All posts by Lynn Betlock

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About Lynn Betlock

Lynn Betlock joined the NEHGS staff in October 1995. She previously held the positions of sales manager, director of marketing, and assistant executive director for content management at NEHGS. Lynn has been the editor of American Ancestors since 2003, and she has written numerous articles for the publication. Lynn graduated with a B.A. from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. She received her M.A. in American History from the University of Delaware. Before coming to NEHGS Lynn was employed at the Old South Meeting House in Boston.

NEHGS in 1920

Façade of 9 Ashburton Place, NEHGS headquarters in 1920.

During this 175th anniversary year, I wondered how we marked an earlier NEHGS milestone, one hundred years ago. To learn about the state of the Society in 1920, I looked at Boston newspapers online and NEHGS Proceedings and a scrapbook in our R. Stanton Avery Special Collections.

On Thursday, 18 March 1920, NEHGS celebrated its 75th anniversary of incorporation—to the day—and recognized the 300th anniversary of the landing of the Pilgrims. From 2 to 6 p.m. that day, the Society welcomed the public to an open house at “its spick and span headquarters,” then located at 9 Ashburton Place in Boston, near the Massachusetts State House. Guides greeted the visitors and introduced them to the Society and its collections. Tea was served. Continue reading NEHGS in 1920

History of a Cosmopolite

lorenzo-dow-by-lossing-barrett
Lorenzo Dow preaching by Lossing Barrett. Courtesy of Wikipedia.org

Some years ago I researched my husband’s ancestor Jerreb Kendall (1804–1839) of Passumpsic, Caledonia County, Vermont, and took pleasure in the interesting names given to many of Jerreb’s eleven siblings by their parents Jerreb and Lucy (Woods) Kendall.

I liked the thoughtfulness and weightiness behind given names like George Washington, William Wallace, Alonzo Ransom, James Eaton, Larnard Lamb, and Lorenzo Dow. (And I could almost sense the rejoicing that accompanied the selection of the name Lucy Celestia, which was given to the twelfth child – and the first and only daughter!) Continue reading History of a Cosmopolite

New England towns, counties, and states

Genealogist's Handbook for New England ResearchNew England’s governmental organization is different from other areas of the United States, which can confuse genealogical researchers from outside the region. One major difference is in geopolitical subdivisions. Unlike other areas of the country, New England’s primary unit of government is the town. Continue reading New England towns, counties, and states