Monday, August 27, 2012

Motivation Monday: Hints for Middlefield, CT Genealogy Research

   I know I've already written about Middlefield, but I decided it was time to revisit the subject. I was recently reminded of how hard research there can be. I don't have any family in Middlefield, but I do occasionally end up doing research there for work. In the spirit of "getting motivated," I thought I'd share my hints for doing genealogy research in Middlefield.

   1) Remember Middlefield wasn't officially Middlefield until 1866. Before that, it was part of Middletown. If you're looking for land or vital records for someone in town before that date, you will need to plan on checking with the Middletown Town Clerk or Health Department. Middlefield is still part of Middletown's probate district. 
   2) After 1866, you need to look for land or vital records locally. This means Middlefield's Town Clerk. Don't worry, they're nice!
   3) Like many farming communities, much of Middlefield's history is still not written down. But that doesn't mean you can't find books or written narratives. Middlefield's Levi E. Coe Library or the Middlefield Historical Society are great places to start.
   4) To my knowledge, Middlefield has only two cemeteries and two mainline churches... although it originally had more. Old North Burying Ground was the town's oldest cemetery, followed by the still used Middlefield Cemetery. Middlefield Federated Church combines the town's two oldest churches - Methodist  and Congregational - while St. Colman's serves the Roman Catholic community.
   5) Be patient. Learn the art of waiting for return phone calls. It may take time to reach the right person, but someone in town usually knows the whole history of the family you're researching.

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