Berkshire County, Massachusetts GenWeb Project

Please help! This site is only as useful as you make it! Volunteers are needed in the following areas:
Lookup Volunteers - If you have Berkshire County materials such as local history books or an old yearbook or business directory- a lookup now and then would be immensely helpful. Give me your ideas here!
Courthouse or Library Research Can you do a lookup at the courthouse or library from time to time? Some people do this as volunteers and some charge a fee - just let me know how to post it.
Indexers Are you willing to index the surnames of a local history? If you are - we will be glad to post them (and give you credit, of course).
Cemetery Transcribers How about taking your daily walk through a local cemetery and transcribing it? Take a clipboard or a tape recorder - you'll be amazed at how interesting and enjoyable this project is.
Vital Records Transcribers If you would like to transcribe early vital records, I will be glad to post them. You will own the copyright on the transcription and will get credit on this site.
Obituary Posting We need someone to play "cut and paste" and post the obituaries from your local newspapers onto our GenConnect boards.
Old Miscellaneous Documents Do you have old letters or stories that pertain to this county? Send em in!
Vintage Photos Yep! I will post them too. Places or vintage people. Just scan in photos and save them as a .jpg file and attach them to an email to me with details. No recent people photos, please. Recent scenery or buildings are fine.

Volunteers of Berkshire County

Dawn Marie Newton:  I grew up in Springfield, Hampden County, MA, but both of my parents were born in Pittsfield.  My father grew up in Lanesboro, and my mother grew up in Hinsdale.  Some of my happiest memories as a child were visiting their families in the Berkshires.  Today I love going up to the Berkshires, not just to do research, but to visit my family that is still there.  After trying unsuccessfully to find my 4th g-grandfather's death certificate in Cheshire, I found his gravestone.  It had been buried for over seven decades before a cousin of mine uncovered it.  Many of the older smaller cemeteries have been forgotten about, and in some cases, those are the only records available to know when an ancestor lived or died.  This has prompted me to try and start the Berkshire Cemetery Association, which would record all the cemeteries in the Berkshires, take digital pictures of them, donate the work to the libraries, and to make sure that all veterans graves are marked properly.  If you are interested in helping with this, please e-mail me.  I started volunteering on the USGenWeb site after Ray Brown took over and began to post oodles of information and was asking volunteers to help with the project.  I also maintain the USGenWeb sites of Windsor, Hartford County, CT  and Hampden County, MA.  One of the most rewarding things for me is to open my e-mail up and see a "thank-you" from someone who was able to find information on their family.

Patricia McMackin: Having many ancestors born and/or buried in Berkshire County, I am committed to do whatever I can to help preserve the history and heritage of this county. Even though I have never been to the Berkshires, I feel deep roots there.  Over the past twenty years many people have helped me with my genealogy and I feel it's my turn to give back.  I donate the web space and manage the Berkshire County Surname Page so we can all make connections with others working on the same names or families.  I also donate the web space and manage a site called Berkshire Cares, for the Berkshire Cemetery Association, which hopefully will develop into a clearing house of all of the graves in the county with lists and pictures.  I also help with the 1860 census transcription project for Ashtabula County, Ohio as many Berkshire families went to this area of Ohio.

(I thank Patricia for helping me by giving me some of the graphics used on this website, and for giving me quick lessons about using websites when I get stuck on something.  I also thank her for trying to start the Berkshire Cemetery Association with me, even though a great distance separates us.  Hopefully we can start this by Spring 2004.)  DMN

Margaret Bence Davis: I was born in Pittsfield, Berkshire County, Massachusetts and my family has lived in that area for many generations.  My search has taken me to Hancock, Pittsfield, Richmond and North Adams.  I could not have accomplished all the data that I have gathered without the assistance of many generous people.  I like to submit various documents to the Berkshire County site (and a few others in New England), as a means of repaying those that have helped me.  It gives me a sense of purpose and satisfaction and I hope that someone else may find information that will be helpful in their own family searches.

(I thank Margaret for not only helping on the Berkshire County USGenWeb site, but her interest in Berkshire Cemeteries.  Margaret also donates transcriptions to the Berkshire Family History Association.)  DMN

Bettye Seaton Liberty:  I was born in Lauderdale County in West Tennessee.  As a young teen-ager our family moved to Memphis, Tennessee where I lived until I moved to North Adams in 1979 to get married.  My family research is in Tennessee, North Carolina and South Carolina.  Since I began searching for my ancestors in 2000, I have received valuable information and gained tips on researching from so many volunteers.  I wanted to be able to give back by helping others.  Since I had no roots in Berkshire County, I had no documents to share with others.  When I learned there was a need for transcribers, I knew this was something I could do to help put information on the web site for other researchers. 

(I thank Bettye for transcribing records for the website.  She is always willing to help, even though she works long hours and has no family ancestry to Berkshire County!)

Beverly Nichols Rainey

Cindy Walcott

Greg McCabe

Kenneth Dale Mattson:  I was born in Hinsdale (Illinois, that is), but have traced  25% of my ancestry as having passed through Berkshire County, MA, in one way or another. I have often been the beneficiary of the hard work others have put into online resources, and now that my research seems to be on a temporary (I hope) plateau, I have discovered that I really do enjoy doing transcriptions. I have visited Berkshire County only once, but enjoyed the time very much and expect to return as time and resources permit.

(I thank Ken for his invaluable effort in building up the resources under the town of Sandisfield.  He has donated a lot of time to accurately transcribing records for Sandisfield.)  DMN

Michael W. Phelps:  While I was not born in Berkshire Co, my genealogy research has taken my Phelps family line back to Pittsfield in the late 1700s, most likely to Stephen Phelps, son of Nathaniel Phelps and Sarah Bush.  Starting around 1790, my family migrated to Freehold, Bethlehem and Pittstown, all in New York; Bennington, Vermont; Washington Co, Pennsylvania; Zanesville, Ohio; Napoleonville, Louisiana; and then finally Los Angeles, California.  Basically, these were people who couldn't stay in one place for long!  While living on the east coast a few years ago, I was able to spend several days doing research at the Pittsfield Athenaeum, so I got to know the town a little.  It seems like a wonderful place to hail from.  I also walked the lines of headstones at the main 
cemetery (those that were repositioned from the earliest cemeteries in town), and found Nathaniel and Sarah's markers.  I'm still working to confirm my connection to Stephen Phelps, and would like to get back to Pittsfield someday for more research.  Other Pittsfield names I am researching are ROOT and GOODRICH.

Michele Valenzo

T. Miscia

Valerie Lyon

Everlasting Thanks to Past Webmasters: Ray Brown, Laurel O'Donnell, Vikki Gray, & Claire Smith; All the Volunteers Who Work to Make This Website Great; & Rootsweb/ For Providing Us With Our Webspace!

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