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Recent scholarship on the Sturtevants of Plymouth, Mass.

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David Allen Lambert

David Allen Lambert
NEHGS Online Genealogist

Question: I am trying to determine if there is any recent work on an ancestor Samuel Sturtevant from Plymouth Colony.  I believe he died in the late 1600's in Plymouth.

 

Answer: Your ancestor Samuel Sturtevant of Plymouth died before 29 October 1669.  Two recent examinations into Samuel's family are covered in the following: Robert H. Sturtevant, Descendants of Samuel Sturtevant (Waco, TX, 1986); and Edmund K. Swigart, Ph. D., An Emerson-Benson Saga: The Ancestry of Charles F. Emerson and Bessie Benson and the Struggle to Settle the United States Including 194 Allied Lines (Baltimore, MD: Gateway Press, 1994).


Directories for Boston since 1789 at NEHGS.

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David Allen Lambert

David Allen Lambert
NEHGS Online Genealogist

Question:  Can you tell me what is the earliest city directory I can search for Boston when I visit this week?

 

Answer:  We have all Boston city directories for the years 1789 to 1981 on microfiche.  These are located at the Microtext Library on the 4th floor.  The content of the city directory varies over the centuries.  However even in the 18th century you will get name, occupation and street address.


The Mayflower may live on as a barn in England.

(Massachusetts) Permanent link
 
David Allen Lambert

David Allen Lambert
NEHGS Online Genealogist

Question:  While at Thanksgiving dinner a cousin brought up the point the Mayflower survives.  I told them that the Mayflower in Plymouth is a replica. But she said there is a building in England with the lumber from the vessel?  Is this possibly true?

 

Answer:  The story you mention is iobe I am aware of.  A barn that was constructed in the 17th century at Chalfont St. Giles, Chilern, Buckinghamshire, England meets the description.  This barn was supposed to have been partly constructed from dismantled timbers from a vessel called the MAYFLOWER. However if it was the Mayflower which arrived in 1620 is debated by scholars since the 1920's.  Information on the exact location and a picture of the barn can be found online at: http://www.imagesofengland.org.uk/Details/Default.aspx?id=44413


Divorce Records in Massachusetts in the 1930's.

(Massachusetts) Permanent link
 
David Allen Lambert

David Allen Lambert
NEHGS Online Genealogist

Question:  Can you tell me where in Massachusetts divorce records from the 1930's are located?  I believe my great-uncle had a short term marriage during the Great Depression.

 

Answer:  After 1922 all divorces were handled on the county level.  Therefore you would need to contact the county where they were residing when he or she filed for divorce. Unfortunately there is not a statewide index 1922-1952.  An index for cases since 1952 is available at the Department of Public Health, Registry of Vital Records and Statistics, 150 Mount Vernon Street, Dorchester, MA 02125.  Before 1922 divorce records are under the jurisdiction of the Supreme Judicial Court in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.


Where was my ancestor's homestead in Charlestown, Mass?

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David Allen Lambert

David Allen Lambert
NEHGS Online Genealogist

Question: My ancestor resided in Charlestown, Mass. in the 1830's and 1840's on Jay Street.  He was a blacksmith, and I would like to go to the location when I visit Boston.  Can you tell me where it was located?

 

Answer: Jay Street was laid out in Charlestown in 1818.  It was located between Chelsea Street to Edgeworth Street.  The street name was changed on October 29, 1866 to Tremont Street.


What are estray books and estray notices?

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David Allen Lambert

David Allen Lambert
NEHGS Online Genealogist

Question:  I was wondering if you could explain what an estray Notice or estray book is? 

 

Answer:  An estray notice was generally published in the newspaper, or printed on a broadside poster .  This notice general deals with the finding of a lost animal, or notice of runaway slave.  In court houses the keeping of an "estray book" tabulated any missing livestock or slaves within that county.


The White Families of Plymouth and Weymouth in the Seventeenth Century.

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David Allen Lambert

David Allen Lambert
NEHGS Online Genealogist

Question: Can you tell me how the family of Thomas White of Weymouth is related to the Mayflower family?

 

Answer: The family of Thomas White of Weymouth, Massachusetts is not related to William White of Plymouth, Massachusetts.  The surname of White in Colonial New England is very common.  Some other families include Anthony White (d. 16868) of Watertown, Mass; Gawen White (d. 1664/5) of Scituate, Mass.; John White (d. 1683/4) of Hartford, Conn.; John White (d. ca. 1673) of Salem, Mass., Nicholas White of Taunton, Mass.; and another William White of Salisbury, Conn.  For your family of Weymouth I would suggest an article you can view on our website in the NEHGS Register (152:184-185).


Looking for an old calendar online.

(Vital Records) Permanent link
 
David Allen Lambert

David Allen Lambert
NEHGS Online Genealogist

Question:  I am wondering how I can locate a calendar for 1952, and determine for instance when Easter was in April that year?

 

Answer:

In 1952 Easter Sunday was April the 13th. I would assume you have come across, a diary a letter or some family artifact to need this determination?  For this very same reason I have utilized the following free website: http://www.timeanddate.com/calendar/generate.html  Perhaps this will assist you in the future with other holiday questions, or to determine what day of the week an ancestor was born on.


In search of a World War I veteran from Maine.

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David Allen Lambert

David Allen Lambert
NEHGS Online Genealogist

Question: Do you know whether there is any online site that shows US casualties or even soldiers, or sailors who served in World War I?  I have a guy who filled out a draft card in Rumford, Maine in 1918, at 37 years old.  He worked at the paper mill there.  I can find no trace of him anywhere after that.  Wondering if he was taken into the service, and either died in the war or was discharged/pensioned off years later somewhere and there might be a record of it.  Seems odd that he would vanish like that.

 

Answer:

If he was in fact a veteran, and was buried overseas you should find him on the American Battlefield Monuments Commission website: http://www.abmc.gov/search/wwi.php  Do realize that if his body was returned for burial in the United States he will not show up on the above database. 

 

You should be able to confirm if he ever enlisted in World War I from the records of the Adjutant General's Office in Maine.  According to Peter Ogden of the Veterans Affairs Office in Maine these records have been transferred.  They are now under the custody of the Maine State Archives - http://www.maine.gov/sos/arc/   Also, the Veteran's Officer in Rumford, Maine should have a record of the local veterans from World War I.

 

The existence of his signature on a draft card does not necessarily confirm military servce.  NEHGS has all the Maine Death records that would cover the period between World War I and the 1920 or 1930 Census.  These can be searched at our library and research center at 99 Newbury Street in Boston, or you can hire our NEHGS Research Service staff to search them for you at: http://www.americanancestors.org/research-services/

 

 

 


In search of the death of John Gedney's first wife.

(Massachusetts) Permanent link
 
David Allen Lambert

David Allen Lambert
NEHGS Online Genealogist

Question:  I am looking for a source for the death date of Sarah Mary Bartholomew , wife of John Gedney.  She was born in England in 1612 and came to Salem with her husband and three children in 1637. On the internet I have found so many mixed up family trees stating her death before the birth of her last child.

 

Answer:

There are three wives according to an article in The American Genealogist (14:84).  First off it is very uncommon  for a middle name in the seventeenth century, and I believe that some of the online pedigrees are merging two wives.  John left from Norwich, England heading  into the port of Salem, Mass aboard the "Rose of Yarmouth" in May 1637.  Aboard ship was his wife Sarah aged 25 years.   The article states "His wife, Sarah, apparently died on the voyage or soon after landing, as Mary Gedney, apparentl his second wife, was admitted to the First Church in Salem in 1637".  The article also states his third wife by 1647 was Catherine the widow of William Clarke. It would seem Sarah died in 1637, and he was soon after married to Mary.  Both Sarah and Mary's maiden names are not identified in this article.


Confirming a burial location in Boston in 1686.

(Boston, Cemeteries) Permanent link
 
David Allen Lambert

David Allen Lambert
NEHGS Online Genealogist

Question: I am trying to determine if my ancestor Anthony Stoddard (d. 1686) is buried at Central Burying Ground in Boston.  Can you offer any suggestions?

 

Answer: The Central Burying Ground in Boston was laid out in 1756 on what is now Boylston and Tremont Streets.  I would suspect that Anthony would more likely have been buried at Granary Cemetery, Kings Chapel Cemetery or Copps Hill Burying Ground.  According to the published volume by Robert Dunkle and Ann S. Lainhart, Inscriptions and Records of the Old Cemeteries of Boston (Boston, NEHGS, 1999) there is no reference to a gravestone surviving for him.  I note that Find-A-Grave.com lists him buried at Central Burying Ground, however I would strongly believe this is in error.  Like many 17th century colonists their graves are unmarked in Boston proper.


Whaleship Crew in New Bedford, Massachusettsd ca. 1840.

(Military Records) Permanent link
 
David Allen Lambert

David Allen Lambert
NEHGS Online Genealogist

Question:  I am looking for the crew lists for my ancestor's brother who I believe sailed out of New Bedford in the 1840's.  I heard that there was a project to digitize these records?

 

Answer:

The database I am aware of currently covers the 1810's to 1860, and is online as a searchable database at: http://www.newbedford-ma.gov/Library/Whaling/Whaling.html   This allows you to search by crew, vessel and other aspects.  I used this to determine crew that resided in Newburyport, Massachusetts, without searching on a surname.  The following description describes the database and its origins: The Whaling Collection Archives is a comprehensive index of men and ships on whaling voyages from the New Bedford Customs District from 1807 through 1925. This ongoing project is supported in part by a grant from the Massachusetts Historical Records Advisory Board and the Secretary of the Commonwealth, William Francis Galvin. The project is being coordinated by the New Bedford Free Public Library Archives Department. The database is maintained by the City of New Bedford Management Information Systems Department. I am not aware of any plans to have the crew lists digitized, nor did I see anything online about future plans.


Lost Bounty Land Warrant Records.

(Military Records) Permanent link
 
David Allen Lambert

David Allen Lambert
NEHGS Online Genealogist

Question:  Can you explain why some Bounty Land Warrants are missing from the Revolutionary War?  I find some to survive, and others are missing or perhaps stolen?

 

Answer: The explanation for the missing papers for Bounty Land was due to two seperate fires.  The first fire tool place in Washington, D.C. in the War Department in 1800.  And when the British burned Washington in 1814 there is suspected loss from that fire as well.


Ancestry of John Doggett of Martha's Vineyard who died in 1673

(Massachusetts) Permanent link
 
David Allen Lambert

David Allen Lambert
NEHGS Online Genealogist

Question:  I have been researching a new line on my wife's family tree the Doggett family.  Can you tell me about any research on European background of John Doggett who died on Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts in 1673?

 

Answer:  The ancestry and the identity of the wife of John Doggett was published in The American Genealogist, 72:89-100.  The source of this comes from the NEHGS publication by Martin E. Hollick, New Englanders in the 1600s.  A guide to genealogical research published between 1980 and 2005. (Boston, NEHGS, 2006).


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