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The Daily Genealogist: Lowell Genealogy Wins Donald Lines Jacobus Prize

(Stories of Interest) Permanent link
lowell cover

This marks the third national or regional award for the Lowell genealogy

 The New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) announced today that its Newbury Street Press book, The Descendants of Judge John Lowell of Newburyport, Massachusetts, by Scott C. Steward and Christopher C. Child, has won another top honor.  The American Society of Genealogists (ASG) awarded the Lowell book the Donald Lines Jacobus Award.

 The prestigious Donald Lines Jacobus Award was established in 1972 to encourage sound scholarship in genealogical writing. It is presented to a model genealogical work published within the previous five years. Nominations for the Jacobus Award are made by Fellows of the American Society of Genealogists who edit journals that run book reviews.

 This marks the third award in 2012 for the Lowell genealogy. Earlier this year, the book won the National Genealogical Society Award for Excellence, Genealogy and Family History, and the Connecticut Society of Genealogists' Grand Prize, Literary Awards Contest in Genealogy.

 NEHGS Director of Publications and book co-author Scott C. Steward said, “We had hoped to make the Lowell book a model, both as a genealogy and as an example of book production at Newbury Street Press, so having our work recognized by NGS and CSG – and now the ASG – is extremely rewarding.”

 The book marks the first full treatment of the Lowell family since an 1899 genealogy written by Delmar R. Lowell. This new book traces descendants of Judge John Lowell (1743-1802) to the present day, and includes famous descendants Francis Cabot Lowell, for whom the city of Lowell, Massachusetts is named; John Lowell, Jr., founder of the Lowell Institute in Boston; James Russell Lowell, the poet and diplomat; astronomer Percival Lowell; Harvard president Abbott Lawrence Lowell; the poets Amy Lowell and Robert Traill Spence Lowell; architect Guy Lowell; and Isabella Stewart Gardner, art patron and museum founder. The book comprises more than one thousand entries for heads of families. Because of several early cousin marriages, many Lowell descendants have two or even three lines of descent from Judge John Lowell.


The Daily Genealogist: Ireland Reaching Out Diaspora Project

(A Note from the Editor) Permanent link
Betlock Lynn

Lynn Betlock

I recently learned about the Ireland Reaching Out (Ireland XO) Diaspora project. According to the group’s website, “the Ireland XO project is based on a simple idea; instead of waiting for Irish-Americans and their global counterparts to come to Ireland to trace their roots, we go the other way. Working through voluntary effort at a townland, village and parish level, we identify who left, and trace them and their descendants worldwide, proactively engaging with them and inviting them to become part of an extended ‘virtual’ community with their place of origin. In this way, the entire Irish Diaspora of 70 million can be systematically reunified online and invited back to engage with their ancestral parish for the benefit of all. . . . ”

“While Ireland XO parish volunteers are reaching out around the world, the project’s website provides a landing point in Ireland for people abroad who have some detail about where their emigrant ancestors come from in Ireland. By joining any parish community online, they can seek direct genealogical research assistance from local people in the area who also volunteer to meet them on their return. This “Meet/Greet/Connect” offer from parish communities across Ireland has been identified as a missing element from developing the Irish Diaspora in times past.” A successful pilot already occurred in South-East Galway and the project was launched as a “National Diaspora Programme” in March 2012.

I’m very intrigued by this project. Instead of a descendant tracing one ancestor back to a place of origin, this model has the impetus for the search coming from the place of origin, with a goal of reconstructing the essence of a long-vanished community. This effort reminds me of the numerous and very popular old settlers organizations and Old Home weeks held in New England and elsewhere in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. (For an article on this topic, see “Tracking Migrating Families: The Records of Old Settlers Organizations,” by Paula Stuart Warren in the winter 2010 issue of American Ancestors.) In the Internet age, it will be fascinating to see what kinds of genealogical and historical connections can be made on a group level across time and distance.

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