Saturday, April 8, 2017

Two articles in the NGS magazine for Jan.-March 2017 anticipate the annual conference of the National Genealogical Society, to be held in May in Raleigh NC.
  • Scots-Irish migration to the Colonial Carolinas
  • genealogy materials at Duke and UNC libraries
Another emphasis in this issue is church records.  An article on Quaker records gives strategies to overcome poor indexing in Ancestry.  Another elucidates Irish church registers, both Roman Catholic and Church of Ireland, plus there's a column about Roman Catholic records generally.  Yet another article shows the information to be gleaned from church records for the African-American community.  And lastly the Federal Records column deals with religion-related federal records.

Your genealogy today (March/April 2017) takes us to Tahiti for South Seas research.  If you have ancestors who succumbed to tuberculosis, you will want to check out "Family in the time of plague," an interesting account of a young man's death in 1917. Robbie Gorr uncovers a naming tradition for females carrying their mother's first name, with the addition of "Ann" as middle name.  (For males, the equivalent would be "junior.")  David Norris looks at the role of the radio (or wireless) in family life, and Sue Lisk looks at gardening, which might turn up in family letters or an agricultural census.  Articles treat veteran's stories from both World Wars.  Lisa Alzo urges us to have a plan for the disposition of our genealogical treasures to future generations.

Monday, March 27, 2017

April Meeting Presentation to Highlight Autosomal DNA in Genealogy

Our invited speaker at the CCGS meeting on April 18 will be Pamela Guye Holland who will be giving a lecture entitled "Finding Cousins Using Autosomal DNA". Pam's presentation will show how to explore your DNA matches and how to use the tools made available at FamilyTreeDNA, AncestryDNA, and 23andMe. It will focus on practical ways to discover how you are related to your autosomal DNA cousins. This talk assumes you are considering or have already tested at one of the three DNA testing companies.
Pamela Holland

Pam Holland has been researching family roots found in MA, NY, Ohio, England, Germany, and Ireland since 2001. She is a certificate holder from the Boston University Genealogical Research Certificate program. In 2013 she became a professional genealogist and currently takes private clients and works for Research Services at the New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS). She also serves on the board of The Irish Ancestral Research Association (TIARA). Her website is

Our meeting will be held at the Brewster Ladies' Library, Rt 6A, Brewster, on Tuesday, April 18, 2017 at 10 a.m. As usual, all are invited to come early for socializing and to enjoy refreshments starting at 9:30.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Received at the library

The Feb./March 2017 issue of Internet genealogy features an article on organizing your family photos.  The author suggests that photo management software is very worthwhile, allowing images to be tagged according to their many different aspects, and therefore findable no matter how you choose to organize the collection.  Examples discussed are:Adobe Photoshop Elements, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, Apple photos, and Google photos.  Numerous other topics are addressed in this issue:
  • Google My Maps (free, customizeable)
  • Civil War damage claims
  • resources for researching circus performers
  • maximizing clues from the records you find, and from city directories
  • Northeastern Pennsylvania genealogical resources
  • the Italian Ancestors Project on FamilySearch
  • (a service to help your research survive you!)
Members of the German Interest Group may wish to take a look at the featured article in Your Genealogy (Jan.-Feb. 2017), which discusses calendars and religious feast days   Were you aware that in Germany there were competing calendars in use in the late 1500s and through the 1600s? and that the old names for months established by Charlemagne prevailed until the 1700s in some parts of Germany?  Another article explains how names like Gottlieb were expressions of the German Pietistic tradition which was important among Lutherans in the 17th and 18 centuries, and came to America along with many German immigrants.  If you are looking for ways to involve your grandchildren in genealogy, Cindy Thompson offers some ideas in "Uncovering ancestral mysteries."  David Norris reviews the history of unisex naming practices.  The restoration of a cemetery in Iowa is described by Constance Cherba.  The United States Federal Mortality Census was taken in many counties and states in 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880 and 1885, and gives "A wealth of information" on those who died in the year leading up to the Federal Census.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Received at the Library

New records are being added to genealogy databases on a continuous basis.  The cover story for Internet genealogy (Dec./Jan. 2017) highlights the release last September of 2.5 million images (of more than 12,5 million individual records) of Irish birth, death and marriage records, freely accessible at   Of particular Cape Cod interest is an article on shellfish and fishery licenses.  There's an interview with the founder of Cyndi's list, which now boasts over 33,000 links. Other highlights:
  • Twile, a new online tool for timelines
  • genealogyDOTcoach, a new way of hiring professional help
  • pre-1870 African-American research tools
  • uncommon sources
  • Picture Keeper Connect, a specialized flash drive for managing images
Images are not always a good substitute for viewing the original records, is the lesson from a tale of mislabelled microfilm of burial records from Kentucky, in the latest NGS magazine (Oct.-Dec. 2016). In "Mapping personal spaces", Stefani Evans gives examples of how important drawings can be to understanding neighborhoods and memories of homes and other special places.  Another article showcases how a "non-paternity event" (a break in the male surname line) can lead to surprising results from DNA testing.  Think you might have a female pirate in your lineage?  Diane Gravel gives examples and suggests ways of researching them.  Cluster research (also known as the FAN Principle, investigating Family, Associates and Neighbors) is explicated with a case study.  Lastly, if you are a Pokemon Go fan, read how it could change genealogy.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

March 21st Meeting to Feature French-Canadian Genealogy

The March 21 meeting of CCGS will feature a presentation from Margaret R. Fortier on "French-Canadian Genealogy". Margaret will introduce listeners to the tools and strategies one needs to trace French-Canadian ancestors. Learn how they lived in Quebec, how they differed from European immigrants, where they settled in the U.S., and how to deal with name changes and "dit names" (an alias given to a family name). Margaret will outline, step-by-step, how to track individuals when you know their Quebec location and when you don't.

Margaret R. Fortier
Our invited speaker, Margaret Rose Fortier, is a professional genealogical researcher, writer, and lecturer. She specializes in French-Canadian and Italian-American research. A graduate of Boston College and Bentley University, she holds a Certificate in Genealogical Research from Boston University. She serves on the board of the Massachusetts Society of Genealogists, and she is registered as an Independent Researcher with the National Archives.

The meeting will take place at the Brewster Ladies' Library, Rt. 6A, Brewster on Tuesday, March 21, 2017 at 10 a.m. As usual, all are invited to come early for socializing and to enjoy refreshments starting at 9:30.

Friday, February 24, 2017

comparing online genealogy services

For anyone trying to decide which online genealogy service(s) to invest in, or whether you are using the best one(s) for your needs, here's a link to a recent presentation at RootsTech 2017 that will help:

In just over an hour, Sunny Morton compares Ancestry, FamilySearch, FindMyPast, and MyHeritage.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Family Tree guide to DNA testing and genetic genealogy : featured library resource for February 2017

The CCGS Library has acquired our first book on DNA, The Family Tree guide to DNA testing and genetic genealogy, published in 2016.  The author, Blaine T. Bettinger, is an intellectual property attorney and a frequent presenter on genetic genealogy, as well as the founder of the popular blog  The book is intended for all experience levels.

In the introduction, Bettinger contrasts the imprecision of genealogical records with the scientific exactitude of DNA information.  But he then points out that interpretation of DNA results is still very much in its infancy, and therefore can introduce errors and inconsistencies.  Genealogists need to use both tools together to build the best picture available.

The book is organized into three sections:
  • Getting started
  • Selecting a test (mitochondrial, Y-chromosomal, autosomal, or x-chromosomal)
  • Analyzing and applying test results
Additional information includes a glossary, and appendices:
  • A Comparison Guide (flowchart and tables to help you decide which test and service to use)
  • Research forms
  • More resources (books, blogs, websites)
The book includes helpful features like summaries of the salient points of each chapter. The writing is clear, and the layout is colorful and pleasing.  I especially liked the chapters on common misconceptions, and on analyzing complex problems with DNA.  Case studies are used to illustrate uses of the different types of tests.

Bettinger reminds us that the first publicly available DNA testing was in this century (2000), though it was famously used before that in forensic tests on the remains of Tsar Nicholas's family, and in proving that Thomas Jefferson fathered children with his slave-mistress Sally Hemings.  It was only in 2005 that both Ancestry's and 23 and me's databases reached the one-million mark.  So DNA testing is very young and will continue to evolve.  This book will be useful in getting you started on your DNA journey.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

RootsTech 2017

The annual RootsTech, the world's largest genealogy conference, takes place in Salt Lake City this coming week.  Several sessions per day are available for free live streaming Wed. through Saturday.  Click here for the schedule:

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

February CCGS Meeting to Feature Live Webinar on Researching WWI and WWII Service Veterans

The February 21st meeting of CCGS will feature a live webinar, entitled "Researching World War I and World War II Veteran Ancestors", presented by David Allen Lambert, Chief Genealogist at the New England Historic Genealogical Society. Genealogical research on many of these service veterans presents some unique challenges. On July 12, 1973 a fire at the National Records Center in Overland, Missouri destroyed 16 to 18 million personnel records for the U.S. Army (service years 1912 to 1960) and the U.S. Air Force (service years 1947 to 1964). The webinar will provide guidance on how you can reconstruct your ancestor's service using draft registration cards and enlistments, the U.S. census, discharge papers, unit histories, and more.

Our meeting will take place at the Brewster Ladies' Library, Rt 6A, Brewster, on Tuesday, February 21, 2017 at 10 a.m. All are invited to come early for socializing and refreshments at 9:30.

For those CCGS members who are unable to attend the meeting on February 21, you may use the following link to register and view the webinar at a remote location.


Once you register through this link, an email confirmation will be sent to you with a full set of instructions on how to access the webinar.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Cape and South Shore Blue Book - featured library resource for January 2017

Thanks to a generous gift from library volunteer Kate Reid, we have added four volumes to our collection that list local and part-time residents in Cape Cod and South shore towns in the 1920s and 30s.  Three are entitled Cape and South Shore blue book and social register (1924, 1928-1929, 1930-1931).  The fourth volume is South Shore social register and who's who on Cape Cod (1939).

These volumes contain a lot of advertising that gives a local flavor of businesses that your Cape ancestors probably patronized.  Directory entries are arranged by town or village.  (My grandmother Amy Stubbs is under South Wellfleet, for example.)  There are indexes to names, as well as to advertisers, both by name and by topic.

The directories list adult members of a household, sometimes the street or neighborhood of residence, and often the alternate address (or at least town) for part-time residents.  Sometimes children are mentioned.  Additional information like local post office hours and staff, or country club officers, is sometimes tossed in.

We hope you will come to the library and enjoy perusing these volumes for a fascinating look at life on the Cape nearly a hundred years ago.