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Research Recommendations: FGS and the East Tennessee History Center

(Research Recommendations) Permanent link
Michael J. Leclerc

Michael J. Leclerc
Director of Special Projects

Last week’s Federation of Genealogical Societies conference in Knoxville was a grand success. Although the physical placement of the exhibit hall removed us from the classrooms, there was still a great deal of traffic. A number of exhibitors had a great deal of interest for attendees. Maia’s Books now stocks all Heritage Books in print and had a wide selection in the booth. I am continually amazed at the quality of product at Maia’s. I picked up an excellent book at the conference dealing with German names. Bruce and Laurie Buzbee were able to answer some questions for me about the latest release of RootsMagic (one of the best database software programs I’ve ever used).


Connie Potter, Maureen Macdonald, and their crew at the National Archives were extremely helpful in answering questions about military records, including a large number of questions about the War of 1812 pension records. On Friday evening sponsored a reception for the launch of a new FGS project, Preserve the Pensions, which will raise money to digitize these pension files. You can find more details, and sample pension files, at


One of the highlights of the week, however, was visiting the East Tennessee History Center. The Center is home to the East Tennessee Historical Society, the Calvin M. McClung Historical Collection, and the Knox County Archives. The convenient location on Gay Street is just two blocks from the Hilton Hotel where we stayed. I have heard good things about the Center before, but was unprepared for just how wonderful a place it is to do research.


The Museum of East Tennessee History and a small gift shop are located on the first floor. On a mission to research some families for my book on the descendants of Josiah Franklin, I went straight to the second floor, home of the Knox County Archives (KCA). KCA houses a wide variety of county records, from the earliest days of the county to the late twentieth century. With the assistance of extremely friendly staff, I was quickly looking at original probate files from the 1950s and 1970s. A valuable set of cemetery transcriptions helped me locate the family in the Old Gray Cemetery quite speedily. had revealed stones for two family members. It turns out that they are buried in a family plot with seven known burials. The next day I was able to take a short trip to the cemetery and photograph all of the stones.


I next moved up to the third floor, home of the Calvin M. McClung Historical Collection of the Knoxville Public Library. Extra staff was on hand to assist the large number of conference attendees there to research. I was quicklyseated at a microfilm reader, examining death certificates and newspaper articles that quickly identified a number of new descendants. The microfilm cabinets held a large number of records from counties across Tennessee, while the adjacent room held books from all over the state.


At the end of the day I left, bleary-eyed, to make my way back to the hotel and some sleep, my backpack filled with photocopies of new information. One drawback of the Center is that all copying (photocopying of books or prints of microfilm) must be done by staff members. Users fill out a form with the appropriate publication information then drop off the form with the book or microfilm at a nearby desk, paying for all copies at the time of drop off. Later on, you pick up your photocopies at the front desk. While this does make for a slow process initially, you do not have to waste time standing at the photocopy machine, and you always receive excellent-quality printouts.


If you have research in Tennessee, I strongly advise a trip to Knoxville to visit the East Tennessee Historical Center. You can find out more about it at

Name Origins: Pardon

(Name Origins) Permanent link
Julie Helen Otto

Julie Helen Otto

 PARDON (m): This Puritan "virtue name," referring to the pardon offered by Christ to the repentant sinner, is a marker name for the Tillinghast family of Rhode Island. Readers are warned that a royal line attributed in many older printed sources to the immigrant, Rev. Pardon Tillinghast, was broken in the middle 1980s.

Spotlight: Concord Public Library, New Hampshire

(Spotlight) Permanent link
Valerie Beaudrault

Valerie Beaudrault
Visitor Services Representative

Concord, the New Hampshire state capital, also serves as the seat of Merrimack County. The city includes the villages of Penacook, East Concord and West Concord. The Concord Public Library has a section on its website dedicated to the history of the city.


Click on the Concord History link in the index on the left side of the page to open a page with links to the resources. These include full-text versions of a number of Concord histories. There are four published volumes, one manuscript and historical city reports. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the files.


Local Histories: Published
Nathaniel Bouton's The History of Concord, From Its First Grant in 1725 To The Organization Of The City Government in 1853, With a History Of The Ancient Penacooks, published in Concord by Benning W. Sanborn in 1856. It includes a physical history and a statistical chapter.


James O. Lyford's History of Concord New Hampshire From the Original Grant in Seventeen Hundred and Twenty-Five to the Opening of the Twentieth Century, 2 volumes, was published by the Rumford Press in Concord, New Hampshire in 1903. The second volume of this work contains church history, the history of the Concord schools, and trades and professions.


David Arthur Brown's The History of Penacook, N. H., From Its First Settlement in 1734 Up To 1900, includes local history as “gleaned” from earlier Concord history publications and from interviews with older residents.


Local History: Manuscript
"A Capital for New Hampshire," by Grace P. Amsden, is an unpublished three-volume manuscript written in the 1950s. It provides “an account of important Concord persons and buildings through the middle of the 20th century. The stories related to buildings associated with Count and Countess Rumford, Franklin Pierce, Robert Rogers, Isaac Hill and other Concord notables are interesting and informative, but little known to the present Concord community.” The original manuscript, with photographs, is available at the Tuck Library of the New Hampshire Historical Society. The Concord Room of the Concord Public Library has a copy of the text.


Historical City Reports
The resources provided in this section include published reports of city records for the period from 1732 through 1925. For the period 1732 – 1820 there is index of names, a meetings index by year, and an appendix, which includes a roll of licensed innkeepers; a list of marriage intentions; and a 1757 Polls and Estates listing of property and other possessions of value held by local citizens. There is a gap in the records, which lasts from 1821 to 1834. There are no indexes for the years from 1835 through 1925, but the records are organized year by year.


The final resources include a document titled “Celebrating 150 Years of Service, Concord Public Library, (1855 – 2005)” and the Henry P. Moore 1860 colorized lithograph of the southwest view of Concord, owned by the Concord Public Library, which has recently been digitized and preserved.

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