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  • The Weekly Genealogist

  • Vol. 10, No. 39
    Whole #393
    September 24, 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 on Fox 25 News
    * NERGC Registration Now Open
    * Research Recommendations: National Punctuation Day
    * Name Origins
    * New On
    * Spotlight: California and Wisconsin Resources
    * Stories of Interest
    * Pre-Publication Offer on Autographed Book from D. Brenton Simons
    * Upcoming Education Programs
    * NEHGS Contact Information


    NEHGS on Fox 25 News

    Director of Special Projects Michael J. Leclerc and David Allen Lambert, the Online Genealogist, recently met with Mark Ockerbloom and Maria Stephanos, Boston anchors for Fox 25 News, and introduced them to the Society. You can watch their interview online at You can also view it on the home page at

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    NERGC Registration Now Open

    The Tenth New England Regional Conference will be held in Manchester, New Hampshire, April 22–26, 2009. NEHGS, one of the founding members, will once again be participating. Director of Membership Pauline Cusson is co-chair of the conference, and Online Genealogist David Allen Lambert, Director of Special Projects Michael J. Leclerc, Assistant Archivist Judy Lucey, and Research Services Coordinator D. Joshua Taylor will be among the presenters. Featured speakers at the conference are James Hansen, FASG, from the Wisconsin Historical Society; Thomas W. Jones, Ph.D., CG, CGL, FASG, co-editor of the National Genealogical Society Quarterly; and Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak, chief family historian for

    You can find more details for the conference, and register online, at

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    Research Recommendations: National Punctuation Day
    by Michael J. Leclerc

    I would venture to say that we as genealogists know more about the importance of proper punctuation than the average American adult. Anyone who has ever tried to transcribe and make sense of a sixteenth- or seventeenth-century will, deed, or diary knows how confusing words are without proper punctuation marks. Their absence or presence can change the meaning of a sentence entirely.

    Today is the fifth annual National Punctuation Day. Founded in 2004 by former newspaperman Jeff Rubin, the holiday is celebrated in schools and businesses around the country. Billed as a holiday that reminds America that “a semicolon is not a surgical procedure,” the day is intended to educate everyone from children to adults on the importance of punctuation.

    Rubin and his wife work with schools around the country to implement programs to help schoolchildren learn important lessons on punctuation. They had created a 45-minute program for grades 1–6 called Punctuation Playtime. The program features games, activities, and storytelling to help children learn proper communication skills. There is even a rap song in the program.

    A 30-minute instructional DVD is available for teachers to learn how to facilitate Punctuation Playtime in their curriculum. Rubin and his wife also offer 90-minute workshops for elementary school teachers on teaching punctuation to students.

    Punctuation is not just for kids. Many businesses are starting to implement National Punctuation Day among their employees. Rogers Communications (one of Canada’s largest telecommunications companies) learned how important proper punctuation can be. A misplaced comma led them to lose a $2.13 million contract. Bank of America in Tampa, Florida, has a week of contests and programs to stress the importance of punctuation to management and employees.

    You can find out more about National Punctuation Day by visiting

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    Name Origins
    by Julie Helen Otto

    CAROLINE MATILDA (f): The tragic fate of Caroline Matilda of Wales (1751–1775), Queen of Denmark, daughter of Frederick, Prince of Wales and his wife Augusta of Saxe-Gotha and youngest sister of George III, held much pathetic appeal for her contemporaries. Married at 15 to her cousin Christian VII, King of Denmark and Norway, she fell in love with court physician and minister Dr. Johann Friedrich Struensee (ex. 1772), who had previously been one of the only advisors capable of handling the king’s mental instability; arrested, divorced and deported in 1772 to Celle, Hannover, she died imprisoned there in 1775, supposedly of throat cancer.

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    New On

    Families of Ancient New Haven, Volumes 1-4

    Families of Ancient New Haven is an eight-volume work created by Donald Lines Jacobus between 1923 and 1932. These volumes were originally published as New Haven Genealogical Magazine, predecessor of The American Genealogist. This work contains over 65,000 names of early Connecticut settlers and their descendants. In the first installment, we present volumes 1-4. From the introduction to Volume 1:

    “The following compilation includes the families of the ancient town of New Haven, covering the present towns of New Haven, East Haven, North Haven, Hamden, Bethany, Woodbridge and West Haven. These families are brought down to the heads of families in the First Census (1790), and include the generation born about 1790 to 1800. Descendants in the male line who removed from this region are also given, if obtainable, to about 1800, unless they have been adequately set forth in published genealogies.

    It is intended to give every record of birth or baptism to 1800, every record of marriage to 1810, and every record of death of individuals born prior to 1800 in the above towns. All dates derived from the public records are followed by an abbreviated reference in italics, indicating their source. A key to these abbreviations is provided. The vital records of six towns, the registers of seven churches, and the inscriptions in twenty-seven graveyards have been copied. The probate, land and court records have been searched, as far as they relate to families that settled in this region prior to 1750. Much material has also been gathered from probate and town records of districts and towns outside of this region. Dates not followed by symbols are usually from printed authorities which, although unverified, are considered trustworthy.”

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    Spotlight: California and Wisconsin Resources
    by Valerie Beaudrault

    Additional Butte County, California, Resources: Butte County Library System

    I received an email in response to my Spotlight article of last week. eNews reader Nancy Brower informed me of another resource available to genealogists researching ancestors in Butte County. The Butte County Library system, established in 1913, is headquartered in the Oroville Branch Library, and serves residents through branches in Chico, Paradise, Gridley, Durham and Biggs.

    The County Library System has a vital records index to local newspapers that covers the period from 1854 through approximately 1897 on its website. The index is organized alphabetically by last name. The data fields include surname, first name, event date, newspaper date, and page. Click on the Newspaper Abbreviations link to access the list of twelve newspapers from which the records have been drawn. These events indexed from these newspapers are not limited geographically to Butte County; many occurred in other counties such as Plumas, Colusa, Yuba, Tehama, and Lassen.

    Update on Paradise Genealogical Society’s Obituary Database

    The Society’s volunteer staff will do look-ups for free of names not yet indexed. The index currently covers surnames through the letter F. Copies of records will be provided for a $5.00 donation each.

    Ripon Historical Society, Wisconsin

    Ripon is located in central Wisconsin in Fond du Lac County. The Ripon Historical Society has created an online research resource presence, in cooperation with the Ripon Public Library and the Winnefox Library System. In addition to a number of Ripon History Links found at the end of the Resources for Research page, the historical society’s online resources include searchable databases. To access them click on the Obituaries and Cemetery Records link.

    Obituaries: Ripon Vital Records Database
    The database contains obituaries from the Ripon Commonwealth Press and/or the Oshkosh Daily Northwestern for the period from 1961 to present. The database can be searched by last name and first name. Searches can be limited by date, as well.

    Cemetery Records
    The Cemetery Records database both indexes and provides detailed records for the following area cemeteries: Bethel Reeds Corners Cemetery, Eureka Cemetery, Garden of the Cross, Hillside Cemetery, Loper Cemetery, St. Patrick's Cemetery, and Woodlawn Cemetery. Two local residents, Joann and Melvin Ingram, cataloged the “permanent residents” of a number of Ripon area cemeteries and the contents of their notebooks have been scanned and digitized, and are now available online. Please be advised that these files are large and may take a long time to download.

    Pedrick Historical Collection
    The Pedrick Historical Collection contains resources related to past Ripon residents and to the history of the city. It is currently being digitized through the efforts of the Ripon Public Library, the Ripon Historical Society and the Ripon College Archives. The resources include Genealogy Notebooks, the Pedrick Family Genealogy, and an index to articles by Samuel Pedrick on Ripon history published in the Ripon Commonwealth. Samuel Pedrick was a lawyer in Ripon, who was interested in the history of the Ripon area. Because there was no historical society in Ripon when he was alive, he willed his collection of historical papers to Ripon College, from which he graduated in 1891. To access the collection, click on the Obituaries and Cemetery Records link and then click on the “View the Pedrick Historical Collection online” link.

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    Stories of Interest

    Revealing Hidden Roots: Local DNA Research Has Global Implications
    Boston Globe staff reporter Vanessa E. Jones reveals the story of Sam Silverman and Richard Coren, descendants of the Korenbaum family which lived along the Bug River in Poland, in towns like Wlodowa and Malorita (now in Belarus). Their family research describes a family diaspora affected by emigration, war, and the Holocaust.

    Tracing Family Tree Across a Sea
    The Toronto Star reports on Phil Jenkinson’s search for his great-grandfather, and how a combination of microtext and computers helped him find an immigrant arrival.

    A Splattered and Tattered Family History
    Christian Science Monitor columnist discusses her family cookbook, and the impact it has had on her family.

    Windass Scores Family Tree
    The Dot Hepton Family History Group in Hull, England, has an interesting way of publicizing their group. Each year they hold an open house and compile a family history for a family.

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    Free Shipping Pre-Publication Offer on Autographed Book from D. Brenton Simons

    In association with NEHGS, the University Press of New England is publishing a new book by NEHGS President and CEO D. Brenton Simons. Boston Beheld: Antique Town and Country Views is a collection of more than sixty historical works of art that portray Boston in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Ranging from fine art to folk art and selected from both public and private collections, the works show different aspects of Boston — street scenes, elegant buildings and homes, landscapes and gardens, the harbor — constituting a portfolio of rarely seen views of the city in bygone days. Each image is accompanied by descriptive text highlighting famous landmarks, points of interest, and quotes from famous residents and travelers. A wonderful holiday gift for any lover of art — or lover of Boston!

    You can order an autographed copy of the book online at or by calling toll free at 888-296-3447. Cost is $35.00 (or $31.50 for NEHGS members). Economy (book rate) shipping is FREE if you place your order by October 30, 2008. Standard shipping (UPS) will be at a discounted rate of $5.00.

    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:

    Tousley Family in America (Item P4-H25623)
    Nicholas Mundy & Descendants who Settled in New Jersey in 1665 (Item P4-H19947)
    Descendants of John Rugg (Item P4-H22809)
    British Invasion of Maryland, 1812-1815 (Item P5-MD0019H)
    History of Pittsfield, Berkshire County (MA), from the Year 1734 to 1800 (Item P5-MA0322H)

    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


    One Bowl More and Then: Punch Drinking in Colonial America
    Monday, September 29, 2008, 6:00 PM
    Punch--a mixture of spirits, water, sugar, fruit, and spice--was introduced to England from India early in the 17th century, and became immensely popular. Punch brought conviviality and exotic ingredients to English and American parlors and taverns, along with elegant accoutrements fashioned in ceramic, glass, and silver -- punch bowls, ladles, strainers, and nutmeg graters. Donald Friary, president of the Colonial Society of Massachusetts and director emeritus of Historic Deerfield, will present an entertaining and informative talk on the history of punch drinking in Colonial America.

    This event is free and open to the public. Reservations are required. To RSVP email or call 617-226-1226.

    Native and Newcomer: Genealogical Perspectives on Native Americans in Colonial Massachusetts
    October 4, 2008, 10:00 AM-3:00 PM
    Join New England Historic Genealogical Society and the Partnership of Historic Bostons for a day-long seminar examining genealogical topics in the relationship between Native Americans and early immigrants to Boston and the surrounding the communities. In a three-part program, David Allen Lambert, NEHGS online genealogist, Ramona Peters, a former member of the Mashpee Tribal Council Board of Directors, and R. Andrew Pierce, professional genealogist, will present case studies and histories of the Massachuset Ponkapoag, the Mashpee, and the Wampanoag of Martha's Vineyard.
    Program Schedule:
    10:00am Welcome
    10:15am–11:15am A Genealogical Case Study of the Massachuset Ponkapoag, David Allen Lambert
    11:30am–12:30pm Tribal Family, Gifts and Burdens of Inheritance, Ramona Peters
    12:45pm Lunch (provided)
    1:15pm–2:15pm The Wampanoag Genealogical History of Martha's Vineyard, MA, R. Andrew Piece
    2:15pm–2:45pm Panel Question and Answer Session.
    This event is free and open to the public. Reservations are required. Please RSVP at or call 617-226-1226.

    Patriot Pirates: The Privateer War for Freedom & Fortune in the American Revolution
    October 6, 2008, 6:00 PM
    Robert H. Patton, grandson of famed General George S. Patton, will present an "illuminating look at an underappreciated chapter of the Revolutionary War: the daring, and faintly disreputable, privateer war on British maritime interests; ''a pleasing mixture of high-seas adventure and shrewd analysis" (Kirkus Reviews).
    Join NEHGS for Mr. Patton's presentation followed by book signing and reception.
    Donations of twenty-dollars per reservation will kindly be accepted to support the NEHGS distinguished author series.
    R.S.V.P. by Wednesday, October 1 at 617-226-1226 or

    Searching the NEHGS Online Library Catalog
    October 17, 2008 , 10:00 AM
    Discover tips and techniques for effectively searching NEHGS holdings. Jean Maguire, NEHGS Technical Services and Serials Librarian, will offer expert advice for searching Online Library Catalog.

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

    Correction: The dates of Come Home to New England are incorrectly stated in the recently mailed Education Programs and Research Tours brochure. The program dates are June 22-27, 2009 and August 10-15, 2009.

    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 its 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 (1710-1774), 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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