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  • The Weekly Genealogist

  • eNews
    Vol. 10, No. 14
    Whole #368
    April 2, 2008
    Edited by Michael J. Leclerc and Valerie Beaudrault

    Greetings from the New England Historic Genealogical Society! This newsletter has been sent to people who asked to receive it. If you would like to unsubscribe or change your email address, please click on the link at the bottom of the email and follow the instructions provided.

    * Coming Soon: Changes to
    * Research Recommendations: The New England Quarterly
    * Name Origins
    * Seen Elsewhere
    * Spotlight: Friends of Cemeteries
    * Stories of Interest
    * From the Online Genealogist
    * Colonial Books on Sale
    * Upcoming Education Programs
    * NEHGS Contact Information




    Coming Soon: Changes to

    NEHGS is excited to let you know about some changes coming to our website, We are planning to release a new design of our website shortly. The site will look completely different and a few things may be found in different places. We hope the new navigation is simplified and organized in a way that makes more resources easier to access. Keep an eye out for the new

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    Research Recommendations: The New England Quarterly
    by Michael J. Leclerc

    One quality of most genealogists is that we are voracious readers. We look for information on our ancestors, including information that helps us put them into context and understand how they lived. And every good genealogist knows the necessity of understanding the history of the location in which their ancestors lived in order to find the greatest amount of information about them, and where to look to help blast through brick walls. In addition to the many excellent journals out there specific to genealogy, there are a number of journals dedicated to general or social history that will also be helpful. For New Englanders, one of the leading (and highly recommended) journals is The New England Quarterly: A Historical Review of New England Life and Letters (NEQ).

    According to the editorial announcement in the first issue in January 1928, NEQ was founded “for the benefit of those who are interested in the history of civilization in New England; and in the hope of making them more numerous. Its pages will be hospitable to every sort of article, short note, or document, on the past of New England and on the migration of New England ideas, people, and institutions.”

    The founders were concerned that there was no journal “open to all aspects of New England, and to all writers of whatever age, ancestry, or residence.” They lamented the lack of published material on “the racial changes in New England during the last three-quarters of a century, the literature that followed the Augustan age, the political history of any New England state, the religious changes since the Civil War, the ebb and flow between city and country, or the tides of economic progress and decline.”

    Many of these articles are of great value to genealogists. The very first issue contained a transcription of the 1848 journal of 21-year-old Merrill Ober telling of his life in Monkton, Vermont. Later that year they published an article by Chilton L. Powell, “Marriage in Early New England,” discussing the fact that the early New England settlers felt that marriage was a civil affair, not a religious one. They later published the story of Joel Shepard of Montague, Massachusetts, who at the age of 83 wrote down his memories of fighting in the Revolutionary War. Other articles that year included Walt Whitman’s description of Boston on his visits there, and an analysis of Puritan names, including statistics on the frequency of Old Testament, New Testament, and Non-Biblical names in seventeenth-century Massachusetts Bay (most common: Jonathan, from the New Testament; least common: a tie between Arthur and Walter).

    Eighty years later, the journal is still going strong. Now supported by Northeastern University, the Massachusetts Historical Society, and The Colonial Society of Massachusetts, it is published four times a year by the MIT Press. The structure of the journal is remarkably similar to what it was in the beginning: four articles, followed by the brief discussion of one or two memoranda or documents, finishing with a substantial section of book reviews. The most recent issue (September 2007) contains a highly interesting article by François Weil entitled “John Farmer and the Making of American Genealogy.”

    Subscriptions are available for both print and electronic versions of the journal. Individual subscriptions are available for $32.00 (electronic access only) and $35.00 (print and electronic access). Discount rates for students and retired persons are available for $25.00 and $22.00. Single back issues are available for $11.00.

    For more information about the journal, how to subscribe, or how to submit an article, visit.

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    Name Origins
    by Julie Helen Otto

    CALISTA/CALLISTA (f): From the Greek kalliste, “most beautiful”. Calista, an unfaithful wife seduced by the cad Lothario, later becomes the title character of The Fair Penitent (1703), a tragedy by the English writer Nicholas Rowe.

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    Seen Elsewhere

    The following articles may be of interest to you as a family historian. They appeared in recent genealogical and historical periodicals, all available in the NEHGS research library. If you do not have ready access to these publications, you may order copies from the NEHGS Photocopy Service.

    Association of Professional Genealogists Quarterly
    Volume XXIII, No. 1, March 2008
    Peter Haring Judd. "Adding Muscle and Sinew: Spicing Up a Family Narrative" (23–34).
    The author of The Hatch and Brood of Time and More Lasting Than Brass discusses resources to add depth to your family history.

    Everton's Genealogical Helper
    March/April 2008
    George G. Morgan. "How to Achieve Genealogy Research Trip Success" (16–19).
    Expert advice on how to prepare for a trip, and what to do once you are on-site.

    Patricia Dingwell Thompson. "Unravelling a Gordian Knot" (28–30).
    A certified genealogist uses an example of the McMillen family of New Hampshire to show how to deal with cases of multiple individuals in the same location at the same time with the same name.

    Family Tree Magazine
    May 2008
    Maureen A. Taylor. "The Weather Report" (26–30).
    How weather could have influenced your family's desire to relocate.

    Historical New Hampshire
    Volume 61, No. 2, Fall 2007
    Barbara McLean Ward. "'Circumstances of Imperious Consequence': Insecurity, Independence, and History in the Lives of the Women of the Moffatt-Ladd House (120–41).
    Learn how five generations of women lived in and preserved this historic house in Portsmouth, New Hamphshire, through illness, financial difficulty, and prolonged absences.

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    Spotlight: Friends of Cemeteries [Georgia]
    by Valerie Beaudrault

    When looking for a website about which to write, I came across the Friends of Cemeteries website. Through this site you can access websites that catalog the middle-Georgia cemeteries in the counties of Baldwin, Hancock, Washington, Jones, and Wilkinson. These counties are located in central Georgia, just east of the city of Macon. The Friends was formed with the purpose of cataloging the cemeteries of Hancock County and expanded to include other counties. Almost 50,000 graves in more than 900 cemeteries can be found on the site. I will discuss the Hancock County site in detail, but each of the counties has similar information and functionality.

    Hancock County Cemeteries
    This website lists 252 cemeteries with more than 12,600 gravesites. The cemeteries are listed alphabetically. The data fields include a “short” name link for the cemetery, the full cemetery name, and the GPS coordinates. Click on the cemetery name link to access the cemetery’s burial data. Please note that there is a separate website for the Sparta City Cemetery, with a link on the Friends of the Hancock County Cemeteries website.

    Click on the Maps with Cemeteries link to bring up a page from which you can view maps showing the locations of cemeteries in Hancock County. Each red dot represents a cemetery. The cemeteries will appear on these maps using the “Short” names found in the cemetery list database.

    Click on the Search for Graves link to access the search page. There are four search options. To perform a Simple Search enter the first or middle name in the first search box and/or a last or maiden name in the second search box. The advanced search option allows searchers to use partial names. With the third option you can search for statesmen or soldiers by service — government service, Revolutionary War, Confederate in Civil War, Federal in Civil War, or Spanish American War. You can also search for names or words in the gravestone inscriptions. Please remember that the Sparta City Cemetery is not a part of this database.

    The search results may include some or all of the following: the location of the cemetery, including its GPS coordinates and a link to a “topozone” map, the status of the cemetery (active or inactive), the predominant race of the individuals buried there, a narrative description of the cemetery, photographs, names of the indexers or contributors, and a list of the graves in the cemetery. Each individual record includes the person number, name, birth date, death date, gravestone inscription and notes, and information on the decedent’s government or military service. Biographical information may also be included. The Notes may be related to the individual buried in the grave or may detail information about the condition of the grave.

    The Biographies section of the website contains biographical data for some individuals buried in Hancock County cemeteries. Other sections of the website include one for “Lost Graves,” which contains postings by relatives and the Friends of Hancock County Cemeteries seeking the whereabouts of graves; a searchable database of individuals compiled from obituaries appearing in local newspapers who died since March 2003 in Baldwin, Hancock, Jones and Wilkinson Counties; and a glossary of terms and abbreviations found in the cemetery records.

    Sparta City Cemetery
    Sparta is the seat of Hancock County. The Sparta City Cemetery is on the National Registry of Historic Places. The database contains a complete index to the cemetery, which includes about 2,100 grave records. The search options for this website are the same as those for the Hancock County site. There is a history of the cemetery, a Biographies section, and a glossary of terms and abbreviations,

    You will also find a link to Grave Pictures. The fields in this database include the decedent’s name, birth and death dates, and gravestone picture. Click on the person’s name to view a detailed record, which includes the location of the grave, as well as the inscription and notes. The gravestone image is enlarged in this view. Click on the “Find others in this lot” link to view a list of those people buried in the lot.

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    Stories of Interest

    Genealogy Web Site Attempts to Map Out Entire Jewish People
    Haaretz correspondent Anshel Pfeffer talks with Dan Rolls about Rolls’ website and his attempt to document all Jews.

    Genealogy Study
    WCBD-TV in Charleston, South Carolina reported on the efforts of genealogists to trace the roots of African-Americans enslaved by the Drayton family at Magnolia Plantation.

    Do Your Homework Before You go Online for Family History Info
    Grant Kerr of the Victoria, British Columbia, Times Colonist interviews professional genealogist Sherry Irvine about the importance of being prepared to research before venturing onto the information superhighway.

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    From the Online Genealogist

    I understand there is a new publication on Jewish Cemeteries. Does NEHGS have anything that was recently published in this area, and, if so, how can I obtain a copy? Sorry to be so vague in the title and author.

    I believe that you are referring to Rabbi Joshua L. Segal’s book A Field Guide to Visiting a Jewish Cemetery. A Spiritual Journal to the Past, Present, and Future (Nashua, N.H., Jewish Cemetery Publishing, 2006). The Society has a copy from the second printing, call number CS21/S45/2006. The ISBN number is 0-9764057-1-7, and you can contact the publisher at: Jewish Cemetery Publishing, LLC, 31 Scott Ave., Nashua, NH 03062-2443.

    David Allen Lambert is the Society’s Online Genealogist. If you would like to ask him a question, contact him at or visit his blog at For more information about the Online Genealogist visit Please note that he will make every effort to reply to each message, but will respond on a first-come, first-served basis.

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    Colonial Books on Sale

    NEHGS is happy to offer two important titles for sale. Take 10% off until April 10th, 2008!

    In the Devil's Snare: The Salem Witchcraft Crisis of 1692, by Mary Beth Norton
    In 1692 the people of Massachusetts were living in fear, and not solely of satanic afflictions. Horrifyingly violent Indian attacks had all but emptied the northern frontier of settlers, and many traumatized refugees—including the main accusers of witches—had fled to communities like Salem. Meanwhile the colony’s leaders, defensive about their own failure to protect the frontier, pondered how God’s people could be suffering at the hands of savages. Struck by the similarities between what the refugees had witnessed and what the witchcraft “victims” described, many were quick to see a vast conspiracy of the Devil (in league with the French and the Indians) threatening New England on all sides. By providing this essential context to the famous events, and by casting her net well beyond the borders of Salem itself, Norton sheds new light on one of the most perplexing and fascinating periods in our history. Soft cover.
    Was $15.95, Now $14.36

    Pilgrims: New World Settlers & The Call of Home, by Susan Hardman Moore
    This book uncovers what might seem to be a dark side of the American dream: the New World from the viewpoint of those who decided not to stay. At the core of the volume are the life histories of people who left New England during the British Civil Wars and Interregnum, 1640–1660. More than a third of the ministers who had stirred up emigration from England deserted their flocks to return home. The colonists’ stories challenge our perceptions of early settlement and the religious ideal of New England as a "City on a Hill." America was a stage in their journey, not an end in itself. Susan Hardman Moore first explores the motives for migration to New England in the 1630s and the rhetoric that surrounded it. Then, drawing on extensive original research into the lives of hundreds of migrants, she outlines the complex reasons that spurred many to brave the Atlantic again, homeward bound. Her book ends with the fortunes of colonists back home and looks at the impact of their American experience. Hardcover.
    Was $35.00, Now $31.50

    Orders can be made online or by calling 617-226-1212. Massachusetts residents add 5% sales tax. Prices do not include shipping.

    Did you know that the NEHGS Sales Department offers library-quality copies of over 10,000 rare and out-of-print books? Recent customers have ordered some of the following titles:

    The Blakesley Family, 1630-1957
    Fellows Family of Shelburne
    Desc. of William James
    Early Settlers of Alabama
    History of Laporte County, Indiana
    Vital Records of Dartmouth, MA to 1850

    You can search the entire Classic Reprints catalog online at

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    Upcoming Education Programs

    Each year the Society presents a number of dynamic lectures, seminars, and tours for genealogists and the general public. Programs are held at 101 Newbury Street unless otherwise indicated. For more information, please contact Ryan Woods at 617-226-1226 or

    The following programs will be held in April 2008:

    Salem Witch Judge
    Wednesday, April 9, 2008, 6:00 PM
    Join renowned author of "American Jezebel" Eve LaPlante for a reading of her critically acclaimed new book "Salem Witch Judge: The Life and Repentance of Samuel Sewall." A book signing will follow.
    This event is free and open to the public.

    Researching Your Union Civil War Ancestors
    Wednesday, April 16, 2008, 10:00 AM
    David Allen Lambert, The Online Genealogist, will present a free lecture on researching your Union soldier ancestors in the Civil War. Highlights will include tips on using pension records to locate your forbears.
    This event is free and open to the public.

    Families of the Old North Church
    Wednesday, April 23, 2008, 6 p.m.
    Discover the congregation of the Old North Church in 1775 on the eve of the American Revolution. NEHGS research services coordinator D. Joshua Taylor and staff genealogist Rhonda R. McClure will present the findings of a months'-long research collaboration with historians and educators showing the changing historiography of the church and its families as a revolution dawned in the colonies.
    This program is free and open to the public. Please RSVP at 617-226-1226 or


    Family History in England, Scotland, and Ireland
    Saturday, April 26, 2008
    Discover your ancestors of England, Scotland, and Ireland with three leading genealogists, Else Churchill, Marie Daly, and David Dearborn. This one-day seminar will identify and demystify the best record sources for finding your 17th, 18th, and 19th century forebears. The seminar will conclude with a roundtable discussion where you can pose your specific genealogical problems.
    Early Registration: $95. Standard Registration: $110.
    For more information visit


    Seminars and Tours
    For more information or to register for any of these events, please contact Ryan Woods at 617-226-1226 or

    National Archives Research Day
    Thursday, May 22, 2008
    The National Archives Northeast Region in Waltham, Massachusetts, holds a treasure trove of genealogical material. Join NEHGS staff experts for a day of guided research and consultations at NARA. Highlights of the collection include federal census records 1790-1930, Revolutionary War records and extensive passenger lists.
    Registration fee: $75 per person (includes lunch).
    For more information or to register, please call Ryan Woods at 617-226-1226 or visit

    Quebec Research Tour
    Sunday, June 15–Sunday, June 22, 2008
    Celebrate the 400th anniversary of the founding of Quebec by joining NEHGS staff experts Michael J. Leclerc and Pauline Cusson for a research week in Montreal, Quebec. This unique opportunity will allow participants to take advantage of two premier Canadian repositories, the Société Généalogique Canadienne-Française (SGCF) and the Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec (BAnQ). These archives hold documents from the earliest settlement of Quebec through the English period, down to the twentieth century. Participants will receive one-on-one consultations, providing guidance and suggestions for research. Whether your ancestors spoke French or English, the archival records will help you to break through your brick walls and discover where they came from.
    Registration Fees (includes seven nights lodging at the Hôtel Les Suites Labelle): Single, $1,550; Double, $1,350; Double with non-participant, $1,850; Commuter, $775 (no lodging).
    For more information visit

    Come Home to New England
    #1 Monday, June 23–Saturday, June 28, 2008
    #2 Monday, August 11–Saturday, August 16, 2008
    The staff of the New England Historic Genealogical Society invites you to participate in our classic intensive week-long program, Come Home to New England. Research your roots with expert assistance at the extensive NEHGS library, one of the premier facilities for genealogical records in the world. Whether you are a first-time participant or have enjoyed this program in the past, you are sure to benefit from a visit to our library and extended time with our staff of professional genealogists as they welcome you “home” to New England. Throughout the week of guided research, you will have the opportunity for one-on-one consultations, daily lectures and special extended library hours. Registration fee $750, $125 for non-participating guest.
    For more information, visit or

    Salt Lake City Research Tour
    Sunday, November 2–Sunday, November 9, 2008
    November 2-9, 2008
    Join NEHGS for our thirtieth annual research tour to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah. Along with over 70 other participants you are invited to take part in an intensive week of research where you will be aided by expert staff. Daily programming also includes computer tutorials for accessing the library card catalog, research tips and techniques lectures, personalized consultations and group dinning events.
    For more information visit:

    For more information about NEHGS programs, visit or email

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    NEHGS Contact Information

    We encourage you to email this newsletter to others who might be interested. To subscribe or view back issues of eNews, please visit

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    To view the website of the New England Historic Genealogical Society, please visit

    To become a member of the New England Historic Genealogical Society, please visit

    Copyright 2008, New England Historic Genealogical Society
    101 Newbury Street, Boston, MA 02116

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

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