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:
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

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.