Tuesday, April 3, 2012

TITANIC Memorial Dedication in Stoughton on April 15, 2012

The public is cordially invited on April 15, 2012 (at 2 p.m.) to attend

A Memorial Dedication of a Bronze Plaque
In memory of a forgotten Stoughton resident

who was victim of the R.M.S. TITANIC

George Quincy Clifford was a forty year old Stoughton resident and the President of the George E. Belcher Last Co.  He perished on his voyage back to Stoughton aboard the R.M.S. TITANIC on April 15, 1912.  George had been traveling in Europe since February 1912 securing contracts for the Belcher Last Co. in hopes to supply more work for Stoughton residents at that factory.  His body was never recovered.  

Location: Please join us 100 years to the day of the sinking of the TITANIC.  We will meet in Stoughton at 4 Capen Street (off Pleasant St. Rte. 139) where we will unveil a beautiful (18x14) Bronze plaque installed on the structure of the former Belcher Last Factory where he worked (now the Rose Forte Apartment building) in Stoughton.  This plaque was made possible by the generous donations of Stoughton citizens and Titanic historians.

We will be joined by some of his descendants who will be asked to unveil this memorial long overdue in the town of Stoughton.  At which time will also be a short memorial service at the unveiling to remember the passengers who died on the TITANIC, and to remember our local resident who perished a century this day.

The service will include words from the clergy of his former church in Brockton; a brief historical sketch of his life by Stoughton historian David Allen Lambert; remarks by invited guests; and the singing of the Mariners Hymn – For Those in Peril on the Sea (the last hymn sung aboard the TITANIC at church services held the morning of April 14, 1912).

After the memorial dedication please attend a reception and open house at the Stoughton Historical Society immediately following at 6 Park Street (corner of Pleasant and Park).

Any questions please contact David Allen Lambert at dalresearch@verizon.net

Sunday, April 1, 2012

The town of Stoughton has purchased historic Glen Echo Park.  This was opened as a park and recreation area in 1895, and had previously been York Pond, and before that home of the Punkapoag Indians.

Thrilled to be on page one of the Boston Globe South today.  If you have a subscription or pick up the Globe tell me what you think.  http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/regionals/south

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Cemeteries of Norfolk County - Canton, Massachusetts

My neighbors to the north in Canton share a little history with my hometown of Stoughton.  Back in 1993 I went and transcribed all the pre-1797 gravestones in Canton.  This would represent burials that occurred in what is now Canton, when it was still Stoughton.

Have you ever driven by a cemetery and wondered about it?  So this week I will discuss the cemeteries in Norfolk County town by town in brief. This information is a brief outline from the second edition to my book A Guide to Massachusetts Cemeteries.  

I have added over 3,000 gravestones to Find-a-Grave most of which are in Norfolk County.  If you want to see the oldest gravestones from Sharon, Stoughton and Canton take a look at the inventory I have on my Find-a-Grave account.


Burr Lane Indian Cemetery site off Burr Lane.

Canton Corner Cemetery (1716) on Washington Street.

Chapman Street Indian Cemetery site, Chapman Street.

Gridley Cemetery Site (aka) Small Pox Cemetery Site (1764) on Kinsley Place, off Washington Street.  A great article about this cemetery written by my friend and fellow historian George Comeau can be seen online.

Knollwood Memorial Park (1898) 319 High Street.

Proprietors Cemetery (aka) Old English Cemetery (1742) across from 2018 Washington Street.

Punkapoag Village Indian Cemetery (17th century) in woods off Indian Lane.  Marked by a boulder with the incorrect date of "1650" as it should be 1657.   Should I mention the Canton town seal also has the incorrect date of 1650?  Well maybe on another blog.  I also have strong personal feelings that the Canton Historical Society should deed this cemetery back to the Tribal Council of the Punkapoag Indians, as this is their ancestral burying ground.

St. Mary's Catholic Cemetery (1847) Washington and Randolph Streets.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Dedham's Majestic Towered Train Station now only a memory of a handful of commuters.

Once upon a time Dedham, Massachusetts there stood a majestic 19th century train station.  It was the second to last granite towered railroad station in Norfolk County.  The Dedham Railroad Station was built in 1883 and was designed by Sturgis & Brigham Architects.  Charles Brigham of that firm would later design the surviving towered train Station in Stoughton. 

This imposing station of granite and brownstone was abandoned at the height of the Great Depression in 1933, and sadly torn down in 1951.  Hopefully the now closed station in Stoughton  will not meet the same fate as its sister station in Dedham.

In the 1970's when renovations were being done at the Stoughton Station the late Freeman Fogg of Stoughton rescued three clock faces from the Stoughton tower.  One was at his property on Sumner Street, the other down the Cape.  The other is in my back shed!  As a historian you just never now when something might come in handy!!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Train Stations of Norfolk County.

I must say I am spoiled having spent the better part of 19 years taking the Commuter Rail from Stoughton.  And most of the time I got to spend my mornings in the majestic 1888 granite tower train station.  There is so much history inside that lovely station.  But sadly for the past couple of years it has been boarded up.  Last year the Train canopy that protects the passengers has been repaired, the gaping holes are gone... and so are the pigeons.  Perhaps they have flown over to my fellow blogger Heather McGinley's roost down the street. 

Would love to hear some stories about the stations that are no longer.  I have only had the honor to go in Canton, Sharon and Stoughton stations.  Can anyone add something here... let's get on board shall we?

Monday, March 12, 2012

Happy 100th Birthday Girl Scouts of Norfolk County!

Today I had the honor to speak to a group of nearly 100 Girls Scouts from Stoughton, Massachusetts.  I told them how life was different for kids back in 1912 when Girls Scouts started out.  I told them a little about the local history of their town.  I was honored to watch all of them recite the Girl Scout Promise on today the 100th Anniversary of the creation of Girl Scouts of America.

I was also delighted to receive the above wrapped present.  Inside... you guessed it!  Girls Scout Cookies!!

Happy 100th Birthday Girl Scouts of Stoughton... Norfolk County.... Massachusetts... and around U.S.A.

Do you think the cookies are only 100 calories each??  :)

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Understanding the Slave Census of 1754 for Massachusetts

Many people think about genealogical research and assume the 1790 Census would be the first census for what is now Norfolk County, or the Direct Tax of 1771.

That actually is not the case at all.  The first census to list inhabitants did not list them by name, and did not even require a count of those under sixteen. This  This often under utilized historical census is on microfilm at the Massachusetts State Archives.  The following example for Stoughton does give names - however of the Board of Assessors of the town of Stoughton - not of the slaves from the community.  The sad fact is that most people you speak too will not even realize that slavery existed in the north.  Well before the Civil War New England had an active African and Native American slave population.  In Massachusetts it was active through the end of the American Revolutionary War.  This early census is not complete - taking into account it is only listing those who were over 16 years of age.  What about the children that were not counted?  How many were there?

If you are interested taking a look of a chapter of your local history take a look at this series the next time you are researching at the Massachusetts State Archives.

Here is a glimpse at Stoughton's 1754 Slave Census.

  Stoughton Ss
                                                            In Obediance to the Order of ye Great &
                                                            General Court of ye Nineteenth of November
                                                            Last, We have Taken An Exact Act of the
                                                            Negro Slaves Within ye Town of Stoughton
                                                            & find that there is Six Males & Two Females,
                                                            of Sixteen Years old and upward.

                                    Stoughton Janry                                       Elkanah Billing  ]
                                     ye 1st 1755                                  Wm Royall           ]     Assessors
                                                                                         Joseph Billing     ]
                                                                                         Daniel Richards  ]

Note: Though only eight slaves are listed above sixteen, there is no accounting of the slave children who obviously resided in Stoughton.

Source: Massachusetts Slave Census of 1754 [Stoughton, p. 97].

Friday, March 9, 2012

Digging for the Records of the old Dedham Jail

I have seen the records for Charlestown Prison, Charles Street Jail (Boston), and Deer Island Prison (Boston). But you think I could lay my hands on the inmate registers for Norfolk County from the early 19th century.  In the Vital Records recently published for Dedham, Massachusetts there are a few pages of inmates ca. 1810.  If one of my hardworking colleagues has ever had the pleasure to page through these records let me know.  Working on an upcoming lecture on Prison records and would like to address the local population.  The U.S. Federal and State census list the inmates, but I seek the full listing from the start the first door swung shut.

An interesting history with some photos can be seen on the website for the Sheriff of Norfolk County.  Whose office is getting a call from me next week, perhaps they can tell me where the old Sheriff records are held!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Read All About It!  

The first newspaper in Dedham, Massachusetts was The Minerva published Tuesday, October 11, 1796.  The paper was published by Nathaniel and Benjamin Beaton.   This was the first newspaper published in a town after the county was incorporated in 1793.  The Minerva would later be known as The Columbian Minerva which was published by Herman Mann from 1797 to 1804.

There have been a long run of successive newspapers for the county seat.  This includes the Norfolk Repository (1805-1814), The Dedham Gazette (1813-1819), The Village Register (1820-1829), The Norfolk County Republican (1829-1830), The Dedham Patriot later the Dedham Gazette started in publication in 1830.  In 1831 the newspaper known as the Independent Politician and Working Men's Advocate began production.  In 1832 it was renamed the Norfolk Advertiser and Independent Politician, and yet another name change reverted it back to the Norfolk Advertiser again.  The paper would eventually be renamed the Norfolk Democrat until its merger with the Dedham Gazette in 1854.  The current news for Dedham can easily be found online for readers of The Dedham Transcript.

Many fine Norfolk County newspapers can be searched at the Boston Public Library Microtext Department, as well as participating libraries with access to Early American Newspapers by Readex.

On microfilm at the Boston Public Library they have the following Dedham titles since 1796.

  • The Minerva and Columbian Minerva - 1796-1804.
  • Norfolk Repository - 1805-1809
  • Dedham Gazette - 1813-1819, 1850-1870 
  • Village Register - 1820-1825
  • Norfolk County Republican - 1829-1830
  • Neponset Valley Daily News - 1999-
  • Norfolk County Gazette - 1870-1877, 1879-1898
  • Dedham Transcript and Norfolk County Advertiser - 1870-1871
  • Dedham Transcript - 1871-1973
  • Daily Transcript - 1973-1999
  • Dedham Standard - 1882-1890
  • Dedham Times - 1993-

The New England Historic Genealogical Society offers as part of their membership access to Series 1 of the Early American Newspapers as a premium database.  This is a quick way to search any word in some of the above Dedham newspapers.  I used this subscription to locate early news for my hometown of Stoughton.  Since Stoughton did not introduce a newspaper until the early 1860's using the newspapers of neighboring communities assisted me greatly.  I use the method of examining the neighboring towns to find coverage for a when the community in Norfolk County I want did not have their own newspaper.

Wishing you Happy Reading !!

Monday, March 5, 2012

East Stoughton, Massachusetts - now Avon.  A stroll to the oldest surviving gravestones. A good colleague Marian Pierre-Louis (Genealogist and Blogger - follow her amazing website on New England gravestones The Symbolic Past) today asked me about the oldest gravestone in Avon.  I had to think about it, and go into my book manuscript for Stoughton.  So to answer her I thought I would share it with the rest of Norfolk County.  The oldest surviving gravestone for what was once East Stoughton (now Avon) is the small slate gravestone of an eleven year old girl.  She died the year Massachusetts fired the first shots of the American Revolutionary War.  Her name was Dorothy Littlefield.  The following is the inscription that I did, and so did Waldo Chamberlain Sprague a few decades before -

In Memory of / Dorothy, daughtr of / Mr. Nathel Litelfield / & Hannah his wife / who Died Septr 1st / 1775 in ye 11th / Year of her / Age.

Her gravestone is on Findagrave.com along with fifty other interments from the East Main Street Cemetery.I sent a note to the submitter that the stone is actually 1775 not 1773, you have a look.

The following other early gravestones can be seen in this cemetery that I transcribed.

In Memory of / John fon of Lieut / Moses Wales & / and Elifabeth his wife / he Died March 30 / 1776 aged 2 / years 10 months 11 days.

Here lies the body of Joseph Blancher died Sept. 25, 1777. [Visible in 1936 “Very thin slate stone loose and was still lying against front wall”].  This stone is missing or buried under the ground now.

In Memory of / Polly, daughr of / Mr. Nathaniel /  Hammond; & / Elisabeth his wife, /  She died March 12th / 1778 : Aged 4 / Months & 2 / Days.

In Memory of / Wales fon of Mr. / Nathaniel Hamond / & Elizabeth his / wife,  he Died Octr / 26th 1780,  1, Year / 3 Months, &  22 / Days Old.

In Memory of / Mr Nathaniel Ham- / mond who died Feb. 13, / 1781 Aged 26 / Years & 10 Months / &  7 Days. / Ye thoughtless mortal hear my Gift / Attend into my [faded] / For You Before Grant Death just / & Lie as low I [faded]

In Memory of / Dorothy Daughter of Mr / William & Mrs Deborah Curtis / who died Augt. 2, 1781 in ye 14th / year of her age.

In memory of / Mrs. Hannah wife of Mr. John Battles who died / June 6th 1784 / in her 55th Year. 

In Memory of / Abigal Daughter of / Mr Enoch & Mrs / Rebekah Penniman, /  who died April 27th / 1785 aged 1 day.

[In] Memory of / [Doroth]y Daughter of / [Mr.] Samuel & Mrs [broken] Littlefield  who / died March 30 1786 age / 2 yrs. /

In Memory of / John fon of Mr William & / Mrs Hannah Curtis who / died April 6, 1786 aged 1 / years & 4 months.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

My way of getting the old news out before blogging.   One of the things I find rewarding are the history columns I have written over the years discussing the local happenings in communities around Norfolk and Bristol Counties.  Living in Stoughton I have written for about three Stoughton papers - Stoughton Journal (still active), Stoughton Chronicle, and Stoughton Patch now gone. Also for a little over a year I had a weekly column in the Stoughton Patch, however this was cut because of budget issues.  So how to expand my interest in local history and genealogy close to home.  That is why I have created this blog, and I hope that if you have any interesting stories - or local historical society news you will share it with me.  Okay a couple of you have joined the Norfolk County Massachusetts History and Genealogy group on Facebook.  It is a learning process for me so please come and visit and LIKE the community page. 


I am still trying to figure out how to edit the HTML code, to add "Like Us on Facebook".  My brilliant friend Heather McGinley will need to walk me through the steps as she has achieved this feat!!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Leap Year Babies in Randolph, Massachusetts in 1912.  
An interesting story of the two residents of Randolph, Mass. a century ago on the anniversary of the births!

Leap Year Babies in Randolph in 1912.  Miss Jennie May Lynch, one of the two persons born in this town on February 29 from 1844 to the present time observed her second birth day anniversary by entertaining a large number of young friends at the home of her parents on North Street. There were music games and refreshments.  Although 8 years old, this was her second birthday anniversary as she was born in town Feb. 29, 1904, being the second child of James and Julia E. (Cahill) Lynch.  Miss Mary Frances Barry, who is better known as Miss Moullie Barry, is the only other one having been born in Feb. 29.  Although she is 28 years old this was only her sixth birthday anniversary owing to their having been no leap year in 1900.  She was born in this town on Feb. 29, 1884, being a daughter of William C. and Mary (Meaney) Barry.  She resides with her mother on West Street and is employed in a shoe factory in Brockton.  Owing to illness in the family, there was no formal observance of the day.

Source: The Stoughton Sentinel, March 9, 1912, p. 4.

Do you have an ancestor who may only be 40 years old that lived in the 19th century?  Check your genealogy files and comment about any of your young ancestors!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Medfield Historical Society will present a presentation titled, “Dr. Major General Joseph Warren and Medfield’s Own Daughter of Liberty – Miss Mercy Scollay.” This event will be at the First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church at 26 North St., Medfield on March 5, 2012  at 7:30 pm.

The presenter is author Samuel Forman who recently published “Dr. Joseph Warren: The Boston Tea Party, Bunker Hill, and the Birth of American Liberty” His lecture will highlight the research about Medfield's important resident Mercy Scollay who was engaged to marry Joseph Warren who was killed at Bunker Hill.  Come learn more about this important resident from Medfield, Massachusetts Revolutionary Past.

Admission to the event is free and open to the public

The Origin of my Given Name has died - Rest in Peace DAVY JONES.

The origin of my given name has died today.  I was born in Norwood, Mass. and this ties into a sad headline for me personally. So sorry to hear the news that Davy Jones of the Monkees has passed away.  A true story of the origin of my first name. In 1969 my High School age sister put the name of "David" in a hat for babies names for her new sibling.  So I was named for Davy Jones - not a relative, not a neighbor but this now late member of the Monkees.  They always said we were descended from the Apes... so I can trully say that is my link.  In 1986 I attended the Monkees Concert down the Cape with my friend Gina Maraglia.  I had won tickets from WHTT Radio (remember that station?).  But my sister also got tickets so I was around between sets for the evening show as well.  And I met Davy Jones and got his autograph.  I said to him "I was named for you".  After he signed a couple more autographs he leaned over and asked me a question I will never forget "Am I your father?".  I smiled and said no but you were my sister's choice for my given name.  So today I say goodbye to the man where I got my firsl name from.
Davy Jones (1945-2012) Rest in Peace

Monday, February 27, 2012

Peal Street Cemetery in Stoughton an 18th century now Virtually Online

When I was a kid in the 1970's I would often see teens cutting through the old Pearl Street Cemetery.  I knew how important this landmark for Stoughton's history was.  Then one day I saw that a marble marker had been defaced with spray paint.  I knew that action had to be take to record the images so neglect, time and vandalism would not destroy this time capsule.  I have tried to capture every surviving gravestone and inscription for the Pearl Street Cemetery in Stoughton.  It is now safely locked and gated, but you can virtually visit it by going online to the Pearl Street Cemetery site I have on Findagrave.  I encourage others in Norfolk County to adopt at least one small cemetery and try and place our local history out there for all to find.

Hope you will decide to like this New Blog via Facebook.   [Click the Logo above]

As I start construction of this blog for all those interested in Norfolk County History and Genealogy

Did you know one of the earliest papers for Norfolk County was the Dedham Minerva?

You can see microfilm copies from the late 18th century at Microtext Library at the Boston Public Library in Copley Square.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

"The Lantern" newsletter of the Braintree Historical Society.  Do you have an interest in the history of Braintree (birthplace to Presidents John Adams and John Quincy Adams)?  Every quarter after the newsletter is released the Braintree Historical Society offers a PDF version of their newsletter to the general public free of charge. To see the back issues of their newsletter "The Lantern".

Most of my own ancestry hails from Northern New England but I do have a Braintree connection.  My ancestor was the second minister of Braintree Rev. William Tompson.  He was also the ancestor of the poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.  But I promise not to attempt any poetry on my blog!

What will the 1940 U.S. Census contain for your Ancestors?  Below you will find the questions that were asked of your family members when the 1940 U.S. Census was taken.  Hopefully it will reveal so new clues, and solve some old mysteries.  I wish everyone much luck while browsing through the images.  Remember you can always volunteer to index if you are so moved to help out.

  1. LOCATION: Street, avenue, road, etc.
  2. LOCATION: House number (in cities and towns)
  3. HOUSEHOLD DATA: Number of household in order of visitation
  4. HOUSEHOLD DATA: Home owned (O) or rented (R)
  5. HOUSEHOLD DATA: Value of home, if owned, or monthly rental, if rented
  6. HOUSEHOLD DATA: Does this household live on a farm? (Yes or No)
  7. NAME: Name of each person whose usual place of residence on April 1, 1940, was in this household.
  8. RELATION: Relationship of this person to the head of the household, as wife, daughter, father, mother-in-law, grandson, lodger, lodger's wife, servant, hired hand, etc.
  9. PERSONAL DESCRIPTION: Sex — Male (M), Female (F)
  10. PERSONAL DESCRIPTION: Color or race
  11. PERSONAL DESCRIPTION: Age at last birthday
  12. PERSONAL DESCRIPTION: Marital status — Single (S), Married (M), Widowed (Wd), Divorced (D)
  13. EDUCATION: Attended school or college any time since March 1, 1940 (Yes or No)
  14. EDUCATION: Highest grade of school completed
  15. PLACE OF BIRTH: If born in the United States, give State, Territory, or possession. If foreign born, give country in which birthplace was situated on January 1, 1937. Distinguish Canada-French from Canada-English and Irish Free State (Eire) from Northern Ireland.
  16. CITIZENSHIP: Citizenship of the foreign born
  17. RESIDENCE APRIL 1, 1935: City, town, or village having 2,500 or more inhabitants. Enter "R" for all other places
  18. RESIDENCE APRIL 1, 1935: County
  19. RESIDENCE APRIL 1, 1935: State (or Territory or foreign country
  20. RESIDENCE APRIL 1, 1935: On a farm? (Yes or No)
  21. PERSONS 14 YEARS OLD AND OVER — EMPLOYMENT STATUS: Was this person AT WORK for pay or profit in private or non-emergency Govt. work during week of March 24-30? (Yes or No)
  22. PERSONS 14 YEARS OLD AND OVER — EMPLOYMENT STATUS: If not, was he at work on, or assigned to, public EMERGENCY WORK (WPA, NYA, CCC, etc.) during week of March 24-30? (Yes or No)
  24. PERSONS 14 YEARS OLD AND OVER — EMPLOYMENT STATUS: If not seeking work, did he HAVE A JOB, business, etc.? (Yes or No)
  25. PERSONS 14 YEARS OLD AND OVER — EMPLOYMENT STATUS: Indicate whether engaged in home housework (H) in school (S), unable to work (U), or other (O)
  26. PERSONS 14 YEARS OLD AND OVER — EMPLOYMENT STATUS: Number of hours worked during week of March 24-30, 1940
  27. PERSONS 14 YEARS OLD AND OVER — EMPLOYMENT STATUS: Duration of unemployment up to March 30, 1940 - in weeks
  28. PERSONS 14 YEARS OLD AND OVER — EMPLOYMENT STATUS: Occupation: Trade, profession, or particular kind of work
  29. PERSONS 14 YEARS OLD AND OVER — EMPLOYMENT STATUS: Industry: Industry of business
  31. PERSONS 14 YEARS OLD AND OVER — EMPLOYMENT STATUS: Number of weeks worked in 1939 (Equivalent full-time weeks)
  32. PERSONS 14 YEARS OLD AND OVER — EMPLOYMENT STATUS: INCOME IN 1939: Amount of money wages or salary received (including commissions)
  33. PERSONS 14 YEARS OLD AND OVER — EMPLOYMENT STATUS: INCOME IN 1939: Did this person receive income of $50 or more from sources other than money wages or salary? (Yes or No)
  34. Number of Farm Schedule.... and The Supplementary Questions were as follows:

  35. NAME
  38. MOTHER TONGUE (OR NATIVE LANGUAGE): Language spoken in home in earliest childhood
  39. VETERANS: Is this person a veteran of the United States military forces; or the wife, widow, or under-18-year-old child of a veteran? If so, enter "Yes"
  40. VETERANS: If child, is veteran-father dead (Yes or No)
  41. VETERANS: War or military service
  42. SOCIAL SECURITY: Does this person have a Federal Social Security Number? (Yes or No)
  43. SOCIAL SECURITY: Were deductions for Federal Old-Age Insurance or Railroad Retirement made from this person's wages or salary in 1939? (Yes or No)
  44. SOCIAL SECURITY: If so, were deductions made from (1) all, (2) one-half or more, (3) part, but less than half, of wages or salary?
  47. Usual class of worker
  48. FOR ALL WOMEN WHO ARE OR HAVE BEEN MARRIED: Has this woman been married more than once? (Yes or No)
  49. FOR ALL WOMEN WHO ARE OR HAVE BEEN MARRIED: Age at first marriage?
  50. FOR ALL WOMEN WHO ARE OR HAVE BEEN MARRIED: Number of children ever born (Do not include stillbirths)

Saturday, February 25, 2012

My mom "Joan" and her family at Houghton's Pond in the early 1940's.
Looking forward to the 1940 Census for Norfolk County for my own roots.  I was born in Norwood, and I have lived my life in Stoughton.  Before my family moved to Stoughton in 1953, they lived in Dorchester and Roxbury.  However in 1940 my mother was ten years old and living with her family in Dedham, Norfolk Co., Mass. I am very excited for the first chance to see my mom on the U.S. Census.  You see she was born in Ontario, Canada in 1930 and arrived in America at six months of age.  Therefore completely missing the 1930 U.S. Census that spring.  Since she and her family were already in America in 1930, she will not be on the 1931 Canadian Census someday!  My grandmother from Dorchester was on the 1900-1920 Census, and will make her appearance again with my English born grandfather in 1940 in Dedham. Incidentally he was born in 1901 and was born to late to be on the 1901 British Census, and had left before 1911 Census in Britain.

So I am excited to search the census but also to help others search it.  I have already signed up to be a Massachusetts volunteer to index the 1940 Census.  Perhaps you may want to sign up as well?  To find out more go to: http://the1940census.com/
Historical Society of the County Seat of Norfolk County - with perhaps the oldest Seat (dated chair) in America!

Have you ever been to the Dedham Historical Society.  I had the honor to lecture there last year on Researching your Civil War Ancestor.  They have a fabulous exhibits including the 1652 Metcalf great chair (oldest dated American-made chair).  If your a lover of art you can see painting by artisists : John Constable, Gilbert Stuart, Amasa Hewins, Henry Hitchings, and Alvan Fisher.
I don't want to ruin the other surprises in store for you so drop by.  

The museum is open on Tuesday – Friday from 12 noon to 4 p.m, admission is $2 (free for members).
If your ever driving through Sharon, Mass. take a swing by the Rock Ridge Cemetery at 39 High Street. Here lies the mortal remains one of America's Female Patriots of the Revolutionary War - Deborah (Sampson) Gannett (1760-1827).  Deborah wore the uniform and participated in the American Revolutionary War.  Her heroic service allowed her to get a Pension as a Soldier in the Revolution.

Can't come to Sharon, Mass? Well to virtually pay your respects visit her memorial on Findagrave.

Ever wonder where the hometown of the New England Patriots got it's name?

Take a look at this little write up on that very subject on how the town got named - Foxboro.
The popular 1976 Bicentennial History of Sharon, Massachusetts is back in print!

"Red Book" of Sharon's History  has been reprinted in paperback.
Don't miss out on this limited edition. The initial print order is for 50 volumes.

To read Chapter 7 about Deborah Sampson, click on this line.

The cost for the book is $24.95
Books can be mailed for an additional $5.00 shipping cost.

To get your copy, visit the museum, or
send your check payable to:
Sharon Historical Society, Inc., PO Box 175, Sharon, MA 02067-0175
I would like to give a shout out to one of my good friends - Heather Everett McGinley.  Another local historian and genealogist who has a popular Blog that many can relate to - Because Nobody Likes Mondays
Her blog brings a smile to the readers face, and she touches on current history.  Hope you take a peek at the history being made by this popular new blog by Heather!
A very good turnout at the Stoughton Historical Society for the Glen Echo program last Sunday.  Many recollections of memories of Glen Echo were shared by present and former Stoughton residents.  If you have photos or memories of Glen Echo - please consider sharing them with the Stoughton Historical Society.  Contact the Stoughton Historical Society at 781-344-5456 or online at www.stoughtonhistory.com

As the webmaster of the Stoughton Historical Society webpage I thought this would be a good forum to start a broader range of local history.  This blog is intended to announce historical and genealogical events, trivia, and stories related to Norfolk County Massachusetts. 

Recent additions to the Stoughton Historical Society webpage include the following.

NEW - M.H. Floyd's 1967 report on the Boston & Providence Railroad Station's Architectural and Historical Analysis presented to the Stoughton Historical Society.

NEW - George W. Pratt, The Forty-Third Regiment Mass. Volunteer Militia. (Stoughton, Mass., The Sentinel Print, 1914). Recounting those in the regiment who served in Co. H., and their lives afterwards.  Written by Stoughton Civil War Veteran George W. Pratt - late commander of the Massachusetts Department of the Grand Army of the Republic.
NEW - Third Annual Ball Given by Stoughton Police Relief Association - Town Hall, Stoughton May 12, 1939.  Featuring advertisements and photos of former Stoughton Police Officers - Peter J. McGarvey, Sidney A. Morey, Louis R. Swanson, Michael J. Roach, Duncan R. Fleming, Thomas E. Mara, Ellis H. Smith, Frederick J. Vanston, Jerome A. Flynn, William R. Hilferty, William B. Hodges, Charles N. Shields, Timothy L. Roach, Frederick F. Low.
NEW - 1928 Program For the Benefit of Stoughton Firemen's Relief Association at the Town Hall, November 22, 1928.
NEW - J. Elmer Talbot, Company A. 4th Regiment M.V.M. [Massachusetts Volunteer Militia] Listing of Civil War soldiers with their age, residence, and address or date of death as of 1900. (Stoughton, Mass., Pequa Press, 1900). Also see an illustrated memorial to Stoughton's Civil War veterans from Co. A. 4th Massachusetts Infantry.
NEW - The Bicentennial Breakfast program from 1976 during Stoughton's 250th anniversary celebration.
NEW - Town of Avon 1888-1963 Diamond Jubilee (75th) Anniversary.  This is an illustrated history of old East Stoughton which became Avon in 1888.
NEW - Stoughton Fish and Game Association - Twenty-Fifth Anniversary 1921-1946.  Held at Town Hall, Stoughton, Massachusetts - January 24, 1946.
NEW - By-Laws and Regulations of The Chicatabut Ladies' Club of Stoughton, Massachusetts (Organized January 26, 1905) With a list of Officers and Members. (Stoughton, Mass., The Pequoa Press, 1910).
NEW - The Program from March 30, 1912 of a program presented by The Chicatabut Club at Stoughton Town Hall titled "Living Pictures - to consist of reproductions of some of the best paintings, treasured in the Great Art Galleries of the world.  The posers will be selected from the townspeople best suited for characters.  A descriptive lecture of the pictures will be given by Professor Chas. W. Kidder of the Emerson School of Oratory."
NEW - The Charter and By-Laws of the Chicatabut Club of Stoughton. with a list of the Officers and members. (Stoughton, Mass., The Pequoa Press,  1904).  Giving rules of the club and a list of all members in the back.  This exclusive club was for the Stoughton elite.
UPDATED SCAN - Roger L. Hall, Music in Stoughton - A brief survey. (Stoughton, Hansen Bros. Printing, 1989). Permission to place online from the author.

NEW - Roger L. Hall, The Stoughton Songster. (Stoughton, Pine Tree Press, 1991) Permission to place online from the author.