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The first series of English Origins of New England Families (3 vols., 1984) contained all immigrant origin articles published in The New England Historical and Genealogical Register under the aegis of the Committee on English and Foreign Research. The Second Series, containing more than 650 articles, completes this major consolidation project and includes all immigrant origin data in the 137 volumes of the Register published independently of the Committee on English and Foreign Research.
The more than 650 articles and notes in this Second Series were compiled by over 100 contributors, including many of the foremost scholars in American genealogy. Generationally they can most usefully be divided by the two centuries of the Register's life--the nineteenth, leading to Water's Genealogical Gleanings in England, and the twentieth, dominated by G.A. Moriarty. The best of these scholars abstracted much useful source material and compiled often definitive immigrant origin studies.
Collected in this Second Series of English Origins, these articles treat probably between 750 and 1,000 immigrants (some of them covered by two or more articles), while a sizable number of other articles treat either clusters of nearly related immigrants or all settlers with a given surname. Most notable perhaps are the articles covering over 50 of the 125 New England immigrants for whom royal descent is now generally accepted. Other articles of note deal with Mayflower passengers, colony "founders," clergymen, and major progenitors, i.e., ancestors of a large progeny.
In his Introduction Gary Boyd Roberts notes: "Almost anyone with considerable New England ancestry will descend from one or more of these progenitors, one or more of the . . . notable colonists, ministers, or Mayflower passengers, one or more of the royally descended immigrants treated in these volumes, and one or more of the family clusters included as well. All living Americans with colonial New England. forebears, in short, should find further English ancestors herein."