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Comments by Gratia Dunham Mahony, Professional Genealogist,
and compiler of this web site
20 December, 2009

I first began working on a new Dunham genealogy over thirty years ago while researching my own Dunham ancestry. I quickly became frustrated with errors in many of the previously published works on the Dunham family. The most egregious mistakes were found in The Dunham Genealogy written by Isaac Watson Dunham and published by his heirs in 1907. I sensed a need for a new genealogy covering the several separate Dunham families in America and a need for proper documentation of the facts. I also realized the importance of making these sources available to other Dunham researchers.

My original goal was to publish a genealogy on the descendants of Deacon John Dunham of Plymouth. However, my research included several other Dunham families who came to America, and I had gathered a significant amount of information on these lines. In the interest of making this data available to persons who are compiling their own ancestry, I decided that it would be best to place my extremely large database on the web. This has an advantage over a hard copy publication in that the information can be corrected, or additions can be made as more information becomes available. I have corresponded with many people over the years, and learned a great deal by doing this. I want to share the results of some of that correspondence, as well as work done with me, or for me, by other volunteer researchers.

The material found on this website has been assembled as correctly and as completely as possible. The work is based on my own research in journals and family histories, probate and land records, town and church vital statistics, and original research in libraries and courthouses. In a few instances it has been impossible to follow a family, usually because of the lack of vital records for a particular family group. If there is sufficient circumstantial evidence to make a strong case for this particular family group, I have included it. The evidence is clearly labeled as circumstantial evidence and should not be construed as “proof” of this particular line. This evidence is given in the hope that other researchers may come upon the real proof and help to clearly establish this particular family group. I have used the term “probably” when evidence is nearly conclusive; such as where a family is known to have lived in a certain area when children were born, but where no vital records in that area exist. I have used the term “possibly” where evidence suggests that an event occurred at a certain place or time.

Spelling and abbreviations were not consistent in many early records. Unless material is a direct quotation from a previously published source, I have used the currently accepted spelling. Both given names and surnames were sometimes spelled differently, even when used in the same document. I have tried to be consistent with the spelling of the names, or in the case where one branch of a family intentionally changed the spelling of the surname, I have noted this in the text.

Generational superscript numbers begin with the earliest known immigrant ancestor as number 1, even if this ancestor came to America in the 1800s or the early 1900s. Thus in the case of Deacon John Dunham of Plymouth, he is John 1 Dunham. His children are given with a superscript number 2, and his grandchildren with a superscript number 3.

Abbreviations used within Dunham Families In America
  • abt., about
  • ae, aged
  • aet., aged
  • b., born
  • bef., before
  • bet., between
  • bp., baptized
  • bur., buried
  • ca., about (as in a date)
  • cem., cemetery
  • ch., church
  • co., county
  • comp., compiled by
  • d., died
  • dau., daughter
  • dec., deceased
  • div., division
  • d.s.p., died without issue
  • d.y., died young
  • ed., editor, edited by
  • e.g., for example
  • Esq., Esquire
  • et al., and others
  • etc., and so forth
  • et ux., and wife
  • fams., families
  • fn., footnote
  • fol., folio
  • gdn., guardian
  • hist., history
  • ibid., in the same place
  • i.e., that is
  • liber, book
  • loc. cit., in the place
  • L.R., Land Records
  • m., married
  • m. int., marriage intentions
  • mo., month
  • MS, manuscript: pl. MSS
  • n.d., no date
  • n.f.r., no further record found
  • no., number
  • n.p., no place; no publisher
  • n.s., New Style (dates after/14 Sept. 1752)
  • op. cit., in the work cited
  • o.s., Old Style (dates before 2 Sept. 1752)
  • p., page; pl. pp.
  • prob., probate
  • PR, probate record
  • pt., part
  • pub., publication, published
  • q.v., which see
  • recs., records
  • rem., removed
  • repr., reprinted
  • res., resided
  • rev., revised
  • sec., section
  • ser., series
  • sic., copy correct
  • s.l., without place
  • s.n., without year
  • Soc., society
  • SSDI, Social Security Death Index
  • supp., supplement
  • TR, town record
  • ult., last month
  • unm., unmarried
  • viz., namely
  • vol., volume
  • vs., against
  • wid., widow
  • widr., widower
  • wit., witness
  • y.-m.-d., years, months, days
  • yr., year
  • State names are either spelled out, or given the standard two-letter abbreviation.

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