Contributing Writer
Janet Wahlberg

How many of you have used Newsletters from various Historical and Genealogical Societies for research? These are a bit more labor intensive but can yield valuable nuggets. The Hall House at the Fenton History Center has several newsletters that cover many years.
A partial list follows: American Ancestors, Bank Notes (Chemung County, NYS Historical Association, Olean Historical & Preservation Society, Stepping Stones (Warren county, PA), Swedish American Genealogist, Timelines Chautauqua Co. Historical Soc., The Owl (Wing Family), The Dinghy & The Second Boat (Colonial Genealogy), Branches & Twigs (Vermont Genealogy), The Connecticut Nutmegger, Tree Talks (New York Genealogy), Western New York Genealogical Society, and Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society.
They all provide similar information, so I will concentrate on the Tree Talks as they are probably of greater interest to those of us researching in Chautauqua County and New York. We have a 3-ring binder for each of the counties. The information to be found in these records is varied but may include cemetery records, death records, marriages, estate records, estate inventories, will abstracts, and letters of administration.
There is also a binder that is titled Misc. This binder includes several topics beginning with Bible records that includes a collection from various families that in some cases tells a great story in addition to the family facts. Articles by the county historians provide some interesting information. A section titled Evolution of the Counties helps you to sort out the changes to county boundaries that have occurred over the years. Specific names and dates are in the section titled Immigration and Naturalization. Military Tracts covers information the history and names of some of the Revolutionary Soldiers who received land.
There is a very interesting section labeled Land Donations. This section covers claims filed for land in Oregon land donations. It is not alphabetized, but you never know! These land donations were a result of an Act of Congress of September 27, 1850.
Another interesting section in the Misc. notebook is one that gives information on a group of Canadian and Nova Scotia refugees who were entitled to land in the State of New York. This occurred in the early 1800s.
PERSI is another source of Newsletters. The Periodical Source Index, or PERSI, is the largest subject index to genealogy and local history periodical articles in the world. While it is generally associated with the Allen County Library in Wayne, Indiana, it is now available on Find My Past and Family Search.
While this is not a complete list of what is in these Newsletters, you do get the idea that that one nugget that you are looking for may be found in these or other Newsletters.

To read Janet Walberg’s previous genealogy columns or to delve deeper into her writings and insights for searching out and recording your own family’s genealogy, please go to and visit Janet’s own web page.