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  • The Weekly Genealogist

  • Vol. 10, No. 26
    Whole #380
    June 25, 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.

    * Second Series from The Great Migration Study Project Now Online
    * Special Offer for NEHGS Members
    * Research Recommendations: Preparing for a Genealogical Research Trip
    * Name Origins
    * FGS Extends Early Registration Discount
    * Spotlight: McMillan Memorial Library, Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin
    * Stories of Interest
    * Special Discounted Books
    * Upcoming Education Programs
    * NEHGS Contact Information




    Second Series from The Great Migration Study Project Now Online

    The first volume from the ground-breaking series, “The Great Migration: Immigrants to New England 1634-1635,” is now available on This first volume, originally published in 1999, covers surnames beginning with the letters A and B. Some of the notable families in this volume include: William Almy, Joan Antrobus, Richard Bellingham, Thomas Bradbury, Humphrey Bradstreet, Thomas Brigham, and Peter Bulkeley. The new online databases include information on where these ancestors came from, how they got here, who they married, their financial status as revealed by their estates, and return trips to their countries of origin.

    This series follows “The Great Migration Begins,” which covered New England migration between 1620 and 1633. During those first years, only a few hundred people stepped on the shores of New England in any given year. But in 1634 and 1635, that number surged, with as many as 2,500 people immigrating to New England in each of those years. With that surge came new families, new businesses, and new towns, including Concord, Weymouth, Newbury, and Hingham, Massachusetts, as well as Hartford, Wethersfield, and Windsor, Connecticut.

    “This series represents some of the most important research we have ever published,” said NEHGS President and CEO D. Brenton Simons. “The earliest history of our country started with these pioneers, and this compendia offers information on them that is available nowhere else.”

    The goal of the Great Migration Study Project is to create comprehensive biographical and genealogical accounts of all immigrants to New England from 1620 to 1640, from the arrival of the Mayflower to the decline of immigration resulting from the beginning of the Civil War in England. The Project was conceived by Robert Charles Anderson and was proposed to the New England Historic Genealogical Society early in 1988. This series was written by Robert Charles Anderson, FASG, George F. Sanborn, FASG, and Melinde Lutz Sanborn, FASG.

    All volumes in the Great Migration series are available for purchase at or by calling Rick Park at 617-226-1212.

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    ********************************** Special Offer for NEHGS Members

    NEHGS is proud to announce that we will now offer in the research library. Genline offers images of original Swedish church records from the 16th to the 20th centuries. In addition to records of birth, marriage, and burial, you will find household examinations, which function as a yearly census.

    The institutional subscription is available only in the NEHGS research library, but Genline is offering a special discount to NEHGS members. Starting today you can get a personal subscription for only 1005 SEK (Swedish Kronor). The day-to-day value of the Krona fluctuates, but the price is about $166, a savings of almost 50% from the regular rate. This offer is valid from June 25 through July 31, 2008.

    Register with Genline as a new member and enter GENCOM990 in the Special Offer Box if you want to buy the 1 year subscription. If you are a current member, update your user profile by entering one of these special codes in the Special Offer box. Then go to the buy page to purchase the special subscription.

    Any questions contact or call (800) 975-5493.

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    Research Recommendations: Preparing for a Genealogical Research Trip
    by Michael J. Leclerc

    Having just returned from the Society’s first tour to Montreal, I realized that summer is a popular time for taking trips to do genealogical research. The participants on the Montreal tour were among the best-prepared group of individuals I have ever worked with. Even the staff of the provincial archives was impressed with the amount of background work participants had done prior to arriving, and the work they did while they were there.

    The more preparation you have for a trip, the better the chances that you will have a successful experience. Like most researchers, you likely wish to conduct as much research as possible in the limited time you have in a distant repository. The first thing to do is to visit the repository’s website and find the hours of operation. For example, unlike many other archives, the main research facility in Montreal for the Bibliothèque et Archives Nationales de Québec (BANQ) is open every Saturday and Sunday, but closed on Monday. We planned the trip so that on Monday and Tuesday the group researched at another repository. Some individuals were able to conduct additional research on Sunday, prior to departing for the airport.

    While you are on the repository’s website, use the online catalog to find materials you wish to consult. Many materials will be in open stacks, but many will need to be paged from secure areas. Being familiar with the materials you wish to consult beforehand will allow you to continue researching while waiting for paged materials to arrive. Having a list of call numbers to consult when you arrive at the repository means that you will hit the ground running as soon as you arrive.

    In addition to the catalog, look around the site and see what materials they have available online. Many repositories are putting parts of their collection online, and those searches can be conducted from home, either before or after your trip, allowing you to focus your time there on materials unavailable remotely. In addition to these collections, you will often discover finding aids and indexes that will allow you to access materials more easily.

    You will also want to read the repository’s rules for access. Many repositories, such as BANQ, have restrictions on what you can take into reading rooms (e.g., no bags, pens, limited papers, etc.). You may also find their policies on photocopying, scanning, and photography. BANQ, for example, allows photography within the research areas if you would like to remember the repository and your trip, but photographing items from the collection is not allowed.

    The more homework you do before leaving on your trip, the better organized you will be on your arrival, and the more you will be able to take advantage of the brief time you will have in the repository.

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    Name Origins
    by Julie Helen Otto

    SIMON (m): Simon Peter, whom Jesus called “the Rock upon which I will build my Church,” began life as a Galilean fisherman and ended it as the first Pope, crucified upside-down at Rome in the late 70’s A.D.

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    FGS Extends Early Registration Discount

    The annual conference of the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) will be held September 3–6, 2008 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. FGS has extended the early registration discount deadline to July 1. Hundreds of presentations will be made by leading genealogists in the field, such as Patricia Law Hatcher, J. Mark Lowe, and Elizabeth Shown Mills. NEHGS will be part of the Exhibit Hall, filled with vendors displaying the latest books, software, and services for genealogists.

    The conference will be held at the Philadelphia Convention Center. Located in downtown Philadelphia, the convention center is only blocks away from the National Archives Philadelphia Branch and the Historical Society of Pennsylvania.

    For more information about the conference, visit

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    Spotlight: McMillan Memorial Library, Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin
    by Valerie Beaudrault

    Wisconsin Rapids is the seat of Wood County, Wisconsin. It is situated in the geographical center of the state. According to the city’s website, it was formed from joining two towns, Grand Rapids and Centralia, in 1900. The city then bore the name of Grand Rapids until 1920. Its name was changed at that time because “freight and mail intended for it was frequently sent by mistake to Grand Rapids, Michigan.”

    The McMillan Memorial Library has a wide variety of local history and genealogy resources related to Wisconsin Rapids and Wood County History. These include the following:

    Under the Local Genealogy link you will find a listing of newspapers available at the library. This is useful, if you are planning a trip to the area. According to a note at the end of the Newspapers section, these newspapers are available for interlibrary loan from the State Historical Society of Wisconsin. Also listed are other local genealogy resources available at the library, including federal and state census microfilm; Wisconsin Necrology, containing obituaries of prominent Wisconsin residents (1846–1968); and Wood County Naturalizations (1874–1991).

    Web Documents: Local History On-Line
    Click on the Local History On-Line link to access a number of local history documents that have been digitized and uploaded to the library’s Local History page. You must have Adobe Acrobat Reader to view many of these documents, as they are in PDF file format.

    On-line Books
    There are three local histories focused on Wisconsin Rapids and eight that are focused on Wood County/Central Wisconsin.

    City Directories
    There are seven area city directories for various years between 1892 and 1930, as well as five plat books and farm directories for various years from 1909 to 1965. Some of these databases are on the McMillan Memorial Library website while others are off-site.

    Pamphlets, Articles and Lists
    A variety of pamphlets, articles and lists have been uploaded to the website. Pamphlets and articles include a survey of the Wisconsin Rapids area prepared by the League of Women Voters in the 1970s; "James Quick Severns," an autobiographical “fragment” from an early settler, as published in the Wood County Reporter, in 1891; and the Official Historical Program of the Wood County Centennial, August 5–11, 1956. Lists include Township Election Results for 1882, the names of individuals who received Prairie Chicken Hunting Licenses in 1899, and lists of Wood County Soldiers and Sailors 1885 and 1895.

    Maps on the site include a Bird's Eye View of the City of Grand Rapids 1874, an 1895 Wood County map, and an 1895 Wisconsin map.

    Photographs & Postcards
    There are three collections containing photographs and postcards that have been digitized and uploaded here.

    In addition to the Wisconsin Valley Leader (19021906) index to births, deaths and marriages described below, you will find the 1928 Wood Co. Plat Book Index, A township-by-township index to an early plat book, and an Index to Elsie's World War II Scrapbook, which contains newspaper clippings originally published by the Marshfield News-Herald, among other on- and off-site indexes.

    Local Indexes Online and In-House
    Wisconsin Valley Leader
    The Wisconsin Valley Leader was a weekly newspaper, which began publication in Grand Rapids in 1902. Beginning in 1907, Wisconsin state law required births, marriages and deaths to be recorded at the Register of Deeds office in the county in which the event occurred. Prior to that date, it is estimated that less than half of these events were recorded at a governmental level. To assist genealogists, McMillan Memorial Library and a local genealogist have compiled an index to birth, marriage and death notices published in the Wisconsin Valley Leader for the period from 1902 to 1906. The data fields in the index include surname, given name, event, source, newspaper date, event date and notes. Notes include such information as cause of death, age of the deceased, and name of the spouse in a marriage announcement. You can request copies of articles from the library by sending your request by mail with a SASE enclosed. There is no fee for this service, however, donations are accepted.

    Heart O’ Wisconsin Genealogical Society
    The library has provided a link to the Heart O’ Wisconsin Genealogical Society’s website, which contains a number of indexes to Wood County resources including the following: an index to pre-1907 births, marriages and death notices published in other south Wood County area newspapers and a cemetery index covering sixty-eight cemeteries in Wood County and St. Joseph's Lutheran (Kellner) in Portage County, among other resources.

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    Stories of Interest

    Louisiana’s Genealogy Magazines Outstanding reports on a number of genealogical periodicals geared towards genealogists.

    Refurbished Little Sister of Liberty Stands Proudly at Genealogy Center
    Greg Clark reports in The Kansas City Star about a replica of the Statue of Liberty being placed outside of the new Midwest Genealogy Center in Independence, Missouri.

    Has America Already Had a Black President?
    National Public Radio reports on how some claim that an African-American has already been commander-in-chief of the United States.

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    Special Discounted Books

    The NEHGS Sales department is happy to announce the inclusion of a new section of the online store. Special Discounted Books includes titles that have been specially priced for both members (at least 25% off) and non-members (10% off). Stock is limited on these titles, and the sale prices are good for a limited time (while supplies last), so act quickly to get in on these great deals!

    You can find these discounted books at (NEHGS members must be logged in to see the member discount price).

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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

    New Visitor Welcome Tour and Orientation
    Saturday, July 5, 2008 10:00 am
    New members and the general public are invited to participate in an introduction and orientation to NEHGS, which includes the opportunity to describe your research and have staff genealogists offer general advice on how to proceed. The free thirty-minute introductory lecture will be followed by a tour of the library. After completing the tour, participants may enjoy a day of research.

    Wednesday, July 9, 2008 10:00 am
    With over 110 million names in 2,200 databases, is the primary internet resource for New England genealogy. This free lecture will offer an overview of the Society’s website and online databases.

    Preserving Family Records
    Wednesday, July 16, 2008 10:00 am
    NEHGS archivist Timothy G.X. Salls will offer tips and techniques for protecting your family heirlooms. Whether you are organizing papers, electronic files, photographs, or books, come discover new ways to keep your records safe.

    Writing Your Family History Seminar
    Saturday, July 19, 2008, 9:00am4:00pm
    Advance your genealogical research and contribute to scholarship in the field by learning from expert genealogists techniques for publishing your findings . NEHGS will offer a hands-on interactive seminar addressing genealogical writing for family historians at all stages of research. Whether you have just begun your genealogy, or have already added to the cannon of scholarly works, this two-track daylong seminar will provide tips and insight. Registration fees: $75. For more information call 617-226-1226 or email

    Researching with Revolutionary War Records
    Wednesday, July 23, 2008, 10am
    Discover tips and techniques for finding your Revolutionary War ancestors with David Allen Lambert, The Online Genealogist.


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

    Come Home to New England
    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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    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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