Bethany Groff Dorau

  • Author
  • Historian
  • Biographer
  • Speaker
Bethany Groff Dorau is the author of A Newburyport Marine in World War I: The Life and Legacy of Eben Bradbury, A Brief History of Old Newbury (History Press), and a primary contributor to the Defining Documents in American History Series. She is the North Shore Regional Site Administrator for Historic New England, based at the Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm in Newbury, and a recipient of the Preservation Leadership Award from the Newburyport Preservation Trust, the Pioneer in Preservation Award from the Essex National Heritage Commission, and the North of Boston CVB Leadership Award.
Bethany sits on the executive board of the North of Boston CVB, Lowell’s Boat Shop, and the planning committee of the Newburyport Literary Festival. She has published articles in the New York Times, New England Quarterly, the Encyclopedia of American History, and Historic New England Magazine. She holds an MA in History from the University of Massachusetts, and lives in West Newbury with her family.
Photo credit: Amanda Ambrose

“Sometimes, the bits of us we leave behind form a path that a sympathetic soul may travel.” – Bethany Groff Dorau


“Bethany Groff Dorau has written a beautiful and important book…” –Eric Jay Dolin, Author of Black Flag, Blue Waters and Leviathan



Published Books


Upcoming Events

Sunday, May 31, 11 AM - ONLINE EVENT

An Inheritance of Grief: Memory, Serendipity, and the Legacy of Two Battlefield Deaths

Historian Bethany Groff Dorau and writer Jessica Rotundi, both from West Newbury, MA, share the experience of deep engagement in a mysterious battlefield death that haunted and fractured families for generations. For Dorau, author of “A Newburyport Marine”, a chance encounter led to the discovery of intimate letters, personal diaries, photographs and military records, held by people across the world who had not forgotten Eben Bradbury, a young Marine killed in the bloody battle of Belleau Wood in 1918. For Rotundi, a boxes of letters, declassified CIA reports, and newspaper clippings discovered after her mother’s death led her deep into the mystery surrounding the death of her uncle Jack during the CIA-led “Secret War” in Laos in 1972. Join these two for a lively chat about memory, mystery, and how these deaths changed everything for those left behind.

For more info and to register: Newburyport Literary Festival

Presenters: Jessica Rotondi, Bethany Dorau

Wednesday, September 9, 2020 6:00 PM

A Glimpse of 18th-Century Newbury Court Cases

Location: Plum Island Taxpayers Association (P.I.T.A.), 8 Plum Island Blvd, Newbury MA 01951

Special guest speaker Bethany Groff Dorau offers us a glimpse of 17th-century Newbury court cases. Hear the voices of the first settlers of Newbury and the surrounding towns as they give testimony in cases that scandalized their neighbors. Learn how these records offer a glimpse into the intimate lives of America’s early European settlers.



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