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Reply by Lindsay Fulton, NEHGS Genealogist
According to the Genealogist's Handbook for New England Research, vital records (birth, marriage, and death) for Framingham, Middlesex County, Massachusetts were published by NEHGS in 1911. A copy of the Vital records of Framingham, Massachusetts, to the year 1850 is available at the NEHGS 99-101 Newbury Street location in Boston, Massachusetts. I have included a link to the catalogue here. If you are unable to visit the NEHGS library, the Vital records of Framingham, Massachusetts, to the year 1850, is also available at www.americanancestors.org. I have included a link to the database here.
In regards to Hopkinton, Middlesex County, Massachusetts: the Genealogist's Handbook for New England Research, indicates that the vital records for Hopkinton were compiled by NEHGS and published in 1911. You may access these Vital records of Hopkinton, Massachusetts, to the year 1850 at the NEHGS 99-101 Newbury Street location in Boston, Massachusetts.
If you are unable to locate an official death record for Simon Mellen/s Jr., Esther Towne Mellen/s, Abigail Ball Mellen/s in the above records, you could explore alternative databases, such as obituaries and cemetery markers that were recorded in Framingham and Hopkinton, Middlesex County, Massachusetts. I have included a couple of examples of where to find these alternative records below:
If you cannot locate any (other) original or alternative records for Simon Mellen/s Jr., Esther Towne Mellen/s, Abigail Ball Mellen/s, you might consider submitting this as a research request to our Research Services staff by completing the online "Research for Hire" form at http://www.americanancestors.org/research-services/. You can also contact Research Services directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reply from Marie Daly, Senior Genealogist Thank you for your question to NEHGS ask-a-genealogist regarding the birth of Nathan Stewart, son of John and Mary Stewart in Dana, Massachusetts. Dana is one of the “drowned towns” that were flooded to form the Quabbin Reservoir in 1938. Dana was incorporated in 1800, but it wasn’t until 1803 that the bounds between Dana and Petersham were established. The parent community for Dana was Petersham. In 1911, all of Dana was annexed to Petersham. Petersham also annexed nearby towns of Greenwich and Prescott. So I suggest looking at Petersham records as well as all of Worcester County. But also, the source of the information was the death record, and these can be very unreliable. The children may have not remembered accurately the names of the parents or even the town of birth. Look around where Nathan was known to have lived. Look for other possible relatives and determine if they came from Dana as well.
Reply from Lindsay Fulton, NEHGS Genealogist
According to the Genealogist Handbook for New England Research, the Town of Arundel was incorporated in 1915, which was formerly known as Kennebunkport between 1719 and 1821, and later as North Kennebunkport to 1957. As a result, if your Goodwin ancestors lived in what is now known as Arundel, you may need to search the records of Kennebunkport for an event occurring before 1821.To do so, NEHGS maintains several record collections specific to Kennebunkport and Arundel, Maine including: Kennebunk and Kennebunkport Maine births, deaths, and marriages prior to 1892, Kennebunkport, Maine town and vital records (1678-1891), as well as a database entitled, The Kennebunkport and Arundel (Maine) record book. You should examine these collections for a death record and/or cemetery transcription for John Goodwin. Additionally, because you are an NEHGS member, you could also examine the manuscript, Gravestone inscriptions from Kennebunk and Kennebunkport, Me.If you are unable to locate a burial or death record in the above collections, you could also access several on-line national cemetery databases that offer free access to tombstone inscriptions and photographs. Some sites include: www.findagrave.com; http://billiongraves.com/; http://www.interment.net/ ; http://www.locategrave.org/ Finally, you could search several digitized newspapers, such as the subscription sites, GenealogyBank, Newspaperarchive.com, or Newspapers.com or the free sites, Google News Archive and the Library of Congress’ Chronicling America Collection to locate an obituary for John Goodwin. If you were able to locate an obituary, the article may indicate the place of burial for John Goodwin. Thank you for submitting your questions to the NEHGS Ask a Genealogist service.