Archive For The “Uncategorized” Category
This week our probate databases are available for free to everyone. We have 32 databases which fall under the Court, Land, and Probate Records category. We’ve pulled together some material to better help you understand these collections on americanancestors.org/features/probate.
Get a clear definition of what a probate record is, and how they can help be helpful in genealogical research.
Explore probate records which feature famous people including poet Emily Dickinson, author Nathaniel Hawthorne, education advocate Mary Lyons, and inventor Elias Howe.
Learn how best to search the probate record databases offered by americanancestors.org by watching these videos:
How to Search Massachusetts Probate File Papers (A quick note to emphasize from this video: Many people become confused when they are first presented with the first page of a case file, which has only a little information on it. Please continue to browse through a case by clicking the blue arrows on the top right of the screen!)
Searching New England Probate Databases on AmericanAncestors.org (An overview of databases ranging from Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maine, and Rhode Island)
How to Search New York Probate Databases on AmericanAncestors.org (An overview of our databases which focus on probate records from New York)
If these short videos leave you wanting to know more, immerse yourself in the study of probate records by watching David Allen Lambert’s webinar on the topic.
Finally, learn about other sources both online and offline where you can find information about probate records.
These Bristol probate cases were not labeled with official case numbers, so an index had to be created from the microfilmed file papers. The resulting index is mostly alphabetical. However the file papers were not microfilmed in strict alphabetic order and case numbers were assigned as the cases were examined to create this database. Thus, the statement “mostly alphabetical.”
For a time, the borders of Massachusetts and Rhode Island (where Bristol County is located) shifted considerably as the two states swapped parcels of land. Bristol County, MA borders Bristol County, RI. Wikipedia explains this is one of ten instances in which adjacent counties in bordering states share the same name, and the only example in New England. Other examples include Teton County in Idaho which borders Teton County in Wyoming and Kent County in Maryland which lies next to Kent County, Delaware. You can consult History of Bristol County, Massachusetts edited by D. Hamilton Hurd for more details on the border changes in the 1700-1800s between Rhode Island and Massachusetts.
We have added six new sketches to Western Massachusetts Families in 1790. This database focuses on families listed in the 1790 census in historic Berkshire and Hampshire counties, an area which includes parts of modern Franklin and Hampden counties as well. Sketches are submitted by NEHGS researchers and members and edited by Helen Schatvet Ullmann, CG, FASG.
If you are particularly interested in this area of research, you may want to consult one of our newest publications–the 3rd volume of Western Massachusetts Families in 1790!
The following sketches are new to this update:
Martin Chamberlin (Dalton)
Amasa Cranson (Ashfield)
Elisha Mack (Montague) (Elisha Mack may be of special interest to LDS genealogists–he was the brother of the grandfather of Joseph Smith.)
Abner Phillips (Ashfield)
Lemuel Phillips (Ashfield)
Philip Phillips (Ashfield)
John Shattuck (Conway)
Please note: This database is available to Individual-level and above NEHGS members only. Consider membership .
Database Tip: On the transcript page, click the plus sign next to any person’s name. You can download a PDF of the entire sketch rather than having to download each page image separately.
We’ve updated Massachusetts Vital Records to 1850. Middleborough – V1 and Middleborough – V2 are now searchable by parents’ and spouse’s names. Florida – V1 is new, containing births, marriages and deaths.
The Middleborough records come from Barbara Lambert Merrick and Alicia Crane Williams’s Middleborough, Massachusetts Vital Records, a compilation of transcribed records originally published in the Mayflower Descendant and some later transcriptions for this southeast Massachusetts town.
The Florida, MA records originate in Jay Mack Holbrook’s microform Massachusetts Vital Records: Florida, 1781-1900, which collects a register of early records from this town in western Massachusetts.
We would like to thank all of our volunteers who worked on these two projects!
Ten new volumes have been added to the North American Cemetery Transcriptions from NEHGS Manuscripts database covering cemeteries in Connecticut, Maine, and New Hampshire. Our hard-working volunteers have captured over 1,700 page images, 50,000 records and 200,000 searchable names in this update! Through these efforts, you can now view and search these new volumes:
- CT, Hartford: Enfield (MSS A 6115)
- CT, Tolland: Union (CT UNI 7)
- CT, Windham: Eastford (MSS A 2408)
- ME, Androscoggin: Various (MSS A 4722 Vol. 1)
- ME, Androscoggin: Various (MSS A 4722 Vol. 2)
- ME, Cumberland, Lincoln, Waldo: Various (MSS A 4723)
- ME, Hancock: North Brooksville (MSS A 7944)
- ME, Somerset: Various (MSS A 2746)
- NH, Strafford: Dover – Pine Hill (MSS A 2835 Vol. 1)
- NH, Strafford: Dover – Pine Hill (MSS A 2835 Vol. 2)
The indexing for these records includes birth and death records with full names, cemetery locations, and names of parents and spouses where available.
Please note: This database is available to Individual-level and above NEHGS members only. Consider membership.
Early Vermont Settlers to 1784 now has five new sketches, enumerated below. This database focuses on families that lived in Vermont prior to the end of the Revolutionary War, as identified in Donald Alan Smith’s thesis “Legacy of Dissent: Religion and Politics in Revolutionary Vermont 1749 to 1784” (Clark U., Ph.D., 1980).
These five new families came from Windsor, VT, where the Constitution of Vermont was signed in 1777. This constitution created the Republic of Vermont, an independent nation. The Republic of Vermont existed until 1791 when Vermont became part of the United States.
Database Tip: If you click “Download PDF” from any record on the search results page, you will have a copy of the entire sketch–you will not have to download each individual page! The “Download PDF” link can also be found on the transcript page.
Rather than sequential case numbers, the Hampshire County file papers are numbered by file box (1-267) and then folder within the box. The case number naming convention is [box number]-[folder number]:[page number]. For example, the first page of the first folder in box 1 is “1-1:1”.
For more information about this database, please consult our introduction which contains helpful information and examples for understanding and interpreting this collection.
American Ancestors Magazine is NEHGS’s quarterly magazine, containing a wealth of information for family historians. Volume 17 (all issues published in 2016) is now available to be searched on our website. Featured articles include how to choose the right genealogical software, how to research your Irish ancestors, and all about Bill Griffith’s new book The Stranger in My Genes.
Take a look back at these issues to learn more!
We now have volumes online illustrating the early history of Catholics in Salem. This latest update to Massachusetts: (Image Only) Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston Records, 1789-1900 includes records from Saint Mary’s Church and Immaculate Conception of Salem. St. Mary’s was the earlier church, which was replaced by Immaculate Conception as the parish grew. These St. Mary’s records are not to be confused with St. Mary’s Italian Church of Salem which was not established until the 1900s. The following volumes comprise this update:
We also have records from Sacred Heart Parish in Roslindale:
We have two new additions to Massachusetts: (Image Only) Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston Records, 1789-1900.
Saint Joseph’s Parish in Boston served the Irish community in the West End. The following volumes are included in this update:
St. Joseph marriages will be included in a future update.
Saint Theresa of Avila Parish in West Roxbury was established in 1895. The following volumes comprise the pre-1901 records of this parish:
If you need any help navigating this collection, be sure to watch our video on how to browse!