New England Finding Your Family
"Whenever possible, arrange to have your ancestors born in New England. This is the happy hunting ground for genealogists." Archibald F. Bennett, Secretary for the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1954.
New England Research Introduction • What is New England • Vital Records • Census Records • Compiled Records • Genealogical Dictionaries • Local Histories • Periodicals • Indexes • Internet Resources
What is New England Vermont New Hampshire Maine Massachusetts Connecticut Rhode Island
Vital Records (Vital Records all recorded by town clerk in every state) • Connecticut • Birth, Marriage, Death Records • Marriage Records Recorded as Early as 1640 • 1650 Town Clerks responsible for registration of records • After July 1st 1897 all town records sent copy to state. • Maine • Birth, Marriage, Death Records • Only five towns have registrations in seventeenth century • State did not require Vital Records registration until 1864 • Registration did occur back to the seventeenth century
Vital Records • Massachusetts • Birth, Marriage, Death Records • No other state in the union has the same depth of vital records • 200 out of 364 towns have all the vital records to 1850 published. • After 1841 a copy of town records were sent to the state, so two copies exist. An index exist for 1841 – 1910. • New Hampshire • Birth Marriage, Death Records • Towns record vital records from start, but are not complete. • Every town early to 1900 has been microfilmed. • Less than half the population was listed in vital records until 1883
Vital Records • Rhode Island • Birth, Marriage, Death • Town Clerks have kept records since 1630’s, more complete after 1700 • State wide registration started 1853. • Vermont • Birth, Marriage, Death • Town Clerks have kept records since 1760. • Pre-1820 families recorded in a particular town listed as a family group record.
Census Records • Starting in 1790 Federal Population Schedules Start. • Can assist in locating town family lives in. • State Census Records • Connecticut • 1670 Census – A reconstructed census of over 2300 heads of families recorded from tax list and other records • Maine • 1837 Special Census • Bangor, Portland, Dennysville, Roxbury are in existence. • Massachusetts • Census was taken 1855 to 1935 only the 1855, and 1865 exist.
Census Records • State Census Records • New Hampshire (Colonial Census) • 1776 Lists men 21 years of age declaring position on revolution. • Rhode Island • Colonial Census 1747 to 1754, 1774, 1782 (Head of House, number of person in family • State Census taken every ten years starting in 1865 – 1936. • Census given information similar to that of the federal census. • Vermont • Colonial census 1771 • Alphabetical list shows names, year, residence, type of record, source.
Compiled Records • New England genealogical research has generated a great deal of compiled records • Including family histories, genealogical dictionaries, local town or county histories. • Important place to start your research and check as you extend your lines • Useful resources • Founders of early American families : emigrants from Europe, 1607-1657 Colket, Meredith B. (Meredith Bright), 1912-1985 • FHL US/CAN Book 973 W2cm
Compiled Records • Family History Archives http://www.lib.byu.edu/fhc/ • HeritageQuest Book Collection • Family History Library
Genealogical Dictionaires • Provides a brief look at a select group of families, usually the earliest settlers. • The Dictionaries cover about three generations. • One exists for most of the New England States. • Examples are • A Genealogical Dictionary of the First Settlers of New England by James Savage This is a four volume set. • The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England 1620-1633. 3 Volume Set.
Local Histories • Town Histories are a great place to find collected genealogical information, these records profile each family that lived in the town. • Use the census records to locate what town your family lived in. History of Weymouth Massachusetts, Published 1923
Periodicals • A large selection on New England Genealogy over the years has been published in periodicals. • Three main periodicals for New England are • The New England Historical and Genealogical Register • Published since 1847. Can be found on the New England Genealogical and Historical Society Website. • The Mayflower Descendants • Available on microfilm from the family history library . First 20 Volumes accessible online. • The American Genealogist • Check PERSI for the location The Genealogist Published Spring 2004
Indexes • One of the most important things to use when trying to locate your family is indexes. No other area of the United States has more complete ones than New England. • Some of the most popular • Index to American Genealogies (5th ed. Albany: Joel Munsell's Sons, 1908. Reprint, Baltimore, Md.: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1967) • This is a surname index of virtually every source published before 1900. • New England Marriages Prior to 1700 • This is a list of virtually every marriage prior to 1700, It also gives the source the information came from.
Indexes • Some of the most popular • The Greenlaw index of the New England Historical Genealogical Society • Start where Index to American genealogies stops. This index goes to the 1940’s • American Genealogical – Biographical Index • Indexes every in name in close to 800 family histories, 50 other genealogical books. • Index does include most revolutionary sources. • International Genealogical Index (IGI) • Includes birth and marriages for New England. Most entries can be traced back to original source.
Internet Resources • New England Historical and Genealogical Society • www.newenglandancestors.org $ • This is a subscription Site • Ancestry (www.ancestry.com) $ • USGenWeb (www.usgenweb.org) • FamilySearch Wiki (wiki.familiysearch.org) • Heritagequestonline (www.heritagequestonline) $ • Record Search (pilot.familysearch.org) • Historic Book Collection (familysearch.org) • FamilySearch (www.familysearch.org)