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  • The Weekly Genealogist

  • Vol. 10, No. 16
    Whole #370
    April 16, 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.

    NEHGS collects, preserves, and interprets materials to document and make accessible the histories of families in America.

    Last week we launched the new look and feel of If you haven’t visited the site yet, please check it out and let us know what you think. As with the launch of any website of this size and complexity, we have noticed bugs such as problem pages and database search problems. We are working to correct them as quickly as we can. Please report any problems you encounter to so that we may address them.


    We feel that the new look and feel will make the website more enjoyable and easier to use. Further enhancements will be rolled out over the course of the next year.

    Colonial Society Lecture and Book Sale

    Next month, the Colonial Society of Massachusetts will host a public lecture at their home at 87 Mount Vernon Street in Boston. Boston College professor Daniel R. Coquillette will present "Portrait of a Patriot: Josiah Quincy, Jr., and his Southern Journal." The lecture will be held at 3:00 p.m on Thursday, May 15, 2008, and will be followed by discussion and light refreshments. From 2:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. that day the Society will hold a book sale on their backlist, with titles dating from 1910 to 1995. Books will be steeply discounted to $1, $5, and $10, cash or check only (no credit cards).

    You must purchase books in person. For more information about the lecture or the Society, visit You can view the list of titles that will be available at the boooksale at

    Research Recommendations: The Prism Online

    by Michael J. Leclerc

    The University of Maine published The Prism for more than a century, from 1895 to 1997. The Fogler Library at the university recently completed a project digitizing every issue of the yearbook and posting them on their website. These books are a fascinating look at college life and how it changed over the course of a century.

    The website is very easy to use. The main page presents an expandable and collapsible list of the decades. Clicking on a year brings you to a list of the table of contents for that year. The files cover approximately 30 to 40 pages each, and are listed by page number. You can download the entire book, or just the section you wish. The first issue listed four fraternities, including Kappa Sigma and and Alpha Tau Omega. By 1997 they were joined by many others, including the UMaine chapter of my fraternity, Kappa Kappa Psi.

    As with all yearbooks, there are photographs and images aplenty in these pages. Because the files are large, they may take awhile to load, even with a high-speed connection. But they are well worth the wait. The images of the text are usually crisp, clean, and easy to read. One unfortunate drawback is that the scans were done in black and white, so one loses much of the impact of the color photography in the late-twentieth century. And the contrast is insufficient for many of the black and white photographs, rendering some of them difficult to see.

    If you have ancestors who went to the University of Maine, check out The Prism at

    Name Origins

    by Julie Helen Otto

    SELINA (Latinized from Greek selene ‘moon’) (f): Another epithet for the lunar aspect of the goddess DIANA. In eighteenth century England this name is often a marker for non-conformism, cf. Selina, Countess of Huntingdon. The writer’s own great-aunt, Mary Ann Selina Edith “Nancy” Thomas (1876-1935), took her given and middle names from paternal grandmother Mary Ann (Broadhurst) Thomas (1805-1895) of Bath and Weston-super-mare, Somerset (now Avon) and great-aunt Selina Frances (Broadhurst) Paley (ca. 1826-1907), daus. of Unitarian [i.e. Non-Conformist] Rev. Thomas Broadhurst (c1768-1851) of Bath, England, and his wife Frances Whittaker. Nancy—said in the family to have died from a chill taken while researching genealogical data in the very draughty Arundel Castle—had apparently, by the time of her death, converted to Catholicism; her funeral Mass was celebrated at a Carmelite church in London (The Times, Friday, 3 May 1935, p. 1).

    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.

    The Beaver
    April/May 2008
    Canada’s National History Society
    Ken McGoogan, “Tragic Passage” (16–27).
    The elusive Arctic Sea route is about to become a reality, thanks to climate change.

    Naše Rodina/Our Family
    February 2008, Special Edition
    Czechoslovak Genealogical Society International
    Lenka Matušíková, “The Czech Network and its Less Well-Known Holdings for Genealogical Research” (3–25) and “Bohemia after the Thirty Years War: Historical Sources Deposited in the National Archives in Prague” (26–38).
    These two articles by Dr. Matušíková of the Czech National Archives are based on papers she presented at the 2007 CGSI Conference in Madison, Wisconsin, and are very valuable for those researching in this eastern European country.

    The Scottish Genealogist
    Journal of the Scottish Genealogical Society, Edinburgh
    December 2007
    Rosemary Bigwood, “Scottish Censuses and the OAPs” (176–179)
    Ms. Bigwood discusses the Old Age Pension Act of 1908 and how it helped to preserve the 1841 and 1851 censuses of Scotland. A brief history of the censuses is also included.

    Spotlight: The Old City Cemetery, Lynchburg, Virginia

    by Valerie Beaudrault

    The Old City Cemetery, established in 1806, is the oldest continuously operated public cemetery in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The independent city of Lynchburg is located in the central part of the state. The cemetery’s website contains a number of online resources.

    Cemetery History
    Clicking on the Cemetery History link you will find sections on topics, which might be of interest to you if your ancestors came from the Lynchburg area. They include Cemetery Characters, a virtual Black History Walking Tour, information on African Burial Customs, and Confederate Hospitals in Lynchburg.

    Cemetery Characters
    It is estimated that about twenty thousand individuals are buried in the cemetery. This section contains brief biographies of two hundred “characters,” who are representative of the cemetery’s diverse population. The “characters” have been organized by Occupations (i.e. Civil Servants, Religious Leaders, Tobacco, Sporting Ladies, Medical Professionals, Artisans & Masters of Their Craft, and Inventors), Special Categories (i.e. People Important in the History and Development of the Old Cemetery, Founding Fathers & Mothers of Lynchburg, Refugees, Strangers & “Just Passing Through”), and the Famous and Unique (i.e. Famous Relatives, Ancestors & Descendants, Subjects of Books & Other Widespread Publications).

    Black History in the Old City Cemetery
    It is believed that three-quarters of the people buried in the Cemetery, since its establishment in 1806, are African American. It was the only cemetery in Lynchburg that was open to African Americans until 1885. Visitors to the website can take a virtual tour of gravesites of African Americans buried in the Cemetery by clicking on this link.

    Cemetery Archives
    General Cemetery Burials Since 1806
    This searchable database contains records of all interments since October 1, 1914, individuals who died between 1806 and 1914 with grave markers, and individuals who died between 1806 and 1914 without grave markers, for whom documentation of their burial in Old City Cemetery exists. Because few grave markers for the period from 1806 to 1914 exist, the majority of the early burials have not been recorded in the database. Neither burials before 1806 nor Confederate soldiers are a part of this database (see Civil War Burials & Removals below). Records are still being added.

    Researchers can search by all or part of a last name or first name. Searches can be limited by decade of birth or year range, decade of death or year range, historical race, or gender. The data fields in the List View include full name, date born, date died, section where buried, historical race and gender. The records in the search results can be printed by clicking on the ‘Print List View’ button. To view and individual record, highlight it and the information will appear in the boxes below the search results. Click on the ‘Print One’ button to print individual records. The data fields for the detailed records include full name, date born, date died, gender, historical race, section, gravemarker (yes/no), mother’s name, father’s name, spouse’s name, address, place of death, cause of death, occupation, military service details, and notes.

    Civil War Burials & Removals 1861–1865
    There are three databases in this section of the website: Confederate Soldiers Buried in the Confederate Section, Union Soldiers Formerly Buried in the Confederate Section, and African-American Slaves and Soldiers buried in “Negro Row.” The fields in the Confederate Soldiers and Union Soldiers alphabetical databases include name, military unit, date of burial, grave location (Row and Lot), and notes. The information found in the records for most of the burials listed in the Confederate soldier database is limited to name and military unit. For Union soldiers the database most often only includes the individual’s name. The Notes field includes such information as year of birth, residence, cause of death, where wounded, and even spouse’s name. You can click on the map link in the Soldiers buried in the Confederate Section to get help in locating a soldier’s gravesite. The remains of Union soldiers buried in Old City Cemetery were exhumed in October 1866 and reburied in Poplar Grove National Cemetery, south of Petersburg, Virginia. There are ten African Americans confirmed to have been buried in the Confederate Section of the cemetery. They can be found in the third database. These individuals were slaves who worked in local hospitals or body servants of Confederate officers and two Union soldiers. These graves were segregated from the other graves in the Confederate section.

    Stories of Interest

    Greeley Family Holds Piece of History: An Account of Lincoln’s Assassination
    Mike Peters of The Tribune shares this story of the Moore family of Greeley, Colorado, and a letter written by their ancestor, a former Ohio congressman, who was an eyewitness to the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, which occurred 143 years ago this week.

    ’Netiquette’ on Genealogy Mailing Lists
    Diana Tibert, a columnist for The Amherst Citizen in Nova Scotia, writes a thoughtful commentary on appropriate behavior for mailing lists.

    Genealogy Hobbyist Compiles Reference of Newspaper Stories
    D.A. Wilkinson, a correspondent for The Vindicator in Youngstown, Ohio, tells the story of DeWayne McCarty, who recently published a 656-page compilation of extracts from newspapers in Columbiana and East Lewistown, Ohio.

    Sale on Salem Witch Judge

    The Sale Department is happy to offer 10% off on Salem Witch Judge: The Life and Repentance of Samuel Sewall, by Eve LaPlante. Discount good through April 21st, 2008, while supplies last. For more information on this title visit

    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:

    Desc. of Richard Church of Plymouth, MA (Item P4-H05712)
    Rev. John Graham of Woodbury, CT, and His Descendants (Item P4-H12204)
    History of the Town of Waldoboro, ME (Item P5-ME0007H)
    Gravestone Inscriptions of Schoharie County, NY (Item P5-NY0448H)
    History of Manitowoc County, WI (Item P5-WI0009H)

    You can search the entire Classic Reprints catalog online at

    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:

    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 more than 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

    NEHGS Contact Information

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    101 Newbury Street, Boston, MA 02116

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