Clarence Almon Torrey’s New England Marriages Prior to 1700 is the most complete index of its kind, naming almost 99% of the married couples in New England before 1700. Over a period of forty years Torrey extracted every available reference to marriages of early New England settlers from thousands of books and journals in the library of the New England Historic Genealogical Society, creating the most frequently consulted finding-aid in all of early New England genealogy. When he died in 1962, his manuscript had achieved almost legendary fame.
In 1991 Melinde Sanborn produced the first supplement to Torrey, a work that was developed largely from additions, corrections, and deletions that had appeared in the major genealogical journals in the nearly thirty years since Torrey’s death. Four years later, in 1995, she produced the second supplement, which also drew extensively on periodical literature (from 1991 to 1995), but had a greater emphasis on the unpublished work of some of the leading New England genealogists and also derived from studies of English marriages of colonial immigrants and from studies of immigrant clusters, most notably the Great Migration project and the Mayflower Families Through Five Generations project.
Now comes the Third Supplement to Torrey’s New England Marriages Prior to 1700, and it is primarily an index to the major genealogical periodicals published since Torrey’s death. Covering the period from 1962 through the spring of 2003, this third supplement incorporates all of the information from the first and second supplements and contains 80% new material! In all, approximately 6,000 entries referring to as many as 20,000 individuals are included. An impressive number of new entries were provided by leading researchers from their own unpublished work, while additional entries were developed from various website postings.
Along with the original New England Marriages Prior to 1700, this third supplement can be used in a variety of ways to develop clues for 18th- and 19th-century research, as well as identifying or eliminating 17th-century ancestors. Although many of the entries here are drawn from journal articles concerned only with the identification of a woman’s maiden name, a good percentage come from multi-generational studies, often running five or six generations, well into the 18th century. Thus, this work indexes not only the 17th-century couple, but it also leads the researcher to later generations.
Indispensable for New England research!
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