Getting Started

The New England GOODWIN Project
Dedicated to the Genealogy of
New England Goodwins, Intersecting Genealogies and Family Trees

Getting Started

Where to look? Well, the question is really "Where do I find answers?" You look EVERYWHERE !!
I started using the "follow the money" philosophy: Probate records, Deeds, Tax Records, etc. Some of the finds were enlightening, and some outright amazing. I found originals of old documents in the Probate Court folios, and old maps hanging on the Court House walls! Other efforts were less rewarding; much of the Vital Records of various towns resulted in more questions than answers.
Look in the Town Clerk's office for birth, marriage, and death records. Go to the Cemeteries, and photograph the headstones - BOTH SIDES !!
Go to the local libraries - many of my most treasured "finds" were from un-published documents catalogued in local libraries.
Look at Bulletin-Board services - such as those on and others. Don't forget to look at surnames other than those of direct interest. Do system-wide searches, and BE PATIENT.

Ask elderly residents at the town you are visiting. A cup of coffee might save you YEARS of research.

Located in Salem MA, the Phillips Library of the Peabody Museum is the research and documentation division of the Peabody Essex Museum . As one of New England's older libraries, the library has an international reputation as a major resource for maritime history and art, New England life and culture, American decorative arts, Asian art and culture, Native American history and art, the art and culture of Oceania, natural history and genealogy.

Google Books, one of the most powerful tools availabe to the public 24/7 has been a tremendous help for me. Here is just a few of the listings I found helpful:

Gelealogical register of the First Settlers of New England (Farmer)

A Genealogical Register of The First Settlers of New England (Savage)

Abstracts of Gloucestershire Inquisition Post Mortem (Edw. Alexander Fry)

The New England Historical and Genealogical Register (Waters)

Genealogical Notes (Nathanial Goodwin)

English Goodwin Family Papers (Frank F. Starr, Julius J. Goodwin)

New England Families, Genealogical and Memorial (William Richard Cutter)

The Wentworth Genealogy: English and American - 1878 [Vol 1] (John Wentworth)

The Wentworth Genealogy: English and American - 1878 [Vol 2]

History of Newbury, Mass., 1635-1902 (John James Currier)

A Genealogical History of Robert Adams, of Newbury, Mass. (Andrew Napoleon Adams)

Vital Records of Londonderry, NH [Vol. 3]

Check with your local library (not available on-line) for The Genealogy of the Goodwin Family of Hartford, Conn., compiled by James J. Goodwin in 1891

And then, from Google Books, there are:

Winchester Notes by Fanny Winchester Hotchkiss

The Vinton Memorial by John Adams Vinton

A Munsey-Hopkins Genealog by Daniel Ozro Smith Lowell