Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Researcher's guide to American genealogy

A new resource has been added to the research guides section of the book collection at the CCGS Library.  The fourth edition of The Researcher's Guide to American Genealogy was released in 2017 by author Val D. Greenwood.  A substantial book of close to 800 pages, it is divided in two parts:
  1. Background to research
  2. Records and their use
The author takes the research process quite seriously, stating that "...the notion that when we are copying someone else's work we are doing family history research/genealogy is a misconception." (p.5)  His best advice to improve your research?  Document entire families, not just your direct line ancestors (p.10).

Part I is full of practical tips on a wide range of subjects.  For instance, the chapter on language covers handwriting, abbreviations, spelling, useful Latin terms, nicknames, numbers and more.  A chapter on correspondence covers filing of documents acquired, analyzing correspondence results, writing your letter, its appearance, choosing the recipients, and a checklist of good writing practices. Other chapter topics in Part 1 are: understanding genealogical research, planning, evidence, libraries and the National Archives, reference works, organizing your findings, computer technology, the internet, and family history.

In Part 2 there is a wealth of information concerning specific types of records that are encountered in family research.  The chapter on wills, for example, covers the different types of wills, probating, contested wills (a process usually providing great genealogical information!), the value of wills, problems specific to wills, and finding and using them.  Suffice it to say, no matter what kind of record you are investigating, this handbook will provide you with a thorough and thought-provoking overview.

I am very impressed with this book, and 75% of reviewers on Amazon gave it 5 stars, so I'm not alone.  If you are embarking on a new area of research, having trouble with something, or just wanting to tighten up your research practices, I think you would find valuable information and inspiration in this comprehensive guide.  Come by the CCGS Library and spend some time with it, why don't you?

Monday, February 26, 2018

March Meeting Presentation Will Focus on Use of University and Local Archives

At our March 20 meeting Joanne Riley, Archivist at the Joseph P. Healey Library, UMass Boston, will highlight the wealth of archived genealogical information that is open to the public for research. In her presentation entitled "Mining Family History Gold in University and Local Archives", Joanne will share examples of the archival collections at UMass Boston that are goldmines for family and neighborhood historians, including records from nineteenth-century social welfare organizations, mortuary records from the Massachusetts Catholic Association of Foresters, and the "Saturday Evening Girls" collection, which documents the young women in the North End in the early 1900's who helped create the highly valued "Paul Revere Pottery" style. In addition, Joanne will provide practical pointers for gaining access to the abundance of information preserved at other local and university libraries.

Joanne Riley
As UMass Boston's University Archivist and Curator of Special Collections, Joanne Riley initiated projects such as the "Massachusetts Memories Road Show", which works with local communities to collect and preserve residents' images and stories, including those of Brewster in 2008 and the "1919 Boston Police Strike Project", which invites community volunteers to help research the lives of the 1,100+ policemen who participated in that historic event. Joanne holds Master's degrees in ethnomusicology, academic technology and library and information science. She is deeply interested in family and local histories, from both a personal and professional perspective.

Our CCGS meeting will be held at the Brewster Ladies' Library, Rte. 6A, Brewster, on Tuesday, March 20, 2018 at 10 a.m. Please consider arriving early for socializing and refreshments at 9:30.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

February 20 CCGS Meeting Features a Live Webinar About Facebook as a Tool for Genealogy Research

While Facebook is the world's largest online social network with more than 1.2 billion users, did you know that it can be leveraged as a genealogy research "work horse" to help find your ancestors? In this February 20 live webinar entitled "Facebook: A Tool for Genealogy Research" our presenter, Thomas MacEntee, will take you beyond the basics of setting up a Facebook account and simply posting status updates or playing games. His presentation will focus on developing the following skill set for genealogy research: Locating living relatives and others researching your same surnames; Locating Facebook Groups and Pages related to your genealogy research; Creating a Facebook Group to facilitate collaboration and participant interaction around a specific topic; Understanding the difference between a Facebook Page and a Facebook Group; and Protecting your privacy and ensuring an enjoyable experience when researching genealogy.

Thomas MacEntee
What happens when a "tech guy" with a love for history gets laid off during The Great Recession of 2008? You get Thomas MacEntee, a genealogy professional who is also a blogger, educator, author, social media connector, online community builder and more. Thomas was laid off after a 25-year career in the information technology field, so he started his own genealogy-related business called High Definition Genealogy. Thomas' new site Genealogy Bargains launched in March 2017 and is now his main focus. Genealogy Bargains posts daily deals and coupons on products such an AncestryDNA, 23andMe, genealogy books and webinars. Thomas describes himself as a lifelong learner with a background in a multitude of topics who has finally figured out what he does best: teach, inspire, instigate, and serve as a curator and go-to-guy for concept nurturing and inspiration.

Our CCGS meeting will be held at the Brewster Ladies' Library, Rte 6A, Brewster, on Tuesday, February 20, 2018 at 10 a.m. Please consider arriving early for socializing and refreshments at 9:30.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

January Meeting Will Feature a Presentation on DNA Testing for Adoptees

DNA Testing is a valuable new resource for adoptees and others who are researching issues of unknown parentage. At our CCGS meeting on January 16, Thomas Greve, current President of the Falmouth Genealogical Society, will guide us on what tests are available to consumers, what information they can provide, and how to identify genetic ancestors using DNA matches. His presentation is entitled "Autosomal DNA Testing for Adoptees".

Thomas Greve
Thomas Greve is a genealogical researcher and speaker from Falmouth, Massachusetts. After
pursuing the history of his own family for over 10 years, he began researching professionally in 2016. Thomas currently serves as president of Falmouth Genealogical Society and holds a Certificate in Genealogical Research from Boston University's Center for Professional Education. He is also a proud member of Unclaimed Persons, a group of volunteer genealogists who donate their time and research skills to assist medical examiners in locating the next-of-kin of deceased individuals. Thomas specializes in the use of DNA testing as evidence of identity and kinship, and enjoys helping adoptees locate biological family members.

The CCGS meeting will take place at the Brewster Ladies' Library, Rte. 6A, Brewster, on Tuesday, January 16, 2018 at 10 a.m. All are invited to come earlier for socializing and refreshments at 9:30.

Monday, December 11, 2017

CCGS Members' Annual Holiday Celebration

The annual December holidays meeting is the perfect time for members of the Cape Cod Genealogical Society to share stories, memorabilia, and/or photos that they have uncovered in researching family roots. Member accounts and treasured discoveries from family histories will surely inspire all of us to share our own findings with family and friends during upcoming holiday gatherings and in the year ahead. If you have a story to share, an artifact or photos from your family search, or even a recent discovery from DNA testing please consider sharing with fellow members during this annual holiday tradition (to volunteer please contact Ralph Ryall at ryalfrile@aol.com).

The meeting starts at 10 a.m., Tuesday, December 19, at the Brewster Ladies' Library, Route 6A, Brewster. Please come earlier (around 9:30) to socialize over coffee and holiday treats (please consider baking and/or providing some holiday treats to share with fellow members).

Researcher's guide to American genealogy

A new resource has been added to the research guides section of the book collection at the CCGS Library.  The fourth edition of The Research...