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  • 2000 Archive

  • Vol. 1, No. 33
    Whole #33
    December 1, 2000
    - Sales Department Gift Certificates Now Available
    - Gift Memberships Available Online
    - Publications Department: Old Boston titles
    - Events @ NEHGS: Saturday Seminar, Winter Research Getaway
    - Dublin Seminar for New England Research: Call for Papers
    - Deadline for Submitting Nominees for Technology Excellence Award
    - Vrouwenkerk Update: A Letter from the Mayor
    - NEHGS Network Administrator Sought

    - Columns @


    NEHGS Sales Department Gift Certificates

    Give friends and family the gift of family history with an NEHGS gift certificate! We will send the recipient a personalized card and a copy of our latest sales catalog.  Gift certificates are available in any amount via telephone, or in increments of $25.00, $50.00, or $100.00 on the web.  Gift certificates are valid for two years after the the date of issuance.

    You may place your order online at or by calling the Sales Department toll-free at 1-888-296-3447, from 9-5 Eastern time, Monday through Friday.  There no is shipping and handling charge and no tax for gift certificates.  Please refer to this newsletter when placing your order.


    Gift Memberships Available Online

    Is there a genealogist in your life that would like to find an NEHGS membership under his or her tree this year?  Perhaps there is a spouse or child or friend who has asked you for your holiday wish list?  Why not give or request an NEHGS membership this year?  Memberships are the perfect gift for holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, or any occasion.  We will send the recipient a gift card with a personal message from you with their membership card and introductory packet, or you can arrange to have all gift materials sent directly to you to give personally.  Gift memberships are convenient too!  Order online with our special gift membership form by clicking on the following link: 

    You can also call us toll-free in the U.S. to order a gift membership 1-888-286-3447 (1-888-AT-NEHGS), or write to us at NEHGS - Gift Membership, 101 Newbury St, Boston, MA 02116. Be sure to include the gift recipient's full name, full address, contact phone number or e-mail address.  Please also let us know whether you would like the gift sent to you or directly to them.


    Publications Department News: Old Boston

    The Stones Speak : Inscriptions with Irish Place Names in Boston's Mount Calvary Cemetery by R. Andrew Pierce, (NEHGS, 2000) 246 pp. including indexes. Softcover $23.95 [10% member discount} plus $3.50 shipping. Available from NEHGS Sales Department at or call 888-296-3447. Softcover $23.95 [10% member discount] plus $3.50 shipping. Item # S2-76790.

     "Many Irish immigrants who settled elsewhere passed through Boston. A thorough search of the inscriptions reproduced in this book may bring to light relatives and family connections not previously known, and may lead the researcher to the ancestral home in Ireland."- George F. Sanborn Jr., F.A.S.G.

    This attractive  book is packed with information to help the descendants or researchers of Irish immigrants who came to Boston in the 1800s. Including both name and place name indexes, this is a handy reference book to add to the growing collection of published  cemetery inscriptions of Boston. It is hoped that this book will be the first of many published on Catholic cemetery inscriptions. Many of these old stones are deteriorating rapidly and the call is out to historians and genealogists alike to transcribe information on 19th century tombstones before it is lost forever.

    Inscriptions and Records of the Old Cemeteries of Boston by Robert J. Dunkle and Ann S. Lainhart (NEHGS, 2000) 914+ xiii pp., index illustrations, maps. Available from NEHGS Sales Department at or call 888-296-3447. Hardcover $60.00 [10%member discount] plus $3.50 shipping. Item # S2-76710.

    Boston Cemeteries is proving to be a popular addition to the records available for Boston research. It is an indispensable tool for family research as well as for the professional genealogist.

    A reader in Bristol, Rhode Island was thrilled when she saw a picture of the stone of her  ancestor Philip Squire (d. 29 Feb. 1693)  in the July 2000 Register announcing the publication of this book.  She writes, "I am 84, and will enjoy this book till I leave the planet!  At last I know where lovely Seferanna Treadway Maxwell's remains are; she was Samuel's Maxwell's first wife who died a year after they wed -- one month after Sam Jr. was born 18 April 1712.  And of course Philip Squire's resting place!"

    Melinde Lutz Sanborn writes in a forthcoming review, "…this comprehensive book is the single most valuable reference work on the subject and is a must for those interested in old Boston."


    Special Events at NEHGS: Saturday Seminar, Weekend Research Getaway

    Saturday Seminar in Boston: “Worth a Thousand Words: Photographs and Genealogy”January 20, 2001

    Photographs can be a rich source of information for genealogists, unlocking clues to the past and giving life and color to our present projects. From dating and identifying, to scrapbooking and the Web, photography and genealogy is a vital partnership. In this one-day intensive seminar, attendees will get the complete “picture” on how to fully utilize family photos, and gain insight into photographs from the NEHGS collection as well.

    Special guest speaker Maureen Taylor will conduct workshops entitled “Every Picture Tells a Story: Identifying Family Photographs," “Building a Family Photography Collection” and “Recent Trends in Family Photographs: Computers, Scrapbooks, and the Web." Society librarian David Allen Lambert will present “Faces from the Past: Selected images from the NEHGS Archives."  Participants can even email photographs for possible use in the seminar. The fee for the all-day program is $90 for members, $95 for non-members. 

    “Winter Research Getaway to NEHGS” Boston, MA February 22-25, 2001
    (The NEHGS 2001 Tours Booklet will be mailed to members in two weeks, but here's an "advance" on one of our most popular programs)

     Tired of waiting for those cold February days to be over? Escape to Boston for an intensive hands-on weekend researching your family history at the renowned NEHGS library. Our Winter Research Getaway is the perfect program to fit your busy schedule. Search your roots and enjoy all the benefits of our popular week-long “Come Home to New England” program. If you were unable to attend “Come Home” this year, or anticipate conflicts next June and August that would prevent your visit to the newly-renovated NEHGS facility, don’t miss this opportunity to experience the research expertise of our library staff and the exceptional resources available in our historic location.

    Enjoy lectures on new sources, research and methodology as well as individual consultations and guided research in the library. Lodging for the “Winter Research Getaway” will be at the John Hancock Conference Center, which is near Copley Square and just three blocks from NEHGS.  This hotel is located in the heart of Boston’s historic Back Bay district and provides comfortable rooms, morning coffee service and guest laundry facilities. The Boston Public Library and a variety of cafes, shops and galleries are all in close proximity.

    Conclude the weekend and share your breakthroughs at a wine and cheese reception in our Richardson-Sloane Education Center. The cost of the program is $340 dollars for a double to be shared with another participant, or $540 dollars for a single. Tuition includes lodging.

    Due to anticipated demand, we are now taking registrations for both programs. To register or to receive more information on either program please call the education department at  (617) 536-5740, ex 227, or call toll-free at 1-888-286-3447.


    Dublin Seminar for New England Research: Call for Papers

    The Dublin Seminar for New England Folklife (founded 1976) is pleased to announce the subject of its next annual conference, Women's Work in New England, 1620-1920, to be held in June 2001.

    The Seminar is accepting proposals for papers on all aspects of women's work in New England and contiguous portions of New York State and Canada, 1620 to 1920. The conference will focus on the social expectations (and gender burdens) placed on women of all ages and social ranks.

    Categories might include change and variation in household chores and management; child raising; making, remaking and mending clothes; food preparation and storage; kitchen gardening; and cleaning cycles. Other categories might encompass work associated with the beginning and end of life, such as mid-wifery, child nursing, care of the sick, and watching; "putting out" work in the manufacture of shoes, textiles, and furniture; the transition to early mills and factories; the roles of wives of professional men; and the roles of unmarried women, widows, female slaves, bonded or indentured servants, and prostitutes.

    The conference will also consider women in the arts (literature, portraiture, decoration, publishing, and the stage); women as school teachers and missionaries; women as leaders of charitable foundations and museums; and studies of shopping and role-reversals. Other approaches will also be encouraged.

    Preference will be given to proposals based on primary sources such as diaries, sermons, account books, reminiscences, personal and business papers, oral histories, fashion periodicals, newspapers, and artifacts.

    The twenty-sixth annual topic in the Seminar series, Women's Work in New England, 1620-1920, will take place at Deerfield, Massachusetts on the weekend of June 15 to 17, 2001. The program will consist of approximately seventeen lectures of twenty-five minutes each with related museum tours and demonstrations; selected papers from the conference will appear as the 2001 Annual Proceedings of the Dublin Seminar to be issued approximately one year following the conference. The Seminar welcomes proposals from authors, academic and museum scholars, curators, collectors, members of women's groups, and the general public.

    To request further information please address enquiries to Peter Benes, Director, The Dublin Seminar of New England Folklife, Boston University Scholarly Publications, 985 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston MA, 02115. E-mail:


    Deadline for Submitting Nominees for 2nd Annual Technology Excellence Award

    The New England Historic Genealogical Society, desiring to encourage and foster the development of rigorous genealogical research techniques in computerized or electronic formats, announces the deadline for the Second Annual NEHGS Technology Excellence Award, granted annually during the GENTECH, Inc. Conference for Genealogy and Technology. This year's conference is in Dallas.

    The award may be granted to an individual or organization and will carry with it a one-year membership in NEHGS, prominent listing on the Society website , travel expenses for the recipient (or recipient's representative) to the award ceremony and $500 in products of the recipient's choice from the Society's Book Shop at .

    The award winner will be determined by a committee appointed by NEHGS. Nominations are welcome and may be submitted to with "Tech Award" in the Subject line. The committee will also consider initiatives which fit its criteria but have received no nomination.

    The deadline for nominating is December 8, 2000. 

    To be eligible for consideration, a project must demonstrate or enable the highest standards of genealogical research in electronic form, and do so in an innovative and replicable manner. The award is intended to recognize appropriate use of technology to achieve genealogical results; eligible projects must therefore present a worthwhile genealogical result obtained through technological tools. "Gee whiz" technology devoid of genealogical merit will not be considered, nor will pure genealogical content outweigh technological shortcomings. Examples of projects which might fit these criteria are:

    - Electronic representation of original source documents

    - Electronic publication of genealogical research, including full source documentation

    - Cataloging of repository materials for electronic access

    - Collaborative efforts among societies, family history associations or commercial ventures to increase the electronic accessibility of genealogical resources.

    NEHGS employees and their immediate families are not eligible for consideration for this award.


    Vrouwenkerk Update: A Letter from the Mayor

    (Editor's Note: We periodically re-print updates concerning the proposed demolition of Leiden's historic Vrouwenkerk church remains. What follows is a recent response sent by that city's Mayor and Councillors, and the full text of the accompanying document to which they refer. The following statement represents a point of view that may be disputed by local historians, including New England Ancestors magazine and Register contributor Dr. Jeremy D. Bangs)

    17 November 2000 

    Dear Sir / Madam, 

    In recent months, we have received a number of e-mails, in which concern was expressed regarding our plans with the remains of the Vrouwenkerk church. One of the messages came from you. To begin with, we would like to thank you for your sense of involvement in our cultural heritage. We would therefore like to inform you of the historical background and circumstances behind our plans for the remains of the Vrouwenkerk. 

    In the letters and e-mails received, and from articles in the international media, it is often apparent that the authors associate the Vrouwenkerk with the redesign of our city centre shopping streets, the Aalmarkt area. However, the remains of the Vrouwenkerk are not in the Aalmarkt area. This letter will therefore not deal with the re-design of the Aalmarkt area, but rather with the plans for the Vrouwenkerk.  We, the Council, see it as our duty to keep all interested parties informed. This will prevent confusion and unnecessary frustration. The appendix to this mail contains information on the historical background and our well founded standpoint with regard to the Vrouwenkerk. The historical facts on the Pilgrims are stored in Leiden Municipal Archives, and form the basis on which Leiden's historians have undertaken their studies. The Municipal Archives contain many personal documents of the Pilgrims who lived in Leiden in the past.  

    Leiden: past and present

    If you would like to experience Leiden's sense of balance between the past and present for yourself, we'd like to invite you to visit us. Enjoy the beauty of our city and see for yourself the remains of the Vrouwenkerk and surrounding area. If you cannot visit Leiden personally, our Municipal Archives web site contains detailed information on the Pilgrims, along with a photo exhibition, which takes you on a guided tour past monuments with which the Pilgrims were associated. If you are a descendant of the Pilgrims or simply interested in the Pilgrim history, our search engine can help you check which documents were registered in those days. 

    Further information:

    If you have any further questions, please feel free to ask them:

    Via E-mail

    Regular post:

          Gemeente Leiden Dienst Bouwen en Wonen

          Afdeling Monumentenzorg

          Postbus 9100

          2300 PC Leiden. 

    Yours sincerely,

    Mayor and Councillors of Leiden


    Historical background of the Vrouwenkerk remains

    Leiden: a great historical centre

    Leiden has one of the greatest historical inner cities of Europe. In 1982, this historical centre was designated a protected historic city by the national government, making it the second largest protected city area in the Netherlands, after Amsterdam. In Leiden, nearly 3000 historical buildings are officially listed monuments. Both the national and local government pay out considerable amounts of subsidies for restoration and maintenance each year. There are few countries in Europe where the national and local governments go to such lengths to preserve the cultural heritage.

    Leiden, Pilgrims and the Vrouwenkerk

    The rich history of the city of Leiden, as we know it now, stems from around the year 1000. Even in the middle ages, Leiden was one of Europe's largest textile producers. An important episode in the history of Leiden was the period around 1600. Following the 16th century iconoclastic outbreak and the reformation, Leiden became a city to which large groups of refugees from the surrounding area fled. Many different religious denominations were formed in Leiden. The largest group was French speaking, and came from the Walloon Provinces. There were so many of them that they were allocated their own church building: the Vrouwenkerk.

    The Pilgrims stayed in Leiden from 1609 to 1620. Many of the historical buildings now open to the public in Leiden were already built when the Pilgrims arrived. Important churches, such as the Pieterskerk and the Hooglandse Kerk, were among these. A third important church, the Vrouwenkerk, was largely demolished in the first half of the nineteenth century. Only a few wall segments remained intact and were incorporated in a school building. However, the underground foundations of the church are still complete.

    Vrouwenkerk wall remains

    The school was demolished in 1979 and the original wall remains became visible again. Those were conserved. New sections of wall were than constructed on the basis of the old foundations, up to seat height. The idea was to create a fascinating city square with a historic touch. In practice, the square did not live up to expectations. It very soon became full of graffiti and assorted rubbish, and functioned as a meeting point for noisy groups of youths. The surrounding buildings gradually deteriorated. Back in 1985, there were already ideas about redesigning the area. Around 1994, a new building containing shops and apartments was erected on the south side of the square. The foundations plan of the new building was designed in such a manner that the original church foundations remained as intact as possible.

    Vrouwenkerk and new square Plan

    In 1998 we approved plans for a new square. Part of the plans includes the removal of the wall that remains in the centre of the square. The idea is to make the contours of the historic foundations, which remain intact, visible in the new street paving.  The result will be a square, which offers better opportunities for the development of the surrounding building and adjacent streets. This plan was devised following a very careful consideration of many interests. Monumentenzorg, the national society for the protection of monuments also approved, because the plan offers the surrounding historical neighbourhood more future perspectives.

    Three parties have appealed against the permits we granted. The district courts of The Hague have since ruled this appeal unfounded. In November 1999, an appeal was made to the supreme court of the Netherlands, the "Raad van State." The plans for the Vrouwenkerk cannot yet be implemented because these proceedings are still pending.

    Leiden: history, respect and care

    We believe that the cultural heritage of our city deserves great respect and constant care. Over the past decades, Leiden City council has proven that it takes this task very seriously. Furthermore, we have an equally great responsibility for the present and future residents of the city and for the effective functioning of our historic centre. An old city where nobody wishes to live, work or shop will eventually fall into disuse and decay. Time and again, we must weigh up the historic importance against the interests of the current and future users of the city centre. These same interests were also carefully considered in the case of the Vrouwenkerk. 


    NEHGS Seeks Network Administrator

    The Network Administrator provides systems support for a 64-user network. Responsibilities include software installation, client support, maintenance of system standards and general administration of client-server networks, telephone systems and voicemail. Requirements: two years experience with Novell 5.0, NT Server, Exchange Server and SQL Server 7. Experience with PC diagnostics, excellent organization and client service skills a definite plus. Desirable Back Bay location near public transportation (bus, T, Commuter Rail). Flexible working hours. Direct resume and salary requirements to Network Search c/o NEHGS, 101 Newbury Street, Boston MA 02116-3007 or EOE.

    Please visit our website for all currently available staff positions at NEHGS.


    Columns @

    The following is an overview of recent and soon-to-be added columns from the Society's website

    - The Gene / Genealogy Forum V: Finding the Gene in Genograms by Edwin M. Knights Jr., MD

    - Books for the Connecticut Researcher, Part 2 by Barbara J. Mathews, CG

    - Genealogical Thoughts by GBR #52 Some Comments on Royal Descents, Royal Cousins and the British Royal Family

    - Index of Persons: New England Ancestors Magazine Volume One Number Six

    - Researching People in Boston: Boston in Print, Part One by Ann S. Lainhart

    - Rare Books and Manuscripts Part II by Michael J. Leclerc

    - New York State Brief IV by Marian Henry

    - Vermont State Brief V by Scott Andrew Bartley


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