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  • The Weekly Genealogist

  •  Vol. 10, No. 19
    Whole #373
    May 7, 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.

    * New From NEHGS Books
    * Celebrate Mother's Day with NEHGS Staff
    * Research Recommendations: Making of America
    * Name Origins
    * New on
    * Spotlight: Unity Historical Society, Maine
    * Stories of Interest
    * Classic Reprints
    * Upcoming Education Programs
    * NEHGS Contact Information




    New From NEHGS Books: Guide to Diaries

    Guide to Diaries in the R. Stanton Avery Special Collections of the New England Historic Genealogical Society
    6x9 paperback, 120 pages, $9.95
    From the seventeenth century to the present, the diaries in the R. Stanton Avery Special Collections — written by men and women from their teens to their nineties — record details of historic events and of their private lives, giving us fresh insight into the past. This new paperback lists the diaries (approximately 300) currently in the NEHGS archives; images of actual diary pages are included. Perusing the contents, the reader will get an idea of the depth and variety of the collection and also a sense of the rich historical detail the diaries and journals contain. A comprehensive index lists all personal names and place names and thus is useful to anyone researching a specific family or geographic area.

    Order your copy now from the NEHGS online store.

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    Celebrate Mother's Day with NEHGS Staff

    To celebrate Mother's Day, the New England Historic Genealogical Society has created a special exhibit honoring the mothers, grandmothers and great-grandmothers of staff members.You can view the exhibit at

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    Research Recommendations: Making of America
    by Michael J. Leclerc

    Making of America (MOA) is a major collaborative effort to preserve and make accessible a major body of resources related to the development of the United States. With funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Cornell University and the University of Michigan began in 1995 to develop a digital library documenting the social history of the United States from the antebellum period through Reconstruction.

    Cornell University started by digitizing 955 volumes, including 109 monographs and 22 journals with imprints between 1840 and 1900. The University of Michigan started by digitizing 1,600 books and 10 journals with imprints published dating between 1850 and 1877. The collections have since grown to more than 1.5 million images from 5,000 volumes at Cornell University, and more then 3.5 million images from more than 10,000 volumes at the University of Michigan. Each university maintains a their own website for their MOA titles.

    Many of these titles, such as Harper’s New Monthly Magazine, Scientific American, and Vanity Fair, may be familiar to you. Others, such as American Jewess and the Journal of the United States Association of Charcoal Iron Workers, may be less so, but are equally valuable.

    Both sites provide similar functionality. You can browse the contents by subject, author, or title. There is also a robust search engine that allows you to search on the full text of the contents as well as the title and subject. It also allows for Boolean and proximity searches as well as bibliographic searches.

    Search results show you the number of hits in each title, with links to images of the original pages where the text was found. You can add a result to your bookbag so that you have the bibliographic citation, and then download them later. One nice feature is that you can increase and decrease the size of the image, making it easier for you to read.

    You can search the Cornell University MOA website at The University of Michigan’s MOA site is available at

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    Name Origins
    by Julie Helen Otto

    CHRISTABEL (f). In colonial New England, use of this name may suggest descent from, or associations with, the Gallup family of Boston. Christabel (Brushett) Gallup, wife of immigrant John Gallup, d. Boston 27th day, 7th mo. 1655; they m. at Bridport, Dorset 19 Jan. 1617/8. This Christabel was at first reluctant to cross to New England. On 4 July 1632 John Winthrop wrote that "I have much difficulty to keep John Galloppe here by reason his wife will not come. I marvel at the woman’s weakness that she will live miserably with her children there, when she might live comfortably here with her husband. I pray persuade and further her coming by all means: if she will come let her have the remainder of his wages, if not, let it be bestowed to bring over his children, for so he desires: it would be above £40 loss for him to come for her.” That she did come is evident from her death at Boston, and the taking of her inventory about Dec. 1655. Post-colonial Christabels may also have been named from the poem of that name by Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

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    New on

    Seymour, Connecticut, Vital Records to 1910

    This database contains all of the records compiled in the four-volume Vital Statistics of Seymour, Connecticut by William Carvosso Sharpe (Seymour, Conn.: privately published, 1883-1911). This consists of 467 baptisms, 4,118 births, 3,487 marriages, 3,067 deaths, and 1,063 burials. The images of the original book pages may be viewed from the search results page. This volume is also available in our Boston research library, call number F104.S5 S55 1883.

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    Spotlight: Unity Historical Society, Maine
    by Valerie Beaudrault

    Unity is one of the twenty-five towns (and one city) located in Waldo County, Maine. It is about 30 miles southwest of the state capital of Bangor. According to its website, the Unity Historical Society is “dedicated to the collection and preservation of historical materials related to the town of Unity.” The site contains a number of image collections and a cemetery database.

    Historic Photo Collection
    The Historic Photo Collection contains 13 photographs from circa 1915. These photographs show people and places around the town of Unity. Click on a photograph to enlarge the image.

    Centennial Photos
    Click on this link to view the nearly 30 photos taken by Steve Burbank of Waterville, Maine during the Sesquicentennial Celebration on August 14, 1954. The great thing about these photographs is that nearly everyone in them is identified by name.

    Unity Postcard Collection
    Click on the Unity Postcard Collection link to view 40 historic postcards depicting images of the town. Click on any postcard to enlarge the image.

    Cemetery Data
    The cemeteries database project was begun in 1995. Two individuals from the Historical Society began to gather information about the seven cemeteries located in the town and, in the process, realized that the original cemetery indexes from the 1950s needed to be updated. They proceeded with the project, gathering comprehensive information about the individuals buried in the cemeteries. Click on the Indexing Project link to read the detailed description of the process whereby this project was accomplished.

    The original record in the index included such information as name, birth and death dates, the names of spouses and /or children. The updated index includes additional information. You can either click on the name of the cemetery to access a list of everyone buried in that cemetery or you can click on the first letter of the surname to view an alphabetical list of individuals buried in Unity cemeteries, regardless of which cemetery they are buried in. The list contains three fields – full name and year of birth and death. If the individual was a veteran, the war in which he fought is also listed. Click on the name link to view the full record. Each detailed record looks similar to an index card. They are organized alphabetically by cemetery. The information on the card includes some or all of the following: Cemetery name, grave location, Frost number, name of the deceased, birth date, death date (possibly age), spouse name, names and birth/death dates on individual stones in the plot, condition of the marker/headstone/lot, inscription, and war affiliation. The Frost number refers to the original index compiled by Edith Frost. Researchers can also perform a keyword search of the entire cemeteries database. The results returned in a keyword search are organized by cemetery name and row number.

    The original indexes and cemetery maps can be found in the Research Library of the Unity Historical Society. Copies were also given to the Unity Town Office and the Unity College Library.

    First Settlers of Unity, Maine
    Click on this link to find a list of the first settlers of Unity. The list includes the Last Name, First Name, Location of Previous Settlement, and the Year Arrived in Unity.

    Veterans of Wars from Unity
    Click on the above named link to view a list of individuals from Unity who served in the following wars: Revolutionary War, War of 1812, Mexican War (1846), Civil War (1860-1865), Spanish-American War 1898, World War I (1914-1918), World War II (1941-1945), Korean War (1950-1954), and Vietnam.

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    Stories of Interest

    Vatican Letter Directs Bishops to Keep Parish Records from Mormons
    The Vatican Congregation for Clergy has directed dioceses throughout the world to not provide information to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is unclear at this time how this will affect Catholic church records already in possession of the Family History Library. This story is from the Catholic News Service, run by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

    DNA Confirms IDs of Czar’s Children, Ending Mystery
    DNA testing has identified the remains of Crown Prince Alexei and Grand Duchess Maria, the children of Czar Nicholas II and Empress Alexandra, killed by the Bolsheviks in 1918.

    Digital Age Threatens the Family Photo Album
    The Australian recently ran a story on the impact of digital photography on the age-old family photo album, and what effect this will have on future generations.

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    Classic Reprints

    Did you know that the NEHGS Sales Department offers library-quality copies of over 10,000 rare and out-of-print books? Some titles ordered by recent customers include:

    Robert Colwell of Providence and His Descendants (Item P4-H06384)
    John Leigh of Agawam (Ipswich), MA, 1634-1671 (Item P33343500)
    History of East Haven, CT (Item P5-CT0110H)
    Peekskill in the American Revolution (Item P5-NY0324H)
    Grayson County, VA, Pioneer Settlers (Item P5-VA0077H)

    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 May 2008:

    Where Beacon Hill Began
    Thursday, May 8, 2008, 6:00 PM
    Discover the history and the families of Beacon Hill with New England Historic Genealogical Society and Historic New England. In a three-part illustrated lecture, Christopher C. Child, genealogist of the Newbury Street Press; Scott C. Steward, NEHGS director of publications; and John Winthrop Sears, former Boston City Councilor and Beacon Hill resident, will discuss “The Changing Landscape from 1625,” “Nineteenth-Century Boston Brahmins,” and “Beacon Hill Today.” This dynamic program will present the historical context of Beacon Hill’s physical transformation, the nineteenth-century migration of families to the Hill and its establishment as Boston’s elite residential neighborhood, plus perspectives on Beacon Hill in the twenty-first century. Program attendees will also receive special discounted tickets for Beacon Hill walking tours, given by Historic New England on Saturdays, 11 a.m.–1 p.m., May through October.
    RSVP at or call 617-226-1226

    Researching in Federal Records
    Wednesday, May 14, 2008, 10:00 AM
    In preparation for a Society day tour to the National Archives in Waltham, NEHGS will host Walter V. Hickey of the NARA, Northeast Region office for a tips and techniques lecture. Walter will offer a free one-hour program highlighting the use of census records, naturalization records, and passenger lists for your genealogical research.

    The Boston Italians
    May 17, 2008, 10:00 AM
    Stephen Puleo, author of Dark Tide and Due to Enemy Action, will offer a free talk on his new book The Boston Italians: A Story of Pride, Perseverance and Paesani, from the Years of the Great Immigration to Present Day. Mr. Puleo will offer a book signing following his lecture.


    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

    Salt Lake City Research Tour
    Sunday, November 2–Sunday, November 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

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    NEHGS Contact Information

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

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New England Historic Genealogical Society
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Boston, Massachusetts 02116, USA

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