Friday, February 25, 2011

March 2011 Mentoring Sessions

Listed below are three Mentoring Sessions which are being offered in the month of March. 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.

Wednesday March 2, 2011
Topic:    Barnstable Families and where they lived

Mentor:  Jim Gould  
An important part of one's family history is locating the place where ancestors lived.  Although most of the houses have disappeared, it is exciting to stand on the spot and imagine the family's lifestyle.  Jim Gould has located the homesteads of the first settlers of Barnstable, Sandwich, Yarmouth and Dennis, and will help to locate subsequent homes, and pictures of lost houses. Please contact Jim at for your reservation.
Place:    Sturgis Library, 3090 Main St. (Rt 6A), Barnstable, MA
Time:     10 am till noon

Friday March 25, 2011
Topic:    Early Cape Cod Church and Town Organizations, Freeman Status, Membership and Records
Mentor:  Dan McConnell  Learn some key tidbits about those early days of our Ancestors on Cape Cod.  Contact Dan for your reservation at
Place:    Dennis Public Library, Hall St., Dennis Port, MA
Time:    10 am till noon

Wednesday March 30, 2011
Topic:   Unlocking the Genealogical Secrets Available at Sturgis Library
Mentor: Bebe Brock  
Join Bebe for a tour of the terrific Genealogical holdings at Sturgis Library and then start getting down to research your Cape Cod families!  Please contact Bebe at  for your reservation.
Place:   Sturgis Library, 3090 Main St. (Rt 6A), Barnstable, MA

Time:   2 pm to 4 pm

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Complete Bulletin (1975-2010) Available on CD

From it first issue in 1975, when it was called the Quarterly, the Bulletin was the official publication of the Cape Cod Genealogical Society until the the Fall of 2010, when it ceased publication to make way for The Journal of the Cape Cod Genealogical Society, scheduled to begin in the late spring of 2011.

To preserve the rich treasures of the Bulletin and to make them accessible to researchers, the Cape Cod Genealogical Society has issued a new CD containing all 119 issues of the Bulletin, from 1975-2010.

During its 36 year run, the Bulletin focused on the genealogy of Cape Cod and related research. Articles included short genealogies; transcriptions of census, land, probate, birth, death and marriage records; family name indices; histories of Cape Cod towns; member success stories; articles on the many aspects of genealogical research; book reviews; summaries of holdings of Cape Cod genealogical libraries and historical societies; and articles of humor and general interest to the Cape Cod researcher.

Each issue has been scanned into a searchable PDF file, enabling a researcher to find every instance of a family name, place, building, picture, map, diagram, etc., that has ever been mentioned in the Bulletin.

Priced at $15.00, which includes tax, shipping and handling, the new complete CD is available through the CCGS Shop or at the CCGS Library in Dennis Port, MA.

This CD replaces an earlier release that contained articles only through 2008.

Those who purchased the earlier CD can upgrade to the complete edition by paying $5.00 at a CCGS monthly program meeting, or at the CCGS Library in Dennis Port; or by mailing a check for $5.00 and shipping information to:

Bulletin CD Upgrade
c/o Cape Cod Genealogical Society
PO Box 1394
Harwich, MA 02645

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

New on Ancestry

Since December has added several new resources on New Zealand, along with a smattering of Australian (especially New South Wales), German, and Italian records.  A new British database is Burke’s Family Records, covering the “junior” nobility.   Also new is the Dictionary of National Biography, a biographical dictionary of prominent British and Irish figures from the earliest of times up to 1900.

For the United States a significant new project enhancing Colonial census records appears for the first time, so far covering selected states: U.S. Colonial Census Reconstruction Records, 1660-1820There are also a number of new databases on slaves and African-Americans: slave ads, interviews, manifests, emancipation records and more.  There’s also a resource covering indentures (apprenticeships) in Washington DC,  1801-1811.   A few titles cover Jewish populations (colonial America, World Wars I & II).   Foreign arrivals for Miami and Honolulu are new.  There are new military records for specific locales in Massachusetts (North Brookfield), Maine, and North Carolina.  U.S. Consular Reports of Marriages [abroad], 1910-49 may prove useful to some.

A substantial addition to the atlas collection includes over 50 digitized titles covering the 19th and early 20th century, U.S. and World Atlases, 1822-1923.

In general this period has fewer new databases added and a larger proportion of updates (for both broad and narrow resources) since I’ve begun reporting on this.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

CCGS Library acquires new Cape Cod Civil War book

CCGS Librarian Betsy Ferris has announced that Cape Cod and the Civil War: the Raised Right Arm, by Stauffer Miller has been added to the history books collection of the Cape Cod Genealogy Society’s library.

The book begins with a brief history of Cape Cod’s role in the pre-Civil War politics of abolition. There is much information about the war at sea, in which Cape Cod’s seamen played a significant part, and chapters about particular soldiers and sailors in front line battles and also life on the home front.

Of special interest to genealogists are the appendices, which provide lists of Cape Cod Civil War transport personnel, officers and deaths. Each list includes the person’s local town, his last military unit, and dates.

Stauffer Miller is a native of West Virginia. He and his wife, Ellie, moved to Cape Cod in 1994 and lived in Barnstable. His interest in the Cape and the Civil War sprang from his membership in the local Civil War Roundtable group. He and Ellie currently live in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Click to visit the complete CCGS Library Catalog online.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Russian alphabet key to Polish records

When Irene Landenberger ordered her first films through the Family History Center for the parishes of her Polish ancestors, she discovered all the records were in Russian. “I thought I was lucky to have the parishes and that everything would be easy,” Irene admits. “Not so. If the names were written in Russian, I wouldn’t recognize any of them.”

Irene’s ancestors come from a part of Poland that, from the1800's up to World War I, was under Russian domination. Polish priests had to write their church records in Russian. "Sometimes you could get lucky if they wrote the person’s name in Russian/Polish," says Irene. “That was their little rebellion.”

Lucky for Irene, CCGS Librarian Betsy Ferris took four years of Russian while a French major at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. “I was always interested in linguistics, and I managed to work in four years of Russian,” Betsy relates. “I got so I could read Tolstoy pretty well.”

Betsy Ferris and Irene Landenberger review the Cyrillic alphabet

The two CCGS members met recently for a Mentoring Session in the CCGS Genealogy Room at the Dennis Public Library. Mentoring offers CCGS members the chance to share their experiences and areas of expertise with other members one-on-one.

"Let's start with the Cyrillic alphabet and then take it from there," suggests Betsy.

For Irene, taking it from there will mean more study of Russian words and phrases found in Polish civil and church records. "I also want to find my great grandfather," says Irene. "I have his naturalization papers and the ship and voyage he came on, but I can't find him anywhere on that boat. I think he swam across...."

Click to view other recent and upcoming Mentoring Sessions.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Getting the Word Out - Mentoring Workshop February 15, 2011

Tuesday February 15, 2011, in the auditorium of the Dennis Public Library from 2-4 pm. Directions.

As part of the series of mentoring sessions for February, Chris Geanacopoulos will present a workshop on Getting the Word Out - an introduction to the basic word processing skills that will get you started writing your family history on your computer.

Topics will cover:
  • Entering Text - make simple corrections as you type.
  • Saving your work - protect yourself against pets, phones and other disasters.
  • Editing - polish your text, move ideas around, bring in outside material.
  • Formatting - make your text easy on the eye and your subject easy to follow.
Bring a laptop for hands-on practice (optional).

Please email Chris at to let him know you are coming.

See the complete February Mentoring schedule.

CCGS Library renews Footnote subscription

Genealogy Room Director Brenda Hayes announced recently that the CCGS Library has renewed its annual subscription to Footnote through January 2012.

With Footnote, patrons can view, print and download digital images of original documents from the National Archives. Records include: Revolutionary & Civil War pension & service records, state naturalization records and case files of the FBI, among many others.

Documents in Footnote now number over 72 million images of historical American documents and photos from the 17th, 18th, 19th and 20th centuries,

The Cape Cod Genealogical Society provides Footnote and other subscription genealogical databases free to members and to visitors of the Library.

Click for a complete listing of the Library's online and database offerings.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Library receives Lewes-Lewis genealogy

Librarian Betsy Ferris has announced that the CCGS Library has received a copy of 400 Years with a New England Lewes-Lewis Family, by Barbara Lewis Williams.

The book was donated to the Cape Cod Genealogical Society in honor of the Cape Cod Lewis Clan by CCGS member Frank Harrison, with permission of the author.

The Lewes story begins in England in the 16th century and follows some of the family to Barnstable, MA and beyond through 15 generations. You can find the book listed in the biography section under 92 LEWES.

Betsy would like to remind members and researchers that they can access and search the CCGS Library Catalog online. Under the heading of Biography, for instance, you can see the current listing of all 97 volumes in that category. You can sort each listing by call number, title, or author.

A Library Volunteer will be happy to assist you in locating a particular volume in the collection.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

February Mentoring Sessions

Listed below are three Mentoring Sessions which are being offered in the month of February. 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 February 10, 2011
Topic:   Reading Cyrillic Print and Script

Mentor: Betsy Ferris.  Betsy will help you decipher the Cyrillic alphabet that Betsy has experience in.  Russian and other Cyrillic language translation so bring along any letters or records that you may need help with.  Contact Betsy at for your reservation.
Place:    Genealogy Room, Dennis Public Library, Hall St, Dennisport
Time:     2 pm to 4 pm

Tuesday February 15, 2011
Topic:   Getting The Word Out
Mentor:  Chris Geanacopoulos
Chris Geanacopoulos will introduce the basic word processing skills that will get you started writing your Family History on your computer. This is a Workshop format so there is no limit on attendees.  Contact Chris at
Place:   Auditorium, Dennis Public Library, Hall St., Dennis Port, MA
Time:   2 pm to 4pm

Wednesday February 23, 2011
Topic:   Researching Roots from Original Sources

Mentor: Bill Harding
Bill will share his experiences in his research journey and show you HOW to discover your ancestors thru original sources. Contact Bill directly to let him know you would like to attend.
Place:   Genealogy Room, Dennis Public Library, Hall St., Dennis Port
Time:   2 pm to 4 pm

Let's hope the bad weather subsides and that none of these are cancelled!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Computer SIG revisits FamilySearch

At the Februrary 1, 2011 meeting of the CCGS Computer Special Interest Group David Martin provided members with a look at the new version of and a tour of other websites associated with FamilySearch.

This is a view of the new and improved FamilySearch home page, introduced in the middle of December, 2010. The new site combines data from what used to be separate beta sites into a single search interface. For example, you can search among historical records, record collections by country and even family trees, all from the same search screen.

Search results seem to resemble those from For example, when searching surnames you get exact matches first, followed by possible alternate spellings for both surnames and given names. The new site also makes available millions more indexed records than previously, a direct result of the the LDS’ ongoing Indexing Project.

The new incorporates a Research Wiki, a free collection of family history articles provided by family history enthusiasts from around the world, similar in operation to Wikipedia and other Wiki-type information sites. You can still access the older Research Helps area, which lets you search for research aids sorted by title, by subject, or by document type. Much of this information will eventually make its way to the Research Wiki, but researchers may still want to use this helpful research tool.

It may still be a while before all the features of the previous version are seamlessly incorporated into the newer site. Although there are many excellent video and written tutorials for making the best of this new exciting site, during the transition period visitors can opt for the older interface by clicking on a link on the main page.

The new site is the result of several prior beta test sites. You can see what may be in the pipeline for future enhancements by checking in at FamilySearch Labs. Here you can see some of the “retired” projects that have been successfully incorporated into the the new improved site. Others still under development include Forums, where people can share ideas about their family research; English Jurisdictions 1851 lets you click within a parish boundary and receive results consolidated from multiple sources; and Community Trees, which, among other things, attempts to reconstruct the families that lived in your ancestral village.

Finally, to keep abreast of the latest developments at FamilySearch, David Martin recommended subscribing to Dick Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter, which almost weekly has new information about the FamilySearch sites. You can also subscribe to the FamilySearch Blog, to find out even more about what’s happening in all the areas of FamilySearch.

The Computer SIG meets the first Tuesday of the month from 10am - noon at the Dennis Public Library in Dennisport, MA. The next meeting is Tuesday March 1, 2011, where the focus will be on finding death records online. Contact David Martin at for more information.

Description of all CCGS Special Interest Groups (SIGs)