors for being so helpful!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Writing Your Family History
Are you ready to put your family history into a story? Come to learn
about format, sequence, and general narrative ideas; bring a sample
of your family story with you.
Mentor: David S. Martin,
Place: Dennis Public Library, Genealogy Room
Time: 1-3 pm

Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Barnstable Families
Do you have early Cape Cod families in your family tree? Come to discover some common ancestors, interesting facts, and great resources in this fascinating mentoring session.
Mentor: Bebe Brock,
Place: Sturgis Library
Time: 2-4 pm

Saturday, June 12, 2010
Irish Genealogy
Do you have elusive Irish Ancestors? Are you unsure how to start or
where to go to begin researching your Irish family? Come to spend some time with our in-house Irish expert. You'll come away with some great ideas and insights!
Mentor: Pat Concannon,
Place: Dennis Public Library, Genealogy Room
Time: 12 noon till 2 pm

Tuesday, June 22, 2010
How to apply for a DAR certification
Do you have an ancestor who was in the Revolutionary War? Would you like to apply to be a Daughter of the American Revolutionary War (or any other Lineage Society) but do not know how? Come speak to an EXPERT! She can help you!
Mentor: Sara Baker,
Place: Dennis Public Library, Genealogy Room
Time: 1-3 pm

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Massachusetts Genealogical Council Annual Seminar June 26, 2010

The Massachusetts Genealogical Council annual seminar and meeting will be held on June 26, 2010 at the LaCava Center at Bentley University in Waltham, MA. Records and Repositories: Exploring the Treasures of Massachusetts, will highlight collections useful for genealogists in a variety of record repositories. The main track is sponsored by the National Archives and Records Administration and will feature four engaging talks:
  • Locating Civil War Ancestors
  • What’s Online, What’s not at NARA?
  • Finding Family Migration Routes in Federal Records
  • Examining the 1940 United States federal Census
The day will feature MGC Program Director Joshua Taylor who will provide insights on his experience in filming NBC's Who Do You Think You Are? - focusing on research for Sarah Jessica Parker and the process of developing materials for the hit television show.

Highlights of the seminar will include updates on legislation affecting genealogists’ access to records on a national and state level. The New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) will sponsor lectures on:  Online Websites for Irish Research, Treasures of the NEHGS Manuscript Collection, and Diaries and Letters at NEHGS. Judith A. Lucey, Assistant Archivist at NEHGS, will present her expertise of these unique and priceless resources available at NEHGS.

This is an exciting and comprehensive program with something for everyone!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

CCGS Library - New Arrivals, April 2010

CCGS Librarian Betsy Ferris has announced the arrival of several new books at the CCGS Genealogy Room Library during April, 2010. Three were gifts; and one was a new purchase.

Children’s Interview Guide; Personal and Family History of
_____________, is a book of questions for a person writing about his or her life in the 20th century, which might be asked by children or grandchildren of their ancestor. The volume was published for Gift to the Future 2000 in 1992 as a way of providing chronicles of the century before the turn of the millennium in 2000. The questions are just as valid today and might help young people start on their family histories or genealogies. 

CCGS member David Martin donated the book to our library, along with another, New England Genealogical Research; A Guide to Sources, compiled by Kip Sperry.  The guide lists sources, repositories, and a bibliography for each New England state.

Dennis Historical Society Librarian and CCGS member Burton Nathaniel Derick has completed Volume 2 of his well received series, Dennis Source Records, and donated a copy to CCGS.  His second volume, subtitled Annals of South Dennis, contains transcriptions of the Seth Taylor Whelden collection, poetry of Lucy Baker, Samuel Nickerson’s letters and ledgers, Obed Whelden collection, and Susan (Baker) (Whelden) Harding’s letters.

CCGS library has purchased a copy of The 1858 Map of Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard & Nantucket, by Henry F. Walling, et al.  Images from Cape Cod Community College’s 1858 map of the counties of Barnstable, Dukes, and Nantucket, Massachusetts, have been photographed for printing in book format. The project raises money for the William Brewster Nickerson Cape Cod History Archives at CCCC.

Town and village map sections have been enlarged and reproduced so that property owners’ names are legible, making this a valuable resource for those researching Cape Cod families.

See other recent additions to the CCGS Library.

CCGS Library Online Catalog.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Mentoring for the Month of May

The successful genealogical Mentoring program that took place in April 2010 is now followed by some repeat and some new topics for the month of May. Do think about taking advantage of this opportunity to learn from members who have expertise to share. The schedule, topics, and mentors are:

Thursday, May 6
Using FamilySearch Internet Resources
Come to learn about the ever-growing electronic resources on the Mormon genealogical site, all free and accessible from any computer.
Mentor: David Martin
Place: Dennis Public Library, Genealogy Room
Time: 2-4pm

Tuesday, May 11
Creating Citations for Genealogical References
Citing sources for your genealogical information is important for sharing your family history with others; learn about ways to cite your sources.
Mentor: David Martin
Place: Dennis Public Library, Genealogy Room
Time: 1-3pm

Saturday, May 15
French-Canadian Genealogical Research
If you have French-Canadian ancestors, you will want to find out the best places to search as well as get advice on how to do genealogical research on their origins.
Mentor: John Bower
Place: Brewster Ladies' Library
Time: 10am to Noon

Friday, May 21
Cape-Cod-to-Nova-Scotia Planters
The movement of Cape Codders to Nova Scotia for setting up plantations is an important part of genealogical links between these two areas. Come to learn about how to trace these ancestors.
Mentor: Dan McConnell
Place: Dennis Public Library, Genealogy Room
Time: 10am to Noon

Wednesday, May 26
A Genealogy Primer for Beginners
For anyone who is just beginning to do family history research, this session will give guidance and many suggestions for how to get started.
Mentor: Nancy Daniels
Place: Eastham Public Library
Time: 11am to 1pm

No reservations needed; just come and be prepared to learn!

Memoir Writing

At a general meeting of the Cape Cod Genealogical Society on 11 Feb 2004, Dr. John B. Ahrens, historian, spoke to us about writing memoirs.

Dr. Ahrens said that to get started, one should write about episodes from your life. Writing one episode that you recall triggers memories of others. Just write them down, and do not worry about the sequence or telling a chronological story at first. Although he is an historian, not a genealogist, Ahrens thought that this would be one way to get started on a family history.

His ideas for subjects included:

• Important events in your life.
• Happy ones, sad ones, learning experiences, funny ones.
• Timelines of world events corresponding to your own
• People who affected your life.
• Use quotes where possible to make it come alive.
• Add photos, art works, poems, essays.
• And genealogical information, of course.

If you own a CD of the Society's Bulletin back issues, as you should, you will find a Summary of Dr. Ahrens's suggestions there.

Mark Twain once said, “I remember everything that ever happened to me, and some things that didn’t,” but here is a true example.

My Friend, Charlie Brown
In my former working life, I had a friend we’ll call Charlie. Charlie was an amiable little guy. He was shorter than average, married to a tall, stern woman, who towered over him. They made an interesting couple to look at when they attended company picnics, dances and other events. I do not know anything about their personal lives, but I do know that Mrs. Brown definitely would not fly. This gave Charlie an opportunity to spread his own wings, so to speak.

Charlie somehow learned about the island of Dominica, an island nation in the Caribbean Sea, and the northern-most of the Windward Islands. The size of the country is less than 290 square miles. The little nation went through various stages of French, British, and independent control. When Charlie went to the island in the 1960s or 70s, the only way to get there was by small airplane; there was no surface transportation available.


At the time, the island nation was ninety percent non-white: mostly black and natives such as Caribs. He made friends with these people easily in the local drinking establishment, which he frequented regularly when he was there--just as he did at home.

This was a great life, and he liked what he saw, so bought a small banana plantation. It came with a little cement block house and a plantation manager. The manager managed, and sold the crop. The proceeds paid his salary. Charlie lived in the little house and enjoyed his rain forest idyl for several weeks each year.

He was the last white man permitted to buy property on Dominica in that period of its history. (Today, Dominica is a very different place, a thriving and popular tourist attraction.)

When he returned from vacation, Charlie brought us souvenirs of cinnamon, nutmeg and other things typical of the Caribbean. No bananas, of course, but one of our co-workers annually asked him to bring some native rum. Charlie, whose intentions were generous and noble, always started home with a bottle of rum. But with the vicissitudes of air connections and airport waiting, the rum never completed the trip.

One morning after returning from vacation, Charlie came down to the kitchen to greet his wife, who was standing at the stove. Charlie, naked and feeling quite friendly, put his arms around her. She reacted to this by saying, “Good morning Charlie, say hello to Mother.”

Mother was sitting in the corner.

I don’t know where Charlie is today, but bless him, he was a lot of fun.