All posts by David Dearborn

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About David Dearborn

Originally from Andover, Massachusetts, David Dearborn joined the NEHGS staff in 1976 and has been interested in genealogy since the age of eighteen. David graduated with a B.A. in History in 1971 from the University of Massachusetts at Boston. He received his M.A. in History in 1974 from Northeastern University. He received his M.S. in Library Science in 1982 from Simmons College. David’s genealogical interests include the Dearborn Family (descendants of Godfrey, who arrived in New Hampshire by 1638); families of Essex County, Massachusetts and of Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont; New York City and urban genealogy; twentieth-century genealogy; eighteenth and nineteenth-century English and Scottish genealogy; Italian genealogy; Westward migration.

Public Records of Massachusetts Parishes, Towns and Counties

Wright-Custody-cover-for-webDespite its relatively small size, Massachusetts arguably has the most complete and comprehensive set of records of historical value of any state. Record-keeping began shortly after the first settlements were established, and for the most part the records have survived to a remarkable degree. The records themselves exist at every level of government: state, county, and town.

By the mid-nineteenth century, agitation grew for establishing a public records commission, such as existed at the time in England, with the power to bring all the Commonwealth’s important records into a single repository. Other parties objected to this idea, both because of the possible expense involved, but mainly because many local officials objected to giving up custody of their records. Continue reading Public Records of Massachusetts Parishes, Towns and Counties

A triumph of genealogical scholarship

Genealogical Dictionary of Maine and New HampshireFor more than seventy years the Genealogical Dictionary of Maine and New Hampshire – compiled by Charles Thornton Libby, Walter Goodwin Davis, and Sybil Noyes, and published between 1928 and 1938 – has been the first recourse for those looking to trace their seventeenth-century northern New England ancestry. It is one of a handful of titles in the genealogical field that has never been out of print for very long. Continue reading A triumph of genealogical scholarship