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Using the database

The core of this database is the genealogical data transcribed from Eliza Starbuck Barney’s nineteenth-century ledger books. All information from the books, including abbreviations, has been copied verbatim. The goal was to reproduce the information exactly as she presented it in her record. Additional information not found in Barney’s work that has been added can be identified by noting the citations.


Where Barney gives dates, she uses the formats DD/MM/YYYY and MM/YYYY, or gives the year only. Nowhere does she employ the Quaker practice of naming the months “first month,” “second month,” and so forth, although many of the people she records would have followed this practice. The United Kingdom and its colonies switched from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar in 1752. This changed New Year’s Day from March 25 to January 1 (to match existing practice in Scotland and much of the rest of Europe) and omitted eleven days from September 1752 to catch the calendar up. Barney leaves no information whether she uses Old Style or New Style year conventions for dates prior to 1752.


The spelling of surnames in Barney is sometimes inconsistent, i.e. Fish/Fisher, Green/Greene, Nerboth/Narbeth, Nichol/Nicholls, Paddock/Paddack, Pearson/Pierson, Roland/Rowland. Note particularly that Barney always spelled the given name Jerusha as Jerushai, and Barney always gives the names Elisha and Elishai as Elishai. To confirm how an ancestor may have spelled his or her own name, it is advisable to compare with other sources.

Photographs and Painted Portraits

Photos and portraits of many Nantucketers can be found in the NHA’s collections database.

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