Top 10 Published Resources for Early New England Research Webinar

I watched the one-hour video from NEHGS’ AmericanAncestor’s webinar titled: Top 10 Published Resources for Early New England Research. The presenter was Tricia Healy Mitchell.

I really enjoyed the webinar. I especially liked how she described each book in detail with where the author got the information, how to understand the abbreviations in the books, and where to find these books if they were digitized.

Here are the ten books (in no particular order):

  1. Genealogist’s Handbook for New England Research, 5th edition, Michael Leclerc, ed. She said that a 6th edition will be coming soon. It sounds very much like the NYG&B’s New York Family History Research Guide and Gazetteer but for New England States. She said that New England States are:
  2. Mayflower Families Through Five Generations, published by the General Society of Mayflower Descendants. These are the Silver Books. I became familiar with these when I wrote a blog about the ones that we have in the NCGS library: https://niagaracountygenealogy.wordpress.com/2019/05/01/mayflower-families-books/. My Mayflower ancestor, Henry Samson, has three volumes of Silver Books showing the lineage down to Love Mayhew that married Samuel Harding. I would like to spend more time with those books at some point! The continuation of the Silver Books are the Pink Books. She said the Pink Books will eventually turn into Silver Books when they are complete. I think they are the sixth generation. I wonder if we have a Pink Book for the Samson line yet. She said that the Silver Books have been digitized and indexed at AmericanAncestors.org.
  3. New England Marriages Prior to 1700, by Clarence Almon Torrey. She said that people referred to this book as “Torrey.” She said that you really need to refer to the Source List in the third volume to understand the shorthand of the books. This book has been digitized and indexed at AmericanAncestors.org.
  4. The Great Migration Study Project, by Robert Charles Anderson, FASG. I know that we have some of these books in the NCGS library. She said that these books are a “genealogical and biographical sketch for immigrants to New England from 1620-1640.” I should look in these books for Henry Samson. The biographical sketches are sourced as to where the author got the information. There are many published volumes including a Directory, the Great Migration Begins 1620-1633 (three volumes), and The Great Migration 1634-1635 (seven-volume set). I’m not sure if the entire series has been digitized and indexed at AmericanAncestors.org or if it is just searchable. The next time I am at the NCGS library, I’ll have to check for that, too! She said that there are also additional publications to the project that help correct any mistakes in earlier volumes and put a finer point on certain groups. Those books are: The Pilgrim Migration: Immigrants to Plymouth Colony, 1620-1633, The Winthrop Fleet: Massachusetts Bay Company Immigrants to New England, 1629-1630, The Complete Great Migration Newsletter, Volumes 1-25, and Puritan Pedigrees: The Deep Roots of the Great Migration to New England.
  5. Early New England Families Study Project, by Alicia Crane Williams, FASG. This publication contains sketches of 2nd generation children of Great Migration families. It also covers families that emigrated in 1641 or later. It has been digitized and indexed at AmericanAncestors.org.
  6. A Genealogical Dictionary of the First Settlers of New England, Showing Three Generations of Those Who Came Before May 1692, by James A. Savage. It is a four-volume series and has been digitized at Archive.org.
  7. New Englanders in the 1600s: A Guide to Genealogical Research Published Between 1980 and 2010, expanded edition, by Martin E. Hollick. It is a finding aid of New Englanders that were born before 1700 and identifies in which published works (between 1980-2010) they can be found in. That’s kind of cool! I will have to see if my ancestors are listed in there. There was no indication given that it was digitized online.
  8. Founders of early American families: Emigrants from Europe, 1607-1657, by Meredith B. Colket, Jr. This book identifies immigrants from 1607-1657 and traces the male lines of the settlers to the thirteen original colonies. There was no indication given that it was digitized online.
  9. The Expansion of New England: the Spread of New England Settlement and Institutions to the Mississippi River, 1620-1865, by Lois Kimball Mathews. This book helps to identify migration patterns and has many maps. There was no indication given that it was digitized online.
  10. The New England Historical and Genealogical Register. I know that we have these books in the NCGS library, though I’m not sure if we have a complete set. We do subscribe to the AmericanAncestor’s website so we have access to all of the issues. It began in 1847.

There were also some Honorable Mentions to the publication list:

  1. History and Bibliography of American Newspapers, 1690-1820, by Clarence S. Brigham.
  2. Passenger and immigration lists bibliography, 1538-1900: being a guide to published lists of arrivals in the United States and Canada, edited by P. William Filby. It is available at Ancestry.com.
  3. American Genealogical-Biographical Index (AGBI). It is available at Ancestry.com.
  4. Report on the Custody and Condition of the Public Records of Parishes, Towns, and Counties, by Carroll D. Wright, Commissioner. This is available at Archive.org.

This was a very informative webinar and I’m grateful to NEHGS and Tricia Healy Mitchell for putting it together and sharing it on YouTube. I feel that I have a better understanding of the New England resources and am excited to look into them and search for my colonial ancestors.

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