American Ancestors New England Historic Genealogical Society - Founded 1845 N.E. Historic Genealogical Society Seal View Your Shopping Cart Join NEHGS
  • The Weekly Genealogist

  • Vol. 10, No. 2
    Whole #356
    January 9, 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.

    * Subscribe Now to the 2008 Great Migration Newsletter
    * New on
    * New From Newbury Street Press: The Descendants of Henry Sewall
    * Name Origins
    * New Great Migration Newsletter Compendia Available
    * Research Recommendations: New Year's Resolutions for the Genealogist
    * Spotlight: Lancaster County Historical Society, Pennsylvania
    * Stories of Interest
    * From the Online Genealogist
    * Upcoming Education Programs
    * NEHGS Contact Information




    Subscribe Now to the 2008 Great Migration Newsletter

    The Great Migration Newsletter offers feature articles on a variety of topics, including the settlement of early New England towns, migration patterns, seventeenth-century passenger lists, church and land records, and much more. The Newsletter complements the individual Great Migration sketches and addresses broad issues key to understanding the lives and times of New England’s first immigrants.

    Print subscribers to volume 17 (2008) receive a new issue of the Newsletter through the mail each quarter. ($20 per year)

    Online subscribers access issues through, where the Newsletter is posted each quarter. They can also access past issues from volumes 11 through 16, as well as bonus biographical sketches not yet in print. ($10 per year for NEHGS members; $20 per year for non-members)

    To subscribe, please visit or call Member Services at 1-888-296-3447.

    Return to Table of Contents


    New on

    Vital Records of Sandisfield, Mass. To 1850

    From the introduction to the book:

    “The Town of Sandisfield, Berkshire County, Massachusetts, was established March 6, 1762, and was originally known as Township Number Three, having been granted to a company who petitioned for the same in 1735, but no family moved into the town until 1750. On Feb. 10, 1819 the District of Southfield and the Town of Sandisfield united as the Township of Sandisfield. On April 9, 1838 part of the common lands called the East Eleven Thousand Acres was annexed. On May 4, 1853 bounds between Sandisfield and Tolland were established. On April 24, 1875 part of the town was annexed to Monterey. On May 19, 1875, Act of April 24, 1875. This was accepted by Monterey. On June 1, 1875 the Act of April 24, 1875 took effect.

    "The records in this book are transferred from the original town records, and include the District of Southfield, now part of Sandisfield. These records were copied from the Town Books and verified by the Reverend Elisha L. Sawyer, former town clerk of Sandisfield, and again verified with the originals by the present compiler, Captain Elizur Yale Smith.”

    This database contains 2,736 births, 634 marriages, and 808 deaths.
    This volume is also available in our Boston research library, call number F74.S165 S7 1936.

    Return to Table of Contents


    New From Newbury Street Press: The Descendants of Henry Sewall

    Published after a decade of research, The Descendants of Henry Sewall (1576–1656) of Manchester and Coventry, England, and Newbury and Rowley, Massachusetts: The Family in England and the First Six Generations in North America by Eben W. Graves is the most extensive work yet compiled on this important New England Family. The Sewall family has produced such luminaries as Massachusetts Chief Justice, witchcraft trial judge, and diarist Samuel Sewall; Dummer Sewall, an officer in the French and Indian and Revolutionary wars, and later justice of the Massachusetts Court of Common Pleas; abolitionist Rev. Samuel Joseph May and his niece, author Louisa May Alcott; and Henry Sewall, a Revolutionary War officer and a founder of the Society of the Cincinnati.

    This compilation is now available from Newbury Street Press (hardcover, 488pp) for $59.95. You can order the book at

    Return to Table of Contents


    Name Origins
    by Julie Helen Otto

    Sound Shifts to Watch For:
    WH to F: Seen in some Scots dialects in Aberdeenshire (e.g. "fan" for "when;" colloquial "fit??" for "whaaaat??!!").

    Return to Table of Contents


    New Great Migration Newsletter Compendia Available

    Two new compilations of the Robert Charles Anderson’s Great Migration Newsletter are now available. The Complete Great Migration Newsletter, Volumes 1–15 contains every volume of the newsletter, indexed by both first names and surnames. More than 500 pages of focus articles on early New England towns, descriptions of church and land records, literature surveys, descriptions of seventeenth-century passenger ships and lists, discussions of migration patterns, and more, will now be at your fingertips for $24.95.

    For those who own earlier compilations, we also have The Great Migration Newsletter, Volumes 11–15 to round out your collection. This book is available for $11.95.

    You can purchase these books at

    Return to Table of Contents


    Research Recommendations: New Year's Resolutions for the Genealogist
    by Michael J. Leclerc

    New Year’s Eve always brings about thoughts of what we will accomplish in the coming year. The following list of resolutions for genealogists is making the rounds on the internet (although nobody I know can identify the original source), and I provide it here as a lighthearted look at the thoughtful actions you can take as a genealogist starting in 2008.

    1. No man is truly well-educated unless he learns to spell his name at least three different ways within the same document. I resolve to give the appearance of being extremely well-educated in the coming year.

    2. I resolve to see to it that all of my children will have the same names that my ancestors have used for six generations in a row.

    3. My age is no one's business but my own. I hereby resolve to never list the same age or birth year twice on any document.

    4. I resolve to have each of my children baptized in a different church -- either in a different faith or in a different parish. Every third child will not be baptized at all, or will be baptized by an itinerant minister who keeps no records.

    5. I resolve to move to a new town, new county, or new state at least once every 10 years -- just before those pesky enumerators come around asking silly questions.

    6. I will make every attempt to reside in counties and towns where no vital records are maintained or where the courthouse burns down every few years.

    7. I resolve to join an obscure religious cult that does not believe in record keeping or in participating in military service.

    8. When the tax collector comes to my door, I'll loan him my pen, which has been dipped in rapidly fading blue ink.

    9. I resolve that if my beloved wife Mary should die, I will marry another Mary.

    10. I resolve not to make a will. Who needs to spend money on a lawyer?

    11. I resolve to not clutter up the good farm pasture with headstones, that will just get broken or fade with time anyway.

    12. I resolve to protect my family and friends privacy, by giving false names and places for events.

    13. I resolve to never give the correct accounts of misdeeds in the family, so when Uncle Lem shot that guy and was tried for murder, my kids will be told he stole a cow.

    14. I resolve to never trim the family cemetery of brush and tangle weed, to keep out any one doing that silly genealogical work.

    15. I resolve to always alternate my kid's and wife's first and middle names when the census taker comes around, just to give him practice with his spelling.

    16. I resolve to come from Ireland, where there are no records, or, if there are, they can only be examined by visiting the exact village, pleading with the local clergy (who is hostile to anyone not of his belief which of course you are) and/or handing over a fee equal to or exceeding your yearly income for one hour's research which may not find anything.

    17. I resolve that not only shall I NOT die in my country of birth, but neither shall my children (yea verily) unto the sixth generation.

    18. I resolve that I shall call my children by odd names which the enumerator shall spell incorrectly.

    19. I resolve that I shall be absent on the night of the census.

    20. I resolve that if unable to be absent on census night I shall endeavor to be enumerated twice.

    21. I resolve that when I die my children/wife will be instructed to give the wrong details for my death certificate.

    22. I resolve that I and most of my family shall die suddenly just before death certifications started to be used, in a parish where easy access to the records ceased the previous year.

    Return to Table of Contents


    Spotlight: Lancaster County Historical Society, Pennsylvania
    by Valerie Beaudrault

    Newspaper Databases Accessible from the Lancaster County Historical Society Website

    The Columbia SpyLancaster & York County Record — is available on the Historical Society’s website. Click on the link on the website’s homepage to browse or search through the issues. The newspaper began publication in 1830. The fully searchable database covers the period from 1830 through 1889. Searching and viewing the newspaper is done through Active Paper by Olive software. Search by selecting keywords. You can limit your search by date or by article type—articles, pictures, and ads. Click on the thumbnail images to read the articles in the search results.

    There is also a link from The Columbia Spy main page to the Lancaster County Digitization Project. The newspapers currently in the database are The Lancaster Journal (1816 – 1836) and the Franklin & Marshall College Student Newspaper (1915 – 2001). Searching and viewing the newspapers is also done through Active Paper by Olive software. Search by choosing a publication or all publications and then select your keywords. Limit your search by date or by article type—articles, pictures, and ads. Click on the thumbnail images to read the articles in the search results.

    Another newspaper database is The Pennsylvania Civil War Collection. According to the information on the website, newspapers played a central role during the Civil War era. They helped “mobilize public opinion for, or against, the war, relayed battlefield developments to their readers, and documented political life on the homefront.”

    The searchable database contains the full text of eleven newspapers from around the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for the period from 1850 to 1870. The newspapers included are:

    Bellefonte: Democratic Watchman
    Chambersburg: Franklin Repository
    Columbia: Columbia Spy
    Erie: Erie Weekly Observer, Erie Observer
    Gettysburg: Republican Compiler, Compiler, Gettysburg Compiler
    Huntingdon: Huntingdon Globe, Globe
    Philadelphia: Press
    Reading: Reading Eagle
    Waynesboro: Village Record, Waynesboro Village Record
    Wellsboro: Agitator, Tioga County Agitator, and Wellsboro Agitator

    Searching and viewing the newspapers is also done through Active Paper by Olive software.

    Other Research Resources

    The Historical Society’s online genealogical research resources can be found under Research and Education links.

    Clicking on the Databases link under Research will bring you to a page with the following resources: Earliest Churches of Lancaster, a map of Lancaster County Townships and Boroughs, and Origins of Township & Borough Names.

    Under the Education link you will find links to a short History of Lancaster County, a section titled House History, and an Every Name Index to the Journal of The Lancaster County Historical Society.

    House History
    The house history website is designed to help website visitors learn how to research the history of their own houses through a tutorial. There are also six case studies of buildings in Lancaster County. They include an eighteenth-century tavern, a nineteenth-century farmhouse, nineteenth-century urban rowhouse, eighteenth-century gristmill, nineteenth-century urban one and one-half story rowhouse and an early-twentieth-century Colonial Revival home. Each case study includes and introduction, a narrative history, chain of title, photographs and other related resources such as maps and blueprints.

    Journal of The Lancaster County Historical Society
    The Journal of the Lancaster County Historical Society (JLCHS) began publication in 1896 and has been published continuously ever since. The journal addresses topics on the history and biography of Lancaster County. In addition to the Every Name Index, there is an online Table of Contents for each volume.

    Return to Table of Contents


    Stories of Interest

    Olde Rumney Marsh Burial Ground Suffering Neglect
    A burial ground dating to the seventeenth century is suffering from neglect, and citizens of Revere are trying to raise funds to restore it. The group is attempting to raise $100,000 for a complete makeover for the cemetery, which will take care of overgrown trees and vegetation, repair stones and walkways, and fix the front gate (which is currently unhinged). Read more about their efforts in The Boston Globe at

    Vermont Legislators Debating Access to Records
    Vermont is the latest state to consider limiting access to information in public records. You can read more about current proposed legislation in an article in the Burlington Free Press at

    Return to Table of Contents


    From the Online Genealogist

    I have inherited a Lincoln Farm Association certificate for my great-grandmother, Mrs. Herbert C. Reed. It is dated February 26, 1907 and states she is enrolled as an honorary member. Can you tell me anything about this document?

    According to the National Parks Service website, the Lincoln Farm Association was established in 1906 for acquiring the 110 acres of the farm where Abraham Lincoln was born. Funds raised were also used to move the cabin he lived in, restore it and build a structure over it to protect it. Funds were obtained by popular subscription. Those who contributed no less than $0.25 and no more than $25.00 received an engraved certificate of membership in the Lincoln Farm Association.

    To read more about the Lincoln Farm Association go to For more information about the site your ancestor helped protect and preserve, visit

    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.

    Return to Table of Contents


    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 January 2008:

    New Royal Descents and Notable Kin
    Wednesday, January 16, 2008, 10:00 am
    To celebrate the 2008 edition of Royals Descents of 600 Immigrants to the American Colonies, NEHGS senior research scholar emeritus Gary Boyd Roberts will offer a free lecture about the various new discoveries over the last several years of royally descended immigrants to New England.

    By Faith Alone
    Wednesday, January 23, 2008, 6:30 pm
    Join NEHGS for a special evening with distinguished journalist and CNBC anchor Bill Griffeth as he discuses his new book, By Faith Alone: One Family’s Epic Journey Through American Protestantism. The lecture will be followed by a book signing and reception. A minimum $15 donation is requested. Please RSVP at 617-226-1226.

    Lafayette in America 1824 and 1825
    Monday, January 28, 2008, 6:30 pm
    In conjunction with members of the French Heritage Society, Massachusetts Society of the Cincinnati, the Society of the Cincinnati in the State of New Hampshire, the Society of the Cincinnati in the State of Connecticut, and the Consulate General of France in Boston, NEHGS will co-host a talk by author Alan Hoffman on his new unabridged English translation of Auguste Levasseur’s Lafayette en Amérique en 1824 et 1825. A book signing and reception will follow. A minimum $20 donation is requested. Please RSVP at 617-226-1226.

    Temples of the Arts and Sciences: Stories from British Historic Houses
    Monday, February 11, 2008, 6:00 pm
    Join NEHGS, the Royal Oak Foundation, and the National Trust for Scotland Foundation USA for an engaging look at the rich legacy of British historic houses. Curt DiCamillo, Exectutive Director of the National Trust for Scotland Foundation USA will present his award-winning work on the importance of English country homes and their roles in diplomancy, scientific discover, and cultural dvancement. To register, please visit or call 800-913-6565, exta. 201.


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

    Weekend Research Getaway
    #1 Thursday, February 7–Saturday, February 9, 2008
    #2 Thursday, April 10–Saturday, April 12, 2008
    Weekend Research Getaways in Boston are among the most popular NEHGS programs in recent years. Escape to 101 Newbury Street and experience a guided research program, with one-on-one consultations and special access to the collections. Whether you are a first-time participant or have participated in a guided research program before, an on-site visit to NEHGS with our expert staff is sure to further your research. Bring your charts and expect some breakthroughs!
    Registration fees: $300 for the three-day program; $100 for a single day.
    For more information visit

    Technology and Genealogy Seminar
    Friday, February 22–Saturday, February 23, 2008
    NEHGS is proud to offer a two-day in-depth seminar exploring the important relationship between technology and genealogy. NEHGS staff experts will provide lectures, demonstrations, and discussions focusing on key aspects of technology in family history research. Topics will include internet search techniques, evaluations of genealogical software, use of PDAs in genealogical research, how scanning can improve your data collection, organizing your research with Microsoft, and digital assistance in the publishing age. Participants will also have an opportunity to enter a drawing for software packages, including Adobe Photoshop Elements and ACDSee PhotoManager.
    Registration fee: $150
    For more information 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


    Great Migration Tour to England
    Tuesday, August 5–Friday, August 15, 2008
    Based in Chelmsford, England, this inaugural Great Migration tour with Robert Charles Anderson will visit the historically significant locations in Essex and Hertfordshire associated with the families who migrated to New England in 1631, 1632, and 1633. The primary focus of the tour will be the migrations and activities connected to four influential ministers of the period: Thomas Hooker, John Eliot, Thomas Weld, and Roger Williams.
    Registration fees: Registration is full. To be added to the wait-list, please contact Ryan Woods at

    Other 2008 Tours
    Massachusetts Archives Research Day

    Thursday, March 27, 2008
    For more information visit

    National Archives Research Day
    Thursday, May 22, 2008

    Come Home to New England
    #1 Monday, June 23–Saturday, June 28, 2008
    #2 Monday, August 11–Saturday, August 16, 2008

    Salt Lake City Research Tour
    Sunday, November 2–Sunday, November 9, 2008

    For more information about NEHGS programs, visit or email

    Return to Table of Contents


    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

    NEHGS eNews, like all of our programs, is made possible through the generous contributions of our members. For more information about giving to NEHGS visit

    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

    Return to Table of Contents



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

© 2010 - 2014 New England Historic Genealogical Society