Today I will try to figure out the secrets of the Springfield Archives and Library They have a terrible website with no finding aids or anything that is of help. I am hoping to at least get an idea of what they may have for our family by visiting them today.
I did receive an email from the Head of Library and Archives, Ms. Maggie Humberston and she told me about what they had in their library that might be of help to me. She kindly contacted the Granville Public Library for me and realized I had made an appointment with them already.
Sometimes things just work out if you are patient. I was to learn that Ms. Humberston is a very helpful and very pleasant to work with. Calling might be a better choice to see if they can help you on your research. They also extended their hours for the New England Regional Genealogical Conference.
I decided to walk to the museum area so I could check out the park. There are several museums in the complex they call it the Quadrangle. I went right from the Sheraton lobby along Boland Ave. to Harrison Ave. and turned right at Chestnut and left onto to Edwards. There is a large sign that spans Edwards announcing the Springfield Museums. You can't miss it.
|Sign over Edwards Street - Springfield Museums|
|Visitor Center Springfield Museums|
|History Museum & Genealogy Library|
|Entrance to the Springfield History Museum|
There is a statue in this park area of Deacon Samuel Chapin a 10th great grandfather of mine. It is not known where he is buried but he probably was one of the burials in the old cemetery at Elm Street and he is now in the Springfield Cemetery? The statue is on Chestnut and State Street on the west side of the Springfield Public Library a big white building on the south side of the quadrangle. The attendant in the Visitor Center explained to me where the statue was located so I cannot claim that tip. The statue is not in the quadrangle but on the corner of the two streets I mentioned.
|Deacon Samuel Chapin Statue corner of State and Chestnut Street|
or try this: http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~scanderson/deacon_chapin.HTM Deacon Samuel Chapin was a founder of Springfield. He is my 10th great grandfather.
Deacon Samuel Chapin married Cicely Penny they had a daughter named Catherine and she married Nathaniel Bliss on 20 Nov. 1646 in Springfield (Longmeadow). Nathaniel and Catherine Bliss had a son named Samuel (1647-1749) who married Sarah Stebbins on 2 January 1672 in Longmeadow. There daughter Margaret Bliss married Benjamin Cooley a son of Daniel Cooley and Elizabeth Wolcott and grandson of Benjamin Cooley. Benjamin and Margaret had a daughter Keziah Cooley who married Philip Goss III of Brookfield on 25 November 1723.
I am learning about this family line the Chapins, Blisses and Stebbins so please realize that my knowledge of them is growing slowly.
I was hoping the Connecticut Valley Historic Museum would be opened but it is still closed for renovation and I am sad that it is still not ready. I was really interested in what it might have to offer.
I paid my $9.00 fee at the Visitor center and received my label to apply to my jacket and headed back across Edwards to the Springfield Historical Museum. The archives were in the basement. The receptionist took me to the staircase and I descended to the lower floor and found the door entrance to the Springfield Library and Archives. I settled in finding room at the big table. There were other researchers there but not as many as might be expected. I took a quick surface glance and made a summary of what is there just by looking at the filing cabinets, index card cabinets and stacks.
Here is my summary but be advised it is not all.
1. Town, State histories
2. Massachusetts Vital Records
3. Newspapers - Springfield various years
4. Census for Springfield
5. Local History Index
6. Photo Index
7. Whose Who in Springfield
8. Town Directories for Springfield
10. Migration Trails
11. Genealogies and Family histories
Ms. Maggie Humberston introduced herself and when I told her my name she remembered my email and helped me to get some books that might be of interest to me. She was very pleasant, friendly and truly interested. I liked her right away. The other assistant was also helpful. He was fielding many questions from another lady that was really digging into the research.
I spent most of my time studying the book East Granville, Mass. Congregational Church Part I Pages 1-174. It covered baptisms, contents, deacons, deaths, marriages, ordinations. I made some copies about 12 copies. I need to compare this with other documentations I found on my last trip. This is part of the Cooke Collection at the Berkshire Athenaeum in Pittsfield. Part II is the index of names. They also have histories of the Seward Family but I did not have time to really dig in.
About 1:30 pm I headed back to the Sheraton. The sun was shining but the wind was bittingly cold.
In April 2007 I had visited the Granville Public Library History Room and found some interesting manuscripts and information on Enos Seward and his family. This time I will be talking to the librarian, Rose Miller. She is the curator of the history room at the library to see if I can dig deeper. I have new and updated information that might help me find some interesting connections? The last time I was there they let me into the history room but this time they did not. Apparently there are very rare and precious books in the room and someone has to be there. So call or email the library to make an appointment. Go to their website and check their hours. Be aware that in the winter they may be closed due to snow.
The route to Granville from Springfield is on Hwy 149 and then Hwy 57 through Agawam and Southwick. I crossed the Bridge at Boland and left Springfield. The area is much like what I would describe as the foothills of the Cascades here in Washington State. They call them mountains in Massachusetts but when you live out west they are just foothills to us.
The Granville Country Store is a fun experience http://granville.stores.yahoo.net/ I had stopped there the last time I visited. Apparently it is under new management and didn't seem to have the same feel as back then. I didn't see the gift baskets? I purchased a piece of cheesecake to quiet my tummy; however, when I took a bite I discovered it was frozen. I have never eaten cheesecake that way before. It was good. While I sat there people would come in buy something and head back out. I was there 20 minutes and at least 10 people stopped by. It is one of those country stores that carries a little of everything. I believe they are famous for a certain kind of cheese. Check out the website given above.
|Granville Country Store|