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Boston & Maine Railroad Employee Database

(Boston, Massachusetts) Permanent link
 
David Allen Lambert

David Allen Lambert
NEHGS Online Genealogist

Question:

I noticed that you discussed Canadian Railroad records recently on "Question of the Day".  Can you advise where I may find records for relatives working for the old Boston & Maine Railroad in the 19th century?

 

Answer:

The Center for Lowell History has created a database where you can search for these employee records.  The range covers 1874-1939 and you can search them at: http://library.uml.edu/clh/BMlistA.htm

 

For more information about the Boston & Maine Railroad as a descendant you might wish to contact their historical society:

B&MRRHS Membership, P.O. Box 9116, Lowell, MA  01852  


Researching a murder in Chicago in the 1890's

 Permanent link
 
David Allen Lambert

David Allen Lambert
NEHGS Online Genealogist

Question:

One of my great-grandfather's siblings I know was murdered in the 1890's.  I have found some newspaper articles, but are there records for those convicted of murder in Chicago, Illinois back then?

 

Answer:

The information on Chicago homicides are actually on a searchable database from Northwestern University.  You can search a database of victims and criminals form 1870 to 1930 online at: http://homicide.northwestern.edu/


Locating Boston School Records from the early 20th century.

(Boston, Massachusetts) Permanent link
 
David Allen Lambert

David Allen Lambert
NEHGS Online Genealogist

Question:

I was wondering if I could obtain the Boston School records for my deceased parents?  My mother attended school in East Boston in the 1910's and 1920's.  I was not sure if these records survive or if I could legally request them.

 

Answer:

If you can provide proof you are the child of the student you can acquire the records you seek.   The records of many of the old Boston Schools of the 19th and 20th century are held by the Boston City Archives.  You will want to supply your proof of relationship to the student; the name of the student; the student's date of birth; and the locations the student attended in Boston (ex: Dorchester, East Boston, South Boston, etc.)

 

Send your request to the Boston City Archives at:

 

Boston City Archives, 

201 Rivermoor Street
West Roxbury, Ma 02132

 

Or email any questions to: Archives@cityofboston.gov

 


Two old occupations revealed.

(Massachusetts) Permanent link
 
David Allen Lambert

David Allen Lambert
NEHGS Online Genealogist

Question:

I have come across two old occupations which I am wondering what they are.  Can you tell me what these ancestors did for a living?  One ancestor was a "millpeck" and the other a "Japanner".

 

Answer:

The occupation of Mill peck was one who would travel to the local mills and sharpen the mill stone(s).  The grinding surface of a mill stone would eventually wear down, and a new surface would be carved from the stone.  The occupation of the Japanner would be one who worked with applying varnishes to various types or wooden surfaces. 

 


French Canadian Ancestors in Lynn, Massachusetts.

(Massachusetts) Permanent link
 
David Allen Lambert

David Allen Lambert
NEHGS Online Genealogist

Question:

I have two French Canadian ancestors who died in Lynn, Massachusetts in 1912 and 1928.  Can you advice what newspaper online I can use to locate their obituaries.

 

Answer:

The era you mentioned is not online for the city of Lynn, Massachusetts.  I would suggest the Lynn Daily Item on microfilm from the Boston Public Library's Microtext Department.  This is the general newspapers for the city.  Since your ancestors were French Canadian I would like to suggest a French language paper published in Lynn.  The Le Courrier de Lynn was published between 1910-1914, and later changed to the Le Lynnois and was published through 1934.


The Goodenow Family of Sudbury, Massachusetts.

(Massachusetts, Vital Records) Permanent link
 
David Allen Lambert

David Allen Lambert
NEHGS Online Genealogist

Question:

 

My paternal ancestors come from the Goodenow family of Sudbury, Massachusetts.  Can you tell me if their might be a resource that may save me sometime?  I do not know what may have already been researched.

 

Answer:

The family in question had two settlers in the 17th century  in Sudbury – John Goodenow (c.1596-1654) and Edmund Goodenow (c.1611-1688).  A recent publication that may include some of the more recent generations in your family was written by Theodore J. F. Banvard, Goodenows Who Originated in Sudbury, Massachusetts 1638 A.D. : They came from Wilts. And Dorset, England Across American They Roamed and Multiplied. (Baltimore, MD: Gateway  Press, 1994).  This book is available on the shelves of the sixth floor reading room at NEHGS under call number [CS71 /G649/1994].


Locating Divorce Records in Massachusetts and Rhode Island in the early 20th century.

(Boston, Cemeteries) Permanent link
 
David Allen Lambert

David Allen Lambert
NEHGS Online Genealogist

Question:

My grandparents were divorced about 1919 in either Massachusetts (where they were married) or Rhode Island where they lived part of the time.  How would I found their divorce records in either state?

 

Answer:

In Rhode Island Divorce records since 1905 are available from the Rhode Island Supreme Judicial Records Center at the following location:

 

Rhode Island Supreme Court Judicial Records Center

5 Hill Street

Pawtucket, RI 02860

http://www.courts.ri.gov/records/contact.htm

 

In Massachusetts after 1922 divorce records are handled on the County court level.  Records prior to 1922 divorce records can be obtained from the Supreme Judicial Court Archives.  You will want to supply the name of both parties, when they divorced and the county they resided in.

 

Supreme Judicial Court Archives

3 Pemberton Square, 16th Floor
Boston, Ma. 02108
Attn: Elizabeth Bouvier, Archivist


Abbreviations in the published series of pre-1850 Massachusetts Vital Records.

(Massachusetts, Vital Records) Permanent link
 
David Allen Lambert

David Allen Lambert
NEHGS Online Genealogist

Question:

Can you assist me with the abbreviations from the pre-1850 Vital Records for Massachusetts? What does PR, GS, and CR stand for, I photocopied pages at NEHGS but did not write down what they corresponded to.

 

Answer:

Thank you for your note. The compiliers of the official series of Massachusetts vital records to 1850 would often utilize private, church, and gravestone inscription records when town vital records were not complete.  The abbreviation PR - stands for Private Record. Private Records were compiled from diaries, bible records or ledgers, held in private collections.  These records often recorded birth, marriage and death events in the community.  The parish records of certain churches containing marriages, baptisms and burials are referred to with the abbreviation CR - Church Records. And often the dates inscribed on gravestones in local cemeteries were transcribed - this is the reason for GS and GR for Gravestone Record.


Records of the West Church of Boston, Massachusetts.

(Boston, Church Records, Massachusetts) Permanent link
 
David Allen Lambert

David Allen Lambert
NEHGS Online Genealogist

Question:

I am looking for the church records of West Church, or West Boston Society, perhaps, founded in 1737. They are not at Harvard Library or Massachusetts Historical Society. The building was taken over by the city of Boston in 1890 and by the Methodists in 1962.  I am specifically looking for the parents of (Nancy) Ann Green, who was married to Stephen Francis by Rev. Simeon Howard in 1778 (during the Revolution) at West Church, Boston. I'd like to find a membership list or pew owners' list from that time, guessing that her parents may have been members of that church if she was married there.

 

Answer:

The West Church of Boston Church records - baptisms, marriages, 1737-1880 were microfilmed by the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah. They can be borrowed from your nearby LDS Church Library by renting for $5.50 from NEHGS [LDS Microfilm # 856695 Item 21].  At NEHGS we also have the following book you may be interested in that consist of the published Records of the West Church, Boston, Mass. NEHGS Call # F73.62/W47/1937


The John Milton Earle Indian Report of Massachusetts

(Massachusetts, New England) Permanent link
 
David Allen Lambert

David Allen Lambert
NEHGS Online Genealogist

Question:

I have recently seen at the Massachusetts State Archives the Senate Report for 1861 Earle Report for Native Americans. Can you tell me how this was compiled differently from the regular 1860 U.S. Census?

 

Answer:

In the late 1850’s Massachusetts State Commissioner of Indian Affairs John Milton Earle (1794-1874) organized efforts to identify the Native American population that hailed from Massachusetts.  This included families residing within Massachusetts, and those who had left the Commonwealth.  Much of this report / census was compiled via correspondence with families, selectmen of various towns, and other Indian Commissioners. The manuscript of the correspondence used to compile this census is at the American Antiquarian Society in Worcester, Massachusetts on microfilm.


The truth behind burials in the garden in Chelsea, Massachusetts.

(Boston, Cemeteries, Massachusetts) Permanent link
 
David Allen Lambert

David Allen Lambert
NEHGS Online Genealogist

Question:

Recently while searching for a friend I noted some of their ancestors had died in Chelsea, Massachusetts.  Can you explain to me why they would be buried in their garden?  That is what I learned from their death records in the 19th century.  Can you advise if this is correct? 

 

Answer:

Chelsea, Massachusetts was annexed from Boston, and formed as a town on January 10, 1739.  Your friend’s relatives most likely were not buried in a “garden” but in an actual cemetery.  On Shawmut Street in Chelsea is the Garden Cemetery which was created in 1842.  The surviving gravestone inscriptions were published under the reference [G.R. 2] in the Vital Records of Chelsea, Massachusetts to the year 1850 (Boston, Wright & Potter, 1916).  I am not aware of a full transcription of all the gravestones in this cemetery.


British parish research at NEHGS - two solutions for a patron.

(Church Records, NEHGS) Permanent link
 
David Allen Lambert

David Allen Lambert
NEHGS Online Genealogist

Question:

I have traced one of my families back to Yorkshire, England.  I am wondering how NEHGS can assist me with obtaining records specifically from the parish of Guiseley. Since I can not affort to travel there.  I am a member of NEHGS and very happy with your services and hope I can do British Research at NEHGS.

 

Answer:

At NEHGS we have an extensive rare book collection available to our membership.  Within the shelves of this collection you will find a volume by William Easterbrook Preston and Joseph Hambley Rowe, A Transcript of the Early Registers of the Parish of Guiseley in the County of York 1584 to 1720, together with a transcript of the Early Registers of the Chapelry of Horsforth 1620 to 1720. (Bradford, England: Percy Lund, Humphries & Co. Ltd., 1913) [NEHGS rare book call # PR/GUI/7].  This is just one of many published British parish records we possess at NEHGS.  You can also call the NEHGS Microtext Department (617) 536-5740 ext. 239 and rent microfilm for ($5.50 each) for the following LDS Family History Library microfilms.  These microfilmed records will allow you to examine the original Bishops Transcripts of the parish of Guiseley - Christenings, 1632-1780; Marriages, 1632-1780; Burials, 1632-1780.  FHL BRITISH Film 918365; Christenings, 1780-1829; Marriages, 1780-1829; Burials, 1780-1828.  FHL BRITISH Film 918366; Christenings, 1829-1836; Marriages, 1829-1836; Burials, 1829-1836.  FHL BRITISH Film 918367.


Where to find the External Databases on www.AmericanAncestors.org

(NEHGS) Permanent link
 
David Allen Lambert

David Allen Lambert
NEHGS Online Genealogist

Question:

What has happened to the Historic Newspaper data bases which were accessible through NEHGS website.  I used to used them a lot and found them very helpful.  The last couple of times I have tried to find them on your website I have searched all over and found nothing.  Is it me, your website, or the external source?

 

Answer:

Thank you for your note.  We still have the all the early newspaper subscriptions you used on NewEnglandAncestors.org available at www.AmericanAncestors.org.  You can click on the EXPLORE option, and then select the EXTERNAL DATABASES option.  Or you can simply cut and paste the link below into your browser - http://www.americanancestors.org/external-databases/

  


Early Nova Scotia Tax Records from Falmouth, N.S.

 Permanent link
 
David Allen Lambert

David Allen Lambert
NEHGS Online Genealogist

Question:

I am researching relatives who resided in Falmouth, Nova Scotia in the 18th century.  I have seen references to early tax records from Nova Scotia as a census alternative.  I know NEHGS has microfilm of the Canadian Census 1851-1901, but do you have any early Falmouth records?

 

Answer:

Besides the 1851-1901 census records for Nova Scotia we do have earlier tax records for Falmouth.  Not that these tax records did not name other family members, nor give the age of the occupant.  The years 1792, 1793, 1794, 1795 we have are on microfilm [NEHGS call # HA/741/C4-1767-1838].  These are located in cabinet # 57 on the 4th Floor Microtext Library.


Civil War Draft Registration Records for Massachusetts

(Massachusetts, Military Records) Permanent link
 
David Allen Lambert

David Allen Lambert
NEHGS Online Genealogist

Question:

I understand that there are records relating to the Civil War Draft Registration for Massachusetts available.  Can you tell me where these records are kept?

 

Answer:

The Civil War Draft Registration of 1863 that you mention are available.  These were arranged by Congressional Districts throughout the Union states.  These records were originally in the National Archives in Washington, D.C. but the New England volumes  have been transferred to the New England Regional Branch of the National Archives in Waltham, Massachusetts.  An article about these records appeared in the Waltham Historical Society newsletter can be read online as a PDF document: http://host24.hrwebservices.net/~watchci/WHSOC09/NovemberWeathervane.pdf

 

These records can be inspected upon a visit to NARA branch, for more information about this research facility: http://www.archives.gov/northeast/boston/  I personally inspected the pages relating to my hometown of Stoughton, Norfolk Co., Massachusetts and transcribed the pages associated.   The questions that were requested for those from Stoughton included -  Name, age, eye color, hair color, complexion, height, Where born “state or kingdom” and town or county, occupation, enrollment or service dates, and remarks.  The remarks field often contains reasons that the draftee may not be able to serve due to medical conditions. If you would like to see an example of the answers to the questions that were asked, go to the following example of my transcriptions for Stoughton: http://www.stoughtonhistory.com/1863draft.htm


Records for New York Veterans post World War II.

(Military Records, New York) Permanent link
 
David Allen Lambert

David Allen Lambert
NEHGS Online Genealogist

Question:

I understand that my father’s military personnel file was destroyed in 1973 when a fire destroyed the records of the U.S. Army.  Is there any where I can obtain his discharge papers now that he is deceased.  He was in the military through most of the 1940’s.  He later served in the New York National Guard.

 

Answer:

You can acquire the military discharge for your father from the Department of the Army in Watervliet, New York.  They have records for those who served in the New York Army National Guard and the New York Air National Guard who were discharged within the past sixty years.

 

You can reach them by phone or mail at:

 

Department of the Army

Attn: MNP, Builiding 25

New York Army National Guard

1 Buffington Street

Waltervliet, NY 12189-4000

Mr. Steven Essex, (518)-272-6438


When will Massachusetts Vital Records after 1915 appear online at NEHGS?

(Massachusetts, Vital Records) Permanent link
 
David Allen Lambert

David Allen Lambert
NEHGS Online Genealogist

Question:

Are there any plans of adding more Massachusetts Vital records beyond 1915 to your website? 

 

Answer:

The records from 1916-1920 need first to be transferred out of the custody of the Massachusetts Department of Vital Statistics and sent  to the Massachusetts State Archives.   This batch will include records ending with Dec. 31, 1920, and cannot be transferred until they have all occurred prior to ninety years.  When these have been transferred then these records will become open for NEHGS to potentially place online.  For example records from 1921-1925 will not become available until 2015, and records 1926-1930 until 2020, etc.


Researching Canadian Railroad Employees.

 Permanent link
 
David Allen Lambert

David Allen Lambert
NEHGS Online Genealogist

Question:

I have a railroad related question I hope you can assist me with. Before my ancestor worked for the railroad in New Hampshire, he was employed by the Canadian National Railway.  I tried a number of years ago to obtain his records but had no luck.  Can you suggest a way to do this?

 

Answer:

On occasion a question will often lead to me learning something beneficial to my own genealogical research.  After consulting with a Canadian research colleague I found out that Canadian Railway employees are now online via the Library and Archives Canada.  I was able to locate an employment record for my great-grandfather Thomas William Clark with the Moncton branch of the C.N.R. from 1898-1941, as well as employment for my grandfather James Albert George Lambert for a few months in 1920.  I hope the following database will be beneficial to you as well:

http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/databases/black-porters/001051-100.01-e.php?PHPSESSID=gdmmqi2hgh5725kinejh2ot7p6

 


Searching for colonial vital records in Lanesborough, Massachusetts

(Massachusetts, Vital Records) Permanent link
 
David Allen Lambert

David Allen Lambert
NEHGS Online Genealogist

Question:

I have come across several unrelated families who lived in Lanesborough, Massachusetts at the end of the Revolution.  All of them moved on to New York.  Why can’t I seem to find vital records from this community?

 

Answer:

Many of the communities in Massachusetts were published in what we refer to as the “Official Series” and many call them simply the “tan books”.  This town was not part of the series.  The only published accounting of the town’s vital records occurred in Charles J. Palmer’s, History of the town of Lanesborough, Massachusetts 1741-1905. Two chapters titled Births, Deaths and Marriages in Early History of the Town, pgs. 84-108, and Early Lanesborough Marriages, pgs. 108-121 cover much of the era you are looking for.  This town was also part of the Corbin Collection that NEHGS published on CD-Rom.  For the primary sources of both I would refer to the following microfilm from the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah: Record of families; births, marriages and intentions, deaths 1750’s to 1850’s; Births, marriages, deaths - 1843-1858; Births and marriages -1859-1897 [FHL US /CAN Film # 1901559].  At NEHGS you can rent microfilm from the LDS Church for $5.50 a reel and use them at our research center at 99 Newbury Street in Boston, Mass.  This option is available for members, and visitors who wish to pay the $15.00 day fee.


Solving the identification of a photocopied page

(Boston, Massachusetts, NEHGS, New England) Permanent link
 
David Allen Lambert

David Allen Lambert
NEHGS Online Genealogist

Question:

Recently I have inherited my deceased great-aunt’s genealogical notes.  Within the files is a faded photocopy that is from Boyle’s Journal of Occurrences in Boston.  The page number is 254, and the only other thing I can identify it is from “[July” in the upper corner.  I am interested in the source because it mentioned the death of my ancestor Zachariah Brigden’s wife, but it does not give the year of the entry on that page.

 

Answer:

The resource in question is from an article published in the New England Historical and Genealogical Register (July 1930) volume 84, page 254.  The entry you mentioned was from March 30, 1768.  The year of the entry having been published on the previous page.  The NEHGS Register is available to be searched here on our website for members.


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