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. 22
    Whole #376
    May 28, 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 Online Seminar
    * From the Online Genealogist
    * Research Recommendations: Online Reference Websites
    * Name Origins
    * New on
    * Spotlight: [Kansas]
    * Stories of Interest
    * Classic Reprints
    * Upcoming Education Programs
    * NEHGS Contact Information




    New Online Seminar

    Researching Your Newfoundland Ancestors: Part One
    Judith Lucey

    Judith Lucey, Assistant Archivist, has created an online lecture outlining the steps to follow to effectively research your Newfoundland ancestry. Part one of this two part series provides a basic introduction to Newfoundland genealogical research with an emphasis on the types of Newfoundland records available and how to conduct distance research using online, published, and Family History Library resources.

    Return to Table of Contents


    From the Online Genealogist

    Can you give me any suggestions on finding a listing of cemeteries in the city of Fall River, Massachusetts?

    You can find the answer in my book, A Guide to Massachusetts Cemeteries, published by NEHGS in 2002. On pages 74-75 are a listing of the eleven cemeteries for Fall River. They include: Beth El (Jewish Cemetery), 4561 North Temple St.; Agudath Achim a section of the Beth El (Jewish Cemetery); North Burial Ground (1810) at 1360 North Main St.; Notre Dame Cemetery (1883) at 1540 Stafford Rd.; Oak Grove (1822) at 765 Prospect St.; Our Lady of Light Cemetery (1858) at 258 Brightman St.; St. Mary’s Cemetery (1840) on Amity St.; St. Patrick Cemetery (1876) at 2233 Robeson St.; and the Valentine Cemetery on North Main St. NEHGS has a manuscript of the inscriptions of the Valentine Cemetery. We are currently working on an updated version of my cemetery book.

    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


    Research Recommendations: Online Reference Websites
    by Michael J. Leclerc

    STANDS4 LLC is a major provider of free online reference resources. Their family of websites provides a large network of information to help you. They bill as “the world’s largest and most comprehensive directory and search engine for acronyms, abbreviations and initialisms on the Internet.” The search engine works in both directions: plug in a word to get an abbreviation, or plug in an abbreviation to find the words it is used for. is an extensive online dictionary. is an online thesaurus of synonyms. is a “multidisciplinary web directory of reference resources that can be searched and browsed alphabetically and by category.” is searchable by zip code or by city name and includes population information from the U.S. Census Bureau.

    These websites are all linked together. Each has a similar appearance, with tabs at the top of the page listing the other sites, making it easy to transition from one to another. One extremely useful feature is the citation at the bottom of the page. When you are looking up a definition, scroll to the bottom and you can copy and paste a citation in either MLA, Chicago, or APA format. Click on the appropriate radial button and you will see the citation below change to match the selected style.

    Return to Table of Contents


    Name Origins
    by Julie Helen Otto

    This is a book not in our collection but on my overcrowded bookshelf at home: Carol Meyers, Toni Craven and Ross S. Kraemer, eds., Women in Scripture: A Dictionary of Named and Unnamed Women in the Hebrew Bible, the Apocryphal / Deuterocanonical Books, and the New Testament (Boston/New York: Houghton Mifflin, 2000), p. 108, article by Ilana Pardes:

    “KEZIAH ‘cassia,’ from Hebrew qêsî‘â (Job 42:14). Keziah is one of three daughters (and seven sons) born to Job at the end of his life, after God restored his fortunes. Her name stands for a perfume made from cassia, a variety of cinnamon used as an ingredient in scents and in anointing oils. It evokes an aura of feminine fragrance that is compatible with the renowned beauty of Job’s daughters, whose names* all signify natural or augmented female attractiveness.”

    *Jemima, Keziah, Keren-happuch. Note that in the Hebrew approximation above, the circumflex over the “e” should be inverted (as in a short-vowel symbol in English), and the “s” has a dot underneath, but the symbol set on this machine doesn’t have these. Note that the apostrophe is facing the other way (like a single quote, or aspiration in Greek). If readers’ email does not support symbols, the Hebrew transliteration reads (all small letters) Q; E with a “short vowel” symbol over it; S with a dot underneath; I with a circumflex [tent] over it; backwards-facing apostrophe; A with a circumflex over it. (JHO)

    This is in our collection, call number CS 3010 G67 1992: Rabbi Shmuel Gorr (Chaim Freedman, ed.), Jewish Personal Names: Their Origin, Derivation and Diminutive Forms (Teaneck, N.J.: Avotaynu, 1992), p. 70:

    KETZIAH. “Biblical. Iyyov [Job] 42:14. A special species of incense used in the incense offerings in the Sanctuary and in the Holy Temple. One of the three daughters of Iyyov [Job].” Forms Katzia, Katzie, Kassia, Kassie, Khassia, Khassie, Hassia, Hassieh, Haska, Haskeh, Hasha, Hasheh (note: the initial H in these names is transliterated by Rabbi Gorr with a dot underneath).

    Return to Table of Contents


    New on

    Vital Records of Springfield, Massachusetts to 1850

    This database is based on Vital Records of Springfield, Massachusetts to 1850, by Clifford L. Stott, published by NEHGS in 2003.

    From the introduction to Volume 1:

    “The English colonization of the Connecticut Valley was precipitated by a combination of factors that arose in the Massachusetts Bay during the 1630s. Overcrowding in the older settlements, the restrictive laws of the Massachusetts authorities, the lucrative inland fur trade, and a desire to prevent Dutch expansion in the valley were the most significant considerations.

    "Dutch traders ranging out of Manhattan erected a trading post at the present site of Hartford, Connecticut, in June 1633. English traders from the Plymouth Colony arrived in September to establish another trading post near the confluence of the Connecticut and Farmington rivers, now within the bounds of Windsor, Connecticut.

    “Permanent settlement began the following year with the arrival of settlers from Watertown, Massachusetts, who founded the town of Wethersfield five miles south of present-day Hartford. A group from Dorchester, Massachusetts, arrived in 1635, who settled near the trading post at Windsor. Hartford was established the same year by a group of settlers from Cambridge. Springfield, originally known as Agawam, was the fourth and northernmost English settlement on the Connecticut River. The town was established in 1636 by a small company from Roxbury. The Springfield settlement was initially a commercial enterprise of William Pynchon, a patentee of the Massachusetts Bay Company and a devout Puritan. Pynchon was a country gentleman from the parish of Springfield in County Essex and an associate of Massachusetts governor John Winthrop. He came to the Massachusetts Bay with Winthrop in 1630, and settled at Roxbury. Pynchon was treasurer of the colony between 1632 and 1634 and was active in the fur trade in the New England coastal region. He soon became one of the most prominent men in the colony.

    “During its early existence, Springfield was virtually the private preserve of the Pynchon family, who dominated most of the town's enterprises and the town government. Moreover, the General Court of Massachusetts appointed William Pynchon magistrate of Agawam with extraordinary legal powers. Until the erection of a county government in 1662, Springfield remained a virtual city-state governed first by William Pynchon and then by his son John, after William's return to England in 1651.

    “At its peak, Springfield embraced all of the land within the present boundaries of Springfield, Chicopee, Longmeadow, East Longmeadow, Wilbraham, Hampden, Ludlow, West Springfield, Agawam, Holyoke, Enfield, Suffield, and Somers (the last three in Connecticut), and parts of Westfield and Southwick.

    “The ascendancy of Springfield as a major manufacturing center began in 1794 with the establishment of the United States Armory on the plateau east of the town center.”

    This database contains 12,504 births; 4,945 baptisms; 9,078 marriage intentions; 18,587 marriages; 14,098 deaths; 5,058 cemetery records; and 32 other records. Images of the original book pages may be viewed from the search results page.

    The original volumes may be viewed at our Boston Research library, call number F74.S8 V58 2003.

    Return to Table of Contents


    Spotlight: JoCoHistory [Kansas]
    by Valerie Beaudrault

    Johnson County is a county located in northeast Kansas. Its county seat is Olathe. The purpose of is “to collaboratively provide greater access to historical materials related to Johnson County, Kansas." The collaborative project was begun in fall 2005. The initial contributors to the project were the Johnson County Museum, Johnson County Library, Johnson County Archives, and Olathe Public Library. The following is a sampling of the resources available on this website.

    The resources have been organized thematically.

    This section contains biographies from the narrative part of the Atlas Map of Johnson County, Kansas, published in 1874, and William G. Cutler's History of the State of Kansas, first published in 1883. Click on the name link to learn more about each individual. Each biography contains source documentation.

    The website has an index containing citations to obituaries from Kansas City and Johnson County newspapers for the period from 1977 to the present. The individuals indexed in the database have a connection to Johnson County. They were born, lived, or died there or had some other connection. The Obituary Database is a work in progress. You can search the index by surname or keyword. The search results returned include the full name, age at death, date died and a link to the detailed record. The detailed record contains the newspaper name, and the date and page number for the obituary or obituaries. If there was a related story, the publication information is listed in the Notes section.

    Images of People
    Under Images of People you will find group portraits, photographs of men, women, children, boys, and girls, weddings, and military personnel. From here you can browse through or search all of the image collections. You can also access all of the image collections by clicking on the Browse Image Collections link on the homepage. You can search or browse through each collection individually. The image collections include images from Johnson County Museum, Olathe Public Library, Johnson County Archives, Historic Preservation Survey, Atlases of Johnson County, Kansas School for the Deaf, Overland Park Historical Society, and Aerial Photographs. The Kansas School for the Deaf collection contains more than 2,000 images documenting the history and culture of the School. As noted on the website, “the photographs depict student life, faculty and staff gatherings, school buildings, athletic teams, and auxiliary deaf activities in the region.” The Olathe Public Library collection contains images from the Olathe Daily Mirror (1861–1959) and other local sources.

    This section contains historical maps and narratives. They show how Johnson County has changed over the last 150 years. You can search the atlases or browse through them. The online collection includes hand drawn and Illustrated 1860 Survey Maps and atlases from 1874, 1902, and 1922.

    Architecture Articles
    This section contains articles on architectural features from around the county. They are all from Album, the quarterly newsletter of the Johnson County Library.

    Images of Places
    This section contains digital images from cities and towns throughout Johnson County. Locations include: Overland Park, Olathe, Shawnee, Lenexa, Leawood, Prairie Village, Gardner, Merriam, Mission, Roeland Park, De Soto, Spring Hill, Fairway, Mission Hills, Edgerton, Westwood, Westwood Hills, Mission Woods, and Lake Quivira. The image database can be searched by address, street or zip code.

    Under the Culture section researchers interested in Johnson County History can consult the Timeline. It covers the period from 1800 to the present and is divided as follows: 1800–1850, 1851–1900, 1901–1950, 1951–2000, and 2001–current.

    History Mystery
    There are a number of unidentified photographs in the JoCoHistory photograph collections. Changing selections of these images have been placed on the History Mystery homepage in hopes that viewers will be able to identify the people in them or provide additional information about them. You can also browse through the entire collection. Click the "View larger image” link to enlarge the image.

    Return to Table of Contents


    Stories of Interest

    Matriarch Brings Family a Deep Trove of History
    Billy Cox recently wrote in the Sarasota Herald-Tribune about family matriarch Dorothy Sortore’s arrival in Florida. With her came generations of artifacts documenting their family’s history.

    A History Worth Preserving
    Editor Forrest Hershberger discusses in the Sterling, Colorado, Journal-Advocate the importance of preserving the personal histories of those who settled the central states.

    Dr. Howison, Meet Lt. Howison, Explorer
    Denise Ruttan writes from Oregon in the Siuslaw News about Dr. Peter Howison’s search for his ancestor, Lt. Neil Howison, who captained an ill-fated schooner from Hawaii to the Columbia Gorge in 1846.

    Return to Table of Contents


    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:

    Desc. of Joseph Francis of Maryland & Virginia (Item P4-H10971)
    Abstracts of Wills of Oneida Co., NY, 1798-1848 (Item P5-NY0429H)
    Three Generations of Northboro Davises, 1781-1897 (Item P4-H07797)
    West Virginia Revolutionary Ancestors (Item P5-WV0008H)
    Lt. Herman Rowlee (1746-1818) and His Descendants (Item P4-H22779)

    You can search the entire Classic Reprints catalog online at

    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

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

    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

    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