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.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Lenox Library in Beautiful Berkshire County, Massachussetts

18 Main Street
Lenox, Massachusetts 01240

Building was built about 1815 as the Second County Courthouse. "In 1871, the Greek Revival former courthouse building was purchased for use as a 'public library and reading room free to all visitors and inhabitants of Lenox.'" (From Our History, library webpage.)

First floor, Reference Desk.

First floor, above and five photos below.

The second floor houses the many collections, including a special room for their Special Collections pertaining to history and some genealogy.

"Added to the National Historic Register in 1973, the building was most recently renovated to its original grandeur in 2002-2004. The original court room, with its exquisite domed ceiling, was reconstructed after a century in which the second story had been reconfigured beyond recognition."

Special Collections Room, three photos.
I would have loved to have looked around more than I did, but we didn't have time.

I was lucky to meet the Reference librarian, who kindly opened the Special Collections Room for me, to see where the genealogy and local history books are kept, and allowed me to take photos. In addition, she printed out the below paragraph from History of Lenox by George H. Tucker, printed in 1992 by the Lenox Library Association. I believe they are in the process of updating this book. I did a quick search to see where I could locate it near the Boston area, and had no listings, so, it is a rare book, and I was lucky to get the paragraph about my ancestors. Both father and son were buried in Lenox at the Church on the Hill Cemetery.

"Capt. Oliver Belden, father of Levi Belden, was born in Wethersfield, Connecticut, November 17, 1732, and died in Lenox, September 16, 1811. He was a prominent man in Lenox in the early years of the town. He was selectman and assessor many times and represented Lenox in the Legislature in the years 1805-06 and 1809. He was a member of the congregational church. He lived in the northwest part of the town on the road which leads to the Pleasant Valley Bird and Wild Flower Sanctuary, near the junction of the road which goes west from the Pittsfield Road, from about where Burke's in the Berkshires Inn is, and the road which comes from the north passing the entrance to the Metz place. This house, occupied for many years by his grandson, was destroyed by fire over thirty years ago.
Signed Non-Consumption and Non-Importation Agreement, 1774."

The extensive and varied Special Collections held by the Library range from Colonial Era manuscripts, legal documents and publications through original photographic prints and glass plate negatives to illustrated and annotated early 18th and 19th century volumes, including literary first editions and art and children’s books.

For more information concerning these collections, please contact Information Librarian Christy Cordova at

Photo of an early Lenox map.

Love old card catalogues.

First view of the Library as we walked to it, on a perfect October 2017 day.

If you are in this area, I highly suggest seeing Ventfort. I wrote a blog about it, and you'll see why I'm recommending a visit.

I have decided not to use the Comment feature for my blog. If you would like to leave a comment for me or ask a question, please write me at my email: Thank you.

My reason is because since November 2017 to May 2018, I received no comments, but upon investigating I found that I had indeed received 167 legitimate ones and 1,000 were in the spam folder. Google Blogger had made some changes that I was unaware of. Please be aware that I do not know who reads my blog, I may know who subscribes, but that is all.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

List of 64 Library Visits to Check out the Genealogy and History Sections -- Most are in New England

Ogunquit Library, Maine
During the past seven years I've visited quite a few libraries, 64 to date. There is quite a difference from the first ones I visited to the most recent that I wrote about. Initially, I just took photos of the genealogy room or area, and didn't do much writing. The most recent posts contain more writing, many more photos and I tried to showcase the entire library. In the beginning, I would secretly take my pictures, but during the past four years, I made it a point to talk to all the librarians...they have a wealth of information. Even if they didn't know much about genealogy, they knew where the books, maps and local cemeteries are. Of course, the best librarians were the ones interested in genealogy.

I will continue visiting new-to-me Libraries, and revisiting those that have been enlarged. My next blog report is for the Lenox Library, in Massachusetts, next week. I'll update the list as I go along, and won't post it to any facebook group until it hits 75. If you want to follow along, you can  subscribe by putting in your email in the space on my main page (I won't know who you are). Thank you.

This is a newly revised list, put in alphabetical order by name of towns in the state category.

MAINE (12)

Jessup Memorial Library / Bar Harbor Library, Bar Harbor, Maine

Patten Free Library, Bath, Maine

Curtis Memorial Library, Brunswick, Maine

Freeport Community Library, Freeport, Maine

Orr's Island Library, Harpswell, Maine

Kennebuck Free Library, Kennebuck, Maine

Rice Public Library, Kittery, Maine

Ogunquit Memorial Library, Ogunquit, Maine

Maine Historical Society and Library, Portland, Maine

Topsham Public Library, Topsham, Maine

Wiscasset Public Library, Wiscasset, Maine

York Public Library, York, Maine


Acton Memorial Library, Acton, Massachusetts

Memorial Hall Library, Andover, Massachusetts

Robbins Library / Arlington Library, Arlington, Massachusetts

Bedford Free Public Library, Bedford, Massachusetts

Billerica Public Library, Billerica, Massachusetts

Berkshire / Pittsfield Athenaeum, Boston, Massachusetts

Boston Athenaeum, Boston, Massachusetts (Six Floor Tour)

Boston Athenaeum, Boston, Massachusetts (What was in it for Me?)

Boston Public Library. Boston, Massachusetts

Massachusetts State Library, Boston, Massachusetts

New England Historical and Genealogical Library (NEHGS), Boston, Massachusetts
These were written in 2011, and there have been some changes at the library.
Are You Visiting NEHGS? #1
Are You Visiting NEHGS in Boston, Massachusetts? #2

Bolton Public Library, Bolton, Massachusetts

Sargent Memorial Library, Boxboro, Massachusetts

Gleason Public Library, Carlisle, Massachusetts

Adams Library, Chelmsford, Massachusetts

Bigelow Free Public Library, Clinton, Massachusetts

Concord Free Library, Concord, Massachusetts

Peabody Institute Library, The Danvers Archival Center

Parker Memorial Library, Dracut, Massachusetts

Groton Public Library, Groton, Massachusetts

Haverhill Public Library, Haverhill, Massachusetts

Harvard Public Library, Harvard, Massachusetts

Ipswich Library, Ipswich, Massachusetts

Thayer Memorial Library, Lancaster, Massachusetts

Lenox Library, Lenox, Massachusetts (09/20/2018)

Leominster Public Library, Leominster, Massachusetts

Cary Memorial Library, Lexington, Massachusetts

Lincoln Public Library, Lincoln, Massachusetts

Reuben Hoar Library, Littleton, Massachusetts

Doing Research in Lowell, Massachusetts? Here's Help, Lowell, Massachusetts
Pollard Memorial Library, Lowell, Massachusetts

Lynnfield Public Library, Lynnfield, Massachusetts

Medford Public Library, Medford, Massachusetts

Nevins Memorial Library, Methuen, Massachusetts

Newburyport Public Library, Newburyport, Massachusetts

Lawrence Library, Pepperell, Massachusetts

Reading Public Library, Reading, Massachusetts

Salem Public Library, Salem, Massachusetts

Randall Library, Stow, Massachusetts

Goodnow Library, Sudbury, Massachusetts

Tewksbury Public Library, Tewksbury, Massachusetts

Lucius Beebe Memorial Library, Wakefield Massachusetts

Waltham Library, Waltham, Massachusetts

Watertown Free Library, Watertown, Massachusetts

J.V. Fletcher Library, Westford, Massachusetts

The Forbush Library, Westminster, Massachusetts

Wilmington Memorial Library, Wilmington, Massachusetts

Winchester Public Library, Winchester, Massachusetts

Woburn Public Library / Winn Memorial Library, Woburn, Massachusetts


Gilmanton Library, Gilmanton, New Hampshire

Keene Public Library, Keene, New Hampshire

Nashua Public Library, Nashua, New Hampshire

Peterborough Public Library, Peterborough, New Hampshire


New York City Public  Library, New York


St. Johnsbury Athenaeum, St. Johnsbury, Vermont

MISCELLANEOUS: The DAR Library in Washington, DC, and my employment there.

Some of my favorite libraries

I have decided not to use the Comment feature for my blog. If you would like to leave a comment for me or ask a question, please write me at my email: Thank you.

My reason is because since November 2017 to May 2018, I received no comments, but upon investigating I found that I had indeed received 167 legitimate ones and 1,000 were in the spam folder. Google Blogger had made some changes that I was unaware of. Please be aware that I do not know who reads my blog, I may know who subscribes, but that is all.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Peabody Institute Library, The Danvers Archival Center

The Danvers Archival Center
The Peobody Institute Library
15 Sylvan Street
Danvers, MA
Phone: 978-774-0554    Email:

The Archives room is located on the lower floor, and you must call before visiting. From my photos below, you'll see a variety of books that are housed here. Almost all were familiar to me, since I've researched my Danvers families at other repositories. I had been wanting to visit the Danvers Library and Archives for a very long time, and this is number 65 in my list of libraries or athenaeums visited and blogged about.

The important thing you should do, is look at the Brief Guide for the Archival Center. Topics are: Collection Policy, Collection Areas; printed materials, manuscripts, maps, architectural records, photographs and pictures.

Because of so much interest in witchcraft, I'm posting from the above website:

WITCHCRAFT MATERIALS.   This nationally significant collection is named “The Ellerton J. Brehaut Witchcraft Collection” in honor of Mr. Brehaut, a book collector, dealer and antiquarian who lived at the 17th century Daniel Rea house off Locust Street, and who donated his collection of witchcraft volumes to the Peabody Institute Library in 1960. The Brehaut Witchcraft Collection is perhaps the most complete collection of printed materials relating to the world famous 1692 witchcraft delusion which began and festered in Salem Village (present-day Danvers).
The Archival Center attempts to continue to acquire any and all old or new publications which describe or interpret Salem witchcraft in particular and New England witchcraft in general. The collection also includes histories of English and some continental witchcraft of the pre-19th century, biographies of persons involved in witchcraft history, as well as fiction works that use the Salem witchcraft as its subject or location. The major thrust of the collection is, however, concerned with Salem Village and the witchcraft events of 1692. All editions and variations of Salem witchcraft subject imprints, as well as ephemeral and non-scholarly publications, are considered appropriate to collect.
The collection includes originals or copies of all the early imprints relating to the Salem Village witchcraft hysteria, as well as a number of seventeenth-century English volumes on the subject. Early, rare volumes concerning Salem and New England include: Increase Mather’s 1684 An Essay for the Recording of Illustrious Providences; Cotton Mather’s 1693 Wonders of the Invisible World; Robert Calef’s 1700 More Wonders of the Invisible World; John Hale’s 1702 A Modest Enquiry into the Nature of Witchcraft; Deodat Lawson’s 1693 A Brief and True Narrative; Increase Mather’s 1693 Cases of Conscience; Charles Upham’s 1834 Lectures and 1867 Salem Witchcraft. Also sought are the most recently published non-fiction, fiction and children’s literature on the subject and many of the books that were owned and used by witchcraft scholars.
Printed transcriptions of the witchcraft documents include W. E. Woodward’s 1864 Records; a typescript copy of the 1938 WPA Salem Witchcraft Papers; the three- volume 1977 reprint The Salem Witchcraft Papers edited by Paul Boyer and Stephen Nissenbaum; Richard Trask’s 1992 The Devil Hath Been Raised; and the 2009 Bernard Rosenthal et. al. comprehensive Records of the Salem Witch-Hunt. The last two volumes mentioned were produced using the facilities of the Danvers Archival Center. Augmenting the imprint collection are various manuscript and audio-visual materials, including records of the First Church of Danvers, Congregational.
Main entrance and reference desk to the right.

Photos of the Archival Center

Display of Danvers items and card catalog.
Card catalog, with many drawers labeled with Witchcraft in the category.

Essex Institute Historical Collections, probably original books.

Some familiar books, the New England Historical and Genealogical Register.

Originally, the 1892 library was two floors, but in 1980, another floor was added, fortunately some of the old featured were incorporated into the new design.

Above photo, I'm looking up to the dome and down to the 2nd floor.
Second floor Reference, with 3rd floor above.

First floor.
Looking into a new reading room which used to be the original entrance.
Happy these two original features were incorporated into the new addition.

The original front door was to the left, currently you need to enter to the right.
As we drove away, I got a glimpse of the back, and took this shot. It is a huge library building, but looks like a house on the outside. The trees block the view from the street. See Google Earth photo below.

I have decided not to use the Comment feature for my blog. If you would like to leave a comment for me or ask a question, please write me at my email: Thank you.

My reason is because since November 2017 to May 2018, I received no comments, but upon investigating I found that I had indeed received 167 legitimate ones and 1,000 were in the spam folder. Google Blogger had made some changes that I was unaware of. Please be aware that I do not know who reads my blog, I may know who subscribes, but that is all.