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  • The Weekly Genealogist

  •  Vol. 10, No. 30
    Whole #384
    July 23, 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.

    * Coming Soon: Vital Records of Stoughton, Massachusetts to 1850
    * Online Exhibit: Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Family Registers
    * Research Recommendations: Grammar Girl Revisited
    * Name Origins
    * New On
    * Spotlight: Hamilton County Genealogical Society, Ohio
    * Stories of Interest
    * Sale on The Great Migration Begins
    * Upcoming Education Programs
    * NEHGS Contact Information




    Coming Soon: Vital Records of Stoughton, Massachusetts to 1850

    The Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Descendants recently announced that they are taking pre-publication orders for Vital Records of Stoughton, Mass., to 1850. This valuable book was compiled by NEHGS Online Genealogist David Allen Lambert.

    While the early records were published more than a century ago, this new work includes all surviving records to 1850. Although the town hall experienced two fires in 1880, few of the vital records were lost. Missing records between 1834 and 1850 have been partially replaced with other records collected by the town clerk, and with information from the state copy of the records which started in 1841.

    The 650-page book includes an every name index, place index, first name index, and indexes for African-Americans and Native Americans. A second volume is planned that will include information culled from church, cemetery, and probate records.

    The print run for this book will be limited to a few over the received pre-orders, so order one for you and your town or historical society library now. The book will be delivered by October 1.

    For ordering information visit Pre-publication orders must be received by 15 August 2008.

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    Online Exhibit: Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Family Registers

    The R. Stanton Avery Special Collections has been collecting and preserving family records since 1845. Among our collection are bible records, family journals, samplers and decorative family registers. In this online exhibit we present some of these items. You can view them at

    Among the items in this display are a number of family registers. The family register as a decorative art form began in the late eighteenth century and continued in popularity through the middle of the nineteenth century. It was very popular among school children and was often part of their school curriculum. Other registers were created by town clerks and teachers. Some families commissioned artists and engravers to create a family register. If you wish to learn more about these materials as an art form, we recommend reading The Art of Family: Genealogical Artifacts of New England, published by NEHGS in 2002. It is available in our library and you can purchase your own copy at

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    Research Recommendations: Grammar Girl Revisited
    by Michael J. Leclerc

    In eNews number 306 I wrote about Grammar Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing. Mignon Fogarty’s educational program is one of the top podcasts on iTunes. Fogarty offers brief grammar lessons to subscribers.

    Grammar Girl is at it again. Fogarty is the author of a book based on her podcast: Grammar Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing, published recently by Henry Holt and Company. This 224-page paperback is concise, yet extremely informative. In it, she explains that her “secret is that it’s not usually grammar that confounds people — it’s usage.” Her ever-present sense of humor makes the learning fun. For example, she explains that “Usage is about choosing the right word or phrase. It’s something teachers generally expect you to pick up on your own, and it’s the thing you’re most likely to get skewered for if you screw up. (Life is so unfair!).”

    The chapters have witty titles, such as “Dirty Words,” “Internet Intervention,” and my personal favorite: “Prozac for Pronouns: Getting the Stuntmen of Language Under Control.” The first entry in the first chapter is one that confounds many people without their even realizing it. “An Honorable Challenge: A Versus An” explains the difference between these two short words. How many of you learned that you use a before words that start with a consonant and an before a word that starts with a vowel? Unfortunately, this is a common misconception. The rule is that a is used before words that start with a consonant sound, and an before words that begin with a vowel sound. It is the pronunication, not the spelling, that determines which word to use. Thus you must use an before hour, while using a before Hispanic (even though both begin with the letter h). An interesting sidebar explains what to do in the event that the a word can be pronounced in multiple acceptable ways.

    The book includes several useful appendixes for verbs, adverbs, conjunctions, and the like. For the internet savvy, Fogarty includes a brief section called “Grammar Girl’s Strunk & Twite,” for those who use the Twitter website (which limits entries to no more than 141 characters).

    In her acknowledgements, Fogarty acknowledges the usual family, friends, and editors. She also expresses her gratitude to Apple and the iTunes team “for making it easy to buy and listen to the music that accompanied me as I wrote this book, and for providing the first platform that made it easy to freely distribute my podcast.”

    At $14, this is an excellent buy for the information it contains. This book is an extremely valuable addition to any genealogist’s reference bookshelf. You can find out more about Grammar Girl, her book, and her podcast at

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    Name Origins
    by Julie Helen Otto

    CLORINDA (f): From the Italian epic poem Jerusalem Delivered by Torquato Tasso. Clorinda was “a female knight who came from Persia to oppose the Crusaders, and was appointed by Aladine leader of all the Pagan forces. Tancred fell in love with her, but not knowing her in a night attack slew her after a most dreadful combat. Before she died she received Christian baptism at the hands of Tancred, who mourned her death with great sorrow of heart.” Despite its similar spelling, this name is completely different from CLARINDA, which is formed from CLARA + “progressive” suffix –inda.

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    New On

    Colonial Collegians

    In 2005, the Massachusetts Historical Society and the New England Historic Genealogy Society co-published Colonial Collegians: Biographies of Those Who Attended American Colleges before the War for Independence in CD-ROM form. As stated in the introduction to the CD-ROM, the purpose of the work “…is to provide basic facts—vital data as well as information about careers and accomplishments—on its subjects, the boys and men who attended school through the Class of 1774, the last to graduate before the start of the American Revolution. Historians have ordinarily recognized nine such institutions—the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University), the College of Philadelphia (now the University of Pennsylvania), the College of Rhode Island (now Brown University), the College of William and Mary, Dartmouth College, Harvard College, King’s College (now Columbia University), Queen’s College (now Rutgers University), and Yale College. Colonial Collegians includes entries on all the known graduates and non-graduates of these schools as well as on twenty men said to have attended William Tennent’s Log College, an academy for aspiring Presbyterian clergymen near Philadelphia, c. 1735-c. 1744; twenty-eight graduates of the medical school at the College of Philadelphia; and sixteen students, both graduates and non-graduates, of the medical school at King’s College.”

    We are pleased to offer the contents of this CD-ROM as a searchable database of the 5,477 collegians. The associated biographical sketches may be viewed from the search results page. Also available is a downloadable pdf version of the introduction to the CD-ROM, including introduction, acknowledgements, and key to abbreviations used.

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    Spotlight: Hamilton County Genealogical Society, Ohio
    by Valerie Beaudrault

    Hamilton County, located in the southwest corner of Ohio, is named for Alexander Hamilton, the first Secretary of the Treasury for the United States. The county seat is Cincinnati.

    The Hamilton County Genealogical Society has compiled and published many volumes of Hamilton County vital events records and indexes to original sources. As noted in the introduction to the Record Index Data Base, a major difficulty in researching ancestors who lived in Hamilton County is the destruction of original vital records owing to three courthouse fires that occurred between 1814 and 1884. These volumes are particularly useful to researchers whose ancestors lived in or passed through Hamilton County before 1884. According to the society’s website, Cincinnati was the destination port for German immigrants in addition to being the major transient city for travelers on the Ohio River and those traveling on early railroad lines.

    The society has now begun making indexes to these records available on its website. There are currently two online databases — newspaper death notices and marriage records — with three more to be uploaded to the site in the future. Click on the Databases button to access these resources. There are 483,000 names in the databases. Click on the “Record Indexes” link to access the database page, and then click on the individual link to begin your research.

    Cincinnati Newspaper Obituary Indexes
    The death notices in this index come from seven newspapers. Some are English language newspapers and others are in German. This index has been split into separate alphabetical files. There is also a maiden names index. Because many of the individuals listed in this database are of German origin, researchers should take care to look for all ways in which a name might be spelled—with and without accents and letter substitutions. Click on the first letter of the surname to view the alphabetical list of names. The data fields in the index are as follows: newspaper abbreviation; time period; child/birthplace abbreviation; last name and first name; and maiden name. The child/birthplace abbreviation field provides the following information. The letter ‘c’ indicates that deceased was under the age of 16, the ‘x’ means that no age was given, and ‘*’ indicates that the town where the individual was born is mentioned in the death notice.

    Cincinnati Marriage Indexes
    The sources for the records in this database are newspapers, courthouse records, and church records. The records date to before 1890. The index has been split into separate alphabetical files, organized by grooms and brides. It should be noted that in some cases the last names were unreadable. They can be found under the ‘Illegible’ button. Again, because many of the individuals listed in this database are of German origin, researchers should take care to look for all ways in which a name might be spelled — with and without accents and letter substitutions. Click on the first letter of the surname to view the alphabetical list of names. The data fields in the index are as follows: time period, book code, groom’s last name and first name, and bride’s last name and first name. The book code identifies the record source and the index book the record has been taken from. Church records are divided into Catholic and non-Catholic indexes.

    There are several ways to access the information in the record index books. This information can be found on the Record Index Data Base introduction page.

    Another resource found through this website is located under the RESEARCH AIDS tab. It is a transcription of a history of Hamilton County, which is also every word searchable. The book’s title is The History of Cincinnati and Hamilton Co. Ohio – Including Early Settlement and Development; Antiquarian Researches; their Aboriginal History; Pioneer History; Political Organization; Agricultural, Mining and Manufacturing Interests; A History of the City, Villages and Townships; Religious, Educational, Social, Military and Political History; Statistics; Biographies and Portraits of Pioneers and Representative Citizens, Etc. (S. B. Nelson and J. M. Runk, S. B. Nelson & Co. Publishers: 1894).

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    Stories of Interest

    Genealogy Records Are Given to Library
    Perhaps the biggest news in the genealogical community in the past week is the news that the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society has donated its large library to the New York Public Library. You can read more details in The New York Times.

    Wheeler Family is Preserving Its Genealogy
    The Day recently ran an article about Dick Wheeler and his son Steven, both of Ledyard, Connecticut, and their efforts to preserve a decaying eighteenth-century burial ground full of their ancestors.

    Let Noah Aldrich Lie in Peace
    From one end of the preservation to the other. Sarah Schweitzer of The Boston Globe reported this story of a former Wall Street analyst from Greenwich, Connecticut, who purchased 150 acres in Hartland, Vermont. He now wants to relocate a white picket-fenced burial ground containing the remains of Noah Aldrich, a local War of 1812 veteran, and his family. The reason? So that he can build a new home with the best views.

    Cabin Houses Decades of History
    The Milam County Historical Museum in Texas acquired the Sneed log cabin in the early 1980s. The Rev. Joseph Sneed was a Methodist circuit rider from Tennessee who relocated to Texas. Believed to be the oldest single-family dwelling in the county still standing, the cabin was relocated to the town of Cameron and now receives many visitors.

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    Sale on The Great Migration Begins

    The NEHGS Sales department is offering The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England, 1620-1633 (3 Volume Set) for $99.00 plus free book rate shipping for one week only. This offer is good through July 31, 2008. Please note that book rate (economy) shipping can take 15-20 business days. If you prefer UPS (standard) shipping, we will add $6.00 for shipping to your order. Order by phone at 1-888-296-3447 or online at

    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:

    Ancestors and Desc. of Ebenezer Wood of W. Gouldsborough, ME (Item P4-H27924)
    Desc. of George Puffer of Braintree of Braintree, MA, 1639-1915 (Item P4-H21816)
    History of the Town of Morrill in the County of Waldo & State of Maine (Item P5-ME0199H)
    History of Kingston, NY, from its Early Settlement to the Year 1820 (Item P5-NY0197H)
    Revised History of Harlem (City of New York): its Origin and Early Annals…Also Sketches of Numerous Families (Item P5-NY0025H)

    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

    Researching with Revolutionary War Records
    Wednesday, July 23, 2008, 10:00am
    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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    Copyright 2008, New England Historic Genealogical Society
    101 Newbury Street, Boston, MA 02116

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