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Name Origins: Beheathland

(Name Origins) Permanent link
 
Julie Helen Otto

Julie Helen Otto
Staff Genealogist

 BEHEATHLAND (m/f): The name arises in the United States in descendants of 1607 Jamestown immigrant Robert Beheathland (d. by 1627), son of Richard Beheathland of the Parish of St. Endelyon, Cornwall, gent. (John Frederick Dorman, Adventurers of Purse and Person, Virginia 1607-1624/5, 4th ed., vol. 1 [Baltimore, 2004], pp. 217-20, 766).

Help with Writing

(Research Recommendations) Permanent link
 
Michael J. Leclerc

Michael J. Leclerc
Director of Special Projects

Even the best of writers and editors need help with writing sometimes. We all have our own weak spots, such as remembering when to use “its” and when to use “it’s.” Some have difficulty in understanding when to use “eighteenth century” and when to use “eighteenth-century.” Fortunately, the number of tools to assist writers is growing.

 

I recently came across another great helper, Grammar Grater. Luke Taylor and the “Grammatis Personae Players”™ present regular podcasts on Minnesota Public Radio. Episodes have dealt with the difference between affect and effect, proper use of the ellipsis, and — one of my major complaints — the proper use of plural nouns (hint: no apostrophe is ever needed for a plural). One episode included a guest lexicographer who discussed how to choose dictionaries and how to properly use them. Grammar Grater podcasts are also available on iTunes.

 

I have discussed “Grammar Girl” Mignon Fogarty. Her "Quick and Dirty Tips For Better Writing" are very helpful. Her podcasts are short yet very informative. Last week she discussed one of the biggest mistakes writers make: the difference between “i.e”. and “e.g.” the Grammar Girl website is clear and easy to use. You can also read transcripts of the podcasts. You can view all podcasts or select individual categories, such as grammar, style, or punctuation. There is even an iPhone app (isn't there an app for everything nowadays?) and her podcasts can be automatically download her podcasts through iTunes.

 

The number of apps for writing and grammar increases all the time. One interesting app, from American Accent Training, is called Grammar A–Z. Although targeted towards ESL speakers learning English, the rules presented apply to writing as well. In addition to grammar, the app helps with writing, spelling, and punctuation. There are also sections on speaking that include accent, pronunciation, and comprehension. It is available for $9.99.

 

Be careful when downloading grammar apps and podcasts. Be certain that the grammar applies to your country’s version of the language. For example, English speakers will find a number of grammar apps from Oxford University and other U.K. sources. The rules of spelling, punctuation, and grammar, however, differ between the U.S. and the U.K., and using these apps could cause you problems if you are not careful.

 

iTunes University is filled with free courses and podcasts to help you with your writing. You will find top-notch instructors from some leading schools, such as Harvard Extension School, Pace University, Texas A&M University, Penn School of Arts and Sciences, Illinois State University, University of Warwick, Coventry University, and more.

Take advantage of these tools to help you with your writing, and soon you will lose all fear of compiling your family’s history to share with your relatives. And if you are still wondering, “its” is the possessive while “it’s” is a contraction. And “eighteenth century” is a noun while “eighteenth-century” is an adjective.


Lynchburg, Virginia, Funeral Home Records

(Spotlight) Permanent link
 
Valerie Beaudrault

Valerie Beaudrault
Visitor Services Representative

The independent city of Lynchburg is located in the central part of the Commonwealth of Virginia. As an independent city it is not a part of any county.

 

Diuguid Digital Archive
A Spotlight article reader brought this website to my attention. The undertaking records of the Diuguid Funeral Service & Crematory of Lynchburg were placed on permanent loan with the Southern Memorial Association in 2005 and 2007. The SMA now sponsors this website.

The site provides access to the burial records for the period from 1820 to 1950. There are nearly 54,000 entries and, according to the website, most of those “who died in the Lynchburg area before 1920 were buried by Diuguid and will be found in these records.” The database is searchable by name and/or date.

Only a portion of the material in the collection, which is comprised of 42 general burial ledgers and 14 cemetery plot books, has been made available online. The general burial ledgers contain records for every person for whom they provided mortuary services. In the earliest years these services were orders for coffins, provided by carpenters in the Diuguid family.

 

Individuals were buried in one of four cemeteries in Lynchburg. In many cases the funeral home records can help determine the location of someone’s burial. Starting in 1896, the funeral home used a pre-printed ledger form that included the residence, date of death, cause of death, age, cemetery, and plot of every person handled by the funeral home. These forms contain valuable information for family history researchers. Much of this is not found on the state level, because the Commonwealth of Virginia did not keep official death certificates until much later. This description was drawn from the Overview section under the About the Records tab. Be sure to read the About the Records page before starting your search because it contains not only an Overview but also the following sections on interpreting the records, a history of the Diuguid Funeral Home, and a bit of historical and demographic information on Lynchburg over the years. There is a link beneath each image that will take you to the Interpret the Records page, should you have difficulty in understanding what is in the record that you are viewing.

 

The database can be searched by last name, first name, and year in the simple search. You can specify an exact year or a range of years. Advanced search allows you to also search by account holder, designated race, year of burial, book and page numbers, Diuguid’s Notes, place of interment, and gravedigger’s name. The data fields in the search results include surname, prename (given and middle names), date of burial, and name of account holder. The search results are returned in alphabetical order. They can be sorted by any of these fields by clicking on the up/down arrow in the field header. Click on one of the name links to access the detailed record and a page image. The data fields in the detailed record include all of the fields found in the advanced search option. To the right of the record you will find a thumbnail of the page image. Click on the thumbnail to enlarge it. Clicking on the image a second time will enlarge it further.

 

The records contain information on many Civil War soldiers, both Union and Confederate. In one search I conducted a page brought up with the burial records of “Yankee prisoners”. One entry reads as follows:

 

Browns Stable Yankee Prisoner Jno Lambert 1st Maryland Co B was buried No 5 in 4th line lot 171

 

J.E. Fauber Funeral Home
The second funeral home collection is part of the holdings of the Jones Memorial Library, the second oldest public library in Virginia. It opened in 1908. The Whitten Funeral Home gave the burial records of the J. E. Fauber Funeral Home to the library for the purpose of preserving them.

 

This collection includes burial records, “first call sheets” and sales records of the J. E. Fauber Funeral Home of Lynchburg, Virginia for the period from 1919 through 1952. Also included in the collection are the burial records of J. J. Hughes and Company for 1915 through 1917, and the Lynchburg Undertaking Company, Inc. for 1918. These establishments were predecessors of the Fauber Funeral home. The burial records of the Virginia Funeral Chapel, Inc., for the period from 1952 through 1985.

 

The database can be searched by last name, first name, and year. You can specify an exact year or a range of years. The data fields in the search results include surname, prename (given and middle names), race, date of death, spouse’s name, father, and mother. The search results are returned in alphabetical order. They can be sorted by any of these fields by clicking on the up/down arrow in the field header. Reproductions of both "first call records" and sales records may be purchase from the library for a fee. Click on the surname or prename link to open a new page from which you can order a copy of the record.


Taking Advantage of Conference Opportunities

(Research Recommendations) Permanent link
 
Michael J. Leclerc

Michael J. Leclerc
Director of Special Projects

Last week I was in Charleston, South Carolina, staffing the NEHGS booth in the exhibit hall at the annual conference for the National Genealogical Society. The conference was once again an unqualified success. I heard reports of 1,800 registrants for the conference, with hundreds more attending a special genealogy day on Saturday sponsored by Ancestry.com.

    

There is nothing quite like a national genealogical conference. With hundreds of fellow genealogists, from beginners to professionals with decades of experience, it is always an exciting week. We were able to talk with many members at the NEHGS booth, answering questions and helping them with problems. Dozens of individuals also joined the Society for the first time. 

    

As much of a financial investment as a national conference can be, most people I talk to believe that it is well worth every penny. Online learning and smaller conferences are great ways to learn, but nothing beats the opportunities to interact with fellow genealogists of all levels at a national conference. 

    

The educational opportunities were outstanding. With so many of the leading genealogists in the country making presentations, the choices were often difficult to make. Fortunately, there was another option. JAMB has been recording conferences for the National Genealogical Society, Federation of Genealogical Societies, Ohio Genealogical Society, Fairfax (Virginia) Genealogical Society, and the Southern California Jamboree for several years. JAMB once again did an excellent job recording the NGS conference, and stacks of CDs were being sold for sessions that people could not attend.

    

 These recording are a great resource for genealogists. For each conference JAMB provides a listing of sessions available for purchase. Keep in mind that not every session at every conference is recorded. The choice is up to the speaker, and many speakers choose not to have sessions recorded. One of my sessions at the FGS conference last year was not recorded last year, for example, because I felt that without the images from the presentation the listener would not be able to make sense of the lecture. Other reasons can also affect availability as well. Technical issues this year prevented two of my sessions at the Ohio Genealogical Society conference from being available.

    

 The 2011 NGS conference listing will soon be available on their website. I strongly recommend you check out the website. I’m certain you will find more than one session recording that you would like to hear. And think about joining NEHGS at either the Southern California Jamboree in Burbank, California, this June, or at the FGS conference in Springfield, Illinois, this September.


NARA Transfers Railroad Retirement Board Records

(Research Recommendations) Permanent link
 
Michael J. Leclerc

Michael J. Leclerc
Director of Special Projects

Approximately 54,000 cubic feet of Inactive Claims Folders from the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) were recently transferred from the National Archives Great Lakes Region to the National Archives at Atlanta, Georgia. These records contain claims files that have been inactive for at least seven years. Active claims files are still with the RRB. The RRB deals only with individuals who worked on the railroads after 1936. For more information about these valuable records, visit the National Archives website.

This Week's Survey: Continental Research Interests

(Surveys) Permanent link
 
Michael J. Leclerc

Michael J. Leclerc
Director of Special Projects

Last week’s survey asked about your interest in the states of the Pacific and the West. California had the highest rate, with 87% of respondents having interest there. Hawaii was the lowest, with 7%. Full results are:


  • 87%, California
  • 50%, Washington
  • 44%, Oregon
  • 8%, Alaska
  • 7%, Hawaii

 

This week we start a different regional interest, asking on which continents you have genealogical research interests. Take the survey now!


Name Origins: Alexander/Zander

(Name Origins) Permanent link
 
Julie Helen Otto

Julie Helen Otto
Staff Genealogist

ALEXANDER (m): The Latinized form of Greek ALEXANDROS (an alternate name of Paris, Prince of Troy). The name owes its popularity, however, to the brilliant Alexander II the Great, King of Macedon (356-323 B.C., ruled from 336), who conquered most of the then-known world in 13 years.

 

ZANDER (m): Phonetic nickname for ALEXANDER.


The Genealogy Guys

(Research Recommendations) Permanent link
 
Michael J. Leclerc

Michael J. Leclerc
Director of Special Projects

Podcasts are an interesting way to learn more about sources, methodology, and what’s new in the field. The longest running podcast in genealogy is run by the Genealogy Guys, Drew Smith and George Morgan. Drew and George are longtime genealogists and both currently serve on the board of the Federation of Genealogical Societies. I have had the pleasure of knowing them for many years, and find their podcasts to be friendly, and full of valuable discussions and news.

 

They are always interesting and informative. Recent podcasts have included new of a new live radio program from the Federation of Genealogical Societies, a review of the new genealogy-specific search engine Mocavo.com, and an interview with Audrey Collins, Family History Specialist at The National Archives of England and the United Kingdom.

 

George and Drew were in Boston for an NEHGS education program the weekend of the Society’s annual meeting. That Saturday they recorded a podcast before a live audience, answering questions and talking to people in the audience, including myself and D. Joshua Taylor. You can listen to that podcast, and previous podcasts, at www.genealogyguys.com.


This Week’s Survey: West and Pacific States

(Surveys) Permanent link
 
Michael J. Leclerc

Michael J. Leclerc
Director of Special Projects

Last week’s survey asked about social media websites. 56% of respondents have a Facebook page, but only 4% follow Twitter. 5% don't tweet or have a Facebook page, but do use other social media websites. 40% of respondents do not use any social media websites.

 

This week’s survey is the final follow-up survey for our state interests survey. It applies only to those who have research interests in the West and Pacific areas of the country.

Take the survey now!


Name Origins: Antoinette

(Name Origins) Permanent link
 
Julie Helen Otto

Julie Helen Otto
Staff Genealogist

ANTOINETTE (f): A French diminutive form of a Roman family name, Antonius. The fate of Marie Antoinette (1756–1793, born Maria Antonia Josepha Johanna, Archduchess of Austria), Queen of France, excited pity and horror in the English-speaking world.

North Dakota State University – Institute for Regional Studies and University Archives

(Spotlight) Permanent link
 
Valerie Beaudrault

Valerie Beaudrault
Visitor Services Representative

The NDSU Institute for Regional Studies“collects, preserves and makes accessible unique and rare historical materials that provide resources for the study of North Dakota and the region.” Click on the Databases & Indexes link in the contents list to access a number of useful resources, some of which are described below. Many of the databases are related to Cass County, located in the southeastern part of the state.

 

 

Databases and Indexes

Cass County, N.D. Divorce & Civil Cases Records

This database indexes civil and divorce case files for Cass County for the period from the 1870s through 1942. It includes more than 3,300 records. You can search the index by plaintiffs and defendants, attorneys only, or attorneys, plaintiffs and defendants. Searches can be limited by type (divorce or all cases) and by year. The data fields include the plaintiff’s name and attorney’s name, defendant’s name and attorney’s name, dates of proceedings, case number and case notes.

 

Cass County, N.D. Marriage Licenses

This index can be searched by last name and first name of the bride or groom. While it covers the period from the early 1870s through July 1944, you should note that marriage licenses were not required until 1887. The data fields in the results returned include groom’s full name, bride’s full name, marriage date, license number, and note.

 

Cass County, N.D. Probate Records (1876-1949)

This index can be searched by last name and first name. It covers the period from 1876 through 1949. The data fields in the results returned include name, case number, and notes. The notes field may contain information such as death date, place of death, place of residence, and types of documents in the file.

 

Dakota Territory 1885 Census

The census database project, under the leadership of the Institute, indexed all of the original Dakota Territory 1885 Census schedules for the counties that make up the state of North Dakota. The database contains more than 150,000 names. You can search it by last name, first name, nativity, and county and browse by occupation. The data fields include name, age, relation, occupation, nativity, address, city, enumeration district, and county. The name field is an active link. Click on it to view a transcription of the page on which the individual appeared.

 

Fargo Forum Obituary Index

This database covers the following periods: October 1892 to 1909 and from November 1982 to 1995, with partial indexing for other years. The index currently contains more than 70,000 names, with records being added on a regular basis. The database can be searched by last name, first name, city, and publication date. The data fields in the search results include last name, first name, age, city, state, publication date, page, paper, and comments.

 

North Dakota Naturalization Records Index

This index was compiled at the State Historical Society of North Dakota. It has been made available as a searchable database on the Institute for Regional Studies and University Archives website. The index contains more than 200,000 names. The database can be searched by last name, first name, country of origin, and county. The data fields include last name, first name, country, papers (1st or 2nd), date, county, volume, page, and comments.

 

For many of the databases described above, you can click on the link to the information page to learn more about the resource and how to order copies of records.

 

Digital Collections

Click on the Digital Collections link in the contents list to access the digital resources. The digital collections at the Institute for Regional Studies and University Archives include the Cal Olson Photograph Collection, H.L. Bolley Photograph Collection, and Fargo Public Library Photograph Collection, among many others. In addition, there is an oral history collection that might be of interest to family history researchers, North Dakota Voices from the Past. You can browse through the collection or search for a particular individual or topic. All of the digital collections can be accessed from this page, as well.


Outdated Terminology

(Research Recommendations) Permanent link
 
Michael J. Leclerc

Michael J. Leclerc
Director of Special Projects

Genealogists face a constant influx of records from a different era with outdated language and terminology. When faced with evidence that your ancestor’s occupation dealt with dealbation, where would you turn next? Or if a diary states that your ancestress was fond of diet-drink, was she perpetually trying to lose weight?

 

The best place to find definitions of such terms is to locate a dictionary from the time and place where your ancestor lived, and read the definition. Remember that word definitions change over time, or by location (just ask a New Englander for Sweet Tea) so it is important to keep as close as possible to the time and place. The Internet Archive is a great place to find these dictionaries online. Libraries and archives will often have physical books as well. NEHGS has numerous dictionaries dating back to the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

 

For the record, dealbation concerns whitening, bleaching, or blanching. And diet-drink is a drink prescribed and prepared for medical purposes.


Monmouth County, New Jersey Online Resources

(Spotlight) Permanent link
 
Valerie Beaudrault

Valerie Beaudrault
Visitor Services Representative

Monmouth County is the northernmost county on the Jersey Shore. Freehold Borough is its county seat. A number of searchable online indexes can be found on the Monmouth County Archives website. The Archives developed this collection in conjunction with the Monmouth County Information Services Department. For most of the indexes there is a Select link at the end of the record on which you can click to request a copy of the record. The indexes include:

    

Naturalizations 1804 – 1906

This index can be searched by last name and first name. The data fields are last name, first name, application date, year granted, number, note and file number. 

    

Coroner Inquests 1786 – 1915

This index can be searched by last name and first name. The data fields include last name, first name, town, date, year, cause, and comments. 

    

Illegitimate Children 1734 – 1897

This database can be searched by mother’s last name and father’s last name. The data fields in the search results are mother, father, child, birth date, complaint date, and town. Click on the data field header to sort the list either alphabetically or chronologically. 

    

Tavern Applications 1736 – 1919

The index can be searched by name of the owner. Many of the data field names in the search results have been abbreviated and are unclear, but the data is generally self-explanatory. Copies of the tavern applications are only available onsite.

    

Marriages 1790 – 1890

This database can be searched by husband’s last name and wife’s maiden name. The data fields in the search results are husband last name, wife last name, location, marriage date, performed by, and box. Click on the data field header to sort the list either alphabetically or chronologically. 

    

Insolvent Debtors 1755 – 1898

This index can be searched by last name and first name. The data fields in the search results include last name, first name, term, year, date, and notes. As noted on the website, these records do not contain the names of other family members. Click on the data field header to sort the list either alphabetically or chronologically. 

    

Overseers of the Poor 1754 – 1911

The data fields include name of individual, town, and year. Click on the data field header to sort the list either alphabetically or chronologically. 

 

Name Changes 1887 – 1947
This database can be searched by old name and by new name. The data fields in the search results include old name, new name, year, docket number, and notes. Click on the data field header to sort the list either alphabetically or chronologically.

 

Monmouth County’s Open Public Records Search System (OPRS)

    

Monmouth County’s OPRS provides electronic access to “all records deemed 'permanent and public' by the New Jersey Department of Archives and Records Management (NJDARM) . . .” Select the database that you would like to search from the dropdown list on the homepage. Databases in this collection are:

    

1875 Census Information

To search this database you can select a town and/or a category name from the dropdown list. You can also enter a person’s name. The data fields in the search results are town name, category, person name and page number. There is also a link to a page image file, which is PDF format. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view it.

    

ABC Book

The ABC Book is a deed book, supposedly covering the period from 1665 to 1696, but the earliest deed from 1669. Even though this volume is called a deed book, it also contains records of court cases, jury appointments, marriages, arrest warrants, and more. Click on the Search button to browse the individual pages of the book. Select a page to view and click on the View Selected button. Click on the Get Image button to view the document image.

    

Civil War Bounty Pay

This database does not appear to be functioning. Searches yield blank pages.

    

Civil War Muster Lists

This database contains images of Civil War muster lists for the years 1861 – 1866. Select the year you would like to view from the drop down list and then click Search. This will open a new page with lists for the various years. The data fields in the search results include year, month, and regiment. Select a file to view and click on the View Selected button. Click on the Get Image button to view the document images. Move through the multipage image files by clicking on the page numbers.

    

Common Pleas 1810-1817

This database can be searched by defendant last name (mandatory) and first name and plaintiff last name and first name. You can limit the search by the plaintiff’s town. The data fields include the search fields named above plus a comments field. Select a file to view and click on the View Selected button. Click on the Get Image button to view the document images. Move through the multipage image files by clicking on the page numbers.

    

Name Changes 1887 – 1947

This database can be searched by old name and by new name. The data fields in the search results include old name, new name, year, docket number, and notes. Click on the data field header to sort the list either alphabetically or chronologically. 


This Week's Survey: Facebook and Twitter

(Surveys) Permanent link
 
Michael J. Leclerc

Michael J. Leclerc
Director of Special Projects

Last week’s survey was a continuation of our series on state research interests. This survey was for those who have interests in the Mountain Plains region of the U.S. Colorado was the top state, with 48% of respondents having interests there. The state in this area with the least interest was Nevada, with just 13%. Full results are:

 

  • 48%, Colorado
  • 32%, Montana
  • 29%, Idaho
  • 24%, Arizona
  • 21%, Utah
  • 16%, Wyoming
  • 14%, New Mexico
  • 13%, Nevada

 

This week’s survey concerns Facebook and Twitter. Take the survey now!


Name Origins: Polyxena

(Name Origins) Permanent link
 
Julie Helen Otto

Julie Helen Otto
Staff Genealogist

POLYXENA (f): Greek poly- ‘many’ + xenia 'hospitality.' In the Iliad, Polyxenia was a younger daughter of Priam, King of Troy, and his wife Hecuba; she was promised to Achilles. After the fall of Troy, she was sacrificed to his memory by the victorious Greeks. In American usage this name may be disguised as “Polly Sena” or “Polly S.”  

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