updated: Saturday, February 25, 2017
The Berkshire Family History Association ( BFHA) has published the Berkshire Genealogist, a compilation of censuses, indices, reports, cemetery and church records, etc. relating to persons and places of Massachusetts and its neighboring states of New York, Vermont, and Connecticut. The Genealogist is published four times a year.
Past issues (from 1978, Volumes 1-present) of the Berkshire Genealogist have been indexed by surname and can be searched. The previous ABC.... links have been eliminated since they ceased being updated in 2014.
Surnames of all issues will be found in a downloadable PDF file, surnames.pdf, which is fully searchable and found at this link. You can right click on the link and save the file to your local drive or click on the link and save it after it loads to your computer. Using Adobe Reader or your browser you can search the complete file for your surname. This is much better than before in that your search will be found under all different surnames. For instance, when I search for Pierce any occurrence of Pierce will be reported, including first and middle names. Let me know if this is a problem or you have trouble. The PDF file has the created date embedded on each page so you will know how up-to-date it is.
Searching using Adobe Reader is done by typing Ctrl-f or by clicking on the hour-glass/magnifier icon at the top of the latest version of Adobe Reader DC. You can use the Adobe Reader Help function to learn more if my tips here don't work for you.
A text file of A-Z is also available and can be searched using a variety of software.
· The PDF file of surnames for all the past issues of the Berkshire Genealogist, thru the present issue is Here
· If you would rather have a text file of surnames for all the past issues of the Berkshire Genealogist, thru the present issue, it is Here
Berkshire Genealogist, our Quarterly Publication, Table of Contents here
This index now contains ~200,000 entries, with quarterly updates of the PDF file planned.
This index file is in surname order (uppercase) followed by given name (initial caps) followed by Volume Number, Issue Number and Page Number using the virgule (/) for field delimiters. For example, 14/4/121 refers to Volume 14, Issue Number 4 (Fall) and Page Number 121.
COMMON SENSE HINTS FOR USING AN INDEX TO A TEXT YOU DO NOT HAVE.
1. Finding "John David Smith" in an index is no cause for jubilation unless you can confirm that he is the "John David Smith" you are seeking. To improve your chances of success, try to find also the names of other people whose appearance in the same context would help to confirm that you have found the right person; his wife, father, siblings, etc. If you find the names of these people referenced on the same, or adjacent pages of the indexed text, then the reference would certainly be worth further pursuit.
2. Once you have found what you believe to be a worthwhile reference, look up the referenced page in the combined TABLES OF CONTENTS for volumes 1-34 in the Table of Contents, also on this website. In order that you may search without scrolling through the file, each table will contain the appropriate volume and issue number, as 8/2, 11/3, 15/4, etc. Try to match known facts about the person with facts likely to be found on the indexed page. For example, if the person you seek was in the Civil War and the indexed page concerns original settlers from the 18th century, then you are clearly taking the wrong road. Similarly, if your "John David Smith" was known to be a resident of Sheffield, the appearance of his name in a list of Williamstown cemetery inscriptions is probably not going to be meaningful either.
3. Any experienced genealogist knows that the pursuit of initials instead of a given and middle name is likely to yield nothing but frustration. However, if you have already found "John David Smith" in the index, it might be worthwhile to investigate any "J. D. Smith" who is also listed, otherwise you can only guess at who "J. D." might be. Do not accept "J. D." as your own unless you can find corroborating evidence that he is, in fact, "John David". But take heart, for the annoyance of the late nineteenth century practice of reducing a man's name to bare initials will no doubt pale in comparison to the problems future researchers will encounter with the current practice of retention of maiden names, hyphenations, and the varying practices of surnaming the offspring.
Once you decide that you might benefit by a look at the referenced text, you may access it through our FAMILY RESEARCH SERVICE (membership required), or by obtaining the appropriate back issue.
Available back issues of BERKSHIRE GENEALOGIST are:
Volume 1, Numbers 1 through 4 - $1.50 per issue (4 issues)
Volume 2, Numbers 1 through 3 - $1.50 per issue (3 issues only)
Volume 3 through 36 (4 issues each)
1 to 3 issues, $3.00 per issue; 4 or more issues: $2.50 each
The index is also available in printed form, as follows:
Cumulative INDEX OF PERSONS for Volumes 1-10 (1978-1989) $5.00
Annual INDEX OF PERSONS for Volume 11 (1990)
Annual INDEX OF PERSONS for Volume 12 (1991)
Annual INDEX OF PERSONS for Volume 13 (1992)
Annual INDEX OF PERSONS for Volume 14 (1993)
Annual INDEX OF PERSONS for Volume 15 (1994)
Annual INDEX OF PERSONS for Volume 16 (1995)
Annual INDEX OF PERSONS for Volume 17 (1996)
Annual INDEX OF PERSONS for Volume 18 (1997)
Annual INDEX OF PERSONS for Volume 19 (1998)
Annual INDEX OF PERSONS for Volume 20 (1999)
Annual INDEX OF PERSONS for Volume 21 (2000)
Annual INDEX OF PERSONS for Volume 22 (2001)
Annual INDEX OF PERSONS for Volume 23 (2002)
Annual INDEX OF PERSONS for Volume 24 (2003)
Annual INDEX OF PERSONS for Volume 25 (2004)
Annual INDEX OF PERSONS for Volume 26 (2005)
Annual INDEX OF PERSONS for Volume 27 (2006)
Annual INDEX OF PERSONS for Volume 28 (2007)
Annual INDEX OF PERSONS for Volume 29 (2008)
Annual INDEX OF PERSONS for Volume 30 (2009)
Annual INDEX OF PERSONS for Volume 31 (2010)
Annual INDEX OF PERSONS for Volume 32 (2011)
Annual INDEX OF PERSONS for Volume 33 (2012)
Annual INDEX OF PERSONS for Volume 34 (2013)
Annual INDEX OF PERSONS for Volume 35 (2014)
Annual INDEX OF PERSONS for Volume 36 (2015)
Annual INDEX OF PERSONS for Volume 37 (2016)
Orders for less than four annual indexes - $2.50 each.
Four or more - $2.00 each.
(All prices include postage.)
Berkshire Family History
P. O. Box 1437
Pittsfield, MA 01202-1437
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Last Modified: February 25, 2017
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