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.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

The NARA in Boston (Waltham) Sure Has Changed, What Else is New?

I recently paid a visit to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) in Waltham, MA (aka known as Boston). Below are photos of the big changes and new new event.
New room to the left, old room to the right.
The new in this article is described above.
For complete information for this Free Virtual Genealogy Fair
by the National Archives and Records Administration
see schedule here for October 26th and 27th, 2016.

Research area, with computers, I believe I saw only two microfilm readers on the side and two researchers working together.

No more Saturdays! It used to be the busiest day, and people had a limit of two hours if it was very busy.

This was the research room. It was filled with 5 or more rows of microfilm readers (NARA employee and I guessed 40) plus a few microfilm printers. And, a large number of cabinets with hundreds or more rolls of microfilm. The center of this room had a few tables, a copy machine and cabinets on each side, all containing censuses for 1790, 1800, 1810 and so forth. They had all the New England censuses for all the years, and for some of the states, but I'm not sure if all were there.

This facility had a friendly staff, and I got to know Bill Read and Cindy pretty well, along with Walter. I first started going here in 1995, at least twice a month because it was closer than NEHGS. In addition I found my Revolutionary War patriot's pension file there.

Around 2008 (give or take), I went and was surprised to see a table in the center of the room with about 5 computers, all loaded with Ancestry. I was told I could use that for the year I was interested in. I didn't, just left and never returned because I was an Ancestry subscriber, and realized there was no need to be there, other than to get a nice hard copy. Fast forward to yesterday, when I paid them a visit because I wanted to use their vending machine! I was totally surprised to see the room empty and other changes, including a security door locked in the hallway leading to the lunchroom where the vending machines were. Researchers now have no access to the lunchroom.

I chatted a bit with the one staff person at the main desk, about all the changes. He suggested I take the flyers and said I could scan them and post to my blog, which I will do in a day or two. NOTE: Copies of some of the Reference Quick Guides may be seen HERE.

He asked me to come back and do some research (they subscribe to all the genealogy databases), and I said I would. And, I will, when I'm in the area with some genealogy with me. I rather liked being in my part-time second home again.

 Main hall with information pamphlets. The research room is to the left of the red sign. Old room was straight ahead.

Main entrance to the:
380 Trapilio Road
Waltham, MA 02452