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Friends genealogy

Genealogists are the largest single group of researchers using the Friends records, but they often meet with frustration. One common misconception is that these records are neatly organized and indexed. While William W. Hinshaw’s Encyclopedia of American Quaker Genealogy provided thorough indexes for the records of many yearly meetings, including New York, Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania and North Carolina, the New England records have never been completely indexed. In most cases, the only access to information on New England Friends is usually a search of the records, either on microfilm or in the original. Here are some important points to remember for typical genealogical problems.

  1. It is important to know both place and time. If an individual moved around New England, it will be very helpful to sketch out a chronology of their travels.
  2. All vital records are recorded by the Monthly Meeting. You will need to determine which monthly meeting(s) your ancestor belonged to. If there is no monthly meeting named after their town, look it up in the index in the back of this book. Some towns held smaller meetings that were part of a larger nearby monthly meeting.
  3. If your ancestor’s town is not indexed, examine the maps on pages 12 to 14 of this guide. Were there any meetings nearby? Until the age of automobile travel, it is unlikely that many practicing Friends lived more than a few miles away from at least a worship group. Even if they did maintain the “Discipline” of Friends in a distant town, their vital records would probably not be recorded by a Monthly Meeting.
  4. If you are able to determine a probable Monthly Meeting, look at that meeting’s entry in the monthly meeting section. Check for vital records in the listing at the bottom of this entry. Are there any birth, death, marriage or membership records? Removals and denials are also useful (see glossary). Minutes are less useful for genealogy, but sometimes include marriage information, and occasionally memorials to the deceased.
  5. If the records that you want have been microfilmed, this will be indicated in the last column: “Film#”. This is the microfilm number at the Rhode Island Historical Society Library. An asterisk indicates that it can also be found at the Maine Historical Society Library, and a plus sign indicates that it can be ordered from the Family History Centers operated by the Latter-Day Saints (Mormons). An @ symbol indicates that the film is available through the Nantucket Historical Association.
  6. If the records have not been microfilmed, you will need to consult the originals, most of which are at UMass Amherst. The location of originals is given in the “Loc.” column. Please note that a complete set of microfilm is available for consultation at the Rhode Island Historical Society.
  7. If you are researching early Friends (pre-Revolutionary), it is likely that you will not discover anything new in the vital records. Friends records have always been a major resource for colonial genealogy, and have been consulted for most of the major reference works that you have already looked at. It is, however, possible to find new information in meeting minutes, to verify membership or residence in a location.

For further information, Our Quaker Ancestors: Finding Them in Quaker Records by Ellen Thomas Berry and David Allen Berry (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1987) is a book-length treatment of general approaches to Quaker genealogy.

German Military Personnel

German Military Personnel Photograph Collection

ca. 1930-1939
2 boxes 0.75 linear feet
Call no.: MS 384

Photographs from the 1930s and 1940s featuring both major government officials such as Hitler, Goebbels, and Himmler, and lower ranking officials such as regional party leaders. Photographs of German soldiers with their various weapons, some possibly fighting, are also depicted. Includes film stills from the Allied invasion of Normandy and German Communist refugees in the Soviet Union.

Subjects

  • Germans--Photographs
  • Nazis--Photographs
  • World War, 1939-1945

Types of material

  • Photographs
Girls Club of Greenfield (Mass.)

Girls Club of Greenfield Records

1895-1995
21 boxes 27 linear feet
Call no.: MS 379

Founded in 1895, the Girls Club of Greenfield provides high quality early care and educational services to the girls of Franklin County, Massachusetts, and advocates for the rights of children and their families. During the school year, the Club offers diverse programming, ranging from an infant room and preschool to after school activities that promote teamwork, community spirit, social skills, and confidence. Since 1958, they have also operated a summer camp, Lion Knoll, in Leyden.

The records of the Girls Club of Greenfield include by-laws, annual reports, reports and meeting minutes of the Board of Directors, correspondence, and ledgers and account books. Also contains program files for daycare, summer camp, education worker programs, and others, personnel records, membership and committee lists, newsletters, press releases, ledgers, account books, scrapbooks, news clippings, photographs, slides, and artifacts.

Subjects

  • Girls--Massachusetts--Greenfield--Social conditions
  • Girls--Massachusetts--Greenfield--Social life and customs
  • Girls--Massachusetts--Greenfield--Societies and clubs--History
  • Greenfield (Mass.)--Social conditions
  • Greenfield (Mass.)--Social life and customs

Contributors

  • Girls Club of Greenfield (Greenfield, Mass.)

Types of material

  • Account books
  • Photographs
  • Scrapbooks
Gwin, Lucy

Lucy Gwin Papers

1982-2005
8 boxes 12 linear feet
Call no.: MS 822

Born in Indiana, the writer Lucy Gwin (1943-2014) lived “a lot of lives,” in her own words, working in advertising, as a dairy farmer, civil rights activist, and deckhand on ships servicing oil rigs, all before the age of 40. While living in Rochester, N.Y., in 1989, however, her life took a sudden turn. After a head-on collision with a drunk driver left her with traumatic brain injury, Gwin was remanded for care to the New Medico Brain Rehabilitation Center, where she witnessed a world of isolation, patient abuse, and powerlessness. Never one to shrink from a challenge, she escaped from the Center and used her skills as an organizer and writer to expose conditions at New Medico and shut the facility down. Through her experiences, Gwin emerged as a powerful, often acerbic voice in all-disability rights advocacy, becoming the founder, designer, and editor of the influential Mouth Magazine in 1990.

Lucy Gwin’s papers document the advocacy of an important figure in the disability rights movement. The rich documentation for Mouth Magazine includes comprehensive editorial files arranged issue by issue, some correspondence with authors and supporters, and copies of the published issue. The balance of the collection contains Gwin’s other work as a writer, personal correspondence, and materials relating to her experiences with and campaign against New Medico.

Subjects

  • Disabled--Civil rights
  • Mouth Magazine
Heath, Gordon, 1918-1991

Gordon Heath Papers

1913-1992
44 boxes 22.75 linear feet
Call no.: MS 372 and 372 bd
Image of Gordon Heath, Paris
Gordon Heath, Paris

A multi-talented performer, the African American expatriate Gordon Heath was variously a stage and film actor, musician, director, producer, founder of the Studio Theater of Paris, and co-owner of the Parisian nightclub L’Abbaye. Born in New York City, Heath became involved in acting as a teenager and enjoyed a career that spanned post-World War II Broadway to the Black Arts Movement of the 1970s. In addition to his many roles on film and stage, he and his partner Lee Payant enjoyed success as recording artists in the 1950s and 1960s.

The Heath collection includes personal and professional correspondence, scrapbooks containing photos and clippings from assorted television and film productions in addition to songs, poetry, and reviews of plays or playbills from productions he attended. The Papers also contain art work, sheet music, personal and production photographs, and drafts of his memoirs.

Subjects

  • Abbaye (Nightclub : Paris, France)
  • African American actors--France--Paris--History
  • African American singers--France--Paris--History
  • African Americans in the performing arts--History
  • African-American theater--History--20th century
  • Baldwin, James, 1924-
  • Chametzky, Jules
  • Dodson, Owen, 1914-
  • Expatriate musicians--France--Paris--History
  • Hughes, Langston, 1902-1967
  • Musicians--United States--History
  • Nightclubs--France--Paris--History
  • Paris (France)--Intellectual life--20th century
  • Payant, Lee--Correspondence
  • Primus, Pearl
  • Rive gauche (Paris, France)--Intellectual life--20th century
  • Studio Theater of Paris
  • Theater--Production and direction--France--Paris--History

Contributors

  • Abramson, Doris E
  • Heath, Gordon, 1918-1991

Types of material

  • Photographs
  • Scrapbooks
  • Scripts
  • Sheet music
  • Sketches
Judice, Edward

Edward Judice Photograph Collection

1973-2010
281 digital images, 2 videos
Call no.: PH 046
Image of Lathe operator, Rodney Hunt co., 1974
Lathe operator, Rodney Hunt co., 1974

Raised on Long Island, Ed Judice embarked on a path in photography at the age of 13 when he took a job sweeping floors in a local photo studio. After picking up work photographing locally and a stint in the army, he moved to New York city, Judice began doing commercial work for ad agencies and magazines and eventually with Polaroid. Through Polaroid, he began developing contacts in western Massachusetts, eventually moving to Wendell in the early 1970s. He maintains an active studio in Northampton.

The Judice collection consists of a series of 59 digital images relating to a photo documentation project at the Rodney Hunt factory in Orange, Mass., in 1973 and 1974; a series of photographs documenting the bicentennial of Wendell in 1981; and two video documentaries of the Three County Fair, Northampton, Mass., 2007, and “Benny and Joe: A friendship,” 2010.

Subjects

  • Foundry workers--Massachusetts--Orange
  • Northampton (Mass.)
  • Rodney Hunt Company
  • Serrazina, Joe
  • Shoemakers--Massachusetts--Northampton
  • Shu-Fix (Northampton, Mass.)
  • Strojny, Benny.
  • Wendell (Mass.)--Centennial celebrations, etc.

Contributors

  • Judice, Edward

Types of material

  • Digital images
  • Video recordings
Levasseur, Raymond Luc

Raymond Luc Levasseur Papers

1966-2017
10 boxes 12 linear feet
Call no.: MS 971

Raymond Luc Levasseur went underground with a revolutionary Marxist organization in 1974 and spent a decade in armed resistance against the American state. Radicalized by his experiences in Vietnam and by a stint in a Tennessee prison for the sale of marijuana, Levasseur became convinced that revolutionary action was a “necessary step in defeating the enemy — monopoly Capitalism and its Imperialism expression.” As a leader of the Sam Melville/Jonathan Jackson Unit, later called the United Freedom Front, he took part in a string of bombings and bank robberies targeting symbols of the state including government and military buildings and corporate offices. All active members of the UFF were arrested in 1984 and 1985 and sentenced to long prison terms, although the government’s effort to prosecute them (the Ohio 7) on separate charges of seditious conspiracy ultimately failed. Levasseur served twenty years of a 45-year prison sentence, approximately thirteen years of them in solitary confinement, before being released on parole in 2004. He continues to write and speak out for prisoners’ rights.

The Levasseur papers are an important record of a committed revolutionary and political prisoner. Beginning with his work in the early 1970s with the Statewide Correctional Alliance for Reform (SCAR), a prisoners’ rights organization, the collection includes communiques and other materials from revolutionary groups including the UFF, the Armed Resistance Unit, and the Black Liberation Army; Levasseur’s political and autobiographical writings; numerous interviews; selected correspondence; and a range of material on political prisoners and mass incarceration. Consisting in part of material seized by the FBI following Levasseur’s arrest or recovered through the Freedom of Information Act, and supplemented by newsclippings and video from media coverage, the collection has particularly rich content for the criminal and seditious conspiracy trials of UFF members (also known as the “Ohio 7”) in Brooklyn, NY and Springfield, MA, as well as Levasseur’s years in prison and his work on behalf of political prisoners.

Gift of Raymond Luc Levasseur, 2017

Subjects

  • Anti-imperialist movements--United States
  • Political prisoners--United States
  • Prisons--United States
  • Revolutionaries

Contributors

  • Armed Clandestine Movement
  • Black Liberation Army
  • Manning, Tom
  • Ohio 7
  • Sam Melville/Jonathan Jackson Unit
  • Statewide Correctional Alliance for Reform
  • United Freedom Front
  • Williams, Raymond C.

Types of material

  • Photographs
  • Trials
Lewis, Gertrude Minnie, 1896-

Gertrude M. Lewis Papers

ca.1920-2001
6 boxes 3 linear feet
Call no.: FS 096
Image of Gertrude
Gertrude "Jean" Lewis, ca.1935

Overcoming a deeply impoverished childhood, Gertrude Lewis struggled to build a career in education, putting herself through college and graduate school. At the age of 32, she earned a bachelor’s degree from Ohio State, continuing on to a masters degree at New York University (1933), and finally, at age 51, a PhD from Yale (1947). For many years after receiving her doctorate, Lewis was employed as a Specialist for Upper Grades with the U.S. Office of Education in Washington. Among other career highlights, Lewis spent two years in Japan (1950-1951) as a Consultant in Elementary Education in the Education Section of the Allied Occupation government (SCAP). Lewis outlived her life partner, Ruth Totman, dying at home on December 10, 1996, a few months after her one hundredth birthday.

The Lewis Papers document the work and life of an educator of the masses, a traveler of the world, and a woman of the twentieth century. Documents pertaining to her work as an educator of both young students and veteran teachers show the changes within the theory and practice of pedagogy over time, over various geographic locales, and also highlight her role in that change. This collection also documents the numerous on-going side projects on which Lewis worked, including fostering creativity in schoolchildren, a biography of Franklin D. and Eleanor Roosevelt, and her own poetry and prose.

Subjects

  • Education, Elementary--Japan
  • Education, Elementary--United States--History
  • Education--Evaluation
  • Education--United States--History
  • Health Education--United States
  • Japan--Civilization--American influences
  • Students--Health and hygiene

Contributors

  • Lewis, Gertrude Minnie, 1896-
  • Totman, Conrad D
  • Totman, Ruth J

Types of material

  • Motion pictures (Visual work)
  • Photographs
Lichtenstein, Bill

Bill Lichtenstein Collection

1965-1976
2 boxes 3 linear feet
Call no.: MS 790
Image of Bill Lichtenstein,1973. Photo by Don Sanford
Bill Lichtenstein,1973. Photo by Don Sanford

In 1970, just fourteen years-old, Bill Lichtenstein began working as a volunteer on the listener line at WBCN-FM in Boston, moving up to become a newscaster and announcer and helping to pioneer the station’s innovative on-air sound with montages of actualities, music, and comedy. As his media career developed over the next forty years, Lichtenstein built a wide reputation as a journalist and documentary producer for ABC News, working as an investigative producer on shows such as 20/20, World News Tonight, and Nightline, and since 1990, he has operated as president of his own production company, Lichtenstein Creative Media. With LCMedia, Lichtenstein has received more than 60 major broadcast honors including a Peabody Award, U.N. Media Award, eight National Headliner Awards, the Cine Golden Eagle, and a Guggenheim Fellowship, and his documentary West 47th Street was selected as winner of the Atlanta Film Festival. A graduate of Brown University and the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism, Lichtenstein has served on the faculty of the New School University (1979-2005) and he writes regularly on media, politics, and health for publications ranging from the Huffington Post to the New York Times, the Nation, Newsday, Boston Globe, Village Voice, Entertainment Weekly, and TV Guide.

The Lichtenstein Collection consists of a growing array of materials gathered in preparation of the documentary film, The American Revolution, which explores the cultural and political impact of WBCN. These include audio tapes of WBCN broadcasts, news reports and stories, photographs and ephemera of social change in Boston during the late 1960s and early 1970s, and two WBCN documentaries: Danny Schechter’s Jamaica: An Island in Crisis (1976) and What Is News (1973), produced by Schechter and Lichtenstein.

Subjects

  • Alternative radio broadcasting--Massachusetts
  • Boston (Mass.)--History--20th century
  • Jamaica--History--1962-
  • WBCN (Radio station : Boston, Mass.)

Contributors

  • Schechter, Danny

Types of material

  • Photographs
  • Sound recordings
  • Videotapes
Lipski family

Lipski Family Collection

1927-1990
1 box 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 357
Image of Stanley Lipski on the Finnish front, 1940
Stanley Lipski on the Finnish front, 1940

Antoni Lipski emigrated from Grodno, now Belarus, in 1907, and settled in the Oxbow neighborhood of Northampton, Mass. An employee of the Mount Tom Sulphite Pulp Company, he and his wife Marta had a family of twelve, ten of who survived to adulthood. Their oldest child Stanley Walter Lipski graduated from the US Naval Academy in 1935 and was killed in action aboard the USS Indianapolis in July 1945.

The slender record of two generations of a Polish immigrant family from Northampton, Mass., the Lipski collection includes two documents relating to Antoni Lipski and four photographs, two letters, and news clippings relating to his eldest son, Stanley Walter Lipski, a naval officer who was killed in action aboard the USS Indianapolis during the Second World War.

Gift of Anthony Lipski, Oct. 1991

Subjects

  • Polish Americans--Massachusetts
  • United States. Navy
  • World War, 1939-1945

Contributors

  • Lipski, Antoni, 1882-1953
  • Lipski, Stanley Walter, 1911-1945

Types of material

  • Photograph albums
  • Photographs