05 November 2010
Hatcher, Patricia Law, Researching Your Colonial New England Ancestors. Provo, UT: Ancestry, 2006
I have found Patricia Law Hatcher's book, Researching Your Colonial New England Ancestors to be invaluable in furthering my genealogical research of my thirty seven colonial ancestors. The first fifty pages are background in nature. The author briefly covers the settlement of Plymouth Colony and expansions throughout New England. Other background information includes: English and Colonial Wars, Religion, Witchcraft, etc.
Next, the author provides strategies and sources for finding your colonial ancestors. Local histories, periodicals and on-site research are examples of the information found in this section. There is even a few pages on hints for reading colonial documents.
Another section is on colonial records. This section details the organization of records, access to records, and goes through various types of colonial records, ie. vital records, probate, cemeteries, maps, private records and more.
I found the chronology section to be helpful, too. The author lists the years 1607-1773 and includes the various New England settlements and other important dates pertaining to Colonial America.
I don't have a very vast collection of genealogy books, preferring to take advantage of my local library. I found this book at the library and started taking notes, and photocopying a few pages. I found myself going back again and again to glean more strategies and resources from the book. It was then I decided this book would be a good addition to my library.
At the end of each chapter the author gives the reader notes and references. Plus, the last chapter of the book lists pages of resources relevant to researching colonial ancestors. Some of these pages are general in nature, others are colony specific. Periodicals and archives, libraries, and societies are included too.
This book has been a great addition to my genealogy collection, one that I go back to time and again. This is a great resource if you have colonial ancestors or want to learn more about colonial times.