About my Research Services and References

Welcome! I hope you enjoy my blog and let me know if you made any connections to your family via a post. Please contact me if you need assistance with research, member application genealogy, or just composing family narrative for a scrapbook or newsletter. I also trace the provenance---the chronology of the ownership, custody or location of a historical object. If you have a photo collection or a story to share on your ancestors please see the Contact Me on Home Page. Thank you!  

Education and Experience
  • Masters Degree English Literature  
  • Genealogy enrichment courses Brigham Young University
  • Blogger GenealogyBank
  • Published in newspapers, magazines, and newsletters. Please see Writing samples  
  • Member of the Essex Society of Genealogists
  • Research Assistant Heritage Collectors Society 
  • Daughters of the American Revolution
  • Sons and Daughters of Newbury Settlers
  • Administrator Phelps Genealogy Group
  • New England Quaker History

My Facebook Group New England Family Genealogy and History has over 8,000 members and growing!


  • I can gladly recommend Melissa for her careful and thorough research skills. When researching articles, Melissa asks the right questions, and provides information that allows me to give her accurate primary source information. I've also benefited directly from Melissa's work, as she is always willing to share her information, which is always fastidiously documented. Finally, Melissa is skilled at distilling her research into scholarly, enjoyable, readable articles that appeal to a wide range of readers.    Kevin MacDonald Former Museum Curator, Information Developer Custom House Maritime Museum Greater Boston Area 
  • Melissa Berry has assisted me in countless ways in my family history research.  She’s guided me to many online resources, books, and news clippings that have been invaluable in helping me flesh out my family trees, including research on my Salem Witch Trial ancestors, and my Mayflower ancestors, neither of which I knew anything about.  Her research found news clippings that brought to life stories about my ancestors, and the life they led.  I would not have proven my Mayflower ancestry without her first mentioning the value of using probate records.  She has also written and published some great articles about my Stearns family.  And to top it off,  if it weren’t for Melissa, I’d never have had the chance to not only find, but visit, the old Stearns family home, where four generations of my family resided, over more than 100 years.  Thanks Melissa! Ruth Stearns Lincoln, Nebraska
  • Melissa Berry has been very helpful in my research as an author of nonfictional history: "The 1683 Jackman Willett House: A history of the families who lived here and of the current owner The Sons and Daughters of the First Settlers of Newbury (SDFSN)" She especially has a large network of personal connections with historical resources including both institutions and people! Edward Gerrish Muir 
  • Melissa has assisted me with my work in my quest for Colby family history from the Newburyport area. Her ability to promote my work, William Johnson Colby - A Remarkable Life Remembered was magnificent and greatly appreciated. A very capable, knowledgeable, and professional writer, historian, researcher and friend. Mark Colby
  • Melissa is an accomplished historian and writer. Her interest in the field of genealogy and history makes her stories compelling to read. I would highly recommend her.   David Allen Lambert Chief Genealogist of New England Historic Genealogical Society
  • Melissa wrote a piece about me and my scientific work for The Winchester Star newspaper in January 2015. She was friendly and fun to work with and very interested in understanding the details of the astrophysics as well as other aspects of my life. The result was one of the better popular articles written about my work but with a personal feel that was appropriate for a small town newspaper. I got a lot of compliments on the article and I can highly recommend Melissa as a writer. Soren Meibom Astronomer and Lecturer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Melissa Berry is an active and talented researcher, writer, historian and blogger. Her interests in history and genealogy have led her to focus her research on historic houses and families as well as curious but often overlooked subjects relating to New England's colonial and First Period history. Her ability to reconstruct lost and forgotten histories is impressive, as well as her broader interests in contributing to the historic preservation field.   John Goff Architect, Historian, Author, & Guide Greater Boston Area
  •  Melissa has been a great asset to our genealogy groups. She wrote many interesting and well-researched articles for our Phelps community. In addition, she researched and wrote many articles on other family names in New England. She is amazing and seems to know how to dig up information on the internet as well as other source. When we ask her, she usually somehow finds it. She is well suited and is great at what she does. I highly recommend her. Dorothy Phelps Educator, Genealogist, Digital Photographer, Administrator Phelps Genealogy Group Tucson, Arizona Area
  • Melissa is a talented writer of historic and genealogical accounts. She has an informative and entertaining blog/website dedicated to history and ancestry and her works have been published in many newspapers, online forums and periodicals too numerous to mention. I've enjoyed getting to know Melissa through her works and would recommend her highly for anyone seeking a passionate copywriter in the greater Boston area. Traci Bradstreet Bradstreet Search Associates, traci@bradstreetsearch.com 978-388-0336 Greater Boston Area 
    • I have used Melissa's services for my publications and collections and highly recommend her. Also, she has a unique and interesting style of writing and blogging that gives her stories a home town appeal. Through careful research, she blends historical information and genealogy in a way that brings her subjects to life.  Gary Sullivan--American antique clock/furniture expert, author, exhibit curator, and a regular appraiser on the PBS series Antiques Roadshow. 
    • Melissa is an excellent writer and researcher. I have used Melissa's services for historical research on American Colonial family lines and would highly recommend her skills as a writer and researcher! Sandra Jones Space Planner at Retired, University Space Management and Family Genealogy Australia
    • Melissa's writing on historic North Shore families and events are an awesome read. She brings to life in wonderful detail, stories that shaped our past. For the serious historian or the casual reader, Melissa's writings are not to be missed.    David Bunker Financial Planning and Investment Management Greater Boston Area
    • I have known Melissa for about 6 years and have used her services for researching my ancestors. She is one of the best genealogical researchers I have met. She is reasonable with her fees, detail oriented, and always follows through with what she promises to do or find. I enjoy her blog and stories because she approaches them from a unique and often humorous perspective. She is a very talented writer who can draw us in as readers with a fresh perspective on what could otherwise be described as dry facts and figures. I have enjoyed her stories published in the Daily News of Newburyport, The Current and others. Always look forward to the next installment. Laurie Short Jarvis Member of Historic New England; Sons and; Daughters of Newbury Settlers North Shore Area


    1. Melissa, These are all great stories. On a cold snowy day in Florida I'll take time to read them all! :) Seriously, there is a lot of history sitting on this blog page. It's a book in itself. And I will find the time to read them, snowy or not.

      1. Do you have anything in writing about The Upton family that livd in The House of Seven Gables?

    2. Just read your article on Capt. Eddie and the Rumrunners and (SURPRISE) learned that one of the characters lived in my house. I had no idea!

    3. Hello Melissa, I've just come across your page about the Dreadnought. Please could you tell me where you got the picture of the ship from and if I can use it. Many thanks, John Piper

    4. John Piper You may use anything you like from the post please credit the blog and anyone I may have credited Thanks for reading!

    5. I am researching the history of Brownfield and I have taken an interest in Mary Brown. I just found your blog this morning and assume you are related. A year ago I digitized the text of William Teg's History of Brownfield which has gone out of print. A new edition is forthcoming.
      Here is a link to Mary Brown: