Tuesday, April 27, 2010

My Day at the FHL

I was up bright and early on Tuesday for my research day at the Family History Library here in salt Lake City. I had five research goals today and managed to do all of them...but perhaps not as well as I wanted to. The goals were:

1) Find vital records for Piscataway and Woodbridge in New Jersey, for the 1670 to 1800 time period, for my ancestral families - including Martin, Rolfe, Campbell, Dunham, Bonham, Hale, Fitz Randolph, Cutter, Pike and others. I had a look at the original handwritten town records on film, and they were very difficult to read. There were two films with transcriptions of the vital records done in the late 18th century, so I took pictures of those with my camera. I also looked at several other handwritten town books to see if I could find deed or probate records. There were some, but I didn't transcribe, abstract or photo them - I know where they are if I need them later.

2) Search Foster, Rhode Island town records for my Nathaniel Horton. I found his probate records and captured images of them using the microfilm scanning machines. Then I extracted the index data for Nathaniel Horton deeds in Foster RI (RI deeds and probate are held in the town, not the county).

3) Search Killingly, Connecticut vital records for all the information in them...for my Richmond, White, Oatley and Wade families, plus Seaver too. Found another child for Henry A. White and his second wife - died at birth. But I didn't know that. Checked the Killingly land records index for my ancestral families and extracted index information.

4) Find the Thomas Page 1637 will in the Suffolk, England probate records. I found the record indexed in a book of Suffolk probates, which listed a volume and page number. However, the volume didn't match the year in the microfilm records. It turns out that the volume numbers listed for the microfilms don't match the volume numbers in the index book for the actual probate records. I found the will by going page by page - fortunately, each person's will had his name, in Latin, in big fancy letters on the margin of the pages. So I have images of this will - now I need to try to read the secretary hand of the court clerk!

5) I spent the last hour on the Main Floor copying pages from surname books for my Piscataway families - found useful information for Rolfe, Dunham, Bonham and Hale.

Then it was over to the Salt Palace to register for the NGS Conference. The previous material from NGS had no room assignments for the different talks - the registration packet has a booklet with 6-font size letters for the information. Arrgghh.

We ended the day with a walk over to the Red Rock Brewery and had dinner with genea-friends and bloggers Donna Pointkouski and Lisa Alzo. An excellent dinner with spirited conversation! We even took ap icture but my camera batteries failed as we took a second one. Obviously, I took just enough at the FHL today!


JT said...

Sounds like a fun trip, Randy.

I'm wondering: In the course of your Rolfe research, have you ever seen any deeds or other records connecting the Rolfes or Doles with any Walkers or Mannings?

Martin said...

If you need help with the 1637 will, you can always digitize it and send it to me. I'm getting better at reading them. But, I'm not perfect.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a nice trip. how crowded was the FHL? and Registration? Wish I had gone.Had two chances even up to Monday night. Hmmmmnn

Sounds like you were able to get a reader at the library and get right to your research.

Are you going to blog or tweet any of the meetings you attend?

Wish I was there....

JT said...


Here's a link to a post explaining my question above: