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Spotlight: Miscellaneous Databases

(Spotlight) Permanent link
 
Valerie Beaudrault

Valerie Beaudrault
Visitor Services Representative

History Museum of East Otter Tail County, Minnesota

 

The History Museum of East Otter Tail County was established in 1998. It is located in Perham, Minnesota, which is in the west central part of the state. The museum has made local history and genealogy resources available on its website. Among these resources are a cemetery records index, two volumes of East Otter Tail history books, the Perham Register of Births and Deaths from 1882 to 1900, and an index to the Enterprise-Bulletin newspapers, which date back to 1883. There is a single search page for this group of databases. Click on the Search link to open a new page with links to access them.

 

Click on a database link to open the search page for that database. You may search the databases at one time or you may choose to search a single database. For the Enterprise-Bulletin newspapers, you can further limit your search by article or event type (e.g., births, marriages, obituaries, news stories, and news bits). Enter keywords in the search box, then click on the submit button. You may limit your search by date, as well.

 

There is also a collection of historical photographs, which is searched separately. Click on the Search Historical Photographs link to begin a search of this collection. Enter a keyword, phrase, or four-digit year in the search box. You can also search for photographs from a specific date or date range by entering starting and ending years in the date search boxes.

 

Because the area is home to many Finnish-Americans, there are two databases with Finnish connections. The first is a twentieth-century newspaper titled New York Mills, which has search portals in both English and Finnish. The database contains births, marriages, deaths, news stories and “News Bits.” The other link is to the History of the Finns in Minnesota (1957). You can perform a keyword search of this volume. The search results are in the form of page number links. Click on the page number link to open the transcription of the book to the specified page.

 

The Hebrew Cemetery, Leadville, Colorado

 

Leadville, situated at an elevation of more than 10,000 feet, is the seat of Lake County in north-central Colorado. The Hebrew Benevolent Association Cemetery in Leadville established the Hebrew Cemetery in the early 1880s. It is the resting place for some 132 individuals, including “the last 'old time' Jewish Leadville native, Minette Miller (1894–1981).” Only 59 original markers remain. Click on the ‘People’ link to learn more about the historic Jewish community of Leadville. This information has been gathered from a variety of sources. Click on the ‘Interred’ link to access an alphabetical list of individuals buried in the cemetery. The data fields include last name, first name, middle name, born, died, age, block, lot, grave, marker, and notes. The notes field includes information such as parents’ names and alternate surname spellings.


RIP William Addams Reitwiesner (1954–2010)

(Obituaries, Stories of Interest) Permanent link
 
Michael J. Leclerc

Michael J. Leclerc
Director of Special Projects

William Addams Reitwiesner of Washington, D.C., died from complications of cancer on Friday, November 12, 2010. Bill’s survivors include his mother, Homé McAllister Reitwiesner, brothers Andrew McAllister, John Stevens and Henry Pfister Reitwiesner and sister Dorothy Billopp Reitwiesner. Survivors also include his nieces and nephews, Robert, Daniel, Justin, Becky, Theodore and Thomas Reitwiesner.

 

After graduating from high school in 1972, Bill went to work at the Library of Congress. This was the only job he ever held. The main reason he worked there was to have access to the wealth of information stored therein.

 

Bill’s true passion was genealogy and he was well known for researching the ancestry of royals and other famous persons. With Gary Boyd Roberts, he wrote and published American Ancestors and Cousins of The Princess of Wales. His genealogies of American politicians were used in popular media usually without proper attribution to him. Much of Bill’s genealogical research can be found on his website, www.wargs.com.

 

Bill had a deep love of music. He was a long-time participant and member of the board of the Friday night Contra Dance at the Spanish Ballroom in Glen Echo. He played bass for many years in an amateur bar band in the Annapolis area.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial contributions be made to the New England Historic Genealogical Society (www.americanancestors.org/give)

Age, Changing Society Imperil the Mission of Women's Clubs

(Stories of Interest) Permanent link
 
Michael J. Leclerc

Michael J. Leclerc
Director of Special Projects

The Boston Globe reports on the challenges facing women's clubs today, why so many are disbanding, and what others are doing to try to recreate themselves for the twenty-first century.

Thanksgiving

(Research Recommendations) Permanent link
 
Michael J. Leclerc

Michael J. Leclerc
Director of Special Projects

Another year has passed, and Thanksgiving is once again upon us. It is a time for gathering with families of birth and families of choice to share and reflect on times past, and to enjoy and make new memories for the future. Holidays like this are an opportune time to share your genealogical research, and to pry more information from the memories of family members.

 

In addition to the specific genealogical questions (e.g., where was great-grandmother born?), take the time to gather information that will help you understand the stories of your family better. Here are some questions to ask family members when you are gathered around the table:

  • What is the first Thanksgiving that you remember?
  • How did you celebrate Thanksgiving as a child?
  • Where did you spend the holiday? Your house? Your grandparents’ house? Other places?
  • What foods did they serve?
  • Was there any special traditional food handed down through the family? [see this week’s survey question below].
  • How did you celebrate your first Thanksgiving together after you were married/started living together?

 

Every year at Thanksgiving I think back on all that has occurred in the last twelve months; how things have changed and what I have learned. There are so many things I am grateful for:

  • My colleagues and friends in the United Kingdom and in Canada who have helped me with my research, and taught me new skills;
  • The participants in NEHGS education programs, who listened and learned how to break down brick walls, and who challenged me to improve my own skills as I helped them find new resources;
  • The people who work in the genealogy field, who have brought incredible new electronic resources, books, software, programming, and other tools to help us in our research;
  • The people at NGS and FGS who put on massive national conferences, each year improving up on the last;
  • My colleagues and friends at NEHGS, working together to help each other and our members, sometimes frenetic, sometimes laughing, sometimes pulling our hair out, and always appreciating the way we help each other;
  • The readers of eNews and The Weekly Genealogist, who have provided so much constructive and positive feedback, and make the work worthwhile;
  • Most importantly, I am grateful to my family and friends who support me in this crazy field of genealogy where I have been working for so long (even when they don’t understand why I’m so obsessed with dead people).

 

To each and every one of you, I say thank you for what you have brought to me this year. Enjoy the holiday, and pick up lots of good genealogy information this weekend!


Detroit Thanksgiving Parade Sinks Mayflower Plans

(Stories of Interest) Permanent link
 
Michael J. Leclerc

Michael J. Leclerc
Director of Special Projects

The Associated Press reports that Detroit's annual Thanksgiving parade has denied a place in the annual event to the Society of Mayflower Decendants in Michigan.

Name Origins: Niram

(Name Origins) Permanent link
 
Julie Helen Otto

Julie Helen Otto
Staff Genealogist

 NIRAM (m): Probably an abbreviation of ADONIRAM. It enjoyed popularity from the late eighteenth century in western Connecticut.

Gettysburg Address Turns 147

(Stories of Interest) Permanent link
 
Michael J. Leclerc

Michael J. Leclerc
Director of Special Projects

147 years ago today President Abraham Lincoln stood on a battlefield in Pennsylvania and delivered one of the most enduring speeches every given by a president. Five drafts of the speech are known to exist. Lincoln used fewer than 300 words that are familiar to everyone who studies history in high school, and are engraved on the walls of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.:

 

Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting-place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. But in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead who struggled here have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain, that this nation under God shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.

 

For more information about the Gettysburg Address, visit the Library of Congress website.

 

Peter Norvig, director of research at Google, Inc., has a humorous take on what the Gettysburg Address would look like if it were written today, using Powerpoint to deliver the speech.


Commenting on the Daily Genealogist Blog

(Research Recommendations) Permanent link
 
Michael J. Leclerc

Michael J. Leclerc
Director of Special Projects

The surveys in our Weekly Genealogist newsletter have become wildly popular features. Thousands of people each respond to our questions, which are designed to be light and entertaining as well as informative.

Another way readers can participate is by reading and posting comments on The Daily Genealogist blog at AmericanAncestors.org. Just click on the comment link at the bottom of any post to leave your message about that story. While items from the Weekly Genealogist appear on the blog, you will also find other stories of interest to genealogists.

You don’t need to be a member of NEHGS to comment on stories, but non-members do have to be a registered user for AmericanAncestors.org. Registration is free and easy. Just click on the Free Registration link at the top of the page. To comment on any story in the blog, just click on the Comments link.


Coming Soon In the October 2010 Issue of the Register

(Stories of Interest) Permanent link
 
Michael J. Leclerc

Michael J. Leclerc
Director of Special Projects

The Cheshire Home and Family of William Hough, 1640 Immigrant to New England
William W. Hough

 

Reinterpreting the Vital Dates of WilliamB Hawes and His Wife Ursula from Their Memorial Brass
John C. Brandon

 

Reuniting the Family of Lt. John Waterbury (1753–1829)
Frederick C. Hart, Jr.

 

Some Employees and Suppliers of Services to Thomas Fayerweather of Boston and Cambridge, 1753–1802
Eric G. Grundset (continued from 164:206)

 

Nathaniel4 and Esther (Carpenter) (Bardeen) Bowen and Their Family
Cherry Fletcher Bamberg (continued from 164:218)

 

The Brothers William2 and Daniel2 Harris of Middletown, Connecticut
Gale Ion Harris (continued from 164:174)


Pottsville Free Public Library, Pennsylvania

(Spotlight) Permanent link
 
Valerie Beaudrault

Valerie Beaudrault
Visitor Services Representative

The city of Pottsville, seat of Schuylkill County, is located in east central Pennsylvania. Click on the ‘GENEALOGY and local history materials and services’ link on the Free Public Library’s homepage to access the resources page.

 

Online resources for Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania
The Pottsville Free Public Library’s website contains links to a number of resources useful to family history researchers with Schuylkill County ancestry. A number of sites related to coal mining are listed here, as are online vital records indexes, including the Schuylkill County Courthouse Archives Marriage Record Index for the period from 1885 through 1969. Researchers will also find W. W. Munsell's History of Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania, published in 1881, with an every name index. It is in PDF format; you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader to view.

 

Church and Cemetery Records
The library has provided links to external websites with free cemetery and church records. In addition, there are databases for cemeteries in Shenandoah Heights on the library’s website. These cemetery listings were compiled and donated to the library by Andy Ulicny of Shenandoah. The files are in Microsoft Word 2003 format. If you do not have Microsoft Word 2003 or later, you will have to download a viewer to access these files.

 

Books
The Pottsville Free Public Library’s holdings include a number of local histories detailing information about the residents of Schuylkill County and/or the city of Pottsville. Several of them contain biographical sketches. Alphabetical indexes to eight of the local history volumes have been created and uploaded to the library’s website. Click on the title link to view the index for that title.

 

Census
Under the Census section there is a link to an alphabetical list of nearly every borough and village in Schuylkill County with its township. Click on the ‘this list’ link to open a new page with the file.

 

Newspapers
The Pottsville Free Public Library has created partial online indexes to deaths to the Pottsville Republican newspaper and the Shenandoah Evening Herald.

The library has nearly all of the issues of the Pottsville Republican on microfilm for the period from October 1884 to the present. The death index file currently contains nearly 125,000 names for the period October 1884–1894 and an obituaries-only for the period 1950–1971. The names appeared in obituaries, funeral notices, and/or inquest reports. If an entry was difficult to read the entry was marked "hard to read" and may be difficult to copy clearly.

 

The Library has nearly all issues of the Shenandoah Evening Herald newspaper on microfilm for the period from May 23, 1891 through 1980. The index contains more than 2,000 names and death dates and page numbers from the newspaper.

 

The data fields in both indexes include name, date of the article and page number. Researchers may request copies of obituaries from the Reference Department via email or mail. Please note that obituary or article requests must include an exact date.


Survey: Canadian Province Interests

(Surveys) Permanent link
 
Michael J. Leclerc

Michael J. Leclerc
Director of Special Projects

Last week’s survey asked about research interests in Canada. Surprisingly, New Brunswick lagged far behind the two leaders, Nova Scotia (48%) and Quebec (45%). The complete list in order is:

  1. Nova Scotia, 48%
  2. Quebec, 45%
  3. Ontario, 38%
  4. New Brunswick, 31%
  5. Prince Edward Island, 15%
  6. Other Provinces and Territories, 11%
  7. Newfoundland and Labrador, 10% 

In addition to our New England resources, the Society has extensive collections to assist researchers in eastern Canada, especially the provinces of Quebec and Nova Scotia. Check the catalog at http://library.nehgs.org for more specific information.

Two weeks ago the Society ran its annual research tour to Salt Lake City. With almost 100 participants this year, it was a tremendous success. FamilySearch provided pedometers to the staff and participants to track their movements. I wore mine only to and from the library to see what kind of numbers I would generate. This week’s survey asks you to estimate how many steps I logged.

 

This week’s survey asks those with Canadian research interests to tell us what provinces they are interested in. Take the survey now!


Survey: New England States Interest

(Surveys) Permanent link
 
Michael J. Leclerc

Michael J. Leclerc
Director of Special Projects

This survey asked readers their research interests in the different New England States.  Remarkably, even the smallest states in New England held interest for almost half of the readership. The states, in order of interest, are:

  1. Massachusetts, 94%
  2. Connecticut, 69%
  3. New Hampshire, 52%
  4. Vermont 51%
  5. Maine, 48%
  6. Rhode Island, 46%

Martha Stewart Makes a Family Tree

(Stories of Interest) Permanent link
 
Michael J. Leclerc

Michael J. Leclerc
Director of Special Projects

 Make a Family Tree
The folks at Martha Stewart have brought another genealogy craft project to light. MarthaStewart.com shows you how to make a number of different family tree projects.

Name Origins: Sarepta

(Name Origins) Permanent link
 
Julie Helen Otto

Julie Helen Otto
Staff Genealogist

 SAREPTA (f): From a place-name in what is now Lebanon.

Research Recommendations: Genealogical Writing: Indexing Tips

(Research Recommendations) Permanent link
 
Michael J. Leclerc

Michael J. Leclerc
Director of Special Projects

Whenever you write your family history, even if it is only intended for the family, it is important to include an index. How many times in your research have you picked up a book only to find that it lacks an index? I venture that most people scan through it quickly then return it to the shelf, deeming it inefficient to spend the amount of time it would take to search the book page by page.

 

Introductions should be indexed, but a preface should only be indexed if it goes into depth on the subject on the work. If it is simply a discussion of how the book came to be published, do not index it. Glossaries and bibliographies are not indexed. Only index footnotes if they contain explanatory material. Do not index notes that contain only source citations. When indexing notes, include the letter n to indicate that the user should search in the footnotes on that page, e.g. 324n.

 

For more information on rules for indexing, see the Chicago Manual of Style, 16th edition, 846–49.


Nevada in Maps

(Spotlight) Permanent link
 
Valerie Beaudrault

Valerie Beaudrault
Visitor Services Representative

If your ancestors lived in Nevada you might want to visit this website. The Nevada in Maps digital map collection of the Mary B. Ansari Map Library at the University of Nevada/Reno contains several types of historic and contemporary maps. The original collection focused on topographic, geologic, and mining themes. There are also nearly fifty historic maps dating from 1750 into the twentieth century. The site also includes contemporary maps of Nevada and the Great Basin area. The maps in the digital collection are primarily located in the University of Nevada Library collections at Reno and Las Vegas, the Nevada State Library, and the Nevada State Historical Society. All maps are offered without copyright or other restrictions for personal use. Click on the link to select a collection to search. You may also search all maps by keyword or browse all maps by subject or title.

 

Highway Maps (1917–2005)

According to the website, Nevada had “no formal plan to develop or improve or maintain roads” prior to 1917. The first four original state routes were established in 1917, and the first official state highway map was issued two years later. This digital collection contains images of Nevada highway maps covering the period from 1917 through 2005.

 

Historic Geologic and Mining Maps and Atlases

The items in this digital collection, published by the U.S. Geological Survey, government surveys, and commercial sources, cover the period from 1848 to approximately 1950. You can view them alphabetically or by county or search them by keywords.

 

Historic Topographic Maps

These maps were published for the most part by the U.S. Geological Survey, covering the period from 1863 through 1968. View the maps alphabetically, chronologically, by county or state, by scale, by keyword, or via an interactive geospatial index.

 

Nevada History in Maps

As noted on the website, historic maps of Nevada are scarce. This digital collection contains maps that show the development of the geographical area that became the state of Nevada, covering the period from 1750 through 1950. The Nevada Historical Society, the Nevada State Library and Archives, and the Special Collections Department of Getchell Library at the University of Nevada, Reno, own these maps. Click on the ‘View the Collection’ link to access the maps in the collection. You may view maps by selecting an historic period, a topic, and a geographic area. Access all of the maps at once by clicking on the ‘View all images in this collection link.’

 

Plats of Nevada State Lands (1867–1927)

This digital collection contains over 3,000 survey plat maps and covers nearly all of the state’s townships. The maps cover the period from 1867 to 1927.

 

Sanborn Maps of Nevada

This digital map collection covers the period from 1877 through 1923. There are a total of 516 maps for 29 towns in the collection, some of which no longer exist.


Family Tree Loaded with Facts and Myths

(Stories of Interest) Permanent link
 
Michael J. Leclerc

Michael J. Leclerc
Director of Special Projects

Beverly Kelley, a professor in the Communication Department at California Lutheran University, recently wrote in the Ventura Star about family history, mentioning 1896 as the “first surge of American interest in ancestry.”

Name Origins: Philo

(Name Origins) Permanent link
 
Julie Helen Otto

Julie Helen Otto
Staff Genealogist

PHILO (m) (Greek love, Latinized): particularly popular from mid- to late eighteenth century in western Conn. and its offshoot regions, doubtless as a result of the Great Awakening (c1740s) that emphasized the tender aspects of God’s love for His human creations. Hugely popular in Stratford, Conn. and its offshoot Newtown/Brookfield, Conn.

Living the Poor Life in Great Britain

(Research Recommendations) Permanent link
 
Michael J. Leclerc

Michael J. Leclerc
Director of Special Projects

Great Britain’s National Archives has recently completed an extensive effort to digitize and index poor law records from the Ministry of Health. These records, which cover the period from 1834 to 1871, are from letters, memoranda, reports, and other correspondence between the Poor Law Commission, the Poor Law Board, and the Local Government Board with Poor Law Unions and local officials. Twenty-one poor law unions from almost twenty counties in England and Wales are represented in the papers.


Of immense interest to historians, genealogists will also find a great deal of information in these records. Many documents involve cases submitted from local authorities to the Poor Law Board. The case of John Stanner of the parish of Radstock, for example, left a question that could not be answered locally. Widow Amelia Pratton was a pauper belonging to the parish of Holcombe, but resided at Radstock. She was “irremovable in consequence of her industrial residence there for five years” (She rented her house there for several years.) John Stanner married her, and at the time of the 1853 correspondence had become a pauper. The question was whether he was entitled to assistance based on his residence there with Amelia (who was irremovable), and whether he was disqualified because she herself was a pauper at the time of her residence. The case includes the fact that “Amelia Pratten was a Widow the fourth day of January 1849.” It also stated that “John Stanner married Amelia Pratten the seventh day of Feby 1853.”

Not every record is directly about people on the poor rolls. For example, some reports contains lists of people from whom poor law rates could not be collected. These people themselves were likely on poor, but not so destitute as to need government assistance. Such reports can be used to document residence in a particular parish for a certain timeframe.


The eighteen-month project to digitize these records involved more than 200 volunteers from across the country. The database is keyword searchable, and images of the original records can be downloaded from the TNA website. Thanks to the efforts of these volunteers, TNA can make the database available free of charge. For more information, visit the 19th Century Poor Law Union and Workhouse Records on the TNA website.


Climb the Family Tree: How Scouts Can Break Down Walls Between Generations

(Stories of Interest) Permanent link
 
Michael J. Leclerc

Michael J. Leclerc
Director of Special Projects

The November-December 2010 issue of Scouting, the official magazine of the Boy Scouts of America, talks to scouts about getting the genealogy merit badge.

Spotlight: Missouri Cemetery Databases

(Spotlight) Permanent link
 
Valerie Beaudrault

Valerie Beaudrault
Visitor Services Representative

Poplar Heights Farm, Bates County, Missouri

 

Poplar Heights Farm is a living history farm and nature conservancy located in Bates County, Missouri. Butler is the seat of Bates County, located on the western border of state.

     

Click on the People button in the site’s contents list to learn about the farm’s history and read biographical sketches of members of the families who developed the farm. The Heritage section of the website contains a discussion of the farm’s German-American heritage. There is also a report on early stonecutters of western Missouri, which you can access by clicking on the Stone Cutters button in the Research section of the website.

     

To access the Cemeteries of Bates County website, click on the Research link and then on the cemeteries link in the last paragraph. More than 40 Bates County cemeteries have been transcribed and uploaded to this website. To find the cemetery’s page, hover over the letter grouping containing the initial letter in the cemetery’s name. This will bring up an alphabetical list of cemetery names within that grouping. Click on the desired cemetery’s name to open a new page with photographs and an alphabetical listing of burials in the cemetery. In some cases, there will be more than one page for the cemetery. For example there is often a separate page containing the history of a cemetery. The data fields in the alphabetical burial listings include name, relationships/notes, birth date, and death date.

     

As noted on the cemetery pages, if the individual’s name is highlighted, Poplar Heights Farm has additional information on that individual. Types of materials in their holdings include obituaries, biographies, photographs, news stories and other family history information. The site has provided both a postal address and email contact information.

 

Audrain County Area Genealogical Society, Missouri

        

Audrain County is located in eastern Missouri. Mexico is the county seat. The Audrain County Area Genealogical Society is “dedicated to assisting individuals with an interest in genealogical and family history by providing educational programs, seminars, formal classes and volunteer assistance.” The society currently has one cemetery database available on its website, for the Elmwood Cemetery in Mexico. Click on the Cemetery Lists link to access it. The database is an alphabetical list to the burials in the cemetery. If you would like information on any name on the list, you may contact the Audrain County Area Genealogical Society directly.

     


Growing Interest in Genealogy Shines Light on Forgotten Poor

(Stories of Interest) Permanent link
 
Michael J. Leclerc

Michael J. Leclerc
Director of Special Projects

The Southtown Star discusses increased interest in the more than 100,000 individuals buried in Cook County, Illinois, potters’ fields.

Name Origins: Reynard

(Name Origins) Permanent link
 
Julie Helen Otto

Julie Helen Otto
Staff Genealogist

REYNARD (m): Related phonetically (via L- to R- transfer) to REINOLD (and to such surnames as REYNOLDS which is derived from it), this name has long been borne by the clever foxes in European folk-tales.

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