Friday, November 30, 2012

Children's interview guide : Featured library resource for December 2012

The holiday season is all about family, as much as it is about religious traditions.  I hope that your holidays may include sharing information with your relatives, especially children, concerning your favorite hobby (or perhaps obsession?), family history.

The volume called Children's interview guide caught my eye in relation to the idea of fostering a dialogue among generations about family background and heritage.  It consists of a series of questions covering all aspects of life, and was apparently published with the intent that it would be used by an individual to leave this information in book form for the future.

The title Children's interview guide is apparently one we supplied. The questions are clearly intended for adults, but could be used by a child (of any age!) to interview a parent.  If this is something that interests you, these questions make it easy to accomplish.  If you belong to our Special Interest Group on Writing, or are seeking on your own to write your personal history, this volume could be very useful and might remind you of areas that you have overlooked.

The book has the following sections, each with many questions:
  • Personal & family history
  • Family life
  • School years
  • Serving your country
  • Family tree
  • Working your way through life
  • Love & romance
  • Children
  • Living your life
A similar, perhaps identical, publication is being sold on Amazon under the title "Your story" for $18.50.  This might make a wonderful holiday gift for your parent or relative, or for yourself to fill in and give to a child or grandchild.

Wishing you the best of the season!  Carol Magenau, CCGS Librarian

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Canadian Genealogy Group to meet Dec. 12, 2012

The CCGS Canadian Special Interest Group will meet in the History Room of the Brewster Ladies' Library on Wednesday, December 12, 2012, at 10 a.m.

Bring your questions and ideas about Canadian research and join our lively and helpful discussion group!

Click for more on CCGS Special Interest Groups.

Monday, November 12, 2012

12th New England Genealogical Conference

 Join others interested in the field of genealogical research at the biennial NERGC Conference.  This is an opportunity to hear from and ask questions of nationally renowned speakers who will be discussing the current issues most important to genealogical research.  That opportunity will be April 17-23, 2013 in Manchester, NH.

Visit the NERGC website at for full details on the dozens of workshops, presentations, and exhibits that will be there. Register either electronically on their website or print the registration form and mail it in.

Don’t miss this opportunity to meet face-to-face with the leaders in this field.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Pilgrim : featured library resource for November 2012

As we prepare to commemorate the first Thanksgiving feast of the Mayflower settlers and Native Americans, let's reflect on the life of one of the immigrant leaders, Elder William Brewster.

While many of the books in our Biography section are genealogies, in the case of Brewster we have two historical biographies:

  • Pilgrim, a biography of William Brewster by Mary B. Sherwood, and
  • Elder William Brewster by William Howell Reed
Brewster was the senior church official of the Separatist group which had emigrated first to the Netherlands, and then comprised about half of the Mayflower passengers who settled New England.  Brewster was the only one of the party who had diplomatic experience, having served as assistant to Queen Elizabeth's envoy to the Netherlands.  Interestingly, this envoy William Davison was the scapegoat for Elizabeth's execution of Mary Queen of Scots, unjustly imprisoned and impoverished for carrying out Elizabeth's wishes which she later denied.

Raised in Scrooby, where he later encouraged a Separatist congregation, Brewster was 13 (not atypical) when he entered Peterhouse College at Cambridge University.  He was already well-versed in Latin when he arrived at Cambridge.  Among his contemporaries there were Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex, and the playwright Christopher Marlowe, as well as numerous religious radicals, some of whom were later executed or imprisoned.  Brewster left Cambridge without earning a degree to join Elizabeth's royal Court in London and become secretary to William Davison, returning to Scrooby after Davison's fall from grace.  When Brewster later went to the Netherlands with his Separatist congregation, he was responsible for publishing seditious religious pamphlets which were illegally distributed in England and Scotland.  Consequently he was in hiding from the authorities in the months immediately preceding the sailing of the Mayflower.  Brewster was accompanied on the voyage by his wife Mary and their two younger children, Love and Wrestling.  (Their three older children, Jonathan, and daughters Patience and Fear, arrived on later ships.)

Brewster was a popular and respected figure, who served as leader of and preacher to the Plymouth colony church until an ordained preacher arrived in 1629.  A few years later Brewster established a farm in Duxbury with his son Love, on a peninsula shared with Miles Standish.  He died in 1644, outliving his wife and two daughters, and is buried in Plymouth.  At his death his library numbered 346 books on theology and a wide range of other subjects, a truly impressive collection for that time and place.

Our two biographies of Brewster were both gifts to the collection.  Sherwood's is the more substantial, and includes appendices quoting the Mayflower Compact, and the letter written by Edward Winslow describing "the first Thanksgiving," as well as notes, bibliography, and index.  Reed's biography, privately printed in 1894, is only 43 pages long, but contains illustrations of Scrooby and other locales important in Brewster's life.

Happy Thanksgiving to all, and we hope to see you soon at our CCGS reading room, located within the Dennis Public Library.  Please note that we will be closed on Thanksgiving day.

Monday, November 5, 2012

WANTED!!!!!! interesting story....

Do you have a story to tell that you would be willing to share?

  • Perhaps an 'interesting' ancestor?
    • The 'black sheep'?
    • the 'skeleton in the closet'?
  • A brick wall that you have been able to break down?
  • Or, the brick wall that still stands and appears to be permanent?
  • An experience of your own while conducting your research?
  • Perhaps a case of serendipity?
  • A suggestion or hint that might help another with his or her research?
Every December, at our regular monthly meeting, the members of CCGS take on the role of 'Speakers of the Month'.  I am currently looking for volunteers to speak to our group, for about 10 minutes each, on a subject of your choice. 

Help is available if you are not sure how to put a presentation together.  Props are always welcome--photos, charts, or other items relating to your story--but they are not required.

If you have a story to share or would like further information, please contact me at