The Wonderbase of the Week at WorldVitalRecords.com is 80 databases from the Godfrey Memorial Library collection and contains family histories, pedigrees and memoirs. Click here to view the databases.
The largest database, A Genealogy of the Descendants of Joseph Bixby, 1621 – 1701, of Ipswich and Boxford, Massachusetts who spell the name Bixby, Bigby,Bryxbee, Bixbee, Bigbee or Byxbe and of the Bixby Family in England, Descendants of Walter Bekesby 1427 of Thorpe Morieux, Suffolk, was compiled byWilliard Goldthwaite Bixby and published in 1914.
In the preface, the publisher talks about how the genealogy came about: “In a letter to a cousin, Dr. Bixby relates how, during a summer vacation, out of curiosity, he examined the town and church records of Topsfield, Essex County, Massachusetts. He had heard a tradition that his ancestors had come from Topsfield, but he was amazed at the wealth of material concerning the family which he found there, and what he found fired his ambition to learn more about his ancestry. He devoted to the work all the spare time he could get in summer vacations, and during the remainder of the year carried on, with his own hand, an extensive correspondence with the Bixbys of whom he learned. The work rapidly broadened and it was fortunate that Dr. Bixby’s son-in-law, Reverend Truman Johnson, M.D., was able to assist. Dr. Johnson continued the correspondence and searches begun by Dr. Bixby and arranged in genealogical sequence the material already in hand.”
Another large database, the Genealogy of the Bostwick Family in America, is a work completed over an eight year period. The author, in speaking about the labor it took to compile the information, said: “Some years ago I was prompted by a desire to see the history of our family put in such shape, as to place before the descendants of our emigrant ancestor, records of the early generations which might prove of value and interest to those now bearing the name of Bostwick or their descendants. I do not claim that this work contains the name of every descendant of our earliest ancestor, but, as far as it has been possible to obtain the, it contains the names of all persons positively identified with the original line of descent. I have had the usual experience of all genealogists in encountering several classes of persons, in preparing this work.”
Other titles include A Memorial of Alice and Phoebe Cary, with Some of Their Later Poems; Letters, Journals and Memories of E. Huntington; and Exercises at the Hanging of a Portrait of the Honorable Joseph Hodges Choate in the Banking Rooms of the Merchants National Bank of Salem, Massachusetts.
The Godfrey Memorial Library has partnered with WorldVitalRecords.com to make these and other databases available online to a wider audience.