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

(Cemeteries, Massachusetts, NEHGS) Permanent link
 

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: Mental health record access in Massachusetts.

(Massachusetts) Permanent link
 

Question:

Is it true that even mental health records from a century ago are closed in Massachusetts? I am looking for a case held at the Mass. State Archives for a state hospital from the 1920's.

Answer:

 According to the Massachusetts State Archives both medical and mental health records are restricted by state laws (MGL c. 4, § 7 (26) (a), MGL c. 4, § 7(26) (c), MGL c.111 § 70, and MGL c.123, § 36), even after the death of the individual.  A court order may be obtained to allow you access to information in the case file.  You can visit your local probate court to obtain this.  This court order therefore makes you the administrator of the estate.  The administrator is is one of the legal individuals permitted access to the case file via the state laws.  This court order is then submitted to the Massachusetts State Archives.  They will then give it to the Public Records Supervisor.  After the approval from the Public Records Supervisor, the records would be made accessible to you, in accordance with the court order.

Ask a Genealogist: Worcester, Mass. marriages online.

(Massachusetts, Vital Records) Permanent link
 

Question:

When I search for Worcester, Massachusetts marriages I only find Worcester County?  I am trying to locate members of a particular family in the city of Worcester in the Mass. Vital Records 1841-1915.

Answer:

When you search the Mass. Vital Records 1841-1915 for Worcester, Mass. you will want to enter in: Worcester, Worcester.  This is also true for Norfolk in Norfolk Co., and any other towns which have the same name as the county.

Ask a Genealogist: Looking for a Sister of St. Joseph.

(Massachusetts) Permanent link
 
David Allen Lambert

David Allen Lambert
NEHGS Chief Genealogist

Question: How do I locate a nun with the Sisters of St. Joseph in Massachusetts? She served from 1900 through 1943 and I cannot find her in any United States census .  Thank you!

 

Answer: The Archives for the Massachusetts Order of the Sisters of St. Joseph's can be reached online at http://www.csjboston.org/archives.htm

Archivist , Boston CSJ Archives, 637 Cambridge Street, Brighton , MA 02135 -2801

Telephone: (617) 746-2117, FAX: (617) 783-8246 , e-mail:  archives@csjboston.org


The Online Genealogist: St. Patrick's Cemetery in Natick, Mass.

(Cemeteries, Massachusetts) Permanent link
 
David Allen Lambert

David Allen Lambert
NEHGS Online Genealogist

Question: My ancestor's are buried at St. Patrick's Catholic Cemetery in Natick, Mass.  Can you tell me where the burial register might be located.   I would like to see who else might be buried with them in this lot.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Answer: This 19th century cemetery has their records stored in the rectory of the same name.  St. Patrick's Rectory, 44 E. Central St., Natick, Mass. (508)-653-1093.  Hopefully they can shed light on who else is buried with your ancestors.

The Online Genealogist: Quaker Cemetery in Mattapoisett, Mass.

(Cemeteries, Massachusetts) Permanent link
 
David Allen Lambert

David Allen Lambert
NEHGS Online Genealogist

Question: Can you tell me if there is an early Quaker cemetery in the town of Mattapoisett, Massachusetts.  My ancestors farm was nearby, and I suspect they were members.

 

Answer: There is a Quaker cemetery in that town called the Mattapoisett Friends Meeting House Cemetery on Marion Road.  The cemetery was started in 1827, and was originally located in Rochester, Mass.  The town of Mattapoisett was incorporated from Rochester, Mass. in 1857.

 

The Online Genealogist: Mapping out Historic Lowell, Massachusetts online.

(Massachusetts) Permanent link
 
David Allen Lambert

David Allen Lambert
NEHGS Online Genealogist

Question: Can you advise me on early city maps for Lowell, Massachusetts.  I will not have a chance to visit NEHGS to use your collections until December.  So I need some online alternatives until then.

 

Answer:  The Center for Lowell History has maps for Lowell from 1821,1825,1832,1845,1850,1912,1914,[GIS] 2008.  They also have atlases online that include Lowell for the years 1879, 1882, 1896, 1924, 1936, 1977 v. 1, 1977 v. 2. 

The main page to access the above maps and atlases can be reached at: http://library.uml.edu/clh/Atlas/dmap.htm

 

The Online Genealogist: No Marriage Intention Recorded

(Massachusetts, Vital Records) Permanent link
 
David Allen Lambert

David Allen Lambert
NEHGS Online Genealogist

Question: I have reviewed some early Massachusetts published vital records and found some ancestors marriages recorded. It states "intention not recorded". If the intention was not recorded I would like to know how the information was compiled ?  Is there any record that may house more information such as grooms parents name for a marriage listed, but not recorded?

 

Answer: In this case the intention of marriage was not recorded in that town.  In many cases the marriage intention was filed in the town of the groom or the bride.  Prior to 1850 an intention of marriage in Massachusetts would list the names of both parties, and the date of the intention.  If the person was African-American or Indian this may be indicated, if they were someone’s slave they will list the slave owner.  But the only other fact you see is the residence of the other person if they were not living in the town the intention was filed at.  Only on a rare occasion when the bride or groom is underage is a parent listed giving their permission in the early records.


The Online Genealogist: Department of Corrections Records.

(Massachusetts) Permanent link
 
David Allen Lambert

David Allen Lambert
NEHGS Online Genealogist

Question:  Can you advise where I can get 1940's era prison records for my grandfather's brother?  He is deceased and I am hoping I can find out when he was in jail in Charlestown Prison.

 

Answer:  I have recommended genealogists to contact the Massachusetts Department of Correction.  You will need to produce proof the prisoner is deceased, and your relation to the deceased.  Since it is not your direct ancestor (father, grandfather, great-grandfather etc.) it may be difficult to obtain the records.  Prison records before the 1930's are usually open, with the exception of medical records.  Contact the DOC Central Headquarter,50 Maple Street, Suite 3,Milford, MA 01757, or by telephone:(508) 422-3300

 

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