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.