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  • The Weekly Genealogist

  • Vol. 10, No. 43
    Whole #397
    October 22, 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.  

    Art of Family Inspires Museum Exhibition

    The Society published The Art of Family: Genealogical Artifacts in New England in 2002. Edited by President and CEO D. Brenton Simons and Peter Benes, the book included essays by noted historians such as John Demos, Jane C. Nylander, and Pulitzer-Prize winning author Laurel Thatcher Ulrich. The book inspired Jamie Franklin, curator of the Bennington Museum in Bennington, Vermont, to create an exhibition on family history.

    Franklin says that “When I first read The Art of Family its approach immediately appealed to me. Instead of dry recitations of ‘so-and-so begot so-and-so,’ the essays it contains examine what objects created by and for America’s early families, such as decorated family records, mourning pictures, portraits, silver, and furniture, can tell us about how Americans conceived of and understood what 'family' meant to them. While this exhibition examines objects that are integral to genealogical study, I want to look at these pieces less for the specific names and dates that they record and more for what they can tell us about the construction of family identity in America and how American ‘families’ fit into the country’s larger social structure, particularly during the periods when the objects were made.”

    The exhibit, “For the Record: Art and Artifacts of the American Family,” opens November 1 and runs through December 31 at the Bennington Museum. For more information, call 802-447-1571, or visit



    Internet Searching Strengthens Brain Function

    Who new that Google could actually improve your mental health? A new study at the University of California, Los Angeles has been measuring the brain activity of older adults as they performed searches on the Web. Two groups were used by Dr. Gary Small. One group had minimal experience with computers, while the other identified themselves as knowledgeable internet users.

    Those who were in the latter group showed more than double the neural activation than those less experienced computer users. This activity primarily occurred in the region of the brain that controls decision-making and complex reasoning.

    CNN reporter Madison Park recently reported on this fascinating study, and you can read about it at


    Research Recommendations: Publishing Terms

    by Michael J. Leclerc

    Some terms, such as folio, quarto, recto, and verso, may be confusing to new (or even experienced) researchers. They often appear in catalog entries and reference notes, so here are a few definitions that might assist you in understanding the entries.

    A leaf or folio is the term for a single complete page, front and back. For books published in left-to-right reading languages (such as English, French, Spanish, Latin, etc.), the recto side of the leaf faces to the left when held straight up from the spine. The recto is usually an odd-numbered page, and appears on the right side of a book that is opened flat. The verso side faces to the right when held straight up from the spine. These even-numbered pages appear on the left side of a book opened flat.

    Folio also has another meaning in publishing. It refers to the size of a published book. A folio volume is usually 15” or more in height. Folios are the largest-sized books, and often are found in the oversize section of repositories. If you see this notation in a catalog entry, you might want to ask the librarian if it is located in a special section of the library.

    A quarto volume is usually 9” by 12.” This is about the size of today’s magazines. A sheet folded in quarto is folded in half twice at right angles and makes four leaves. You may also see the term abbreviated as 4to or 4º.

    An octavo book is usually 5 or 6” by 8 or 9”, similar in size to Reader’s Digest. Most genealogies published by Newbury Street Press, for example, are octavo (6” by 9”). This term is abbreviated as 8vo or 8º.

    You might also find other sizes, such as 12mo (duodecimo), 16mo, 24mo, 32mo, or even 64mo, but these are far less common.



    Name Origins

    by Julie Helen Otto

    TERTIUS, TERTIA (m/f): Latin ordinal number ‘third,’ customarily given by Romans to a third son. As a suffix, “Tertius” sometimes appears in New England vital records of the colonial period to denote the third-eldest man of the same name in the community, regardless of how (or if) they were related by blood. When “Sr.” died, “Jr.” became “Sr.,” “Tertius” became “Jr.,” and the next-younger man could become “Tertius.” This system can become difficult if any of these deaths are unrecorded; sometimes the transitions are only seen after careful deed or probate work, or when lists of each man’s children (and the references to them in town records) are compared.



    Spotlight: Wayne County History and Genealogy Gateway, Wayne County Public Library, North Carolina

    by Valerie Beaudrault

    The Wayne County History and Genealogy Gateway is a digitization project focused on materials related to Wayne County, North Carolina. According to the library’s website, the goals of this project are to improve access to local history materials, support research activities, and aid in the preservation of resources related to Wayne County history. Wayne County is located in central North Carolina. Goldsboro is a city in Wayne County.

    The resources that make up the Wayne County History and Genealogy Gateway collection include:

    Book Indexes
    In this section of the Gateway there are three local history book indexes. They are name indexes to The History of Wayne County by Judge Frank A. Daniels, Strangers in the Land by Moses Rountree, and War Time Reminiscences by J.M. Hollowell. There are also files that provide an introduction to the indexes for each of the volumes.

    Digital Library
    In the Digital Library section of the Gateway there are four documents. Each of these files is in PDF format. You will need Adobe Reader to access these and other items on the website. See a description of two of the digital library resources below.

    1911/1912 Goldsboro City Directory
    Click on the directory link to access an index containing links to transcriptions of the directory’s pages. At the top of each page there is a thumbnail image of the directory page. Click on the thumbnail to view an enlarged page image.

    The City of Goldsboro, North Carolina 1914
    This volume was published in 1914. It contains descriptions and photographs of the city of Goldsboro and its businesses. Click on the book title link to access an index to the book with links to the book’s contents. Click on a link to access a transcription of that section. To view a digital image of the original page, click on the thumbnail image above the transcription. You can browse through the book by clicking on the previous or next page links beneath the transcription.

    Online Newspaper Abstracts
    This section of the Gateway contains four databases containing records of vital events abstracted from local newspapers. The databases are as follows: Births Listed in the Goldsboro Messenger and Goldsboro Headlight 1877–1903; Marriage Licenses in the Goldsboro Headlight: Miscellaneous Dates in 1877, 1889–1892, 1894, 1896–1897, 1900–1902; Marriages Listed in the Carolina Messenger (1872–1877), Goldsboro Messenger (1877–1887), and Goldsboro Headlight (1887–1903); and Obituaries Listed in the Carolina Messenger, Goldsboro Messenger and Goldsboro Headlight (1869–1903). For each of the vital events databases there is a file with a detailed description of what the database contains and the notations and abbreviations used in the index file.

    On the Streets of Goldsboro: 1870s–1920s
    In this section you will find over 65 photographs of street scenes, houses, parks and gardens, people, railroads and streetcars, and businesses in Goldsboro during a fifty-year period from 1870 to 1920, in addition to links to the volumes titled 1911/1912 Goldsboro City Directory and The City of Goldsboro, North Carolina.



    Stories of Interest

    Two Families Named McCain

    Some of McCain’s Black Relatives Support Obama
    The McCain family tree includes many black relatives, descendants of John McCain’s slave-owning ancestors. This year’s election has brought a great deal of attention to them. Articles recently appeared in the Wall Street Journal and the South Florida Times discussing the folks from Carroll County, Mississippi. The Wall Street Journal article may require a password.

    New Zealand Prime Minister Presented With Genealogy
    Helen Clark, Prime Minister of New Zealand, was recently given a 250-page genealogical record from the President of the New Zealand Pacific Area of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.



    Ask the Webmaster

    Ask the Webmaster

    Q. I have forgotten my membership number. How can I log into the website?

    A. Locate the six-digit number over your name on the mailing label of the Register or New England Ancestors magazine, or email The login page also offers a 'Forgot Your Password?' tool that will email your member number to you.

    The above procedure is the only way to logon to the website. Once you have entered this information, you will be logged in as a member and have full access to the site. You will know that you have successfully logged in when you see "Welcome (your name)" at the top of the page.

    We no longer offer the option to personalize your login information. If you are still having difficulty with the login procedure, please email to ensure the quickest response.



    One Week Only: NEHGS Members Take 10% Off All Great Migration Titles

    Through October 29, 2008, NEHGS Members can take 10% off of every title from the Great Migration Study Project. This includes the three volume The Great Migration Begins, 1620-1633, The Pilgrim Migration: Immigrants to Plymouth Colony, 1620-1633, and all five volumes in the second series, The Great Migration: Immigrants to New England, 1634-1635. Members can also get the discount on The Complete Great Migration Newsletter, Volumes 1-15, and The Complete Great Migration Newsletter, Volumes 11-15.

    NEHGS members MUST be logged in using their member numbers in order to see the discounts. Order online  or by calling toll free at 1-888-296-3447.

    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:

    History of the Town of Catherine, Schuyler County, New York (Item P5-NY0064AH)
    History of the Town of Perry, New York (Item P5-NY0327H)
    History of Merrimac & Belknap Counties, New Hampshire (Item P5-NH0029H)
    The Clovercroft Chronicles, 1314-1893 (Item P4-H12765)
    History of the Fitch Family, 1400-1930 (Item P4-H10440)

    You can search the entire Classic Reprints catalog online.



    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


    Untapped Resources: Your Ancestors' Political Affiliations
    Wednesday, October 29, 6:00 PM
    Political parties have shaped the history of America, and all political parties had members! Come discover how to find those party records; including voting, fundraising, and meeting records from the early 1800s to the late 1950s. Find your ancestors' political records with D. Joshua Taylor.
    This event is free and open to the public.

    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.

    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 dining 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


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