Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Get Ready To Sit For A Spell

I would, finally, like to give you a list of great websites for those of you who are armchair New England enthusiasts as well as the professional genealogist and historian. Although I am a New England Food Historian(the best I might add), I find these sites worthy of not only great material for research, but I tried to give you a list that is easily read and comprehended. Certainly I can give you no-nonsense sites that are simply boring and give dates and names, but I find that if you can mix this material with interesting stories, captivating images and a worthwhile repast of reading, then your imagination is held and your curiosity is tweaked. Have fun with these sites and give yourself some time to browse as well as harken back "to the day", the REAL day!

Want to know some fascinating accounts of early Witchcraft trials and "goings-on" before Salem broke out? This is the site that accounts for the image and reasoning, as well as knowledge, that those who persecuted the poor souls of Salem had ingrained in their minds. Over 4,000 people were persecuted in Scotland starting in 1563 and this site lists every single person accused. A rare treat and a site that you should visit before reading about Salem.



This site, I think, is far and above the best, and easily read, sites about the Salem Witchcraft Trials. It was created by the Danvers Archival Center and had the support of the Electronic Text Center at the University of Virginia. Accurate and historical, with a great image of the infamous Rev. Samuel Parris, it is engaging and will definately hold your attention.


Not to be outdone, the National Geographic site has you almost involved in the witchcraft hysteria first hand. Reading the accounts and manuscripts here had me sitting in the courtroom in spirit. I loved this site and it is great for anyone researching material on that dreadful era in our Yankee history.




Want real transcripts directly from primary sources, including depostions, warrants, letters, images and portraits of many involved? You came to the right place here folks. An informative timeline with short essays and biographies, this is most helpful for the "speed reader".



Interested in a more straight-forward approach to digging into your Mayflower ancestry? This is in the top 10 on the internet. A diverse database that gives more than names and numbers. Take a looksee(so my daughter would say).





Not of Mayflower ancestry? Well how about some information straight from Plymouth? Including legal and literary texts from the period, this site contains maps, reconstructions and host of informative material. Love it!!



A little more in-depth when it comes to the Plymouth Colony. This site contains searchable texts and court records, biographies, inventories, wills and even a glossary. And all of this between 1633-1685. A must for the casual stroll or the "head-down" researcher.




This site is more for the serious researcher and teacher. Chock full of no-nonsense data, I love this scholarly, journal-type website, ranging from art history to politics and everyday manners. Put this on your favorites bar.




Very VERY cool! Part of PBS' Colonial House website, this is the only interactive site regarding colonial New England that is worth sitting down with a cup of coffee and transporting yourself back in time. It is a type of reality TV if you want to know the truth. My children loved it, and I don't say that with elementary minds in mind(so to speak). Simply because it is captivating, informative and appeals to ALL ages.



If you are like me, there are times that trying to decipher early English handwriting is difficult at best. When I first started my historical food quest, that was the one and only obstacle I faced each and every time. Now everyone can learn just a little more regarding how to decipher this 'hard to read' handwriting, thereby improving the flow of reading when researching archaic documents and maps.




How about some history, language, information and everyday lives of those New Englanders before the European settlements took over? If you want to learn more about the Native Americans from Lake Champlain to Quebec to Long Island to Rhode Island straight up into Maine, this is the site for you. The Abenaki Indians to the MicMac to the Nauset to the Pennacooks to the Pequots to the Wampanoags to the get the picture.


And lastly, but certainly not least, Professor Jeffrey Howe and his "From Saltbox to Skyscraper: Architecture in America" describes many buildings and their construction. Here is a link to just the 17th century buildings, which stays with our theme of this post. A must read for the avid historian or simply the curious.

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