Thursday, September 3, 2009

Colonial Connections: Massachusetts

(NOTE: I recently started back to school and don't have much time to write new posts at the moment, so I'm cleaning up the multitude of drafts I've built up and posting them.  This post was originally written in March of 2009).

Many Americans have colonial connections and I am no exception. In fact, on my mother's side, most of my lines were in America before 1700 (which is in stark contrast with my father's side of the family who have only been here for one hundred years or so). Most of my colonial roots are in Massachusetts and I was looking to learn more about two places in particular, Newbury and Newburyport (where my Jackman line came).

My colonial Essex Co. surnames:

Barker, Bartlett, Bitfield, Brown/Browne, Call (Caul), Chase, Clough, Cox, Follansbee, Hilton, Jackman, James, Lee, Longhorne, Major (LeMessurier), Merrill, Moores, Morse/Moss, Parsons, Perry (Pary or Paré), Plumer/Plummer, Sanders, Savery/Severy, Sawyer, Stevens, Stilson, Trussell, Vinson, Wolterton, Woodhead.

Essex Co. isn't the only place in Massachusetts where I have colonial connections. Middlesex, Bristol, Barnstable, Berkshire, Suffolk, Hampden, Norfolk and Plymouth Counties are other important spots in my family tree. Here are my surnames in those counties (hopefully another researcher will come across these and want to swap info!):

Appleton, Badcock, Bond, Buck, Bullen, Brewster, Bryant, Chipman, Clark/Clarke, Cobb, Collins, Daniel, Dillingham, Doane, Ellis, Fairbanks/Fairebanks, Freeman, Greenaway, Haley/Healy, Hicks, Hinckley, Hopkins, Howland, Jones, Lathrop, Lee, Miller, Neale, Ring, Russell, Scott, Shaw, Silvester/Sylvester, Smith, Stephenson, Swift, Thomas, Thwing, Turner, Underwood, Warren, Watson.

All those surnames can be tied to two distant grandparents of mine, Alzina Jackman Doyle (1810-1890) and Comfort G. Haley (1838-1910). It seems like around the time of the Revolutionary War all my Massachusetts kin left the state for either New Hampshire (Jackman) or Nova Scotia (Haley). 

I am still collecting resources along the way but here are a few I quite like for Massachusetts genealogy:

I also have found that not all USGenWeb sites are created equal, but the Essax Co., MA site (which is where Newbury/Newburyport is) is one of the best and I use it quite a bit for 17th and 18th century research.

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