Monday, September 14, 2009

Marilyn Markham’s New England, part 1

Marilyn Markham
“New England: Overview of Research”
Fri., 28 August 2009, 1:30
Salt Lake Family History Expo

Marilyn MarkhamCovering early New England history.
[She went through each NE state and gave some early history. I wasn’t able to capture very much of it.]

New Hampshire:
- 1623 settled by Mass. dissenters
- 1641-79 part of Mass.
- 1679 became its own royal province

- 1788 statehood
Rhode Island:
- 1636 religious dissenters from Mass went to Providence.

Roger Williams…
[I'm not keeping up.]

- 1724 1st English settlement at Ft. Dummer.
- “Vermont” is from French for Green Mountain.
became an independent republic…

Towns are different out West versus New England. Out West towns are settlements and townships are legal land descriptions.
In New England, towns are large areas in size somewhat like Western townships. [I think of them like tiny counties.]
Settlements were called villages.
In New England when you identify where you're from, you give your town.
“Town center” is populated place with same name as the town.
Modern road maps don't show towns, but populated places. Legal documents show town names. Cities may not be part of any town.
Almost all records were kept by the town.
Vital records kept by town.
Land kept by town (CT, RI, VT) or County (other states).
Probate records were kept by the District (CT, VT) the Town: (?) or the County (?). [Sorry; didn't get it all.]

  Vitals Land Probate
Connecticut Town Town District
Maine Town County County
Massachusetts Town County County
New Hampshire Town County County
Rhode Island Town Town Town
Vermont Town Town District

Connecticut vitals:
1638-1850 - Barbour Collection.
          Barbour is available on
1897-present -
Maine vitals:
[Marilyn didn't give the FamilySearch Wiki URLs, I'm doing that because she
...goes too fast for me!]  - Maine state archives, 1892-1996 marriage index.
Massachusetts vitals:
Early-1850 - fee web site, free at FHL
New Hampshire vitals:
Indexes to 1900 indexed by 1st and 3rd letter.
Rhode Island vitals:
Arnold and Calef books for pre 1850.
RI has website for recent vitals.
Vermont vitals:
pre 1908 have statewide index. Records under name of town in FHLC. ... [Yikes! I can't tweet all this!]

Town Records:
Town records record a wide variety of event types.
When vitals recorded for an entire family, find land record for their arrival determine who was born locally. Might ID where they came from.
Town records id officers: selectmen, constable, etc.
May contain religious tax exemptions.
Warnings Out identified poor that the town would not support, asked to leave.
It was not until the 1850s that towns stopped supporting their own citizens.

Church records:
Congregational Church was the main church.
Baptists early in NH, RI, VT.
Quakers …
Catholic …
Episcopal …
Admissions and dismissals indicated move-ins and move-outs.

Federal 1790-1930, available in all the usual places.
State censuses available for... (available in the syllabus)
Record Search pilot: 
...has some state censuses.

New England Ports:
Boston (1820-1943) available on
In 1820 US government started requiring passenger lists.
Passenger and Immigration Lists Index (PILI) is the best source for pre-1820 immigration. Available on or in books.
Canadian Border Crossings, 1895-1924.
Minor Ports: See FHL 973 W33u

New England Naturalizations:
- 1791-1906 Index to Naturalizations across multiple states.
Post 1906 go to NCIS website.

To find all these records:
* Family History Library Catalog:
Go to FHLC and search under place, using jurisdictions we've identified. 
* Record Search
* fee, or free at FHL
* wiki
Showing the wiki organization.
* - gives addresses
* - some free, some fee, free at FHL
* Societies, Archives, and Libraries:
Societies: NEHGS
Archives: NARA, state, Church.
Libraries: Public, town or county
Historians: town or county
And we're done with the 1:30 session.

Several times during her presentation, Marilyn recommended the book, The Genealogists Handbook for New England Research. I didn’t realize there have been multiple books with this title. Checking the syllabus, I see it was Marcia D. Melnyk’s.

This article is one in a series of session reports from the recent 2009 Salt Lake City Family History Expo taken from my live tweets of the event. Please see my Tweeting Presentations Policy for further information, including the formatting guidelines I attempt to follow and instructions for correcting errors. Additions are in italics.

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