Holyoke Related History & Genealogy Resource

by Laurel | July 21st, 2009

For Holyoke natives, the relationship between Holyoke and South Hadley is hardly newsworthy. Though they are located in two different counties — Hampden and Hampshire — there long has been a connection between the two places. Precious Blood Church, for example, was located in Holyoke while their burying ground is in South Hadley. Another interesting example is John S. Mackenzie, the recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor for his bravery during WWI. Though Mackenzie was born in Bridgeport, CT, he later resided in South Hadley and then in Holyoke. After the receipt of the Medal of Honor, there was some apparent competition between Holyoke and South Hadley in terms of bragging rights of Mackenzie being their “native son,” a clear source of pride to both towns.

My own family research has revealed countless instances of migration back and forth between Holyoke and South Hadley. This may have been — in part — housing- or work-related. But for whatever reason, as my research of Holyoke-based families continues, I never forget to look at South Hadley data.

So why mention this? Given this intrinsic connection between both towns, today I learned of a good history and genealogy related blog with a South Hadley focus. Bob Judge’s The South Hadley Historical Society blog is well worth a serious look for both South Hadley and Holyoke area history and genealogy researchers. It is filled with photos, links, and much more. Adding the link to my blog role.

One Response to “Holyoke Related History & Genealogy Resource”

  1. Dear Laurel:

    Thanks for the mention of our South Hadley Historical Society blog. As you wrote, the ties between South Hadley and Holyoke are long and deep.

    Bob Judge
    South Hadley Historical Society

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Suggested Holyoke Books

Mountain Park -- The Holyoke destination we all loved.

Mount Holyoke College

Mount Holyoke College, Postcard History by Donna Albino. Many Holyoke women have attended Mount Holyoke. Author also maintains an amazing MHC website based upon her personal collection.

Holyoke - Chicopee, A Perspective

Holyoke-Chicopee: A Perspective, by Ella Merkel DiCarlo. DiCarlo, a former Transcript columnist offers a fascinating compilation of her essays. Published in 1982, this out-of-print book is worth looking for in the aftermarket.


Holyoke, by Craig Della Penna. The first Holyoke book in the Arcadia series, published in 1997.

Belle Skinner Collection

Belle Skinner Collection, by Ruth Isabel Skinner. Published in 1933, this book is long out of print but copies are still available in the aftermarket.

Mitch Epstein: Family Business

Mitch Epstein: Family Business Published in 2003, available in the aftermarket. Epstein's furniture.