Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Ancestry.com Adds The Great Migration Begins, 1620-1633 and Great Migration, 1634-1635 Books

Ancestry.com continues to add very useful databases and reference books to their online historical records collection.

Today, they added the New England, The Great Migration and the Great Migration Begins, 1620-1635 collection.  This collection includes:

*  Robert Charles Anderson (editor), The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England, 1620-1633, Volumes 1-3 (Boston: New England Historical and Genealogical Society, 1995)

*  Robert Charles Anderson (editor), The Great Migration: Immigrants to New England, 1634-1635, Volumes 1-6 (Boston: New England Historical and Genealogical Society, 1999-2011).

The database description on Ancestry says:

"Robert Charles Anderson’s The Great Migration Begins includes more than 1,100 sketches of immigrants or immigrant families that arrived in New England between 1620 and 1633. Each sketch contains information on the immigrant's migration dates and patterns, various biographical matters (such as occupation, church membership, education, offices, and land holdings), and genealogical details (birth, death, marriages, children, and other associations by blood or marriage), along with detailed comments, discussion, and bibliographic information on the family.
"The Great Migration Begins is the first phase of the Great Migration Study Project, which aims to investigate all immigrants to New England from 1620 through 1640. The project’s goal is to summarize all available research and provide a solid platform that will allow future researchers to assess the status of research on a given family without having to repeat work already done or waste large amounts of time searching the genealogical literature. To this end, sketches in the Great Migration first review the existing secondary literature, looking especially for conflicting or missing data. Then the primary sources are examined to confirm what has already been written about the family, fill in gaps, or resolve conflicting interpretations and correct errors. In many instances, of course, gaps and discrepancies will remain, and the sketch will then describe the problem and perhaps suggest a future course of research. In the end, the Great Migration sketches should permit future researchers to use their time more efficiently and serve as a springboard for new discoveries.
"The text of the sketches provides abbreviated citations to the primary and secondary sources used to create the sketches. Images through volume 6 are available on the site, but only volumes 1-5 are indexed at this time. An index for volume 6 is forthcoming."
Unfortunately, the collection does NOT include Volume 7 of the second set, the one with surnames T-Y.  And Volume 6 is not indexed yet.  
I searched the available index for the surname Seaver and received results:

I clicked on the first match for Robert Seaver and was taken to the record summary page:

After clicking on the "View original image" link or the thumbnail image, I was taken to page 1644 (which is in Volume 3 of The Great Migration Begins series):

From there I can click on the "next page" arrow at the bottom of the screen and see all of the other pages for the sketch of Robert Seaver (1608-1683).

Each sketch contains sections for (unless there is no information for that section):

*  Origin
*  Migration
*  First Residence
*  Removes
*  Return Trips

*  Occupation
*  Church Membership
*  Freeman
*  Education
*  Offices
*  Estate

*  Birth
*  Death
*  Marriage
*  Children
*  Associations

*  Comments
*  Bibliographic Notes

Each of those sections have shorthand references to sources with extracted or abstracted information and evidence to support the assertion made in the section.  In many cases, they are original sources with primary information and direct evidence (e.g., RChR refers to Roxbury Church Records, MBCR refers to Massachusetts Bay Court Records, SPR refers to Suffolk Probate Records,etc.).  In other cases, they are derivative sources or authored works, such as periodical articles, published books, etc.

The sketches are only for the immigrant ancestor of the family, and the sketches do not carry family lines past the children of the immigrant, with their spouses named.

For New England researchers like myself, these volumes are a gold mine of information, especially the original handwritten town and colony records (or their later transcription or extraction) which can then be consulted for a complete reading and evaluation of the record.  Having a sketch like this really helps researchers find records for their early New England ancestors.

The URL for this post is:  http://www.geneamusings.com/2013/11/ancestrycom-adds-great-migration-begins.html

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

1 comment:

Jeff said...

Great addition to Ancestry but as you noted Volume VII.is not yet available. I did not know that Volume VI is not indexed yet until I read your post. I was trying to find the important American ancestor Elder John Strong and could not find him in an Ancestry seach of the Great Migration series on February 5, 2016. I have access to the same database through my membership in the New England Historic and Genealogical Society and found the biography of Elder John Strong there and was able to save it to Ancestry but only as a hyperlink. And this was not easy to do as Ancestry's pagination is way off from that used by the actual text. The Great Migration series is a great contribution to American genealogy. Ancestry could do a service to the subscribers if it would make them aware of the value of this database and link searches to people listed in the series. It would be a start on emptying the garbage can of errors in the posted family trees. And let us hope that Ancestry will index Volume VI amd get an indexed Volume VII on line soon. Jeff Ward