The Beehive: the official blog of the Massachusetts Historical Society

MHS Proceedings as Genealogical Resource

As with many things on the Internet, it's difficult to tell if this is new or recycled, but an interesting post came through my Google Reader this afternoon. Ancestry magazine features a "More Hidden Treasures" column, and this one notes the potential value of published historical society proceedings for genealogical research. Author Curt Witcher mentions the MHS Proceedings by name, noting "While the actual business activities of the society provide, at best, scant clues regarding other sources of information, the biographical sketches of deceased society members, often called notices or memoirs, are golden! Frequently with more than a page of text and occasionally a likeness of the individual, these notices provide tremendous genealogical data regarding parents, spouses, and children. Schools that were attended, military adventures, educational accomplishments, and political activities as well as church affiliations and vocational activities are typically included in great detail."

Witcher also notes the importance of the Collections (particularly their indexes) to the genealogically-inclined.

The entire column is well worth a read, and is a useful reminder (to us and hopefully to researchers as well) of the wide range of uses that can be made of the MHS' publications. It's also a convenient time to reiterate that the Proceedings are now available via the scholarly database JSTOR.

permalink | Published: Thursday, 24 September, 2009, 5:02 PM


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