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Jewish Cemetery Assocation Update

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Jewish Cemetery Association of Massachusetts NEHGS, together with the Jewish Cemetery Association of Massachusetts (JCAM), and the American Jewish Historical Society of New England (AJHSNE) has made available for the first time, a comprehensive database of Jewish cemeteries in Massachusetts. Currently, the database contains the records of 18 cemeteries for more than 15,000 Jewish burials in Massachusetts. More records will be added weekly until all 106 JCAM cemeteries are online. The names in this extensive database cover the years 1844 to the present, and, when completed later next year, will offer access to more than 100,000 names of Jewish Americans buried in Massachusetts.

NEHGS President and CEO, D. Brenton Simons, said, “For genealogists and researchers, this database is a tremendous resource and provides unique access to a set of names vital to Jewish family research. We are pleased to work with AJHS and JCAM in this way. The Jewish Cemetery Association of Massachusetts is a marvelous society for those with Jewish ancestry and we know countless people will benefit from having it available online.”

“This is one of the first of many benefits that will accrue as a result of our strategic partnership with NEHGS,” said Justin Wyner, chair of the Boston Board of Overseers of the American Jewish Historical Society. “This additional resource is of significant genealogical importance. AJHSNE now makes its home inside the NEHGS research center in downtown Boston.

According to JCAM’s Executive Director Stanley Kaplan, “This partnership with NEHGS and AJHS provides people with access to where their loved ones are resting, a source that is known for genealogy,” said Kaplan. “We have broadened …our reach within the community.”

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Session Book of Aghadowey, 1702-1725

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AgahadoweyIn 1905, J. W. Kernohan, Secretary of the Presbyterian Historical Society in Belfast, Ireland, transcribed the beginning years of the session book for Aghadowey, County Londonderry, Ireland at the request of a member of the New England Historic Genealogical Society. The member subsequently donated Mr. Kernohan’s transcription, which covers the period 1702 – 1725, to NEHGS. The manuscript begins in 1702, since the earlier years are lost.

In the summer of 1718, a number of ships bearing passengers from Coleraine and Londonderry, Ireland arrived in Boston - the first organized mass migration of Irish and Scots Irish people to America. Among these passengers were Presbyterians from the area of Aghadowey, County Londonderry, Ireland, and their minister, Reverend James McGregor. Many of the Aghadowey immigrants eventually established the community of Londonderry, New Hampshire. A good history of this migration is available at The 1718 Migration.

A session was composed of the ministers and elders of a congregation. Session records cover financial, legal and disciplinary matters. A good discussion of the types of topics that may be addressed by the session is located in Short History of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland by Prof. John M. Barkley, M.A., Ph.D., D.D., F.R.Hist.S. Many session books have been microfilmed and are available at the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland. However, the Aghadowey Session Book has not been microfilmed and is available only at the Presbyterian Historical Society, Church House, Fisherwick Place, Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Charles Knowles Bolton, in his book Scotch Irish Pioneers in Ulster and America [Boston: Bacon and Brown, 1910], described the acquisition of the Agahadowey Session Book by the Presbyterian Historical Society and the contents of the book. Bolton’s description is available online at Scotch Irish Pioneers in Ulster and America.

Search Aghadowey, Ireland: Session Book of Aghadowey, 1702-1725

Providence, RI: Index of Deaths, 1931-1940

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Providence, RI: City HallPublished by the city of Providence, Rhode Island between 1879 and 1945, this series, in total, contains thirty-one volumes of alphabetical name indexes for Providence vital records. NEHGS previously added the first 22 volumes as the database Providence, RI: Alphabetical Index of Births, Marriages and Deaths, 1636 - 1930

This database, Providence, RI: Index of Births and Death, 1931-1940, currently contains records from Vol. 23, Births 1931-1935; Vol. 26, Births 1936-1940; Vol. 24, Deaths 1931-1935; and Vol. 27, Deaths 1936-1940. These records include child and parent names, dates of birth, and citations to the volume and page numbers of the original recording in the Providence city records.

NEHGS will continue, periodically, to add volumes to until the full series is online.

Search: Providence, RI: Index of Births and Deaths, 1931-1940

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