You’re Invited! – Researching English Ancestors with the Essex Record Office (UK)

ERO logo squareWhen: Friday, August 7, 2015 |
10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Location: Research Room, University Archives and Special Collections, 5th floor, Joseph P. Healey Library, University of Massachusetts Boston

Everyone interested in genealogy and family history is welcome to attend this free, public event, sponsored by University Archives & Special Collections, the Joseph P. Healey Library, and the Essex Record Office of the UK.

Light refreshments will be served. Space is limited, so please RSVP to library.archives@umb.edu.

Allyson Lewis, Archivist, and Neil Wiffen, Public Service Team Manager, will give a one-hour presentation about Essex Record Office and their collections, provide a display of original documents including parish registers and wills, and offer a help desk on researching English ancestors. Read more about the presenters below.

Essex is a county in Eastern England to the north east of London. It has the second longest coastline of any UK county. It has featured throughout English history as a hotbed of revolution and revolt. 6 barons from Essex were instrumental in forcing King John to agree to Magna Carta in 1215 and the Peasants’ Revolt against taxation began in Essex in 1381. During the 17th century it was a centre for developing non-conformist thought and had early congregations of Quakers and Independents both of whom soon made the voyage to the New World and settled in Massachusetts and Pennsylvania.

Essex Record Office is the storehouse of over one thousand years of the county’s history. Collections include maps, parish registers, wills, deeds, manorial records, Quarter Sessions records, charity, business and school records and records of local government. It is also home to the Essex Sound and Video Archive. With over 7 miles of shelving, our purpose built building is fully equipped to preserve these records for the future. Details of the collections are available on Seax our online catalogue. Images of parish registers and wills are available on our family history website, Essex Ancestors.

Parish registers were introduced in England and Wales in 1538 by Thomas Cromwell, adviser to Henry VIII. It was the first time that records were kept of those baptised, married and buried. Elizabeth I restated the need to keep parish registers in 1558 and 1597. These records are a treasure trove for the family historian as they are the main source of information available before the introduction of civil registration of births, marriages and deaths in July 1837.

Wills are a fascinating resource for family history and social history, giving information about family relationships, clothing, possessions, tools, landholdings, animals and religious ideas. Dating from 1400 to 1858, the wills held at Essex Record Office are available online as part of our Essex Ancestors service.

Light refreshments will be served. Space is limited, so please RSVP to library.archives@umb.edu.


Neil profile 1

Neil Wiffen, Public Service Team Manager of the Essex Record Office, was born in and educated in Chelmsford before undertaking his first degree at the University of East Anglia in Norwich. He started working at the ERO in 2000 when the new building was opened. At the University of Essex he completed an MA in Local and Regional History and has a strong interest in the history of the county of Essex sparked off mainly by his Dad telling him tales of watching American bombers taking off from the nearby Boreham Aerodrome. His Wiffen ancestors can be traced back to the Halstead area of Essex to at least 1800 but he is waiting to retire before undertaking his family history proper.

Allyson profileAllyson Lewis is an archivist with 30 years’ experience. She is a graduate of Balliol College, Oxford where she read Modern History. She then took a Masters in Archive Administration at University College London. She has worked at Essex Record Office for 12 years and has responsibility for providing Access Points around the county to bring the Record Office closer to the public. She has focussed on researching First World War ancestry as part of the commemorations of the First World War in 2014. Allyson was born in Liverpool but her family come from all parts of the UK and mainly lead back to the Shetland Islands.

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Phyllis Harmon: League of American Wheelmen (LAW) Collection – Now open for research

Guest post by Lindsay Sprechman

Phyllis Harmon: League of American Wheelmen (LAW) Collection

Phyllis Harmon: League of American Wheelmen (LAW) Collection

University Archives & Special Collections in the Joseph P. Healey Library at UMass Boston is happy to announce that the Phyllis Harmon: League of American Wheelmen (LAW) Collection is now open and available for research. This collection documents Phyllis Harmon’s work in the bicycling community, especially her work with the League of American Wheelmen, a prominent bicycling organization.

The League of American Wheelmen was founded in 1880 to address bicyclists’ needs. In their early days, they advocated for bicyclists’ access to roads at a time when many laws and ordinances were written keeping them off the road. LAW was also instrumental in the Good Roads Movement of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, which advocated for improved road conditions. The League became inactive twice during periods from 1924 to 1939 and from 1955 to 1964, but reorganized in 1964 and still continues to advocate for bicyclists today. LAW was renamed the League of American Bicyclists (LAB) in 1997.

League of American Wheelmen newsletter, June 1940

League of American Wheelmen newsletter, June 1940

Phyllis Harmon is known as the “Grande Dame of American Bicycling” for her work with LAW and other bicycling organizations. Harmon became a member of LAW in 1939 and served numerous roles in the organization, including treasurer, executive vice president, historian, office manager, executive director and honorary director. However, her most prominent position was her role as writer and editor of LAW’s magazine, LAW Bulletin. Harmon volunteered to publish the magazine from her home and edited it from 1939 to 1945 and again from 1964 until 1979. For her contribution to the bicycling world in Chicago and around the country, Harmon was inducted into the Chicagoland Bicycle Federation’s Hall of Fame in 2006 and the U.S. Bicycling Hall of Fame in 2009.

This collection includes many of LAW’s organizational records, including Board meeting minutes, constitutions, by-laws, correspondence and memos. It also includes materials on LAW’s conventions and rallies, membership directories and surveys, collected research and articles about bicycling, and more than 30 years of issues of the LAW Bulletin, and its successor, Bicycle USA.

View the finding aid for this collection.

For questions about this collection or to schedule a research appointment, please contact library.archives@umb.edu or 617-287-5469.


University Archives & Special Collections in the Joseph P. Healey Library at UMass Boston collects materials related to the university’s history, as well as materials that reflect the institution’s urban mission and strong support of community service, notably in collections of records of urban planning, social welfare, social action, alternative movements, community organizations, and local history related to neighboring communities.

University Archives & Special Collections welcomes inquiries from individuals, organizations, and businesses interested in donating materials of an archival nature that that fit within our collecting policy. These include manuscripts, documents, organizational archives, collections of photographs, unique publications, and audio and video media. For more information about donating to University Archives & Special Collections, click here or email library.archives@umb.edu.

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Barbara Maysles Kramer: Saturday Evening Girls papers – Now open for research

"Barbara Maysles Kramer with Revere pottery made by Saturday Evening Girls." Boston Globe, May 12, 1991.

“Barbara Maysles Kramer with Revere pottery made by Saturday Evening Girls.” Boston Globe. May 12, 1991.

University Archives & Special Collections in the Joseph P. Healey Library at UMass Boston is pleased to announce that the Barbara Maysles Kramer: Saturday Evening Girls papers are now open and available for research. Spanning eight linear feet, this collection documents Barbara Maysles Kramer’s research, in collaboration with her husband, Dr. Bernard M. Kramer, on the Saturday Evening Girls (1899-1969) and the Paul Revere Pottery (1908-1942). Barbara Maysles Kramer was the daughter of Ethel Epstein Maysles, a long-standing member of the Saturday Evening Girls. The collection also documents the Kramers’ preparations for a book entitled Tales of the Paul Revere Pottery (unpublished).

Members of the Saturday Evening Girls at work in the Paul Revere Pottery. Circa 1915.

Members of the Saturday Evening Girls at work in the Paul Revere Pottery. Early 1900s.

The Saturday Evening Girls, or SEG, was a club established by BPL librarian Edith Guerrier for young immigrant women living in Boston’s North End. Members were involved in a variety of activities, including singing, theater, folk dancing, discussions of classic literature, lectures from prominent Bostonians, arts and crafts, and the publication of a newspaper, the SEG News. In 1908, Edith Guerrier and her partner, Edith Brown, established the Paul Revere Pottery with financial support from local philanthropist Helen Osborne Storrow. Members of the Saturday Evening Girls worked at the Paul Revere Pottery, creating colorful, often whimsically-themed pottery that was part of the Arts and Crafts movement.

Pieces of Paul Revere Pottery.

Pieces of Paul Revere Pottery.

The Barbara Kramer papers include issues of the SEG News, photographs of the SEG members and their activities, and response forms from a survey that Kramer conducted with surviving SEG members and their descendants. The collection also documents an exhibit held at UMass Boston’s original campus in Park Square in 1975, The Saturday Evening Girls: Opening a door to America. Also available in the Healey Library’s Special Collections is Barbara Maysles Kramer’s personal copy of An Independent Woman: The Autobiography of Edith Guerrier (call number: Z720.G89 A3 1992).

For questions about this collection or to schedule a research appointment, please contact library.archives@umb.edu or 617-287-5469.

View the finding aid for this collection.

Flyer for "The Saturday Evening Girls: Opening a door to America" exhibit. 1975.

Flyer for “The Saturday Evening Girls: Opening a door to America” exhibit. 1975.

 


University Archives & Special Collections in the Joseph P. Healey Library at UMass Boston collects materials related to the university’s history, as well as materials that reflect the institution’s urban mission and strong support of community service, notably in collections of records of urban planning, social welfare, social action, alternative movements, community organizations, and local history related to neighboring communities.

University Archives & Special Collections welcomes inquiries from individuals, organizations, and businesses interested in donating materials of an archival nature that that fit within our collecting policy. These include manuscripts, documents, organizational archives, collections of photographs, unique publications, and audio and video media. For more information about donating to University Archives & Special Collections, click here or email library.archives@umb.edu.

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History Department Graduate Committee records: Now available for research

University Archives & Special Collections in the Joseph P. Healey Library at UMass Boston is pleased to announce a newly processed series of records documenting the activities of the History Department Graduate Committee at UMass Boston from 1972-1979. Formats include meeting minutes, memoranda, reports, and evaluations of master’s degree programs at UMass Boston.

These records were transferred to University Archives & Special Collections in July 2013 and have been processed as Series II of the University of Massachusetts Boston History Department records, 1962-1979.

View the finding aid for this collection.


These records have been processed as part of University Archives & Special Collections’ Save Our History! campaign. In preparation for UMass Boston’s 50th anniversary, University Archives & Special Collections is calling for the transfer of founding documents and organizational records from all units on campus. These units include (but are not limited to) academic departments, administrative units, institutes, centers, and student groups. Read more about transferring University records to UASC.

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Moakley Chair establishment records: Now available for research

John Joseph “Joe” Moakley

University Archives & Special Collections in the Joseph P. Healey Library at UMass Boston is pleased to announce the availability of records documenting the establishment of the Moakley Chair of Peace and Reconciliation at UMass Boston’s McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies.

John Joseph “Joe” Moakley was born in South Boston on April 27, 1927. He was elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 1952. In 1973, Moakley became a member of the U.S. House of Representatives and served as Chairman of the Committee on Rules in the 101st Congress through the 103rdCongress (1989-1995). Moakley served as a U.S. Representative until his death in 2001.

Padraig O’Malley, John Joseph Moakley Distinguished Professor for Peace and Reconciliation

In 2002, the John Joseph Moakley Chair of Peace and Reconciliation was established in his memory at the McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies Studies at UMass Boston. The goal of the Moakley Chair is to “address the tragic crisis of fractured societies around the world and reinforce the commitment to principles of peace and reconciliation among all the participants in the process” (umb.edu/moakley). Padraig O’Malley is the first and current Moakley Chair.

View the finding aid for this collection.


These records have been processed as part of University Archives & Special Collections’ Save Our History! campaign. In preparation for UMass Boston’s 50th anniversary, University Archives & Special Collections is calling for the transfer of founding documents and organizational records from all units on campus. These units include (but are not limited to) academic departments, administrative units, institutes, centers, and student groups. Read more about transferring University records to UASC.

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