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Name Origins: Macuth

(Name Origins) Permanent link
 

Julie Helen Otto
Staff Genealogist

MACUTH (m): In 1993 Mary Ann Long Skinner demonstrated (The American Genealogist [TAG] 68 [1993]: 31-32) that the immigrant Macuth Pratt (ca. 1595-1672) of Aston Clinton, Buckinghamshire, and Weymouth, Mass., was NOT named Matthew, but instead bore the name of an obscure medieval saint venerated in England’s West Country and elsewhere. The name is cognate with that of St. Machute or St. Malo, the “Apostle of Brittany,” seen in an early Latin form Maclovius (Notes and Queries, 6th ser., V [24 June 1882]: 493). See also Frederick J. Nicholson, “The English Origin of Macuth (or Matthew) Pratt of Weymouth, Massachusetts,” TAG 65 (1990): 33-43, 89-96.

Spotlight: Massachusetts and Vermont Resources

(Spotlight) Permanent link
 
Valerie Beaudrault

Valerie Beaudrault
Assistant Editor

Fall River Public Library, Fall River, Massachusetts

 

Fall River is in Bristol County in southeastern Massachusetts. The Fall River Public Library has made an obituary index of the Fall River Herald News available on its website. Click on the Obituary Index link in the contents bar to access the database. The index currently covers the period from 1950 through 2010. The database is a work in progress.

 

The obituary index is organized by year. The files are in Microsoft Excel file format. Click on the year link to download a file. The data fields in the index are last name; first name; maiden name, if known; name of the spouse, if any; and the date the obituary appeared. The index will display in database format, sorted by last name, first name, and the date the obituary appeared in the paper.

 

Bennington Town Clerk’s Office, Vermont

 

Bennington is in southwestern Vermont in Bennington County, on the Vermont-New York border. The Bennington Town Clerk’s Office has made vital records, cemetery records, and other genealogical information available on its website. Links to these resources may be found in the contents list at the left side of the page beneath the Vital Records tab.

 

Cemetery Databases


Click on the Burial Information link to access the records. There are two cemetery databases. One is arranged alphabetically by cemetery name and the other is alphabetical by last name of the deceased. The databases are in Microsoft Excel file format. Click on the link to download the file. The data fields in the database are name of deceased; date of birth; date of death; name of spouse, if married; name of parents; age (years / months / days); and name of cemetery.

 

Vital Records


Click on the Genealogical Information link to access the vital records databases. The databases are in Microsoft Word file format. There are four alphabetical vital records databases – births, deaths, and marriages. They cover the period from 1763 to 1850. The data fields in the births index are name, gender, book / page, date of birth, and the names of the father and mother. The data fields in the deaths index are name, gender, book / page, age (years / months / days), and the names of the deceased’s father and mother. The data fields for the two marriage indexes are the same, but the order of the first two fields is reversed depending on whether it is organized by bride or groom. The data fields are bride, groom, book, page, and date of marriage.

 

Early Town Records


Book A-1 of the early Bennington town records have been transcribed and uploaded to the Town Clerk’s website. There are three files in Microsoft Word file format. The first file covers the first twenty pages of the original town records book. The original book then starts over at page 1 and the first 200 pages comprise the second Microsoft Word file. The third file covers the rest of the book.


A Note from the Editor: A New Featured Blog

(A Note from the Editor) Permanent link
 

Lynn Betlock,
Editor

Our latest blog profile is by Bill West, who writes “West in New England." Here, Bill introduces himself and his blog:

 

I'm a 63-year-old former bookseller with a degree in history. My interest in genealogy was sparked by the research done by my Aunt Dorothy (West) Bargar. My ancestry is a mix of Pilgrim and Puritans on my Dad's side of the family, and Irish and German immigrants on my Mom's. I began blogging in hopes of making contact with relatives from both sides, and to put what I'd discovered in my research online where it could be shared with them. I still consider myself a newbie and I'm learning new things everyday. I enjoy the journey and hope my readers do as well!


Family Ties: 2014 Acadian Congress looking for more family reunions

(Stories of Interest) Permanent link
 
Powers Jean

Jean Powers
Associate Editor

“The next World Acadian Congress, featuring as many as 120 family reunions, will be held in August 2014 in Maine, northwestern New Brunswick and part of Quebec.”

Long Trip Home for WWII Dog Tag

(Stories of Interest) Permanent link
 
Powers Jean

Jean Powers
Associate Editor

With a great deal of assistance from many people, a WWII dog tag made its way from Indonesia to the son of the Omaha-born soldier who wore it.

On Facebook, Librarian Brings 2 Students from the Early 1900s to Life

(Stories of Interest) Permanent link
 
Powers Jean

Jean Powers
Associate Editor

Using archival material, Facebook profiles have been created for Joe McDonald and Leola Lewis, 1910s graduates, who are the basis of a history project designed to appeal to a wider audience than the typical patrons of special collections.

This Week's Survey: Your genealogy online

(Surveys) Permanent link
 
Lynn Betlock

Lynn Betlock
Editor

Last week’s survey asked which genealogical software program you use. The results are:

 

50%, Family Tree Maker

33%, Ancestry.com’s online family tree program

13%, Legacy Family Tree

12%, PAF (Personal Ancestral File)

12%, RootsMagic

11%, Master Genealogist

11%, Reunion (Mac)

4%, Family Tree Maker (Mac)

2%, Ancestral Quest

2%, Clooz

<1%, Family Historian

<1%, MacFamilyTree (Mac)

<1%, Genealogy Pro (Mac)

<1%, Heredis (Mac)

 

 

We also received emails from readers who used other programs: Brother’s Keeper, Gene for the Mac, iFamily for the Mac, and Personal Ancestry Writer II for Mac OS X. Several readers wrote to say that they used genealogical programs they designed themselves, and a couple of others wrote that they did not use a genealogical software program at all.

 

This week's survey asks about whether you share your genealogical information online. Take the survey now!


Name Origins: Comfort

(Name Origins) Permanent link
 
Julie Helen Otto

Julie Helen Otto
Staff Genealogist

COMFORT (m/f): A Puritan “virtue name,” a name expressing some desirable moral quality or life instruction which parents hoped a child would emulate. In this case, the “comfort” aimed at would be far more spiritual than physical — such as the comfort of knowing God, or knowing that a loved one had died “at peace in Christ.” COMFORT was used as a male name by the Starr family of Massachusetts and Connecticut, and appears as a female name in many other families.

Spotlight: Conway, New Hampshire, Public Library

(Spotlight) Permanent link
 
Valerie Beaudrault

Valerie Beaudrault
Assistant Editor

Conway Public Library, New Hampshire

 

The town of Conway is located in Carroll County and is on the New Hampshire–Maine border. The genealogy and local history resources of the Conway Public Library may be found in the Nella Braddy Henney History Room, which was established in 1976. Its holdings include materials for New Hampshire and Oxford County, Maine, along with family histories, maps, photographs, and other items, most of which pertain to the immediate region. Some of the resources of the Henney History Room have been made available online. These include vital statistics, cemetery records, and local history volumes.

 

Vital Statistics Since 1880


The source documents of the records in the vital statistics databases are the Annual Reports for the Town of Conway. Birth and death records begin in 1880. There are some marriages records in the database prior to 1880. The records are fully searchable.

Births


The data fields in the birth records database are last name; first name; date of birth; gender; number of child (birth order); father's name; mother's maiden name; residence; father's occupation; father's birthplace; and mother's birthplace. The birth records database includes records for children born as late as 2010.

 

Marriages


The data fields in the marriage records database are participant; wed to; date; age; place of marriage; residence; place of birth; occupation; marital status; father's name; father's birthplace; father's occupation; mother's name; and mother's occupation. The marriage database includes records through the end of 1991.

 

Deaths


The data fields in the death records database are last name; first name; date of death; place of death; age; place of birth; gender; father's place of birth; mother's place of birth; father's name; and mother's name. The death records database includes records for individuals who died between 1880 and 2010.

 

Under the Deaths link you will also find a list of Conway cemeteries and searchable cemetery record databases. The data fields in the Cemetery List include cemetery name, cemetery number, description of the cemetery’s location, and the name of the organization that maintains the cemetery. The library has a numbered map showing cemetery locations.

 

Cemetery Records


The Cemetery Records homepage contains links to databases for the following towns: Albany, Conway — which has forty-six cemeteries — and Eaton in New Hampshire, as well as Brownfield, Maine. The records in the searchable cemetery databases have been updated through 1980. There are also links to the cemetery records of Fryeburg, Maine, found on the Fryeburg Historical Society’s website, and the New Hampshire Old Graveyard Association website. The data fields for all four cemeteries are last name, first name, family, date of birth, date of death, age at death, cemetery name, section, block, and note. Information found in the family field includes names of family members. Information in the notes field includes military service, membership in veteran’s organizations, place of birth, place of death, and name of person who erected the gravestone.


A Note from the Editor: Online Genealogical Presentations

(A Note from the Editor) Permanent link
 
Lynn Betlock

Lynn Betlock
Editor

The National Archives has released a series of online videos of its genealogy workshops on YouTube. Topics include introductions to military, immigration, and census records.

 

The National Archives has also made a wide range of other material available on its YouTube site. For more specifically genealogical presentations, select the “Know Your Records” and the “1940 Census” playlists. You can also learn more about the presidential libraries; view War Comes to America (1945), part seven of Frank Capra’s Why We Fight propaganda film series; and watch 1930s films about national parks.

 

FamilySearch also offers genealogical instruction in its Learning Center. Currently, the site features two formats, video and audio with interactive slides. Presentations include twenty-five “Five Minute Genealogy Episodes,” an England Beginning Research series, a U.S. Midwest Beginning Research series, and much more.

 

Ancestry.com’s Learning Center also offers a number of videos on information sources and research challenges.

 

Britain’s National Archives offers a selection of family history videos on topics including civil registration, the 1911 census, the manorial documents register, and child emigration to Canada, on its website.

 

FindMyPast.co.uk has also made several video family history tutorials on British research available on its website.


Return to Shtetl Gives Texture to Reporter’s Family History

(Stories of Interest) Permanent link
 
Powers Jean

Jean Powers
Associate Editor

A visit to Shatsk in western Ukraine enriched the author’s understanding of his family’s past.

After Century of Silence, Old South Bell Rings

(Stories of Interest) Permanent link
 
Powers Jean

Jean Powers
Associate Editor

Boston’s oldest clock tower recently rang out for the first time in almost a century and a half, thanks to a newly-installed Paul Revere bell.

One of Darwin’s extinct Galápagos tortoise species probably isn’t extinct, after all

(Stories of Interest) Permanent link
 
Powers Jean

Jean Powers
Associate Editor

“This is the first rediscovery of a species by way of tracking the genetic footprints left in the genomes of its hybrid offspring.”

This Week's Survey: Genealogical software programs

(Surveys) Permanent link
 
Lynn Betlock

Lynn Betlock
Editor

Last week’s survey asked about membership in early settler lineage societies. The results are:

 

55%, No, I do not belong to an early settler lineage society.

31%, Yes, I belong to one or more early settler lineage societies.

14%, I intend to join an early settler lineage society.

 


This week's survey asks which genealogical software program you use. Take the survey now!


Name Origins: Manasseh

(Name Origins) Permanent link
 
Julie Helen Otto

Julie Helen Otto
Staff Genealogist

MANASSEH (m): Son of Joseph the patriarch, and head of one of the twelve tribes of Israel. Manasseh Minor (1647–1728) of Stonington, Conn., son of diarist Capt. Thomas Minor (1608–1690, diary 1653–1684), also kept a valuable diary, published in 1915 as The Diary of Manasseh Minor, Stonington, Conn., 1696-1720. The two diaries were reprinted by John A. Miner in 1993, and are vital sources for many Stonington families and for the town’s history in general. Images of the 1915 edition of Manasseh’s diary are now online at www.ancestry.com. Manassas, sometimes seen, is a Greek version of the Hebrew MANASSEH.

Spotlight: More Obituary Indexes -- Ohio, New Jersey, and Iowa

(Spotlight) Permanent link
 
Valerie Beaudrault

Valerie Beaudrault
Assistant Editor

Warren-Trumbull County Public Library, Ohio

 

The city of Warren is the seat of Trumbull County, Ohio. It is located in the northeastern part of the state. The Warren-Trumbull County Public Library has made two obituary indexes of the Warren Tribune Chronicle available on its website.

 

The first set of indexes includes the years 1900 through 1939. Four PDF files each cover a ten-year period. You will need the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to download and view the indexes. The data fields in the database include the name of the deceased, date of issue, page and column number, and newspaper title abbreviation. The name field sometimes contains additional information, such as age at death, date of birth, spouse or parent’s name, place of death, whether there is a photograph, and cause of death.

 

The second index is a searchable online database that covers 1970, part of 1980, 1981, and 1987 through 2009. There are more than 137,500 records in the index. You can search for an individual by surname or full name. If you are searching for a full name, you should format it as “last name, first name.” The data fields in the index are name, date of birth, date published, and page and column.

 

Plainfield Public Library, New Jersey

 

The city of Plainfield is located in Union County, New Jersey. It is in the northeastern part of the state. The Courier News obituary index, a collection of obituaries and biographical articles published in the Courier News between the mid-1920s and the mid-1980s, was donated to the Plainfield Public Library in 2009. Library staff and volunteers are in the process of indexing the collection. The database is organized alphabetically by surname. Currently it contains surnames beginning with letters A through H. It is a work in progress and will be updated as additional data becomes available. You will need the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to view and search the index. The data fields include last name, first name, relationship, date, source data (news or obituary), and item type. The relationship field contains the names of related individuals and how they are connected to the deceased.

 

Musser Public Library, Iowa

 

The city of Muscatine is the seat of Muscatine County. It is located on the eastern border of the state. The Musser Public Library has made an obituary index available on its website. The index contains obituaries and death notices from newspapers published in Muscatine from 1840 to the present. There are gaps in the index, and volunteers are working to complete it. To access the index, click on the Local History tab in the menu bar beneath the library’s name, then click on Genealogy under Quick Links. This will open a new page. Scroll to the bottom, and click on the Obituary index link to access the database page. Click on the first letter of the surname to view the alphabetical index. The data fields include last name, first name, type of record (D = death), date of paper, page number, and date of event. Copies of obituaries may be requested from the library for a fee.


A Note from the Editor: Featured Blogs

(A Note from the Editor) Permanent link
 
Lynn Betlock

Lynn Betlock
Editor

In this issue, we introduce a new occasional column that will highlight blogs of interest. Randy Seaver wrote a well-received article on blogs and blogging, “Welcome to the World of Genealogy Blogs,” in the November 30 issue. After the article appeared, Randy sent me a list of some blogs he followed, particularly ones with a New England or New York focus. I contacted the bloggers, asked if they’d like to be featured in The Weekly Genealogist, and requested that they write introductions to their blogs and explain why they began blogging. 

Our first blog profile is by Heather Wilkinson Rojo:

 

About four years ago I started blogging on a local Londonderry, New Hampshire, website, www.londonderrynh.net, with some local history and genealogy stories. After a while I decided to start my own genealogy blog, and I called it Nutfield Genealogy, after the original name for Londonderry and Derry, New Hampshire. My first blog story was in July 2009.

 

My blog includes my own genealogy stories, as well as local history and genealogy. I've included some posts on genealogy trips we've taken to Spain to research my husband's family, and a trip to Hawaii to research one of my New England sea captain ancestors who went to Honolulu. I donated much of the material from Hawaii to NEHGS after that trip.

 

I've been doing genealogy research since I was a teenager. I rode my bike to the American Antiquarian Society in Worcester to research my family history before I could even drive a car! In high school I took a local community college class in genealogy, and discovered NEHGS and other archives around Massachusetts. I was lucky to go to college in Cambridge, Mass., so I could research at NEHGS. I continued to drop by NEHGS on and off for many years, but didn't become a member until later when my own daughter started to ask questions about her family tree. Now I'm an empty nester, with plenty of time to visit NEHGS and travel around New England to work on genealogy stories.

 

After thirty years of research I decided it was time to take all that data and write up the stories I found. This is why I decided to blog. It is a baby step to perhaps writing some articles or books someday. It has been very easy for me to write a few paragraphs every day with all the great stories I've collected. Soon I hope to take the next step towards writing up longer articles!


Martin Sheen, Reba McEntire, Rob Lowe Among 'Who Do You Think You Are?' Season 3 Cast

(Stories of Interest) Permanent link
 
Powers Jean

Jean Powers
Associate Editor

The NBC genealogy series returns Feb. 3 with a new group of celebrities exploring their family history.

Searching Mexico’s Census for Clues about American History

(Stories of Interest) Permanent link
 
Powers Jean

Jean Powers
Associate Editor

 The 1930 Mexican national census, regarded as the earliest, most thorough accounting of that country’s population, is available for free on Ancestry.com/mexico.

This week's survey: Lineage society membership

(Surveys) Permanent link
 
Lynn Betlock

Lynn Betlock
Editor

Last week’s survey asked about your genealogical resolutions for 2012. The results are:

 

57%, I will organize research papers and files that I have accumulated.

41%, I will write up some of my family history.

31%, I will share genealogy stories with my family.

29%, I will take a research trip to a location where my ancestors lived.

24%, I am not making any resolutions this year.

23%, I will attend a conference or other genealogical education program.

19%, I will take a research trip to a distant repository I have been meaning to visit.

18%, I have other genealogical resolutions not listed above.

9%, I will join a new society.

2%, I am making resolutions this year, but they do not include genealogical research.

 

This same question and set of answers was posed a year ago, when we asked about readers’ New Year Resolutions for 2011. There are some interesting differences between the responses for 2011 and 2012. In 2011, 69% resolved to organize research papers and files, and a year later that number had dropped to 57%. Last year 50% promised to write up some family history; this year 41% made the same promise. In fact, in 2012, smaller percentages of people resolved to undertake all the various resolutions. The only exception was for “I am not making any resolutions this year” — in 2011 10% selected this response compared to 24% in 2012. People seem to have lowered their expectations a bit for 2012. 

 

This week's survey asks about membership in first family/pioneer settler organizations. Take the survey now!


Name Origins: Apphia

(Name Origins) Permanent link
 
Julie Helen Otto

Julie Helen Otto
Staff Genealogist

APPHIA (f): A Christian woman of Colosse, who belonged to the household of Philemon, probably as his wife (Philemon 2). The Greek church honors her on 22 November, as having suffered martyrdom with Philemon and his slave Onesimus, in the reign of Nero, but on what documentation is not clear.

 

In New England, this name is noticeable in vital records of towns in the vicinity of Salisbury and Amesbury, Mass., and Hampton, N.H. A very early bearer of this surname was Apphia (Hale) Rolfe (1642–1708), daughter of Thomas and Thomasine (Doucette) Hale (NEHGR 31 [1877]: 87); among her children was Apphia (Rolfe) Jepson (b. 1667), wife of John Jepson (NEHGR 31 [1877]: 87). Others bearing the name included Apphia Merrill, b. 25 Dec. 1704, daughter of Moses and Mary; Apphia Osgood, m. 7 Nov. 1780 Robert Morrill; Affee Merrill, daughter of James and Mary, b. 30 April 1741; Apphia Morrill, daughter of Jacob, bp. 12 June 1715, p. 161; Apphia Ann Morrill, 23 Aug. 1809–22 Feb. 1825, daughter of Benjamin and Miriam; Apphia Norton, daughter of David and Hannah (French) Norton, bp. 7 July 1745; m. 14 Dec. 1769 Barnard Thorn [Salisbury, Mass.]


The name is also found early just north of these towns at Hampton, N.H.; cf. Apphia Philbrook, daughter of James and Ann (____) Philbrook, b. Hampton 19th, 1st mo. 1655 (Hampton VRs 1:89).


Unintended Donation: Goodwill Worker Returns Family Scrapbook

(Stories of Interest) Permanent link
 
Powers Jean

Jean Powers
Associate Editor

An alert Goodwill employee in Butte, Montana, prevented a donated binder of genealogical information and family photographs from being discarded — and managed to return it to the grateful owner.

‘Whispers in the Dark’ Sheds Light on Casualties from War of 1812

(Stories of Interest) Permanent link
 
Powers Jean




Jack Bilow of Plattsburgh, New York, has published A War of 1812 Death Register — Whispers in the Dark, a book which contains more than 20,000 names of militia members from New York, Vermont, and Pennsylvania, most of whom died along the U.S.–Canadian border.

Civil War's 150th Stirs a Trove of Memories

(Stories of Interest) Permanent link
 
Powers Jean

Jean Powers
Associate Editor

New campaigns are underway to encourage the donation of Civil War-era material to state and local archives.

The Daily Genealogist Name Origins: Siberia

(Name Origins) Permanent link
 
Julie Helen Otto

Julie Helen Otto
Staff Genealogist

SIBERIA (f or m): Presumably, from the place name [now a vast portion of the Russian Federation encompassing almost all of Northern Asia]. Siberia A. (Scott) Campbell, daughter of Timothy Scott, d. Lempster, N.H., 2 Aug. 1885, age 68. The 1900 U.S. census enumerated eighteen people (both male and female) with the first name Siberia — from Mr. Siberia Ott (b. 1822 in New York) in Aiken, South Carolina, to Siberia Gonzalez, a baby girl (born 1899 in Texas) in Medina, Texas.

This week's survey: 2012 genealogical resolutions

(Surveys) Permanent link
 
Lynn Betlock

Lynn Betlock
Editor

Last week’s survey asked about your 2011 genealogical resolutions. The results are:

 

50%, I didn't make any genealogical resolutions for 2011.

19%, I fulfilled about half of my genealogical goals for 2011.

15%, I completed about 25% of my genealogical goals for 2011.

11%, I achieved about 75% of my genealogical goals for 2011.

5%, I accomplished all my genealogical goals for 2011.

 


This week's survey asks about your genealogical resolutions for 2012. Take the survey now!


Name Origins: Chickering

(Name Origins) Permanent link
 
Julie Helen Otto

Julie Helen Otto
Staff Genealogist

CHICKERING (f): Derived from the surname, likely indicating descent from Francis Chickering of Dedham, Mass. Chickering Shepard, named for her paternal grandmother Mercy (Chickering) Shepard, was b. Wrentham, Mass. 22 Oct. 1738, daughter of David and Hepsibah (Blake) Shepard (Wrentham, Mass. VRs to 1850, 1:186). She m. Attleborough, Mass. 2 Jan. 1758 William Bolcom, Jr. (Attleborough, Mass. VRs to 1850, pp. 550, 338; also Wrentham VRs, 2:370, 257), and died at Attleborough 19 March 1814 ae. 76 (Attleborough VRs, pp. 631, 338). Chickering Bolcom (Attleborough 19 Sept. 1781–19 April 1783 ae. 1–7–11) was a granddaughter (Attleborough VRs, pp. 38, 631) (see also Gerald Faulkner Shepard, [Donald Lines Jacobus, ed.], The Shepard Families of New England (3 vols.), vol. 1, Ralph Shepard of Dedham [New Haven: The New Haven Colony Historical Society], pp. 67-68, 24, 9-10).

 

Such use of a surname as a female given name is very rare in New England at this early date. “Chickery” Shepard (ca. 1784–1855), son of John and Lois (Blake) Shepard (Ralph Shepard, p. 137), was a somewhat distant male cousin, apparently also a descendant of Mercy (Chickering) Shepard.


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