My blog has been changed to make it more appealing for those who have New England ancestors and want to see the area through photos. Things I’ll include are typical white New England churches, libraries showing their genealogical collection, historical societies, cemeteries, war memorials, in general, anything to do with history.

For four years I’ve blogged mostly about my personal genealogy in New England (Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, and New Hampshire), New York, New Jersey, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, and the Eastern Townships of Quebec, Canada. I still will, can’t forget my own roots.

Please check out the labels on the right side for articles. The header tabs at the top are a work in progress.

Friday, January 8, 2010

52 Weeks to Better Genealogy Challenge #1

Ever hear of The Simpson's TV show? Did you know there is a connection between my library, the Adams Library in Chelmsford, Massachusetts and the TV show? Regarding the connection, I will explain it below.

Amy Coffin of We Tree is challenging us for 52 weeks! To begin the year, her first challenge is: "Go to your local public library branch. Make a note of the genealogy books in the collection that may help you gain research knowledge."

In the area where I live, there are many local libraries and all have a good deal of genealogy information.  My mind wondered about selecting which library to write about. Should it be the Concord Free Library  in historic Concord, Massachusetts, that I absolutely love, or one in Boston? I chose the closest and the one I go to 3-4 times a month...but not for genealogy. As a matter of fact, it has been several years since I've gone into the Family History room of the Adams Library in Chelmsford. My visits there are to keep my goal of reading a book a week in check, so I am always picking up and dropping off books.

At one time, I was always at the library especially when I was giving genealogy classes, through the library, for 4 years. I taught Genealogy for Beginners (about 12 times), Google Research, and Using the Census. They kept me busy.

The Local History section has information and links for the history and genealogy buffs. The Genealogy web page lists the resources available, pertaining to genealogy.  First listed are the online subscriptions to be used in the library only. In the past, there were more, as well as several for home usage, but times have changed, so we make do with less. I already subscribe to several databases, so there isn't a need to use their computers. When they first got the library edition of it was quite an event because the reference personnel didn't know how to use it. Seems that many of these subscriptions were bought by the Friends of the Library, someone must have been into genealogy, but none in the library. I often showed them the ropes with Ancestry Library.

Other listings are about print materials in the History Room, Microfilm Periodicals (which I've never used), and information about some of their genealogy books. A quick look at the card catalog indicated there are 5997 titles that pertain to genealogy. One thing I was very happy to see on the Library's web page was this statement, "Interlibrary Loan - The Chelmsford Public Library can obtain items for you from other Merrimack Valley Library Consortium (MVLC) libraries as well as books from other United States libraries." I have used this service several times in the past, but not during the last two years. Naturally, I thought they dropped this service because of the cost, but I see they haven't. Hooray.

One link totally surprised me, and I wouldn't have thought it would be in the "Local History" area. It is about the "Simpson's TV Show", and here you will see photos of Chelmsford, and how they appear in the TV show. I wanted to post some of the artwork done for the show, but because it is copyrighted, it is best you use the above link.

I looked around but didn't see anything new, but still it was nice checking out the little room.  Some students were in there, so I didn't take photos. I left with a copy of Professional Genealogy : a manual for researchers, writers, editors, lecturers, and librarians / editor, Elizabeth Shown Mills ; editorial board, Donn Devine, James L. Hansen, Helen F.M. Leary. Baltimore : Genealogical Pub. Co., 2001. I have heard so much about the book, but never checked it out. I ordered it on Monday, and picked it up today!

Another article was written about the Genealogy and Local History Room at this library, see HERE.

New entrance is to the right of the original 1894 library.


Amy Coffin, MLIS said...

Thank you for being part of the 52-week challenge. I've had so much fun this week reading about everyone's libraries.

Brian Herzog said...

I'm happy you were able to use library resources, both in the library and on our website. If you ever have questions, or need help with anything, please let us know at the Reference Desk - or 978-256-5521 x211.

Also, be sure to check out the Town-wide history project at It's a long-term project, but our goal is to make it easier for researchers to locate historical records, no matter where they are physically located in Town.

Barbara Poole said...

You probably remember me, I am the one who gave all those genealogy classes before you began working there. Thanks for writing. I will be there tomorrow, and will hunt you down.