ancestryink fisherman

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Visiting NEHGS

With approximately 3 hours to spend at the New England Historical Genealogical Society on Newbury Street, Boston, on a sunny Saturday afternoon, I was hoping to uncover some new resources regarding my Henderson/Sweetland roots there, that I had not encountered before.

On the train into the city, I logged into their website and performed a search for my topics of interest which I then saved as a "Preferred Search."  This allowed me to hit the ground running once there. I simply opened up my iPad, located my search and started searching the stacks. I've visited many times before and have learned that one can get quickly sidetracked by the many resources available on the various floors of the building.  Microtext, microfilm, manuscripts, family genealogies, local histories, etc.

It was a productive few hours, however, I did not anticipate there would be a function in the Main Hall downstairs, rendering the library incredibly busy.  (I'm usually there mid-week, also.) Someone else in the Reading Room seemed to be exploring my region:  Guysborough, Nova Scotia.  So, I was a bit stymied in the Henderson research, and turned to the Sweetlands.  Family genealogies proved a big help, in both cases.

The benefit of being at the Library is actually locating and reading personal family histories submitted to NEHGS.  They never fail to yield information that you may not find (or may not find accurately rendered) online.
Always a few characters to be found there - today: a man in flying fishing vest using the computer database, under a watchful portrait. Not sure what he was hoping to catch, but the many pockets of vest were...helpful?

In delicate condition, a Sweetland family history bound with string.

Besides the resident historians to help you out, the rubbing of elbows and the long library tables, and helpful input of fellow researchers who happen to glance your way - is a nice interchange, after working alone in a home office.

A little advice:  Eavesdrop.

I overheard an energetic conversation between a man and woman about Nantucket seafaring families, which ended up relating to a family I have researched in Kennebunk, Maine.

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