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Births recorded in New England newspapers in the 1700's.

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David Allen Lambert
NEHGS Online Genealogist

Question: How common was it for births to be registered in the newspapers in the 18th century?

 

Answer:  From my experience the notices of marriages and deaths were more common in the 18th century.  The occasional birth of a notable from Europe, or extreme multiple births are listed.  As a member of NEHGS you have access to early 18th century newspapers by using our External Databases: http://web1.americanancestors.org/external-databases/    If you have any questions on using Early American Newspapers please let me know onlinegenealogist@nehgs.org


Norfolk County Probate Records in Massachusetts.

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David Allen Lambert

David Allen Lambert
NEHGS Online Genealogist

Question:  Where can I locate the original file papers for probates from Braintree, Massachusetts in the early 1930's?

 

Answer: Braintree has been part of Norfolk County since 1793.  Unlike many records that have been transferred to the Massachusetts State Archives, the county of Norfolk retains their original Probate files.  These records can be consulted in person.  Although the county seat is in Dedham, Mass. (where the Registry of Deeds office is still located) the Probate office is in nearby Canton, Mass.  The address and contact information can be found online here: www.mass.gov/courts/courtsandjudges/courts/norfolkprobmain.html

 


Bone Hill in London, England

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David Allen Lambert

David Allen Lambert
NEHGS Online Genealogist

Question:  In correspondence my great-aunt had with a relative in England I have a mystery.  She stated that our ancestor and his wife who survived the Great London Fire were buried later at the Bone Hill in London.  I know you are an author of a book on Massachusetts cemeteries, but can you help?

 

Answer:  I belive strongly the cemetery you are mentioning is the 17th century cemetery called Bunhill Fields on City Road in London.  This cemetery was consecrated as a common burial ground in 1665.  According to the book by Hugh Meller and Brian Parsons, London Cemeteries - An Illustrated Guide and Gazetteer. (The History Press, 2008) "The name 'Bunhill' probably derives from 'Bonehill'".  The hill of bones refers to the location of bones from the charnel house associated with St. Paul's Cathedral.


Empire Settlement Act of 1922 in Canada.

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David Allen Lambert

David Allen Lambert


Question:  My late uncle by marriage once told me he was brought over to work in Canada on the farms as a laborer in the 1920's.  Did Canada have a call for immigrants to work farms back in that era?

 

Answer:  This migration was part of what was known as the Empire Settlement Act of 1922.  The government offered discounted passage to Canada or young people to settle as farm laborers and domestic workers in the early 1920's.


Births in Boston in the 1820's.

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David Allen Lambert

David Allen Lambert
NEHGS Online Genealogist

Question:  I am trying to find a published source for Boston Births that occurred in the 1820's.  Can you direct me to such a source I can search, I am a new NEHGS member.

 

Answer:  Birth records in Boston between the late 1790's to the late 1840's are very incomplete.  It is not for the loss of records, but the lack of recording by the City Clerk during this era we have a gap.   On American Ancestors you can search the recorded births that cover 1800-1849 simply by using this link - http://www.americanancestors.org/Search.aspx?Ca=0344&Da=28    You can also search church records in various formats at NEHGS, on CD-Rom, published, and microfilm.  This suggestion is applicable to any case when the civil registrations are lacking as in the case of Boston.


Boston Police Department records circa 1919.

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David Allen Lambert

David Allen Lambert
NEHGS Online Genealogist

Question:  I have a cousin of my great-grandmother who was a Boston Police Officer at the time of the 1919 Boston Police Strike.  I do not know if he came on force before or after the strike.  Can you tell me where the records for his employment, or were these records destroyed?

Answer:   The records for personnel  are available from the Boston Police Archives.  You can make a request from their Records Manager and Archivist Margaret R. Sullivan SullivanMar.bpd@cityofboston.gov   - or fax your request to (617)- 343-9756.  In some case the archives may even have a photograph of the officer you are researching.  The scope of the records in their possession ranges from 1878-1961.

The meaning of three links on a gravestone.

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David Allen Lambert

David Allen Lambert
NEHGS Online Genealogist

Question:  While reviewing some gravestone photographs I took I came across a stone with linked chains carved into it.  I believe the inscription F.I.T. was also carved upon it, do you have any idea what this stood for?

 

Answer: The gravestone you are referring to is a member is the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.  The three chain links "Three Link Fraternity"and the abbreviation F.L. (not I). T. stand for Friendship, Love and Truth.  The Oddfellows are still active across the world and were started in Baltimore, Maryland in 1819.  To find out more about this fraternal organization go to: http://www.ioof.org/


Searching for Massachusetts Probate with the assistance of NEHGS.

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David Allen Lambert

David Allen Lambert
NEHGS Online Genealogist

Question: I am wondering what is involved in researching Probate records? Ideally I would like to find a will or estate inventory for Bishop Parker, who died in Boston in 1804 or for his son, Richard Greene Parker, who died in Waltham in 1869. Do I need to go to the Probate Courts or the Massachusetts Archives? Thanks for any direction you can lend.

 

Answer: At NEHGS we have microfilm of probate and deeds for many of the Massachusetts counties, therefore we can offer you stop research assistance.  A quick search of the published index for Suffolk County Probate 1636-1893 does not produce a match for a Bishop Barker of Boston.  On our website we have the index for Middlesex County Probate 1648-1909 (this includes Waltham) www.americanancestors.org/Search.aspx?Ca=94&Da=133.

 

I have located a match for a Richard G. Parker who died in Watertown, Massachusetts (neighboring town of Waltham) in 1869.  His Administration is # 38937, and you can order copies of the original images from our microfilm.  Simply go online to www.americanancestors.org/research-services/ to place an order with our Research Services Department.  This will save you a trip to the Archives and the County Courthouse.


Town Directories and Poll Tax Records for Blackstone, Massachusetts.

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David Allen Lambert

David Allen Lambert
NEHGS Online Genealogist

Question: Does NEHGS have a town directory for Blackstone, Massachusetts for any of the years between 1880 and 1900?

 

Answer: The only town directory we have for Blackstone is from 1928 on microfiche [NEHGS Call # F74/B21/D86/Microfiche].  Blackstone like many other small towns did not have formal directories, and are usually combined with other communities.  I would suggest however checking for a subsitute I use quite often.  The poll tax or voters lists usually found in local public libraries fill in the blanks for census and the lack of published directories.  My reference call on your behalf to the Blackstone Library confirmed they do have Poll Tax and voter lists for this era.  You can reach them online at:  http://www.blackstonepubliclibrary.org/blackstone/


Searching for pensions of Georgia soldiers from the Confederate Army.

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David Allen Lambert

David Allen Lambert
NEHGS Online Genealogist

Question: I am searching for the pensions of my southern ancestors during the Civil War.  I realize the Union did not give pensions to Confederate soldiers, but where can I find records for a batch of family from Georgia who served for the Confederacy?

 

Answer:  In this digital age we are finding more states digitizing military records.  For the state of Georgia you can search the "Georgia Virtual Vault" at the Georgia Archives.  They have scanned the pension files for the Georgia veterans of the Civil War online at http://content.sos.state.ga.us/cdm4/pension.php  The database allows you to search on first and last name, as well as County the veteran applied for a pension.


In search of a burial in the South End neighborhood of Boston in the 19th century.

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David Allen Lambert

David Allen Lambert
NEHGS Online Genealogist

Question: Can you please help me find the existence of "South Cemetery, Rutland St., Boston?" This is a quotation from a letter of my 3x aunt as to where our immigrant father, Henry Rochefort (1778 France - 1846 Boston) is buried.

 

Answer: The only Henry Rochfort in Boston I can located died August 11, 1826, age 48 years of liver complaint according to the Boston Deaths 1801-1848 on microfiche at NEHGS. Since the Henry you mentioned was born in 1778, the age of 48 at death in 1826 does calculate correctly.  I believe this is probably the individual you mentioned above.  This Mr. Rochfort was buried August 12, 1826 by undertaker Comfort Claflen at “South Ground”.  The South Ground (a.k.a.) South End Cemetery and Franklin Square Cemetery was first opened in 1810.  It is located in the South End of Boston on Washington Street, near East Newton Street.  The majority of this cemetery consists of tomb burials, and there are not many standing gravestones.  The record of gravestones were published in Gravestone Inscriptions and Records of Tomb Burials in the Central Burying Ground, Boston Common, and Inscription in the South Burying Ground, Boston (Salem, Mass., 1917) NEHGS call number F73.61/C3/C6/1917.  This is a locked cemetery and you need to arrange to have it unlocked for your visit, call Mount Hope Cemetery (617) 635-7361 to arrange a day before hand. 

 

South End Cemetery (1895)

 

The above image of the South Burial Ground in the South End from an 1895 Boston Atlas at NEHGS.


Archival Storage boxes for family papers, and possible donations.

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David Allen Lambert

David Allen Lambert
NEHGS Online Genealogist

Question:  I was wondering if you can recommend archival boxes to store family papers in.  What does NEHGS use for their collections, they look like flip boxes.  Does NEHGS have an interest in my papers if my family does not?

 

Answer: The boxes we use are called Hollinger Boxes, and they are acid free and protect millions of our documents and photographs.  Within the boxes are acid free folders, and envelopes.  You can contact the manufacturer Hollinger Metal Edge online at www.hollingermetaledge.com, or by call 1-800-862-2228 for a catalog.  Do keep in mind that NEHGS would be interested in helping you preserve your collections for the future.  Do consider donating your family papers and photographs to our Archives.


Looking for Church records for Nova Scotia, Canada.

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David Allen Lambert

David Allen Lambert
NEHGS Online Genealogist

Question:  Can you advise me where the church records are for Amherst and Springhill, Nova Scotia in the 19th and early 20th century?

 

Answer:  According to Terrence Punch and George F. Sanborn's Genealogist's Handbook for Atlantic Canada Research (Boston, NEHGS, 1997) both are located at the Nova Scotia Archives & Records Management in Halifax, Nova Scotia.  The church holdings for Amherst include: Anglican (1822-1965); Catholic (1888-1909); Methodist / United (1912-1984); Presbyterian (1840-1970).  For Springhill holdings these include: Anglican (1881-1962); Catholic (1897-1909); Methodist / United (1877-1983).


What consisted of the boundaries of Ward 10 in 1850 Boston, Massachusetts?

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David Allen Lambert

David Allen Lambert
NEHGS Online Genealogist

Question: Can you assist me in finding the boundaries of Ward 10 in Boston, Massachusetts in 1850?

 

Answer:The following description comes from the 1851 Boston Directory, p. 59 "Ward No. 10. Beginning at the water on the southerly side of Howe's wharf; thence by a straight line across Sea Street to Kneeland Street; thence by the centre of Kneel...and to Washington street; thence across Washington Street to Eliot Street; then ce by the centre of Eliot Street to Tremont Street; thence by the centre of Tremont Street to Warren Street; thence by the centre of Warren Street to Washington Street; thence by the centre of Washington Street to Dover Street; thence by the centre of Dover Street to the water at the north-westerly end of the Boston South Bridge; thence by the water to the point begun at". The following portion of the 1850 Map of Boston shows the physical location of Ward 10.

1850 Boston Map (Ward 10)

This entire map is located in the Microtext library on top of the microfiche cabinet with the city directories.



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