Between 1785 and 1825, Americans of European descent began to document their familial relationships, which had been gradually developing in a colonial and post-colonial setting. Some calligraphic and genealogical artists found ways to memorialize and celebrate these ties for current and future generations and began to advertise their talents. Decorated watercolor and embroidered registers started to appear in everyday households and were occasionally listed in probate inventories. Many were made by school children. This enchanting book celebrates the beauty and craftsmanship of this unique group of New England genealogical records.
Peter Benes (1934-2021) was the co-founder, director, and editor of the Dublin Seminar for New England Folklife and a founding member of the Association for Gravestone Studies. He and his wife Jane Montague Benes frequently worked together on historic research and writing projects. His many publications include The Art of Family: Genealogical Artifacts in New England (with D. Brenton Simons; Boston: NEHGS, 2002), Meetinghouses of Early New England (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 2012), and For a Short Time Only: Itinerants and the Resurgence of Popular Culture in Early America (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 2016).
By Peter Benes
Published by NEHGS in November 2022
7 x 10 paperback, 230 pages, illustrated