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  • 1999 Archive

  • Vol. 1, No. 7
    Whole #7
    October 22, 1999
    - Canadian VRs Slammed Shut?
    - Website Q & A...the Sequel!
    -Deaths in the Town of Boston, 1700-1799 Debuts at NEHGS

    A recent item crossing our desks at Newbury Street raised some concern on
    the part of those who frequently utilize French-Canadian Vital and Census
    Records. NEHGS staff Reference Librarian Michael Leclerc, who specializes in
    French-Canadian genealogy, said that "The loss of access to these records
    would be a critical blow to genealogical research of New Englanders." We
    have re-printed contents of the e-mail letter verbatim:

    "Dear Fellow Genealogists in the United States:

    Millions of Americans from all over the United States find their search for
    roots leads back into Canada and thus they turn to surviving Canadian vital
    and census records in order to extend or complete their family trees. The
    loss of public access to all post-1901 Canadian census records is therefore
    a blow to genealogists on both sides of the American-Canadian border.

    Withdrawal of public access stems from a clause inserted in a 1905 law
    which in the view of the Canadian government guarantees perpetual
    confidentiality of census records. Unless this law is changed there will
    never be another Canadian census made available to genealogists.

    Canadian genealogists are fighting this recent government decision and
    are inviting American genealogists with Canadian roots to have their say
    as well. Canadian Senator Lorna Milne feels strongly that all those
    affected by this decision whether citizens of this country or not have a
    right to be heard. She is asking Americans and all other non-Canadians to
    write her if they are concerned about the loss of these irreplaceable old
    records and she will be their voice in Canada's Parliament. She intends to
    read some of the letters in the Senate Chamber when this issue is debated
    later this year. Letters may be sent to her by email (please include postal
    address) or via regular mail at:

                         Senator Lorna Milne,
                         The Senate of Canada,
                         Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0A4

    Americans can also contribute by signing a special "Petition of Support"
    which will be presented to Parliament by Senator Milne. Copies of this
    petition are available on the web where they can be downloaded and
    printed out:
    <> "

    ***….More Frequently-Asked Questions….

    Q: I still can't find it!
    A: It is at its IP address and will be changing to its final URL this week. For now, it is at <>
    Q: Is there a place where I  may look over all these questions at once?
    A: Go to <> for contents of this and the
    previous issue's FAQs.
    Q: May I log in using my Membership Number and password (last name) yet?
    A: Yes, but please bear in mind that Members-Only content, including
    Discussion Forums, is still under development.
    Q: May I purchase from the new site's online store or borrow a book from the
    Circulating Library?
    A: Not yet. Until the official launch, we will be continually testing these
    important areas. You will still be able to access the Sydney database at our
    current site<> for Circulating Library
    needs, and will still be able to make purchases there as well.
    Q: Will the new QuickSearch service be a part of the new site?
    A: Absolutely, though, as is the case with the above question, you should
    refer to the existing website<> for
    QuickSearch details.
    Q: Are the Manuscript Inventories in a Members-Only area?
    A: The Inventories are available to all, but accessing Manuscripts
    themselves remains a Member privilege.
    Q: Are there plans to put Manuscripts online?
    A: The Society is investigating this possiblity, exploring the costs
    involved and the web-enabling of these often extremely fragile items, many
    of which are several hundred years old.
    Q: I would like to have an event posted in your Calendar. How does one do
    A: Press releases and notices for events of genealogical interest should be
    emailed to<>, with the word "Calendar
    Event" placed in the subject line. Via Postal Service, please address your
    letter to Calendar, 101 Newbury Street, Boston MA
    02116. All the usual contact and event detail information applies.
    Q: Will there be a Queries Section?
    A: Queries will be an entire separate Discussion Forum for Members only.
    Like all Forums, it will feature detailed instructions for formatting your
    query and posting.
    Q: What about old NEXUS Queries?
    A: At this time we plan to add Queries which have appeared in NEXUS since
    Q: After I log in, the name that appears is not mine. Is there a problem?
    A: Probably not, unless the name that appears is not a member of your
    family. When joining NEHGS, there is a Main Name entered into our Membership
    database, and on the new website that name is programmed to appear. So if
    you have a family membership you may see the name of another family member
    after logging in. If you very much need to change the main name, please
    e-mail the Membership Department at
    Q: Will the email addresses of staff at NEHGS change?
    A: No. Thus all emails will still end with "".
    Q:  I saw something that would be perfect for your "Genealogy in the News"
    section. How do I go about alerting you to it?
    A: All such notices are welcome, the appropriate contact address being<>.

    The Sales Department is pleased to announce the availability of a new NEHGS
    publication, Deaths in the Town of Boston, 1700-1799, by Robert J. Dunkle
    and Ann Smith Lainhart.  This two-volume set is an exhaustive accounting of
    deaths recorded in Boston from 1700 to 1799, keyed to a list of more than 50
    sources including town histories, vital records, newspapers, articles in the
    Register, manuscripts, and diaries. Foreword by Dr. Ralph J. Crandall.
    NEHGS.  1999.  1,137pp.  Hardcover.

    Deaths in the Town of Boston (Item # S2-76720) may be purchased for $75.00
    (NEHGS members, $67.50), plus $4.75 shipping and handling.  Please call the
    Sales Department, toll-free, at 1-888-296-3447.  Please refer to this
    newsletter when placing your order.

    NOTE: This is a special edition of HisGen Highlights, published to answer
    more questions about the new web site. There will be another
    (regularly-scheduled) issue next week, and after that we will resume
    every-other-week publication.
    Copyright 1845-1999NEHGS. All rights reserved.

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