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  • The Weekly Genealogist

  • Vol. 10, No. 27
    Whole #381
    July 2, 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.

    * NEHGS Announces new Western Massachusetts Families in 1790 Series
    * Coming Soon in the Summer 2008 Issue of New England Ancestors Magazine
    * TIARA 25th Anniversary Conference
    * Research Recommendations: Midwest Genealogy Center
    * Name Origins
    * New On
    * Spotlight: Texas Cemetery Resources
    * Stories of Interest
    * Special Discounted Books
    * Upcoming Education Programs
    * NEHGS Contact Information




    NEHGS Announces New Western Massachusetts Families in 1790 Series

    Following in the tradition of series covering Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont, NEHGS is proud to announce a new publishing venture that will cover families from western Massachusetts enumerated in the first census of the United Census. The series, to be co-edited by Michael J. Leclerc and Christopher C. Child, will cover families residing in the counties of Berkshire and Hampshire (which at that time included all territory west of Worcester County). Franklin and Hampden counties were formed from Hampshire in 1811 and 1812 respectively. The population of this area in 1790 was just under 90,000 — slightly larger than Vermont (at 85,425) and slightly less than Maine (at 96,540).

    The series will include family sketches for heads of household. The Society seeks genealogists who wish to contribute sketches of families of interest for the series. Each sketch will be credited to the contributor. We hope to publish the first volume in 2009.

    For more details, see “Western Massachusetts Families in 1790” by the co-editors in the Summer 2008 issue of New England Ancestors Magazine, or visit Inquiries may be sent to

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    Coming Soon in the Summer 2008 Issue of New England Ancestors Magazine

    A Guide to Genealogical Research in Maine
    by Jamie Kingman Rice and Nicholas Noyes

    Two Maine Research Case Studies,
    by David Allen Lambert and Michael J. Leclerc

    Western Massachusetts Families in 1790
    by Michael J. Leclerc and Christopher C. Child

    Northern New England Families in 1790 and 1791,
    by Lynn Betlock

    A Significant Migration from Württemberg to Franklin County, Massachusetts
    by David J. Sautter

    Origins Revealed: My Grandfather’s Hidden Jewish Identity
    by Elise Kathleen Burgess

    On the Eve of Revolution: The Congregation of the Old North Church in 1775
    by Rhonda R. McClure and D. Joshua Taylor

    Also in this issue . . .
    • Computer Genealogist: Finding Family Photos on the Internet
    • Genetics & Genealogy: The DNA Study of Robert Pepper of Roxbury
    • Manuscripts at NEHGS: La Roy’s Troupe and Other Corporate Records
    • Diaries at NEHGS: Journey from Hamilton to the State of Ohio, by Temple Cutler
    • Tales from the Courthouse: The Case of the “Witching Rogue”

    And, as always, news of NEHGS and the world of genealogy, upcoming NEHGS programs and tours, new publications, notices of family association events, genealogies in progress, and DNA studies in progress.
    Subscription to New England Ancestors is a benefit of NEHGS membership. If you are not a member, you may join online at, or call toll-free 1-888-296-3447, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, Eastern time.

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    TIARA 25th Anniversary Conference

    As part of their 25th anniversary celebrations, The Irish Ancestral Research Association (TIARA) will be presenting a day-long conference on July 12 at Bentley College in Waltham. Topics include the preservation of photographs, the status of Irish women, pre-1800 Irish research, and Irish traditional music. Among the speakers are David Barry, Consul General of Ireland in New England; Brian O’Donovan, broadcaster on WGBH; Catherine Shannon, Professor Emeritus at Westfield State College, past president of the Eire Society and the Charitable Irish Society; and Marie Daly, Library Director of the New England Historic Genealogical Society. You can find more details at

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    Research Recommendations: Midwest Genealogy Center
    by Michael J. Leclerc

    The Independence Public Library was formed in 1892 by the Independence Free Library Association. The name was later changed to the Mid-Continent Public Library. Carrie Wallace, a relative of former First Lady Bess Wallace Truman, was the first librarian. She formed the foundation of a genealogy section at the library. From the initial book (one published by the Daughters of the American Revolution) in 1927, the collection has grown to more than 10,000 circulating titles (available through interlibrary loan); 60,000 reference titles; and numerous newspapers, periodicals, microforms, and maps.

    On June 21, the Mid-Continent Public Library celebrated the grand opening of the Midwest Genealogy Center (MGC). This 52,000-square-foot facility is dedicated to family history resources. New microfilm reader-printers, as well as scanners and computers with access to the latest genealogical databases offer an incredible resource to researchers. Author Richard Rhodes, a Pulitzer Prize winner, presented a speech at the grand opening entitled “Families Past and Present, Real and Virtual,” the text of which appears on the website.

    The library offers genealogy classes throughout the system. They also publish a monthly newsletter, Genealogy News Bytes. In addition to news and activities at the MGC, the newsletter includes how-to articles, website reviews, and more. Back issues are archived on the library’s website. Another valuable service provided is called “Appointment with a Genealogy Expert.” Patrons can make an appointment to consult in person with staff and volunteer experts in genealogy. The best part: the service is absolutely free.

    MGC also provides free online access to pedigree charts from the American Family Records Association, the Missouri State Genealogical Association, and the Periman Pathways Family Association. The database is fully searchable.

    The Midwest Genealogy Center is certainly one of the leading genealogy libraries in the country, and should be on the list of places to visit for any serious genealogist researching Midwest ancestors. You can find out more about them online at

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    Name Origins
    by Julie Helen Otto

    VIOLET (f): Most New England uses of this name in the colonial period can be linked eventually to Violet (Charnould) Shepard (d. 1648), wife of the immigrant Edward Shepard of Cambridge, Mass. A descendant, Violetta Alden of Lebanon, Conn., was the second wife of Isaac Fitch. Be warned, however, that from the mid-Victorian period on, it became fashionable to name girls for flowers (e.g. Daisy); so Violet has long since lost its earlier status as a genealogical “marker.”

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    New on

    New Netherland Connections

    NEHGS is pleased to be able to offer the contents of New Netherland Connections as a searchable database on Begun in 1996 and continuing, New Netherland Connections is a genealogical quarterly that aims to help people trying to identify and document their New Netherland ancestors and their descendants. It focuses on the Dutch colonial period (1624–1664) in New York and New Jersey. Each issue has feature articles, replies to queries, items of Dutch colonial interest, and queries (of any length), and runs to about 28 pages. This database includes an index to the 10,765 names referenced in the first three volumes (1996–1998). The images of the original journal pages are available from the search results pages. Remaining volumes will be added to the database in the future.

    Subscriptions to the printed journal may be ordered from the editor, Dorothy A. Koenig, at 1232 Carlotta Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94707, or by email at

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    Spotlight: Texas Cemetery Resources
    by Valerie Beaudrault

    Hale County Cemetery Records Database, Hi-Plains Genealogical Society, Plainview, Hale County, Texas

    The link to the Hale County Cemetery Records Database can be found on the Hi-Plains Genealogical Society’s homepage, located on the website of Plainview’s Unger Memorial Library. Hale County is a county located in northwest Texas. Its county seat is Plainview.

    There are more than 33,000 records in the database. About one-third of the records are “cross-references” of maiden names and associated married names and a few cross-reference nicknames with full names. The database can be searched name or by date. Results are returned in a landscape formatted table ready for printing. The data fields in the records include variations of the deceased’s name; birth, death, and marriage dates with information about where and when the event was recorded; spouse's and parents’ names; military background; funeral home, the name of the cemetery with block, lot, and space information in which the deceased is interred; notes and obituary. Click on the name link to bring up a page containing the detailed for that individual alone. The society is in the process of uploading full text obituaries from the Plainview Daily Herald for individuals who died after 1996.

    The Diocese of Victoria Cemetery Management System, Texas

    According to The Handbook of Texas Online, a multidisciplinary encyclopedia of Texas history, geography, and culture sponsored by the Texas State Historical Association, the Diocese of Victoria was established in southeastern Texas in 1982. The cathedral city is Victoria. The jurisdiction of the diocese includes Calhoun, DeWitt, Goliad, Jackson, Lavaca, Matagorda, Victoria, and Wharton counties and parts of Colorado and Fayette counties. The city also serves as the county seat of Victoria County.

    The database of Diocese of Victoria Cemetery Management System contains records from twenty-five of the more than fifty Catholic cemeteries in the ten-county area covered by the diocese. The database can be searched by name, location, or the “Searchable Map” function. The search boxes can be found at the bottom of the Cemetery Management homepage.

    To search by location, select a cemetery and then select a block, lot, and grave number. To search by name, first select a cemetery and then enter a first and/or last name of the person for whom you are searching. The results returned include the names of up to 2 individuals, with their birth and death dates, and the plot location. You can also access a plot table and location map from this page. Click on the View link to access a detailed record for each individual. At the top of the page you will see contact information for the cemetery. This is followed by the plot location information and a link to a photograph of the memorial, if it exists in the database. The detailed record below includes the following information: full name of the deceased, age, sex, birth date, death date, interment date, church, funeral home, military service, is the deceased an infant, grave position, method (interred, cremated, etc.), and whether there is an obituary or not.

    Click on the Searchable Map link to use this function. Select a cemetery and click on the Show Map link to open a page with a map of the cemetery showing the blocks or plots, depending on how the cemetery has been divided. Clicking on a specific area in the cemetery will bring up a plot table showing occupied, sold and vacant plots. Click on a plot in the table to see who is buried there. The detailed information page cannot be accessed from here. You will have to go back to search by name or location. Be sure to note the name of the cemetery and the block, plot and grave information, as well as the name of the person interred there.

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    Stories of Interest

    The Bizarre Origins of 8 Wedding Traditions
    Why do brides in the U.S. wear white dresses? And why do they force bridesmaids to wear unsightly outfits that will never again see the light of day? You will find the answers to all of this and more from the magazine Mental Floss.

    Man Discovers Family He Didn’t Know He Had
    A 38-year-old man in Oroville California thought he was an only child, with a half-sister and brother from his father’s previous marriage. It turns out that he has nine half-sibilings. Read the story in the Enterprise Record.

    Leaving “Little Rome” for Braintree
    On June 26 the Archdiocese of Boston left the home it had known for almost a century to move into an office park in Braintree, Mass. The section of Brighton in which it was located earned the nickname of “Little Rome” because in addition to the archdiocese, it was home to Boston College, St. John’s Seminary, and St. Elizabeth’s Hospital (model for St. Eligius Hospital in the 1980s TV series St. Elsewhere). Read more behind the move in the Boston Globe.

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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 canon of scholarly works, this two-track daylong seminar will provide tips and insight.
    Registration fee: $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

    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

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

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