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The benefits of genealogy are not only to discover your ancestors, but also to make new friends along the way. I am grateful to be working with knowledgeable people, but also inspire beginners to pursue their research. Yesterday I ran a table at the town fair in Shirley, Massachusetts, which happened to be my home for 15 years. It was wonderful explaining to people why genealogy is a wonderful form of self-enrichment and seeing them so interested. I have had a great time lecturing this month and attending local conferences and society meetings. Check back often for new resources and templates I will be uploading to my “Publications” page, so it’s more like a research toolbox for others to use freely.

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Next month, I am presenting an Introduction to Genealogy at the Shirley Historical Society. The presentation is scheduled for Saturday, May 14 @ 7:00pm. In June, I begin my continuing education journey in genealogy with the ProGen Study Group, an 18 month course that is designed around Elizabeth Shown Mills’ book Professional Genealogy: A Manual for Researchers, Writers, Editors, Lecturers and Librarians. I have only heard alumni say it was extremely beneficial and so I am eager to begin this opportunity.


Genealogy Coaching & Lessons

Are you a researcher looking for extra help? Do you find yourself unable to attend the workshops and presentations that our held in your local community? I am happy to work with you and provide some undivided time to help you gain research skills. For $35 per session or $125 for four, it is a highly affordable option for developing life-long skills to enhance your genealogy aspirations! If you’d like to know more, send me an e-mail at jfletcherfamilygen@outlook.com.


Legacy News

I enjoy touching on a diversity of genealogy topics with my posts for Legacy News. In “Using Researching Logs Effectively in Genealogy,” I explain the benefits of documenting every search and broke down how my own template as to how I capture the details of what I’m looking for and how I find it.

Many of us like to know more about our ancestors beyond just vital statistics. My post “Adding Historical Context to Your Ancestor’s Life” explains what sources can add greater depth and context to the story your ancestors.

You can access a back log of all my Legacy News posts by clicking here.


Record Spotlight – Registers of Applications for the Release of Impressed Seamen

Up until the end of the War of 1812, the Royal Navy took many American merchant seamen sailing the high seas. England was at the time a global empire that heavily relied upon its navy and would go to controversial measures to recruit manpower. The British had declared war on France in 1793. This conflict necessitated the need of able seamen, so the British press gangs would board American ships to impress or forcefully recruit Americans. These often-violent acts were veiled under a thin justification that they were taking back British seamen who deserted the Royal Navy. Impressment caused outrage in the United States; interpreted as an assault on basic human rights and liberties.

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Applications Made By David Lenox, Agent For The Relief of Impressed Seamen, NARA Microfilm M2025, Registers of Applications for the Release of Impressed Seamen, 1793-1802, and Related Indexes. Reproduced at NARA Boston.


The National Archives has two microfilms that document the impressment phenomenon. Several agents and diplomats dealt with the crisis by submitting applications to the British government demanding the release and repatriation of Americans impressed into the Royal Navy. The majority of the contents held on these microfilm rolls include the agent’s registers of applications. Each individual register is self-indexed by the first letter of the seamen’s surname, but no master index exists for the entirety of the microfilm roll.  These include:

  • The name of the seamen
  • The American vessel and it’s master on which he was impressed
  • The state or city in which the seamen resided
  • The British vessel and master which impressed the seamen
  • The proof of American citizenship he provided to American vessels
  • The overall outcome of the application.

The use of National Archives records can provide a document that connects your ancestor to an important moment in early American history.

These microfilm rolls have not been digitized and can only be accessed at certain branches of the National Archives (Boston, Washington). Click on the links to download a more detailed description of each roll provided by NARA.

Roll List for M1839

Roll List for M2025


Past Travelogues

Fleshing Out the Details of the Flesichhauers [part 1], ” posted 28 Apr 2016.

Bartholomew Oliver’s Master Mariner Certificate,” posted 21 Apr 2016.

2016 MGC Conference: What I Learned About Genetic Genealogy from CeCe Moore,”posted 19 Apr 2016.

25 Favorite Free Genealogy Websites,” posted 11 Apr 2016.

Getting The Facts Right: Ancestors Who Amended the Records,” posted 8 Apr 2016.

Genealogical Research in Minutes of Annual Town Meetings,” posted 2 Apr 2016.


Facebook Finds

Shakeeb Asrar. “Online database of Holocaust victims hits 1 million records,” USAToday, posted 8 Apr 2016. Shared by Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy.

Zachary Garceau. “ICYMI: Historic Occupations,” Vita Brevis, posted 19 Apr 2016 (originally written 12 Apr 2014). Shared by New England Historic Genealogical Society.

Judy G. Russell. “The name game,” The Legal Genealogist, posted 6 Apr 2016. Shared by Judy G. Russell.

Emily Kowalski Schroeder. “Learning About The Census,” Growing Little Leaves: Genealogy for Children, posted 27 Apr 2016. Shared by Tessa Keough.

Luke Spencer. “Exploring America’s Largest Collection of Early Tavern Signs,” Atlas Obscura, posted 22 Apr 2016. Shared by Connecticut Historical Museum and Library.

William Kidd, the Pirate Who Was Framed,” New England Historical Society, posted 6 Apr 2016. Shared by New England Historical Society.

Copyright (c) 2016 Jake Fletcher.

Jake Fletcher. “April 2016 Monthly Update,” Travelogues of a Genealogist, posted 1 May 2016.  https://fletcherfamilytree.wordpress.com/2016/05/01/april-2016-monthly-update