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Fall 2009


Newsletter of the Greater Lowell Genealogy Club of Lowell, Massachusetts



Upcoming Events:


September Meeting:

September 19, 2009 at the Pollard Library, 401 Merrimack St., Lowell from 1pm to 3pm.  We will have Leslie Albecht Huber as a speaker.  Her topic will be, Eight Ways to Cross the Ocean.


October Meeting:

October 25, 2009 from 1pm to 4pm at Maureen Famolare's Home, 34 George Brown Street, Billerica. If you are planning on attending, please contact Maureen or Karen.  This is our annual pot luck with elections.  Please try to attend and give some thought about being a member of the board.


November Meeting: 

November 21, 2009 from 1pm to 3pm at the Chelmsford Public Library.  We are planning to show a video.


December Meeting: No Meeting.  Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to ALL!


January Meeting:

January 16, 2010 from 1pm to 3pm at the Pollard Library, 401 Merrimack St., Lowell.    If you would like this meeting to be on a special topic, contact a board member.  We still have plenty of time to make arrangements for it.



September Meeting:  We are having a new lecturer, Leslie Albrecht Huber.  Her specialties are19th Century Immigration Research, Western European Research - particularly German Research, and Writing Family Histories.  We’ve asked Leslie to speak about gathering information from Europe.  We know this is important to many of us and hopefully Leslie will lead us down the correct path. We sure if you have any questions, she will be happy to answer them even regarding her other specialties.


October Meeting:  Time for our annual Pot Luck dinner and elections.  Please contact the board if you are interested in running for any position on the board.  Remember, we always need new ideas and being a board member doesn’t involve a lot of time or running around.  The primary work of the board is to plan interesting meetings.  We usually meet once or twice a year depending on what needs to be done.  Most correspondence is done by email or phone, so time is not of concern.  Back to the Pot Luck.  We really need food, lots and lots of good food, good talk will just follow.  This is another meeting where we sit around the table (just like a kitchen) and talk genealogy.  We bring problems and brick walls and interesting new ideas; all to share and work on.  We would love to see some of our long time members that usually don’t make meetings attend at least this one.  We really do enjoy this one every year!


If you are planning on attending the Pot Luck, please contact Maureen or Karen.  Maureen needs to know how many seats to set up inside her house!


Driving directions:

From Route 3Exit Route 3 at  Route 129 Billerica exit, follow Rt 129 to Kelly Harley Davidson store then take right.  Follow 129/3A to Wendy's on the left then take left (still 129) at lights.  Follow 129, you will pass two blinking yellow lights, at second light, stop and take left.  Follow 129 bear right pass small mall on left.  Take left after Shell gas station.  This is George Brown



President –- Maureen Famolare –

       978-663-6491 –

Vice President  Laura Bedard –

603-598-0834 –

Secretary –  Barbara Poole –

978-454-8046 –

Treasurer – Karen Jeffers –

978-663-3664  -

Street.  Go over the bridge and Maureen's is the third house on the left.  It is blue and set back a bit.


From Route 495 or Lowell:  Exit Route 495 at Route 38 or take Rt 38 east out of Lowell.  Continue of 38 until  center of Tewksbury.  Turn right on Chandler St.  At end of Chandler St., turn left of Whipple Rd. Continue straight after the stop sign where Whipple crosses  Andover Rd/Shawsheen St.  George Brown St. is the 5th right after the stop sign.  (A sharp right after Coolidge St.)  Maureen's is the sixth house on the right. 


November Meeting: At this meeting, we will be showing a video or perhaps two, depending on time.  The two we purchased are, Preserving Your Family History with Multimedia, and Identifying & Dating Your Family Photographs.  What we show will depend on the preference of members in attendance.  This is only fair.


January Meeting:  Tentatively we are planning on meeting at the Pollard Library. This is convenient for most of our members, especially in the Winter.  We haven’t decided on any format for the meeting and are looking for input from you.   If you have any ideas or  know of a speaker we might enjoy (I know, you’ve heard it before), please contact a board member.




Past Happenings:


January Meeting:  Our January meeting seemed to be a success.  Everyone seemed interested in the different programs being used by members and had many questions regarding the programs.  We had two different versions of Family Tree Maker and also The Master Genealogist, which is used by Karen Jeffers.  Both programs are highly recommended by the board.  If you have any questions regarding these programs, please contact the board members.  Members in attendance:  Diane Shields, Mary Latham, Bill Cheetham, Barbara Poole, Jane and John Pappas, Barbara Bond, Nancy Paquin, Laura Bedard, Theresa Dionne, Iona and Bob Henderson, Edna King, Lynn King, Karen Jeffers, Judy Clermont and Maureen Famolare.

February Meeting: The meeting at the Hills House in Hudson, NH was an extremely interesting event.  It was hard for the members in attendance to finally leave.  The ladies giving the tour and lecture were very knowledgeable about the house and the family.  The Hills House was a vacation home of Alfred and Virginia Hills who also donated the land for the Alvirne High School.  Members in attendance: Laura and Roland Bedard, Diane Shields, Bill Cheetham, Nancy Paquin, Karen Jeffers, Bob and Iona Henderson, and Maureen Famolare.


March Meeting:  Our meeting at the Dracut Historical Society was enjoyed by all.  For the second month in a row we got to tour a historical building.  Although different in style and period each was a delight.   Members in attendance:  Nancy Paquin, Barbara Bond, Karen Jeffers, Iona and Bob Henderson, Bill Cheetham, Yvonne Miller, Jane and John Pappas, Barbara Poole, Diane Shields, and visitors Karen Baldwin and Norma Taplin


April Meeting: Sorry to say this meeting was not all it was planned to be.  Attendance was very poor, but those who attended stayed for about one hour and talked about genealogy, the weather and lack of attendance.  Member in attendance:  Ed and Yvonne Miller, John and Jane Pappas and

Maureen Famolare.


May/June Meeting: The Pot Luck at the Bedard’s home was delicious!  The turnout was a little smaller than usual, but that just left more for the rest of us… We missed Yvonne and Ed’s red hot dogs and her mother’s company. Therese was ill and Yvonne needed to be with her.   Members in attendance:  Bob and Iona Henderson, Roland and Laura Bedard, Karen Jeffers, Maureen Famolare and Diane Shields.


Book Review: A Guide to Massachusetts Cemeteries


Lambert's guidebook is organized alphabetically by town, then by graveyard name. He often mentions key sources that refer to the cemetery. He also lists the date that the town or city was established as well as what town it broke away from, if applicable.

Each burying ground in the state is listed by the year of consecration or oldest stone or burial, and its location. The book also includes the address and telephone number of the cemetery, usually the town hall although a few cemeteries may have different addresses. If a cemetery has been transcribed and the names published, Lambert also gives the name, volume, date, and publisher of the transcription.

The second edition of this book added many previously undocumented burial grounds and also includes citations to published transcriptions of gravestone listings in places such as the New England Historic Genealogical Society, the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, and the official Massachusetts Vital Records to the end of 1850 series.

 A Guide to Massachusetts Cemeteries, Second Edition by David Allen Lambert sells for $17.95 and is available directly from its publisher: the New England Historic Genealogical Society. You can order it directly from the publisher or from most of the online book stores, such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble,, and others.



For an unusual fan chart that can be downloaded for free, go to




Article from


Six Common Missteps . . . and How to Avoid Them

By Juliana Smith   09 July 2009


1. Overlooking Resources in Your Own Backyard
Just because you don’t live in the same area in which your ancestors lived, don’t assume that your local library doesn’t have information that can help you in your family history research. Larger libraries with genealogical collections may largely focus on local materials, but also include materials from other states from which large groups emigrated.


WorldCat is a great tool for locating relevant materials in libraries near your home. Search WorldCat for surnames, geographic location, and other topics of interest, and when you find something of interest, click on the title to locate it in the nearest library. This database is a real time-saver because it searches so many facilities at once, including not only your local public library, but university and other libraries as well.


2. “I’ll Remember Where I Got This.”
When you make a new family history discovery, between the “happy dances” and telling everyone within earshot about the new find, it is easy to overlook the more tedious step of recording exactly where and how you found a record. At the time you may even think to yourself, “This is so fantastic, I’ll remember this moment and exactly how I came across this record forever.” But time and new discoveries tend to fade that glorious memory and soon you’ll be looking at that miraculous find, scratching your head in bewilderment.


Take the time to make sure you record all the information you need to recreate your search years from now. With records from, if you choose the “Custom Print” option, you’ll not only get the image of the record, but also the index entry, source information, and title automatically, and you can easily add more text if necessary.


3. Heading Straight for the Index
When we find an interesting publication or database, it’s easy to head straight for the index and truth be told, that’s not necessarily a bad thing—provided you don’t stop there. Also take a minute to read any introductory materials in the publication. This will tell you the scope of the information included, and other important details. You may find that there is relevant material to your family, even when their name is not included. For example, in the introduction to the “Roster of South Carolina Patriots in the American Revolution” it says that,


“At the close of the revolution, and for a number of years thereafter, South Carolina compensated he patriot veterans with cash payments. Not always did the soldiers lay claim to such stipends . . . Those that did file for a pension often stated that they had not fought for pay, but fought for principles; therefore, they were accepting the federal gratuities because they could not care for themselves.” 


The introduction goes on to reveal many other interesting observations of the author that could be helpful to those researching their Revolutionary War ancestors.


In the case of databases, take a moment to click on the database title and scroll past the search box to read the extended description. Not only will you find information on the coverage of the database, but you may find helpful information on where to take your search next and on how to interpret your find.


4. Avoiding Certain Records 
Some records seem to get a bad rap and we may be tempted to put off searching them. For example, last week we talked about pre-1850 census records . It’s easy to stay on that familiar path and work with later census, immigration, and vital records, but doing so limits your success. There are so many record types off the beaten track that can break down brick walls and really add depth to your family story. Family history is a constant learning process, so don’t be afraid to tackle something new, whether it is land records, or perhaps records from a different country.


For years, I had shied away from researching my Hungarian ancestors, but on a recent trip to Salt Lake City, I visited the Family History Library and explored some Hungarian church records, using a translation guide that was available. Using the guide I was able to determine the type of record I was looking at, and interpret most of the column headings. One roll of microfilm took my family history research back two generations.


Similar to my experience, once you begin exploring the records, you’ll often find they aren’t as difficult to navigate and understand as you thought. If you do have trouble, seek out the advice of fellow family historians through message boardsmailing lists, or through your local genealogical society.


5. If All Else Fails, Follow Directions.
Yes, that old adage recited by fathers everywhere still applies. It’s really tempting to dive right in and start using the new genealogical “toys” we get, tossing that user’s guide on a shelf to collect dust, but although software providers and other technology creators try to make their products as intuitive as possible, you’ll get much more from them if you take some time and read about the tools you use in your family history. In some cases it may mean reading a manual or online help files, but most products come with easy to follow tutorials that can teach you the basics and make sure you get off to a good start.


6. “I’ll File This Later.”
After a long night of surfing for ancestors, when the wee hours roll around, filing your finds might not be top on your list of priorities. And let’s be realistic here, it won’t always be possible to file everything after a research session. Life happens. But rather than beginning piles that can quickly overrun your desk, designate an easy spot to put things until you can get them filed. A tray with folders for the surnames you’re researching is a great place to temporarily put your discoveries until you have time to enter them in your database and file them properly. Keep a pack of sticky notes handy to make notes reminding yourself where you left off. That way when you come back, the records are already sorted by surname and you can easily pick up your research again.


One last word of advice from someone with first-hand experience: when the tray begins to buckle under the weight of the temporary folders, it’s time to file.





Survey Form


The officers decided to have a survey to determine what members want.  Please fill out the form and mail it to Karen at the address below OR email Maureen or Karen your input.  Thank you for your help.


Why are you a member of the club?   (Check all that apply)  ___ Social Gathering      ____ Lectures   ____ Research   ____ Other – please explain.  _______________________________________________


What do and don’t you like about the club?  __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


The club currently has $1324 in the bank.  Do you have any suggestions on how we can utilize this money for the benefit of the club?   __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


Do you feel the club should be disbanded? __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


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2010 DUES!!!!!!!!

(Remember, dues run January to December)


The membership rates are as follows:


 ___   $10.00 per Individual

 ___   $20.00 for a Family

 ___   $5.00 per Senior (age 62 and over)


Enclosed please find $_________ for 2010 dues.


Name    __________________________________________




Phone   __________________________________________

E-mail  __________________________________________


Send form and check to:

Greater Lowell Genealogy Club

c/o Karen Jeffers

35 Franklin Street

N. Billerica, MA  01862-1441