American Ancestors New England Historic Genealogical Society - Founded 1845 N.E. Historic Genealogical Society Seal View Your Shopping Cart Join NEHGS
Go

Daily Genealogist

RSS Feed

The Daily Genealogist: Free eBooks for Genealogy Research

(A Note from the Editor) Permanent link
 
Betlock Lynn

Lynn Betlock
Editor

A recent survey question on eBooks prompted member George McKinney of Santa Rosa, California, to write an article about the availability of free eBooks.

Free eBooks for Genealogy Research

eBooks — or electronic books — exist in a variety of digital formats and can be read on your computer, smart phone, or eReader (Kindle, Nook, iPad, etc.). Different eReaders utilize different digital formats, but, in most cases, an eBook can be converted to work on your device by using calibre-ebook.com.

A number of websites offer free eBooks — generally out-of-copyright books or works made available by their authors. Categories of particular interest to the family historian are family genealogies, compendiums of genealogical facts (such as military records), directories, and local histories.

Here are some examples of free eBooks I’ve used in my own research:

History of the Families of McKinney-Brady-Quigley, 1905
History of Southwest Virginia, 1746–1786, Washington County, 1777–1870, 1903
Commemorative Biographical Record of Tolland and Windham Counties, Connecticut, 1903
San Francisco City Directory, 1850

Sources of free eBooks for genealogical research

Family History Books is a collection of over 40,000 books made available by FamilySearch. All books on this site are free and relate to genealogy.

Google Books is provided by Google. This site contains literally millions of books. After you enter your search terms, you can limit your search to free books by clicking “Free Google eBooks” halfway down the left side of the page. Further down the column, you can also select a custom date range, or choose a 19th, 20th, or 21st century search.

The non-profit Internet Archive offers a wide range of volumes. To limit a search to books, select “Texts” from the drop-down menu labeled “All Media Types.” 

The NEHGS website, AmericanAncestors.org, offers free eBooks for members. From the homepage, click on Library, then Library Catalog, and then enter your search terms in the "Search the Digital Library & Archive only" box. You can also browse through available eBooks by clicking the "Browse the Digital Library" link found at the bottom of the library catalog pages.


The Daily Genealogist: How to Dig Up Your House’s History

(Stories of Interest) Permanent link
 
Powers Jean

Jean Powers
Associate Editor

This article offers tips and guidelines for tracing the history of your home.

The Daily Genealogist: How a Reunion of 100 Comes Together

(Stories of Interest) Permanent link
 
Powers Jean

Jean Powers
Associate Editor

A Jerome, Idaho, woman writes about the steps involved in planning her Trappen family’s reunion. A related story discusses the Trappen family history.

The Daily Genealogist: The Hunt for the Mystery Diarist

(Stories of Interest) Permanent link
 
Powers Jean

Jean Powers
Associate Editor

Scholars at the College of William and Mary worked to determine the identity of a Norfolk, Virginia, doctor’s wife whose 1902 diary was purchased on eBay in 2009.

The Weekly Genealogist Survey: NEHGS members

(Surveys) Permanent link
 
Betlock Lynn

Lynn Betlock
Editor

Last week’s survey asked whether you plan on traveling for genealogical purposes this summer. The results are:

62%, Yes, I plan to visit a library, archive, historical society, or cemetery to do research..
40%, Yes, I plan to visit an ancestral town or city.
30%, No, I do not plan to travel for genealogical purposes.
30%, Yes, I plan to visit with relatives who share my interest in genealogy.
12%, Yes, I plan to attend a genealogical conference.

This week's survey asks if you are a member of NEHGS. Take the survey now!


The Daily Genealogist Name Origin: Monimia

(Name Origins) Permanent link
 
Julie Helen Otto

Julie Helen Otto
Staff Genealogist

MONIMIA (f): Heroine of The Old Manor House (1792) by Mrs. Charlotte (Turner) Smith (1749–1806). This novel was a huge bestseller in the last decade of the eighteenth century, and likely led to the name being bestowed upon some daughters; Hortensia Monemia (Penniman) Brayton (1795-1827) of Colchester and Burlington, Vermont, was a great-great-great aunt of the writer. Her mother, Frances (“Montezuma” / “Montresor” alias Brush) (Buchanan) (Allen) Penniman, widow of Ethan Allen, was an enthusiastic novel reader who was known to walk from her home in Colchester to the subscription library in downtown Burlington for the latest fiction.

The 1850 census shows about forty women and girls with variants of this name. The name MONIMIA was used as early as 1680 for by Nathaniel Otway in his play The Orphan and by Tobias Smollett in The Adventures of Ferdinand Count Fathom (1753), also for an orphan character. The name has lost popularity over time, however, probably due to the unrelated Greek suffix –emia, meaning a blood disease.


The Daily Genealogist Spotlight: Lanark County Genealogical Society

(Spotlight) Permanent link
 
Valerie Beaudrault

Valerie Beaudrault
Assistant Editor

Lanark County Genealogical Society (LCGS), Ontario, Canada

Lanark County is located in eastern Ontario. Its county seat is Perth. The Lanark County Genealogical Society has made a number of resources available on its website. Click on the Documents link at the top of the home page to access them.

On the left side of the Documents main page you will find links to the resources that have been made available, which include:

Articles
This section of the website contains articles from the LCGS newsletter, Lanark Log, and some submissions from website users. They are organized by place. There are articles about Almonte, Bathurst Township, Darling Township, Lanark County General, Town of Perth, and so on.

Family Bibles
This section contains genealogical information transcribed from family registers within Bibles. The families lived in or had some relation to Lanark County or Eastern Ontario. Most of the Bible owners are identified, and many of the Bibles are in the Perth Museum collection.

Family Histories
There are twenty-five family history-related documents in this section. They range from memoirs to transcribed obituaries to specific family history articles.

Personal Letters
In this section you will find transcriptions of personal letters. The letters date from the 1820s to the mid-1930s. The surnames mentioned in the correspondence are listed.

Mostly Names
This section contains information about people who lived in or had some relationship to Lanark County. The topics vary. The sources include funeral cards, broadsides in the Perth Museum, lists from gossip columns in local newspapers, transcribed land patent indexes, a published list of teachers, a church membership list, wedding guest logs, names found in a World War I autograph book, and much more.

1905 Old Home Week
The transcribed articles in this section, originally published in the Perth Courier between September 1904 and August 1905, report on activities related to the 1905 Perth Old Home Week. Among them is a special edition of the newspaper with sixteen pages devoted to Old Home Week. This is a great resource for family history researchers whose families lived in the Perth area.

Mostly Photographs
This section contains twenty-five historical photographs of Lanark County residents, submitted by various individuals. Most include information about the people pictured. There is also a collection of twenty photographs taken by Robert J. Stead, a local photographer, who died in 1919.

Voter’s Lists — Directories
More than ten voter lists and city directories for area cities and towns, dating from 1875 to 1940, are available.


The Daily Genealogist: More on Ancestral Items on eBay (and Amazon)

(A Note from the Editor) Permanent link
 
Betlock Lynn

Lynn Betlock
Editor

Last week’s feature and survey about finding ancestral items on eBay prompted a number of interesting stories about online purchasing strategies and finds. Here is a selection:

Mary S. Dobard of Katy, Texas:
Several years ago I purchased four copies of The Youth's Companion, published in the 1920s. My mother, Mary Eames, was one of the illustrators of stories on "The Children's Page." What a delight it was to find these wonderful magazines on eBay!

Tracey Toms of Norristown, Pennsylvania:
I haven't been lucky enough to find photographs of my ancestors, but I did have some luck in searching for a business-related item. My paternal ancestors were involved in Kuhl’s Dairy in Pottsville, Pennsylvania, and I realized that materials from the dairy may still be around, and people collect such things. I put an automatic search into eBay, and am now the proud owner of bottle caps that came from the dairy farm my ancestors ran.

Adrienne Fuss of Larchmont, New York:
I found two postcards on eBay for a production of The Quaker Girl, a play that my great-great uncle, John Palmer Slocum, produced about 1911 — with his name on one of them. That was a great find!


The Daily Genealogist: Reader Finds Family History in Archival [L.A.] Times Photo

(Stories of Interest) Permanent link
 
Powers Jean

Jean Powers
Associate Editor

An L.A. Times reader spotted her grandmother in a 1942 photograph that accompanied a story about Terminal Island, at the Port of Los Angeles, being named one of America's most endangered historic places by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

The Daily Genealogist: Rooting Out a Hindu Family History the Traditional Way

(Stories of Interest) Permanent link
 
Powers Jean

Jean Powers
Associate Editor

A woman raised in the U.S. went to Haridwar, India, in search of her genealogical past, as recorded by her family’s “hereditary priest.”

The Daily Genealogist: Meet Your New Cousin, the First Lady: A Family Story, Long Hidden

(Stories of Interest) Permanent link
 
Powers Jean

Jean Powers
Associate Editor

This article, adapted from the newly-published work, American Tapestry: The Story of the Black, White and Multiracial Ancestors of Michelle Obama, reports on some of the First Lady’s family history. 

The Daily Genealogist Survey: Genealogical summer travel

(Surveys) Permanent link
 
Betlock Lynn

Lynn Betlock
Editor

Last week’s survey asked whether you have purchased an ancestral possession on eBay or other online site. The results are:

73%, No, I have not purchased any items connected to my family online.
23%, Yes, I have purchased one or more items.
4%, No, I tried to purchase one or more items but was not successful.

This week's survey asks whether you plan any genealogical travels this summer. Take the survey now!


The Daily Genealogist Name Origin: Creusa

(Name Origins) Permanent link
 
Julie Helen Otto

Julie Helen Otto
Staff Genealogist

CREUSA/CRUSA (f): There were several Creusas in Greek mythology, including one of the less well-known daughters of Priam, King of Troy, by his wife Hecuba. Probably the best known, however, was Creusa, daughter of Erechtheus, King of Athens in legendary times. Seduced by the god Apollo, she bore a son, Ion, whom she tried to kill to conceal her shame, but without success. It was fortunate that she failed — Ion gave his name to Ionia (a region in Greece/Asia Minor); the Ionian Sea and Ionian Islands (including Ithaca), off Greece; the Ionian column, dear to our Greek-Revival ancestors; Ionia Co., Michigan; and towns of this name in Iowa, Michigan, Missouri, and elsewhere, to name a few. Creusa married a lord named Xuthus, by whom she bore a son Achaicus — whose name sounds derived from the same root as Achaia/Achaea(n), first defined as a district in the Peloponnesus bordering on the Gulf of Corinth, north on Elis and Arcadia; later as a Roman province “corresponding approximately to modern Greece.” (Clarence L. Barnhart, William D. Halsey et al., New Century Encyclopedia of Names, 3 vols. (New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts, 1954) 1:1127-28 (Creusa); 28 (Achaea, etc.).

Crusa Cook, daughter of Stephen and Joanna (Scott) Cook, was born at Bellingham, Mass. 14 March 1775 (Bellingham VRs, p. 24). The late eighteenth century saw a great revival of the classical tradition in all branches of the arts and letters, including popular culture.


The Daily Genealogist Spotlight: Local History Archives, Park County, Colorado

(Spotlight) Permanent link
 
Valerie Beaudrault

Valerie Beaudrault
Assistant Editor

Local History Archives, Park County, Colorado

Park County is located in central Colorado with Fairplay as its county seat. A variety of resources are available on the website of the Park County Local History Archives.

Photos
The Park County Local History Archives has a collection of more than 3,000 photographs. A sampling of them may be found on the website. Click on the Photos link in the site’s contents list on the left side of the homepage. This will open the Park County Local History Archives Photo Gallery page. Click on a topic from the list on the left to view the images.

Oral History
Interviews of Park County residents can be found in the Oral History collection. The Park County Historic Preservation Advisory Committee (PCHPAC) and the Park County Local History Archives were involved in the creation of the collection. Sixty-four interviews were conducted and nineteen have been completely transcribed and uploaded to the website. The transcription process continues, and excerpts from the remaining interviews have been placed on the website. Click on an individual’s name to open a new page containing the transcription.

Obituaries
An index to obituaries published in Park County newspapers references more than 1,600 records. The deaths occurred during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The data fields in this alphabetical by surname index are name (full name), birth date, birth place, death date, death place, and source. The source field includes the title of the newspaper in which the obituary was published and the date it was published. The obituary file is in PDF format. You will need the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to view it.

Cemeteries
There are five cemetery databases on the website: the Buckskin Cemetery, Como Cemetery, Fairplay Cemetery, and two databases with data from various cemeteries. The files are in PDF format. You will need the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to view them. The records are sorted alphabetically by surname. The data fields vary and may include name, birth date, death date, inscription, cemetery name, grave location, and notes/comments/remarks.

Marriages
The marriage record data was extracted from the original marriage books at the Park County Clerk’s Office. The records cover the period from September 1881 through August 1950. The data fields in the alphabetical by groom’s surname database are groom’s full name, where from, bride’s full name, where from, date of marriage, place of marriage, and book and page number. There are more than 1,000 records in the index. The marriage records database is in PDF format. You will need the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to view it.


The Daily Genealogist: Ancestral Items on eBay

(A Note from the Editor) Permanent link
 
Lynn Betlock

Lynn Betlock
Editor

Prompted by the recent discussion in The Weekly Genealogist on ancestral possessions, Richard Chamberlin of Irvine, California, wrote to say that he found two family items on eBay. “One is a photo of my great-grandmother Susie Davis of San Franciso, ca. 1880, that my sister found and purchased. The other is a memorial album honoring my great-great-grandmother Louisa Perry Glazier, who died in Sturbridge, Mass., in 1888. In addition to pictures of her and one of her sons, the album contains more than thirty photos of relatives (but sadly only a couple of them are labeled). I discovered that the album was bought by a speculator at an estate sale in Fall River, Mass., about 2003 but the seller didn’t know whose estate it was. The album cost $56, but I was happy to pay it.”

NEHGS Staff Genealogist David Dearborn, who has long studied all branches of the Dearborn family, found a large framed charcoal portrait of Samuel8 Dearborn (1831–1895) of Fryeburg, Maine, about ten years ago on eBay. He purchased the portrait for $140 from a seller in Queens who was not connected to the Dearborns. Unlike with many items auctioned on eBay, the subject of the portrait could easily be identified. A previous owner had pasted a copy of Samuel Dearborn’s July 1895 obituary on the bottom corner of the frame. Although David is not closely related to this particular Dearborn, Samuel Dearborn is one of the clan and now has a place of honor on a wall in David’s house.

The grandparents of NEHGS Director of Research Services Suzanne Stewart owned The Washington, an inn located in Wells Beach, Maine. Before her grandparents bought the inn, it had been called The Minnetonka. Suzanne found and purchased a postcard of The Minnetonka on eBay.

I have saved searches on eBay for several of my ancestral surnames — and for specific high school yearbooks I’d like to purchase — but so far I’ve never found any items connected to any of my direct ancestors. However, I continue to be optimistic!


The Daily Genealogist: Keep Your Apps, I Prefer Memories

(Stories of Interest) Permanent link
 
Powers Jean

Jean Powers
Associate Editor

A Spokane, Washington, columnist prefers her original recipe cards with spots, fingerprints, and spidery handwriting over digital recipe storage.

The Daily Genealogist: Help Sought to Solve Civil War Photo Mystery

(Stories of Interest) Permanent link
 
Powers Jean

Jean Powers
Associate Editor

“The Museum of the Confederacy is appealing for the public's help in identifying the subjects of eight photographs picked up on the battlefields of the Civil War. “

The Daily Genealogist: Richard Krebs Meets His German Double

(Stories of Interest) Permanent link
 
Powers Jean

Jean Powers
Associate Editor

When Richard Krebs of Wayne County, Pennsylvania, did an online genealogy search, he discovered Richard Krebs of Lower Franconia, Bavaria, who is the same age and bears a strong resemblance to him.

The Daily Genealogist: Purchasing ancestral possessions online

(Surveys) Permanent link
 
Lynn Betlock

Lynn Betlock
Editor

Last week’s survey asked how you read books electronically. The results are:

50%, Laptop or desktop computer
32%, I do not read books electronically.
24%, Amazon Kindle
16%, Tablet (including the iPad)
8%, Barnes and Noble Nook
7%, Smart phone (including the iPhone)
<1%, Sony Reader
<1%, Kobo E-reader
<1%, Other

This week's survey asks whether you have purchased an ancestral possession on eBay or other online site. Take the survey now!


The Daily Genealogist Name Origin: Henrietta

(Name Origins) Permanent link
 
Julie Helen Otto

Julie Helen Otto
Staff Genealogist

HENRIETTA (f): This name, the feminine form of HENRY (with diminutive form –etta/ette), was popular from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. One of the name’s best-known early bearers in England was Henriette-Marie de France (1609–1669), known in England as Henrietta Maria, daughter of Henri IV of France and Marie de’ Medici, and wife of King Charles I of England. Henrietta Fitz-James (1667–1730), wife of Sir Henry Waldegrave (later Lord Waldegrave), was an illegitimate daughter of Henrietta Maria’s son James, Duke of York (1633–1701, King James II 1685-88) and Arabella Churchill (1648–1730), sister of John Churchill, later Duke of Marlborough. John’s daughter Henrietta Churchill (1681–1733), who married the Hon. Francis Godolphin, later 2nd Earl of Godolphin, was a distant great-aunt of Sir Winston Churchill, the great Anglo-American statesman. Jonathan and Lydia (Gushee) Shaw of Raynham, Mass., neatly honored two tragic French royal figures when naming their daughter Henrietta Maria Antonietta Shaw in 1793 (Raynham VRs) — Queen Henrietta Maria above, and the recently-executed Marie Antoinette, Queen of France.

The Daily Genealogist: Blair County Genealogical Society, Pennsylvania

(Spotlight) Permanent link
 
Valerie Beaudrault

Valerie Beaudrault
Assistant Editor

Blair County Genealogical Society, Pennsylvania

Blair County is located in central Pennsylvania. Its county seat is Hollidaysburg. The Blair County Genealogical Society was organized in 1979. Its purpose is “to compile, study and exchange information of a genealogical and historical nature and to preserve, perpetuate and publish the genealogical and historical heritage of the Blair County area for the benefit of its members, schools, and the general public.” The Blair County Genealogical Society has made the following resources available on its website.

Delayed Birth Records Index
Pennsylvania only began keeping records of births in 1906. Anyone born before 1906 who needed a birth certificate had to apply for a delayed birth record. This database is an index to those delayed birth file records. The delayed birth files contain the supporting documentation submitted to receive a delayed birth record. A form is provided so that you can order a copy of a delayed birth file via postal mail. (Not everyone in the record index has a file.)

Marriage Records Index
This database contains the index to Blair County Genealogical Society publication 18: Marriage Application Records, Blair County, PA, Vol. 1, Oct. 1885-1890. The data fields in this alphabetical-by-groom’s-surname index include the groom’s name, bride’s name, and year of the marriage.

Death Records Indexes
The largest online index collection on the website is that of Blair County deaths. The data has been gathered from a number of different sources. An obituary order form is provided on each database page. The following is a sample list of sources.

1856–1860 deaths abstracted from the Altoona Tribune.

Coroner's lists that appeared in the Altoona Tribune for 1886, 1888–1891, and 1893–1903.

Deaths listed in the Tyrone Daily Herald for 1887, 1888, 1891–1894, 1911, and 1932–1935.

Deaths recorded at the Blair County Courthouse in 1894, 1895, and 1898, before the Pennsylvania Department of Health began keeping vital records in 1905.

Death notices from the Altoona Mirror for 1906, 1908, and 1913–1932.

The Archie Claar Obituary Collection Index, based on the Archie Claar obituary clipping books (ten volumes covering 1933 through 1938).

Death indexes from the Broad Top Bulletin of Saxton, 1989 through 2009.

 

The website also contains links to offsite databases with deaths extracted from local newspapers, a link to a Blair County atlas on the PAGenWeb site, and other external links.


The Daily Genealogist Spotlight: South Carolina Resources

(Spotlight) Permanent link
 
Valerie Beaudrault

Valerie Beaudrault
Assistant Editor

Lexington County Probate Court Records, South Carolina

Lexington County is located in central South Carolina. The town of Lexington is its county seat. The Lexington County Probate Court has made estate and marriage license databases available on its website. To access the databases click on the links at the end of the page. 

Estate (1865 – 1994) and Marriage Indexes (1911 – 1987)
The indexes in this section have been scanned from the original paper indexes and uploaded to the site as PDF files. Estate records indexes are organized alphabetically and separated by year. Data fields in the estate records include date, name of deceased, executor or administrator, box, parcel, will book and page number. Marriage license records are organized alphabetically by bride’s surname or groom’s surname, and separated by year. Data fields in the index include license number, name and residence of man, name and residence of woman, their ages, race, date of application / license, date of marriage, by whom married and where, and comments.

The probate court has added two databases indexing more recent records. One indexes estate records from 1995 through the present. Data fields for the estate records are case number, case type, decedent's name, date of birth, date of death, date opened, case status, and Personal Representative & Attorney Information. The last field is a "view" button -- click to learn the names of the personal representative and attorney on the case. The other database is a marriage license index from 1986 through the present, which can be searched by bride or groom. Data fields for this index are license number, bride's name, groom's name, issue date, and marriage date.

Death Indexes, Spartanburg County Public Library, South Carolina – Update from 2006

Spartanburg, located in northwestern South Carolina, is the county seat of Spartanburg County. The Spartanburg County Public Library has made a number of obituary and death indexes available on its website.

Each index is formatted alphabetically; many are grouped by year. They include the name of the deceased as it appeared in the obituary, age, place of death or residence, name of spouse, and date and page on which the obituary appeared. Obituaries for individuals with clear local connections only have been included in the index. Search by keyword, name, or place of death, or browse alphabetical lists. Copies of obituaries can be ordered from the library for a small fee.

The databases are:

Spartanburg Herald and Herald-Journal Death Index – 1920 – 1922 and 1930 – 2011
This database indexes obituaries and death notices found in the above named newspapers. Indexing for the period from 1923 – 1929 is in progress.

Spartanburg Herald / Herald Journal Death Index – 1902 – 1919
The primary source for this obituary and death notice index is the Spartanburg Herald, with additional information from the Spartanburg Journal or the Spartanburg Weekly Herald. There are gaps in this database.

Carolina Spartan / Spartanburg Herald Death Index – roughly 1849 - 1893
These indexes contain obituaries from the Carolina Spartan and Spartanburg Herald newspapers. There are gaps throughout and the following years are missing: 1852, 1865, and 1877-78. The date in the record is the publication date of the death notice.

Register of Deaths of Spartanburg, South Carolina
This alphabetical index was compiled from the Register of Deaths of Spartanburg, an early attempt by the city to record deaths. These records span October 1, 1895, through October 21, 1897, and August 3,1903, through December 31, 1915. The index contains death records for residents of the city of Spartanburg only. Data fields include name of the deceased, sex, race, cause of death and date of death.

Miscellaneous Death Index
This death index is drawn from more than a half-dozen Spartanburg newspapers. It ranges from 1844 into the early 1900s; however, there are large time gaps in this database.


The Daily Genealogist: New York Probate Records

(A Note from the Editor) Permanent link
 
Lynn Betlock

Lynn Betlock
Editor

NEHGS member Denise Crawford of Mesa, Arizona, recently wrote to a staff person here at NEHGS with an enthusiastic endorsement of a new set of online records: “I have just spent the last five hours having an absolutely wonderful time finding wills and probate records in St. Lawrence and Wayne Counties for my families in the New York, Probate Records, 1629–1971, collection on FamilySearch.org. Maybe you can get the word out that these records are online now so that folks aren't spending a fortune trying to get them from the counties.”

I’m happy to publicize this collection, which debuted on FamilySearch on January 25, 2012. Genealogists researching New York ancestors will indeed be thrilled to find this material online.

Forty-five out of New York’s sixty-two counties are represented. (Counties south of Delaware, Albany, and Rensselaer are excluded, as is Schoharie.) The collection is browsable, but has not been indexed and is not searchable. The content and year range of the probate records vary by county; for some counties there may be a general index to probate, for others there may be an index to wills only. Most records end in the 1920s with some indexes continuing to 1971.

New York researchers should be aware of other important probate record sources.

An extremely useful database (available to NEHGS members), covering 52 counties, is Abstracts of Wills, Administrations and Guardianships in N.Y. State, 1787–1835 on AmericanAncestors.org. This database was created by William Applebie Daniel Eardeley, and the original materials are part of the Brooklyn Historical Society's manuscript collection. Eardeley abstracted original estate proceedings, and indexed all the names in his abstracts, i.e. those of the decedents, executors, administrators, petitioners, guardians, witnesses, named beneficiaries and minor children. (Eardeley did not abstract Kings County, so instead, records abstracted by DeWitt Van Buren in Abstracts of Wills of Kings County Recorded at Brooklyn, N. Y., are included.)

New York State Probate Records: A Genealogist’s Guide to Testate and Intestate Records (NEHGS, 2011) by Gordon L. Remington offers detailed background on these complicated records, as well as maps and county-by-county summary pages which list published and online indexes.

While the addition of the collection on FamilySearch means many more New York probate records are available online, many sources still remain available only in print or on microfilm. For instance, of the forty-five counties, probate petitions for twenty of them are on film at the Family History Library. However, none of these petitions seem to be included in the FamilySearch collection.

Happy hunting in New York probate records!


The Daily Genealogist: Return of the Hamburgs and the Meckelburgs

(Stories of Interest) Permanent link
 
Powers Jean

Jean Powers
Associate Editor

Gathering information about two interconnected Jewish families who lived in Spitalfields, East London, beginning in the mid-nineteenth century, led to a reunion of descendants.

The Daily Genealogist: Eternally Green

(Stories of Interest) Permanent link
 
Powers Jean

Jean Powers
Associate Editor

This brief article from the historic Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Mass., discusses how acid rain impacts marble tombstones.

The Daily Genealogist: Sweet Strings of Sorrow

(Stories of Interest) Permanent link
 
Powers Jean

Jean Powers
Associate Editor

The author writes of her efforts to hear the music by played by a distant relative, a violin soloist from Budapest who perished in the Holocaust.

The Daily Genealogist: If These Barns Could Talk

(Stories of Interest) Permanent link
 
Powers Jean

Jean Powers
Associate Editor

In Iowa, efforts are underway to encourage the appreciation, preservation, and restoration of historic barns, “cathedrals of the prairie.”

The Daily Genealogist Survey: E-reader update

(Surveys) Permanent link
 
Lynn Betlock

Lynn Betlock
Editor

Last week’s survey asked what type of genealogical publications you’d be interested in reading in an ebook format. The results are:

54%, Books of records or other reference books — examples: New Englanders in the 1600s; Guide to Massachusetts Cemeteries
50%, Compiled genealogies
35%, I would not purchase an ebook.
33%, How-to books — example: Genealogist's Handbook for New England Research

This week's survey asks whether you read books electronically. Take the survey now!


The Daily Genealogist Spotlight: Resources in Arizona and Massachusetts

(Spotlight) Permanent link
 
Valerie Beaudrault

Valerie Beaudrault
Assistant Editor

Pioneer & Military Memorial Park Cemeteries Database, Arizona

Maricopa County is located in south-central Arizona. Phoenix is its county seat. Pioneer and Military Memorial Park (P&MMP) at 14th Avenue and Madison Street, Phoenix, Arizona, is home to a number of cemeteries: AOUW Cemetery, City Cemetery, IOOF (Odd Fellows) Cemetery, Knights of Pythias Cemetery, Loosley Cemetery, Masons Cemetery, Porter Cemetery, and Rosedale Cemetery. Additional burials in the Pioneer & Military Memorial Park include removals from Old Phoenix Cemetery. The Pioneers’ Cemetery Association, Inc. has made a burial listing database for these cemeteries available on its website.

The database is organized as an alphabetical by surname list. Click on the first letter of the surname to open a new page with the burial listing. The data fields in the database include last name, first name, death date, age, cemetery name, and marker.

The website has additional helpful resources. You will find links to online burial listings for many of the cemeteries in this list, and a list of all cemeteries and gravesites known to exist in Maricopa County, under the List of Cemeteries in Maricopa County link. There is also a link to a list of Historic Cemeteries of Arizona.

Marblehead Museum and Historical Society, Massachusetts

Marblehead is located on the Atlantic coast in Essex County in northeastern Massachusetts. The Marblehead Museum and Historical Society has made some of the resources from its archives available on its website. Click on the Archives tab to access them. They are in PDF format. You will need the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to download and view them. Click on the Archival Documents link to open the page with links to download the documents.

The digitized resources include the following:

Published Volumes

Old Marblehead Sea Captains and the Ships in Which They Sailed, by Benjamin J. Lindsey, Treasurer (1915), a document compiled and published for the Marblehead Historical Society

A Discourse on the Disasters at Sea, September 19, 1846, delivered by Rev. Edward Lawrence, Pastor of The First Church in Marblehead, 1848

Short History of Marblehead, by Jonathan H. Orne, an excerpt from The Standard History of Essex County, compiled by the Essex Institute, 1878

Other Resources

The Louis Russell genealogy and “Marblehead Tales,” which includes two stories on Lafayette’s visit to Marblehead’s Lee Mansion.

A number of maps of Marblehead, including the 1700 Marblehead Composite Map, Harborside, an 1850 map, and interactive maps based on the research of Sidney Perley’s description of the town in 1700.

“Marblehead in the 1600s” and “Marblehead’s Maritime History: The Ship’s Pass,” presentations created by Standley Goodwin

Ship’s Passes: Vessels involved in foreign trade were required to register with their District Customs Collector. Once they had registered, Ship’s Passes were issued to them. The passes were signed by the sitting U.S. President and the Secretary of State. Some of the eighteen early Ship’s Passes in the museum’s collections have been digitized and uploaded to the website.


The Daily Genealogist Name Origin: GAD

(Name Origins) Permanent link
 
Julie Helen Otto

Julie Helen Otto
Staff Genealogist

GAD (m): A son of the Biblical Jacob; his mother was Zilpah (maid of Jacob’s favorite wife Rachel). Jacob’s son was also ancestor of the Hebrew tribe of Gad, first mentioned in the Book of Numbers. The prophet Gad, who assisted King David, was a different man (1-2 Samuel, 1-2 Chronicles).

I have noticed a higher incidence than usual of Gads in the Connecticut Valley. Gad Hitchcock, 15 Feb. 1765–22 June 1829, son of Noah and Silence (Burt) Hitchcock lived in Brimfield, Mass.; Gad Hunt (April 14, 1773–March 13, 1835), the son of Gad and Elisabeth (Woodward) Hunt, lived in Coventry, Connecticut. Gad Cooley (1767–1854) of Lower Canada and Mooers, N.Y., was an ancestor of the late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Harry Andrew Blackmun.

Eighty men in the 1800 U.S. Federal census had the first name Gad. Seventy-nine were from New England or New York. The exception was Gad Lamb Sr. of Tioga, Lycoming County, Pennsylvania, but further research revealed that he had been born in Wilbraham, Mass. (in the Connecticut Valley), Nov. 9, 1744, to Daniel and Martha (Ashley) Lamb. At this early date, use of the name Gad thus strongly suggests a New England or New York origin.


The Daily Genealogist Note from the Editor: Ancestral Possessions

(A Note from the Editor) Permanent link
 
Lynn Betlock

Lynn Betlock
Editor

We had a number of emails about the story of the Zeller trunk I found at a rummage sale in Maine. Weekly Genealogist readers researched Rev. Albert Zeller and sent me their findings, as well as information about Rev. Zeller’s religious affiliations. Another reader let me know that there were Zellers in the Damariscotta, Maine, area, so a Zeller family member from an earlier generation likely brought the trunk there from Pennsylvania. If any further information comes to light about the trunk, I will be sure to write about it!

Other readers told their own interesting stories of ancestral possessions:

Ronald Dale Karr of Lowell, Mass.:
My wife and I had a similar experience two years ago at the Brimfield (Mass.) antique fair. We bought (at a very low price) a fine crazy quilt signed “K.C. Hasson,” and dated 1890. One of the ribbons sewn into the quilt was from Kansas City. We were able to trace the maker’s genealogy online in a few minutes! The quilt maker, Kisiah C. Morris, was born about 1830 in western Pennsylvania, had married Dr. John Hasson, a physician, around 1850, and, according to the 1860 census, was living in West Newton, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. Kisiah was in the same location in 1870, but at the time of the 1880 census she was a widow living with her lawyer son in Kansas City. We even found a newspaper account of her death in 1895 a few years later — her son had rushed his wedding so he could be married in front of his dying mother! And although we did not find a photo of Kisiah Hasson online, there was one of her mother, Sybilla (Kern) (Morris) Craig (1808–1888). We wonder how the quilt had found its way from Kansas City to New England.

Erica Bodden of Shrewsbury, Mass.:
After serving in the Merchant Marines during WWII, my grandfather died of a brain tumor at the age of 32 in 1949. My grandmother, "not being a very sentimental person," and distraught over her husband's untimely death, gave away a number of items, including his uniform. Fast forward to 2005. I received word from my grandmother's sister that she knew where the uniform was. The daughter of the couple to whom the uniform had been given took three years to return it — she had been using it as a Halloween costume — but what a surprise for my mother! The expression on her face was worth the effort.


New England Historic Genealogical Society
99 - 101 Newbury Street
Boston, Massachusetts 02116, USA
888-296-3447

© 2010 - 2014 New England Historic Genealogical Society