New Book: “Western Massachusetts Families in 1790”

Bonnie McGregor contributed to the purchase of a new book for our club library, Western Massachusetts Families in 1790. It’s shelved under USA/Massachusetts and is now available for circulation. Teri Petty of the Library Committee wrote this summary and review:

Western Massachusetts Families in 1790
Edited by Helen Schatvet Ullmann, CG, FASG
Published by New England Historic Genealogical Society, Boston, 2012

Whether born slave or free, for those seeking lesser-written-of families in this time and place, this book is a detailed treasure trove of information both in the main body of the book and in the numerous references.

Chapters are written by different individuals, some with family ties to their subjects, and some without. While sticking to a genealogical format, for the most part each author has managed to incorporate a tidbit to give an individual or family a spark making them more than just a name on a page. That spark helps the reader gain a better understanding of the person as well as life in that time and place.

If the reader has no family ties to this area in this timeframe, he/she will still find this book worth reading. Without reading the references, it is a short, easy read. It provides a glimpse of life in a part of Massachusetts we hear little of in history books. Yet, there are still familiar names – from a folk hero to a Harvard scholar that challenged the way Americans thought of their world.

Book details: Cover design by Carolyn Sheppard Oakley. Cover image: Homestead of General Timothy Ruggles by Winthrop Chandler, Worcester Art Museum, Worcester, MA, bequest of Julia T. Green. Frontispiece: Detail of 1801 Map of Massachusetts by Osgood Carlton, engraved by Joseph Callender and Samuel Hill, Boston, David Rumsey Historical Map Collection. 313 Pages. ISBN-13: 978-0-88082-287-9. Library of Congress Control Number: 2012946313.

(Reminder: The catalog for the club library is available online at LibraryThing.)

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