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Archdiocese of Boston: New searchable records for Charlestown and Dorchester

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Old map
1885 Map of Charlestown by G.W. Bromley & Co. (Norman B. Leventhal Map Center at the BPL / Public domain)

Today we have added 15 new volumes to Massachusetts: Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston Records, 1789-1920. Today’s additions include two parishes: St. Mary in Charlestown, and St. Peter in Dorchester. This update includes 14 volumes, over 3,600 pages, and nearly 122,000 searchable names.

St. Mary’s was the first parish established as a separate parish from the Cathedral of the Holy Cross, in 1828. The Boston Public Library has a Charlestown Flickr page with images of St. Mary’s interior, repairs to the roof, and a fire that occurred in the building. Scroll about three quarters of the way down the page to view these images.

St. Peter (Dorchester) began in 1872 as an offshoot of St. Gregory in Dorchester. In James Sullivan’s One hundred years of progress, Joseph Byrne enthusiastically describes the appearance of the church which was dedicated in 1884, “No technical description can do more than faintly suggest the grandeur of St. Peter’s church which is a poem of architectural beauty” (175). The Dorchester Athenaeum’s history of the church has a very helpful paragraph (the sixth on the page) that explains the evolution of the Catholic parishes in Dorchester.

We thank our dedicated volunteer Sam Sturgis for his work on this release. If you would like to become part of the team working on rewarding genealogical projects, please contact Rachel Adams, Database Services Volunteer Coordinator via email at rachel.adams@nehgs.org.

There are 5 volumes that were updated in this release:
• St. Mary (Charlestown) Baptisms, 1897-1904
• St. Mary (Charlestown) Marriages, 1869-1907
• St. Peter (Dorchester) Baptisms, 1895-1908
• St. Peter (Dorchester) Confirmations, 1882-1920
• St. Peter (Dorchester) Marriages, 1897-1920

The 9 new volumes are listed below:
• St. Mary (Charlestown) Baptisms, 1904-1908
• St. Mary (Charlestown) Baptisms, 1908-1914
• St. Mary (Charlestown) Baptisms, 1914-1918
• St. Mary (Charlestown) Baptisms, 1918-1920
• St. Mary (Charlestown) Confirmations, 1908-1910
• St. Mary (Charlestown) Confirmations, 1913-1920
• St. Mary (Charlestown) Marriages, 1907-1909
• St. Mary (Charlestown) Marriages, 1908-1920
• St. Peter (Dorchester) Baptisms, 1908-1920

Please note: This database is available to Individual-level and above NEHGS members only. Consider membership.

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The Archive Department of the Archdiocese of Boston releases new Boston Catholic Parish Map, a useful research tool

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Archdiocese of Boston: Parish Boundary Map, circa 1955

The Archive Department of the Archdiocese of Boston is announcing a new tool to help researchers determine which parish their ancestors attended. This new map will be incredibly useful when used in conjunction with the Historic Catholic Records Online project hosted here at AmericanAncestors.org.

The Boston Catholic Parish Map depicts the Archdiocese of Boston ca. 1955 when a concerted effort was made to document the boundaries of each parish, and reflects the height of the Archdiocese in terms of number of parishes. 

At this time, the map features territorial parishes whose boundaries are shaded in various colors, and within the boundary the parish church plotted in the same color.  National or other non-geographic churches are plotted in black. 

An exciting feature is the box in the top right corner of the map, allowing users to enter an address which will then be plotted on the map.  The parish in which the address is located will be the parish their families most likely attended. Researchers can then search the free-to-browse database Massachusetts: (Image only) Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston Records, 1789-1920, or the fully searchable database Massachusetts: Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston Records, 1789-1920. It will also show nearby neighboring parishes which may have encompassed the address depending on the time period; if the parish in which the address falls did not yet exist.

Clicking within a parish boundary will provide the name of the parish and address of the parish church.  Clicking on a church marker will provide the name of the church, address, date the parish was created and, where applicable, the date the parish was suppressed or merged.  In the future, we hope to add additional content such as depictions of the churches, details about the location of parish records and links to the online records. 

Links to access the map are available on the Archdiocese of Boston Archive Department’s Online Resources page and within the database descriptions for Massachusetts: (Image only) Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston Records, 1789-1920 and Massachusetts: Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston Records, 1789-1920. For guidance on how to use the map, consult the how-to video.

Finally, we would like to acknowledge Violet Hurst, archivist at the Archdiocese of Boston, for her extraordinary efforts to compile and input the data to make this tool a reality. 

Please submit any suggestions or feedback related to this announcement to the Archive Department of the Archdiocese of Boston by emailing archive@rcab.org or to us here at NEHGS at webmaster@nehgs.org.

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New Database: Worcester, MA: Scots-Irish Settlers, 1700-1850

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Old Map
1878 Map of the city of Worcester, MA. Public Domain courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

We are very happy to announce a brand-new database today, Worcester, MA: Scots-Irish Settlers, 1700-1850.

This database is the result of a study project done by Shirley (Robinson) Pizziferri , and it is organized into 21 volumes by family. The database contains nearly 200 pages of family histories and contains over 12,000 searchable names.

Shirley (Robinson) Pizziferri was living in Rutland in Worcester County, Massachusetts, in 1976, doing research on her own family when the American Antiquarian Society in Worcester asked her to respond to the many messages they were receiving from people asking about their “roots.” Most of those who eventually became her clients were descendants of a group of Scots-Irish who settled in Worcester in 1718; Shirley quickly became fascinated with their families and their culture. Raising a family, part-time work, and late enrollment in college kept her busy, but recently Shirley decided that someone should put the research on these families together in a comprehensive format.

This study project is not an exhaustive work, but a primer for those with roots in this group of people who intermarried and left a mark on the towns in Worcester County. Shirley has used as her basis a list compiled by historian William Lincoln1 of those who remained in Worcester in the 1730s after many had moved and founded other towns such as Pelham and Colrain. She has supplemented that list with information from Ethel Stanwood Bolton’s Immigrants to New England, 1700-1775,2 vital records, deeds, probates, and other sources.

Each sketch is based, as a starting point, on Ethel Stanwood Bolton’s excellent collection of early New England immigrants, and will be supplemented by family histories, county and state histories, probates, deeds, and vital records from the pertinent towns. Each sketch will cover the first and second generations in America and list the children of the third generation. These sketches are intended as comprehensive sources on which researchers can base further study.

When asked about the Scots-Irish, most genealogists would first think of the Carolinas, or Nova Scotia, where many immigrated in the mid- to late 1700s. However, the Scots were in this country from the beginning, and those Scots who were banished to Ireland in the 1600s began immigrating here in the early 1700s.

J. P. MacLean writes, “Early in the spring of 1718, Rev. William Boyd arrived in Boston as an agent of some hundreds of people of Northern Ireland who had expressed a desire to come to New England should suitable encouragement be offered them. With him he brought a brief memorial to which was attached three hundred and nineteen names, all but thirteen of which were in a fair and vigorous hand. Governor Shute gave such general encouragement and promise of welcome, that on August 4, 1718, five small ships came to anchor at the wharf in Boston, having on board one hundred and twenty Scotch-Irish families, numbering in all about seven hundred and fifty individuals,” primarily of the Presbyterian persuasion. Some were from the Bann Valley in Ireland and others, mainly the ones who went to Worcester, were from the Foyle Valley. Some went north to the Casco Bay area and settled in what is now Portland, Maine. Others stayed for a while in Haverhill, Massachusetts, and its surroundings. Most ended up in Nutfield, New Hampshire, later Londonderry, settled in 1719, with their pastor, George McGregor.

In Scotch Irish Pioneers in Ulster and America, Charles Bolton writes that after the settlement at Londonderry [New Hampshire], Rutland and Pelham [Massachusetts], “the New England Scotch Irish spread gradually into other towns, Windham [Vermont], Antrim [New Hampshire], Peterborough [New Hampshire], Coleraine, Blandford and Palmer [Massachusetts] and many more.” The families that traveled west, probably along what was later to become the Boston Post Road, to Worcester, Massachusetts, are the subjects of this project.

Shirley (Robinson) Pizziferri currently lives in Florida but is a New England native. She has served as Executive Secretary of the Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Descendants, as Assistant Editor of the Mayflower Descendant journal, and as Library Chairman and past president of the Martin County, Florida, Genealogical Society. Shirley has been researching her own family tree since 1974 and has contributed articles to the Mayflower Descendant and the Register.

This update is made possible by the efforts of our volunteers; Nancy Borman, Alexandra Kiristy, Margaret Parker, Isabelle Watkins, and Richard Wood. If you have some time and would like to get involved in the database digitization and indexing process please contact Rachel Adams, Database Services Volunteer Coordinator via email at rachel.adams@nehgs.org.

Please note: This database is available to Individual-level and above NEHGS members only. Consider membership.

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Rhode Island Roots Volume 41 (2015) Added

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Black and white photograph of people marching
Members of the Congregation Ahavas Achim moving the Torah to a new location in Newport in 1921 (see page 120)

We are very happy to add volume #41 (2015) to the genealogical journal Rhode Island Roots database. This update adds over 270 pages and over 2,800 searchable names.

The Rhode Island Genealogical Society publishes Rhode Island Roots quarterly. It features many Rhode Island records, such as cemetery and tax lists, General Assembly petitions, civil and military records, and genealogical articles — all focusing on Rhode Island families. Other features include articles about Rhode Islanders in other state census records, queries and a list of RI research volunteers. The authors include well-known genealogists as well as RIGS members with stories of their own families to tell.

The indexing for these records includes full names, Publication year (not the year of the record), and article titles and authors.

This update is made possible by the efforts of our volunteer David Anderson. If you have some time and would like to get involved in the digitization and indexing process for genealogical databases please contact Rachel Adams, Database Services Volunteer Coordinator via email at rachel.adams@nehgs.org.

The entire run of Rhode Island Roots is available at the NEHGS Boston research library, call number F78 .R2.

Please note: This database is available to Individual-level and above NEHGS members only. Consider membership.

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The Essex Genealogist Volume 35 (2015) Now Available

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Image of the cover page
The Essex Genealogist for February 2015.

Today we have added Volume 35, covering the year 2015, to the genealogical journal The Essex Genealogist database. This update contains over 250 pages and 1,200 searchable names.

The leading publication for genealogical research in Essex County, Massachusetts, this quarterly journal has been published since 1981 by The Essex Society of Genealogists (founded in 1975). Within the pages of this journal are selections of cemetery transcriptions, bible records, vital and church records relating to families from Essex County, Massachusetts. The Essex Genealogist has had published numerous Ahnentafel’s (Ancestor Tables) of the ancestry of their members, as well as verbatim transcriptions of lectures over the years. This journal continues to serve those researching Essex County families with valuable resources now entering nearly four decades in print.

The indexing for these records includes full names, Publication year (not the year of the record), and article titles and authors.

This update is made possible by the efforts of our volunteer David Anderson. If you have some time and would like to get involved in the database digitization and indexing process please contact Rachel Adams, Database Services Volunteer Coordinator via email at rachel.adams@nehgs.org.

The entire run of The Essex Genealogist is available at the NEHGS Boston research library, call number F68 .S64.

Please note: This database is available to Individual-level and above NEHGS members only. Consider membership.

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Archdiocese of Boston: new searchable records from Dorchester

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Four Dorchester Catholic churches including St. Paul and St. William from Dorchester Old and New, page 74

Today we’ve added nine new volumes to Massachusetts: Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston Records, 1789-1920 from St. Paul and St. William in Dorchester. This update adds over 11,900 records and over 48,600 names to search.

Both St. Paul and St. William branched off from St. Peter’s parish in Dorchester. In 1896 St. Paul’s was established as a mission of St. Peter’s. In 1908 it became its own parish. You can read more about the history and location of the parish in this post from the Dorchester Athenaeum.

St. William became its own parish in 1909. The church was dedicated in 1910. You can read more about the history and location of the parish in this post from the Dorchester Athenaeum.

For more on the history of the Catholic Church in Dorchester in general, see Dorchester Old and New: 1630-1930 in the Old Bay Colony.

We’d like to thank Sam Sturgis for his help making this parish available online.

The new volumes are listed below:

St. Paul (Dorchester) Baptisms, 1908-1910
St. Paul (Dorchester) Baptisms, 1908-1918
St. Paul (Dorchester) Baptisms, 1918-1920
St. Paul (Dorchester) Marriages, 1908-1910
St. Paul (Dorchester) Marriages, 1908-1920

St. William (Dorchester) Baptisms, 1909-1919
St. William (Dorchester) Baptisms, 1919-1920
St. William (Dorchester) Confirmations, 1911-1920
St. William (Dorchester) Marriages, 1909-1920

Please note: This database is available to Individual-level and above NEHGS members only. Consider membership.

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The Maine Genealogist Volume 37 (2015) Available

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Picture of Table of contents (page 1)
Table of Contents from page 1 of Volume 37.

We are very happy to add volume 37 for the year 2015 to The Maine Genealogist database. This update adds over 230 pages and nearly 4,500 searchable names.

Published since 1977, The Maine Genealogist is the quarterly journal of Maine Genealogical Society, founded in 1976. Beginning as a newsletter for the society, the publication evolved into The Maine Seine, published until 1990. The title was changed to The Maine Genealogist in 1991, and each issue, now 48 pages, contains scholarly articles on Maine families, emphasizing the solving of long-standing problems and primary source documentation.

The indexing for these records includes full names, Publication year (not the year of the record), and article titles and authors.

This update is made possible by the efforts of our volunteer David Anderson. If you have some time and would like to get involved in the database digitization and indexing process please contact Rachel Adams, Database Services Volunteer Coordinator via email at rachel.adams@nehgs.org.

Please note: This database is available to all NEHGS members.

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Mayflower Descendant Volumes 64-68 (2016-20) Now Available

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Painting of the Mayflower
Cover of the Mayflower Descendant

Today we are very happy to announce that Volumes 64 through 68, for the years 2016 through 2020, have been added to the database The Mayflower Descendant. This update adds approximately 1,100 new pages and 19,700 searchable names. Going forward, we will index The Mayflower Descendant shortly after each volume is completed.

Mayflower Descendant was originally published by the Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Descendants starting in 1899. In 2015, New England Historic Genealogical Society assumed stewardship of the venerable journal. It is an essential source of information on many New England families, and its focus is not limited to those with Mayflower lineage. The journal includes transcriptions and abstracts of deeds, wills, vital records, and other original documents. In addition, it features compiled genealogies and analytical studies of genealogical problems.

The indexing for these records includes full names, Publication year (not the year of the record), and article titles and authors.

This update is made possible by the efforts of our volunteer David Anderson. If you have a few hours a week and would like to get involved in the digitization and indexing process please contact Rachel Adams, Database Services Volunteer Coordinator via email at rachel.adams@nehgs.org.

Please note: This database is available to Individual-level and above NEHGS members only. Consider membership.

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Archdiocese of Boston: St. Mark (Dorchester) now searchable

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St. Mark’s Church in Dorchester from the Archdiocese of Boston archives

Today we’ve added five new volumes to Massachusetts: Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston Records, 1789-1920 from St. Mark in Dorchester. This update adds over 5,572 records and over 23,056 names to search.

St. Mark’s church was dedicated in 1915, in the Ashmont neighborhood of Dorchester. It grew out of St. Gregory (Dorchester) as the Catholic population in this area increased.

We’d like to thank Sam Sturgis for his help making this parish available online.

The new volumes are listed below:

St. Mark (Dorchester) Baptisms, 1905-1916
St. Mark (Dorchester) Baptisms, 1916-1920
St. Mark (Dorchester) Baptisms, 1919-1920
St. Mark (Dorchester) Confirmations, 1906-1920
St. Mark (Dorchester) Marriages, 1906-1920

Please note: This database is available to Individual-level and above NEHGS members only. Consider membership.

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New Database: The LeRoy Family in America, 1753-2003

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portait style painting
Painting of Herman Le Roy, from inside cover.

We are very happy to announce a brand-new database today, The LeRoy Family in America, 1753-2003. This genealogy of the Le Roy family sets a new standard of quality and completeness as a full account of all descendants of a colonial New York family – and a particularly interesting family at that.

The family founder, Jacob Le Roy, a young merchant of French and Dutch ancestry, arrived in New York City in 1753. He married Cornelia Rutgers in December of the same year; after her death in 1765, he married her younger sister Catherine. During the American Revolution it appears that Jacob supported the American cause – but cautiously. Like other New Yorkers, he moved up the Hudson River during the long British occupation of New York City. After the war Jacob returned to the city, where he died in 1793.

The authors, Scott Cambell Steward and Newbold Le Roy, 3rd (both descendants of Jacob Le Roy), have traced Jacob’s descendants down to the present. Most descendants bear surnames other than Le Roy. Indeed, of the ninety-four heads of family groups with identified children in the fifth generation, only three have descendants named Le Roy in the eighth generation.

This database contains the entire Le Roy family book, and the 19 volumes match those in the book. All names from the index are searchable in the database. There are 800 pages and 13,500 searchable names in the database.

This update is made possible by the efforts of our volunteer David Anderson. If you have some time and would like to get involved in the database digitization and indexing process please contact Rachel Adams, Database Services Volunteer Coordinator via email at rachel.adams@nehgs.org.

Please note: This database is available to Individual-level and above NEHGS members only. Consider membership.

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