Monthly Archives: April 2014

Genealogical building blocks

Alicia Crane WilliamsA master mason can “butter” a brick and add it to a straight and true wall in a matter of seconds. He learns to do this through repeated practice, laying thousands of bricks in hundreds of walls.

In genealogy we deal with bricks that we call primary, secondary, and circumstantial evidence.  A house made entirely of primary bricks is the strongest, but those bricks are often hard to find and expensive. Most of us have houses made from primary and secondary bricks that are perfectly sound. A house of only secondary bricks is substandard to modern building code. Circumstantial bricks are kept for building flying buttresses to hold up wobbly walls. Continue reading Genealogical building blocks

Voices from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries

St. Bartholomew's Church, Groton, Suffolk
View of St. Bartholomew’s Church, Groton

One of my current projects is a new genealogy of the Winthrop family of Suffolk in England and then Massachusetts Bay in New England. I am in the process of reading through the Winthrop Papers, a six-volume collection of documents associated with the family in England and America – including many letters by family members, friends, and associates – during the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries. Of particular interest in Volume 1 is the diary kept by AdamA Winthrop (1548–1623), the father of Governor John1 Winthrop of Massachusetts Bay. Continue reading Voices from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries

A shopping list of technological and genealogical resources

Tree monitorAs I was pulling together information for my upcoming April presentation, “Genealogy on the Go: Mobile Tools to Manage Your Discoveries,” I started thinking about how genealogy and technology go hand-in-hand these days – but that finding out more about the technology part, besides its application to genealogy, can sometimes be confusing for beginning users. Here are some places online I think would be helpful in finding tech information and news, as well as kin and research allies! Continue reading A shopping list of technological and genealogical resources