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  • The Weekly Genealogist

  • Vol. 10, No. 33
    Whole #387
    August 13, 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.

    * Will Genealogy Affect the Presidential Election?
    * New Books and Other Resources in NEHGS Library Catalog
    * Research Recommendations: New Access to Immigration and Naturalization Records
    * Name Origins
    * New On
    * Spotlight: Cemetery Databases
    * Stories of Interest
    * Used and Remaindered Book and CD Sale
    * Upcoming Education Programs
    * NEHGS Contact Information


    Will Genealogy Affect the Presidential Election?

    Angelina Jolie is being courted by both John McCain and Barack Obama to endorse their candidacies for the presidency. Access Hollywood reported on her recent trip to Iraq and her views on the debt the American people now owe to the families there whose lives have been destroyed by the war. The report also named the New England Historic Genealogical Society and our research on the relationship between Brad Pitt and Barack Obama. For now, Jolie is not endorsing either candidate. You can read the full report on the Access Hollywood website at

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    New Books and Other Resources in NEHGS Library Catalog

    NEHGS has posted the most recent list of new titles added to the library collections. It includes titles on such topics as the Gerrish family; the Sherwood family; descendants of Matthew Whipple of Ipswich, Mass.; War of 1812 American prisoners of war in Halifax; early families of Dalton, New Hampshire; Acadian deportees in Massachusetts towns; and Chester County, South Carolina, wills.

    To see if there is something relevant to your research on this April to June 2008 list, go directly to the New Books page at You can also access the list by going to the catalog’s main search page,, and clicking the “New Books” link beneath the search box. To view more details about any title on the list, simply click the title, which is hyperlinked (underlined), and you will be taken to the full catalog record. The list is sorted in call-number order. If you would like to use any of these new resources, you may do so by visiting our Research Library in Boston or by contacting our Research Services department to have a researcher consult the resource for you.

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    Research Recommendations: New Access to Immigration and Naturalization Records
    by Michael J. Leclerc

    The U.S. Customs and Immigration Service (USCIS) has been updating the genealogy section of their website in preparation for offering new services to genealogists. Starting today (August 13, 2008) the new Genealogy Program will offer two services: Index Search and Record Copy Request.

    Using information about an individual provided by the researcher, USCIS will search its historical immigration and naturalization index for citations relating to a specific immigrant. In order to search for an individual, they must have a date of birth more than 100 years ago or you must provide proof of death to USCIS. You will be provided with any record citations that the search uncovers, along with directions for ordering files from USCIS or the National Archives (NARA).

    Researchers with valid record citations to USCIS file numbers will also be able to request copies of historical files. The records that USCIS will be making available through this program are:

    • Naturalizations Certificate Files (C-files) from September 27, 1906 to April 1, 1956
    • Alien Registration Forms from August 1, 1940 to March 31, 1944
    • Visa files from July 1, 1924 to March 31, 1944
    • Registry files from March 2, 1929 to March 31, 1944
    • Alien Files (A-files) numbered below 8 million (A8000000), and documents within those files dated prior to May 1, 1951

    For more information on this service, visit, and click on the Genealogy tab under the Services and Benefits section.

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    Name Origins
    by Julie Helen Otto

    LIVIA (f): Latin. The formidable Empress Livia, wife of Augustus Caesar. In modern times the name has often been used as an abbreviation of OLIVIA.

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    New On

    Families of Old Fairfield, Connecticut

    History and Genealogy of the Families of Old Fairfield is a two-volume work created by Donald Lines Jacobus in the early 1930’s. This work contains over 46,000 names of early Connecticut settlers and their descendents.

    From the Introduction to Volume 1:

    “The families are arranged in alphabetical order. Each family begins (wherever possible) with the first settler. His sons who are carried forward as heads of families are designated thus: +. Families are brought down in this volume at least to 1700, but the last generation included is given completely, so that on some lines the families are brought down to 1720 or considerably later. Individuals who will be carried to the second volume as heads of families are designated thus: X.

    "The public services of each individual are listed immediately after his name, before the genealogical statistics are given. Dates following military titles are those of appointment. The date of each session at which a Deputy served is stated.

    "Those who use the book are asked to remember that there are scarcely any vital records for the period before 1700, and that the extant church records do not begin until 1694. In consequence, the probate and land records constitute our chief sources of information. The earlier probate records are not in existence, and the first volume is so damaged as to be partly indecipherable. The earlier land records are mere entries of grants and sales, not copies of the deeds, and hence do not contain as much genealogical information as those of a slightly later date. In consequence of all this, the early generations of the Fairfield families are more difficult than are those of almost any other ancient town in the state. Much depends upon the trained judgment of the compiler and his ability to interpret correctly the significance of such records as are available. I have not hesitated to overwork the useful words, ‘perhaps,’ ‘possibly,’ and ‘probably,’ especially the last. Some relationships, while not susceptible of legal proof, I consider genealogically proved by strong circumstantial or collateral evidence, and have stated as facts, but where there has been the slightest doubt regarding the conclusions reached, I have felt that the only honest thing to do was to qualify with a ‘probably.’ ”

    This database contains 46,034 names. Images of the original pages may be viewed from the search results page.

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    Spotlight: Cemetery Databases
    by Valerie Beaudrault

    Hibbing Park Cemetery, Hibbing, Minnesota

    The city of Hibbing, established by Frank Hibbing in 1893, is located in St. Louis County in northern Minnesota. Hibbing is the home of the Greyhound Bus Museum and the Bob Dylan Collection and Exhibit, as well as the Hibbing Historical Society & Museum.

    The city has uploaded an online database of burials in Hibbing’s cemeteries, which they maintain to provide information to individuals doing genealogical research. The alphabetical database is an index to the Hibbing Park Cemetery (Maple Hill Cemetery). The data fields in the index are occupant name, location of the grave, date of burial, and name of the funeral home. The Cemetery listing is in PDF format. If you do not have free Adobe Reader you will need to download the software. You should read the ‘Instructions for using the Cemetery Database’ before beginning your search. You will also find contact information for local funeral homes on this page.

    Click on the Maps and Photos link to open a page that contains maps of the Hibbing Park Cemetery. The maps are also in PDF format. This page also contains information about where each cemetery is located and links to photographs of all three cemeteries (Hibbing Park Cemetery, North Hibbing Cemetery, and Little Swan Cemetery).

    Winneconne Cemetery, Village of Winneconne, Wisconsin

    Winneconne is a village located in Winnebago County, Wisconsin, in the east central part of the state. The Wolf River runs through it. The Village’s website contains a link to the Winneconne Historical Society’s website. Click on the link to access the Society’s resources. These resources include links to a brief overview of Winneconne’s history, a photo gallery and information about the Village’s Museums, as well as the Winneconne Cemetery.

    There are two cemeteries located in the village of Winneconne, but only one is active. The old town cemetery was in use until 1872. The active village cemetery is the Winneconne Cemetery. Founded in 1871 by the Winneconne Cemetery Association, it is now owned and maintained by the village. The cemetery property and trust funds were conveyed to the Village in 1962. The cemetery is made up of two parts, the original section and the J.M. White addition. The database indexes both the original cemetery and the addition. The original cemetery contains Sections 1-16; the J.M. White addition is designated as ‘White’ in the index.

    There are two indexes to the burials in the Winneconne Cemetery. One is an index by name and the other is an index by section. Click on the index by name link to view and alphabetical list of individuals buried there. In addition to the deceased’s full name, there is a link to the section in which he or she is buried. Click on the section link to access the plot-by-plot index for that section. The section index can also be accessed by clicking on the ‘Index by Section’ link on the cemetery’s main page. The information provided here includes the name of the owner, names of the individuals buried there, and their dates of birth and death. In the case of a married woman her maiden name might also appear in the index. For many of the deceased there are also scanned images of newspaper obituaries. The digitized obituary includes a citation for the newspaper’s name, date the obituary appeared, and generally the number for the page on which it appeared. According to the website, “if there is not an obituary linked to the entry it means that one could not be found.” There is a link to the cemetery map on the website. Click on the map link found on the names index page to open to access the cemetery map. This map can be viewed by section and searched by name.

    There is also a cemetery map on the website. Click on the map link found on the names index page to open to access the cemetery map. This map can be viewed by section and searched by name.

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    Stories of Interest

    Gettysburg “Witness Tree” Falls
    The tree stands just 150 feet from the location of the platform on which Abraham Lincoln stood and delivered the Gettysburg Address. Only three other trees are known to have survived, standing in the heart of the battlefield. Last week this honey locust tree fell, suffering severe damage during a storm.

    In Adoptee’s Search For Roots, Loss and Gain Collide
    In the course of six weeks, Mark Cellura found and lost a brother. Given up for adoption as a child, he discovered he had a twin brother, only to find out that his twin died in 1987 at the age of 29.

    Judge’s Photo Still Missing, Despite Search Efforts
    The third-floor hallway of the federal courthouse in Pittsburgh is lined with images of all but one of the 55 justices who have presided over the court since the district’s first judge was appointed in 1818. No image has yet been found of Thomas Irwin, who served in the U.S. House of Representatives before being appointed to the bench. Researchers are looking furiously for a picture of this man.

    Genealogy Gets More Precise
    Technology Review, published by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, recently ran an article by Emily Singer about genealogical research and DNA testing.

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    Used and Remaindered Book and CD Sale

    The NEHGS Sales department will be having a sale on used and remaindered books and CDs starting Thursday, August 14. Used book titles cover a wide variety of subjects, and remaindered books and CDs have had prices slashed up to 80%.

    To receive a copy of titles, prices and ordering instructions, please send an email with the word “REMAINDERED” in the subject line to Please note that this list will NOT be available until 5:00 PM EST on Thursday, August 14. This sale will end on Tuesday, August 19, while supplies last.

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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

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

    Getting Started in Genealogy
    Saturday, September 13, 2008
    Roseland Cottage, Woodstock, CT
    Join NEHGS and Historic New England for a day-long seminar that will teach you basic techniques for exploring your family history. Getting Started in Genealogy will teach you strategies for using libraries, repositories and genealogical websites to locate vital record information, census records, immigration documents, and more. You will also learn how to organize a pedigree chart and document your discoveries for future generations. If you have an interest in becoming your family’s historian, this program is not to be missed.

    Registration fee: $45 for members; $55 for non-members.

    Massachusetts Archives Research Day
    Thursday, September 18, 2008
    Spend a day with NEHGS staff amidst the rich collection of the Massachusetts State Archives at Columbia Point, Boston. Archive resources include Massachusetts vital records, 1841–1915; Alien Port Arrivals, 1848–1891; State censuses, 1855 and 1865; and the Felt Collection containing Colonial-era and Revolutionary War land grant, military, tax, legislative, estate and early divorce records. Registration also includes a one-on-one consultation with an NEHGS genealogist.
    Registration fee: $55.

    Families of Western Massachusetts in 1790
    Saturday, September 20, 2008
    University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA
    Western Massachusetts was a crossroads of migration. In 1790 the population of Berkshire County was 30,291, and that of Hampshire County 59,681, making a total of just under 90,000 — slightly larger than Vermont’s 85,425, and slightly less than Maine’s 96,540. New Hampshire was significantly larger, with a population of 141,855. Join Michael J. Leclerc and Christopher C. Child, editors of the upcoming NEHGS publication Western Massachusetts Families in 1790 for a day-long program examining the history of Western Massachusetts and hear how you can participate in this exciting new book series.
    Registration fee: $75

    National Archives Research Day
    Thursday, October 9, 2008
    The National Archives (NARA), Northeast Region facility in Waltham, Massachusetts, holds a treasure trove of genealogical material. NARA holds both microfilm and original records of the Federal Government dating back to 1790. Highlights of the collection include census records 1790–1930, Revolutionary War records, and an extensive collection of passenger arrival records for the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. NEHGS staff will be on hand to provide consultations and assist you with your research. Registration includes lunch.
    Registration fee: $75

    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:

    Getting Started in Genealogy
    Saturday, November 15, 2008
    Gov. John Langdon House, Portsmouth, NH
    Join NEHGS and Historic New England for a day-long seminar that will teach you basic techniques for exploring your family history. Learn strategies for using repositories and websites to locate vital record information, organizing a pedigree chart, and documenting your discoveries. If you have interested in becoming your family’s historian, this program is not to be missed.
    Registration fee: $45 for members; $55 for non-members.

    Washington, D.C. Research Tour
    March 8–15, 2009
    NEHGS returns to the nation’s capital to explore it’s wealth of genealogical resources. Staff will be providing daily consultations at three repositories throughout the city: the Library of Congress, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution Library and the National Archives and Records Administration. An orientation will be offered at each repository at the beginning of the week. Program registration includes two group dinners to socialize and share research. Registration fees (includes seven nights’ lodging at the State Plaza Hotel): Single, $2,700; Double, $2,300 per person; Double with non-participant, $2,950; Commuter, $850 (no lodging).

    English Family History Tour
    May 17–24, 2009
    The English Family History Tour to London is an essential research trip for genealogists with British Ancestry. Based at the Society of Genealogists (SoG), researchers will be offered daily classes providing historical context and research methodology tips for working with the extensive record collection of the SoG. The library’s holdings include more than 120,000 books and microforms featuring census indexes; family histories; biographies; service, professional, and trade directories; an apprenticeship index (1770-1774), school and university lists, will and marriage license indexes; runs of Burke’s Peerage and Landed Gentry; a large number of manuscripts arranged by surname; and a miscellaneous card index of 3 million references. Registration fees: (includes seven nights’ lodging at the Holiday Inn Bloomsbury) Single, $4,850; Double, $4,550 per person; Double with non-participant, $5,550; Commuter, $2,300 (no lodging).

    Newfoundland Research Tour
    July 12–19, 2009
    Discover your Atlantic Canada family history with NEHGS in St. John’s, Newfoundland. Join expert genealogists at St. John’s premier facilities, including the Provincial Archives – “The Rooms,” the Maritime History Archive at Memorial University, the Registry of Deeds, and A.C. Hunter Library. Together these repositories hold vital records, church records, all census records, voter lists, probate, and land grants the Keith Matthews collection (list of all people who worked in fishery from 16th century to 1850), ship lists, crew lists, logbooks, Irish and English parish records and original newspapers of Newfoundland.
    Registration fees: (includes seven nights’ lodging at the Fairmont Hotel) Single ocean view room, $3,250; Single city view room, $3,100;Double, $2,700 per person; Double with non-participant, $3,550; Commuter, $850 (no lodging).

    Scottish Family History Research Tour
    September 20–27, 2009
    Discover the origins of your Scottish ancestors with the inaugural NEHGS research tour to Edinburgh. This weeklong intensive research program will be based out of Scotland’s two premier genealogical repositories, The National Archives of Scotland (NAS) and the General Register Office for Scotland (GROS). Together these neighboring repositories house the major collections of government and vital records for more than 700 years of Scottish ancestry. The main holdings of NAS include records created by the government of Scotland beginning in the twelfth century, including records of the crown, parliament, legal registers, courts documents, and records of the Church of Scotland. Vital records including birth, marriage, and death from 1855 and parish registers from 1553 to 1854 are maintained by the GROS. Program registration includes lodging at the Sheraton Grand Hotel and opening and closing dinners. Registration fees: (includes seven nights’ lodging at the Sheraton Grand Hotel) Single, $4,750; Double, $4,450 per person; Double with non-participant, $5,350; Commuter, $2,300 (no lodging).


    For more information about NEHGS programs, visit or email

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Boston, Massachusetts 02116, USA

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