2014 CSG Literary Awards Contest Winners

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Winner of the 2014 CSG Brainerd T. Peck Award for Family History

Vena’s Roots, An Anderson/Boothby Family History

by Seema-Jayne Kenney

Seema-Jayne (Bergquist) Kenney has been involved in genealogy for most of her life, professionally for the last three years and is an active member of The Massachusetts Society of Genealogists, serving as President of its Worcester Chapter. She is also a member of The Connecticut Society of Genealogists (CSG), The Maine Genealogical Society (MGS), International Society of Family History Writers and Editors (ISFHWE), American French Genealogical Society (AFGS), and the New England Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists (NEAPG). In 2010 she completed the BU Genealogical Research Certificate, followed by completion of the ProGen study program in 2012.

Seema-Jayne started working on the Anderson side of her father’s family history in earnest just a few years ago. Finding that Vena’s Roots extended into colonial Massachusetts made everything more interesting as Lancaster was not so far from where Seema-Jayne lives with her husband, Timothy. During the same time her research was beginning in earnest, her father called with an invitation to a family reunion in Maine – Vena’s family and near her childhood home. In attendance were 100 people, almost 95 of whom Seema-Jayne had never met before! The reunion hostess and a couple of other cousins were great sources of information on Vena, her Vena’s Roots took Seema-Jayne on a trip down the road of US History -Almost back to the Mayflower. Along the way, trips to family homesteads and historic houses made that history come to life.

Seema-Jayne’s first career was in the computer department of Consolidated Group in Framingham, Massachusetts. For almost seventeen years, she performed analysis and project management for computer system upgrades and installations. In 1999, Seema-Jayne opened her own computer training company, Technical Tutoring, providing computer software training to individuals and groups especially on all the components of Microsoft Office. Seema-Jayne started a new business, Mass Researchers, in 2011, offering genealogically based services to the public. While a few research projects were completed, the business concentrates more on presentations, especially to genealogy societies and clubs, historical societies, senior centers, and libraries. Her genealogical services and interests are listed on her website, www.MassResearchers.com.

Seema-Jayne indicates that this book was written to get things in front of her father and his older brother in hopes of soliciting more stories about the ancestors they knew. Now it is the motivation for researching other family lines and presenting those as gifts for her own three children and other descendants. Her current project is the family history of her maternal grandmother, Christine Florence Ellis, a family with over 150 years of history in Southington and Torrington, Connecticut.