Friday, September 2, 2016

Genealogy Links to Explore

What are your plans for Labor Day?  If you put your genealogy file (whether paper or electronic) away for the summer, maybe you are ready to get back on track researching that long-lost ancestor.  Great, make a list of your questions.  Whether you are an experienced family history detective or just getting into this fascinating hobby, you will find a list of very rich links in this article by Andrea Davis, "History at Home: a guide to genealogy."  A big thank-you to Courtney Phillips and her students for bringing this helpful resource to my attention.  Have a great holiday weekend, everyone!

What can you tell me about this building?

Elizabeth Krodel contacted me recently to find out if we had any information about a building which is now the Enlightenment School, at 30 Church Street, Waterbury, Connecticut, a few steps away from St. John's Episcopal Church.  Researching historic buildings takes a lot of sleuthing because there is no central index to turn to that would allow you to plug in a particular address.  It helps if you know who owned the building.  To find that information, you can search the land records at the Town Clerk's office.  It also helps if you know what the building was used for because you might find articles in our newspaper archive about whatever school, business or organization was located there, along with background information about who was there prior to that.  In this particular case, Elizabeth thought the property was once a convent.  This led me to think the building was somehow part of the larger complex of buildings owned by St. John's.  It turns out that the building was originally built in 1916 as a private residence.  According to a free website called Historic Buildings of Connecticut, this building is known as the John Booth Burrall House.  Thank you, Elizabeth, for bringing this very helpful online resource to my attention.  I would encourage anyone interested in learning more about interesting buildings around the city to spend time browsing this website.