Sea Genes

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Archive for the ‘New England’ Category

Reading Society Journals

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I actually like reading the notes (footnotes and end notes) in society publications. The other day I got the new New England Historical and Genealogical Register and promptly sat down to read it. The best bits I read first were the footnotes for one of the articles on John Barrows, of Plymouth, Massachusetts.

Not that I had any real interest in Mr. Barrows or his descendants; the nature of the article, and the author, Martin E. Hollick, were the attractions. The article itself, the text discussion, and the formatting, were keys to my interest in first reading this article. Mr. Hollick is one of the more interesting writers and researchers for the New England Historic Genealogical Society, and I like his work. What drew me to the article was the level of research skills on display.

Reading the footnotes, alongside the text, I found that Mr. Hollick used a large number of sources for his work, both published and not published. The sources he used in this article can serve as exemplars for my work when I research Plymouth families, or others, that he has researched in the article.

The format of the article, on the other hand, gives me an idea of how to go about putting together such a piece. The way the article opens, the structure of the event time lines, and the discussions that go with those events, are key to a good reporting style. The particular journal style of placing dates before places may vary from time to time, but that’s ok; it really just depends on the type of event you are discussing. The level of citation you use and the format of those citations will also vary, but, likewise, it depends on the journal you are writing for, whether you go into so much detail, or not.

The footnoted discussions can give you an idea of how much or how little to include in the text part of the article and how much to include in the genealogical summary part. These two parts of an NEHGR piece are particular to that particular journal, but can be roughly duplicated in your own article or book-length production. The details in each portion vary, but the important thing is that the sources are cited and any interesting bits are discussed: discrepancies between two sources, and so on. These footnotes are important to future researchers so that unnecessary research is not duplicated.

A journal like NEHGR is a major stopping point for researchers and is authoritative as far as journals go. Yes, corrections and amplifications are sometimes done, but most often the corrections are to old, old genealogy research, and amplifications are actually expansions on materials previously published in the journal, which helps even more for future genealogists.

The only downside of reading a society publication is that some of the other journals referenced in articles may not be available to the reader. This necessitates getting a reprint or photocopy request from a library for the article. I’m lucky to live in an area where there are several libraries with a number of major and minor journals available in nearby libraries. As a genealogist, I’m able and willing to do research in these materials for others who may need or want the materials, but are not able to travel to the library to get them, or get them through a library copying service.

NPM

© 2012 N. P. Maling — Sea Genes – Family History & Genealogy Research

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Written by N. P. Maling

21 May 2012 at 00:01

Re-visiting Sources – New Research

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Sometimes you come across a source, use it for one or a few personas, and forget it. Then you come across another persona who happens to be in the same source. Are you duplicating your research? Yes, no? Maybe.

It seems to me to be a good idea to re-visit sources that you’ve used in the past, like when you find an apparently unrelated persona. Revisiting the folks that you’ve already gotten out of that source enables you to pick up any details you may have missed the first time around.

Revisiting that source for previously discovered and newly discovered people allows you to strengthen their relationships, not only to you, but also between them.

A recent example in my research is about the Booth family of Connecticut as documented by Donald Lines Jacobus in the 1950s.

On the Booth family in Lenox, Massachusetts, I found that Lemuel and Mehetabel had eight children, including Josiah and Philo, six of whom are not referenced in the Jacobus genealogy of the family. While this line of ancestors was not the thrust of the genealogy, it seems odd that Jacobus didn’t know about the six kids.

The omission of such a large number of children shows that even a prominent genealogist can leave things out, or undone. Loose ends like this are the responsibility of later genealogists, to tie up and close some doors to possible incorrect information that might be circulating either in print or on the Internet.

Checking one’s own work (research) in this way improves your future work and provides a good exercise in checking the veracity of others’ work. Had I not followed on the statement in Jacobus about the family being in Lenox, I would not have found six descendants, or relatives, let alone the exact date of birth of Philo.

The evidence the Lenox records provides, though, seems to show that Philo was born in Massachusetts, and not Connecticut as other evidence suggests. The 1850 U. S. Census says that he was born in Connecticut, a probably direct statement, rather than implied as the Lenox record is. Which was it?

NPM

© 2012 N. P. Maling — Sea Genes – Family History & Genealogy Research

Written by N. P. Maling

14 May 2012 at 00:01

Reprint Available: Perkins, Fairfield, and King by W. M. Emery

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Emery, William Morrell. The Families of Perkins, Fairfield and King. San Francisco: The Murdock Press. 1907. 58 pp. (including blank pages)

This reprint of the original 1907 edition has been completely re-set in a modern typeface. The formatting and style follows the original. The publisher used an original copy of the book to create this new version, so no marginalia or other markings interfered with the text’s appearance.

The only omission from this reprint is the image of the Perkins family arms. The textual description of the arms remains, however, as Mr. Emery wrote it.

The reprint is available on Lulu.com as a print item: Families of Perkins, Fairfield, and King.

Written by N. P. Maling

9 December 2011 at 13:30

Friday Funnies – A Mousic Obituary

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OBITUARY

The following mousic obituary is taken from the Portsmouth Evening Times:

In this city, Dec. 1st, “James D.” mouse, owned by Mr. James D. Potter, (colored) of this city, formerly of Port[l]and, at the age of 4½ years of old age and paralysis of the heart. This was a common gray mouse which Mr. Potter had trained and exhibited in many cities in this country and Canada. The mouse was forwarded to Boston by express this morning to be stuffed and when returned will be placed in the little cage which has been his home for 4 years. The mouse funeral will be held in City Hall. A special invitation has been extended to Chandler’s band and Neal Dow to be present. The mouse was insured in Chicago for one hundred dollars and Mr. Potter says he would not have taken $500 for it and will wear mourning all over his face as long as he lives. [Montreal, Chicago and Portland papers please copy.

Daily Eastern Argus, Portland, Maine, Wednesday, 6 December 1882, page 1, column 7.

Written by N. P. Maling

21 October 2011 at 11:10

John Burbank and Family

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In which I point out and correct a number of errors in previously published materials.

Summary

John1 Burbank (?–1681) was an early settler of Rowley, Massachusetts. There has been quite a bit of poorly researched information about this family posted on the Internet as well as in earlier published works.

The report: Burbank_John1-Desc_Final, of the family points out and corrects the misinformation that I am aware of. It begins with his wives, continues to his children, one of whom is alleged to have married at the tender age of 11, and ends with his 2nd great-granddaughter Mary Burbank, who married John Fairfield, of Arundel (Kennebunkport), Maine in 1751.

Written by N. P. Maling

18 October 2011 at 17:35

More Mellen Family Materials

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As an adjunct to my earlier Mellen family post, “Richard Mellen of Massachusetts – Genealogy Available,” I’m adding two versions of earlier genealogies of the family. The first one is a reprint of William Barry’s sketch in A History of Framingham, 1847, Barry’s Framingham Mellen reprint. The second one is a reprint of J. H. Temple’s sketch in History of Framingham, 1887, Temple’s Framingham Mellen reprint.

The two reprints are set up as 6″ × 9″ pages and are designed for front-to-back printing.

Enjoy.
NPM

Written by N. P. Maling

6 October 2011 at 20:08

Wordless Wednesday – Daniel Gorton family register page

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Family register page by Daniel Gorton, born Charlton, Massachusetts, 4 April 1790. There are three other pages, two sheets front and back, in this document, which will not be posted.


Citation: Gorton Family Papers, 1790–. Privately held by N. P. Maling, [address for private use,] Seattle, Washington.

Written by N. P. Maling

5 October 2011 at 14:22