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  • Notes on the Manuscript Collection Vol. 9 No. 6

    John B. Carney

    Published Date : December 1992
    Harold E. Curtis Papers

    Mss 269, 4.5 linear feet

    The Harold E. Curtis Papers (1940-1986) began as a project to trace descendants of three Curtis brothers who came to Scituate, Mass., in 1638: Thomas (1619-ca. 1706); Richard (ca. 1621-1693); and William (b. ca. 1627). These families are documented by Mr. Curtis in a four-volume genealogy. As a by-product of his research he incorporated extensive records concerning descendants of other Curtis immigrants into seven more Curtis genealogies.

    Harold E. Curtis, born at Kennebunk, Maine, in 1905, graduated from M. I. T. in 1929 and worked for the Bell Telephone Laboratories in New York City. He and his wife, the former Edith C. Davis (b. 1909), settled in Madison, N.J. and had three children. Mr. Curtis began research on the Curtis family in 1940, joined NEHGS in 1953, and with his wife’s help undertook extensive work until 1986, when advancing age dictated a stopping point. He prepared four copies of his work, and donated one to the Society in 1990.

    Much of the information in the collection was taken from Massachusetts VRs and federal censuses. In large part this material was compiled by Mrs. Helen F. Emery (b. 1912), from her home in Wayland, Mass.; her copies of these records accompany the Curtis genealogies.

    The collection has been divided into three sub-groups:

    Sub-group III: Church records (1737-1925) from the Goffstown Congregational Church, Goffstown, N. H., and St. Peter’s United Church of Christ, West Seneca, N.Y.

    Sub-group I: Genealogies: Descendants of Thomas, Richard, and William Curtis, of Scituate, Mass., and additional Curtis families, 1592-1986. Series A: Thomas, Richard, and William; Series B: other Curtis families.

    Sub-group II: Massachusetts vital records, 1841-1986: Series A: indexes for the Curtis surname and variants in the Massachusetts Registry of Vital Statistics, 1841-1930. Series B: selected Curtis births, 1841-1890. Series C: selected Curtis marriages, 1841-1986. Series D: selected Curtis deaths, 1841-1986.

    Sub-group III: Census records: Curtises in U.S. census schedules, 1771-1900. Series A: Introduction, notes and comments on census indexes to 1910. Series B: appearances of the name Curtis by state, to 1900.

    Trella M. Hall Papers

    Mss 152, 18 feet

    Trella M. Hall (1910-1985) of Lamed, Kansas, was not a member of the Society, but became an acknowledged authority on the Sweet family of Rhode Island and families allied to it. Her many correspondents around the country provided access to most regional sources. After her death, the information she had accumulated over almost 30 years was donated to NEHGS in 1986 by her husband, Albert L. Hall, at the suggestion of Mrs. Nell W. Reeves.

    The Trella M. Hall Papers (1783-1985) contain genealogies, records, notes, correspondence and photographs concerning 625 families.

    The material has been subdivided into three sub-groups:

    Sub-group I: Sweet Family: Series A: 18,000 cards with vital records of persons named Sweet and supporting manuscripts. Series B: Complete and partial works relating to the Sweet family. Series C: Sketches, notes and correspondence (ca. 1960) concerning coats of arms, etc. Series D: Records, notes and correspondence concerning the Sweet family by state or country (1530-1979). Series E: Information on hereditary groups, lists of veterans, etc. Series F: Alphabetically-arranged charts, records, notes, documents and correspondence relating to members of the Sweet family(1784-1984).

    Sub-group II: Allied Families: Series A: 16,000 cards with vital records of members of allied families, principally Hall, Howard, Lindley, Melton, and Newlin. Series B: Research papers containing genealogies, records, notes correspondence, and miscellaneous family papers for 624 allied families (A.D. 740-1985).

    John B. Carney, a long-time volunteer in the Society’s Manuscripts Department, has been a NEXUS contributor since 1984. His “The Search of Fayerweather: The Fayerweather Family of Boston,” ran from 1990 to 1992 in the Register.

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