American Ancestors New England Historic Genealogical Society - Founded 1845 N.E. Historic Genealogical Society Seal View Your Shopping Cart Join NEHGS
  • The Weekly Genealogist

  • Vol. 10, No. 44
    Whole #398
    October 29, 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.  

    Boston Beheld: Antique Town and Country Views

    A landmark collection of more than sixty works from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, Boston Beheld depicts a bygone era not immediately recognizable to the modern eye. A portfolio of painted views, textiles, and wallpaper, Boston Beheld presents sweeping vistas, lively street scenes, and elegant edifices, along with observations of the town by its residents and visitors. Covering the period from John Smibert’s panoramic view of 1738 through the splendor of the Bulfinch era to the devastation of the Great Fire of 1872, Boston Beheld reveals the multifaceted character of a town that has given way to a modern metropolis.

    Rarely seen works are gathered together for the first time from private collections and numerous institutions, including the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum, Boston Athenæum, Boston Public Library, Bostonian Society, Historic New England, Massachusetts Historical Society, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, New England Historic Genealogical Society, Peabody Essex Museum, and the Yale University Art Gallery.

    Boston Beheld: Antique Town and Country Views is published by the University Press of New England in association with the New England Historic Genealogical Society. D. Brenton Simons, author of the award-winning Witches, Rakes, and Rogues, is President and CEO of the New England Historic Genealogical Society.

    Copies of Boston Beheld can be ordered online at


    Boston University Offers Certificate in Genealogy

    Skilled research can make the difference in many fields. What evidence proves an identity? How do you trace a lineage? What records are reliable and how do you find them? Looking to distinguish yourself to an employer in the library science, legal, or historical fields, or simply to become a better researcher? The Boston University Certificate in Genealogical Research offers an exacting skill set taught by some of the premier genealogists in the country.

    Designed by author, editor, and genealogist Melinde Lutz Sanborn, FASG, and reviewed by best-selling genealogical author and educator Elizabeth Shown Mills, FASG, the Boston University program presents cutting edge methodology for American research. In addition to Melinde, the instructors include Elise Scalise Powell, CG; Sharon Sargeant; Thomas W. Jones, Ph.D., CG, CGL, FASG; and Richard Andrew Pierce.

    BU is offering a 10% discount off the course tuition to all NEHGS members.

    Further detail and registration information may be found at



    Research Recommendations: Non-U.S. Spelling

    by Michael J. Leclerc

    When compiling your research, genealogists often discover information that leads back to family origins in other countries, identifying one or more generations in the country of origin. When compiling your information, the problem arises of what to do with names of places and other words that are spelled differently in that country.

    This can be especially problematic in other English-speaking countries, where the variations are slight. For example, in other countries, words that end in –or (such as color) often end in –our (colour). The letter ‘s’ and the letter ‘z’ (which, in countries like Canada, is called ‘zed,’ not ‘zee’) are often interchanged (such as analyse/analyze). The Chicago Manual of Style standard is to change all English spelling to American spelling. The exception would be direct quotations, which should remain as they are in the original.

    In genealogy, we have the added problem of spelling locations. Do we maintain the original spelling or name, or do we convert to the American version? While Americanizing the name is the typical standard for U.S. genealogies, you may also maintain the original spelling if you so desire. The key is to be consistent. Every appearance of the name should be the same. The best solution would be to spell the name as in the original language the first time it appears in your text, cross-referencing it to the Americanized version. All subsequent references should be to the Americanized version. Of course, if your audience for the work is international, you should decide what makes the best sense for that audience.



    Name Origins

    by Julie Helen Otto

    RUPERT (m): Popular among English Civil War-era royalist families as homage to the Cavalier general Prince Rupert of the Rhine, nephew of King Charles I.


    New On

    Index to Massachusetts Births, 1911–1915

    We are pleased to release the index to 1911–1915 Massachusetts births in five parts over five weeks. This week, we present the index to the 105,040 births recorded in 1912. At this time, our database contains the index to these records. We do not yet have digital versions of the record pages. We plan to make these record images available in the future.

    Until the digital images are available, you may view the records on microfilm at the NEHGS Boston research library, or you may order photocopies from Research Services.



    Spotlight: Research Resources in Wyoming and Montana

    by Valerie Beaudrault

    Niobrara County Library, Lusk, Wyoming

    Lusk is a town in Niobrara County, located in eastern Wyoming, close to the Nebraska border. The Niobrara County Library has a genealogy archive of online resources. Click on the Genealogy tab on the library’s homepage to open the Obituary Records page.

    Obituary Index
    The obituaries in this archive come from a number of sources, including local newspapers and donations to the library. This is an ongoing project. The information has been transcribed from the printed source. Obituary entries are organized alphabetically by last name. Click on the first letter of the surname to display entries for last names starting with that letter. In addition to the full text of the obituary, you will find listings of any genealogy entries or historical entries related to the deceased. The Related Genealogy Entries are obituaries of the deceased’s relatives. To see whether the individual appears in the cemetery database, click on the link to the cemetery record below the obituary.

    Birth Index
    Click on the Birth Records link to access the Birth Index. The birth entries are organized alphabetically by last name. Click on the first letter of the surname to display the entries for last names starting with that letter. The data fields in the index include last name, first name, middle name, date of birth, sex, image, and information. The data in the information field contains the detailed birth announcement information from the newspaper.

    Cemetery Database
    Click on the Cemetery Records link to access the cemetery records database. The records are organized alphabetically by last name. Click on the first letter of the surname to display the records for last names starting with that letter. The data fields in the index include last name, first name, date of death, cemetery, section, and block, lot, and grave.

    Bearcreek Cemetery Burial Index, Montana

    The town of Bearcreek is located in Carbon County. Geographically speaking it is in southern Montana, on the Wyoming border. Bearcreek’s population was 84 in 2007. The town grew out of the coal mining operations in the region. The town was platted in 1905, was awarded a post office in the same year and was incorporated as a town in 1906. At its peak in 1918 the town’s population was 744. The population shrank to 31 residents in 1970. If you are interested in learning about the history of the Town of Bearcreek, click on the Bearcreek History link. Under the Smith Mine Disaster link you can read about the tragic events of February 27, 1943, where 74 of the 77 miners underground that day lost their lives.

    Bearcreek Cemetery project volunteers have recorded and created a database of 434 identifiable graves. The alphabetical index can be found on town’s website. According to the website the first body was interred in the cemetery in 1909. There are a number of unmarked and undated graves in the cemetery. The Bearcreek Cemetery webpage contains stories about people who are buried there. The data fields in the index include last name, first name, and the date of birth and date of death of the deceased.



    Stories of Interest

    Genealogy, Death, and Facebook
    Paul W. Taylor talks about the passing of his father-in-law, James Routledge. Living in a small town on the Canadian prairie, the Internet made a difference in both the life and death of this man.

    “Peeks into our pasts” Get New Home
    Kater Bergeron of the Biloxi, Mississippi, Sun Herald reports on the new home of The Murella H. Powell Local History and Genealogy Collection, which has been virtually inaccessible since Hurricane Katrina.



    Ask the Webmaster

    Q. How do I get access to the Great Migration Newsletter Online?

    A. You can visit to subscribe to both the online and printed version of the newsletter. If you have any questions or problems with subscribing please email



    Sale on Gary Boyd Roberts Titles

    The Sales department is happy to offer the following titles by NEHGS Senior scholar Gary Boyd Roberts at a discounted price until January 31, 2009:

    Royal Descents of 600 Immigrants to the American Colonies or the United States, Normally $75.00, Now $65.00

    Notable Kin, Volume 1, Normally $30.00, Now $25.00

    Notable Kin, Volume 2, Normally $30.00, Now $25.00

    To order, please call 617-226-1212 or visit us at Massachusetts residents add 5% sales tax. Shipping is not included

    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:

    Keskachauge, or the First White Settlement on Long Island, NY(Item P5-NY0059H)
    History of the County of Antigonish, Nova Scotia (Item P5-NS0002H)
    History of Grand-Pre, Nova Scotia, Home of Longfellow’s Evangeline (Item P5-NS0007H)
    History of Huguenot Emigration in America (Item P5-FR0002H)
    History of Newton County, Arkansas (Item P5-AR0005H)

    You can search the entire Classic Reprints catalog online at



    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 & Library Orientation
    Saturday, November 1, 2008, 10:00 AM
    Starting your family genealogy can seem a little daunting at first. There’s so much information found in a variety of locations. Let NEHGS help you make sense of it all by attending this FREE lecture for both members and non-members. This talk introduces you to the NEHGS research library, located at 99 Newbury Street in Boston. Founded in 1845, NEHGS is the country’s oldest and largest non-profit genealogy library and archive. With more than 15 million artifacts, books, manuscripts, microfilms, journals, photographs, records, and other items, NEHGS can provide researchers of every level some of the most important sources of information.

    You will also have an opportunity to describe your research interests to one of our expert genealogists on staff, who can offer some advice on how to proceed. The program starts with a thirty-minute introductory lecture and will be followed by a tour of the library and its vast holdings. Make plans to start your genealogy with this great tour.

    Wednesday, November 12, 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.

    The Muse of the Revolution: Mercy Otis Warren
    Monday, November 17, 2008, 6:00 PM
    Join NEHGS and award-winning author Nancy Rubin Stuart for the “story of how Mercy Otis Warren’s dedication to original patriotic ideals of the Revolution contributed to its eventual success and then critically informed the creation of American state.” Drawn from the correspondence of Mercy Otis Warren and the letters of colonial patriots, including John and Abigail Adams, George and Martha Washington and Henry Knox, The Muse of the Revolution: The Secret Pen of Mercy Otis Warren and the Founding of a Nation is a tale not to be missed.
    Advanced registration is required. $10 admission. To RSVP please call 617-226-1226 or email

    Living in the Past: Esther Williams and Her Relics
    Wednesday, November 19, 2008 , 6:00 PM
    Donald Friary, president of the Colonial Society of Massachusetts and director emeritus of Historic Deerfield will present the interesting case of a woman who seemed to have added nothing to her household after the American Revolution. Based on the 1800 probate inventory of Esther Williams, widow of a Deerfield Tory, who was surrounded by old forms of furniture and French and Indian War heroes. There are no card tables or sideboards or maps of the new nation or images of Washington. She was living in the past.

    Uncovering Your Family History in Federal Documents & Publications
    Saturday, November 22, 2008 , 10:00 AM
    U.S. government publications are valuable resources for family history and historical research. But which ones are of use to family historians? Learn how to use and find U.S. Statutes at Large, U.S. Serial Set, and other publications in designated library collections around the country. Join Connie Reik, M.S.L., M.A., Government Publications Coordinator and Reference Librarian at Tisch Library, Tufts University to discover your family in federal documents.

    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.

    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


    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


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

© 2010 - 2014 New England Historic Genealogical Society