Winter Project Idea: Researching Your Family Tree

Today’s blog post comes to us from Bill, head of Adult Services.

Have you ever thought about tracing your family history? Family members will likely have some of the answers to get that family tree started, but after that, where do you go to find out more?

 

 

CPL offers access within the library to two family history research resources – Ancestry Library Edition and American Ancestors. Discover your roots at the library!  Begin exploring by searching a surname.  It’s as easy as that.  Anyone can come to the library to search through databases that contain more than a billion names – some that reach as far back as the 1400s.  Ancestry Library Edition is the library equivalent to Ancestry.com.  American Ancestors is the website of the New England Historic Genealogical Society.  Established in 1845, it features a wealth of data about New England and New York.

To get the most out of your experience, come prepared with a list of ancestors to research.  Make a list of the names of every direct ancestor you can think of.  Census data, birth, marriage, and death records, military records, Social Security death records, and immigration lists are all available for searching.  These records provide clues to the past – places where ancestors lived, names of relatives, birth or death dates – that lead to more information.

You may also find these websites helpful:

 Principles of Family History Research

Getting Started: Tips to Help You on Your Way

Unlocking the mystery to your own family history is a rewarding experience that challenges your research skills and results in answers that have personal meaning.  The pieces of your family puzzle can create a full picture of your family’s story.

 

Call the library’s Reference Department at 203-272-2245, ext. 4, with any questions.

5 Legit Ways to Download Free eBooks & Audiobooks

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a reader in possession of a good book, must be in want of another good book. And books are expensive to buy, especially if you burn through them quickly like many of us do. So how can you (legally) keep yourself in reading material without spending a crazy amount of money?

Well, since this is a Library Blog, the #1 answer is obvious: use your public library card! But there are even more ways to get your hands (eyes) on free reading material. In this blog post I’m going to focus on downloadables (ebooks and audiobooks), and ways to legitimately get your electronic reading devices chock full of free stuff.  So many freebies, it’s easy to make “read more” one of your New Year’s resolutions. Thrifty readers rejoice!

1. Use Your Library’s Digital Collection. Free stuff is what libraries all about, and most have at least one e-book borrowing platform that their cardholders can access. At CPL, we have 3 (because we’re awesome like that): OverDrive, RBdigital, and hoopla. Each platform has slightly different borrowing rules, and a different collection of ebooks & audiobooks to choose from.  All you need is a library card and you can start downloading tons of free titles tonight!

2. Check out Open Library and Librivox.  Open Library features hundreds of thousands of scanned books, courtesy of the Internet Archive, offering classic literature, out-of-copyright, public domain works, and many modern titles.  eBooks can either be read page-by-page in a browser (requiring an internet connection), or downloaded to your device and read via the Overdrive Media Console app or a PDF reader. Librivox audiobooks are public domain works read by volunteers from all over the world. They are free for anyone to listen to on a computer, mobile device, or even to burn onto CDs.

3. Become a Reviewer with NetGalley and Edelweiss. Netgalley and Edelweiss  make digital ARCs (Advanced Reader Copies) of upcoming books available in exchange for honest reviews. In order to gain access to their catalogs of available ebooks, you may be expected to publish regular reviews of what you read, but hey, that’s a small price to pay for free advance copies of books!

4. Promotional Offers & Sales from Major Retailers. Retail sites like Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, and Google Play all offer free ebooks,  some are permanent freebies and some are for a limited time.  There’s lots of fiction and non-fiction titles, everything from new authors looking to get a sales boost, to established authors promoting their backlists. Check these sites regularly to grab some great deals.

5. And Speaking of Amazon…  Did you know Amazon Prime members have access to a bunch of free ebooks and audiobooks? If you’ve got Prime membership, you can take advantage of a lot of freebies through their Prime Reading program. Most are Kindle ebooks, but there are some audiobooks available through Audible.com, too,  including lots of podcasts from Audible Channels.

What’s Happening at Cheshire Library in January

The new year is right around the corner! Start 2019 off right with educational and entertaining programs from Cheshire Library! Here are a few to tempt you:

Scrabble Evenings

Tuesdays (Jan 8, 15, 22, and 29), 6:00 – 8:00PM

The perfect winter pastime – bring your friends & family and join your community in a game of Scrabble every Tuesday night in January. Please bring your up-to-date library card to check out a game board at the Checkout Desk, them meet your fellow players on the newly renovated Upper Level. No registration required.

Bad Art Night

Thursday, January 10, 2019, 6:00 – 8:00PM

Bad Art Night is back! At this laid-back, fun event we encourage you to make the worst piece of art that you can. Bad art and craft supplies will be provided, but you can also bring your own. This even is for adults, because why should kids get to have all the fun? Come join us and have a few laughs while you’re at it! Registration is required.

Survivors Swing Band Concert

Sunday, January 13, 2019, 2:00 – 3:30PM

The Survivors Swing Band are a Connecticut-based 7-piece professional jazz band that play the hot tunes and soothing ballads from the fabulous era of Swing plus many of the wonderful melodies from the two decades that followed. Bring your dancing shoes!

Meditation: a 3-Part Program

Wednesdays, (January 16, 23, and 30), 6:30 – 8:00PM

This is a three week meditation training led by Sue Maisano. It is advisable to stay committed to complete all three parts, because each training session builds upon the previous session. This workshop meets three times: each class builds on the previous ones, it is recommended that you register for all three sessions: January 16, January 23, January 30.

Teen Drop-in Programs:

Anime Club : Friday, January 4, 2019, 3:00 – 4:30PM

Can’t get enough Anime and Manga? Be an “Otaku” and join the Cheshire Anime Club! We’ll meet monthly, read and talk about what’s hot in the world of Manga, and watch some of the latest Anime releases on the big screen! Grades 7 -12.

Yu-Gi-Oh: It’s Time to Duel! : Friday, January 25, 2019, 3:00 – 4:30PM

A Yu-Gi-Oh! trading card game tournament here at CPL!   Just bring your cards, and join in the fun!  Grades 7-12.

Abraham Lincoln: the Life of an American President

Thursday, January 17, 2019, 6:30 – 8:00PM

Born in a log cabin, he rose through self-education to the highest office in the land. However, he was considered by many to lack the qualifications needed for the intellectual and political demands of his position. This program will explore the life and personality of this powerful but surprisingly enigmatic figure in our history, including his childhood, professional career and political ambitions. Registration is required.

Documentary Film: The White House Inside Story

Thursday, January 24, 2019, 6:00 – 8:00PM

Celebrate the 200-year history of the White House through the stories of the First Families who have called it home, and through the recollections of workers, historians and members of the press who have spent time within the illustrious building. Registration is appreciated for this adult program.

U.S. Coast Guard Dixieland Jazz Band Concert

Sunday, January 27, 2019, 2:00 – 4:00PM

The United States Coast Guard Dixieland Jazz Band will be performing classic jazz, blues, and rags with a “New Orleans” flavor. The Dixieland Jazz Band has entertained audiences across America, and around the world. Please join us for a very special concert!

UPDATE: The band will not be able to perform if the U.S. government is still in shutdown on January 27. Please check the CPL Event Calendar before the event to see if the concert has been cancelled.

The Geography of Coffee

Monday, January 28, 2019, 6:30 – 8:00PM

This talk will discuss the role of geography in understanding production, movement, and consumption of coffee around the world. Which countries are coffee powerhouses and why? What is the role of sustainability in coffee production? Why was it considered the “devil’s drink” for so long? We will include a tasting and food pairing from three different coffee growing regions of the world. Registration is required.

An Evening with First Lady Dolley Madison

Thursday, January 31, 2019, 6:00 – 8:00PM

“Mrs. Madison” will speak about the founding of our nation,  her husband James Madison’s role as the Father of the American Constitution, and events of the early Republic. Registration is required.

 

 

The Cheshire Newspaper Articles Collection (1756 – 1922)

Today’s blog post comes to us from Bill Basel, Head of Adult Services.

Cheshire was a farming community for most of its history and from its settlement in 1694.  Until 1953, there was no long-established local newspaper.  As a result, today there is no ‘paper of record’ to consult for the day-to-day events that occurred in the distant past.  The Cheshire Newspaper Articles Collection was developed by the Cheshire Library in an effort to partially fill this archival gap.

The collection is drawn from various state and national newspaper sources that occasionally printed articles about Cheshire and its residents over the years.  Many articles are very brief or are legal notices that include residents’ names.  Other articles’ subjects include the Academy, Crime and Punishment, the Farmington Canal, Fires and Disasters, Railroads, the Reformatory, and Town events. Though the Cheshire Newspaper Articles Collection does not include all events that occurred in town, (and in some cases there are gaps of many years between articles), genealogists will find these articles valuable because they can place an ancestor in a location at a certain time. History lovers will be interested in learning about long forgotten episodes that took place in town.

The Collection consists of seven binders of newspaper articles.  The articles are located on the library’s Lower Level and are available for public use. You may access our online index to the Articles Collection on the CPL website.  Go to the eResources page and select Cheshire HistoryCopies of the articles may be requested by email through a form on the Cheshire History page.

Cheshire was originally know as “Ye Fresh Meadows”

Call the library’s Reference Department at 203-272-2245, ext. 4, with any questions.

 

What’s Happening at Cheshire Library in December

’tis the season for great programs at CPL! Check out our Events Calendar for all of our December offerings –  here’s a taste of what’s in store this month:

The Nutcracker Ballet

Saturday, December 1, 2018, 1:30 and 3:30PM

Brass City Ballet celebrates the magic of Christmas in a live, narrated performance of The Nutcracker. Children and adults will delight in the story of Clara and her journey through the Land of Snow to the Kingdom of the Sweets where she meets the Sugar Plum Fairy and all her delicious treats. Seating is limited and registration is required. Thank you to the Friends of the Cheshire Library for funding this special event!

Atwater-Donnelly Celtic Holiday Concert

Sunday, December 2, 2018, 2:00 – 4:00PM

In celebration of winter, light, and American diversity, Aubrey Atwater and Elwood Donnelly sing ancient and new songs about Christmas, Winter Solstice, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa. This award-winning, internationally acclaimed duo are long-time audience favorites at Cheshire Library for their programs of traditional American and Celtic folk songs and percussive dance. No registration required.

CT’s Remarkable Jewish Women

Tuesday, December 4, 2018, 6:30 – 8:00PM

Jewish women in Connecticut have made a lasting impact on our society with contributions to the arts, business, and religious life. Their accomplishments are as varied as their struggles, and their stories inspire us to create new history. Learn about the many Connecticut Jewish women who have challenged the status quo and blazed new trails. Registration is required.

Caring Crafts: Socks for Seniors

Thursday, December 6, 2018, 4:00 – 5:00PM

Caring Crafts is a new program for school-age kids (grades K-6) to have fun making things, while making the world a better place. This week we’re making grippy socks for seniors in nursing homes. Want to donate crafting materials for an upcoming program? We’re accepting soft fabric like fleece, textured fabric like denim and nubby chenille, and sewing notions like buttons, velcro, and zippers. Send an email to lgledhill@cheshirelibrary.org if you’re interested in donating. Registration is required.

New Movie Thursday ~ Crazy Rich Asians

Thursday, December 6, 2018, 6:00 – 8:00PM

Did you miss the screening of a film you wanted to see in theatres?  Join us for the first Thursday of the month for a screening of a recently released film.  December’s  movie is Crazy Rich Asians  :  Rachel Chu is happy to accompany her longtime boyfriend, Nick, to his best friend’s wedding in Singapore. She’s also surprised to learn that Nick’s family is extremely wealthy and he’s considered one of the country’s most eligible bachelors. Registration is appreciated for this adult program.

Canta Y Baila Conmigo Demo – A Music Together Program

Wednesday, December 12, and Saturday, December 22, 2018, 9:30 – 10:15AM

Small World Languages and Musical Folk have teamed up to bring to you Canta Y Baila Conmigo – a Music Together program. Designed for beginning Spanish speakers and native speakers alike, these playful, interactive classes naturally and organically integrate language learning with music learning. The idea is to help your child learn Spanish through immersion in both music and language.  Best for ages 2-5. Please register at the Small World Languages websiteThis class will be held twice in December.  Please register for only one class to make room for others.

Winter Read Aloud with FEA

Saturday, December 15, 2018, 10:00 – 11:00AM

Join the Future Educators of America from Dodd Middle school for a special winter read aloud and crafts! The Future Educators of America is an organization that offers opportunities for young teens in exploring careers in education. Best for children ages 3-6.

Connecticut 169 Club

Tuesday, December 18, 2018, 6:30 – 8:00pm

From the quaint splendor of the town of Kent in the northwest hills of Connecticut to the great restaurants that dot the shoreline of Westbrook to New Britain’s industrial roots, travel and history author Martin “Marty” Podskoch is hoping to give Connecticut residents a chance to explore every municipality in the State of Conn. with his new book, Connecticut 169 Club: Your Passport and Guide to Exploring Connecticut. Podskoch will share stories and information about our great state. Books will be available for purchase and signing. Registration is required.

Max Found Two Sticks, by Brian PinkneyCreating Musical Readers: Max Found Two Sticks

Wednesday, December 19, 2018, 10:30 – 11:15AM

The Waterbury Symphony Orchestra will read beloved children’s stories and use their instruments to bring each story to life. Children will also have a chance to play the musical instruments after the stories. Best for children ages 2 and up.  Registration is required.

Cat Tales- Writers Group

Thursday, December 20, 2018, 6:00 – 8:00PM

Do you write in secret, or do you publish your own blog? Are you working on your dream novel,  a memoir, or poetry? Join us at the library for an open writing group that can help answer your questions on writing, editing, grammar, and publishing. Read a selection of your work to the group for general constructive feedback, or discuss a book you’ve read that might help someone else. Join us once, join us every month! . Registration required for this adult program.

Relaxing Coloring Night for Adults

Thursday, December 27, 2018, 6:00 – 8:00PM

Join us for relaxing coloring night for adults and de-stress from this busy time of year.  We’ll provide coloring pages and supplies, but feel free to bring your own pages, art supplies. Registration is appreciated, beginning December 13.