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Ask a Genealogist: 1851 New Brunswick Census online.

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Question:


Can you direct me to a place I can view the 1851 Canadian Census for New Brunswick online. I believe I heard that you can view it online for free?

Answer:

Many of the Canadian Census records are already online for free from the Canadian Archives in Ottawa.  The 1861 is currently schedulded next, however the 1851 and 1871-1911 Census and others can be found online at: http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/census/Pages/census.aspx

Ask a Genealogist: The rank of a Matross in the Colonial Army.

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Question:

I am relatively new to military terms in my research.  A muster roll for my ancestor's unit listed him with the rank of a "Mattros"?  Can you tell me what this was in the 1760's?

Answer:

Your ancestor would have been involved with the artillery.  The rank is spelled "Matross" and he would have assisted the gunners.  Specifically he would have helped load, fire and clean the cannons.  This would be both on land and on board a naval vessel.

Ask a Genealogist: Looking for a gravestone in Carver, Massachusetts.

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Question:

I have found the grave of Patience Bumpus Badger, Union Cemetery Carver Massachusetts. But can not locate graves of Edward Badger, or Sarah Badger. I know she died in 1861 in Carver. One census list her as a pauper. I have contacted Carver Library. Can you offer a suggestion.

Answer:

If you know the denomination for the family you might find reference to a church burying her. I would imagine if she was a pauper there is simply no gravestone. I would contact the town clerk in Carver for her death in 1861. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts did not require place of burial on the state return of vital records at that point in time.  However the town copy should indicate where the individual was buried. You can reach the Town Clerk in Carver at (508) 866-3403.  Here are also the cemeteries for Carver, Massachusetts from my book A Guide to Massachusetts Cemeteries (Boston: NEHGS, 2009).

• Center Cemetery (1811) Main Street
• Central Cemetery, Cranberry Rd.
• East Carver Cemetery (aka) Wenham Cemetery (1770) Rte. 44, East Carver.
• Lakenham Cemetery (aka) North Cemetery (1718) Center and Main Sts., North Carver.
• Our Lady of Lourdes Parish (1920) Center St.
• Union Cemetery (1777) South Main St., South Carver.
• Wenham Road Cemetery (1770) Plymouth St. and Wenham Rd., East Carver.

Ask a Genealogist: Question about restricted vital records.

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Question:

How do I obtain access to a 1937 restricted marriage record? This would be my uncle's record and all parties are deceased.

Answer:

Within Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 46, access to birth AND marriage records of a child born out-of-wedlock is restricted to that person. Staff at the Registry of Vital Statistics and Records confirm that access restrictions are in force regardless of the death(s) of the groom and bride in the marriage. However, it should be noted that Section 2A of this chapter also states that marriage information under this restriction may be released with an appropriate judicial order from a Massachusetts court, or at the request of that person's "attorney, parent, guardian, or conservator, or a person whose official duties, in the opinion of the town clerk or the commissioner of public health, as the case may be, entitle him to the information contained therein." The Registry can be contacted for additional information at:



Massachusetts Registry of Vital Records and Statistics

150 Mount Vernon St., 1 st Fl.

Dorchester, MA 02125-3105

Main Telephone: (617) 740-2600

Email: Vital.recordrequest@state.ma.us 

Ask a Genealogist: Looking for an adoption in 1909 in Massachusetts.

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Question:

I am looking to see if my great-aunt's adoption took place in Suffolk County in 1909.  Can you tell me what to look at when I visit NEHGS next week?

Answer:

If you know both the original name of the child, and the name after adoption this will help you.  The birth record will be listed in the Massachusetts Vital records we have online under the original name.  You will notice that "corrected" with a date will be beside the name.  You will next want to search for an adoption on both names in the Suffolk County Probate index.  Both entries should have identical docket numbers.  Also ask a Staff Genealogist to show you the book called Names Changed in Massachusetts 1893 to 1927, this book we have for reference searches on the 4th floor (Microtext floor) at NEHGS.  The file for the divorce should be available on microfilm, however some dockets are not included in the record book copies for adoptions.

Ask a Genealogist: Researching the Salem Witchcraft Trial Documents.

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Question:

I would like to examine some of the Massachusetts documents relating to various Salem Witchcraft trial victims.  Do you know if Massachusetts has digitized these records yet?

Answer:


Many of the records for the Commonwealth associated with the infamous Salem Witchcraft trials have been digitized.  These records are not available from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.  These records have been placed on line by the University of Virginia.  Besides the records from the Mass. State Archives collection you will find other items to aide you in your online research.  The website is free and available online at: http://salem.lib.virginia.edu/home.html

 

Ask a Genealogist: What was a Tickneyman?

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Question:

I am trying to determine what exactly was the occupation of a lodger in my ancestors house. It looks like he was a "tickneyman"?

Answer:

A Tickneyman was a dealer in earthenware crockery.  In most cases this person traveled and sold his wares door to door.

Ask a Genealogist: Looking for a cemetery in Conway, Massachusetts.

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Question:

I have a letter written in 1912 that states my ancestors were buried in an old Polish district cemetery in Conway, Massachusetts. Since my family was not Polish I confused why and where the cemetery is.

Answer:

In Conway, Massachusetts there is a part of town referred to as the Poland District. On East Guinea Road (in the Poland District) of Conway is a cemetery with two names.  One name is the Southwest Cemetery, and the other is the Poland District Cemetery.  I believe strongly this is the cemetery you seek.  NEHGS has two manuscripts for gravestone transcriptions for this cemetery: Call # MS70/CON/22, and MSS/SL/CON/20b.  You may also find some birth and death dates from these gravestones in the Vital Records of Conway, Massachusetts to the year 1850 (Boston, MA: NEHGS, 1943) under reference G.R. 6.

Ask a Genealogist: A seventeenth century land definition.

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Question:

In reference to Plymouth Colony Records Court Orders Vol 5 1668-1678, Pg 24, I am trying to understand the following statement: "The Court have granted unto Anthonie Annible, a competent accommodation of land where Mr John Howland, John Chipman and Jonathan Sparrow are granted land lying on Taunton River near Teticutt...purchased by Capt Willet". Question 1: What is a competent accommodation, and who owns the land? Annibel or the other three? Ques 2.I have found some background on Capt Thomas Willet, but no references to his purchase of property in this area. Any suggestions?

Answer:

The exact meaning of the term “competent accommodation” is unclear, but in the context in which it is presented, it would appear to mean a sufficient amount of land to sustain a family. You will note that the words “accommodation” (noun) and “accommodate” (verb) are used frequently on the pages preceding and following the quotation in question, in regards to grants of land to others.


As to who owns the land, it was owned by Plymouth Colony and doled out to settlers. If you read the entire sentence, it states that Capt. Willett purchased the land “for the country,” meaning that he had acquired title from the Indians, and the land could now be granted to citizens of the colony. Portions had already been granted to Howland, Chipman and Sparrow, and Anthony Annable’s land was to be in the same area (on the Taunton River near Teaticket).

The full sentence reads: “The Court haue graunted vnto Anthonie Annible a competent accommodation of land, where Mr. John Howland, John Chipman and Jonathan Sparrow are graunted land lying on Taunton Riuer neare Teticutt, in the purchase of land that Capt Willett purchased for the countrey [emphasis added] if it may be had there; if not, elsewhere, if it may be found within this jurisdiction.”

Capt. Thomas Willett was a major figure in Plymouth Colony, and held a number of elected and appointed offices and positions of public trust. A summary of his life appeared in the Register, 61:157-64. He and Anthony Annable also are the subjects of extensive biographical and genealogical sketches in The Great Migration Begins, available on AmericanAncestors.org .


Ask a Genealogist: Military records for New Hampshire WWII veterans.

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Question:

Looking for my grandfathers WWII Army record from New Hampshire. Is there somewhere I can examine this record?

Answer:

In 1973 there was a destructive fire of Military personnel files in St. Louis, Missouri.  Often what can be found are in personal family papers, or obituary notices for clues.  If you contact the State Adjutant General's office of most states you can locate the proof of discharge.  This should confirm the unit your grandfather served in during the war at a minimum.  You will need to supply his full name and date of birth.  If he is still alive he must apply, otherwise you will need to supply his death date and place. The following website will give you the details to proceed in your search: http://www.nh.gov/adjgeneral/records.html
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