Thursday, March 29, 2012

1940 Census--Getting Prepared

Great excitement among many genealogists is accompanying the release of the  1940 Federal Census on Monday, April 2, 2012. Some facts will prepare researchers to be ready to make the best use of the data:

1. Although the Census will be released on April 2, it will not be alphabetically indexed for at least another six months after that date, depending on how quickly the volunteers can do this work.

2. The Census information will be available at, but it is anticipated that, as happened in 2002 with the release of the 1930 Census, the system may "crash" for a time because of so many people logging on; but in a few days, the crunch should begin to ease.

3. Although no alphabetic index is available for a time, if you know the "Enumeration District" of you or your ancestor who was residing in a particular town or city,  you can look up the family by the Enumeration District number (ED). Then use the ED to locate the data on the family.

4. To find the ED, go to -- a free website--and scroll down the left margin to the underlined blue heading entitled Unified Census ED Finder; there you will be instructed to put in the name of the state, city, county, street, and house number if you know it. The page will also ask you for the names of cross streets, if you know them, so as to be able to zero in on that particular ED; if you don't know those or don't know the house number, you will be given several different ED numbers and you would need to try each of those.

5. If you are unsure of the address, you may be able to find it in the alphabetic listing of residents in a City Directory for the town or city that was published a bit before or after or in 1940.

6. The 1940 census is particularly rich in information because the nation was emerging from the Depression and the government wanted to know lots of information, in addition to the usual names, address, age, etc., such as:

   a. Where the family was living on April 1, 1935 as well as on the 1940 date of the Census itself
   b. The name of the actual person who provided the Census data
   c. Whether each person was working, or seeking a job, between March 24 and 30, 1940
   d. Wages or salary earned in the prior year
   e. The value of the home, if owned
   f.  Place of birth if not the United States
    and considerably more.

Another avenue of access to the Census is, which is a pay site for a reasonable fee.  has also announced that they will be making the Census available. 

So prepare by finding out the ED now and enjoy the search!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Irish Genealogy Workshop Coming

A Reminder: On Saturday, April 28, 2012, Mary Ellen Grogan will provide an insightful workshop on some less-used resources for those who are researching their genealogy in Ireland.  In addition to a review of the well-known Griffith's Valuation and how to use it, she will explore two other topics:

                Irish Land Records
                Irish Court Records

These resources may provide information that has been lacking for some researchers. The workshop will take place at the Brewster Ladies Library, Route 6A, from 9:30am to 12:30pm; cost is $10 for CCGS members and $15 for non-members. Instead of sending in an advance registration and payment, participants may pay at the door by either cash or check made out to CCGS. However, an advance reservation is requested by sending an email in care of prior to the deadline of Friday, April 20, so as to hold a place.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Research Trip to Boston - May 8, 2012

The Cape Cod Genealogical Society is sponsoring a research bus trip to Boston on Tuesday, May 8, 2012.

Destinations include:
  • 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.

All 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.

Monday, March 5, 2012

March 2012 Mentoring Sessions--Revised

Friday March 9, 2012
Topic:            Introduction to Researching Irish Roots
Time:             11 am to 1 pm
Place:             Dennisport Library, Genealogy Room
Mentor:          Joan Frederici 

What do I need to know before I move onto Irish records? How and where do I find the information I need? This workshop will be good for anyone researching Irish ancestors, even if they are just starting their research, as it will review how to find the records in this country that they need. For those who have been researching for a while, hopefully between us, we can find new ways of uncovering the elusive info!  Contact Joan for a reservation to this Mentoring session!

Thursday March 15, 2012
Topic:            Treasures in Historical Archives
Time:             10 am to 12 pm
Place:             Eastham Library, Genealogy Room in Basement
Mentor:          Bonnie Cormier

Take this opportunity to work with Bonnie in the Eastham Archives and all that it offers!  Bonnie will show you the types of wonderful records you will find in this and other types of Archives.

Friday March 16, 2012
Topic:            Using City Directories
Time:             11 am to 1 pm
Place:             Dennisport Library, Genealogy Room
Mentor:          Joan Frederici 

City Directories are an important research tool often used in between Census records. Directories typically contain the name of the person and their address, and you can also learn their occupation. Have Joan show you how she has effectively used City Directories in her family search.  This session is limited to 4 members so be sure to send Joan an e-mail right away to save your space!

Thursday March 22, 2012
Topic:           Choosing a Genealogical Computer Program
Time:            2 pm to 4 pm
Place:            Dennisport Library, Genealogy Room
Mentor:         David Martin

Numerous choices are available for selecting a computer program for constructing your genealogy. This session will cover the criteria to be used in make a selection and provide information on some of the most important genealogy programs available today.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Epitaph & Icon : Featured library resource for March 2012

Those wishing to delve more into local cemeteries after February's terrific monthly program (Laurel Gabel on "Understanding Early Gravestones") might wish to begin by having a look at this paperback in the CCGS Library collection: Epitaph & icon : a field guide to the old burying grounds of Cape Cod, by Diane Hume George and Malcolm A. Nelson.

Published in 1983, it is concise but thorough, listing significant stones in all the Cape towns, including Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket.  There are chapters on epitaphs, on iconography (including motifs and major carvers), and on each town.  The text is liberally sprinkled with black and white photos of interesting examples of gravestones.  Also included is an itinerary for a "highlights" tour of ten outstanding cemeteries from West Barnstable to Truro, as well as four highlights on Martha's Vineyard.

As the authors point out in their introduction "Gradually we came to see that burying grounds are outdoor libraries, archives and museums... [This book] deals with objects created for a culture which was distrustful of art, [with] no conception of art for art's sake... If you would study early American sculpture, the burying ground is the only place."

There are many other resources on burying grounds in our library collection, including unpublished sources.  Please browse the Online Catalog sections on Books / Cemeteries and Archives & Manuscripts / Unpublished Materials on Cemeteries.  Then come to the Library and explore!