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This Week's Survey: Managing Your Genealogical Data

(Surveys) Permanent link
 
Lynn Betlock

Lynn Betlock
Managing Editor

Last week’s survey asked how many of you visited (or lived in) Plymouth, Massachusetts. The results are:

 

66%, I have visited Plymouth, Massachusetts

33 %, I have not visited Plymouth, Massachusetts

>1% (20 people), I have lived in Plymouth, Massachusetts

 


This week's survey how Weekly Genealogist readers manage their genealogical data. Take the survey now!


Name Origins: Thankful

(Name Origins) Permanent link
 
Julie Helen Otto

Julie Helen Otto
Staff Genealogist

THANKFUL (f): The name is formed from the English adjective and is an example of a “virtue name” favored by the Puritans. This is the term for a group of given names commemorating good qualities that pious parents might wish their children to embody. In this case, the name reminds the child (and, by extension, those around her) to be thankful to God for blessings received.

 

In my work on matrilineal descendants (and ancestors) of Mayflower passenger Elizabeth (Tilley) Howland — who must have seen the first Thanksgiving — I have found a few dozen Thankfuls in straight female lines. These do not stem from one common ancestor, but appear in closely related families and are sometimes passed down several generations.

 

The progeny of the Howlands’ eldest daughter Desire (Howland) Gorham (1625–1683) is studded with Thankfuls. Although the Gorhams’ six daughters did not include a Thankful, the righteous moral connotation of the name made it a favored one throughout the population. Desire’s eldest, namesake daughter Desire (Gorham) Hawes (1644–1700) of Barnstable had granddaughters Thankful (Daggett) (Butler) (Daggett) Athearn (Martha’s Vineyard, b. 1696, mother of Thankful (Daggett) Paddock) and Thankful (Sproat) (Bennett) (Samson) Haskell (Middleboro, Mass. 1705–1788, an ancestor of Marie-Chantal Miller, the current Crown Princess of Greece).

 

A second Gorham daughter, Mercy (Gorham) Denison (1658-1725) of Barnstable, Mass. and Stonington, Conn., passed the name on to her daughter Thankful Denison (1695–after 21 March 1752), wife of Thomas Stanton of Stonington, Connecticut. Her niece, daughter of John and Desire (Denison) Williams, also of Stonington, was:

 

Thankful Williams (b. Stonington, Conn. 1718–living 1775), wife of Avery Denison of Stonington. Their daughter was:

 

Thankful Denison (1747–1822), dau. of Avery and Thankful (Denison) Williams, wife of Alexander Stewart of Griswold, Conn. Their daughter Thankful Stewart (b. 1777) married Elihu Denison, OR Stephen Congdon and Lebbeus Ainsworth. A niece of Mrs. Stewart was:

 

Thankful Miner (1761–1843) of Stonington, Conn., Lyman, N.H., and St. Clair, Michigan, dau. of Thomas and Desire (Denison) Miner and granddau. of Avery and Thankful (Denison) Williams, married Haverhill, N.H. 10 May 1783 Jonathan Barron. A granddaughter was Maria Thankful Carleton (1810–1871), later of Delaware, Ohio, dau. of Edmund and Olive Moore (Barron) Carleton, wife of William Malander Eldridge, and ancestral to Janice Moore Steele of San Jose, who kindly provided me with this line and the Barrons’ marriage date.

 

Another granddau. of Avery and Thankful (Williams) Denison was: Thankful Noyes (1773–1860), daughter of Joseph and Prudence (Denison) Noyes of Stonington, wife of yet another Thomas Stanton, Jr. While this Stanton couple had no children, Mrs. Stanton had a niece Thankful Burdick (1801-1851) of Chatham and North Stonington, Conn., dau. of Lodowick and Sarah (Noyes) Burdick and wife of Francis Young.

 

These are only a few of the Thankfuls descended from the Mayflower Howlands. There are similar occurrences of this given name among daughters’-daughters’-daughters of the Howlands’ other daughters — especially among great-granddaughters of the second, Hope (Howland) Chipman (1629–1684), who with Desire is the most prolific of the Howland girls — but that will take yet another day and this is no time to let your Thanksgiving dinner get cold.


Spotlight: The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County

(Spotlight) Permanent link
 
Valerie Beaudrault

Valerie Beaudrault
Visitor Services Representative

Virtual Library of The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County

 

The city of Cincinnati is the county seat of Hamilton County, which is located in the southwest corner of Ohio near the Kentucky and Indiana borders. The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County has created a virtual library on its website. The Virtual Library has a number of resources that would be of interest to individuals with Cincinnati and Hamilton County ancestry. Researchers will also find Indiana and Kentucky related resources in the Virtual Library’s collections.

 

Maps


This collection contains four volumes of Insurance Maps of Cincinnati that cover the period from 1904 to 1930. Pages may be downloaded individually. You will need the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to view them.

 

City Directories


This collection contains digitized versions of Cincinnati city directories, from 1819 through 1933–1934. The larger directories have been divided into sections. The files are in PDF format, so you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view them.

 

Old and Rare Books


This collection covers a broad range of topics. The most relevant topic is History, Genealogy & Geography. Click on the link to access the 100+ items in the collection. They include a number of ships’ logs, Dearborn County, Indiana, marriage and obituary records and related newspaper abstracts, family history sketches, local histories, pension abstracts, regimental histories, and much more. As the files are in PDF format, you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view them.

 

Yearbooks


Copies of the Cincinnatian, the University of Cincinnati yearbook, have been digitized and uploaded to the website. They cover the period from 1894 through 1972, plus 1982, 1984, 1986, 1987, 1988, and 2003. The files are in PDF format. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view them. Note that these are large files.

 

In addition you will find a link to the Featured Collections on the homepage. The current collection is the Cincinnati Panorama of 1848. Click on the link to read about and view the panorama of Cincinnati, which was created from eight separate daguerreotype plates.


A Note from the Editor: The Primary Source that Led to Today’s Thanksgiving

(A Note from the Editor) Permanent link
 
Lynn Betlock

Lynn Betlock
Managing Editor

At the beginning of November my two children and I visited Plimoth Plantation in Plymouth, Massachusetts, where we spent a happy day exploring the Wampanoag and English villages. Inside the visitor’s center, while my kids were busy trying on Pilgrim garb in the Family Discovery Center, I walked through the Thanksgiving: Memory, Myth and Meaning exhibit, and learned more about how Thanksgiving developed as a national holiday.

 

I knew I wanted to write about Thanksgiving for this week’s Weekly Genealogist, although I didn’t have a particular topic in mind. Last week I leafed through an engaging book in the NEHGS library, Thanksgiving: The Biography of an American Holiday (2009) by James W. Baker — but I still didn’t know what to write about.

 

Over the weekend, though, my husband inadvertently provided me with a topic. We’d been discussing our kids’ Thanksgiving books, and he said that it would be interesting to see a book that compared and contrasted all the different contemporary accounts of the first Thanksgiving in Plymouth. Newly refreshed in my Pilgrim history, I said that such a book couldn’t be written because there was only one contemporary source for the 1621 feast that became the archetype for Thanksgiving.

 

The description of the event was written by Edward Winslow and published in Mourt’s Relation (1622), an account of the first year of Plymouth Colony: 

 

Our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling, that so we might after a special manner rejoice together after we had gathered the fruit of our labors. They four in one day killed as much fowl as, with a little help beside, served the company almost a week. At which time, among other recreations, we exercised our arms, many of the Indians coming amongst us, and among the rest their greatest king Massasoit, with some ninety men, whom for three days we entertained and feasted, and they went out and killed five deer, which they brought to the plantation and bestowed upon our governor, and upon the captain, and others. And although it be not always so plentiful as it was at this time with us, yet by the goodness of God, we are so far from want that we often wish you partakers of our plenty.

 

And even this one source had not been part of the national or, even New England, consciousness from 1622 to the present. As research librarian at Plimoth Plantation, Baker delved into the history of Thanksgiving observances more deeply after he and other staff members realized they couldn’t find any widespread Victorian examples of what we consider to be iconic autumnal “First Thanksgiving” images.

 

Baker discovered that Mourt’s Relation became scarce, so scarce that there were apparently no surviving copies in New England by the eighteenth century. Scholars used an abridged version that was part of Samuel Purchas’ Hakluytus Posthumus or Purchas His Pilgrimes (1625), which was reprinted by the Massachusetts Historical Society in 1802. “The Purchas version omitted the Winslow letter; so the 1621 event had been entirely forgotten! It was not until a copy of the original pamphlet was discovered in Philadelphia in 1820 that the famous harvest account was rediscovered . . . .The first republication of the full text of Mourt’s Relation appeared in 1841 in Rev. Alexander Young’s Chronicles of the Pilgrim Fathers. Significantly, Young added a footnote to the description of the 1621 event, stating ‘This was the first Thanksgiving, the harvest festival of New England’ . . . Young’s judgment that the Pilgrim celebration and harvest was the ‘first’ Thanksgiving . . . of New England’ was slow to attract public attention, despite the support of Dr. George B. Cheever in his edition of the Mourt’s Relation text published in 1848. After all, the Thanksgiving holiday had developed a substantial historical tradition quite independent of the Pilgrims, emphasizing contemporary New England family reunions, dinners, balls, pumpkins, and turkeys.”

 

Not until after the turn of the twentieth century did the Pilgrim Thanksgiving begin to capture the public imagination and fuse the traditional harvest Thanksgiving with the 1621 feast in Plymouth described by Edward Winslow in Mourt’s Relation.

 

What a difference a primary source can make!

 

Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at NEHGS.


Stitching Together a Tradition

(Stories of Interest) Permanent link
 
Jean Powers

Jean Powers
Associate Editor

“How a simple tablecloth — embroidered with messages from 30-plus years of dinner guests — became one family's most treasured heirloom.”

Pass the Venison? Wear Red? Thanksgiving, Re-enacted

(Stories of Interest) Permanent link
 
Jean Powers

Jean Powers
Associate Editor

“November is showtime for a certain segment of the re-enactor set, a month in which they try to gently correct that stereotypical image of the first Thanksgiving (if it was the first Thanksgiving — and some argue that it wasn’t), as well as put across what Thanksgiving has been like at other times in American history.“

In the Pilgrims’ Footsteps, Through England and the Netherlands

(Stories of Interest) Permanent link
 
Jean Powers

Jean Powers
Associate Editor

 The author details the visits he made to sites in England and the Netherlands to learn about the lives of the Pilgrims in the years before the Mayflower.

This Week's Survey: Plymouth, Massachusetts

(Surveys) Permanent link
 
Lynn Betlock

Lynn Betlock
Managing Editor

Last week’s survey asked how many Weekly Genealogist readers write genealogical blogs. The results are:

 

91%, No, I do not write a genealogy blog.

6%, Yes, I write a genealogy blog.

2%, I plan to write a genealogy blog.

Less than 1%, I used to write a genealogy blog.


This week's survey asks if Weekly Genealogist readers have visited (or lived in) Plymouth, Massachusetts. Take the survey now!


Name Origins: Lucien

(Name Origins) Permanent link
 
Julie Helen Otto

Julie Helen Otto
Staff Genealogist

LUCIEN/LUCIEN B. (m): Lucien Bonaparte (1775–1840), Prince of Canino, brother of Napoléon I, Emperor of the French, was en route to America in 1809 when he was captured by the British, and spent the next few years in the English countryside writing poetry. His son, the ornithologist Charles Lucien Jules Laurent Bonaparte (1803–1857), visited America between 1822 and 1826.

A great many of the 65 men with given names “Lucien B.” in the 1850 U.S. census (and the 72 Civil War soldiers named “Lucien B.” found in Ancestry.com’s U.S. Civil War Soldiers, 1861–1865, database) were likely named for Napoleon’s brother.


Spotlight: Wyoming Newspaper Project

(Spotlight) Permanent link
 
Valerie Beaudrault

Valerie Beaudrault
Visitor Services Representative

Wyoming Newspaper Project

 

The Wyoming Newspaper Project collection comprises all of the newspapers that were printed in Wyoming between 1849 and 1922. The project is a work in progress and, as of May 1, 2011, more than 794,500 full page newspaper images have been uploaded to the website. The complete collection contains more than 900,000 newspaper pages.

 

You can search the full text of news articles, obituaries, and other items of interest. Searches can be performed on the entire collection or individual newspapers. There are two search options in addition to the keyword search. One type is a concept search, which will find keywords and phrases as well as related concepts. The example given in the website’s help section explains that if you search for the word “cow,” the search function will also look for related terms such as “cattle.” The other type of search is a pattern search, which returns both exact search terms and terms with similar spellings. Such a search is useful when there are alternate spellings of words, and when you are searching for keywords that are commonly misspelled.

 

Enter a term in the search box and click the Search Newspapers button. This will open a page with a list of all newspapers in which the search term appears. The data fields in the results include a page image thumbnail, the newspaper title with issue number, date and page number, city, year, month, day, page number, and “all.” Click on the page icon to open a file containing the full newspaper page. You will need the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the images. Since the newer versions of Adobe Acrobat Reader do not highlight the search term on the page, you may have to use the Find function to locate it. Click on the Help with Adobe Acrobat Reader link to troubleshoot any issues you have viewing the images. The “All” link is an icon. Click on it to view details about the newspaper page. By using the icons on the right side of the top bar you can email, print, and save search results for future use.

 

You can browse the collection by city, county, year, or newspaper title. To browse the collection, first click on the link that corresponds to the type of browsing you would like to do. If you want to browse by city, click on that link on the homepage. Next click on the folder for the city you have chosen. Continue to click on folders until you reach a page containing the individual page files. Choose a page and click on the icon to the left of the newspaper title information to view the page. Browsing by date will bring up a list of all of the issues of the newspapers in the collection that were published on a particular day. For example, on January 2, 1874, there is an issue from three different newspapers: the Laramie Daily Sentinel, the Daily Independent, and the Cheyenne Daily Leader. Knowing about multiple newspapers published on the same day could be useful if you are seeking information about an event and want to gather as much detail and as many perspectives as possible. By using the icons on the right side of the top bar you can email, print, and save results for future use.


A Note from the Editor: More on Map Websites & Massachusetts Markers(2)

 Permanent link
 
Lynn Betlock

Lynn Betlock
Managing Editor

Our October 26 story on the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center at the Boston Public Library prompted some emails on other useful historic map websites. Here are some recommended resources:

Official Issued Proclamation Against Penobscot Indians in 1755

(Stories of Interest) Permanent link
 
Jean Powers

Jean Powers
Associate Editor

Roxanne Moore Saucier, the “Family Ties” columnist for the Bangor Daily News, reflects on what she learned during a recent visit to the Abbe Museum in Bar Harbor, Maine.

Man Unearths Historic Cemetery in French Quarter Back Yard

(Stories of Interest) Permanent link
 
Jean Powers

Jean Powers
Associate Editor

Workers digging a New Orleans back yard for a pool found thirteen stacked burial caskets

Why Do We Care About Our Ancestors?

(Stories of Interest) Permanent link
 
Jean Powers

Jean Powers
Associate Editor

Salon.com excerpts a selection from Ancestors and Relatives, a new Oxford University Press book by Eviatar Zerubavel which presents a “sociological understanding of ancestry and descent.”

This week's survey: writing a genealogy blog

(Surveys) Permanent link
 
Lynn Betlock

Lynn Betlock
Managing Editor

Last week’s survey asked how many genealogical blogs you follow. The results are:

 

60%, I follow no blogs.

24%, I follow 1–2 blogs.

10%, I follow 3–5 blogs.

2%, I follow 6–10 blogs.

3%, I follow over ten blogs.

 

This week's survey asks if you write a genealogy blog. Take the survey now!


Spotlight: LOUISiana Digital Library

(Spotlight) Permanent link
 
Valerie Beaudrault

Valerie Beaudrault
Visitor Services Representative

LOUISiana Digital Library (LDL)

 

The LOUISiana Digital Library (LDL) is an online library containing photographs, maps, manuscript materials, books, and oral histories documenting history and culture. Its purpose is “to make unique historical treasures from the Louisiana institutions’ archives, libraries, museums, and other repositories in the state electronically accessible to Louisiana residents and to students, researchers, and the general public in other states and countries.” Twenty-two libraries, archives, museums, and historical centers contribute digital items from their collections to the online library. Currently LDL contains more than 144,000 items. The participating institutions include: Amistad Research Center, Louisiana State Archives, Louisiana State Museum, Louisiana State University (LSU), Loyola University New Orleans, New Orleans City Archives, New Orleans Public Library, State Library of Louisiana, The Historic New Orleans Collection, Tulane University, and University of New Orleans.

 

The collections in the LOUISiana Digital Library can be browsed or searched. You can browse by Topic, Institution, Media Format, Geographic Focus, Time Period, and Collection Name. If you want to browse by institution, click on Institution in the collections list on the left side of the page. This will open a new page with links to the participating institutions’ collections. Click on the institution’s name to access its collections.

 

To search the collections you can enter keywords in the search box, which is located in the upper-right side of the page, or you can run an advanced search by clicking on the Search All Collections link in the menu bar at the top of the homepage. With Advanced Search you can search across all fields, selected fields, by proximity or by date. You can also search specific collections from this page.


Louisiana State University contributed forty-six collections, which include photographs, oral histories, newspapers, maps, and letters that could be of interest to family history researchers. They include the following:

 

Civil War Photograph Album


This album contains portraits of military personnel who fought during the American Civil War, 1861–1865. Most of the photographs are cartes-de-visite of Confederate enlisted men and officers.

 

George C. Strong Photograph Album


This album contains two photographs of sites around the United States Military Academy, West Point, New York, and forty-two photographic portraits of cadets in the classes of 1857 and 1858.

 

Hermann Moyse Sr. World War I Collection
This collection contains letters written by Hermann Moyse, Sr. (1891–1985), a native of St. Gabriel, Louisiana, when he was a soldier in World War I.

 

The Louisiana Newspaper Access Program


This collection contains digitized images of select regional Louisiana newspapers from the 19th and early 20th centuries. Click on the View All Items in the Collection link to access them. There are seventy-one different newspapers in this collection.

 

LSU Libraries Civil War Collection


This collection “represents the cultural and political aspects of the conflict, and life in antebellum Louisiana.”

 

Maps of Louisiana Collection


This collection consists of important original maps associated with the French colonization of the territory of Louisiana, and the Louisiana Purchase.

 

Marshall Dunham Photograph Album, ca. 1861–1865

 

This photograph album, which contains photographs taken in Louisiana during the Civil War, was compiled by Sgt. Marshall Dunham of the 159th New York regiment.


A Case Study from a Weekly Genealogist

(Stories of Interest) Permanent link
 
Lynn Betlock

Lynn Betlock
Managing Editor

Here we present a reader case study, an occasional feature which allows us to showcase some of the discoveries made by NEHGS members and subscribers.

 

Picturing Uncle Tommy

by Gerard E. Sullivan, University Place, Washington

 

Until two years ago my Great Uncle Tommy was just a name to me. Thomas Francis Mulrey was born in 1876 and died in 1946, two years before I was born. He never married, so as I researched my family tree he was not of great interest to me — he was a branch in the tree, with no twigs.

 

As a small child I knew his sisters, Molly and Nellie, and his brothers, Johnny and Jimmy. His older brother Joe was my grandfather, but he, too, died before I was born. I do not recall hearing much about Tommy. I only knew a few things about him: that he lived his entire life on Canterbury Street in Roslindale, in the house where he grew up and that he was a Boston Police Department captain.

 

Author Dennis Lehane got me interested in knowing more about Tommy. His 2008 book The Given Day brought 1919 Boston and service on its police force to life for me. It left me wanting to know more about Tommy’s experience. I reasoned that if he became a captain in that era, he had to have been an outstanding cop or else very well connected. Not suspecting any notable family connections, I thought superior performance must have been the reason for his success, and that my best resource would be to see if I could obtain information regarding any promotions and citations from his personnel file at the Boston Police Department.

 

After some online searching I contacted Margaret R. Sullivan, Records Manager and Archivist for the Boston Police Department. I explained my interest in former BPD Captain Thomas Mulrey, and was pleased to discover that his files still existed. I faxed her a formal request for copies, and within a week I had a hefty envelope containing the details of Captain Mulrey's career. Although I found no obvious reasons for his rise to captain, I had gained a good deal of information.

 

Ms. Sullivan had asked whether I’d requested information from the Boston Public Library, and specifically mentioned the Leslie Jones Collection — almost 40,000 photos documenting the history of Boston in the twentieth century. She suggested that I contact the Boston Public Library to see if they could do a name search. I did, and learned that there were several pictures of Inspector Thomas Mulrey, one of which was quite remarkable. Within a few days I received the images by email.

 

The remarkable photo, taken in 1927, pictured three people: Inspector Mulrey on the left, Inspector John Mitchell on the right, and, between them, Carlo (a.k.a. Charles) Ponzi. Yes, that Charles Ponzi. The caption for a similar photo reads: "Charles Ponzi after his arrest in Texas after trying to jump to Italy. He is being escorted back to Boston for stay in state prison." I believe Inspectors Mulrey and Mitchell were not involved in Ponzi’s arrest, just his transport.

 

Who'd have thought an episode as intriguing as this would not have survived as a family legend? Fortunately, the resources of the Boston Police Department and the Boston Public Library have made the story into a new family legend.


Statue of Liberty Accessorized: Live Web Cams Offer New Harbor Views

(Stories of Interest) Permanent link
 
Jean Powers

Jean Powers
Production Editor

For the statue’s 125th anniversary — and because the statue’s interior is now closed for a year due to a renovation — five webcams were attached to the torch. See the unprecedented views.

Early Quebec Settlers Give Insight into Human Expansion

(Stories of Interest) Permanent link
 
Jean Powers

Jean Powers
Associate Editor

Researchers who analyzed the genealogy of more than a million individuals who trace their ancestry to early colonists in the Charlevoix Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region of Quebec reported their findings.

Duffy’s Cut Dig Ends as Amtrak Refuses Mass Grave Excavation

(Stories of Interest) Permanent link
 
Jean Powers

Jean Powers
Associate Editor

Historians who located the remains of as many as fifty-seven Irish railroad workers say that their mass grave near Malvern, Pennsylvania, is unreachable. Many of those buried there in 1832 are believed to have been murdered.

Baby’s Tombstone Found 1,000 Miles Away 130 Years Later

(Stories of Interest) Permanent link
 
Jean Powers

Jean Powers
Associate Editor

A genealogist in Knoxville, Tennessee, purchased a gravestone at a garage sale and researched the case until he could send it back to the correct cemetery in Dannebrog, Nebraska.

This Week's Survey: Genealogical blogs

(Surveys) Permanent link
 
Lynn Betlock

Lynn Betlock
Managing Editor

Last week’s survey asked how many genealogical enewsletters you receive. The results are:

 

40%, I receive 1–2.

46%, I receive 3–5.

11%, I receive 6–10.

2%, I receive over 10.

 

This week's survey asks how many genealogical blogs you follow. Take the survey now!


Name Origins: HENOPHON

(Name Origins) Permanent link
 
Julie Helen Otto

Julie Helen Otto
Staff Genealogist

HENOPHON (m): The name likely formed when someone who had never heard of the Greek historian XENOPHON misread the elaborate script initial “X” used in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century handwriting. The 1850 census lists nine Henophons, including Henophon Cook (b. 1835) of Smith, Pennsylvania; Henophon Tingley (b. 1844) of Providence, Rhode Island; and Henophon Wilmot (b. 1828) of Marshall, Illinois.

Spotlight: Amelia Island Genealogical Society, Florida

(Spotlight) Permanent link
 
Valerie Beaudrault

Valerie Beaudrault
Visitor Services Representative

Amelia Island Genealogical Society, Florida

 

Nassau County is the northeasternmost county in Florida, on the Georgia border. It includes Amelia Island, one of the Sea Islands that stretch along the east coast from South Carolina to Florida. The Nassau County seat is Fernandina Beach, which is located on Amelia Island. The Amelia Island Genealogical Society (AIGS) has made a number of resources available on its website.

 

Click on the Nassau County History link in the center of the homepage to view a timeline of Nassau County history, which was created by the WPA in 1936. Click on the Records link in the contents bar to access links to the society’s online resources, which include the following:

1850 Federal Census


The 1850 Census for Nassau County has been transcribed and uploaded to the website. This database can be searched by last name or by census page number. The data fields include page number, dwelling number, family number, last name, first name, age, sex, color, occupation, real estate, birthplace, estimated year born, and comment. Information in the comment field includes a notation if a couple was married within the year.

 

1895 State Census


Florida conducted statewide censuses in both 1885 and 1895, but for Nassau County only the 1895 census survives. It is thus a valuable tool for anyone researching Nassau County ancestors during the period from 1881 and 1899. The database can be searched by last name or by census page number. The data fields in the website include page number, dwelling number, last name, first name, race, sex, age, relationship, civil condition, occupation, birthplace, comment, and estimated year born.

 

Marriage


This database is an index to the Nassau County marriage books for 1868 through 1894. It can be searched by bride’s last name and groom’s last name. The data fields in the index include bride’s last name, bride’s first name, groom’s last name, groom’s first name, date of the marriage, and comment.

 

Wills


This alphabetical index contains 105 records of wills, testaments, and proofs for the period from 1870 to 1908. The data fields include last name, first name, and page number. An example of a will from that period has been digitized and uploaded to the website.

 

Confederate Civil War Pensions


The files in this index have been extracted from the pension files for individual pensions and widows’ pensions. Confederate pensions in Florida were first authorized in 1885, and were granted to residents of Florida regardless of the state for which they served. The data fields in the database include case number; first and last name; unit name and number; widow’s name; and year filed.

 

Cemetery Database


Currently the records for fifty-seven cemeteries, on Amelia Island and other locations in Nassau County, are in the database. The data is drawn from surveys sponsored by the AIGS. First click on the cemetery name link. This will open a new page containing a brief history of the cemetery. There is also a link to the grave layout for most cemeteries. Click on the Area Map link to view a map of all Nassau County cemeteries. There are also detailed four sectional maps. Click on the Search by Name link to open an ‘All Cemeteries’ search page. The index can be searched by name (last name or maiden name) and by year (year of death or year of birth). You can also browse through the cemeteries database by clicking on the Browse Cemeteries link. The data fields include cemetery name, last name, first name, maiden name, date of birth, date of death, burial plot, other info, and photo number.

 

Obituary Database


The AIGS is in the process of abstracting obituary records from a number of Nassau County newspapers. To date the following years have been completed: 1879 through 1885, 1949 through 1955, 1957, 1958, 1961, 1964 through 1967, and 1969. In addition the following years have been partially completed: 1878, 1886, 1907, 1908, 1910, 1918, 1920, 1923, 1925, 1927 and 1930. This database is a work in progress.

 

The database contains obituary records for nearly 3,500 individuals. More than 17,000 other individuals mentioned in the obituaries have also been included. It can be searched ‘By Deceased Name,’ ‘By Attendee Name’ or ‘By Death Year.’ The data fields in the search results for the Deceased Name or Death Year search are: deceased last name, deceased first name, death year, death place, birth date, birth place, newspaper, and location. For the Attendee Name search results the data fields are: attendee last name, first name, relationship, deceased last name, deceased first name, death, and year. Click on the deceased’s last name link to open a detailed record. The detailed records can contain a significant amount of information about the deceased, circumstances surrounding the death, and newspaper source information, as well as information about family and friends mentioned.


A Note from the Editor: Historical Markers of Massachusetts

(A Note from the Editor) Permanent link
 
Lynn Betlock

Lynn Betlock
Managing Editor

The Spring 2011 issue of American Ancestors included an article by Walter W. Woodward, Connecticut state historian and associate professor of history at the University of Connecticut, entitled, “John Winthrop, Jr. and the Alchemy of Colonial Settlement.” The article, based on his 2010 book, Prospero’s America: John Winthrop, Jr., Alchemy and the Creation of New England Culture, 1606–1676, began with a description of how Woodward found his topic: “Years ago, as a beginning graduate student, I took a wrong turn while trying to find the living history museum at Old Sturbridge Village, Massachusetts. I soon was hopelessly lost, and ended up parking on a winding, climbing road by a rusty old historical marker, south (I later found out) of my destination. The marker, barely readable, told me I was at the site where John Winthrop, Jr. had started a “black lead” mine in 1644. 1644? Mining? In the middle of the wilderness?” Woodward went on to spend years of research answering the questions posed by that historical marker.

 

In my role as editor of American Ancestors, I was responsible for illustrating the article, and I was determined to find an image of the sign. I had been vaguely aware of uniform historical markers throughout Massachusetts but I hadn’t known much about their creation. As I researched the topic, I became more and more interested. In the NEHGS library, I discovered the best possible source, Historical Markers Erected by Massachusetts Bay Colony Tercentenary Commission, 1630–1930. The book reproduced the text of all the markers, and the resolution of 1930 that led to the markers’ creation: “The department of public works is hereby authorized to prepare and erect suitable signs and markers, including such as may be submitted by the Massachusetts Bay Colony Tercentenary Commission, with suitable inscriptions thereon, indicating the ancient ways of the Puritan times and the structures or places relating to or associated with the early settlements within the commonwealth.”

 

I found that nearly three hundred cast iron markers had been installed within the territory of the original Massachusetts Bay Colony, to commemorate pre-1750 events and structures. The text was the same on both sides of the tablet “in order that a passer-by from either direction may read the inscription without descending from his car.”

 

The text of the Sturbridge marker read: “Tantiusques. The graphite or blacklead deposit near by was valued by the Indians for face paint, and by the white men for pencils and other uses. John Winthrop, Jr., was ‘granted the hill at Tantousq’ in 1644, and began to exploit the mine in 1658.” Although there was no photograph of this marker in the book, I eventually found an image of it on an area blog, and the site administrator allowed me to reproduce it.

 

Even though I’d found what I needed in the book, I found it hard to put it back on the shelf. I kept perusing the volume for interesting tidbits and comparing my knowledge of an area with the historical marker text. I began to pay more attention to the historical marker signs when I was out and about, and I am now always happy to notice a new one.

 

Reading the Boston Globe Ideas section this past Sunday, I saw an eye-catching article by Chris Marshall, “History, Preserved in Sturdy Aluminum,*” featuring six photos of markers, including, to my surprise, the Tantiusques one. Marshall wrote about the markers as “a standing museum of how the state saw its own past in the 1930s.” The man most responsible for the markers, colonial historian Samuel Eliot Morison, sought to humanize the Puritans and offer a richer portrayal of their lives and times. The markers “downplay the Puritans’ religion, and instead put forward a broad-shouldered portrait of the settlers as literate community builders, industrialists, and pathmakers.”

 

Marshall also wrote about Robert Briere, who first saw the Tantiusques marker as a Sturbridge teenager in the 1940s — and noticed when it disappeared in the late 1980s. After retirement, Robert Brierly and his wife traveled the state, using a copy of Historical Markers to help them determine how many markers remained (about 144), and which were damaged. (The Tantiusques marker was eventually found nearby, cleaned, and restored to its original position.) Brierly hopes a bill, filed to get the Massachusetts Department of Transportation to allocate money to restore existing markers and replace missing ones, will be successful. 

 

I’m pleased to know that I’m not the only one who has discovered historical markers are worth a second look.

 

For more information:

 

The Historical Marker Database

 

Wikipedia entry on historical markers
(A listing at the end includes many state historical marker websites.)

 

Waymarking.com contains a subcategory on historical markers

 

*After I wrote this article, I realized that the Boston Globe has just begun charging for access to some of its online newspaper content. The article I quote requires you to be a Globe print or online subscriber (currently ninety-nine cents for four weeks) to access the article. In the future, I will make every attempt to reference articles that do not require a fee.


Mysterious Photo Proves to Be Pair’s Great-Aunt

(Stories of Interest) Permanent link
 
Jean Powers

Jean Powers
Production Editor

A mystery woman pictured in a 100-year-old photograph in Osage, Iowa, has been identified by her grand-niece and nephew.

Girls Equal in British Throne Succession

(Stories of Interest) Permanent link
 
Jean Powers

Jean Powers
Associate Editor

 Recent changes in succession laws will provide sons and daughters of any future U.K. monarch with an equal right to the throne.

The Life Report

(Stories of Interest) Permanent link
 
Jean Powers

Jean Powers
Associate Editor

New York Times op-ed columnist David Brooks asks readers over seventy to write a brief report on their lives and submit these “life reports” to him. He envisions submissions similar to college alumni reunion essays, and he quotes from short autobiographies of the Yale class of 1942.

This Week's Survey: Genealogical enewsletters

(Surveys) Permanent link
 
Lynn Betlock

Lynn Betlock
Managing Editor

Last week’s survey asked whether you have published a printed family history. The results are:

43%, No, I don't intend to publish a printed family history.

39%, No, but I am planning on publishing a printed family history.

16%, Yes. I self-published a printed family history.

3%, Yes. My book was published by a publishing company.

 


This week's survey asks how many genealogical enewsletters you receive. Take the survey now!


Name Origins: ADONIRAM

(Name Origins) Permanent link
 
Julie Helen Otto

Julie Helen Otto
Staff Genealogist

ADONIRAM (m): In Hebrew, the approximate meaning is “My Lord is exalted.” Adoniram, son of Abda, appears in a personnel list of Solomon’s officials in 1 Kings 4:6, and is an overseer of tribute, or conscript, crews for building the Temple and other projects. An early bearer of the name in New England was Adoniram Treadwell, b. Woodbury, Conn. 14 January 1700. The name became very popular early in the nineteenth century in tribute to Rev. Adoniram Judson (1788-1850), a native of Malden, Mass. (If your ancestor is Adoniram J., the “J.” is very likely “Judson”). This name was often abbreviated as NIRAM, as in the case of Niram Blackman (1762-1812) of Brookfield, Connecticut.

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