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Newton Free Library in Autumn

Please note: Classes are always on a Monday night, usually from 7:00 to 8:30 pm.  Classes will not always be in the same room.  They will either be in Special Collections or in the ITTC (aka the computer training center) on the second floor. Check each class below for its location. Registration is required and will usually start at the beginning of the month before the class is being offered.  Call a reference desk at 617-796-1380 to register.

Class: Bare-Bones Genealogy for Beginners: Starting from Scratch

Date: 9 January 2016

Room: Special Collections

Description: The emphasis of this first class of the new year will be on setting up your family history and how to start your research. I will begin by explaining family group sheets and then expand from there. This will not be a computer-based class. You will be introduced to strategies of organization, citing living people as sources, and where to look for more information that you (or someone in your family) may already have. Computer genealogy will be slowly introduced into the mix in February (Mother Nature permitting).  Registration is now open.  (Limit: 15)

Class: Starting Your Genealogy Research Online with Census and Vital Records

Date: 6 February 2016

Room: ITTC Room

Description: When people start going online to research their family history, the first documents they usually come across are the United States census (generated by the federal government) and birth, marriage, and death records (generated locally).  I will discuss these documents in the context of computer-driven research. Some records can be used as proof of a relationship. Others are only signposts toward more reliable information. Tips relating to online research in general will also be incorporated. Registration will be open at the beginning of January. (Limit: 12)

Class: Tracking Your Ancestors Using Local Resources — Yours and Theirs

Date: 13 March 2016

Room: Special Collections

DescriptionTypically, you begin your family research with the resources closest to you, including your public library.  But you shouldn’t stop there. This class is about tracking your ancestors in the towns and cities, counties and states where they actually lived. Here is where fresh discoveries are made, obstacles are broken down, and wonderful stories can be discovered. How do you track down digitized collections, special records, newspaper articles, books, and/or manuscripts that have been generated locally about local people, families, and events? I will discuss how to uncover online the resources available in places you’ve never visited.  You will learn how to find libraries and history and genealogy societies relevant to the communities you are researching. You may discover relatives still living there, perhaps some you know nothing about and who may be working on a parallel track in a genealogy quest of their own.  Eventually you may decide that there are places you want to actually visit. As you identify the localities you need to search, the focus and the scope of your project may shift and expand — prepare yourself for surprises. Registration will be open at the beginning of February. (Limit: 15)

vea/2 December 2016/vea
Newton Free Library
Newton, Mass
Library website:  http://www.newtonfreelibrary.net
Genealogy blog:  https://thecuriousgenealogist.wordpress.com
Genealogy LibGuide:  
http://guides.newtonfreelibrary.net

flyer-for-blog-jgsgb

Flyer done the Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Boston. Click JGSGB to see more information and a list of their programs.

vea/15 November 2016/vea
Newton Free Library
Newton, Mass
Library website:  http://www.newtonfreelibrary.net
Genealogy blog:  https://thecuriousgenealogist.wordpress.com
Genealogy LibGuide:  
http://guides.newtonfreelibrary.net

9780226313283The following is from an email written by Roberta Dollase and republished in this blog with her permission.

I am writing to invite you to a book talk and book signing at the Scandinavian Cultural Center, 206 Waltham Street, West Newton, on Monday, November 14, 2016 at 7:00 p.m.  Gisli Palsson, a Professor of Anthropology at the University of Iceland, will be talking about his book, The Man Who Stole Himself: The Slave Odyssey of Hans Jonathan, published this September by the University of Chicago Press.

In the winter of 2015, I received a phone call from Professor Palsson. He told me that he had written a book about one of my ancestors and he was working on an American edition.  In revising the book for American publication, he wanted to learn about the American branch of my family.

He told me that my great, great, great grandfather, Hans Jonathan, had been born a slave on the island of St. Croix in 1784.  Hans was the son of a house slave on a sugar plantation and a Danish father.

A brief outline of Hans’ journey:  When he was 8, his master took him to Copenhagen where he spent his youth and formative years in his master’s household.  When he was 18, his widowed mistress wanted to send him back to St. Croix to be sold. After a famous Danish court case in 1802, he was ruled a slave, but before his mistress could follow through on her plan, he escaped to Iceland where he ultimately declared himself a free man.  In 1820, he met and married my great, great, great grandmother, Katrin, the daughter of an Icelandic sheep farmer and fisherman.  In 1869, their grandson Georg, my great grandfather, and his brother Bjorn went to Denmark to further their educations. While Bjorn returned to Iceland, Georg remained in Denmark.  His only son, my grandfather, George Bjorn, brought his family to the United States when my father was three, thus establishing the American branch of the family.

In 2015, through telephone calls and emails (including a draft of the book in English), I learned Hans Jonathan’s story and shared with Professor Palsson the story of my American family.  In November, my husband and I, along with our children and two of our grandchildren, joined Professor Palsson, several of my Icelandic relatives, and an Icelandic documentary filmmaker on a trip to St Croix where we visited the places where Hans Jonathan and his mother had lived.  Learning about Hans Jonathan and my family history and the trip to St. Croix was extraordinary.

While Professor Palsson’s book tells the story of Hans Jonathan’s remarkable life, it goes well beyond biography.  A quotation on the book’s jacket states:   Palsson offers a meditation on slavery and race – past and present – raising complex issues involving race, memory, and   family.  Palsson does not offer easy answers, rather, he pushes readers to ponder these issues on their own.  A beautifully written and accessible book.   Terri L. Snyder, California State University, Fullerton

The book talk is free, but the Scandinavian Cultural Center encourages registration.  Go to scandicenter.org, click on “Events” and scroll to “Author Series: Gisli Palsson.” A place to reserve a ticket is at the bottom of the write-up.  I think you will find the book and the book talk interesting.  I would love to see you there!

Roberta Dollase(author)/9 November 2016/vea
Newton Free Library
Newton, Mass
Library website:  http://www.newtonfreelibrary.net
Genealogy blog:  https://thecuriousgenealogist.wordpress.com
Genealogy LibGuide:  
http://guides.newtonfreelibrary.net

brophy-program

vea/7 November 2016
Newton Free Library
Newton, Mass
Library website:  http://www.newtonfreelibrary.net
Genealogy blog:  https://thecuriousgenealogist.wordpress.com
Genealogy LibGuide:  
http://guides.newtonfreelibrary.net

national-archives-program_1

vea/26 October 2016
Newton Free Library
Newton, Mass
Library website:  http://www.newtonfreelibrary.net
Genealogy blog:  https://thecuriousgenealogist.wordpress.com
Genealogy LibGuide:  
http://guides.newtonfreelibrary.net

blog-winchester-programs

 

vea/22 October 2016
Newton Free Library
Newton, Mass
Library website:  http://www.newtonfreelibrary.net
Genealogy blog:  https://thecuriousgenealogist.wordpress.com
Genealogy LibGuide:  
http://guides.newtonfreelibrary.net

DNA Day in Worcester

The New England Historic Genealogical Society and AncestryDNA have joined up to sponsor a full-day seminar on DNA at the DCU Center in Worcester, Massachusetts, on Saturday, October 22nd, from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm.  The cost is $50.00 for the seminar only. For an additional $25.00 (total $75.00) you can go to the luncheon forum with Bill Griffeth, author of the newly published The Stranger in My Genes.   To find more information go to: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/dna-day-everything-you-need-to-know-about-genetic-testing-for-genealogy-tickets-26640435259.

vea/21 October 2016
Newton Free Library
Newton, Mass
Library website:  http://www.newtonfreelibrary.net
Genealogy blog:  https://thecuriousgenealogist.wordpress.com
Genealogy LibGuide:  
http://guides.newtonfreelibrary.net

 

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