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!