viii Preface.  

re-written many times, — that the town, the parish, and family records often disagree concerning the same birth, marriage, or death, and that in many instances, especially of recent date, the facts required could not be ascertained from either public or private records, — it is hoped that the embarrassing conditions under which the writer has often labored, together with the magnitude of the undertaking, will in some measure be accepted as an excuse for whatever is unsatisfactory.

   The plan adopted for the successive sketches is that which is in use by the New England Historical and Genealogical Society.   It is quite simple and easily understood by those who are familiar with genealogical investigations; and to those who are not, a brief study will soon make clear its seeming mysteries.   The figure which precedes the head of a family — if descended from the first settlers — denotes the number of families bearing the surname, and refers back to the family of the immediate ancestor, where the same person is designated, in the list of children, by the same number at the left of the Roman numeral.   Following this rule it is easy to trace back through the whole ancestral line to the progenitor.   The Christian names and figures which are given in parenthesis after the head of a family denote the ancestral line and generation in consecutive order.   The names in parenthesis which follow the heads of families who have been or are residents of the town, but whose ancestral line is not traced, refer to the parents, and include the mother's maiden name.   Figures at the left of the Roman numeral refer forward, where the same number will precede the family history of the person designated.

 

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