Category Archives: Events

Register for Preserve Your Family Treasures

Date & Time:
May 6, 2021
12:00pm – 1:00pm
REGISTER HERE

Preserve Your Family Treasures
Many of us have collections of treasured documents and photographs of significant events, ancestors, or bygone historical eras – items that create a record of who we are and where we come from. These collections deteriorate over time, but making small changes in storage and handling can have a huge impact on the lifespan of the materials. In this lecture, Alison Fulmer, a Preservation Specialist with the Northeast Document Conservation Center (NEDCC) will provide an introduction to the preservation and care of historical materials such as scrapbooks, letters, journals, books, and photographs. We will discuss simple steps for identifying and correcting improper handling and storage of paper-based and photographic materials in family collections.

Alison Fulmer, a Preservation Specialist with NEDCC, serves archives, libraries, museums, historical societies, and other cultural heritage institutions in the New England region and beyond, providing training programs, assessments, consultations, and disaster assistance. She holds a Masters in Library and Information Science from the University of Pittsburgh and is certified by the Academy of Certified Archivists.  NEDCC offers conservation treatment, digital imaging, and audio preservation services, as well as preservation training, assessments and consultations, and disaster advice on collections.

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The Forgotten Irish of Mount Auburn Catholic Cemetery – Video, Book, and More

Thank you to Bill McEvoy for joining us for this week’s Lunchtime Lectures from the Cambridge Room. We had a wonderful turnout of enthusiastic people eager to learn more about the Mount Auburn Catholic Cemetery and the 23,000 individuals – mostly Irish – buried there.

The video presentation of the Forgotten Irish of Mount Auburn Catholic Cemetery is available for you to watch at your leisure. You can download Bill McEvoy’s book, Catholic Mount Auburn Cemetery, East Watertown, MA, for free.

Lastly, discover more of Bill McEvoy’s research projects here:

Rainsford Island: A Boston Harbor Island Case Study in Public Neglect and Private Activism

Alice North Towne Lincoln: Boston’s Selfless Advocate for the Poor.

Register for the Forgotten Irish of Mount Auburn Catholic Cemetery

Date & Time:
April 29, 2021
12:00pm – 1:00pm
REGISTER HERE

Forgotten Irish of Mount Auburn Catholic Cemetery
Join us for a presentation by cemetery historian Bill McEvoy, Jr. on the obscure Mount Auburn Catholic Cemetery in Watertown.  Discover the stories of some of the 23,000 individuals buried there, the vast majority of whom were Irish, fleeing the Great Famine of the 1840s.  Learn about what it was like to be an immigrant in 19th Century Boston – where they lived, how they died, and why they were buried in Watertown in a Catholic-only cemetery.

This project was the result of a four-year, 7,000+ hour, in-depth study of the 23,000+ people buried there.  McEvoy has embarked on several ambitious research projects involving local cemeteries, such as Mount Auburn Cemetery and the cemetery at Rainsford Island in Boston Harbor.  His book, Catholic Mount Auburn Cemetery, East Watertown, MA., is available as a free download.

Bill McEvoy, Jr. is a US Army Veteran and retired Massachusetts District Court Magistrate.  Since his retirement in 2009, McEvoy has conducted large-scale cemetery research projects, including several at Cambridge’s Mount Auburn Cemetery as well as a four-year study on the Catholic Mount Auburn Cemetery in Watertown.  His most recent work uncovering the story of Rainsford Island, an off-shore hospital for Boston’s unwanted, led him to write about Alice North Towne Lincoln, who was instrumental in shutting down the island.

Recording Available – Linked Descendants: African American Genealogy Prior to 1870

We were fortunate to have Sharon Leslie Morgan, founder of Our Black Ancestry, join us for a lively and informative workshop titled Linked Descendants: African American Genealogy Prior to 1870. The workshop, part of the Lunchtime Lectures from the Cambridge Room, was recorded on April 8, 2021.

The following is a description of the workshop and a short bio of Sharon Leslie Morgan:

Linked Descendants:  African American Genealogy Prior to 1870
Join us for a workshop with Sharon Leslie Morgan, renowned genealogist and founder of Our Black Ancestry, as we delve into African American ancestry before abolition.  Researching African American families prior to the 1870 Census is a challenge that may be overcome by finding linked descendants – or the white families who enslaved most of the Black population.  Learn new research techniques and use genealogy as a tool for confronting slavery and heal. 

Sharon Leslie Morgan is a writer and genealogist. She is the founder of Our Black Ancestry, an online community dedicated to providing resources for African American genealogical research, preserving historic materials and properties, and promoting healing of wounds that are the legacy of slavery.

Morgan is the co-author of Gather at the Table: The Healing Journey of a Daughter of Slavery and a Son of the Slave Trade. She is also a contributor to Slavery’s Descendants: Shared Legacies of Race & Reconciliation, and The Little Book of Racial Healing: Coming to the Table for Truth-Telling, Liberation, and Transformation.  In 2019, Morgan received the prestigious James Dent Walker Award from the Afro-American Historical & Genealogical Society

A staunch advocate of racial justice, Morgan has taken STAR (Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience) training at Eastern Mennonite University and is actively involved with Coming to the Table, an organization that promotes linkages between descendants of people who were enslaved and descendants of the families that enslaved them for the purpose of healing from the trauma of slavery.

Register for Linked Descendants: African American Genealogy Prior to 1870

Date & Time:
April 8, 2021
12:00pm – 1:00pm
REGISTER HERE

Linked Descendants:  African American Genealogy Prior to 1870
Join us for a workshop with Sharon Leslie Morgan, renowned genealogist and founder of Our Black Ancestry, as we delve into African American ancestry before abolition.  Researching African American families prior to the 1870 Census is a challenge that may be overcome by finding linked descendants – or the white families who enslaved most of the Black population.  Learn new research techniques and use genealogy as a tool for confronting slavery and heal. 

Sharon Leslie Morgan is a writer and genealogist. She is the founder of Our Black Ancestry, an online community dedicated to providing resources for African American genealogical research, preserving historic materials and properties, and promoting healing of wounds that are the legacy of slavery.

Morgan is the co-author of Gather at the Table: The Healing Journey of a Daughter of Slavery and a Son of the Slave Trade. She is also a contributor to Slavery’s Descendants: Shared Legacies of Race & Reconciliation, and The Little Book of Racial Healing: Coming to the Table for Truth-Telling, Liberation, and Transformation.  In 2019, Morgan received the prestigious James Dent Walker Award from the Afro-American Historical & Genealogical Society

A staunch advocate of racial justice, Morgan has taken STAR (Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience) training at Eastern Mennonite University and is actively involved with Coming to the Table, an organization that promotes linkages between descendants of people who were enslaved and descendants of the families that enslaved them for the purpose of healing from the trauma of slavery.

Genealogy and Local History Workshops at the Cambridge Public Library

Please join us for virtual Lunchtime Lectures from the Cambridge Room, happening every Thursday from 12-1 pm.  Click on the links below for more information and to register.

April 1: Who’s Little Joe:  Photo Detecting 101

April 8: Linked Descendants:  African American Genealogy Prior to 1870

April 29: The Forgotten Irish of Mount Auburn Catholic Cemetery

May 6: Preserve Your Family Treasures

May 13: American Treasures from the Cambridge Public Library’s Archives and Special Collections

May 20: Buns, Beards, Bodices and Bustles:  Understanding Ancestors Through Clothing

June 3:  Getting Started in Irish Family Research

June 10:  Interview Techniques to Tell Your Family’s History

June 17:  Healing the Historical Trauma of Slavery through Genealogical Research

Register for Photo Detecting 101

Date & Time:
April 1, 2021
12:00pm – 1:00pm
REGISTER HERE

Who’s Little Joe:  Photo Detecting 101 
Do you have unidentified people in your family photo albums?  Do you have a shoebox full of photographs of people you don’t know?  Join Maureen Taylor, the Photo Detective, to discover who’s who in your family pictures.  Learn 10 easy steps for naming the unidentified in your photo albums.  This interactive lecture will help you discover new identity and connections in your family history.

Maureen Taylor is an internationally recognized expert on historic photograph identification, photo preservation and family history research.  Sought out by clients all over the world, her pioneering work in historic research is unprecedented, evidenced by her success in solving photo mysteries.  The author of several books, scholarly articles and online columns, Taylor appeared on the View and the Today Show to discuss her photo identification methods.  She has been featured in numerous publications, including the Boston Globe, New York Times, and Better Homes and Gardens, and was dubbed “the nation’s foremost historical photo detective” by the Wall Street Journal. 

Register for: We Keep the Dead Close

Date & Time:
March 25, 2021
12:00pm – 1:00pm
REGISTER HERE

Author Talk:  We Keep the Dead Close, A Conversation with Becky Cooper
In 1969, a Harvard archaeology graduate student named Jane Britton was killed in her off-campus apartment in Cambridge. Her murder remained unsolved until late 2018, when police announced a break in the case. We Keep the Dead Close is the story of author Becky Cooper’s ten-year pursuit for answers.  Join us for a conversation with Cooper as she discusses her research into a murder that gripped the nation more than 50 years ago. 

A native New Yorker, Becky Cooper graduated from Harvard College in 2010.  She is a former New Yorker editorial staff member and author of We Keep the Dead Close (2020) and Mapping Manhattan
(2013). 

We Keep the Dead Close was featured in the Boston Globe MagazineNew York Times, and Washington Post.

Register for Alice North Towne Lincoln: Boston’s Selfless Advocate for the Poor

Date & Time:
March 18, 2021
12:00pm – 1:00pm
REGISTER HERE

Alice North Towne Lincoln:  Boston’s Selfless Advocate for the Poor
Join us for Women’s History Month as we uncover the story of Alice North Towne Lincoln – one of Boston’s great 19th Century philanthropists who has been forgotten by history.  Lincoln’s life work was to help the urban poor.  She advocated for tenement housing reform and worked to close Rainsford Island – the little-known Boston Harbor Island that served as an off-shore repository for the city’s unwanted.  Lincoln also advocated against animal cruelty and was an early vocal proponent of cremation. 

Corrine Elicone is the Events and Outreach Coordinator at Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, where she works with cemetery professionals, mortuary students, as well as historians, botanists, anthropologists, artists, and many others organizing events.  She has also served as the Cemetery’s first female crematory operator.

Bill McEvoy, Jr. is a US Army Veteran and retired Massachusetts District Court Magistrate.  Since his retirement in 2009, McEvoy has conducted large-scale cemetery research projects, including several at Cambridge’s Mount Auburn Cemetery as well as a four-year study on the Catholic Mount Auburn Cemetery in Watertown.  His most recent work uncovering the story of Rainsford Island, an off-shore hospital for Boston’s unwanted, led him to write about Alice North Towne Lincoln, who was instrumental in shutting down the island.

Alice North Towne Lincoln:  Boston’s Selfless Advocate for the Poor by William McEvoy, Jr. is available to download for free.

Register for Finding Women in the Archives

Date & Time:
March 11, 2021
12:00pm – 1:00pm
REGISTER HERE

Finding Women in the Archives
Women make up 50% of your ancestry, yet their lives, experiences, and even complete names are all too often forgotten by written history.  Although often overlooked in official records, throughout time women have been the keepers of family and personal history.  When they survive, diaries, letters, account books, family bibles, samplers, organization records, and more can reveal more about a women’s daily life than any government document. Genealogist Ann Lawthers will discuss how these unique records and manuscripts can be used to piece together a family story and how digging in the archives can hit genealogical gold.

Ann Lawthers, Genealogist, assists visitors to the American Ancestors Research Center, both in the building and online, with their family history research.  She is a graduate of Wellesley College and the Harvard School of Public Health, with Masters and Doctoral degrees in Health Policy.  With a long-term interest in history and family research, Ann Lectures frequently on behalf of American Ancestors.  Areas of particular interest include New England and New York, the Mid-Atlantic states, the southern colonies, Ireland, and migration patterns.