Sources: The Fabric of Our Research

As you are navigating these pages, you will see the following at the bottom of each one:

Creative Commons License
Noel Family of Brockton, MA by Jolynn Noel Winland is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License

What this means to you, the visitor, is:

Most of the information contained on these pages--birth, marriage, death, baptisms, burials, etc--is information that is in the public domain and I have no "copyright" on it. And, while I love hearing from researchers, I never want anyone to think that they must get my permission to incorporate vital records info into their own trees. Incorporate away--with my blessings and the knowledge that it has been thoroughly researched and sourced, as explained in the next section. And if you have something that I don't, I'd love for you to send it my way!
By the same token, I do have stories, narratives and anecdotes in here. Some are told in my words. Some are told in the words of others. The basic information in the stories, again, is not subject to copyright. However, the "creative license", or the way that the story is told, is. Please feel free to use the stories to enhance your research under the following conditions:

If you like the story but feel that you could tell it better, then go ahead and use your own words to do so. I only ask that you please give this site credit as the source of the story!
If you want to copy and paste the story into your own tree/website--again, please give credit to this site.
I feel especially strongly about this when it comes to my own personal anecdotes and narratives or those that have been graciously shared with me by others. Just a few words, like "According to so-and-so" and then the information would be fine. A few years back, I found that someone had taken the story of my grandparents from this site and pasted it into their Ancestry family tree--word for word, with no mention given of where it came from. I made a note in their comments explaining the source, but one shouldn't have to do that.
You can also link to the page or story that you like. Linking saves you from having to give credit, as they're coming directly to the source. Another reason for linking directly to the page is that things can change. This is especially true in the case of my narratives, where I am using known facts to tell the story. If more facts are uncovered, the story changes, and--presto!--your information is automatically updated. Linking not only spreads the word, but puts people in touch with other researchers--which is all part of the fun! ☺

Now--let's talk about sources!

There's a lot of debate about genealogy information that is posted on the Internet that is not sourced or even properly researched. Some people think that NO ONE should post ANYTHING on a family tree/website unless it is 100% researched, documented, sourced, set in stone, bronzed, and on display in the Smithsonian (Trust me, this is only a slight exaggeration!). Others just put their stuff out there, flaws and all, and learn as they go.

I'm a blend of the two. I am not a "purist" with my own personal database--I'll absorb any shred of information, no matter how small or insignificant or "unsourced" it is, and keep track of where I found it. These can be little sledgehammers that knock big chinks in brick walls, and I don't want to overlook a single thing when it comes to researching.
However, for this site, I have only included information that has either come from a well-documented source--a publication, an online repository, information that I know firsthand or have personally seen or read, or was provided to me personally by a family member or researcher.
While I do have information from online family trees/family websites in my database, I will not blindly "copy and paste" it onto this site unless I have another source for it. I have a few reasons for this:

  • First of all, I do not ever want to give the impression that I have simply copied someone else's work; I feel this makes my own research less credible. I do use information from publications, but I always cite the publication as the source.
  • Secondly, many online trees/databases do not cite their sources, so I don't know where the information came from.
  • Finally, I have found several online family trees/webpages that have conflicting information for their ancestors. Since the last thing I want to do is mislead anyone, I try to find a source that can corroborate the information; otherwise, I don't post it until I can.
I think online trees and databases are wonderful sources of information--which is why I started mine--and I try to be as respectful of their efforts as I can be.

The following is a master list of my sources. I urge ANYONE who finds a discrepency in any of the information contained anywhere in this website, to please e-mail me and let me know. We all know that ANY record--even vital records--can be wrong.
I hope my providing links to where to purchase books or online subscription services are not interpreted as my "plugging" these things. Many times I have wanted to purchase a certain publication or visit a website that was referred to on a webpage and was not able to find it; I want to spare my visitors the same frustration. By the same token, the books listed here are very good reads as well as excellent resources.

Online Repositories That Require Payment
Ancestry-US & Canadian census, Drouin Collection, Historical Newspapers, Military Information. It has a yearly membership fee that is based on what you want to access.
PRDH-Canadian vital records. You can buy any amount of "hits" that you want and use them all in one visit or not--they never expire.
Nova Scotia Archives & Records Management Online-Index is free, but copy of record requires payment.
New England Historic Genealogical Society-This works hand in hand with the Massachusetts Archives--if you have the information from the index, you can look the record up here. It has a yearly membership fee.

Online Repositories That Are Free
Rootsweb-US and Canadian GenWeb projects; message boards and lists.
Tanguay's Dictionary
Genealogy of Canada-Lots and lots of Quebec family trees on this site--I use it to help me search the Drouin Collection. It's also a great source if you have conflicting information on a person--helps sort it out more easily. It has stories and pictures, too. It is primarily written in French, but some of the pages have an option to switch to English.
Dictionary of Canadian Biography-Biographical information about many of Canada's settlers and prominent citizens.
Massachusetts Archives-An index to the Massachusetts vital records that this agency holds from 1841-1910. From this index, you can order copies of the record--or simply narrow down a time frame for a birth, marriage, or death.
Northern New York American-Canadian Genealogical Society- User-contributed 5-generation family trees; helpful if you have ancestors from the Clinton County, New York area.
Family Search- The new Latter-Day Saints records site. While most of its records are free, some of the links to images will take you to pay-for-use sites to see the image; this is especially true in the case of military records.

"Our French-Canadian Ancestors", Volumes 1,4,5,7,8,12 & 19, author Tom LaForest-After reading the excerpt on Nancy Borman's website, I decided to begin collecting the series. They can be obtained from Quintin Publications.

"Before the King's Daughters: The "Filles Marier", 1634-1662 and "King's Daughters and Founding Mothers: The Filles du Roi, 1663-1673"-Both books are written by Peter J. Gagne and are, in my opinion, a must-have for anyone researching French-Canadian history or genealogy. Both of these books can also be obtained from Quintin Publications.
UPDATE REF QUINTIN PUBLICATIONS: As of 2017, Quintin Publications seems to be out of business. The links above take you to a site called Genmall, which has some of Quintin Publications genealogy reference material, but not the "Our French-Canadian Ancestors" series. In the past, I have been successful finding some of the volumes at online used booksellers. However, this Facebook page has info on how to purchase either some of the remaining books or a CD-ROM of the books.

Copies of Vital Records
I have copies of birth, death, and marriage records for various members of the family. There are copies of actual documents along with copies of the entries in the county/town record books. I have some marriage record abstracts for St. Laurent and St. Jean parishes on the Ile d'Orleans, Quebec, Canada.

Obituaries or News Articles
Obituaries and other articles of interest on the family. I must credit Peg G., Tanya C., Eleisa T., and Carol M. for being so generous with news clippings and articles about our family.

Cemetery Records
On a visit to a cemetery where many Noel family members were buried, a kind cemetery worker named Chris made copies of the index cards of my family's plots for me. A truly valuable source!

Social Security
I was able to obtain a copy of one Application for Social Security for Isabelle Gibbons at a reasonable price before SSA jacked up the price of a copy to $27!!. I also have info from the Social Security Death Index.

Williamstown, Mass-aka The Genealogical Field Trip
I made a trip to Williamstown, MA in the beautiful Berkshire Mountains in July of 2003 for the purpose of looking for information about my ancestors. Along with my cousin Carol W, (third cousin twice removed to be exact), we descended upon the Williamstown Town Hall, where the very helpful and friendly town clerk allowed us to access the old records for the two days that I was there. We also spent some time in Eastlawn Cemetery, where the aforementioned Chris took a little extra time to not only show us where all of our ancestors were buried--but made copies of the cemetery record cards for us! I had a great time with Carol and her mother and siblings. It's nice to meet a new cousin--and it's even nicer when they end up being your friend.

Other family members
I cannot express enough gratitude to the members of my family--both close and distant--who have helped me in gathering the information that you find on these pages. I have given credit to these individuals throughout the website, but I feel compelled to at least mention them by first names here: Peg, Carol W, Carol M, Eleisa, Tanya, Maggie, Al, Alex, Nancy, Raymond, Ann R., Alice, Jill, Chris, Margaret, Barbara. Without their help I would have never gotten to this point.

Other Researchers
I have been fortunate enough to have been the recipient of volunteers--some that I asked for help and others that kindly offered--to assist in my research. Larry Noonan and Sara from Brockton--Sara was a helpful lookup volunteer; Larry is not only a fellow genealogist, but a childhood friend of my father who went the "extra mile" for me and to whom I am very grateful! Julie from Pittsfield--a lookup volunteer who worked tirelessly and sent me a ton of information! and Catherine in Randolph, MA--another lookup volunteer who quickly responded to my request for information. All of these people helped me immensely.

Family Web Pages
I use family web pages to fill in the blanks in my research; then I go searching for the documentation to validate it. In most cases, I don't post information here until there is a concrete source for it; and if I do, I always give credit to the person who shared it.

Seaking of credit, the credit for the beautiful graphics on this page are courtesy of Graphics by Shawna. Every single page on this site has a link to her graphics site. The site is awesome, the graphics are beautiful, and they are easy to use. Click on the button below and take a look!

This page was updated March 2009.

Creative Commons License
Noel Family of Brockton, MA by Jolynn Noel Winland is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License