I hold in my hands “Early Settlers of Rowley, Massachusetts,” compiled by George Brainard Blodgette and published 1882-1887 by the Essex Institute Historical Collections. It was revised and published in 1933 by Amos Everett Jewett and reprinted in 1981 by New England History Press.
Researchers don’t need to know all that. My copy probably will go to a library eventually, but Maine genealogists will be interested in where they can see the book now, maybe even today.
First I check URSUS at ursus.maine.edu, the online card catalog for Maine State Library, Bangor Public Library and the University of Maine campuses throughout the state. I find the Rowley book available at:
• Bangor Public Library, 145 Harlow St.
• Maine State Library, next to the State House in Augusta.
• University of Maine’s Fogler Library in Orono. While Maine resources generally are in the Special Collections department, which is open fewer hours, the Rowley book is available in the stacks because it’s in Massachusetts, not Maine.
Where else might readers hope to find “Early Settlers of Rowley”? We can check MaineCat at mainecat.maine.edu. That catalog lists the book in:
• Gardiner Public Library.
• Gray Public Library.
• Maine Historical Society, Portland.
• Penobscot Marine Museum, Searsport.
The book no doubt is available in other libraries, as well, but not every library has its catalog listed on one of these searchable databases.
Rowley is a bit northwest of the town of Gloucester, Mass., from which many people moved to Maine in after the Revolutionary War; the Rowley book is well worth a look, especially because its family sections are so well done. And yes, there is an index in the back of the 472-page volume.
Here are some of the surnames that have their own sections of family history: Bailey, Boynton, Bradstreet, Brocklebank, Browne, Burpee, Carleton, Chaplin-Clark, Dickinson, Dresser, Goodridge, Harris, Hazen, Hobson, Jewett, Johnson, Kilborne, Lambert, Mighill-Perley, Nelson-Payson, Parrat-Jewett, Pearson, Perley, Pickard, Pingry, Platts, Prime, Scott, Searle, Spofford, Stickney, Tenney and Todd.
There are many more names, and the index has more than 50 pages.
Keep in mind that many libraries do not let their genealogy and family history resources circulate. In some cases, the books are very rare, and the volumes really need to stay in the building so that they are accessible to all. Most libraries have photocopiers so that researchers can copy portions they need for their records unless the books are too fragile.
These days, it is too easy to rely solely on the Internet for doing family research. Sometimes it is hard to tell from looking at a webpage whether the information is well done.
Pick up a book such as “Early Settlers of Rowley, Massachusetts,” and you get a sense right off of its being well-done. The book is subtitled “A Genealogical Record of the Families Who Settled in Rowley before 1799 with Several Generations of Their Descendants.”
Here is another reason to go looking at a top-notch facility such as Bangor Public Library, where the genealogy resources in the Bangor Room are accessible by elevator
inside the children’s department through the entrance on the right. The Bangor Room has a table where there are several handouts about genealogy and family history resources.
Hope you find many new ancestors in the new year.
The Wassebec Genealogical Society will meet at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 10, in the Resource Center at Mayo Regional Hospital on Main Street in Dover-Foxcroft. The program will be given by David Dean about his visits to his ancestral homes in England. All are invited to attend. For further information, contact Nancy Battick at 564-3576.
An Ancestry.com workshop will be held 6-8 p.m. Monday, March 18, at Edythe Dyer Library on Main Road in Hampden. Learn how to access Ancestry Library and get tips on how to begin or continue genealogy research. The workshop is free. For information, call the library at 862-3550.
For information on researching family history in Maine, see Genealogy Resources under Family Ties at bangordailynews.com/browse/family-ties. Send genealogy queries to Family Ties, Bangor Daily News, P.O. Box 1329, Bangor 04402, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.