Nickerson Genealogy Project

There are five published volumes of The Nickerson Family: The Descendants of William Nickerson (1604-1689) First Settler of Chatham, Massachusetts covering seven generations beginning with William Nickerson and Anne Busby. Parts I through IV, resulted from the dedicated work of Pauline Derick. She tapped into resources created by Anna Kingsbury and others, spearheaded by NFA founder William Emery Nickerson. She was also ably assisted by many, many Nickerson relations. Pauline's son Burt carried this work forward after her death in 1997.
In 2006, the Nickerson Family Association hired genealogist and historian Laura G. Prescott to manage Nicholas: Part V which had been started by Pauline & Burt Derick but never finished. Under her guidance and with the help of NFA volunteers, Nicholas Book V was completed in August 2012 and is now available for sale at our website at

The "Genealogy Project" is divided into two sections: the Library Project and the Database Project. The goal of the Library Project is to physically organize the vast amount of materials currently stored in the Nickerson House as well as materials added to the Nickerson Archives during the course of the project. We have spoken before about the need to sort through and catalog the numerous donations we receive from our membership. This past July, The Board of Directors hired Debra Lawless as the NFA archivist. Since starting with us in July, she has been very busy. So far she has sorted through and inventoried most of the donated items, as well as newspaper clippings, e-mails, newsletters and NFA mailings. There is much work left to be done however, and we are grateful to have someone with Debra's qualifications and dedication. We welcome her to the NFA Family!

The Database Project involves organizing and ultimately publishing (both in printed and electronic form) the names, dates, events, facts, images, records, and all other pertinent genealogical information formerly or currently in the NFA electronic and physical files, including any additional genealogical and other related information acquired during the project.

Burt Derick began the database by entering 47,000 names from the printed files into a genealogy program called Brother's Keeper. He also compiled a file of additions and corrections relating to the first four volumes as well as the first sixty pages or so of Generation 8. The data that Burt entered has been exported into an online database that is available to all members at the NFA website at If you would like access please contact the database administrator, Nancy Corey at for a username and password.

Future books will be published using The Master Genealogist (TMG), a powerful genealogy software program donated to the project by Wholly Genes Software. Once we feel that all of the data needed to publish a given book (such as the Descendants of Samuel) has been entered into the online database at the NFA website we will export that information into The Master Genealogist. TMG is capable of taking that information and publishing a book complete with images, indexes and source references. This should save us considerable time publishing books in the future.

Now that Nicholas Part 5 has been finished, the next book will be based on the descendants of William's son Samuel. This book will require an even greater effort, as Samuel's has many more descendants than Nicholas, and there will be a lot more work to do. This research has already begun and as they say "many hands make light work,”. If you are a genealogist, amateur or professional, we would welcome your assistance. Please contact either Nancy Corey at, or Brian Smith at

As you can well imagine, this is an ambitious and massive project. We need "all hands on deck" to ensure that everything is handled successfully and well. It matters not if you're on the Cape or at a distance. If you have any skills to contribute, we can use your talents. Much of the work can be done via the Internet, or by mail. Of course, there are also plenty of tasks that need on-site help as well. Most of the Library Project work needs to be done at the Nick House, but anything relating to the Database Project can be done off-Cape and then sent electronically back to headquarters. The following are the broad tasks for which we will need volunteers:

Library Project
- filing, sorting, organizing records
- indexing of manuscript binders
- cataloguing of materials

Database Project
- data entry
- research (either online or in a particular location)
- augmenting source citations
- scanning images and other materials
- transcribing records

If you wish to volunteer for the database project, send an email to Nancy Corey, at If you live locally and wish to help with the library project please come to the Nick House any Wednesday between 9 AM & noon.

Of course, even if you are unable to devote some time to the project, we hope you will send any and all family information you have pertaining to your Nickerson heritage. We can use data files from your own genealogy program, copies of genealogies your relatives may have compiled, names, dates, places, stories, photos, newspaper clippings, documents - anything is of value to the perpetuation of the Nickerson Family genealogy.

The Genealogy Committee of Brian Smith and Nancy Corey will be at the reunion in September, to update family members on the progress of the Genealogy Project. We look forward to meeting many of you there, and we're eager to welcome you to the ranks of helpers to ensure that this project runs smoothly and successfully.






Nickerson Family Association, Inc., P.O. Box 296, North Chatham, MA, 02650-0296
Copyright ©2011 - 2012, Nickerson Family Association. All rights reserved.