Greater Lowell Genealogy Club Newsletter - Fall 2006

Fall 2006


Newsletter of the Greater Lowell Genealogy Club


Upcoming Events:

September Meeting:

September 16, 2006, 1 PM to 3 PM, Pollard Memorial Library, Lowell - Susan Fougstedt of the Pollard Memorial Library will be our speaker.


October  Meeting: October 15, 2006, 1 PM to 3 PM- Annual Pot Luck - New Location: StonyBrook Fish and Game, Lowell Rd., Westford, MA 


November Meeting:  November 18, 2006, 1 PM to 3 PM- Chelmsford Library


December - No meeting.

Happy Holidays!


January Meeting:  January 20, 2007, 1 PM to 3PM- Pollard Memorial Library, Lowell.


February Meeting:  February 17, 2007 - Essex Society of Genealogists, Lynnfield, Ma.  - Researching Irish Ancestors, by Judith Lucey, of NEHGS.



Future Meetings: March 17, 2007, April 21, 2007 and May 20, 2007(Pot Luck Picnic).  Places and times will be given in the next newsletter.



September Meeting:

Our first meeting of the new year will feature our own Susan Fougstedt.  Susan is also, for those who don’t know, a reference librarian at the Pollard Memorial Library.  We have left the topic up to Susan’s expertise.  We know, with all the new library features, it will be an exciting meeting.


October Meeting:

Unfortunately, St. John’s Episcopal Church hall is not available this year so we have had to change the venue.  We’re going back to an old friend.  When we first started the Pot Luck experience, it was at Stony Brook.


Stony Brook Fish & Game Club,
128 Lowell Rd., Westford, MA

Take exit 32 off route 3 to
Drum Hill rotary.  Get onto Old Westford Rd.Take the first right onto Graniteville Rd. Proceed on Graniteville and stay left at the fork on the road just
past Sully's Ice Cream. Continue on Graniteville (Parker Middle School is on your right)
approximately 1.5 miles. You will then come to a four-way (stop) intersection with School
Street. Proceed straight through this intersection. This is where
Graniteville becomes Lowell Rd.
From this intersection, the Stony Brook Fish and Game Club is about 0.2 miles on your right just after you cross the town line from Chelmsford to Westford.


November Meeting:

Our November meeting will be held at the Chelmsford Library.  We hope to have a new video for us all to watch.  But, please come and bring along your fall trees for everyone to enjoy!  We all love to see how trees are decorated!


January Meeting: 

January’s meeting will again be held at the Pollard Library. With the possibility of bad weather, we think downtown is a better choice for all.  We haven’t finalized who the speaker will be, but hope to have that information for you before the meeting.  Please check our web page, if possible or call one of the board members.


February Meeting:

For those researching Irish ancestors, we are again joining the Essex Society of Genealogists in Lynnfield, MA.  The directions will be in the next newsletter.





President – Diane Laferriere  -       978-649-3855 –

Vice President  - Maureen Famolare –        978-663-6491 –

Secretary – Laura Bedard – 603-598-0834 -

Treasurer – Karen Jeffers – 978-663-3664

Future Meetings:  We are looking into the possibility of having at least one meeting at the senior center in Lowell.  We need input from our members since the meeting must start at 10 or 10:30 AM and end by 12:30 PM.  This would be a Saturday morning.



Past Happenings:

June Meeting:  Our first annual spring Pot Luck Picnic was held at the home of Roland and Laura Bedard.  After a slow start, a wonderful time was had by all!  We had a delicious assortment of foods.  One new treat tried by most was Yvonne and Ed’s Red Hot Dogs.  They were actually great once you got past the color.  No, really they were!  We all had such a good time, we have already scheduled next year’s feast for May 20, 2007.

Elections were finally held (still without a forum).  The results are IN; our new president is Diane Leferriere, Vice-president is Maureen Famolare, Secretary is Laura Bedard and our Treasurer is Karen Jeffers. 

It has been decided by the board that all future elections will be held at the Spring Pot Luck – forum or not!

Attendance:  Roland and Laura Bedard, Al and Sandra Dudley, Yvonne and Ed Miller, Theresa Masson, Diane Laferriere and her daughter, Peg Leedberg, Maureen Famolare, Karen Jeffers and Barbara Poole.



From Our Members . . .


A member has asked the following question:  How do you obtain records from an old funeral home?  How can you find out if older records were disposed of or transferred to the new owner?  We know you can find the original funeral home from death or burial certificate, but what is the next step to finding the new funeral home if the old is closed?  


Family Lines:

Frances Rubino:

St. Johns of Ireland before 1861

Flahavans of Ireland before 1861

McKennas of Ireland before 1840

Farrellys of Ireland before 1840


Brick walls:  Rita Dion/Dione b 1925-1930 in MA m Unknown Lemire

Grace St. John b 13 April 1903, son,McCredy/McCready

Contact information:

        -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -  

L.Bowman Sturtevant:

Sturtevants of ME/MA, 1700-1800

Bryants of ME/MA, 1700-1800

Hunters of NY, 1800-1900

Bowman/Bowermans of MA/ME, 1700-1800

Heald-Monk-Spauldings of MA/ME, 1700-1800

Hebron/Oxford, Maine connection

Contact information:

        -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -  

Frederic W. Barnes:

Barnes, Bronson, Curtiss, Foote, Scoville, Spafford, Tuttle, Woodruff and Allied Families


Frederic has written a book about his family called The Genealogy of Thomas Barnes of Hartford, Ct (1615 -2001).

Contact information:



New Members:


Jane Pappas, 80 Willard St, Lowell, MA 01850


Cheryl Crosby, 14 Hampden St, Lowell, MA 01851


Tidbits from Barbara Poole:


One of our members, Marilyn Day, sent this book recommendation to me.  She wrote, “After seeing Yvonne Miller's mention of genealogical mysteries, I found the following one great:  A change of pace – if you like a good mystery, and all of Thomas Perry’s books keep you on the edge of your seat, read his 2001 offering called Death Benefits.  You will be surprised how an insurance scam from California to Florida comes full circle and ends up at Hazen Drive in New Hampshire with researchers using vital record to help solve the crime.”  Note, as yet I haven’t read it, but took it out and husband Bill is reading it now.


The Chelmsford Public Library and the Chelmsford Genealogy Club present a free lecture, open to the public, on Tuesday, September 12, 2006 at 7:00 the library.  Dennis Ahern will be offering tips for “Using the Internet for Irish Genealogy” and since he is a great speaker, I’m sure it will be well attended.


In my previous Tidbits column, I discussed “Internet Genealogy” the magazine.  I will bring in the past three issues to the next meeting for you to look at.  The publisher/editor has asked for recommendations as to what the readers would like.  One was to have all the websites listed in the magazine to be on one page, however the magazine went one step further and have a website for all their links.  Please check out  It now includes a section listing the links for each magazine (both past and current issues), so you don’t have to type it out, and it gives you an idea of what the magazine has covered.


The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) Conference will be held in Boston in late August this year.  I will be volunteering and attending some seminars.  From a reliable source, they expect over 1,500 attendees (that is a pretty big group).  A large number of well-known speakers will be there and the sponsors are and ProQuest to name a few.  An attendee can listen to some great lectures; visit the exhibit hall where there will be the newest of genealogy items, as well as books and any type of genealogy product to purchase.  I hope to bring back some type of information to share with you at the next meeting.


Podcasts, what are they?

This article I wrote for a friend’s blog and it got a nice response.

Ok, let’s get the definition of Podcast out of the way first.  According to my question to, I wrote “What does Podcast mean?”  They reply was short and to the point.  Podcast means A sound file distributed by a podcasting server.  I don’t think we need to worry about the server, but a sound file I do understand.  Just be sure to have your sound turned on!

Googling the words Podcast + genealogy, generated 400,000 hits on June 24, 2006.  I suspect that list will grow as time goes on.  This does not mean there are 400,000 separate podcasts, some of the more popular sites are mentioned in different blogs or web pages, so the same podcast could be mentioned several times.  To find a more specific site, you can add more words in your search engine, subjects such as Italian, Canadian, organizing, filing, or Polish (the words podcast + genealogy + Polish will give you Steven Danko’s blog.

I am only going to discuss two of the well known genealogy podcasts.  The first one listed below has been around for quite a long time, and the second much more recent.  Both uniquely different.  One has just the sound of the speakers, the other has visuals to go along with the lecture.  There are many other podcasts out there, you should be able to find some which meet your needs.

A very popular podcast is  in which George G. Morgan and Drew Smith discuss news items, have interviews and answer listener’s mail.  There is also a short advertisement from their sponsor.   The two interact well with one another, and a discussion outline is provided as well.  However, you can’t replay the previous topic (you would have to replay the entire podcast).  Their voices are soothing to listen to, and it is a joy to listen to them while doing something else, either at the computer or away from the computer. 

One of the first podcasts I listened to was through the New England Historical Genealogical Society (NEHGS) web site: The lecture was called, Who Was Your Mother’s Mother’s Mother’s Mother? by Julie Helen Otto, a genealogist at the Society.  This is a free lecture. Listening to this was like being in a lecture hall, as there were slides & graphics, as well as an outline and the length of time shown for each topic (you always knew how much time was left).  In addition, it is very easy to press replay or skip a topic.  On another note, I know Julie personally and was very impressed with her lecture, and I have told her that.  If the icon for this lecture is not on the home page (it will probably be removed when the next new lecture is posted), just go to the Education Center tab and you will see archived lectures, including several for Getting Started in Genealogy.

I am thinking that this might be the future for some genealogy seminars at conferences.  Instead of purchasing the lecture on a tape cassette, you would pay for the lecture when you download it.  The last large conference I attended, I ordered a set of 9 cassettes (you normally can’t attend each lecture you want to hear as there are too many being held at the same time), and so buying them was the next best thing.  The worst thing was having to wait around after the lecture for the cassettes to be copied.  Then you had to carry them home in an already stuffed suitcase!

It should be noted that Podcasts are not just for genealogists, people in other professions use them too, but of course we like to think they were developed just for us, as were blogs, emails, message boards, chats and computers!


Coming soon to our website:

We will be posting to our website a list of all counties, cities and towns of MA listed in the Manual for the General Court, 1906.  The tables show current and extinct towns, cities and districts.  The wonderful thing about this table is that it shows when the town or city was established, where it was established from, changes in boundaries, when it was incorporated, when it became extinct and if it did where it went and most important, the date it was first mentioned in the records.

All this information comes into play when you are searching for a record in one town and discover the town didn’t exist when you thought your ancestors lived there.  An example:  Karen was researching her husband’s family. Family records indicated they came from Wilmington.  Karen found that Wilmington was formed from Woburn and then went to Woburn to find the family records.  However, she couldn’t verify all the infor-mation given by her husband’s family.  By accident, while researching a totally different family, she found the records in Reading.  Wilmington was also formed from part of  Reading.  This table could have eliminated at lot of travel, time and aggravation.


Middlesex and Essex Counties should be posted soon.  Check it out at:

 Information – P-L-E-A-S-E


If you have any ideas for speakers, day trips or general meetings, OR if you have any interesting tidbits of information contact:

Maureen –

Karen –


One Simple Question

By Diane Laferriere


Part 4 – Final

Recap:  Looking for Mary (Thompson) Hohmann, she was the wife of Louis. She was born in Massachusetts, married in London England 1900, when did she die and where is she buried? Their daughter Aileen was born in Boston in 1905. Their son Karl was born in Boston in 1906. I have information that around 1937 she moved back to Waltham to be near her son. I am waiting for a reply from the Waltham City clerk for Mary Hohmann’s death record.


A few days later I received an envelope from the Waltham City,clerk, the envelope was thick, that meant there was more than just 1 sheet of paper, I tried not to get too excited.  The additional sheets where not the death certificate as I had hoped, it was a copy of  the information needed to request a search of the death records for the entire state of Massachusetts from the Registry of Vital Records in Boston.  The Waltham Cityclerk had looked and not found any record of her death, they suggested that I should request a search at the Registry of Vital Records and provided me with a copy of their “Fees for Vital Record Service”. By mail it cost $28.00, it is $10.00 less if you go to the Registry in person, but I did not have time to go to  Boston to request the search.  Even if you go, they do not let you search you have to request them to search.  I received a response a few weeks later. Their form states that they will check a 10 year span, so I asked for 1937 to 1947 since that was the last year I found any information on Mary. When I received their notice it stated that they had searched from 1936 through 1950, but again, no death record for Mary Hohmann.  I still have a few idea’s that I will try, but this quest has taken long enough, it is time to let my friend know what I was able to find out about his ancestor, but that I was not able to find when his grandmother died and where she is buried.


The information his cousin sent me did show that his Grandmother’s family has been in the United States since the mid 1600’s in Maine.  I am sure that he is more interested in the recent history of his family, but I am so excited that his family has been in here for so long, that I have adopted them into my search circle of names.  It has been a great adventure and learning experience for me, since I can only trace my ancestors back to the 1840’s in the United States.


As more data become available on the internet on free and subscription websites, I will continue to search for Mary Hohmann’s resting place.


The End (for now)

Form for Sharing Information to appear in newsletter


Member’s Name _____________________________________________


Contact Information (E-Mail, Address or Phone – You choose.)




Lines Being Researched                                  Place                                       Time  

__________________      ______________    ______________

__________________      ______________    ______________

__________________      ______________    ______________

__________________      ______________    ______________


Brick Walls I need help on:





Use another sheet of paper if needed (or the back of this sheet).


------------------------------------------------- cut here------------------------------------------------

2007 DUES!!!!!!!!

(Remember, dues run January to December)


The membership rates are as follows:


 ___   $10.00 per Individual

 ___   $20.00 for a Family

 ___   $5.00 per Senior (age 62 and over)


Enclosed please find $_________ for 2007 dues.


Name    __________________________________________




Phone   __________________________________________

E-mail  __________________________________________


Send form and check to:

Greater Lowell Genealogy Club

c/o Karen Jeffers

35 Franklin Street

N. Billerica, MA  01862-1441