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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, May 30, 2014

Randall Library, Stow, Massachusetts (Genealogy and Local History Section)

I believe the photo of the Randall Library in Stow, Massachusetts is the prettiest of all the libraries I've taken. Perfect warm day, blue sky, a bench, lovely red brick building, and beautiful Redbud tree. I hadn't been here in 15 years, so I shouldn't have been surprised to see it had been enlarged (like all the other libraries I've visited).

I introduced myself and the most pleasant librarian, I believe it was Sally, who took me upstairs to the history / genealogy area. First shown, was the old children's area (below), I don't think it is used anymore, because of the addition.

The flag is here because there are two war memorial panels on each side wall, one for the Revolutionary War and the other for the Civil War.
This room has a collection put together by the Stow Historical Society. A nice mini-museum, I would have liked to have seen more, but didn't have the time. I don't remember it from years ago.
Their collection is quite small, and that surprised me because 15 years ago, I found so much useful information pertaining to my 31 Stow individuals in my family tree, two were direct lines. I asked if many genealogists do research here, and the reply was no. 
Genealogies and information are kept in the file cabinet below.


Behind the new addition were all the war memorials, except for the ones mentioned above.

Thayer Memorial Library, Lancaster, Massachusetts


The Thayer Memorial Library in Lancaster, Massachusetts is an old, 1653 incorporated town that still has an old town charm. The lovely library, with a new addition to their original 1868 building impressed me, but the fact that I couldn't see their special collections, genealogies and old books was a disappointment. I was told they were in a new section, on the floor below the main entrance. In order to see their holdings, I would have to call ahead for an appointment and meet with the Special Collections Librarian, on either Monday, Wednesday or Thursday from 4:15-6:16. At this point, I'm not certain, I'll do it and I was sad I couldn't report on what they have to offer. My genealogy tree has 200 individuals (quite a few direct lines) with ties to Lancaster.

Please see my friend, Bonnie MacDonald's blog Massachusetts Meanderings about her visit to Lancaster, and her research experience in the Special Collection's room. Bonnie is from Washington state, and took a two week research trip around Lancaster and northern Connecticut areas.

As we walked from a side street parking lot, we pass old horses stables. The First Church of Christ, Unitarian is to the right (not shown), the Town Hall is straight ahead, and the library to the left.

The main entrance was lovely, and I absolutely enjoyed the children s room, part of the original library. The tables and chairs were sized for children.

The Civil War memorial had been in the old section of the library and was moved into the new. This is the 4th time I've seen a war memorial in a library.

From the outer entrance of the church, I could see the stables, and since I was taken by them, here's another photo below.


Thursday, May 29, 2014

Harvard Public Library, Harvard, Massachusetts (History / Genealogy Room)

Although I have often been through the small town of Harvard, Massachusetts, I had never seen the Library. We found it recently, and I'm so glad to say, it has one of the best genealogy and local history sections I've seen. The Harvard Public Library isn't old, but looks it because it is attached to an old school (I believe) as you can see from the two following photos.

I introduced myself to the librarian, and she was happy to show us the locked room where the local history and genealogy books were held. There were great resources, and I only wished I had more than 32 people in my tree with Harvard roots, so I could make use of this room.


While looking at the holdings, my husband brought me a book, see below. I was thrilled, since I wrote a post about Brook Farm in Roxbury, Massachusetts last year. The interesting thing is, I'd never seen this book, and the library at NEHGS doesn't have a copy.

When I asked the librarian where the original library was, she pointed to the photo above. Yes, it was still standing, and after we got directions, off we went to find it, in the center of town. It is now used for an art center, I believe.



Sargent Memorial Library, Boxboro, Massachusetts (Genealogy Section)

Although Boxboro, Massachusetts is an old town (settled in 1680, incorporated in 1835*), the library, Sargent Memorial Library was brand new. I'm thinking they replaced the old building, and I wished I had asked where it was, like I did with the Harvard Library (to be posted soon).


I spoke with a librarian, who wasn't sure about letting me see the Local History room,  but I told her about her blog, and she was the first person not wanting me to take photos. Finally, she agreed I could from the door, lights weren't turned on, so the photos (3 below) aren't the best.




Local History room from the main reading room.
One thing about this library on a hill, there is a lot of land on all four sides, including a garden.

Prior to incorporation in 1835, the area that is now Boxborough was part of Stow, Harvard, and Littleton.

The Stevens Cooledge Estate and Gardens Revisited for 2014

Within the past few days, I've noticed a lot of people are finding my past post on the historic Stevens-Coolidge Place in No. Andover, Massachusetts. See that post HERE. I believe the word has finally gotten out about this beautiful estate (house is not open for touring) and fabulous grounds with the most cared for plants.

The house and gardens are 35 minutes from me, and I frequently go by it, on my way to other places or make it as a special trip. For those trying to find more information, I suggest you see their website. Please enjoy the flowers, photos taken last weekend. I'll be going again very soon to see the iris, peony, and orange poppy plants bursting with color. Later in the season, their very popular cutting garden will be open, and I'll make my own bouquets there.




 






Below photos taken May 30, 2014.


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Memorial Hall Library, Andover, Massachusetts -- History and Genealogy Room

I was very anxious to get back to this library, the Memorial Hall Library in Andover, since it's been about 15 years, and I was curious about their genealogy collection now. The library has a large addition, but managed to keep very little of the original library structure, which I was sad to see.

The main reference desk, with original clock.
This is the genealogy room for the public. (Above and two photos below.)


I learned that the special collection is now in a closed off area, but because I was able to explain to the Librarian what I was doing, he was very happy to show me the room and explain what they had.


Jay Leno is from Andover, Massachusetts. If I remember correctly, he signed the book.

A little bit of old.
Parking meters are in the rear of building, and even with the lot, finding a space could be difficult. The Library is on a main street at a major intersection.

From the Library site is the Abbott Genealogies collection.
"Andover genealogist Charlotte Helen Abbott wrote these unpublished genealogies. Earlier versions of some genealogies were published in the Andover Townsman, the local newspaper. They generally cover older Andover families through the late 19th century. Miss Abbott's genealogies are subjective and rich with anecdotes, but list few sources. Kay O’Neil, with the cooperation of the Andover Historical Society, worked to digitize the typescript manuscript. Originals are also held at Memorial Hall Library."