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  • The Weekly Genealogist

  • Vol. 10, No. 5
    Whole #359
    January 30, 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 2008 Holiday Closures
    * New on
    * New From Newbury Street Press: The Pierponts of Roxbury, Massachusetts
    * Last Chance for Member Survey
    * Name Origins
    * Sale on NEHGS Speaker Titles
    * Research Recommendations:
    * Spotlight: Historic Farnam, Nebraska
    * Stories of Interest
    * From the Online Genealogist
    * Upcoming Education Programs
    * NEHGS Contact Information




    NEHGS 2008 Holiday Closures

    As you plan your trips to the research library for this year, please make note of the following days on which the NEHGS Research Library will be closed.

    Saturday, February 16 (President’s Day)
    Saturday, May 24 (Memorial Day)
    Friday, July 4 (Independence Day)
    Saturday, August 30 (Labor Day)
    Wednesday, November 26, library closes at 3 p.m.
    Thursday, November 27 (Thanksgiving Day)
    Thursday, December 25 (Christmas Day)

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    New on

    Vital Records of East Granby, Connecticut, 1737-1886

    From the introduction to the book:

    “The town of East Granby was incorporated June 2, 1858, being set off from the towns of Granby and Windsor Locks. This section had previously borne that name for a considerable time before its incorporation. Its boundaries, except for a small addition on the east side, were practically the same as those of the Turkey Hills Ecclesiastical Society. This society, comprising the north-east quarter of the town of Simsbury, was established in 1736 by action of the General Assembly. The following year the Assembly added to it on the east side a small section of the town of Windsor, which from its width was often referred to as 'the half mile.' In 1786 a portion of Windsor including this society was incorporated as the town of Granby, and in 1852 a portion of Windsor including this society was incorporated as the town of Windsor Locks. The name of the ecclesiastical society was changed in 1895 to conform with that of the town.”

    This database contains 524 births and baptisms, 846 marriages, and 3,578 deaths. The images of the original book pages may be viewed from the search results page. This volume is also available in our Boston research library, call number F104.E1 E15 1947.

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    New From Newbury Street Press: The Pierponts of Roxbury, Massachusetts

    The Pierponts of Roxbury, Massachusetts, are a particularly interesting family of ship’s captains, millers, town selectmen, merchants, builders, ministers and a very few farmers. Helen Ullmann brings her thorough research skills to this family, focusing on descendants through John Pierpont’s son Ebenezer and Robert Pierpont’s sons, Jonathan and James.

    6 x 9 hardcover, 188 pages, $39.95
    Buy Now

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    Last Chance for Member Survey

    As many of you may already know, every two years NEHGS has sent out member surveys to learn more about what you think and how we might better meet the needs of all our members. The information gathered over the years has been an extremely valuable tool for NEHGS as we seek to improve all areas of member services and benefits.

    With that, I would like to invite you to participate in the 2008 member survey. Since this year’s survey is electronic there is nothing to mail back. I ask that you please click through the link below and take a few minutes to fill out the survey. We’ll do the rest.

    Your honest feedback is greatly appreciated. It helps NEHGS direct appropriate efforts and resources as we seek to improve and further develop the overall experience for you, our members.

    The survey closes February 1, so please give us your feeback today.

    Many thanks,

    D. Brenton Simons,
    President and CEO

    Take the 2008 NEHGS Member Survey

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    Name Origins
    by Julie Helen Otto

    JAS (m) – Abbreviation for JAMES.

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    Sale on NEHGS Speaker Titles

    NEHGS Sales Department is excited to offer the following titles, all by authors who have recently given talks and lectures at our Boston facility. There are limited quantities of many of these titles, so be sure to act quickly! To order, please call 617-226-1212. Prices do not include shipping.


    Dwelling Place of Dragons: An Irish Story, by Marjorie Harshaw Robie, 2006, 399pp, soft cover, Sale price $21.00

    Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community & War, by Nathaniel Philbrick, 2006. 460pp, hardcover, Sale price $25.00

    Washington’s Crossing, by David Hackett Fischer, 2004, 564pp, hardcover, Sale price $29.00

    The King’s Three Faces: the Rise and Fall of Royal America, 1688-1776, by Brendan McConville, 2006, 322pp, soft cover, Sale price $20.00

    By Faith Alone: One Family’s Epic Journey Through 400 Years of American Protestantism, by Bill Griffeth, 2007, 288pp, hardcover, Sale price $21.00

    Lafayette in America in 1824 and 1825: Journal of a Voyage to the United States, by Auguste Levasseur, Translated by Alan R. Hoffman, 2006, 603pp, hardcover, Sale price $28.00

    The Boston Massacre, by Robert J. Allison, 2006. Soft cover, 72pp, $11.00

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    Research Recommendations:
    by Michael J. Leclerc is a free online resource produced by the Oxford University Press (OUP). The publishing house of Oxford University in England, OUP is the publisher of the Oxford English Dictionary among other things. This site provides tremendous assistance with English words and language, including spelling, grammar, and writing. The AskOxford home page shows you the word of the day, quote of the week, quotes and words from OUP publications, and featured questions from the Ask the Experts section.

    The section on Global English points out that English is spoken as a first language by more than 300 million people worldwide, while millions more speak it as a second language. One in five of the world’s population is a competent speaker of the language. There are six main regional standards of English: British, U.S. and Canadian, Australian and New Zealand, South African, Indian, and West Indian. OUP includes many regionalisms in their publications.

    The Ask the Experts section has a database built from questions sent to the OUP’s Oxford Word and Language Service team. For example, you can find their answer to questions such as:

    • What is the longest word in the English language? [it isn’t what you think it is]
    • Are there any words that rhyme with orange?
    • Are there any English words containing the same letter three times in a row? [besides brrr and shhh?]
    • What comes after primary, secondary, and tertiary? [and do we as genealogists really want to trust vigenary sources?]
    • Is there a word for nephews and nieces collectively?

    Also in the Ask the Experts section, you can find a Jargon Buster tool that gives clear and concise definitions for grammar and literary terms. You can also find collective terms for animals. This might come in handy for describing the time your seafaring ancestor ran into a gam of whales or a huddle of walruses.


    The World of Words section gives you abstracts from various OUP resources, including the Concise Oxford Dictionary of Linguistics and the Modern Welsh Dictionary. In A Word A Year, Susie Dent selects a single word to represent each of the last hundred years. Vox pop was the word of the year in which I was born. You can find a list of the one hundred most common words in English: number one is the and number 100 is us. There is also a list of the Top 100 Quotes from the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations, with entries from Aristotle in the fourth century B.C. to Barbara Cartland in 1993.

    Better Writing contains many tools useful for everything from emails to compiled family histories. Spelling and Grammar Tips will help you to avoid common errors, such as whether you should use which (or who) and that in a sentence, when to use less or fewer, words that often get confused (such as adopted and adoptive or continuous and continual), and common spelling errors. Plain English gives you tips for user-friendly writing, such as making average sentence length 15 to 20 words, avoiding sexist usage, and using only as many words as you need. For those of you confused by emoticons and modern abbreviation, you can discover what your grandchildren mean when they write BBL, KWIM, RUOK, and YMMV. You can also find out what :-* :-V and :-/ mean. should be bookmarked in your browser if you do any kind of writing. You will find it an invaluable resource as you research your family history and communicate with others about your findings. BCNU!

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    Spotlight: Historic Farnam, Nebraska
    by Valerie Beaudrault

    Farnam, Nebraska, is located in Dawson County, which is in the south-central part of the state. To access the resources on the Historic Farnam website, you can click on the images in the center of the homepage or the link buttons.

    Farnam Cemetery
    The cemetery is located southwest of the town of Farnam. The Cemetery Board governs the cemetery. According to the Historic Farnam website, Clebert E. and Adeline Rice deeded the first parcel of land to the Cemetery Association in 1891. Other parcels were added over the years. There were burials prior to the establishment of the cemetery in 1891. The extant tombstone with the earliest death date is that of Hannah A. (Thompson) Owen who died on April 2,1887. (From These Beginnings, We Grew. 1982).

    There are links to obituaries for individuals who died recently and are buried in the cemetery. Click on the Inscription Search link in the text to access the cemetery search page. There are two types of searches: Quick Search and Custom Search. The search results are the same for both types of searches.

    With Quick Search, researchers can browse through an alphabetical list of names. Click on the name link to bring up detailed burial information. With Custom Search, the database can be searched by given name, last name, birth date, death date, veteran service, and other, as well as block, lot, and plot location. Instructions for performing a custom search may be found on the search page. Click on the name link in the search results to access detailed burial information. The information includes date of death, age, relationship (names of parents/relatives), and block, lot, and plot location information. In some cases there will be a link to an obituary for the individual and/or a photograph of the gravestone.

    The cemetery database contains records of individuals buried in unmarked graves as well. Data for these records comes from published obituaries. When the information is based on a published obituary rather than a gravestone inscription, it is noted in the record. Contact information for the person responsible for the database is provided, in case you have any questions. For anyone planning to visit a grave in the cemetery, cemetery plat maps can be found on the website.

    Obituary Collection
    There is a collection of obituaries on the website for individuals who lived in the Farnam area at one time, or were related to someone who lived in the area. They may or may not be buried in the Farnam Cemetery. This is an alphabetical list by surname. Click on the name link to view the obituary.

    Murphy Cemetery Burials
    There is also a short list of names of individuals buried in the Murphy Cemetery, which is on land that was donated by the Murphy family. The cemetery is located just west of Farnam.

    Armed Services Veterans
    There is a page on the Historic Farnam website devoted to veterans of the Civil War, World War I, World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. Another list included here contains the names of Farnam veterans who are buried at the Fort McPherson National Cemetery. The information provided about the veterans includes last name, given name(s), service information, and years of birth and death.

    On the site you will also find The Farnam Echo, the Farnam History Book, and a Historical Photo Collection.

    The Farnam Echo
    A recreation of the fiftieth anniversary edition of The Farnam Echo on July 30, 1936, can be found on the website. This edition was published in conjunction with the commemoration of Farnam’s Golden Jubilee. According to the website, “The special edition was an excellent compilation of the history of the early years of the community.” The issue contained personal recollections of “still living settlers” and was four times the length of a regular edition. It was comprised of four sections: Section A – Businesses, Section B – Churches, Section C – Schools, and Section D - Golden Jubilee events. This interesting volume can be searched by keyword.

    The Farnam History Book
    This book, From These Beginnings, We Grew, published in 1982, has a searchable index. The page is under construction. These resources can be accessed from the buttons on the left side of the homepage.

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    Stories of Interest

    Washington Post Starts Online Magazine for Blacks
    The Washington Post introduced a new online magazine,, targeting a black audience. A major feature of this site is provides tools for researching family history. The New York Times recently ran an interesting story on this new magazine.

    Sephardi Genealogy
    The Jersusalem Post recently featured an article on the increasing interest in researching family history by Sephardi Jews. Previously dominated by the Ashkenazi, many new tools are available for Sephardi interested in their past.

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    From the Online Genealogist

    My great-uncle gave his residence in the early 20th century at the “Hotel Vandame, Commonwealth Ave., Boston.” This is on a penny postcard in our collection, but the postcard is not of the Hotel. Can you tell me how I would go about finding out where it was?

    I would suggest you should examine a Boston City Directory for the year the postcard was postmarked. Using this method you can search through the directory for both your uncle, and the Hotel. It was not the Hotel Vandame, but the Hotel Vendome. Constructed in 1871, it is located on the corner of Commonwealth Avenue and Dartmouth Street, just around the corner from NEHGS. Sadly a four alarm fire occurred June 17, 1972 which resulted in the deaths of nine Boston firefighters. Though heavily damaged, the building survived the fire and still stands. It has been converted into business and residential condominiums. A website with images of the Hotel and the memorial to the firefighters who died in 1972 can be viewed at

    David Allen Lambert is the Society’s Online Genealogist. If you would like to ask him a question, contact him at or visit his blog at For more information about the Online Genealogist visit Please note that he will make every effort to reply to each message, but will respond on a first-come, first-served basis.

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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

    The following programs will be held in February 2008:

    New Visitor Welcome & Library Tour
    Wednesday, February 6, 2008, 10:00 am
    New visitors will participate in an introduction and orientation to the Society, including the opportunity to describe their research and have staff genealogists offer general advice on how to proceed. The free thirty-minute introductory lecture will be followed by a tour of the library.

    Temples of the Arts and Sciences: Stories from British Historic Houses
    Monday, February 11, 2008, 6:00 pm
    Join NEHGS, the Royal Oak Foundation, and the National Trust for Scotland Foundation USA for an engaging look at the rich legacy of British historic houses. Curt DiCamillo, Executive Director of the National Trust for Scotland Foundation USA, will present his award-winning work on the importance of English country homes and their roles in diplomancy, scientific discover, and cultural advancement. To register, please visit or call 800-913-6565, exta. 201.

    Researching in Scotland
    Wednesday, February 13, 2008, 10:00 am
    David C. Dearborn, FASG, will present a free lecture offering tips and techniques for Scottish reseach based on his recent trip to Scotland and England.

    The Corpse in the Cellar
    Wednesday, February 20, 2008, 10:00 am
    Join NEHGS and Marilynne K. Roach, author of The Salem Witch Trials: a Day-by-Day Chronicle of a Community Under Siege, for an engaging tale of two sheriffs, the law, and what do with the corpse of debtor. A preview of Ms. Roach’s talk can be found in the Fall 2007 issue of New England Ancestors magazine, vol.8, no. 4 “The Corpse in the Cellar.”


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

    Weekend Research Getaway
    #1 Thursday, February 7–Saturday, February 9, 2008
    #2 Thursday, April 10–Saturday, April 12, 2008
    Weekend Research Getaways in Boston are among the most popular NEHGS programs in recent years. Escape to 101 Newbury Street and experience a guided research program, with one-on-one consultations and special access to the collections. Whether you are a first-time participant or have participated in a guided research program before, an on-site visit to NEHGS with our expert staff is sure to further your research. Bring your charts and expect some breakthroughs!
    Registration fees: $300 for the three-day program; $100 for a single day.
    For more information visit

    Technology and Genealogy Seminar
    Friday, February 22–Saturday, February 23, 2008
    NEHGS is proud to offer a two-day in-depth seminar exploring the important relationship between technology and genealogy. NEHGS staff experts will provide lectures, demonstrations, and discussions focusing on key aspects of technology in family history research. Topics will include internet search techniques, evaluations of genealogical software, use of PDAs in genealogical research, how scanning can improve your data collection, organizing your research with Microsoft, and digital assistance in the publishing age. Participants will also have an opportunity to enter a drawing for software packages, including Adobe Photoshop Elements and ACDSee PhotoManager.
    Registration fee: $150
    For more information visit

    Quebec Research Tour
    Sunday, June 15–Sunday, June 22, 2008
    Celebrate the 400th anniversary of the founding of Quebec by joining NEHGS staff experts Michael J. Leclerc and Pauline Cusson for a research week in Montreal, Quebec. This unique opportunity will allow participants to take advantage of two premier Canadian repositories, the Société Généalogique Canadienne-Française (SGCF) and the Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec (BAnQ). These archives hold documents from the earliest settlement of Quebec through the English period, down to the twentieth century. Participants will receive one-on-one consultations, providing guidance and suggestions for research. Whether your ancestors spoke French or English, the archival records will help you to break through your brick walls and discover where they came from.
    Registration Fees (includes seven nights lodging at the Hôtel Les Suites Labelle): Single, $1,550; Double, $1,350; Double with non-participant, $1,850; Commuter, $775 (no lodging).
    For more information visit

    Great Migration Tour to England
    Tuesday, August 5–Friday, August 15, 2008
    Based in Chelmsford, England, this inaugural Great Migration tour with Robert Charles Anderson will visit the historically significant locations in Essex and Hertfordshire associated with the families who migrated to New England in 1631, 1632, and 1633. The primary focus of the tour will be the migrations and activities connected to four influential ministers of the period: Thomas Hooker, John Eliot, Thomas Weld, and Roger Williams.
    Registration fees: Registration is full. To be added to the wait-list, please contact Ryan Woods at

    Other 2008 Tours
    Massachusetts Archives Research Day

    Thursday, March 27, 2008
    For more information visit

    National Archives Research Day
    Thursday, May 22, 2008

    Come Home to New England
    #1 Monday, June 23–Saturday, June 28, 2008
    #2 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.

    Salt Lake City Research Tour
    Sunday, November 2–Sunday, November 9, 2008

    For more information about NEHGS programs, visit or email

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    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

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

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