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The Daily Genealogist: Name origin of Lucretia

(Name Origins) Permanent link
Julie Helen Otto

Julie Helen Otto
Staff Genealogist

LUCRETIA (f): Feminine form of a Roman family name. According to Livy and other Roman historians, Lucretia—daughter of Spurius Lucretius, prefect of Rome, and wife of Lucius Tarquinius Collatinus, was raped by a guest in her home, Sextus Tarquinius, son of Tarquinius Superbus [the proud], last of the kings of Rome. She made her way to her father’s house, summoned witnesses, and stabbed herself to death to avenge her honor and the insult to her husband. The incident set off the revolt that brought down the early monarchy and established the Roman Republic.

Her story was dear to the Romans (and to medieval, Renaissance and later readers of Roman literature) as an exemplar of womanly virtue, and has often been treated in art—the theme was popular in Renaissance art because it allowed the depiction of female nudes engaged in imparting a moral “lesson” and enforcing popular concepts of female virtue; as the Wikipedia article on her notes, writers, artists and musicians from St. Augustine to Megadeth have mined the tale.

LUCRETIA—related to Latin lucrum “profit, wealth” (derived from the Indo-European root *lau- “gain, profit” via “suffixed zero-grade form *lu-tlo”)—is a completely different name from LUCY, which is related to Latin lux “light” and lucēre “to shine” (which derive from the IE root *leuk “light, brightness” (Calvert Watkins, The American Heritage Dictionary of Indo-European Roots, 3rd ed. [Boston/New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2011], pp. 48, 51). The name retains much of its patrician tone, but in colonial and later America, sometime appears in the nickname form “Cretia” [CREE-sha] or “Creesy.” One famous American bearer was Lucretia (Coffin) Mott (1793-1880), the American Quaker abolitionist, feminist, and social reformer.

The Daily Genealogist: Bedford County [Pennsylvania] Historical Society

(Spotlight) Permanent link
Valerie Beaudrault

Valerie Beaudrault
Assistant Editor

Bedford County Historical Society

Bedford County is located on Pennsylvania’s southern border with Maryland. The Bedford County Historical Society, which was established in 1937, operates the Pioneer Library. According to the historical society’s website, the library contains “the county's most extensive collection of historical and genealogical materials.”

A number of indexes have been made available on the website. Copies of various records may be ordered from the historical society for a fee. Click on the On-site Research link in the contents list to access the records. Click on the database title link to open a new page containing the index.

Alms House Records: Scroll down to view the alphabetical index. The data fields for the Alms House Records index are last name, first name, volume, and page number. There are instructions for ordering copies of the records at the top of the page.

Civil War Exemptions: These records include both requests for exemptions and lists of soldiers who received exemptions from service in the Civil War. Scroll down to view the alphabetical index. The data fields for the Civil War Exemptions index are full name, volume, and page number. Instructions for ordering copies of the records are at the beginning of the page.

Divorce Indexes: The divorce index is divided into a number of alphabetical sections. The data fields for the alphabetical by surname index include libellant’s full name, respondent’s full name, and year. Instructions for ordering copies of the records may be found by clicking on the Paid Research link.

Naturalization Papers: This alphabetical database is an index to individuals naturalized in Bedford County. The only information provided is the full name of the individual. There are instructions for ordering copies of the records at the top of the page.

Obituaries: This database indexes more than 100,000 obituaries in the historical society’s collection. The index is divided into a number of alphabetical sections. The data fields in the obituary index are last name, first name, book number, page number, birth date, death date, and maiden name–other. Indexing was done by a number of different individuals. Because of this the maiden name might appear in parentheses following the woman’s first name or it might be in the maiden name column. Instructions for ordering copies of obituaries may be found at the bottom of the page.

Orphans Court Records: This database is an index to Bedford County Orphans Court records from 1790 to 1900. It is divided into a number of alphabetical sections. The data fields are surname, first name, year, number of pages, and township. Instructions for ordering copies of the records may be found by clicking on the Paid Research link.

Pension Files: This database is an index to soldiers from Bedford County who received pensions due to service in the Revolutionary War, War of 1812, Civil War (Union and Confederate), and Spanish American War. The data fields are last name, first name, and war in which the individual served. The information in the first name field includes not only the given name of the soldier but may also include whether the file includes a widow’s pension, a parent’s pension, aliases under which a soldier served, and more. The War field also sometimes includes the number of pages in the pension file. Instructions on how to order copies of the files may be found on the website.

The Daily Genealogist: A Featured Blog

(A Note from the Editor) Permanent link
Lynn Betlock

Lynn Betlock

In this issue of The Weekly Genealogist Barbara Poole introduces her blog.

My New England-focused blog, Life From The Roots, began over two years ago. The blog includes over 640 posts, in which I cover 85 different surnames, a lot of research tips, 103 cemetery postings, and 20 entries on the New England Historic Genealogical Society.

My roots are in New England (Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, and New Hampshire), New York, New Jersey, Michigan, Illinois, Wyoming, and the Eastern Townships of Quebec, Canada.

Like many other genealogists, I got hooked on family history in an instant. I started over 22 years ago, and it hasn’t stopped. The blog was begun as a way to share what I know, and hopefully somebody will benefit. I’m also interested in photography, and often use my photos; I have another blog, called Seeing New England, which you might enjoy. I’m still learning research methods, trying to solve brick walls, and enjoy helping people. I would be pleased if readers would look through my genealogy posts or check the topics on the right side of the webpage to see if there is anything that interests you. 

If you have any recommendations for blogs that should be featured in a future issue of The Weekly Genealogist, please let us know.

The Daily Genealogist: Album Might Have Presidential Tie

(Stories of Interest) Permanent link
Powers Jean

Jean Powers
Associate Editor

NEHGS genealogist Christopher C. Child comments on a recently-discovered 1870s photograph album containing images of President Obama’s maternal relatives.

The Daily Genealogist: Faces of the Titanic: Jeremiah Burke Lost his Life at 19 — Put a Message in a Bottle before He Died

 Permanent link
Powers Jean

Jean Powers
Associate Editor

A young Irishman immigrating to the Unites States sent amessage in a bottle from the Titanic, which washed up a short distance from his home a year later. Many more Titanic-related stories are available at Irish Central’s Titanic Centenary Commemoration section.

The Daily Genealogist survey: Distance from original settlement

(Surveys) Permanent link
Lynn Betlock

Lynn Betlock

This Week's Survey

Last week’s survey asked whether you had used the 1940 census. The results are:

42%, No, I have not used the 1940 census records online.
24%, Yes, I have used the 1940 census records on another website.
19%, Yes, I have used the 1940 census records on the National Archives website.
15%, I tried, but was not able to use the 1940 census records online.

This week's survey asks how far you live from where an immigrant ancestor settled. Take the survey now!

Spotlight: The Brantford Public Library, Ontario, Canada

(Spotlight) Permanent link
Valerie Beaudrault

Valerie Beaudrault
Assistant Editor

The Brantford Public Library (BPL), Ontario, Canada

Brantford, Ontario, is located just west of Lake Ontario, about one hour from Toronto and Niagara Falls, New York. The Brantford Public Library has made a number of genealogy and local history resources available on their website. Their focus is primarily on the city of Brantford and Brant County.


Birth, Marriage, Death Search Index (BMD)

This searchable index contains names found in birth, marriage, and death notices that have appeared in the Brantford Expositor newspaper. The index covers most years between 1852 and 2010. Some years between 1852 and 1916 are missing from the source microfilm, and the years 1946 through 1949, 1951 through 1955, and 1957 through 1960 have not yet been indexed. Additional years will be added as indexing is completed. In some instance there are notices of anniversaries, divorces, birthdays, and naturalizations, in addition to the birth, marriage, and death notices. The library has provided a YouTube video on how to use the BMD Index. If you do not live in the Brantford area you may request copies of notices for a fee.


Since 1852 the Brantford Expositor has been published under four titles: Brantford Conservative Expositor, Brantford Semi-Weekly Expositor, Brantford Weekly Expositor, and Brantford Expositor-Daily. Search fields include surname, which is required, first name, date limiters, and a drop down list with event type. Index users should be advised that the search results provide the date of the newspaper containing the notice, not the actual date of the event. The data fields in the search results include name, type of notice, date the notice appeared, page number, and notes. The ‘page’ field includes the newspaper title abbreviation. The ‘notes’ field contains information such as the name of the deceased’s spouse, names of a child’s parents, and references to other articles that mention the person about whom the notice was written.


Digital Archives

The website's Digital Archives contain a number of resources related to Brant County, its residents, and its history. You can search the database by title, publication, and author. Then you can limit your search by section type (collections), date range, and subject (list provided). The section types include Six Nations Documents, Pictorial Brantford/Brant County, Brantford/Brant County Documents, Commemorative Newspapers, and BPL Video Clips. The subjects include World War, 1914–1918 and 1939–1945; South African War, 1899–1902; Postal Service, Railroads; Newspapers; Alexander Graham Bell, 1847–1922; Brantford Directories, and many more.


The resources found here include History of the County of Brant, Ontario (1883) by Warner, Beers, & Co.; a two-volume History of the County of Brant (1920) by F. Douglas Reville; special editions of local newspapers; a book of photographs of Brantford; calendars and commencement programs for the Brantford Young Ladies' College and Conservatory of Music from the late nineteenth century; and much more. All of these files are in PDF format. You will need the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to download and view them.


Virtual War Memorial for Brantford and the County of Brant

This memorial commemorates individuals from Brantford, the County of Brant, and the peoples of the Six Nations who lost their lives during World War II. More than 6,000 men and women from Brant County served in the armed forces between 1939 and 1945. Over 300 were casualties of war. You can browse through the photographs and biographies in the Virtual War Memorial, which is organized alphabetically by last name, or you can search the Memorial by last name and/or first name. The Album of Honor, which gives the names of the men and women from Brant County who served during World War II, may be found in the Digital Archives section of the website. There are more than 3,500 photographs in this volume.

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