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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. The only access to information on New England Friends is usually through 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 meetings 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. The town may have held smaller meetings that were part of a larger nearby monthly meeting.
  3. If their 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 prob- ably not be recorded by a Monthly Meeting.
  4. If a probable Monthly Meeting can be determined, 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 original. The location of originals is given in the “Loc.” column. Most of them are on deposit at the Rhode Island Historical Society Library, which houses the official Archives of New England Yearly Meeting.
  7. If you are researching early Friends (pre-Revolutionary), it is likely that you will not discover anything new in the vi- tal 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.

Gershuny, Grace

Grace Gershuny Papers, 1975-1997
2 boxes (3 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 793
Image of Soul of Soil
Soul of Soil

An organizer, consultant, and educator in the alternative agriculture movement, Grace Gershuny has been active in the field since the 1970s when she worked for the Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA), developing its first organic certification program. As a leader in the movement, Gershuny helped to establish both the Organic Trade Association and the Organic Farmer: The Digest of Sustainable Agriculture. Today she continues to write and teach on the subject, serving as a faculty member at a number of colleges, most recently Green Mountain College.

The collection consists chiefly of printed material from a run of the Organic Farmer to Appropriate Technology Transfer for Rural Areas (ATTRA) publications and organizational newsletters, such as the Rural Education Center. Amongst these publications are a few small but significant groups of materials including notes from Gershuny’s role as the NOFA VT coordinator in 1979 and her drafts and notes for the second editions of The Soul of Soil.

Subjects
  • Farming--United States
  • Northeast Organic Farming Association
  • Organic farmers
  • Organic farming
Contributors
  • Gershuny, Grace

Glass Container Association

Glass Container Association Records, 1910-1953 (Bulk: 1924-1935)
13 boxes (7 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 289

The Glass Container Association (now the Glass Packaging Institute) was founded in 1919 as a trade association for the North American glass container industry. Throughout its history, the Association was an important voice setting industry standards and educating packing professionals, and they monitored trends and conducted and disseminated research in the use of glass containers. During the 1920s and 1930s, they responded to queries from their membership by carrying out research projects on product-specific issues in using glass containers as well as research into more general concerns relating to the use of glass containers.

This subject file maintained by the Glass Container Association during the 1920s through the mid-1930s, consists of inquiries from manufacturers and food processors about concerns in packing relating to particular products and packing methods. Organized topically, the files contain copies of queries and other correspondence, research data (in some cases) and reports, replies, publications, and occasionally write-ups on products and industry standards.

Gift of Bruce Krasin, 1989
Subjects
  • Food--Packaging
  • Food--Packaging--Standards
  • Glass container industry--United States
  • Glass containers--Standards
Contributors
  • Glass Container Association
Types of material
  • Photographs

Granite Cutters International Association of America

Granite Cutters' International Association of America Records, 1877-1978
27 boxes (19.5 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 004

Organized in Rockland, Maine in March 1877 as the Granite Cutters’ National Union, the association later adopted its present name in 1905. The trade union clearly had a strong sense of their identity and purpose claiming for itself “the jurisdiction over cutting, carving, dressing, sawing, and setting all granite and hard stone on which granite cutters tools are used,” and further claiming that “no other other trade, craft or calling has any right or jurisdiction over” the these activities.

Records include National Union Committee minutebooks from 1886-1954, monthly circulars, membership registers, and 100 years of the union’s official publication, the Granite Cutters’ Journal.

Subjects
  • Labor unions--New England
  • Stone-cutters--Labor unions
Contributors
  • Granite Cutters' International Association of America
Types of material
  • Minute books

Granite Cutters International Association of America. Tool Sharpeners Local 1

GCIAA Tool Sharpeners Local 1 Records, 1898-1941
(0.25 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 005

The Tool Sharpeners Local 1 of Granite Cutters International Association of America was established in Quincy, Mass., in 1896. The local represented the interests of one of the skilled trades within the Grant Cutters, which claimed for itself “jurisdiction over cutting, carving, dressing, sawing, and setting all granite and hard stone on which granite cutters tools are used,” and further claiming that “no other other trade, craft or calling has any right or jurisdiction over” the these activities.

The minutebooks contain records of membership meetings of the Toolsharpeners Local 1 of the Granite Cutters’ International Association. Spartan documents, these include notice of the election of officers, summaries of business, and occasional brief notes on grievances, communications with other locals, and new and departing members.

Subjects
  • Labor unions--Massachusetts
  • Stone-cutters--Labor unions--Massachusetts
Contributors
  • Granite Cutters' International Association of America
Types of material
  • Minute books

Gray, Asa, 1810-1888

Asa Gray, A pilgrimage to Torreya, 1875
1 vol. (0.1 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 419 bd

The great botanist and early supporter of evolutionary theory, Asa Gray, toured the Florida Panhandle during the spring of 1875, making “a pious pilgrimage to the secluded native haunts of that rarest of trees, the Torreya taxifolia.” His journey took him along the Apalachicola River in search of Torreya, an native yew prized by horticulturists.

This slender manuscript account was prepared by Gray for publication in the American Agriculturist (vol. 43). In a light and graceful way, his “pilgrimage” describes the difficulties of travel in the deep south during the post-Civil War years and his exploits while botanizing. The text is edited in Gray’s hand and varies slightly from the published version.

Subjects
  • Florida--Description and travel--19th century
  • Yew
Contributors
  • Gray, Asa, 1810-1888

Greater Northampton Chamber of Commerce. Total Community Development Committee

Greater Northampton Chamber of Commerce Total Community Development Committee Records, 1968-1970
1 box (0.5 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 154

Formed by the Greater Northampton Chamber of Commerce in 1968, the Total Community Development Committee was assigned the task of assessing the city’s needs and resources in an effort to guide the community in making and remaking its physical shape. Drawn from local business leaders, academics, and city planners, the Committee addressed issues relating to the city’s public assets including the state of the Hampshire County Courthouse, City Hall, schools, and housing, as well as economic and industrial development, recreation and youth, and urban renewal.

The collection consists of minutes and memos of the Total Development Committee, notes kept by Committee member Harvey J. Finison, and supporting material, including a copy of the 1963 master plan for the city and a series of maps. The Committee’s work contributed to a new comprehensive plan for the city by the firm Metcalf and Eddy (1972) and a survey of needs for proposed Hampshire County courthouse prepared by Reinhardt and Associates (1969).

Subjects
  • City planning--Massachusetts--Northampton
  • Northampton (Mass.)--Economic conditions--20th century
  • Urban renewal--Massachusetts--Northampton
Contributors
  • Finison, Harvey J., 1916-1987
  • Greater Northampton Chamber of Commerce. Total Community Development Committee
Types of material
  • Comprehensive plans (reports)
  • Maps

Grinspoon, Lester, 1928-

Lester Grinspoon Papers, 1962-2011
30 boxes (45 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 751
Image of Lester Grinspoon, Oct. 2010
Lester Grinspoon, Oct. 2010

Lester Grinspoon, the Harvard psychiatrist who became a celebrated advocate for reforming marijuana laws, was born June 24, 1928, in Newton, Massachusetts. A veteran of the Merchant Marines and a graduate of Tufts University and Harvard Medical School, he trained at the Boston Psychoanalytic Institute but later turned away from psychoanalysis. Senior psychiatrist for 40 years at the Massachusetts Mental Health Center, Grinspoon is associate professor emeritus of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. In the mid-1960s, struck by the rising popularity of marijuana and its reputed dangers, Grinspoon began to examine the medical and scientific literature about marijuana usage. To his surprise, he found no evidence to support claims of marijuana’s harmful effects, and his resulting 1969 Scientific American article drew wide attention. His research ultimately convinced him of marijuana’s benefits, including enhanced creativity and medicinal uses. His own young son, undergoing chemotherapy for the leukemia that eventually took his life, found his severe nausea greatly eased by marijuana. By his 40s, Grinspoon had gained renown as an outspoken proponent of responsible adult use and legalization.

The Lester Grinspoon Papers comprehensively document Grinspoon’s advocacy and activism, including his role as a board member of NORML; his research and writing of the books Marihuana Reconsidered and Marihuana: The Forbidden Medicine, numerous articles, two web sites, and more; his position as an expert witness in criminal trials; and his relationships with friends, colleagues, and many others, such as Carl Sagan, John Lennon, Keith Stroup, and Melanie Dreher. The collection comprises correspondence, research material, drafts and publications, clinical accounts, clippings, ephemera, scrapbooks, and audiovisual materials: photographs, as well as videotapes and DVDs of Grinspoon’s appearances on television and in documentary films.

Subjects
  • Harvard Medical School. Dept. of Psychiatry
  • Marijuana--Health aspects
  • Marijuana--Law and legislation
  • Marijuana--Physiological effect
  • Marijuana--Therapeutic use
  • Marijuana--Therapeutic use--Social aspects
  • National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (U.S.)
Contributors
  • Grinspoon, Lester, 1928-
Types of material
  • Letters (Correspondence)
  • Scrapbooks
  • Videotapes

Grout, Aldin

Aldin Grout papers, 1833-2002 (Bulk: 1833-1894)
1 box (0.5 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 797
Image of Rev. Aldin Grout
Rev. Aldin Grout

Aldin Grout was among the first American missionaries to the Zulu nation. After experiencing a religious conversion in his early twenties, Grout dedicated his life to the ministry, studying at Amherst College (1831) and Andover Theological Seminary (1834) before accepting an appointment from the American Board of Christian and Foreign Missions. In Nov. 1835, Grout and his new wife Hannah sailed for South Africa, arriving in Port Natal in June, and building their first outpost among the Zulu, who were in a temporary lull in their long war with Boer settlers. Although Hannah died barely a year later, Grout and his second wife Charlotte remained at the mission station at Umlozi for over thirty years. After settling into retirement in Springfield, Mass., in 1870, Grout took part in the ABCFM effort to translate the Bible into Zulu (1883) and wrote about his missionary experiences for a general audience. Aldin Grout died in Springfield on 1894.

In nearly fifty letters to his in-laws, Grout provided a remarkable commentary on his missionary activities in colonial South Africa, his personal religious convictions, and the lives of the Zulus to whom he ministered. The collection also includes a handful of fragmentary autobiographical and historical sketches written after Grout’s retirement, a handful of letters from his wives and fellow missionary workers, Hannah and Charlotte, and some photographs of Groutville, S.A., and other materials from Grout’s great-great-granddaughter Norine Lee (formerly Phillips).

Subjects
  • American Board of Christian and Foreign Missions
  • Dingane, King of the Zulu, approximately 1793-1840
  • Missionaries--South Africa
  • South Africa--Description and travel--19th century
  • South Africa--History--19th century
  • Zulu (African people)--History
Contributors
  • Grout, Charlotte Bailey
  • Grout, Hannah Davis
Types of material
  • Photographs

Gyorgy, Anna

Anna Gyorgy Papers, 1974-1988.
6 boxes (6.5 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 631
Image of No Nukes
No Nukes

As a member of the Montague Farm community, Anna Gyorgy became a leader in the movement against nuclear energy. In 1974, she helped organize the Alternative Energy Alliance in Montague, Mass., and two years later, she was part of the coalition that founded the Clamshell Alliance. An author, ecofeminist, and peace activist, she has lived In Ireland, West Africa, and Germany since 1985 and remains deeply involved in international movements for justice and peace.

Tightly focused on Anna Gyorgy’s activism from the mid-1970s through late 1980s, the collection contains important documentation on the early antinuclear movement in western Massachusetts with some material on the international movement in the 1980s. In addition to a small run of correspondence, the collection includes writings, news clippings, publications, and ephemera relating to antinuclear activism during the 1970s and 1980s and to other related causes, including the Rainbow Coalition and Jesse Jackson’s run for the presidency in 1984.

Subjects
  • Alternative Energy Coalition
  • Antinuclear movement
  • Clamshell Alliance
Contributors
  • Gyorgy, Anna
Types of material
  • Photographs
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