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With spring less than a month away, it’s hard to not have something to look forward to. The winter months are great because there’s no excuse to make some progress on research, but I’m looking forward to warm weather again. My hope is that research for clients will allow me to do some traveling and enjoy new sights during the spring and summer.

Even though I did not receive a personal valentine, there was certainly a lot of love this month for my blog. Thanks to all the readers and followers. My posts were even shared by big names such as FindMyPast for my discovery on Bartholomew Oliver of Galway, Ireland.



Last night I presented my talk, “Researching Maritime Ancestors in the National Archives” to the Central Massachusetts Genealogical Society. They are a fantastic group, which I am proud to be a member of. Thanks to all who braved the poor driving conditions to come out and listen.

Unfortunately, the seminar “Genealogy: Bringing Together Past, Present, and Future” scheduled for Feb 24th at Monty Tech has been cancelled. There are still plenty of seats available for the 4-week genealogy course in March. For more information and to view my upcoming schedule of programs, visit the Lectures page.

Genealogists in New England should not miss out on the annual seminar held by Massachusetts Genealogical Council. The speakers are top notch including Saturday’s keynote speaker Mary Tedesco, a host on the Genealogy Roadshow, and a whole day devoted to DNA with lectures with genetic genealogist CeCe Moore. MGC will be hosting this year’s program at the Courtyard Marriott in Marlborough, Massachusetts. Registration and details are available at massgencouncil.org.

Tip: Using The National Archives’ Online and Microfilm Catalogs

NARA Archivist Jason Klingemman had recently announced in his post for NARAtions, Searching for Something? Try the New Catalog!”, a more intuitive upgrade and facelift to NARA’s online catalog. The new update allow users many more options for finding archival descriptions, documents, and web pages.

For researchers who are interested in a specific microfilm series, important finding aids and introductory matter regarding these publications are available through these steps:

  1. Visit https://eservices.archives.gov/orderonline/
  2. Search by Microfilm Publication or Keyword
  3. After clicking on a particular title, click on the PDF Icon next to “View Important Publication Details.”


Screen Shot 2016-02-24 at 4.55.39 PM

Image Source: National Archives (nara.gov)

4. This document will provide you descriptions of the rolls including dates, subjects, and details about the specific content. You do not need to order anything.

Legacy News – Maritime Occupations in the U.S. Federal Census

Occupation titles in the maritime industry are somewhat unusual and therefore perhaps unfamiliar to genealogists who come across these terms. My latest post for Legacy News, “Maritime Occupations in the U.S. Federal Census” intends to guide those with definitions. More importantly, it points out that we need to consider the meaning of words and their connection with the culture and time period from which it originated.

Past Travelogues

FindMyPast’s Maritime Collections Led to New Documents on Bartholomew Oliver.” Posted 17 Feb 2016.

Analyzing Margaret Darte Bartlett’s Genealogical Profile.” Posted 12 Feb 2016.

The Peculiar Absence of Jacob Olswang’s Passenger Manifest.” Posted 2 Feb 2016.

Facebook Finds

Rachel Devaney. “Connecting with the past one goal of Mashpee Wampanoag Tribal Genealogy.” shared by Massachusetts Genealogical Council.

Thom Reed. “Breaking Through the 1870 Brick Wall: The Significance of the Freedmen’s Bureau Records.” shared by Barking Up The Wrong Tree.

Heather Wilkinson Rojo. “The New Hampshire State Papers – You can’t do colonial NH Research without them!” shared by Nutfield Genealogy.

Amy Johnson Crow. “How to Build a Genealogy Research Plan.” shared by Experts in Genealogy.

Cheryl Hudson Passey. “Marriage license reveals shocking twist in one family’s history.” shared by Carolina Girl Genealogy.

Randy Seaver. “Searching Newspaper Records on FindMyPast.” shared by Randy Seaver.

Kate McGillivray. “Eastern Townships historical archives go online for new databases.”  shared by Charter Oak Genealogy.

Copyright (c) 2016 Jake Fletcher.