Saturday, March 28, 2015

Received at the Library

Catching up... with the last issue published under the title Family Chronicle (Jan./Feb. 2015).  "Music in the family" suggests ways to uncover the music enjoyed by your forebears.  Did you know that keyboard instruments were taxed to help finance the War of 1812 and the Civil War?  An article entitled "Historical Records Survey" recalls a 1930s WPA depression-era project that made accessible much information still used by genealogists today.  "A Primer on the Russian language and names" might prove very useful to those with Russian ancestors, providing tables of numerals, common names, months, genealogy words, and other research tips.  Was your ancestor a blacksmith? You'll want to read Claire Gebben's first-hand exploration of her German-born ancestor's profession. Other topics covered: finding pre-1866 African-American ancestors, family fortune myths, heirlooms, handling sensitive family stories (black sheep), and "Your DNA autobiography."

Friday, March 27, 2015

Received at the Library

Do you need some inspiration to rev up your research?  Family tree magazine (Jan./Feb. 2015) offers 101 top tips from 15 years of publishing in "Best of the Best."  These tips are arranged in categories:

  • beating brick walls
  • uncovering American ancestors
  • finding Canadian kin
  • solving immigration puzzles
  • tracing British Isles branches
  • discovering Eastern European and Jewish ancestors
  • researching Western European roots
  • getting genetic clues
  • investigating military mysteries
  • discovering American Indian heritage
  • organizing your search
  • finding clues in old photographs
  • preserving family memories
  • researching at repositories
  • tracking sources and resources

"Heirloom wisdom" offers practical suggestions on taking care of your family artifacts.  An 8-page article on obituaries includes a worksheet, lists websites, and covers types of remembrances, the history of obituaries, how to find them, and a discussion of the content.  "Invisible ancestors" suggests ideas for tracing slave ancestors in your tree.  Other articles treat online court records, preserving watches and clocks, and more.

The lead story in Internet genealogy (Feb./Mar. 2015) gives 5 suggestions of "Hidden immigration resources."  A new type of family tree called Treelines is reviewed -- in addition to traditional info, you can add photos, memories, historical context.  Are you a clutterbug, even digitally?  Check out "Reduce your digital clutter."  Other articles cover: yesterday's weather; using iBooks to author family history publications; top 50 online sites for 2015; black sheep in the UK; online photo fixing services; and Ancestry's Associated Press collection.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Received at the Library

Anyone with Danish heritage will be pleased to hear that MyHeritage will be digitizing millions of records from the Danish National Archives.  For those with British heritage,  over 41 million wills from England and Wales are now online at  These news items are found in NGS Magazine (Jan.-Mar. 2015).  A 2-part article on "Educational opportunities in Genealogy" continues with a description of various forms of online education and collaboration.  Get the most out of FamilySearch with 15 tips for productive searching.  A case study of a shootout in Virginia in 1929 shows how to research life-changing events in newspapers and court records.  Other articles describe researching Civil War court-martial records, locating free African-Americans, the role of the book mark in military service records, and the practice of name changing (contrary to popular myth, it didn't usually happen at Ellis Island).  Lastly, the process of logging and analyzing autosomal DNA matches is described..

The Essex Genealogist (Feb. 2015) has transcriptions of presentations on "Adding DNA to your entire family tree," and on "Using Zotero... for electronic research logs."

Mass-Pocha (Feb. 2015) summarizes presentations on:

  • Wandering Jews: Peddlers and the discovery of new worlds
  • DNA Haplogroups
  • Finding your ancestors in Polish records
  • Resources in Ukrainian Archives for Jewish Genealogical Research

There are also articles about cemeteries in Vienna, and Chelsea MA.

Received at the Library

Family Chronicle has undergone a title change to Your genealogy today; new numbering begins with the issue for March/April 2015.  While not planning any radical new direction, the publisher announces three new columns: Advice from the pros; Genealogy tourism; and DNA & genealogy.  In the first column, an expert genealogist reminds us of the many sources that are not online, including family treasures that may be in the possession of relatives you haven't yet found.  In the second, Lisa Alzo addresses preparing for a trip to the ancestral homeland.  The DNA column introduces the basics, the three kinds of DNA and why you may want to pursue them. The featured article discusses records of the British Department of State.  Another gives a good feel for genealogy travel to the island of Guernsey, a possession of the British Crown.  Informative articles treat the various types of cards with genealogical information (visiting, business, membership, etc.), and the declining practice of using middle name and initial.  A cemetery transcription volunteer shares the joys of "The Old Dead Folks Club."

"Tricks of the trade" for 10 genealogy websites is the cover story for Family tree magazine (March/April 2015).  Another article covers "A world of good websites" for ethnic and immigrant groups.  "Working your map muscles" provides strategies for using maps in genealogy and lists lots of helpful online resources.  Anyone looking for a tool to organize their research could benefit from a six-step strategy to make the most of Evernote, a free tool which can help you document your research, clip images from the internet, and share your findings with others.  "Social studies" gives sketches of 32 free social history sites that can add flavor to your family stories and enhance your understanding of their times.  I had never heard the term "crowdsource",  but it's the idea of finding like-minded online communities (e.g. Facebook) where you can ask for help or contribute to volunteer projects like indexing.  This issue is chockful of useful information!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Coach Trip to Boston

You and your friends are invited to celebrate Spring with a CCGS coach trip to Boston on Wednesday, April 29.

Although many passengers will be doing genealogical research, our destination of the New England Historic Genealogical Society on Newbury Street is also near the Boston Public Library, Copley Square, Prudential Shopping Mall, Boston Public Garden and Boston Common.

We will leave Patriot Square (Rt 134, South Dennis) promptly at 8AM.  Pick up will also occur at Burger King at Exit 6 and the Sagamore Park and Ride.  

We will leave 101 Newbury Street promptly at 3:30PM.

To reserve space, please call Nancy DeNise at 508-432-6072 and mail a check for $35 ($40 for Non-members) made out to CCGS to Nancy DeNise, 14 Harold Street, Apt. 2F, Harwichport, Ma 02646.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Boston Public Library will be the highlight of March meeting

Despite the wintery weather we are experiencing, spring will be here in just a few short weeks. As it comes closer, plans will be made for our Spring Research Trip to Boston - New England Historic Genealogical Society and the Boston Public Library. If you have not taken advantage of this opportunity to visit the Library because you don't know what is there, nor how to find it, our March meeting will be just what you need!

Alice KaneOn Wednesday, March 18, at our regular monthly meeting, Alice Kane will be  our guest speaker and will tell us about "Exploring the Boston Public Library." She will give us the information we need to help us use this facility for our research.

Alice currently works at NEHGS in the microtext and digital collections on the 4th floor, so you may recognize her. Before working there, she was a librarian at Boston Public Library for 19 years and still uses the facility for research purposes. -- a perfect person to share her knowledge of the Library. Since the library has been undergoing renovations, she will be able to give us up-to-the-minute information for navigating collections of interest.

Alice has a Bachelors degree in history from Harvard University. She has extensive experience in researching French-Canadian, Irish, and German family history, so should be able to answer questions about collections available to help you in these areas.

You have the day, Wednesday, March 18, the time will be 10 AM, and the place will be the Brewster Ladies Library... all we need now is for the weather to cooperate!!

Important Message to Anyone Planning to Attend NERGC 2015

Are you planning to attend the NERGC Conference in April, 2015?  If so, we need to hear from you!
We are planning a very short, but very important meeting, to follow our March monthly meeting next week, March 18, at Brewster Ladies Library, in order to discuss what you need to know about this year's conference and to answer any questions you may have.

Even if you have not registered, but still plan to attend at least one day of the conference, it is important that we know you will be there, so we can coordinate carpooling, volunteering, and any Society social events ... David Martin has already announced a wine and cheese get-together you will want to know about!!

If you will not be at next week's meeting, but intend to be a NERGC participant, please let us know ASAP, so we can forward information to you and include you in our plans.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Free Access to FindMyPast

Explore Findmypast for FREE this weekend

This weekend, from 7 AM (EST) Friday until 7 AM (EST... which by then would be 8 AM EDT) Monday, FindMyPast  will be available for no charge.

If you have never researched on this site before, this is the perfect opportunity to discover all that they have available... there are millions of US records, military records, including the American Revolution, and a newspaper archive that dates from the 1700's.

Sunday, March 8, is International Women's Day and there is a special program for that, also. For those "early birds" amongst us, on Sunday at 7 AM (EST, actually 8AM EDT, since this is the weekend we change our clocks!), there will be a webinar on searching for your female family members.

Take advantage of this opportunity to see what you might discover!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Three Centuries of the Cape Cod County : featured library resource for March 2015

We are adding to the collection a gift volume published in 1985 to celebrate the 300th anniversary of the establishment of Barnstable County.  Entitled Three Centuries of the Cape Cod county : Barnstable County, 1685-1985, it includes a short section on the historical roots of Barnstable County, but also writes about its present day institutions from a historical perspective.  Each article is by a different contributor, presumably an authority in the area being discussed.

The book covers county services, socio-economic activities (agriculture, politics, transportation, tourism, etc.), and intellectual and cultural activity. There is a speculative essay about the future, interesting to review nearly 30 years on.

There are four appendices:

  1. County officials
  2. Organizations (yes, we are listed)
  3. Chronology of Cape Cod Libraries (begins with Brewster Ladies Library, 1853)
  4. Profiles of Cape Cod Towns
Old and recent photographs are included in a section in the middle of the book, and there is an index (in which I find no mention of oysters!)

If you are interested in background information on Cape Cod institutions, this book would make a good starting point. Come to the Genealogy Room and have a look-see!