Friday, September 25, 2015

Learn About Descendancy Research At Our October Meeting

We are all familiar with the traditional methods of learning about our family history by researching our ancestors. In the words of our next speaker, "Researching the living descendants of your ancestors can give your family history new life and excitement."
Michael Brophy will discuss reasons for doing Descendancy Research and advise us as to how to go about it, when he joins us at our next meeting, Tuesday, October 20, 2015. This is the program that had to be postponed from last winter, due to the everpresent snowstorms.
Michael is a professional genealogist, whose genealogical education includes seven certificates from Institute of Genealogy and Historic Research (IGHR), as well as certificates in Private Investigation and Forensic Genealogy from Boston University. He has been a board member of Massachusetts Genealogical Council and treasurer of  The New England Association of Professional Genealogists.
He lectures on a wide variety of genealogical topics, including his specialties of New England and Irish research, at national and regional seminars, as well as at local societies
Hope that you will be able to join us on Tuesday, October 20, 2015, at the Brewster Ladies Library, at 10 AM.  Come a little early for tea, coffee, and donuts, starting at 9:30.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Don't Forget -- Monthly Meetings Are Now on the Third Tuesday!!

A reminder that our meeting this month will be on Tuesday, September 15, 2015!  The only change is the day -- same time: 10 AM; same place: Brewster Ladies Library.

Our speaker this month will be Fred Wexler, from the Cape Cod Civil War Roundtable, and his topic will be "Civil War and Genealogy: Research Clues Are Everywhere".

We will be doing something a bit different this year ... there will be a Sales Table available, which will include a variety of new items for you to check out.  This is your chance to pick up a copy of  one of our own publications -- to include Cape Cod Resources for Genealogists, and Stauffer Miller's book on Civil War Soldiers and Draftees.  Also, back issues of the Journal will be available, if there any that you never received or have misplaced, as well as a few CCGS related items of interest.

Come a little early to peruse our sales items and socialize over a cup of coffee with other members. Coffee and donuts will be available beginning at 9:30.

Hope to see you then,

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Received at the Library

Members may be interested in the following magazine issues received at the Genealogy Room:

Your genealogy (July/August 2015) leads off with an article about amusement parks, a popular family entertainment option in the late 19th and early 20th century.  I was tickled that the author's park was also mine, Savin Rock, located in West Haven CT.  Before it closed in 1966 it delighted generations of local families as well as rowdy Yale students.  The author cites a website that can locate now defunct parks in the US and Canada, which numbered 2,000 in their heyday.
Diahan Southard explains why mtDNA (from the maternal line) is still an important tool.  Speaking of the maternal line, "What the widow got" is a tutorial on the history of property laws affecting US women.  A case study illustrates "Beginning your World War II Research" with offline resources (companion piece to the online resources covered in an article in June/July 2015 Internet Genealogy).  The same author's WWII-related books "The Tiger's Widow" and "Stories from the Battlefield: a beginning guide to WWII research" are reviewed.  Other articles cover: a relative's work on the Panama canal; managing those pesky diacritics (foreign characters); "Research Trip 101" from staffers at the Allen County (IN) Public Library; the controversy over Ben Affleck's slave-holding ancestors; and more.

NGS magazine (Jul-Sept. 2015) offers a primer on curating heirloom objects in your possession.  Other articles cover:

  • mining industry records
  • research in Latin America
  • pension payment cards, 1907-1933
  • analyzing the path of a census taker to provide insights about where people were located
  • DNA match lists
Two of the more thought-provoking articles concern "A genealogist's approach to privacy," and "Wearables" which speculates about how wireless wearable devices may enhance our genealogy endeavors in the future.  Glasses that can scan documents, anyone?

Received at the Library

These journal issues have recently been added to the Genealogy Room:

Internet Genealogy (Aug/Sept.2015) covers a diverse range of topics, leading off with an article highlighting state archives' online resources.  Next we learn that although most WWII records are offline, many military units have reunion groups that often have websites, and possess both on- and off-line records.  In the late 1930s some 50,000 Irish schoolchildren collected local stories, which are now being digitized and are freely available at under "Schools' Collection," arranged by county.  There are articles covering a Korean War project, a family black sheep in Australia, and the story behind a gravestone in Dubuque.  Historical societies are an often untapped resource for genealogists.  States with important Revolutionary War resources are highlighted.  The important points about backups to safeguard your research are outlined.

Family tree magazine for Sept/ 2015 has an interesting one-page listing of the biggest things in genealogy.  I'm tempted to make you guess, but here are the answers:

  • family tree                               Confucius (551-479BC)
  • genealogy library                    Family History Library, Salt Lake City UT
  • family tree database      
  • US heritage group                   German
  • US genealogical society          NEHGS
  • genealogy conference             RootsTech
  • genetic genealogy database    23andMe
The featured article gives brief descriptions of the 101 best genealogy sites (the 16th time for this annual feature).  Helpful tutorials cover French family research, naturalization records, and optimizing searches on  Maureen Taylor lays out the options for publishing your family history book.  A panel of experts responds to questions about how to list some of the modern complications of today's families in family trees (step-families, same-sex marriages, etc.)  There are lots more short articles in this informative issue.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Change in Genealogy Room hours

As members are aware, the CCGS program meetings will now generally be on the third Tuesday of each month.  To prevent a regularly scheduled conflict with the hours of the CCGS Library, also known as the Genealogy Room, it has been decided to make a slight adjustment in our regular library hours.  As of September 15, the new Genealogy Room hours will be:

Tuesdays    1-4
Thursdays 10-4
Saturdays  10-noon

Carol Magenau
CCGS Librarian

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Dennis, Cape Cod : featured library resource for September 2015

Are you aware that our Genealogy Room has dozens of volumes of histories and records for Cape Cod towns?  In honor of one of our newest library volunteers, Katharine Reid Peace, this month we feature one of those treasures.  Dennis, Cape Cod : from firstcomers to newcomers, 1639-1993, was written by Katharine's mother, Nancy Thacher Reid.

This hefty volume, weighing in at almost a thousand pages, was published in 1996 by the Dennis Historical Society.  The history of Dennis is presented in seven chronological periods:
  • The Firstcomers, 1638-1691
  • Wars and whales, 1691-1763
  • New country, new town, 1763-1815
  • Citizens of the world, 1815-1865
  • Steam, wind and fire, 1865-1900
  • Wars, wind and more fire, 1900-1945
  • The Newcomers, 1945-1993
Each of these sections consists of between 9 and 17 chapters.

Although I did not read the complete volume for the purposes of this review, it makes delightful, informative, and compelling reading.  Here are some of the passages that caught my attention: agricultural and marriage practices of the native Indian populations, the arrival of the Quakers, the life of minister Josiah Dennis after whom the town is named, local son Reuben Hall being captain of one of the vessels raided in the Boston Tea Party, the development of the salt-making business after the Revolutionary War, and the fire of May 1900 that destroyed several homes and threatened the entire village.  The degree to which the history of the town is caught up in wars (with the Indians, the French, the British, the South, and Europe) is striking.

This impressive work of scholarship is worthy of study by anyone interested in the history of the town of Dennis and of the Cape generally.  It is rounded out by appendices covering colonial documents and lists, Dennis citizens in military services, and a number of post-colonial town documents.  Extensive notes cover the text and illustrations.  A select bibliography and an index covering both names and subjects enhance the usefulness of the volume. We hope you will come enjoy this and other resources at the Society's Genealogy Room in Dennisport.