Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Wills Tell Stories and Barnstable County Civil War Soldiers to be Topics of January Meeting

Be sure to reserve Wednesday,January 15, 2014, on your calendar, as Cape Cod Genealogical Society will be welcoming in the new year with, not one, but two speakers. Both are members of our society and both have recently published books to share with us.

Our primary speaker will be Alice Plouchard Stelzer, author of Female Adventurer's Who Helped Colonize Connecticut. Alice will share with us what she has learned about the value of using wills in our research.
Currently the chairperson of the CCGS Communications Committee, Alice has an extensive background as a public relations consultant. Through her Creating Word Power business, she has been writing for over 25 years as a publisher, magazine editor, newspaper editor, columnist, and journalist. She has also been a mentor/coach for other writers and has taught many writing workshops.

Also speaking that day will be Stauffer Miller, one of the Society's out of state members.  Stauffer is currently a resident of Virginia and is a military historian. He has published several books related to the Civil War and his most recent, Barnstable County Massachusetts Civil War Soldiers, Enrolled Men and Drafted Men, 1861-1863, was published as a joint effort with CCGS.
For those who have not already purchased copies, both of our speakers will have copies of their most recent publications available for sale that day following the meeting.
We expect to see a great turnout on Wednesday, January 15, at 10 am, at our usual location, Brewster Ladies Library, Route 6A.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Five Must-Read Blogs

Mocavo (Michael J. Leclerc) suggest five blogs that he says are "must-read." Here they are:

  1. Dick Eastman's Newsletter - blog.eogn.com
  2. If you want to know about DNA - Thegeneticgenealogist.com will help.
  3. For technology go to hackgenealogy.com
  4. For legal topics visit legalgenealogist.com
  5. Michael Leclerc's last recommendation is from Michael John Neill's genealogy website -  rootdig.blogspot.com

Dae Powell from Brigham Young University had this to say about these recommendations:
"I visit everyone of these frequently. The amount of expertise from just these five sites can elevate your research to a higher plane. My site is not a blog, but feel free to visit it for genealogy presentations, chats, and forms. Aye, all free, of course. http://ShoeStringGenealogy.com."

Friday, December 27, 2013

Received at the Library

Members may wish to look further at these periodicals recently added to the CCGS Library collection:

The Lothropp Family Newsletter for autumn 2013 contains an interesting article on Jane Elizabeth Lathrop Stanford and the university she and her husband founded in honor of their deceased son Leland Stanford Jr.

Have you ever explored the Library of Congress website?  You might be motivated to do so after reading the article by Laura Prescott in Essex Genealogist for Nov. 2013. "Library of Congress : using our nation's library online" is nearly 20 pages transcribing a talk on this topic, including Q&A.  The issue also includes an amusing article about "The unforgettable and eccentric Lord Timothy Dexter of Newburyport."  This man was uneducated but had aspirations.  He was given bad business advice, for example to ship coal to Newcastle, but he prospered time and again (Newcastle was having a miners' strike!).

Mass-Pocha for October 2013 reviews the successful 33d International Conference on Jewish Genealogy held in Boston in August.

Looking for UK Ancestors?

Have you ever visited the website www.deceasedonline.com? If you are looking for ancestors who might be buried in the UK, this website is  a treasure trove. The great thing is that they let you search their records free of charge. You just have to register. The following is a list of what is available.
  • Computerised cremation and burial records 
  • Digital scans of cremation and burial registers 
  • Photographs of graves and memorials  
  • Cemetery maps showing grave locations 
  • Other occupants in the same grave   

NOTE: Don't forget to check out Cape Cod Genealogical Society on Facebook.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Received at the Library

Members may be interested in reading further in these magazines received recently at the CCGS Library:

The lead article in Internet Genealogy for Dec./Jan. 2014 highlights the HEARTH website at Cornell University.  This offers context for our ancestors' stories with books and journals covering home economics and related disciplines for the period 1850-1950.  The cover story reviews the current crop of scanners, including portable and desktop models, phone apps, and even 3-D devices.  Maureen Taylor reviews the website Historypin, at which people add photographs at map locations worldwide.  Other articles cover note-taking software, case studies, plus sites relating to World War I veterans, Latin phrases for genealogists, and British record societies with online information.

In the Idaho Genealogical Society Quarterly for fall 2013 there is a moving account of an adopted Native American child (a "lost bird" adopted into a white family) who is eventually reunited with her birth family siblings.  An article on the "History of women miners in Idaho" shows that although a minority, women were an important presence in the mining industry both as spouses and in their own right.  We also learn about a short chapter in Wyatt Earp's life that took place in Idaho in the Coeur d'Alene-area gold rush for most of 1884.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Research Assistance Available

The Cape Cod Genealogical Society's Genealogy Room is located in the Dennis Public Library, 5 Hall Street, Dennis Port, MA. Volunteers are available to assist you in your research: Tuesdays from Noon to 4 p..m., Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p. m., and Saturdays 10 a.m. to Noon. Computers with research programs are available.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Received at the Library

Members may be interested in reviewing the following journals recently added to our collection.

Family Chronicle is a consistently interesting magazine, and the Nov./Dec. issue is no exception.  The lead article "Wide-angle census searches" describes how rich the information in the 1940 census is, and how rewarding it is to research the neighborhood in which your family resided.  (The example used is New Haven, where I grew up -- anyone else??)  In "Forwarding addresses from the past" I learned that before 1863 there was no home delivery of mail in the US, and that the Post Office played a major role in lobbying for permanent and consistent street addresses.  If you are curious about old addresses you find in family papers, this article just might address (pun intended) your question.  A timely article chronicles the tradition of Christmas cards, which can often provide clues for the genealogist.  Other subjects covered in the issue are genealogical research in Wales and in the Netherlands, special collections in libraries and other institutions, dating old photos through fashion, and the history of diphtheria.

The National Genealogical Society Quarterly for Sept. 2013 has several articles detailing the solving of confusing identities, with such problems as common names, conflicting facts, and disappearances.

Carol Magenau, CCGS Librarian

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Winthrop Fleet : featured library resource for December 2013

Due to the generosity of member and library volunteer Judy Needham, we have added to the library collection The Winthrop Fleet : Massachusetts Bay Colony immigrants to New England 1629-30.

Published by the New England Historic Genealogical Society in May 2012 as part of the Great Migration Study Project, this volume deals with the English immigrants who arrived in 1630 in a large group of ships under the leadership of John Winthrop, and sponsored by the Massachusetts Bay Company.  In addition, immigrants who in 1629 were sent ahead of the main body of ships, such as servants and artisans, are included.  But only those associated with the Massachusetts Bay Colony are covered in this volume, not other English immigrants in 1629-30.

The Winthrop migration of 1629-30 represented a huge increase in New England immigrants, which had been uniformly low in the years following the Mayflower Pilgrims' arrival in 1620.  A few hundred souls came in 1629, followed by the small armada of 1630 with about a thousand people.  Passenger lists did not survive, and as far as I can see, women are acknowledged in these sketches only under their husbands' names.  But the sketches are very thorough, representing a huge amount of work and checking of a large number of sources.

The biographical sketches cover at the least the following:

  • origin, 
  • first and later residences in New England, 
  • occupation, 
  • education, 
  • estate (land and probate records), 
  • birth, 
  • death,
  • marriage(s) and children, 
  • plus comments which are often extensive.

We hope that you will stop by the library to read about your ancestors in this volume if they arrived in the Winthrop migration.

Find us on Facebook!

Exciting news....we have established a Group on Facebook called Cape Cod Genealogical Society.

Come visit this page today!  Feel free to post queries for your family history, post any event in our area that you think would be of interest  to the rest of us, or ask for help from other researchers.

It's quick and easy for everyone to participate!

And while you are there, be sure to "Like" us!


Saturday, December 7, 2013

Received at the Library

Members may be interested in looking at the following materials received at the CCGS Library.

The Autumn 2013 Atwood Log, newsletter of the Chatham Historical Society, announces the annual Hearth Warming at the Atwood House Museum, the weekend of December 14 and 15.  On Saturday Dec. 14 at 2PM there will be a talk by Joan Bines about her book Words they lived by: Colonial New England speech, then and now.  There's also an interesting article about Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge, the only federally designated wilderness area in Massachusetts.  In 2014 there will be series of lectures and other activities at the Atwood House Museum on the theme "Constructing Wilderness", to mark the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act.

Historic preservation is the subject of two articles in the Winter 2013 issue of Post Scripts from the Bourne Historical Society. Beth Ellis makes the case for engaging in historic preservation, and an accompanying article describes the restoration of the Valley Farm Thrift and Community Garden in Bourne.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Library will be closed on Christmas and New Year's eve days

The CCGS Board has approved the closing of the CCGS Library on the days before Christmas and New Year's Day, which happen to fall on Tuesdays this year.  From past experience we know there is little or no demand on these days.  We will resume regular hours on the Thursdays following the holidays.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Canadian Special Interest Group: Upcoming Meeting

The CCGS Canadian Special Interest Group will hold its next regular meeting on Wednesday, December 11, 2013, at 10am in the large meeting room downstairs in the Brewster Ladies Library.  Please come and join us for discussion of all things Canadian!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Sharing Our Genealogical Stories

It is that time of year once again -- our annual opportunity to hear from our own members, as they share stories about their ancestors or discoveries that they have made, related to their ancestors. We all love to hear what our fellow members have accomplished, but we do not want to hear the same volunteers every year. Please consider stepping up and sharing with us.
Have you made some interesting or unexpected discoveries while researching your family this year?  Do you have family stories that have been passed down over the years?  How about an item that once belonged to your grandparent or great-grandparent, or old photos, that you can "show and tell"?  Or, tell us about holiday traditions that your family has passed down through the years.
Please contact Joan Frederici,  joanfred4@comcast.net , to schedule your presentation.You are asked to limit your presentation to 5-10 minutes, in order to allow as many as possible to participate.

This is also the meeting when we ask for donations of home-baked goodies for a short "meet and greet" before and after the meeting. -- We will provide the coffee, if you will bring in the cookies!

The meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, December 18th, 2013, at the Brewster Ladies Library, 10am. Hope to see you all there, as we share our stories and baked goods.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Canadian Special Interest Group to Meet

The Canadian Special Interest Group will meet on Wednesday, November 13, at the Brewster Ladies Library, 1822 Main Street, Brewster, at 10 a.m. The meeting will probably be in the general meeting room.

Please come and enjoy this lively group in discussions on every aspect of Canadian research.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Looking for German Ancestors??

Are you searching for your German Ancestors?  CCGS has just added a new Special Interest Group (SIG) this fall.  The kickoff meeting was held on October 23rd.  Future Meetings will be on the first Tuesday of the Month. Come and join us at our next meeting on Tuesday, November 5, 2013, 10:00-11:30am at Brewster Ladies Library on Route 6A in Brewster, MA.  The topic will be German History. We will meet in the Library’s Auditorium.

Future topics will include: German Naming Patterns, Finding Genealogical Help in Germany, Reading German Script/Handwriting, the Naturalization Process, Working Around Brick Walls, the different waves of historical German Immigrations to the USA, and more.  Come to learn and to share your questions and thoughts with us.
Questions? Contact Carol Wister at cwister@comcast.net.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Technology To Be the Topic of October Meeting

Many people become nervous when they hear any talk about using technology. However, we need to keep in mind that we are already using technology in our everyday lives and don't give it a second thought. One hundred years ago, the "horseless carriage" was a novelty that many people shunned, but can you imagine life today without automobile transportation?  Think about the development of radio and TV, electric typewriters, and other inventions that have occurred in our lifetimes that we now take for granted. -- not to mention the microfilms and microfiche we all have used so many times.  These are all forms of technology that have helped us in many areas of our lives, including genealogy. Today, there are many technological advances that are unfamiliar to many of us, but are proving to become more and more important in genealogical research and communication.  -- computers, digital cameras, and even cell phones are everyday tools to the genealogist.

David Frederici will be speaking to us Wednesday, October 16, 2013, about the current technological advances that have occurred in recent years and how they can be beneficial for us.
David grew up in Harwich, and was ordained a Roman Catholic priest for the Fall River Diocese, in 2001. He has served as parochial vicar for several years in Centerville, Pocasset, and North Falmouth, Chaplain and Director of Pastoral Care at Cape Cod Hospital for 5 years, and Chaplain at UMASS-Dartmouth, while also serving as assistant chaplain at St Luke's Hospital, New Bedford.
In June, 2013, he was appointed Diocesan Director of Campus Ministry and Pastor of  St John the Evangelist Parish, Pocasset. In addition, he is currently the diocesan Chaplain to Catholic Scouting and chairs the Technology Committee for the Catholic Campus Ministry Association, a national organization.
Dave has developed several websites, and currently maintains numerous Facebook pages, He currently has two active blogs, two podcasts (with a third under development for UMASS-Dartmouth), and has also developed Apps for smartphones. (If you don't have any idea what some of these terms are, you definitely need to join us at this presentation!!)
Our monthly meetings are held at Brewster Ladies Library, Route 6A, Brewster. The meeting is scheduled to begin at 10am, following our usual brief coffee social. We look forward to seeing you there on October 16.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Canadian Special Interest Group Meeting

The Canadian Special Interest Group will meet on Wednesday, October 9, at 10 a.m. in the History Room of the Brewster Ladies' Library at 1822 Main Street, Brewster.

Anyone with an interest in Canadian genealogy is welcome to join this lively and informative group. We'd love to have your input.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

French-Canadian Sources : featured library resource for September 2013

The Canadian Special Interest Group is one of our Society's successful affinity groups for sharing the trials and triumphs of genealogical research.  We hope that they and others will find useful information in our new handbook entitled French-Canadian Sources : a guide for genealogists.  Published by Ancestry Publishing in 2002, the book has 8 co-authors who were members of the publications committee of the French-Canadian/Acadian Genealogists of Wisconsin.

Introductory chapters cover material unique to French Canada, including a brief history of the settlement of the area, and a timeline of events.  In the chapter on French-Canadian naming patterns we learn about the persistent use of the maiden name for married women in official records (useful!), and the unique practice of the "dit name" (alternative surname).  The final introductory chapter covers the feudal system as practiced in New France.

Secondary sources constitute the largest section of  the book, but there are also several chapters on primary sources.  Also covered are specialized areas of research: the Filles du Roi (marriageable women subsidized by Louis XIV to settle in the new world), fur-trading ancestors, military records, and internet genealogy.

Lastly, much helpful information can be found in the Appendices, including maps, vocabularies, census descriptions, and useful addresses.  There is also an index.

This book is now available in the section of the CCGS Library on Handbooks, and we hope you'll come have a look at it.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Date Change for September Monthly Meeting

Due to a scheduling conflict with our scheduled speaker, it has been necessary to change the date of our September meeting. Rather than the 3rd week of the month, we will be meeting on the 4th Wednesday, September 25, 2013, at our usual time -- 10am -- and our usual location, the Brewster Ladies Library. This change is only for this month and in October, we will return to our regular schedule. 

Our speaker this month will be Judy Lucey, assistant archivist from New England Historic Genealogical Society, where she has been employed for over 10 years. Her areas of expertise include Irish genealogy, Newfoundland, 19th and 20th century genealogy and Italian research. She has represented NEHGS at a number of meetings and conferences throughout the U.S. and has been a consulting genealogist on many of their research trips, including Salt Lake City, Ireland, and Canadian destinations.

Judy was very well received by our society last spring, when she spoke to us about the value of using archival materials in our research. In response to questions she was asked following her presentation at that time, she will be discussing  how to prepare your genealogical records for future generations.
She is looking forward to seeing many of our members once again.

We hope to see you  on Wednesday, September 25, at the first of our monthly meetings for the 2013/2014 year.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Canadian Special Interest Group Resumes Meetings

The Canadian Special Interest Group will resume its monthly meetings on Wednesday, September 11, at 10 a.m.,  in the Historic Room, at the Brewster Ladies' Library, 1822 Main Street, Brewster.

Anyone interested in Canadian genealogy is welcome to join this lively and interesting group. For more information contact Ellen Geanacopoulos at ellengean@verizon.net.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Cape Cod Men in the Civil War Draft: New Book

Through a grant from the Cape Cod Five Foundation, CCGS has published a new book by military historian and Society member Stauffer Miller, entitled "Cape Cod Men in the Civil War".  The book provides a complete listing of all men of draftable age between 1861 and 1863, arranged alphabetically by town names in Barnstable County.  Enumerators went from house to house to register eligible men, from which a draft list for the Union Army was then developed by the federal government. The enumeration list provides not only name, address, and age of each man, but also in the case of some towns each man's occupation and/or physical characteristics because that information was valuable in determining the eventual draft list.  Some drafted men then avoided service by either buying their way out through paying a fee to the government or hiring another man to serve in their stead.  The book is available for purchase at any of the Society's regular monthly meetings for $10 or by mail order in care of  CCGS Shop for $12.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Genealogy Course to be Offered

The Education  Committee of CCGS will again  offer its course, "Constructing Your Family History", at the Barnstable Senior Center on Route 28 in Hyannis on 3 Mondays--October 7, 21, and 28, from 1:30 to 3:30pm. The course, intended for both those new to genealogy and anyone more experienced who would like a systematic review, will cover such topics as: supporting your findings with acceptable evidence, immigration,  migration, use of the Census, searching vital records, using probates and land records, gravestones, Cape Cod resources, genealogical software, and techniques of using the Internet for family history research, among other topics. Each participant will develop or work with an existing family tree and learn about different approaches to genealogical investigations.  Registration is $25 for the entire series and can be done through the Senior Center by calling Susan  Griffin at 508-862-4761 by the deadline of Friday, September 27. Questions can be directed to David Martin at davidchina_2000@yahoo.com.

German Genealogy Workshop: Another Special Event

On Saturday, September 21, 2013, James Beidler, an  expert in German Genealogy, will present a special workshop for all  who are researching family roots in German ancestries.  The workshop, to be held at Brewster Ladies  Library Auditorium from 10AM to Noon,  will cover the different waves of German  immigration to the USA, since each wave was characterized by different types of populations; they also immigrated to various parts  of the country and originated from different parts of Germany. Mr. Beidler, who lives in Pennsylvania and has German ancestry himself, is well known for his expertise in  this field.  Admission  is $10 for CCGS and Falmouth Genealogical Society members and $15 for non-members.  To reserve a place, contact David Martin at davidchina_2000@yahoo.com by Friday, September 13. The fee is payable at the door.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Simon Crosby the emigrant : featured library resource for August 2013

Our library has many volumes devoted to individual family histories.  Have you checked the catalog to see if your ancestors might be represented there?

An anonymous library patron has gifted us with a slim volume to augment our family history collection.  Simon Crosby the emigrant : his English ancestry, and some of his descendants was first published in 1914 in Boston.  (Our volume is a facsimile reprint, undated.)  The author, Eleanor Davis Crosby (1845-1915), had published other genealogies and in this volume identifies the English roots of her husband's ancestor, tracing the family line back to 1440.  The name Crosby, given to several English villages, meant "town of the cross."

Simon Crosby came from Holme-on-Spalding-Moor in Yorkshire (don't you love these hyphenated English town names?), and settled in Cambridge, Massachusetts with his wife and infant son after emigrating to Boston in the spring of 1635.  His father Thomas Crosby followed him to America soon thereafter.  The Crosbys emigrated for religious reasons, along with other followers of the charismatic preacher Thomas Shepard, a man of about Simon's age.  Simon Crosby must have been a capable man, as he was elected as a selectman in Cambridge soon after his arrival.  Unfortunately, he died in 1639, aged about 30.  His widow Anne remarried after 6 years, and took their 3 sons with her to her new husband's home in Billerica.

The first son Thomas, who arrived in this country as an infant, attended Harvard College and became a preacher, employed in Eastham on Cape Cod for 15 years; twelve children were born to him there.  He later became a merchant in Harwich.  The second son, named Simon, also had a large number of children, and settled in Billerica where his mother and step-father lived.

If Crosby is one of your family names, please come and peruse this book at our Library soon!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Ellis Island and the Peopling of America : featured library resource for July 2013

As the Congress struggles with the issue of immigration reform, we who are interested in genealogy are likely to view this issue with a long-term perspective, and feel that the contributions of immigrants form the bedrock of what America is. We are adding to the library collection a book entitled Ellis Island and the Peopling of America : the official guide.

Anyone wishing to know more about the topic of immigration in general would find this guide a useful starting place.  Sadly, the Ellis Island Immigration Museum, to which this book was designed in part as an introduction, was damaged in the storm surge from Hurricane Sandy, and has yet to reopen. (The Statue of Liberty, also damaged, reopened on July 4.)

The book starts with an interesting timeline of 5 pages, showing developments in U.S. immigration policy in parallel with historical events relating to immigration. Part 1 sets the stage by discussing migration in the context of world history, and defines 5 types of migration:

  • forced, 
  • voluntary, 
  • circular (e.g. seasonal laborers), 
  • chain (assisted by contacts already in place), and 
  • colonizing.

In Part 2 the book focuses on migration into the United States, touching on the many factors that encouraged waves of immigrants, and on the beginnings of immigration policy as well as public opinion. Part 3 deals specifically with Ellis Island in its heyday, and how the immigration experience has evolved today.

The largest section of the book is Part 4, containing historical documents about immigration and the immigrant experience that are referred to in the earlier chapters. At the end of this section are study questions that would make this book a useful educational tool. Part 5 on Resources contains references to books, including fiction, about immigration topics and ethnic groups.  Part 6 covers Films, Videos, and Filmstrips.

Our thanks to member Margery Campbell for donating this volume to the Library.  We hope you will visit the Library soon and have a look at it.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Received at the Library

American Ancestors issue for spring 2013 carries a feature article on "The Early New England Families Study Project."  This is a new effort focused on individuals who emigrated to the US beginning with 1641.  It is intended to pick up where the Great Migration Study Project left off (with those who emigrated through 1640), and will likely take several decades to complete.  A sample sketch for John Capen is included.  Sketches will be available online at americanancestors.org, and may eventually be published.

A book excerpt discusses "The Rise of American Genealogy", showing how in the 19th century females often became the caretakers of family history. Westward expansion and pension applications also created an interest in genealogy.

Other articles cover "Growing up in North Cambridge," "Preserving Community in Berlin, New Hampshire", and an article on identifying a couple whose images were found on ambrotypes, images on glass that were popular 1854-1865.

NEHGS announces Free Fun Friday on July 26, and a new series of quick reference sheets called "The Portable Genealogist."  The Society's 2012 annual report is also included in this issue.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Early Cape Verdean and Portuguese Genealogy of Harwich, MA

At our monthly meeting in October, 2012, Amanda Chilaka shared some of her extensive research related to her Cape Verdean ancestors.
Amanda, a CCGS member, initially began researching with her grandfather, John Raneo, a well known figure in the town of Harwich. As she learned more, she expanded her research to include all Harwich residents of Cape Verdean ancestry.
She has recently contacted us with the news that her book, Early Cape Verdean and Portuguese Genealogy of Harwich, MA, has been published and is now available. You may order a copy directly from the publisher, iUniverse Publishing, or through Amazon.com.
Congratulations, Amanda!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Free Access to Irish Records, June 27-30, 2013

On June 30, 1922, during the Irish Civil War, a fire in the Public Records Office in Dublin destroyed a large number of Irish Records. Irish genealogical research has been affected over the years by this tragic loss, as many records still cannot be retrieved from other sources.
In commemoration of the 91st anniversary of this fire, findmypast.com is offering free access to its full collection of Irish Births, Marriages, and Death Indexes this weekend -- beginning Thursday, June 27, through Sunday, June 30, 2013. In order to access the vital records you will have to register for free on the site.

Anyone who has Irish ancestors will want to take advantage of  this offer. The vital records are only a small portion of the total Irish records available on the site, but only the Vital Records mentioned above will have free access. While on the site, you should also take a look at the list of other Irish records that may be accessed with a subscription.
American Canadian Genealogical Society Trip

On Saturday, September 28, ACGS will celebrate its 40 anniversary with an all-day conference featuring Dick Eastman, Lucy Constantino, and Joe Manning.

Five CCGS members traveled to Manchester, NH this June to explore the resources at the American Canadian Genealogical Society. This is billed as the largest French-Canadian specialty library in the United States. Carl Copp, driver, took passengers Marti Day, Bonnie Cormier, Ellen Geanacopoulos, and Wayne VanBuren to Manchester in an efficient two and one-half hours. This facility occupies the second floor of a former school, which is an easy drive from the Rte 93 exit. There is a chair lift which makes the library accessible. The room is spacious and bright. A snack room is available and there are restaurants nearby.

We were met by Pauline Cusson and her experienced staff and received excellent one-on-one attention during our time there. Translation service was also available.

A recent acquisition is the LaFrance database. It is an extension of the Progrmme de researche en demographie historique (PRDH) with which many French Canadian researchers are familiar. LaFrance extends the dates through 1850, and allows the researcher at the computer to link to the actual record and print it out right from the computer.

All the CCGS visitors agreed this was a worthwhile trip. More information may be received about ACGS resources and hours at their website www.acgs.org.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Early descendants of Daniel Cole of Eastham, Massachusetts : Featured library resource for May 2013

The second volume in Susan E. Roser's Friends of the Pilgrims series covers the first four generations of the Early descendants of Daniel Cole of Eastham, Massachusetts.  It was purchased from the author with funds given in honor of Roberta Bratti.  "Friends of the Pilgrims" were those who came after the Mayflower but were the colleagues of and intermarried with the Mayflower Pilgrims.

Roser has done an exhaustive job of research, including biographical information, and transcriptions of wills and of epitaphs.  Tentative information is bracketed, and sources are thoroughly documented.  Photos of many gravestones and signatures are included.  Daniel Cole had 12 children who all survived to adulthood, and all but one had children.  When he died at age 79 or 80 in 1694, two of his 225 great-grandchildren had already been born.  An active and respected member of the Eastham community, he served the town in several capacities, including selectman and constable.  Should he be one of your ancestors, you will find a wealth of information in this volume, now added to our Biography section.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Three Tools to Help Save Genealogists Money

Here are the last three tools suggested in the Mashable.com article by Jill Krasny. The suggestions come from Terry Koch-Bostic, a Mineola, N.Y.-based director of the National Genealogy Society, a non-profit education, training and records-preservation group.

3. Family Village
Launched two years ago, this Facebook game, modeled after Zynga’s Farmville, features a hiker scaling her family tree — it grows as she gathers more research. The point of the game is to teach players the basics of genealogical methodology. Over the course of the hike, players turn up vital records and track their findings on ancestry charts and family group sheets. They also dig through federal cenus records between 1790 and 1940 to fill in the missing gaps of their lineage. It’s fun and highly addictive for those just starting out on their genealogical adventures.
4. Various Grave Sites
A host of sites exists for the sole purpose of storing death certificates. Koch-Bostic recommends Billiongraves.comFindagrave.com and Legacy.com, that latter of which excels at collecting obituaries. Obits are particularly helpful for finding relatives in certain areas and information about where they lived, where they worked and attended school.
5. Digitized Newspapers
“The most wonderful information comes out of newspapers,” says Koch-Bostic, so long as you have access to a computer at home. Start searching by state, then try the Library of Congress — its Chroncling America website offers a treasure trove of historical newspapers published from 1690 to the present. When plugging in search terms, be sure to search narrowly and widely, advises Koch-Bostic.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Two Tools for Genealogists that Won't Break the Bank

Continuing from the previous post about the cost of genealogical research, here are two tools suggested in the Mashable.com article by Jill Krasny. The suggestions come from Terry Koch-Bostic, a Mineola, N.Y.-based director of the National Genealogy Society, a non-profit education, training and records-preservation group.

1. FamilySearch.org

Historically known as the Genealogical Society of Utah, Family Search dates back to 1894, the year it was founded. In 2010, the company undertook the daunting task of converting millions of records (from over 100 countries) from microfiche to digital images. Now all those records are accessible on its site, which also helps users create digital scrapbooks of photos.
“If I’m going to direct someone who’s never done genealogy, I’m going to direct them to this site,” says Koch-Bostic. “In terms of the data and research they have, it’s spectacular.”

2. Treelines

Storyworth made headlines last month when it launched its tool to record family lore. But Treelines, still in beta, is just as intriguing and useful.
“The site allows you to build the tree as you go,” says Koch-Bostic. Add stories and images as time permits. The end result is a visual, photographic narrative that's part tree, part timeline and eye-catching graphic. Hover over a year, for example, and you'll get an in-depth milestone description along with a vintage photo. It's like peering into a digital shoebox.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

You Might be Surprised at How Much Money Genealogists Spend

In an article on the Mashable.com website, Jill Krasny tells us amateur genealogists hoping to uncover a link to Abe Lincoln can easily turn to the web to dig in their ancestor's closet. But taking the commercial route doesn't come cheap.
People curious about family history spent a whopping $2.3 billion on genealogy products and services last year, according to a study by market research firm Global Industry Analysts. They took most of their work to sites like Ancestry.com, which charge between $22.95 and $34.59 per month for access to billions of pertinent records. One-on-one consultations set them back $2,000 to $5,000 per session, depending on the length and complexity of the project, a spokesperson told Mashable.
Despite those sites' popularity, “it’s perfectly possible to do everything without spending a dime,” says Terry Koch-Bostic, a Mineola, N.Y.-based director of the National Genealogy Society, a non-profit education, training and records-preservation group. 

In the next few days, we'll share with you the 5 tools Terry Koch-Bostic recommends for building a family tree without it costing you a fortune.

Friday, May 3, 2013

HBO's Family Tree First of Four Genealogy Series to Air in U.S.

Though there's been a bit of a vacuum in genealogical programming in the U.S. over the last year or so, that's happily about to change. First up is Christopher Guest and Jim Piddock's  mockumentary series, Family Tree (HBO, May 12th, 10:30 p.m.), starring Chris O'Dowd as Tom Chadwick. Having lost both his job and girlfriend, Chadwick seeks his roots as a way to find himself.

Fellow genealogists will recognize themselves in this trailer:  meandering cemeteries, meeting far-flung cousins, and fancying connections, physical and otherwise, to long gone forebears. Though I expect the mirror being thrust in our faces to provoke a fair number of "oh, man, I did that" winces, it's also something of a badge of honor to be the subject of a Guest mockumentary, so I'm bracing myself in anticipation. Slated to launch in both Canada and the U.S., this show will also run on BBC, though a date has not yet been announced.

After Family Tree has run its course, we'll need to be patient, but three other genealogy series are now under production. Two of them -- Who Do You Think You Are? (TLC) and Finding Your Roots(PBS) -- focus on celebrity roots and are returning after prolonged absences. Among those lined up for Who Do You Think You Are? are Kelly Clarkson, Chelsea Handler, and Christina Applegate. Dates are still pending, but later this year is likely for Who Do You Think You Are?, while we will have to wait until 2014 for Finding Your Roots.

Finally, the other new entry, Genealogy Roadshow, is an Irish import and currently casting to tape in Nashville, San Francisco, Detroit and Austin. With an emphasis on family history mysteries, historical events, and "average Joes," this series will also air on PBS and should go a long way toward satisfying those who claim that only the rich and famous get their roots done for free!

This article came from the Huffington Post.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Canadian Genealogy Group to meet May 8, 2013

The Canadian Special Interest Group will meet on Wednesday May 8, 2013 at the Brewster Ladies' Library in the large meeting room, at 10 a.m.

Everyone with an interest in Canadian genealogy is welcome.

Click for more on CCGS Special Interest Groups.

Oral Histories Highlight Our May Meeting

If you want to get something done, ask a busy person... That expression definitely fits our next monthly speaker -- Jane Martin, currently the president of the Harwich Historical Society, is a very busy woman. Besides her involvement in the historical society, she also is a member of
and is an avid gardener in her own yard, in her spare time.

A retired educator and public school administrator from Melrose, she retired to Harwich in 2004 and originally joined the Harwich Historical Society the following year. Besides being the organization president, Jane is also responsible for Educational Outreach and, beginning in 2008, she has been developing oral history protocols.  It is the oral history project that brings her to Cape Cod Genealogical Society.

Jane will be sharing with us how she got started recording interviews with a number of  residents of Harwich and how these oral histories are being used to enhance the programs and exhibits of the Brooks Academy Museum. She will also make recommendations for protocols for us to use when interviewing our own relatives for our family stories.

Be sure to join us for this informative presentation on Wednesday, May 15, 2013, at 10 AM at the .
Brewster Ladies Library.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

French-Canadian and Acadian Genealogy Workshop

On Saturday, May 4, 2013, a special Workshop on French-Canadian and Acadian Genealogy will be given at Brewster Ladies Library Auditorium from 10am to noon. The presenter will be the French-Canadian expert, Lucie Leblanc Consentino, who will describe the genealogical methods for those who are researching their roots in Canada from the Acadian era and/or the French-Canadian period.  Those interested in attending are asked to notify David Martin at davidchina_2000@yahoo.com or call 508-527-0460 to reserve a space; the cost is $10, which will be collected at the door.

Genealogy Course to be Offered

Another offering of the Genealogy Methods Course will be available during May 2013, intended for anyone who is either wanting a review of general methods of genealogy research or for those who are just at the beginning stages of constructing family trees.  Offered at the Barnstable Senior Center on Mondays, May 6, 13, and 20 by members of the CCGS Education Committee, the course will provide information on such topics as

   Vital Records
   Military Records
   The Census
   Immigration Records
   Land Records
   Probate Records
   Usng the Computer in Genealogy
   Standards for Genealogical Evidence
   Starting to Write a Family History
     and more

Dates: Mondays, May 6, 13, and 20, 2013
Time: 1:30 to 3:30 pm
Place: Barnstable Senior Center, Route 28, west of Hyannis (left side going westward)
Cost: $20 for the entire series of 3 workshops
To Register: Send check made out to Barnstable Senior Center, 185 Falmouth Road,
  Hyannis 02601, by the deadline of Friday, April 26.
Questions: Contact David Martin at davidchina_2000@yahoo.com or at 508-527-0460.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Received at the Library

Recent journal receipts may be of interest to members of the Society:

In the latest National Genealogical Society Quarterly appear two articles on African-American research, one of which is the 2011 winner of the NGS's  Family History Writing Contest, and describes a family's emergence from slavery.  The other article suggests sources for research on emancipation in the northern states.  In addition to 8 book reviews, there are also articles on unravelling the mysteries of duplicate parish registers in French Canada, and on the Hyde families living in Cheshire and Derbyshire, England.

The Essex Society of Genealogists based in Lynnfield MA publishes The Essex Genealogist quarterly.  The lead article by Dick Eastman is a transcription of a recent talk he gave on "Genealogy Searches on Google", though it is not stated where the presentation was made.  There are also articles on Kittery ME and family names Somes and Durkee.  The new editors inaugurate a series on places and events of interest in Essex County.

Received at the Library

Journal and newsletter issues may be of interest to members of the Society:

The latest Dennis Historical Society Newsletter includes a charming love letter found in an attic, and an article by our own Burt Derick about Cape Cod industries in the 17th-19th centuries: whaling, fishing, saltworks, and shipbuilding all took place in Dennis.

The April/May issue of Internet Genealogy features "10 tips for finding your female ancestors online" including making a timeline, searching in Worldcat, digitized books, and specialized newspaper collections, and more.  An article on colonial American genealogy recommends several interesting sites, including Family History Library's Family Search Wiki for land records by state, the U.S. Geological Survey's Geographic Names Information System, and the Immigrant Servants Database.  Software reviews include Legacy Family Tree 7.5, and Trello, a free project management tool.  Articles on St. Helena's Island and African-American newspaper sources round out the issue.

The Dutchess, based in Poughkeepsie NY, contains data from documents such as diaries, journals and town census records that may be of interest to those researching ancestors in Dutchess County, NY.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Successful bake sale!

A huge thank you to everyone who helped to make our Easter weekend bake sale a success! As you can see, we had fun!

At least sixteen of our members baked delicious goodies, and thanks to them, and other members who made calorie-free contributions, we have raised just over $400.  Contributions are still welcome, and we hope you will scoop up the left-overs which we will have for sale at the upcoming April 17 program meeting.

The raffle was a successful part of our bake sale, thanks to Joan Frederici's contribution of an Easter basket, Bebe Brock's timely gardening basket, and a third basket made up of baked goodies brought for the sale.  The winners of these baskets were Joyce Sullivan (Easter), Kim Ingram (garden), and Sheila Anderson (goodies).  Above are Joyce and her grand-daughter picking up the Easter basket.

Special thanks to those who staffed the sale or helped with setup: Sheila Anderson, Judy Bedijian, Joan Frederici, Ellen Geanacopoulos, Carol Kelley, Judy Needham, and myself (Carol Magenau, above in the rabbit ears...)  A real community effort, which will support our subscription to Ancestry.com.  Thanks again to all who supported the sale!

Received at the Library

Members may be interested in the latest journal receipts at the Library:

The periodical Internet Genealogy can keep us abreast of new developments.  In the February/March issue we can learn about the Historic New Orleans Collection and other Louisiana resources; a new approach combining genealogy and mapping the Underground Railroad; WWI enemy alien registration records; historic restaurant menu collections online; Australian newspaper sources; and British cemetery records.  Software reviews are a regular feature of this journal, including in this issue a feature article on time management tools.  There's also an alert to register for Legacy Family Tree free webinars at http://tinyurl.com/cssbzgz.

Kinfolk (spring 2013), published by the Rich Family Association, has a brief but interesting account of a visit to Bermuda to revisit sites associated with the wreck of the Sea Venture, which led to Bermuda's being the setting for Shakespeare's The Tempest.  On another page, Lorenzo Dow is revealed as a leading Evangelist of the 19th century, so popular an itinerant preacher that many children were named after him, including Wellfleet's famous banana importer, Lorenzo Dow Baker.  A list of Rich ancestors in the DAR database is given, and of Rich Mayflower connections.

Thursday, April 4, 2013


A special workshop on how to construct graphic timelines in genealogy, presented by our member, Morse Payne who is pictured below, will take place on Saturday, April 13, from 1 to 2:30 pm at the Dennis Public Library in Dennisport.  A case study using the Payne-Paine Family will illustrate how to incorporate data from a variety of countries and locations, by extending time back to the distant past through linking to historical events.  Charts, graphs, maps, and photographs will be used to show how you can apply this method to your own family tree. 

Space is still available; contact davidchina_2000@yahoo.com or call David Martin at 508-420-0224 to hold a place for this special event.

Monday, April 1, 2013

To Dakota and Back: the Story of an Orphan Train Rider

From the mid-1800's until the time of the depression, "orphan trains" transported homeless children from Eastern cities, such as Boston and New York, to foster families in less populated areas of the country. This soon became a controversial program, as rather than being welcomed as family members, some children became little more than indentured servants.

One of these children was John Donahue, originally from Boston, and the grandfather of Judith Kappenman, who will be the speaker at our April meeting. Judith will share with us, not only some history of the trains and her grandfather, but also her experiences while writing and publishing her family story, To Dakota and Back: the Story of an Orphan Train Rider.

Sister Judith Kappenman received her bachelor's degree from Elms College, education degree from
Worcester State, and CAGS from Assumption College. She taught school for 42 years, both at the elementary and high school levels. Following retirement from teaching, she worked as the director of the Irish Cultural Center at Elms College, before retiring for a second time, in December, 2012. Currently she is teaching once again -- this time a memoir writing group -- while she writes her own life story.

Join us on April 17, 2013, at the Brewster Ladies Library at 10am, to learn more about this segment of our nation's history, as well as to hear some suggestions on writing the story of your own family. Judy will entertain questions related to both subjects, following her presentation, and will have copies of her book available for purchase.

Ancient Cemetery, Yarmouth Port : Featured Library Resource for April 2013

At our March monthly program meeting, Judy Lucey gave us a great presentation on integrating manuscripts into our genealogical research.  Did you know that our Genealogy Room contains a significant amount of manuscript material?

One of the most noteworthy of our manuscripts is a seven-volume collection resulting from a project done by our Society, describing the graves in the Ancient Cemetery : Yarmouth Port.  The project began in 2001 and was spearheaded by Burton Derrick and Phyllis Coscso.  The volumes are as follows:
  • Section A-D
  • Section E
  • Section F
  • New Mid Section
  • Section New D
  • New Section Military Section
  • New Section #112-495
Each page consists of a sheet representing a single grave, encased in a plastic sleeve.  Information is presented in a standard format:
  • Lot owner / name on stone
  • Stone description (material, condition)
  • Inscription
  • Footstone
  • Genealogy (if known)
  • Remarks (e.g. military marker)
  • Drawing of tombstone with location of inscription
Most of the volumes are arranged by plot number (exception : Section E is arranged by family name).  Generally a map is present, either at the front or at a tab at the end, to show the location and sequence of the plots.  The first three notebooks carry name indexes to the graves, except for Section D (v. 1).  It would be wonderful to complete the name indexes and compile a master name index covering all the volumes.  If anyone is interesting in working on this to enhance access to this marvelous resource, please let me know at carol.magenau@gmail.com.  If you think your ancestors might be in this cemetery, we invite you to have a look at this unique tool at the Genealogy Room.

Friday, March 29, 2013

RootsTech Conference presentations available free online

March 21-23, 2013,  Family Search  hosted the annual Roots Tech Genealogical Conference in Salt Lake City. This conference was  sponsored by  Ancestry.com, Archives.com, Find My Past NGS (National Genealogical Society), and FGS (Federation of Genealogical Societies, among others. More than 4,000 people attended from the US, Canada, and 23 other countries, making this an international genealogical event.

The purpose of this annual conference is to focus on the use of technology in genealogy, with an emphasis on helping people to become familiar with various technological innovations and to learn how these methods can be used in their own genealogical research. There are many opportunities provided for those in attendance to become updated on the latest tech tools. Keeping true to the technological theme of the conference, each day several presentations were live-streamed so that those of us who did not attend would have an opportunity to participate. I viewed several of those sessions over the last few days and found them to be quite  informative.

One session that I found particularly interesting was a panel discussion held on Thursday, entitled The Future of Genealogy. Panel members included  Josh Taylor, from FindMy Past, formerly from New England Historic Genealogical Society and Dick Eastman, who publishes Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter. In response to the question, "What is holding back the growth of genealogy?", they both agreed on two points. First was records access -- however, they did not mention privacy issues, rather that records are becoming unavailable due to financial limitations. Repositories worldwide are beginning to limit public access to their records because they have had to decrease staffing.  Secondly, they both stressed that "we" are the biggest problem -- both genealogical societies and individuals are not changing to keep up with the 21st century. We need to learn to take advantage of new technological methods and resources to research and share our discoveries.

 Some of the topics included in other sessions were:
  •  What is new or coming soon on Google and Family Search
  •  Social media
  •  Telling Stories
  •  Researching your genealogy online
These sessions are still available and may be viewed online at Roots Tech. In addition to the livestreamed sessions from this year, you may also view a few from last year's conference at RootsTech 2012.

This is a great way to keep up to date with the technology being used today, as well as learrning what is new for genealogists, without having to spend a lot of money to attend a large conference.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Bake Sale reminder!

Greetings all!  I hope you are able to attend our Easter-themed bake sale this Saturday March 30th, between 10AM and 1:30PM in the Conference Room at the Dennis Public Library.  Your donations of baked goods may be brought to the Library during regular opening hours (unless you already turned them in at our last meeting -- thank you!).  Please note, if your items require refrigeration, other arrangements will need to be made, or you can bring them on the day of the sale.

Bring a friend!  You can explore the resources in the Genealogy Room between 10 and noon.  We hope to see you all there in support of our Association, and thank you for your contributions!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Received at the Library

Recent journal and newsletter receipts may be of interest to Society members:

American Ancestors (winter 2013) deals with a subject near to my heart and perhaps to yours, the lives of New England mill workers.  My maternal grandmother's maternal grandparents Robert and Ann Dewsnap Robinson came from Glossop, England to Lowell in 1854, and in the 1860 census my great-grandmother Caroline was listed as a spinner at 17 years old, along with several older siblings.  According to the feature article, textile manufacturing was the nation's largest industry for a time in the 19th century, employing millions, and the first major US employer of women outside the home.  Related articles give glimpses of ordinary and notorious lives of mill workers: a boardinghouse keeper's letters, a Manchester NH mill girl's death at the hands of an abortionist; an Irish immigrant's successful career in the Fall River mills; the death and injury of two Irish immigrant sisters in the destruction of the Pemberton Mill (Lawrence MA) by collapse and fire.  Other topics in the issue include a review of the Rhode Island roots database, a visit to an ancestral village in Finland, ethnic groups in Colonial New York City and environs, and reminiscences by NEHGS staff members Marie Daly and David Dearborn.  A most interesting issue.

Mass-Pocha (February 2013), journal of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Boston, announces the 33rd International Conference on Jewish Genealogy, August 4-9 in Boston at the Park Plaza (early bird registration before April 30).  Article topics include a summary of Ulysses S. Grant's expulsion of Jews from the area covering Illinois to northern Mississippi in 1862, a surprising episode of the Civil War; Archives of the Joint Distribution Committee in New York and Jerusalem; and the Pale, the area of western Russia where Jews were allowed permanent residence.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Received at the Library

Recent journal and newsletter receipts may be of interest to Society members:

In the fall 2012 issue of the Nova Scotia Genealogist, there's an announcement that after 2013 the journal will only be available in electronic format.  An article about the Hillcrest [Alberta] Mine Disaster of 1914, Canada's largest mine disaster, lists what is known about the 23 Nova Scotia victims, many of whom were English or Scottish immigrants.  On p.140 (and not in the table of contents) is a list of free genealogy podcast sites.  Many sources relating to Nova Scotia research are listed in various notices throughout the issue.

Family Chronicle for March/April 2013 has short, interesting articles on Italian immigrants' naming practices; fords and ferries; research logs; researching the British Army abroad; and more.

The January 2013 issue of The New England Historical and Genealogical Register contains articles on several New England families, including surnames: Adcocke, Sutton, Pratt, Harris, Bacon, Sherman, Dunbar and Whitten.

Newsletters were received from the Dennis Historical Society (March 2013, includes an article on the Fisk family, four master mariner brothers); the Falmouth Genealogical Society (Jan.-Apr. 2013, announcing meetings for 2013, and giving reports on presentations on a research trip to Portugal, Marcia Melnyk's two talks at our joint meeting. and "Paddy on the Net: Irish genealogy databases"); and the Lothropp Family Foundation (spring 2013, including notes on the passing of the Society's founder Helen Lathrop Tabor).

Friday, March 8, 2013

America's women in the Revolutionary Era : Featured library resource for March 2013

At the February program meeting, the Society received a marvelous gift from the local chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR). This substantial three-volume set is titled in full America's women in the Revolutionary Era, 1760-1790 : a history through bibliography, and was published in 2011.   Editor Eric G. Grundset is the DAR Library Director, and the book compiles references to revolutionary era women in books, dissertations, articles and online documents, from contemporary 18th century to present day sources.

The three volumes in this set cover the same material, accessed in different ways: subjects (v.1 and 2), authors, and a chronology of publications (v.3). Detailed citations provide information on names of women covered, chapter or article headings, and often brief annotations about the scope of the information as it pertains to women.  Although many famous women are covered, there is a conscious effort to include information on the lives of everyday women and girls, to give a well-rounded depiction of how life was lived by our ancestors in revolutionary times.

The subject chapters are divided into 5 parts: [vol. 1] 1. General studies (includes African American and Native American women); 2. Women in the family and society; 3. Women, culture, education, and creative arts; 4. Women, girls, and the war effort during the American Revolution; [v. 2] 5. Women and girls of the regions and states of the United States.  (Massachusetts is particularly well represented.)  An index to the subject chapters is found at the end of volume 2.

Citations in this book begin as early as 1716 with "Letters to a young lady" by one John Bennett, and end with 2011.  As the brief introduction to the chronology states, "many publishing and topical trends become clear" when citations are viewed chronologically, including the surge of scholarship around the time of the Nation's bicentennial in 1976.

We are grateful to the DAR for this gift and delighted to add it to the holdings of the CCGS Library.  Please stop in to see it!  We are open Tuesdays noon-4, Thursdays 10-4 and Saturdays 10-noon.