By Meghan Baillargeon,
Hampton Union Staff Writer
Originally published in the Hampton Union , July 25, 2000, p.3, reprinted here courtesy of The Hampton Union and Seacoast Online
HAMPTON — Hampton's past is available with just a click of the mouse with the History of Hampton Web site, an extension of Lane Memorial Library's Web site accessible on the Internet.
"What we're trying to do is post on the Web site everything that has been published on the town," said Bill Teschek, assistant director of Lane Memorial Library.
When first logging onto the site, one has many options to consider including the chance to browse Hampton cemetery records , research Hampton genealogy , search a local newspaper index and locate biographical information on Hampton people .
Teschek, who has worked in Hampton for 21 years, has always held an interest in the past. The Web site, which was launched in 1996, was a perfect vehicle for historic information.
"I'm into local history and genealogy," said Teschek explaining that he already knew a fair amount about the area but has since learned a great deal more.
"What's unique about a small town is its history," he said.
Teschek often goes to great lengths to retrieve documents.
"We've had to get things through the mail, historical societies and the state library," said Teschek, adding that he often comes upon other books and articles in the bibliographies of publications he is investigating.
"It's never-ending," said Teschek.
At that point, Teschek may have to receive permission from the publisher if the document is more recent. With out-of-copy publications, permission is not necessary. If given the go, the information is now in the hands of Teschek.
"I put them where I'd like and then create links and index them," said Teschek.
One segment of the Web site that has been well received provides biographical information about local personalities, including the infamous Eunice "Goody" Cole , a woman from the seventeenth century charged with performing witchcraft.
"We have everything on her," said Teschek. "We have a huge page just for her."
The Goody Cole page includes excerpts on her from the book, " Entertaining Satan ," by John Putnam Demos, " The Devil in the Shape of a Woman ," by Carol Karlsen and "The Hampton Witch," by Paula V. Crais as well as articles from American Weekly, St. Louis Dispatch Sunday magazine and the Boston Sunday Post.
"He had an interest in the area because he thought he was a descendent of Rev. Stephen Bachiler but he really wasn't," said Teschek.
The most popular historical figures on the site, which can be determined by the number of "hits" the person has, include Cole, Smart, Hampton founder Rev. Stephen Bachiler , former town manager Hunter Rieseberg, and lesser known witch Isabella Towle .
Teschek commended those who have helped him make the web site become a reality.
"Basically, John Holman and Dick Marston have done the most," said Teschek adding that others have volunteered their time as well.
"John has been putting in anywhere between 10 to 25 hours a week," he said.
Teschek has many hopes and dreams for the web site ranging from the realistic to just some wishful thinking.
"Well lately, I haven't done much at all," said Teschek explaining that he is busier than ever at work as the library is understaffed. "I wish I could do this full time."
"I would like to do more with historical photos," said Teschek explaining that the majority of the photos on the site are linked with various articles.
"What we want to do is create a searchable database," said Teschek. "It's semi- in the works. That's our most immediate project."
In terms of Hampton's genealogy, Teschek thinks it would be interesting to extract articles from genealogical magazines and link them to family lines.
"I thought that it would be neat to do that with all Hampton families," said Teschek.
Teschek would also like to put the old town records, which can be found at the town office and date back to 1638, on the site.
"That's sort of an idea for another day though," said Teschek.
Teschek is pleased with the success of the web site thus far.
"It's the most popular section of the (Lane Memorial Library) web site by far," said Teschek.
If one is interested in learning more about the history of Hampton they can log onto www.hampton.lib.nh.us/hampton/history.htm