Saturday, July 7, 2007

NEHGS visit

The New England Historic Genealogical Society - the final frontier!

Day 7 of my vacation - Thursday

Have you ever seen Disney's Beauty and the Beast? My Thursday was like a fairy tale... At last my plans to visit the NEHGS library came to fruition, and there I was treated just like Belle, the staff and volunteers like the household items singing, "Be Our Guest."

Seriously. I do not exaggerate. This was the most amazing day of my life, next to giving birth to my son almost 5 years ago.

First I arrived at NEHGS and met Helen, the volunteer coordinator. Such a lovely and affable woman, she offered to assist me in any way I needed. I told her I needed to go to the special collections/manuscript department, and she rode the elevator with me up there.

She introduced me to Timothy, the archivist, with whom I have had some contact over the past few years. He immediately located the collection I desired and I began my search. This was the Isaac Adams collection and I was hoping to find the parentage of Margaret Elizabeth Hawksley, who married Isaac's son, Isaac.

YES! SWEET SUCCESS WAS MINE! It was only half the equation that I discovered - her mother - but still it answered so many questions about the family! Yes, I am still high with euphoria from that finding.

Next I took the elevator down to the microtext department and met Julie, one of the librarians. This woman was full of energy and eager to help. She assisted me in locating the parents of Ruhama (French) Wade. In the meantime, she also hailed Dave, the online genealogist for NEHGS.

Again, Dave is someone with whom I have had contact many times in the past, but only via email. Julie shouted, "We've got a Stoughtonette over here!" (as in Stoughton, Massachusetts) and Dave came to meet me. I introduced myself and told him how we had contact in the past before, and he immediately was all about helping me.

He ran to the library for a book, to his own computer for vital records, and more. He was incredibly friendly and knowledgeable. We even had a chance to chat a little bit about ourselves (Ozfest, man!) and get to know one another a bit.

Last, but not least, Helen came to find me one last time to ensure that I had found what I sought and ask if I wanted to leave any work with her. Awwwwww... I explained my biggest brick wall, which I hoped to come back in the future to work, and thanked her for her time and solicitousness.

I left walking on air.

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