Saturday, December 29, 2018

Received at the Library

The Dec./Jan. 2019 issue of Internet genealogy leads with Railroad Retirement Board benefits.  If you have come up empty in the Social Security Death Index, you might be able to find an ancestor in this database maintained by the Midwest Genealogy Center.  An article on data security reminds us that we would do well to have a plan to keep our hard-won genealogy information safe from loss or tampering.  New York State genealogical resources are reviewed.  Mariner ancestors are common on the Cape, and US Customs Records can be a fruitful place to look for records about them, both at the National Archives and in private collections such as university archives; newspapers, business ledgers, and insurance records can also yield relevant information.  If you have an ancestor who was institutionalized you may find "Asylums and Family History Research" useful.  I always learn something new reviewing each magazine issue we receive, and this time it is "M├ętis", a people of mixed native American and European ancestry originating in Canada; research resources are suggested.  Lisa Alzo reviews Airtable as a flexible spreadsheet application to organize things like your family archive, timelines, research logs and more.

Catching up with the April-June 2018 issue of NGS magazine, it gathers a number of interesting articles under the general theme of nationality.  Topics covered:

  • Enemy alien registrations during World War I
  • Resources for tracing impressed American seamen
  • Gold Star Mother pilgrimages of the 1930s (mothers and widows of deceased servicemen)
  • Discover German families in CompGen's free databases [German SIG members should review the many resources in this article!]
  • Overcoming the language barrier: the genealogical translation process
  • Records of Irish dissenting churches (part 3)
Another article is a case study of success using broader search parameters.

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Received at the Library

Do you need inspiration for finding the elusive grave of an ancestor?  "Researching abandoned cemeteries" is featured in the Nov./Dec. 2018 issue of Your genealogy today.  It chronicles the methods and adventures of a pair of friends who comb the Midwest finding abandoned grave sites in farmers' fields and other remote locales.  Another article provides a step-by-step guide to connecting with a recent relatives classmates.  Advice is offered on the tricky situation of illegitimate birth, which can block the way to the past in your family tree.   Other topics include military pensions at the state level, the Louisiana State Archives, and a succinct explanation of the significance of cM or centimorgan in DNA research.

The July-Sept. 2018 issue of NGS magazine has an overall theme of family secrets, and provides case studies of some of the most disturbing things you can find when doing ancestral research: desertion and court martial, divorce, mental illness, prostitution, and criminal activity.  This issue also has an article about data security, from the point of view of a genealogist's responsibility to safeguard data that could injure others.  German Interest Group members might also be interested in "Researching Eighteenth-Century German Immigrants."

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Received at the Library

In Your genealogy today (Sept./Oct. 2018) Robbie Gorr makes a good case for genealogy research being akin to "Opening Pnadora's box" -- you may uncover secrets that you or others are reluctant to hear, especially with the addition of DNA to your toolkit.  In "Shades of Gray" Sue Lisk suggests ways of thinking about where best to put your efforts in dealing with the uncertainties of family research.  An article on tools explains how possessing a tool shed belonging to your ancestor, or an inventory of an estate sale, can shed light on your forebear's life. Did you have ancestors involved in vaudeville or the circus?  If so take a look at Richard Goms' article in this issue for useful sources.  A case study on manumission (freeing of slaves) reveals that it sometimes took years to take effect.

Sue Lisk is also a contributor to Internet genealogy (Aug./Sept.2018), suggesting using historical cartoons to understand the social and political climate of your ancestors' lives.  Two articles focus on the virtues of newspaper research.  In April 2018 the Virtual Genealogical Society was founded.  At $20 annual membership, it offers frequent webinars (listed in the article), discounts on genealogical tools, social media opportunities, state chapters, and topical interest groups; a virtual conference will be held in Nov. 2019. A brief article also describes the online genealogical society Quebec Genealogical eSociety -- is this the future of genealogy?  A collection at North Dakota State University on Germans from Russia highlights the migrations that took place into and then out of Russia during the 18th ad 19th centuries by German immigrants. Merriam-Webster has a new service that sets words and expressions in context.  You can search Time Traveler by year or by a word or term to find the first use -- what fun!  (A small selection from my birth year of 1948: chili dog, linguine, oddball, scaredy-cat and transistor!)

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

November Joint Meeting of CCGS and Falmouth GS to Feature Two Presentations by Judy G. Russell, JD, CG, CGL

Mark your calendar to join us for the annual joint meeting of the Cape Cod Genealogical Society (CCGS) and the Falmouth Genealogical Society (FGS) on Saturday, November 10, 2018, at St. Peter's Episcopal Church, 421 Wianno Ave in Osterville. The featured speaker at this year's meeting will be The Legal Genealogist Judy G. Russell, JD, CG, CGL.

Ms. Russell will be giving two presentations; the first is entitled "Finding the Law". Genealogists need to look at the law at the time and in the place where a record was created. Misunderstanding the legal context may make us miss records critical to our research or miss clues hidden in the records. But with 50 states and the federal government all passing laws, finding the law is easier said than done! The tips presented in this lecture will help us understand the legal system and then find the right law for the record we're working with. The second lecture is entitled "Facts, Photos, and Fair Use: Copyright Law for Genealogists". Materials and records created by others are the bread-and-butter of genealogy. But whether copyright law allows use of old photographs, reports and articles can be murky at best. Staying out of trouble requires understanding what's copyrighted and what isn't, when and how copyrighted materials can be used, and how to handle issues that arise.

Judy G. Russell
Judy Russell is a noted genealogist with a law degree and her objective as The Legal Genealogist is, in part, to help folks understand the often arcane and even impenetrable legal concepts and terminology that are so very important to those of us studying family history. Ms. Russell holds credentials as a Certified Genealogist and Certified Genealogical Lecturer from the Board of Certification of Genealogists where she currently serves as a member of the Board of Trustees. She is a member of the National Genealogical Society, the Association of Professional Genealogists, and several state genealogical societies.

Optional Lunch: Lobster roll lunch with chips, brownie and beverage - $15, or chicken salad roll with chips, brownie and beverage - $9. Please make lunch reservations absolutely no later than Nov 3 by contacting Judy Fenner at or at 508-776-9401 (leave message if no answer), and please specify lunch choice.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Digitization of Cape Cod Newspapers Subject of October Meeting

Researching Newspapers: Cape Cod and Beyond

Electronic Access to Historic Cape Cod Daily Newspapers 

Newspapers of the past can be highly useful to genealogical researchers, and many are already indexed or are now in the process of being digitized. Births, marriages, deaths, as well as baptisms, funerals, and social events can sometimes be discovered. 
On Cape Cod, historic editions of  The Barnstable Patriot have been digitized for the years, 1830 -1930, and have been available through the Sturgis Library website  In 2017, a digitization project began to digitize another, equally important, newspaper, The Register, which started publication in 1836. The current project, funded by a Community Preservation Grant is scheduled to be completed in early 2019.
On Tuesday, October 16, at our monthly CCGS meeting, Lucy Loomis, director of Sturgis Library, Barnstable, Thersa Carter, an independent researcher and writer, and the project coordinator, Dave Martin of CCGS, will present a special preview of the project underway. During their presentation, they will demonstrate how to conduct a search for genealogical information, which will include sample questions from the audience. Please bring examples of an ancestor or event that you would like this team to search. 
The combination of the Patriot and the Register will be a powerful source for all who are doing research on Cape Cod ancestors, from the early 19th century forward.

Please join us
                                               Tuesday, October 16, 2018, at 10 AM
                                                         Brewster Ladies Library
                                                         Rte 6A, Brewster, MA. 

Socializing and refreshments will be available at 9:30 AM. 
Due to Fire Department room occupancy regulations, only the first 100 people to join us will be admitted to this event. 

Due to limited parking spaces behind the Library, and out of respect to their regular patrons, we request that attendees of our meetings, please park in the parking lot extension behind the Baptist Church.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

This Week at Cape Cod Genealogy


23 - 29,  2018

Monday,  24th  --   The Irish Special Interest Group will NOT be meeting this month, as 
                            scheduled.  Our regular schedule will resume the 4th Tuesday of October. 
Tuesday, 25th  --    Cape Cod Families Special Interest Group  -- 1 PM
                                         At the Sturgis Library, Rte 6A, West Barnstable
                                  This group is open to members only. 
                                  If you are a member with Cape Cod ancestors, 
                                   come join us for assistance with your research!

Our Genealogy Room will be open for the use of members and non-members, for its regular hours: 
                                Location:  Dennis Public Library,  Hall Avenue, Dennisport 

                                Tuesdays --       1 PM - 4 PM
                                Thursdays --  10 AM - 4 PM
                                Saturdays --   10 AM - 12 Noon 

This room is staffed by our dedicated volunteers, who are able to assist you if you need help with your research. 

Here you are able to access a wide assortment of publications, from books to the latest magazines and journals. We also have subscriptions to several online resources:
                        American Ancestors (website of New England Historic Genealogical Society)
                        Find My Past 
                        Family Search 

We hope that you are able to take advantage of one or more of these opportunities to join us and learn how to connect with your ancestors. 

For more information about becoming a member of the Cape Cod Genealogy Society, visit the  Cape Cod Genealogical Society website  or ask for a brochure when you visit the Genealogy Room, Dennis Public Library, during the above hours. 


Tuesday, September 4, 2018

September, 2018, Meeting: Unlocking the Cemetery Gate

Mark your calendar to join us for the first general meeting of the 2018 -2019 program year of the Cape Cod Genealogical Society 

Our speaker, Ms. Brenda Sullivan of  The Gravestone Girls  will be presenting "Unlocking the Cemetery Gate: The Cemetery as a Genealogical Resource."  This presentation is targeted to genealogists interested in learning to "read" the cemetery for clues and information. Using both direct observation and deductive reasoning from objects such as writing art, geology, and the cemetery landscape, much new insight can be revealed.  That insight can answer questions, create new inquiries, and open doors for further detective work. Brenda promises to get you looking at these spaces, both old and new, as a valuable resource for your data collection activities.

Brenda Sullivan is from Central Massachusetts and has been exploring cemeteries most of her life. To become better acquainted with our speaker, you can read more about her here.  She should be an entertaining and informative speaker.

The meeting will take place in our usual location, the auditorium of the  Brewster Ladies Library, Rte 6A, Brewster.  As in the past, the public is welcome to join us. All members and guests are invited to arrive at 9:30 AM for socializing and refreshments. The meeting is scheduled to begin at 10AM.
Hope to see you there !

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Received at the Library

Family tree magazine (July-Aug. 2018) emphasizes how genealogy is like detective work, and in fact is being used in real cases such as identifying the Golden State Killer.  The local genealogy society in Orange County CA is partnering with the coroner's office to research relatives of people who die alone.  A professional genealogist has tracked down his sperm-donor father ("Finding connections") through DNA.  If you're a detective fiction fan, check out British author Steve Robinson's genealogy sleuth series.  A useful primer on Eastern European genealogy research gives six common obstacles and how to overcome them.  State guides for Maine and New Mexico provide a handy summary of record availability and addresses.  "Top secrets" are 12 tips for staying organized and making the most of your research efforts.  "Off the grid" reminds us that only perhaps a third of the records that are relevant to our ancestors' lives are digitized, and suggests where to look for the rest.
PS A reminder that Lisa Louise Cooke hosts Family Tree podcasts available free on ITunes.

Internet genealogy (June/July 2018) also emphasizes sleuthing.  "Inklings, hunches, and sneaking suspicions" suggests ways to harness our intuition in service of our research.  "Crowdsourcing" explains how important this tool has become for getting records indexed.  Scottish tax rolls can be an important substitute for census records.  A fire in 1922 destroyed hundreds of years of records in Dublin, but "Beyond 2022" seeks to recreate much of the missing information online in time for the 100th anniversary of the fire.  Reviews are offered of Scrivener 3 for Mac, TSOLife, and Genlighten.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Received at the library

The cover of the May/June 2018 issue of Your genealogy today portrays a young woman with shocked expression reading a newspaper over the caption "Family SCANDAL in the headlines." Has this happened to you??  The author of the article ironically discovered a tale of murder, adultery and military desertion after he published a family history and had heard nary a hint of the incident from the many relatives interviewed, including the perpetrator.  "The house that once was" tells a tale of researching a stately family home in Toronto and thereby shedding light on the author's great-grandfather's life.  "Follow the money" has interesting tips for research in lesser-utilized records such as work applications, patent applications, and social worker reports, and "Bank checks and genealogy" continues the money theme.  Other articles cover North Carolina records, the Irish in Victorian England, and how you might determine the religion of your forebears.

The Essex Genealogist for May 2018 carries the transcript of an extensive presentation by Mary Ellen Grogan on "Online resources for Irish Genealogy."  Although now two years old, the information looks useful and details how many more Irish records are available than in the past.

The history of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Boston is reviewed in the April 2018 issue of Mass-Pocha.  Evolving from a small study group formed in 1982, the Society now boasts over 600 members, publishes a lively journal, utilizes social media, and hosts frequent programs.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Cape Cod Genealogical Society's Annual Luncheon Meeting on Tuesday, June 19, 2018, Will Feature a Presentation from Dave Robison

Do you have a successful strategy for using genealogical search engines to locate records of your ancestors? Join us on Tuesday, June 19, to hear our speaker, Dave Robison, describe how he employs his strategy, called Search to Failure, to narrow down large numbers of search results and then effectively massage the search engine filters in order to search for success. The title of Dave's presentation is "Search to Failure...Whittling Down Mountains of Results".

Dave Robison
Dave Robison is a professional genealogist and owner of Old Bones Genealogy of New England ( He holds a Certificate in Genealogical Research from Boston University and the ProGen program, and is actively involved in research, lecturing, conducting classes and organizing genealogical workshops. He is currently President of both the Western Massachusetts Genealogical Society and the Connecticut Society of Genealogists, committee chairperson for NERGC 2019 and 2021, and is an active member of several local, regional and national genealogical societies.

Our CCGS luncheon meeting will be held at the Riverway Lobster House, Rte. 28, South Yarmouth, on Tuesday, June 19, starting at 11 a.m. A reminder that the reservation deadline for the luncheon is June 5 (please refer to the Annual Meeting Invitation for details).

Friday, May 11, 2018

Received at the Library

The NGS magazine for Jan.-Mar. 2018 explores the Great Lakes region (where the National Genealogical Society's conference was just held), in particular, resources for Dutch genealogy because of the many Dutch immigrants who settled that area.  In addition, you will find great tips in articles on searching courthouse indexes,  "wizardry for effective newspaper searches," note-taking software, and effective communication with DNA matches.

Family tree magazine for May/June 2018 features a photographic tour of Ellis Island, to walk you through the experience of the many immigrants who arrived in America at this port.  A helpful guide walks you through the process of passing on heirlooms to the next generation, or disposing of them appropriately.  Arkansas and Michigan are featured in state guides.  "DNA direction" suggests how to use  your results effectively.  "Holes in history" suggests ways around major record losses caused by fires (1890 census, Ellis Island, etc.) Journalist Jennifer Mendelssohn is featured in an article about the relevance of genealogy to today's political rhetoric about immigration.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Received at the Library

In honor of tax time Internet genealogy for April/May 2018 has a couple of articles designed to help your budget. In "Save money on your genealogy!" the author has great suggestions for looking for discounts and taking advantage of free services, such as educational websites and social media sites like Thomas MacEntee's genealogy bargains (  [For signing up for MacEntee's newsletter today, I scored a free e-book called DNA buying guide!]  Another article visits the Internet Archive, an enormous free site with 15 million searchable books and texts.  In addition to printed material it contains audio, video, images, software and more.  Although US based it contains a good deal of international material in many languages.  A project is underway to provide links from Worldcat (the most comprehensive library catalog in existence) to books in the Internet Archive.  This site also includes snapshots of old websites (over 310 billion, yes billion, of them) in the Wayback Machine feature.  An extensive article gives a tutorial on interfacing Roots Magic software with Ancestry and other sites.  A review explains Writely, an app designed to get you moving on your resolve to write your family history with daily reminders and more. A new photo service called MemoryWeb is also reviewed.  Other articles cover the rewards of oral history interviews, pharmacy records, and using shoes as an example of a theme to unite family history stories.

The spring 2018 edition of American Ancestors is a special issue entitled "Your guide to the Mayflower 400th Anniversary."  Activities that NEHGS (publisher of American Ancestors) will undertake to celebrate this milestone include "events, tours, books, articles, exhibitions, educational opportunities, ceremonies, commemorations, and more" according to the society's president.  An estimated 35 million people are descended from the Mayflower pilgrims.  A new feature of this anniversary is acknowledgment of the role of the Wampanoag in the Pilgrims' story, celebrated in a traveling exhibit.  Partner organizations have also formed in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands to help highlight the Pilgrims' origins in the Old World.  Mayflower-related articles include essays on a couple of my own forebears, Stephen Hopkins (his baptismal church) and Priscilla Alden (her female descendants).  If you are gearing up to try to connect yourself to these pioneers, see the article "A Guide to Proving Mayflower Ancestry."

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

May CCGS Meeting to Feature a Presentation by Seema Kenney on Using DNA as a Research Tool

Whether you've already taken or are still considering a DNA test to determine your kinship with someone or to trace your lineage, knowing how to work with the results you receive is crucial! Receiving the test results is one thing, understanding them and using them as a research tool are totally different things. Join us at the CCGS meeting on Tuesday, May 15, for a presentation by Seema Kenney on DNA Results as a Research Option.

Seema Kenney

Seema Kenney is an experienced software instructor and a professional genealogist. Her known roots are deep in New England as well as England, Germany, and Sweden. She has a certificate in Genealogical Research from Boston University; completed the ProGen study program; and she is an active member and officer of several genealogical societies.

Our CCGS meeting will be held at the Brewster Ladies' Library, Rte. 6A, Brewster, on Tuesday, May 15, 2018 at 10 a.m. Please consider arriving early for socializing and refreshments beginning at 9:30.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Received at the Library

While we probably are all experienced in using, the cover story in Internet genealogy (Feb./March 2018) shares ways to find hidden treasures.  To cite just one example, were you aware that Ancestry contains lots of databases that don't include personal names (think the Sears Roebuck catalogs, or postcards)?  Ten interesting examples of databases that aren't traditional genealogy data are listed.  In "At your service: the generous genealogist" Sue Lisk recommends ways to help others that will expand your skills and horizons, such as mentoring other family historians, transcribing or indexing records, documenting family stories or grave sites.  "Do you have lost Irish ancestors?" centers around researching emigration from Cobh, the deepwater port for Cork City, from which about half of Ireland's emigrants departed.  George Morgan (co-founder of the Genealogy Guys Podcast) is interviewed about his work with the Florida History and Genealogy Library to digitize items from their collections.  "Digital Library on American Slavery" focuses on but goes beyond North Carolina, and includes the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database.  Check out the National Archives Virtual Genealogy Fair, an online conference featuring NARA records since 1913, just one of the internet resources mentioned in "Net Notes" in this issue.

In Your genealogy today (March/April 2018) "Hints from Houdini" offers 5 techniques to improve your research that take inspiration from the famous magician: be imaginative, confident, skeptical, resilient, and focus on the women!  Joe Grandinetti makes some great finds in Ireland tracing his mother's lineage in "Return to your sources."  In "Electricity and family history" we are reminded that something we take so much for granted today was a common feature of our ancestors' lives only with the 20th century.  Using North Carolina as a case study, Diane Richards discusses the intricacies and eccentricities of state records, and how history affects them. Another article covers researching Scots-Irish ancestors in 18th-century Virginia..

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Received at the Library

The featured article in Internet genealogy (Oct./Nov.2017) "Always an apprentice!" gives tips for improving your family history research: use maps, historical apps like WhatWasThere and HistoryPin, and find local histories and other books that give the flavor of your ancestors' lives.  Two articles elucidate slave records in Britain (including British Caribbean colonies) and in the American South ("Slave Insurance Records").  "Reaching the end of the roll" reviews the end of the LDS microfilm project, and covers workarounds while we await the completion of digitization in 2020.  YMCA WW1 Service Cards are an interesting new resource added to FamilySearch, giving information on over 27,000 civilian volunteers who aided the war effort.  FindMyPast has added a collection of Catholic parish records ultimately expected to contain 100 million records.  The 2017 release of genealogy software package Heredis is reviewed.

The Dec./Jan 2018 issue of Internet genealogy explores several less traveled avenues for your research.  The lead article treats lesser known manuscript and archival holdings in "Online finding aids reveal genealogical gems."  The author suggests that ledgers are particularly useful, but names a host of other records that can reveal genealogy facts, such as petitions, bank records, benevolent society records, and more, and she suggests ways to find them.  (A friend of mine works on transcribing records in Provincetown, and found the Pharmacy ledger particularly fascinating.) Another article treats military periodicals, which are scattered across the internet -- search using the unit's name/number, and don't forget state newspaper archives.  If you like to think about the big picture of our genealogy enterprise, you'll enjoy "The global village in 21st century genealogy," which looks at the theories of Marshall McLuhan in light of the internet.  As always, there are software and website reviews: the PRONI historical map viewer covers Northern Ireland; ProStamm is a new genealogy software; Jambios is a new platform for telling stories online in book format.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Received at the library

Family tree magazine always has interesting articles.  The Dec. 2017 issue treats DNA and adoption, the subject of our January meeting.  The featured article is the 75 best "state champions," the best state sites for genealogy (ours is, well worth a look).  A collection of Sanborn fire insurance maps that will eventually reach half a million maps from all 50 states is being digitized by the Library of Congress and is available free on their website  A fascinating article on the history of mirrors reveals that King Henry VIII was an avid collector at a time when a small mirror was worth as much as an entire country estate!

The cover story for Your Genealogy Today (Jan./Feb. 2018) is about making sense -- or not -- of family stories.  "Small town genealogy" looks at how towns are preserving their history, an effort that probably many of our members are engaged in, whether here on the Cape or elsewhere.  "Constables and town watchmen" explains the history of these positions perhaps filled by our 17th-19th century relatives before the establishment of professional police forces.  A useful tool for organizing your research is timelines, or chronological spreadsheets, which can help you identify puzzles and gaps for further research as well as keep track of your research.  Another useful tool is the Genealogical Proof Standard, which can help you "Avoid common mistakes."  Diane Southard, somewhat tongue in cheek, compares contacting your DNA matches to a first date situation.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

April CCGS Meeting (Tuesday, April 10th) Will Feature Noted Genealogist Thomas W. Jones, Ph.D.

The featured speaker at the upcoming CCGS general meeting on Tuesday, April 10th, will be the preeminent genealogist Dr. Thomas W. Jones. Dr. Jones' presentation to CCGS, entitled "Solving the Mystery of the Disappearing Ancestor", will touch upon the common frustration that we genealogists commonly encounter in not finding ancestors in the records and places where we logically expect them to be. In his lecture, Dr. Jones will explain seven reasons why such ancestors seem to have disappeared, provide examples of each from actual case studies and suggest strategies to help attendees find their elusive ancestors.

Thomas Jones

Tom Jones is an award-winning author, editor, educator, and researcher focusing on methods for challenging genealogical problems. He coordinates courses at GRIP (Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh), IGHR (Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research), and SLIC (Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy), and he speaks often for local, state, national, and international genealogical societies. Since 2002 he has co-edited the National Genealogical Society Quarterly, and he authored Mastering Genealogical Documentation and Mastering Genealogical Proof.

Please note that the April meeting is taking place on the second Tuesday of this month.
Our meeting will be held at the Brewster Ladies' Library, Rte. 6A, Brewster, on Tuesday, April 10, 2018 at 10 a.m. Please consider arriving early for socializing and refreshments at 9:30.

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.

April is Volunteer Appreciation Month

All non-profits are dependent on their volunteers in order to function. Cape Cod Genealogical Society is appreciative of all the assist...