Polish Heritage Survey being conducted by the Dept of Communication and the Polish Studies Program at Central Connecticut State University.

The Department of Communication and the Polish Studies Program at Central Connecticut State University are conducting an important survey. They really need your help – they cannot complete the survey without your help. The survey is being done to help various Polish Heritage Organizations better understand what determines the degree that a person identifies with their Polish heritage.

We need to hear back from people who were either a) born in the U.S to either a parent or parents born in Poland -or- b) those having a grandparent or grandparents born in Poland. If this describes you, we need you to complete the online survey that is found at:

You can either click on the above ink or copy/paste it into your browser window.
PLEASE NOTE: If you were born in Poland you are NOT eligible to take the survey.
The survey should take 15 to 20 minutes to complete.  The survey is anonymous.   Your name will never be connected to your answers.
If you know anyone that fits this description, please share this information with them. Your help in doing this would be greatly appreciated. We need to hear back from several hundred people to make the survey valid and your help in identifying these people is crucial.
Thank you in advance for your help. It is very much appreciated. If you have any questions about the survey – please contact Renata Czubak Vickrey at 860-832-2085 (vickreyr@ccsu.edu) .


News from the National Archives Catalog: Witness Depositions in Support of Seamen’s Protection Certificates

Newly digitized and now available in the National Archives Catalog: Newport, Rhode Island Witness Depositions in Support of Seamen’s Protection Certificates.

The National Archives at Boston holds many records of historical and genealogical interest, including U.S. Customs Service Records, which contain documentation of American seamen from New England.

In July 2016, the Newport Historical Society transferred a group of  Witness Depositions to the National Archives at Boston. These depositions, filed in 1832 for the port of Newport, Rhode Island, were identified within a collection of Customs District records and were digitized directly after accessioning. The group is regarded as an accretion to an existing series of the Newport customs district, and are now available to view, download, and transcribe in the Catalog!

While the certificates themselves are not part of the records of this customs district, each deposition is an affidavit made by an individual to a justice of the peace or the collector of customs attesting to the American citizenship of a particular seaman. The earlier affidavits are handwritten, and the later ones are on printed forms.

The affidavits usually include the number assigned by the collector; name and signature of the witness; name of the seaman; the seaman’s age, height, hair color, eye color, complexion; his place of birth; his residence at the time the declaration was signed; the port and date of the affidavit; and the signature of the justice of the peace or the collector. This series also contains additional witness depositions, as well as registers of seamen’s certificates issued, which are slated for future digitization.  Learn more about these records and more from the National Archives at Boston.

What’s in a name? Help make naturalization records name searchable

What’s in a name? Quite a lot, it turns out, if you are searching for a petition for naturalization and do not know the court of naturalization or petition number. And if you’re in the midst of family or historical research, you’re probably already looking for these records (or you soon will be!). Even though petitions for naturalization filed prior to October 1906 typically contain less information than those filed after that date, these records can be an invaluable resource and remain some of our most requested records at the National Archives at New York City.

This series of Petitions for Naturalization newly added to the Catalog, contains copies of naturalization records for individuals who filed in Federal, state and local courts in New York from 1790 through 1906. As a general rule, the National Archives does not hold naturalization records created in State or local courts. However, because this series of records is comprised of copies of the originals, our New York office maintains petitions for naturalization filed through Federal, state, and local courts in New York City for the years 1794-1906.

This significant part of our naturalization collection was recently added to the Catalog. The entire series of petitions for naturalization filed through Federal, state, and local courts in New York City prior to October 1906 (over 598 records!) are available in the Catalog  in their entirely–the whole record! The records contain the petitioner’s name, age, place of birth, occupation, date and place of emigration.

US Seamen’s Protection Certificates – from the Western Massachusetts Genealogical Society September 2018 Newsletter.

By Michael John Neill

Under a US Congressional act of 1796 (the Act For The Relief and Protection of American Seamen (1 Stat. 477) signed into law on May 28, 1796), American seamen were periodically issued certificates to hopefully prevent them from being illegally impressed by ships from other nations. These documents can appear in one of three formats:
• registers–listing certificates that were issued–not all are extant, some are held by the National Archives and others by local historical societies

• applications–proof and evidence–generally held by the National Archives, available on microfilm or digitally and usually arranged by port
• certificates–usually kept by the sailor himself

The Mystic Seaport Museum has a database of entries from the Custom Houses of Fall River, Gloucester, New Haven, New London, Newport, Marblehead, and Salem.

FamilySearch includes these databases:
Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Seamen’s Proofs of Citizenship, 1791-1861
Maine, Bath, Seamen’s Proofs of Citizenship, 1833-1868
browse items in the FamilySearch catalog that match a keyword search for “seamen certificates”

Selected Ancestry.com databases:
Applications for Seaman’s Protection Certificates, 1916-1940
Indexes to Seamen’s Protection Certificate Applications and Proofs of Citizenship
Register of Seamen’s Protection Certificates from the Providence, Rhode Island Customs District, 1796-1870

National Archives research guide on the “Seamen’s Protection Certificates.” (PDF file)

(c) Michael John Neill, “Genealogy Tip of the Day,” http://genealogytipoftheday.blogspot.com, 23 Aug 2018

Western Massachusetts Genealogical Society October Monthly Meeting

The Western Massachusetts Genealogy Society speaker on October 3rd, will be Susan Sit. She presented for us back in March on the topic of Welsh and other ethnic research challenges. This time she will be speaking on British research.

Susan Davies Sit was born in North Wales and has been researching her own family tree and others’ trees for almost 40 years. She also enjoys helping others in their genealogy research including her husband’s Chinese American tree, which is as difficult as it sounds! Her specialty is researching in Wales, Scotland and England. She is a Professional genealogist (APG); President of the Welsh Society of Western New England (WSWNE); a member of the Gwynedd Family History Society (Wales); and the Welsh-American Genealogy Society (WAGS).

WMGS meets year-round on the first Wednesday of each month from 6:00 to 8:00 PM at the Agawam Senior Center, located at 954 Main Street in Agawam, Massachusetts.