Spring 2007


Newsletter of the Greater Lowell Genealogy Club




Upcoming Events:


April Meeting: April 21, 2007

1PM – 3PM , Chelmsford Library.  Barbara Poole will present “Using Google for Genealogy Research”


May Meeting:  May 20, 2007, 1PM – 3PM, Pot Luck Picnic –  for the second year in a row will be held at Roland and Laura Bedard’s house at 6 Logan Court, Hudson, NH.


June thru August:  Have a great and safe summer


April Meeting:

Barbara Poole has agreed to present her course on “Using Google for Genealogy Research”. Barbara has presented this course for the Chelmsford Library in the past and it was well received, so we are lucky to have her present it to us.  If you are just beginning to find you way around a computer or even if you’re not, Barbara will show us there is more to Google then just a search engine.

May Meeting:

Our second annual Pot Luck picnic will be at Roland and Laura Bedard’s home.  For those who couldn’t attend last year, we had a great time.  Lots of great food and good conversation.  Directions to Laura’s house are:  Take Rt. 3 north to exit 2 to DW Highway/ Hudson. Keep left at fork in ramp and cross bridge to Hudson.  At end of road, (Hudson Wal-mart will across the street from you) turn left onto Lowell St.  Go down the road a bit, pass T-Bones.  At the next light take a right onto Library St.  Follow Library St. to light at center of Hudson.  Take a sharp right onto Highland St. A little more than a mile down the road, turn left onto Scottsdale Drive (also labeled Highland Woods).  Take second left onto Logan Court.  Look for the Pumpkin Colored House, this is Laura and Roland’s home.  If you get lost, call Laura at 603-598-0834 and she will be happy to guide you there.


Note from the President:

All the following information can be found on our GLGC website:


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Don’t miss another meeting because you misplaced your newsletter. The meetings are listed on the main page.

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Recently added to our website:  Lowell High School Examination as of March 29, 1849 – this lists students and teachers names. 

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Have you ever wondered how to find a Genealogical Society in another city or state? Check out the Federation of Genealogical Societies – Society Hall listing.

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Do you have a veteran in your family and don’t know where they are buried or their unit?  We have started transcribing and posting the “Veterans’ Grave Registration” Cards for Lowell and surrounding towns. These begin with the Revolutionary War and end with World War II.  So far we have completed surnames Abare to Boynton.

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Check out American Wars for  brief histories including the beginning and ending dates.

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Civil War pension files can be a goldmine of genealogical information. Click on Civil War Pensions to see a transcription of my Great Grandfather’s (Kearon Hogan) pension file. It contains the marriage certificate of his widow to her second husband.

If you have a Civil War soldier



President – Diane Laferriere  -

      978-649-3855 – GLGClub@msn.com

Vice President  - Maureen Famolare –

       978-663-6491 – Jimsmoe@comcast.net

Secretary – Laura Bedard

603-598-0834 - Travel2day@adelphia.com

Treasurer – Karen Jeffers – 978-663-3664


who filed for a pension, learn how to request a Pension file        Don’t wait too long, the National Archives and Records Administration is planning to raise the fee for this from $37.00 to $125.00.  (In the next issue, we will discuss how to request a pension file.)

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Maps – I found a great website that has posted many 1870 maps of MA towns. These maps list property owners, schools, businesses, cemeteries, etc.

Also under Maps is a link to another website Maureen Famolare found.   There is a fee for their map service, but they also have some City Directories that are free.

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Cemeteries – Do you have an ancestor buried in Billerica, MA?  Click on the Billerica Library’s website for more information on their cemeteries.

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Did you know that the city of Boston Parks department has added a database to their website “Boston Historic Burying Grounds”? You can search by cemetery or by last name.

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Feel free to contact the club’s email address if you have any questions, trouble finding information on the website or have a website to share.

Diane Laferriere


Past Happenings:

January Meeting:

January’s meeting was very interesting. Barbara Mathews, C.G. gave us wonderful incite into the process of checking and rechecking our data.  She pointed out that the information on even vital records is only as good as the person reporting the information.  So if you think something in print is incorrect, you may be right.  So keep going, check again.  An example: many errors have been found in Connecticut’s Barbour index.

This is what Barbara Mathews suggests to do with data disagreement:

Don’t discard the document or source; don’t ignore it.

Include the document with the error in your analysis and writing.  Some ways to do this are:

òIn a database, add an alternate event (such as a second birth or perhaps just a note) with the conflicting data.  Include a full citation and explain that it is in conflict with the other information

òIn a compilation, include a footnote discussing the different information this document contains and what you analyze as its validity.

òInclude a paragraph in text describing what the document states that is in conflict with other documents.  Explain why you think this document is in error.


Members in attendance: Maureen Famolare, Karen Jeffers, Diane Leferriere, Bill Cheetham, Barbara Poole, Jane(Bengtson) Pappas, Diane Shields, Madeleine and Donald Pattershall, Mary Latham, Nancy Paquin, Margaret Leedberg, Theresa Dionne, Laura Bedard, Terry Masson, Yvonne and Ed Miller


February Meeting:

During our drive to Lynnfield for the lecture on “Researching your Irish Ancestors,” my mother and I were discussing how difficult it has been to verify her Irish family because of their common surname, Hogan. I was impressed that my Mom, who has not done any research in years because of her eyes, remembered the details so well.  We arrived in time to have a quick lunch at one of the tables. We did not know that we were sitting with the speaker until she got up and went to the podium.


Judy Lucey is an assistant archivist at New England Historical Genealogical Society. She told us not to be discouraged by common surnames or the fact that some records in Ireland have been destroyed because there is still a wealth of information to be found.  She recommended that you start your search in the US and follow the correct ancestors back to Ireland. You need to know their place of origin in Ireland.  Judy used her Great Great Grandmother, Mary Hogan.  Needless to say this perked up my ears, as my Great Great Grandfather had a sister Mary Hogan who we have not been able to trace at all. Judy suggested not only looking at your direct line, but also that of siblings.  She also mentioned that the Irish Catholics often had family members as the godparents and witnesses for baptisms and marriages, so check church records. When she told us her Mary Hogan was married about 1910, I knew this was not our Mary Hogan. 


The information Judy provided has perked my interest in searching for my Irish roots once again, and the handout she provided gives me the tools to get started.

Diane Laferriere


March Meeting:  Cancelled due to snow

Nonmember  Request:

Hello, I don't know if I have written before.  My grandmother, Annette Gertrude Gelinas LeBar was born in Lowell, MA. She was the daughter of Albert and Regina Sylvester Gelinas. I was trying to find out if Annette and John LeBar were married in Lowell. I know that my Uncle Ralph and my uncle Bill were both born in Lowell. My Dad said that John went there for work, but moved to E Stroudsburg, PA when his brother Bert offered him a job. Later, Albert and Regina also moved here. However Annette's two sisters, Bertha Amy and Blanche, stayed in MA. Bertha Amy married Alexander Richards.  I think Bertha died around May 17, 1952.

When my grandmother’s brother Anthony died in 1953, Blanche Gelinas Goulet was still living in Fall River Mass.  


If anyone has any information regarding this family please contact:

Annette LeBar

RR2 Box 2020

Stroudsburg, PA 18360


610-262-6090 ext 259 my work number   M-F  8:30-5:00



Family Lines and Brick Walls:

Mary Rubenstein has lost her grandfather, John Waldo Reed (1874± - 1920?).  She also needs help with Reeds of Reeds Ferry.  Mary is researching Reeds in NH from 1750-1800 and Reeds in Senaca Co., NY from 1800-1900.  If you can help Mary find her grandfather, contact her at 28 Pine Ridge Rd., N. Reading, MA 01864


Albert C. Dudley is researching the following lines:  William Dudley of Co. Surrey, England (1580-1620) and Maria Cornwell of CT (1809-1852).  Al’s brick walls are John Westfield of Albany, NY (1800-1900) and Elizabeth Hatch of Middletown, CT (1715-1806)  Al can be contacted at adud@comcast.net


Jane (Bengtson) Pappas is researching Bengtsons of Sweden in 1800’s and (Chell-frost) frosts of England in 1800’s.

Jane needs help with McInerneys of County Clare, Ireland and Boyles of County Tyrone, Ireland.  If you have any information on these families, contact Jane at JfBPappas@comcast.net


Shirley Ann Orr working on the Emmotts of Lowell (1830-1957), Burroughs of Lowell circa 1900, Flanagans of Lowell (1850-1924) and Dugdales of Lowell in the 1840’s and Ewans of Lowell in ±1860(?).  Shirley can be contacted at 781-334-6584.


Ann S. Casey is tracking down John Murningham of Monaghan, Ireland in 1850 and Michael Dolan of Roscommon, Ireland in 1846.

Ann contact information is 159 Myron St. Dracut, MA 01826


Tidbits from Barbara Poole

Should you put your information out there for others to see?  I pondered that question many times before I submitted my GEDCOM to familysearch.org about five years ago.  Since that time, I have received a number of inquires via snail mail, as I had given my address (I don’t think email addresses were used then).  Even now, I receive letters with a question or two, and am amazed that these people took the time to write.  One even tracked me down using my address in a Google search and found out my phone number and called.  But I didn’t mind, as I know what it is like to really want to contact somebody immediately.  These people are kind and I’ve never had a problem.


I went a step further by submitting my tree to RootsWeb.  It was because of an article in the NEHGS eNews of January 3, 2007, called Drawing Attention to Your Book or Article
by Helen Schatvet Ullmann, CG, FASG.  I listen to Helen, as I’ve known her about 10 years and know she wouldn’t say something she wouldn’t mean.  She also was a guest speaker at two of our meetings.  In her article, she mentioned how she submitted a GEDCOM to RootsWeb and her tree had a lot of members of her Peter Mills line (she had just published a book on this family).  And because of what she submitted, her book sold out.


After all the years of doing my genealogy, I wanted to share my information with a wider group of people, and with people who could contact me immediately via email.  To submit a tree is rather simple, and the information you put in as a contact could be made up (for those who wish to be anonymous). I used my real name, why use Smith, if I want to touch base with a Poole?  With RootsWeb, you can decide if you want your information uploaded into a reader’s file; I decided not.  If they want my information they need to enter it manually.  Also, I didn’t include information pertaining to living relatives or notes.  You can remove your tree or update when you want, so I do it weekly (very little effort involved) and I know my tree is pretty much up to date.  Not only does your RootsWeb information get incorporated into Ancestry’s WorldConnect, but people doing Google searches will find your information.


In the past, I have found information from other people. Now it was time to give back and share what I have.  So many people are unwilling to share their information.  Sometimes, I wonder why they are even doing research. 


With several, unresolved problems with Family Tree Maker (FTM), I decided I wanted my information also available to me.  So, when I’m at another computer or location, it is easy to access your tree.  Note, it doesn’t transfer photos, but all the data transferred beautifully.  With my RootsWeb site, I have been contacted by at least 1-2 persons a week.  All have either asked for a little information or shared some really valuable information I didn’t have, after all if it is their line they want to share correct data.  It has worked in my favor.  The positive outweighs the negative, actually, I can’t think of a negative and that is probably why RootsWeb is so popular.  Granted, you have to sift through the data bases to find what you are looking for, but heck, it is free information, especially if the submitter included sources.  In my case, I use a separate email account just for the RootsWeb site, so all mail is not connected to my primary email account.


Now recently, I discovered another place to keep my information.   This was found by accident.  If you subscribe to Ancestry.com, the site is there.   When you are at Ancestry.com, the first tab is home, and the next is My Ancestry.  It is this tab you want to use for your tree. I used the same GEDCOM as RootsWeb and uploaded it in to My Ancestry.  The features are really nice, and you can either keep this tree to yourself or share it with others.  For now, I will keep it for myself.  This is a free feature for subscribers, and it took all of my 30,000 names.  This feature is being updated as it has only been available since July 2006.  According to Ancestry, “1,000,000 members started a tree (March 2007).”  I love their automatic timeline feature, giving the age of a person for marriage and death.  You can upload photos as well, whereas that isn’t the case with RootsWeb.  However, no notes are available to view from anybody but the submitter. As with RootsWeb, you can view your tree from another location or computer by logging on to your Ancestry.com account and then go to the My Tree tab.  Your information is right there, no need to open up FTM, if you didn’t want to.


If you have ever worried about a hurricane, major storm, floods or other disaster which could wipe out your genealogy data, these two methods could be a life safer.  Granted many of us backup to CD’s, but often they are near the computer.  At least the information is stored on servers many miles from me.


The other day, I was merging and being quite confident in what I was doing.  Before I realized it, I didn’t have the parents for the husband…and I thought I really messed up the merge process.  Quickly, I went to the Ancestry tree, pulled up the name, and sure enough, I never even had the husband’s parents!  Fortunately, I only had to worry about 2 minutes before I knew I was ok and the merge was correct.  If I hadn’t submitted my tree, I would still be trying to figure out who James Mead’s parents were.



Coming in the Fall:

An updated list of all members and their vital information.

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).


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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 2006 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