If you have never done it, you really owe it to yourself to take a trip to the library at the New England Historical and Genealogical Society in Boston, Massachusetts. It is just not possible that there can be a finer library anywhere else; with a friendlier and more knowledgeable staff; or with a better selection of research material than what can be found at your fingertips - including a massive collection of manuscripts - at NEHGS.
Plan ahead though; wear comfy shoes, bring all your toys (laptop computer, charts, FlipPal scanner, water bottle, dollars for the copy card machine) and seriously consider getting in shape for the stair climbing. Oh, sure, they do have an elevator, but often the stairs are quicker, and there are some very interesting pieces of art on the walls that you would miss if you only took the elevator. Six floors of research materials!
And the shopping and dining on Newbury Street isn't too shabby either.
I've just returned from three full days of presentations and research at NEHGS, and the
Susie and I identified this handsome gentleman from our collection of unknown relatives...
We found this same photograph of Goodwin (Henry Stoddard's brother) in one of the Yale Annual books. What a find!
Other finds include wills of John Dean Mack, William Park Drew and Mary Ann (Sponagle) Drew. They finally confirm the relationships of Theresa and Drucilla (my great grandmother) - I found them in the Queens County, NS records on microfilm. The wills and accompanying estate inventories really give quite a good picture of how our relatives were living in Nova Scotia. More on that later... I need to transcribe the documents from the lovely handwriting to legible type first.
I finally know where the death certificates of Harold Mack, Burton Mack and Mary Drew Mack are located: Massachusetts State Archives in Dorchester, MA. Well, I knew they were there, but now I know which book to look in for each one.
And finally, a two-hour marathon consultation with Gary Boyd Roberts Friday night netted a tie to the Mayflower. I started thinking about that on the way home ... I wondered how many people are related to the 104 people who arrived in the Mayflower. Must be a huge number.
We are just one big family, aren't we?