Thursday, March 22, 2012
My blog has taken a back seat for awhile, but I just had to post about the new "Massachusetts, Town Vital Records, 1620-1988" record set that was recently added on Ancestry.com. Randy Seaver has also recently posted his initial thoughts about these new records on his Genea-Musings Blog, "Ancestry.com Adds Original Massachusetts Vital Records". In his post, he references the "Got Massachusetts Ancestors?" post by Crista Cowan on the Ancestry.com blog. Both posts give good information and background about the new record set.
I have had great initial success in finding several birth records for several of my ancestors. Today I found the birth record for my 5th great grandfather, Jacob Haskell, b. 27 Oct 1718, Gloucester, Essex County, Massachusetts (see third entry down in cropped image below)
One interesting thing that I have found, at least in the Gloucester, Essex County birth records that I have searched so far, is that there appear to be two or three versions of a given record. The record image above appears to be a copy of what may be the original Town Clerk's entry. For Jacob Haskell, I also found the following record. This record lists all the children of his parents that were born in Gloucester. My guess, given the neatness of the script is that this may be a transcription of the original Town Clerk's record, but I cannot be sure. The Ancestry.com source information for both records is exactly the same.
One reason I think this may be a transcription is because I have run into a similar situation in the vital records for the Town of New Gloucester, Cumberland County, Maine. My Haskell ancestors moved from Gloucester, Massachusetts to New Gloucester, Maine. Anyway, I am in the process of transcribing the New Gloucester vital records and the records I originally were given were transcriptions of the original clerk's records. After a little more digging in the town vault we came across the original records which look similar to the first image in this post.
I am looking forward to further searching in this record collection and I will post my results here. It really is a great time to be a genealogist and to have ancestor's from Massachusetts.
© 2012, copyright William C. Haskell