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  • The Great Migration Newsletter

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    In this first issue of the New Year, we are making two experiments. First, in addition to our normal distribution to both print and electronic subscribers, we will be sending this issue, and this issue only, to all NEHGS members with electronic addresses. We believe that there are many members of the Society, and especially many new members, who are not familiar with the Great Migration Newsletter, and we hope in this way to broaden the circulation of this publication.

    So, for the benefit of those who are not already regular readers, we state first that the purpose of this periodical is to cover topics that have no proper place in the published volumes of Great Migration sketches. Each issue has four sections. First, a lead article of about two pages usually addresses a specific topic of methodological or historical interest. This might be something like the techniques we use in documenting marriages or, as in the present case, the background for a historical event which impacted many of the Great Migration immigrants.

    Half of each issue, the center four pages, is called the Focus section. This provides an in-depth study of an early New England town or a broad class of records. In the case of an article on a town, such matters as the settlement process, the granting of lands and the establishment of the church will be covered. In this issue, the Focus section begins a discussion of the records generated by the county courts.

    The remaining two sections are Recent Literature, which summarizes recent articles and books on Great Migration immigrants or the broader history of the period, and Editor’s Effusions, which provides us an opportunity to make comments about the progress of the Great Migration Study Project.                     

    The second experiment is connected with the Focus article commenced in this issue. That article studies in depth a single session of the Middlesex County Court. To enhance the presentation, we will be posting on the Project website images of the original pages of the record book for this court session ( We hope that these images will increase your understanding of these records. If successful, we will post more such images in the future.

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