Mayflower Descendant
A Publications of the
Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Descendants

 

The reviews are the opinion of the editor (unless indicated otherwise). They are solely for the aid of our readers. Reviews appear in every issue of the journal. If you would like to subscribe or order any back issue, please click here.

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This review was published in 2002
[MD, 51 [2002]: 87-88]

 

The New England Historic Genealogical Society publishes the following books. To order: NEHGS Sales, 1 Watson Place, Framingham MA 01701, call 888-296-3447, or email www.NewEnglandAncestors.org.

The following item is a CD-ROM powered by the Folio Views 4.20 search engine. This engine is the most sophisticated of its kind. Single or multiple word searches, phrases, wildcards for single or multiple letters, and Boolean logic of “and” and “or” can be used in each search. Computer requirements are minimum 28MB hard disk space; 4X CD-ROM driver or higher; SVGA monitor (256-color or higher). For PC users: minimum Pentium I; Windows 95, 98, NT, or 2000; 32MB RAM. For MAC users: minimum System 7.5 (emulation mode only on System OS X); 20MB RAM (32MB recommended).

Printing on all of the CDs can be tricky. Folio databases are groups of data elements. That means that a single record or element is independent from the next, i.e. the elements have no context. If you hit the print button, you get that single data element only. That means you likely will not have other identifying information such as the year of the event on some CDs. The way to get around this is to highlight as much text as you need. When you select print, the option highlighted as the default is the one called “selection.” This means the program will print everything you highlighted. However, the printout in any method you choose will not print a header describing the CD and/or the subsection of the CD from whence the data came. Another feature is found in the print setup dialog box. You can select the header or footer to insert text. The problem is that these CDs are read-only. That means you cannot write your own headers or footers. This is the only problem that needs tobe fixed by Folio.

 

The Records of the Churches of Boston [And The First Church, Second Parish, and Third Parish of Roxbury] transcribed by Robert J. Dunkle and Ann S. Lainhart (Boston: NEHGS, 2002). 1 CD-ROM. $39.99.

This type of major transcription project deserves special attention because it makes records that are difficult, at best, to access available. This is especially important when discussing early Boston given that the city’s vital records covering the 1700s are poor. These church records bridge the gap to connect your ancestors from generation to generation. Below is a list of early churches of Boston the reviewer found. All but a few are on this CD-ROM. The ones not included, or where no records exist, have an asterisk (*) before their name.

First Church [originally Congregational] (Unitarian–1630)
Second Church [originally Congregational as Old North Church] (Unitarian–1650)
*Friends Meeting House (Friends–1664) [not included and records likely not extant, records with Salem Monthly Meeting]
First Baptist Church (Baptist–1665)
Old South Church (Trinitarian–1669)
*French Huguenot (extinct–1686) [no records extant, ceased in 1764]
King’s Chapel [Protestant Episcopal to 1786] (Unitarian–1686)
Brattle Street Church (Unitarian–1699)
New North Church (Unitarian–1714) [ceased by circa 1863]
New South Church (Unitarian–1719)
*New Brick Church (extinct–1722) [no records extant?, merged with Second Church in 1779]
*Christ Church (Episcopal–1722) [records prior to 1806 lost]
Federal Street [was first Presbyterian and now Arlington Street] Church (Unitarian–1727)
Hollis Street Church [originally Congregational] (Unitarian–1732)
Trinity Church (Episcopal–1734)
West Church [later West Boston Society (Independent Congregational)] (Unitarian–1737)
Samuel Mather’s Church (Congregational, extinct–1742) [joined with Second Church in 1785 from whence it came]
Second Baptist Church [listed as Baldwin Place Baptist Church and now Warren Avenue] (Baptist–1743)
*School Street Congregational Church (Congregational, extinct–1748) [not mentioned on this CD, ceased in 1785]
First Universalist (Universalist–1785) [ceased in 1864]
*Cathedral of the Holy Cross (Roman Catholic–1788) [not included]
*First Methodist Church [later Temple and now Grace Church] (Methodist–1792) [no records before 1800 extant]
First Church of Roxbury [originally Congregational] (Unitarian–1632)
Roxbury Second Parish [originally Congregational and now in West Roxbury] (Unitarian–1712)
Roxbury Third Parish [originally Congregational and now in Jamaica Plain] (Unitarian–1770)

It should be noted that the CD-ROM includes only Protestant Churches in old Boston and Roxbury (which include West Roxbury and Jamaica Plain). Some records go up to 1850. The towns annexed to present-day Boston also include Brighton (including Allston), Charlestown, Dorchester, and Hyde Park. Their churches are:

First Parish of Dorchester [originally Congregational] (Unitarian–1630)
First Church of Charlestown (Congregational–1632)
First Parish of Brighton [originally Congregational] (Unitarian–1730)

There are two sections to this CD-ROM. The first is called “Church Descriptions” where you can read an outline drawn mainly from John Hayward’s “Boston Churches and Ministers” from A Gazetteer of Massachusetts (Boston, 1849) and Harold Field Worthley’s An Inventory of The Records of The Particular (Congregational) Churches of Massachusetts Gathered 1620-1805 (Cambridge, 1970). The second section is “Church Records.” This section has the transcriptions of the actual records if they exist. The CD-ROM includes all records of Boston churches regardless of whether they were previously published.

The search feature can be limited to just one church. For normal searches, you should have the box checked off at the top by the title of the book. If you want only the records searched, then check the box by “Church Records.” If you double-click on the “+” anywhere on the left browse window, a tree of sub-categories will open up. You can select or exclude any number of these churches by marking the box.

 

 

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Page updated 1 April 2011