Saturday, March 30, 2019

Letters To and From a Young WWII Soldier

Every genealogist longs to find stories of their ancestors' lives -- those intimate details of the day-to-day life that will tell us about those who came before us. This month, at our April meeting, Seema Kenney will share a family discovery -- over 300 letters found in her uncle's attic that reveal the experiences of a young soldier and his family during the years, 1943-1945.  Join us as we take this opportunity to travel through time.

Seema Kenney has visited us in the past and many of you will remember her.  She has balanced her life as a wife and mother with that of an experienced software instructor and professional genealogist. She has researched her own family's history, from their deep New England roots to their origins in England, Sweden, and Germany. Seema has received a certificate in Genealogical Research from Boston University and completed the ProGen Study.  She is an active member of a number of genealogical societies, as well as a member of the NERGC planning committee.  In addition, she is a certified Guided Autobiography Consultant and Legacy Planner.

Join us on Tuesday, April 16, at the Brewster Ladies Library, in the auditorium. Our meeting is scheduled to begin at 10 AM, but we invite you to join us at 9:30, for coffee and donuts and an opportunity to socialize with others who are researching their family's past.

In consideration of the library's regular patrons, you are requested to park behind the Baptist Church, which adjoins the library parking lot, unless you are disabled and require a handicapped space.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Received at the Library

Essex Genealogist (Aug. 2018) contains the transcript of a very chatty but informative presentation on Land Use Records, by the Register of Deeds for Middlesex North.  I learned from it that several of the counties in Massachusetts do not have their own Registry of Deeds, but rather are covered by the Secretary of State's office.  (The southeastern counties, including Barnstable, were more financially stable and have retained their own Registries.)  I also learned that Registries are based on names, not addresses -- names are what are indexed, and the deeds are just recorded in the order they come in.  And do you know what a "straw" is?  Before 1970 you couldn't transfer property to yourself and someone else, so if you wanted to add for example your new spouse to your deed, you had to go through a third party to avoid transferring the property to yourself.

Essex Genealogist for Nov. 2018 contains a very interesting presentation on "Researching Rural Slavery in Eighteenth-Century Essex County, Massachusetts."  I don't think many of us Yankees are aware of the extent of slave-holding in colonial New England.  This article explores how the author compiled information on two enslaved couples and their children.  There's also an article with extensive commentary on genealogy subscription services (Ancestry etc.)

The lead story in Your genealogy today for Jan./Feb. 2019 explores the role of children's literature in the lives of the author's mother, and her mother and grandmother, through the books they left behind.  Ir made me think about the books I inherited from my mother's cousin (old enough to function as a grandmother to me), the Little Colonel series by Annie Fellows Johnston, set in the Reconstruction-era South -- did anyone else devour those books like I did?  If you are lucky enough to find a printed family history about your ancestors, another article cautions your to carefully evaluate the content and check the sources, not accepting the research at face value just because it is in print.  In "Financing Wars" we learn that the very first Federal taxes began in 1791 with distilled liquor.  The government added other items and used the proceeds finance the War of 1812 and later on, the Civil War; records of these taxes often appear in newspapers.  Other article topics include: slang and slang dictionaries; how to cope with research paralysis; bookplates, book rhymes, and inscriptions; and how to write a successful proposal for a genealogy talk.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Trails West: Crossing the Continent 1840-1869

Our next general meeting, on Tuesday, March 19, 2019, will feature a webinar about westward migration in the United States during the mid-19th century. Before the transcontinental railroad was completed, Easterners and Mid-Westerners began to settle the West.
How did they get there and what was the journey like?  The presentation, given by Mary Kircher Roddy, will cover overland and water migration routes along with description of the journey, and tips on using clues to discover how and when your ancestor traveled.

Mary Kircher Roddy grew up in San Rafael, California. She earned a Bachelor's degree in Liberal Studies from the University of California, Riverside, and a Master in Professional Accounting from the University of Texas. She completed her certificate in Genealogy and Family History at the University of Washington in 2005. Mary frequently lectures around the Seattle area, and is an active member of Seattle Genealogical Society. She is a member of the Genealogical Speakers Guild, the Association of Professional Genealogists, and the National Genealogical Society. Mary has published articles in Family Chronicle and Internet Genealogy. You can visit her website at

Join us on Tuesday, March 19, 2019, in the auditorium of Brewster Ladies Library  Our meeting will begin at 10 AM, but please plan to join us at 9:30 for coffee and donuts and an opportunity to socialize with others who are researching their family history.
Out of consideration for the Library's regular patrons, we ask that you use the adjoining parking lot behind the Baptist Church, unless you are disabled and need park closer to the building.

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...