NEHGS in Boston

Wow. It has been a long time since I have posted anything of note here. The wife and I were gone all of last week. We were in Boston for a conference. While there, I had the opportunity to visit the New England Historic Genealogical Society. Happily, it was within easy walking distance from where we were staying. I had my ancester report all printed out and ready to go, but I really didn’t know what information I was going to look for.

The building that the society is in is pretty neat. It is six stories tall and old looking on the outside. I was very impressed by the number of books and other things that they had in their collection. The main thing I decided to look at were vital records for Quebec church parishes. A lot of information that I am lacking is death dates for my ancestors in the 1800s. This ended up being a good thing/bad thing kind of thing. 🙂

The parish records that they had were all on microfilm. The dates for the records was highly variable as well. Having no general index for the records made things difficult, but I would say that the hardest thing about it was trying to read the records themselves. They were written in French (duh) and were in longhand. I had a very hard time just trying to decipher the most basic of information. So, I looked at a few films and decided that I didn’t have the patience to do that for very long. I did get some information, but not a lot.

I then meandered into the stacks and browsed the books. They had a pretty good collection of books on Quebec. The one thing that I wished they had, but didn’t have in book form, was the Blue Drouin. I know the ACGS has that because I have used it before.

All, in all, the trip to the NEHGS was fun, but I wasn’t really prepared to spend hours upon hours reading French longhand. Things have quieted down on the genealogy front for now. I still might make a quick trip to Quebec this spring, but that has not been decided for sure yet.

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Steve Rock

I have been doing French-Canadian genealogy for about 14 years. I enjoy doing research for other people who are new to genealogy and want to discover their French-Canadian lineages. Drop me a line at and let me give you a hand!

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