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Ask a Genealogist: Searching for a 17th century diary.

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Question:

Question: I am trying to find any type of memoir or diary that may have been kept by the Rev. Thomas Thornton of Boston, Massachusetts from the 17th century.

Answer:

Reply by Alice Kane, NEHGS Genealogists.

Answer: Thank you for your query about the Reverend Thomas Thornton and his possible memoirs or diaries. The Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts (138 Tremont Street, Boston, MA, 02111; 617-482-5800; email: archivist@diomass.org ; web: http://www.diomass.org/content/archives holds archival materials about congregations in New England, and might have materials referring to your Rev. Thornton. The Massachusetts Historical Society (1154 Boylston Street, Boston, MA, 02215-3695; phone: 617-536-1608; web: http://www.masshist.org is an institution that collects materials related to all periods of Massachusetts history. You may also wish to use NUCMC, the National Union Catalog of Manuscripts Collections, for your search. The Library of Congress has offered since 1959 this cataloging program to historical societies and archives that do not participate in a national level one. A hardcopy series of the catalog is available at most large public libraries (at NEHGS on 7th floor, Z6620.U5 N3) covers all submissions to the catalog between 1959 and 1991 when the print version was discontinued. All items submitted to the program since 1986 is searchable online via WorldCat or the NUCMC search page. The first search option on the NUCMC main search page at http://www.loc.gov/coll/nucmc/oclcsearch.html  is simple and easiest to use.

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