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  • The Weekly Genealogist

  • Vol. 10, No. 51
    Whole #405
    December 17, 2008
    Edited by Michael J. Leclerc and Valerie Beaudrault
    enews@nehgs.org

    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.

    Contents:
    * New Online Exhibit: Nineteenth Century Holiday Family Recipes
    * Research Library Holiday Hours
    * Research Recommendations: Fraternities and Sororities
    * Name Origins
    * New On NewEnglandAncestors.org
    * Spotlight: Indiana Resources
    * Stories of Interest
    * California Gold Rush Story Submissions
    * Special Order Books
    * Upcoming Education Programs
    * NEHGS Contact Information

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    New Online Exhibit: Nineteenth Century Holiday Family Recipes

    Holidays are a time for family gatherings and traditions. These traditions often revolve around food, such as when a treasured family recipe for pumpkin pie or gingerbread is made. Just as the family bible record or other valued items are preserved and passed down through the generations, so too are family recipes and cooking traditions. They are part of a family’s heritage, and create memories which last forever. In our current online exhibit we are highlighting some holiday family favorites from the many recipes in our manuscript collection. You can view the exhibit at www.newenglandancestors.org/online_exhibits_7156.asp.

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    Research Library Holiday Hours

    The Society's research library at 101 Newbury Street will close early on Christmas Eve, and be closed on Christmas day. The hours for the holiday week are as follows:

    Tuesday, December 23, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
    Wednesday, December 24, 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
    Thursday, December 25, Closed
    Friday, December 26, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
    Saturday, December 27, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

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    Research Recommendations: Fraternities and Sororities
    by Michael J. Leclerc

    Fraternities and sororities have been a part of the American college experience for more than a century. If your ancestor went to college, you might find that they were a part of this system. Finding out more about their organization can tell you more about them as an individual at that time of their lives.

    Most fraternities and sororities can be categorized into one of four ways: social, service, professional, or academic achievement. The “party boy” image that comes to mind when the word fraternity is first mentioned comes from the organized Greek system. Members usually live together in a house. Their primary purpose for being is usually given as the development of leadership or character. Pi Kappa Alpha and Theta Chi are examples of social fraternities while Alpha Chi Omega and Kappa Kappa Gamma are typical sororities.

    Some organizations were founded for particular ethnic or religious groups. Alpha Chi Rho and Lambda Chi Alpha, for example, were Christian organizations. Zeta Beta Tau and Sigma Alpha Mu, on the other hand, were created at least in part as a backlash to rules that prevented Jewish students from joining social groups.

    Service organizations typically exist for the benefit of a particular field. Alpha Phi Omega is a national, co-ed service fraternity organized to provide service to the community at large. It is also an excellent example of defying stereotypes. Not all fraternities are composed of all males, and not all sororities are female only. This is especially true for non-social organizations.

    Professional fraternities exist to promote a particular profession and to aid in the study of their field. Alpha Kappa Psi is a well-known business fraternity and Delta Theta Phi serves future lawyers. Fraternities and sororities also exist to promote and recognize outstanding academic achievement. The most well-known example of this is Phi Beta Kappa, which recognizes excellence in undergraduate liberal arts and sciences. It is the oldest honor society in the country, and the first to use Greek letters for its name.

    If you know of a family member who went to college, look at college annuals for leads to their membership in a fraternity or sorority. Research the history of the organization, its tenets, and mission. Contact the chapter to which they belonged for any historical information that they may have. You may even discover photographs in their archives that help you see your ancestor in a new light.

    In my days at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, I was a member of the Epsilon Nu chapter of Kappa Kappa Psi, National Honorary Band Service Fraternity. I visited the website recently for a trip down memory lane, and realized that genealogists looking for me in the future might be able to deduce some things about me: that music plays a significant role in my life, and that service to others is also very important to me. I doubt, however, that they will be able to connect my long-time aversion to whipped cream with a certain “Hit a KKPsi Pledge in the Face With a Pie” event that took place my freshman year on a ninety-degree day. Unless the archives have labeled photographs, that is.

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    Name Origins
    by Julie Helen Otto

    RADULF (m): Archaic Norman French form of RALPH.

    RAFE (m): Phonetic spelling of RALPH. Seen (and heard) more often in England than in America (cf. actor Ralph Fiennes).

    RALPH (m): Norman French.

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    New On NewEnglandAncestors.org

    Plymouth Court Records 1686—1859 (Part 1)
    www.newenglandancestors.org/database_search/Plymouth_Court.asp

    The material in this database was originally published in CD-ROM format by NEHGS and the Pilgrim Society in 2002.  This first installment of the database contains 72,397 names from volumes 1 through 8.  The remaining 66,304 names in volumes 9 through 16 will be added next week. 

    From the introduction to the CD-ROM:

    "Court records are one of the most under-utilized resources in genealogy. NEHGS and the Pilgrim Society present here, for the first time, the records of two Plymouth County courts: the Court of General Sessions, 1686-1827, and the Court of Common Pleas, 1686-1859. These abstractions were transcribed from over 35,000 cases. The Court of Common Please handled civil litigations while the Court of General Sessions handled administrative and minor civil matters. All court cases are contained here, except for those dealing with serious crimes, insolvencies, divorces, probate, and equity. Hidden in these transcriptions are familial relationships as well as other information to help you flesh out your ancestors' lives."

    Images of the original transcriptions may be viewed from links on the search results page.

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    Spotlight: Indiana Resources
    by Valerie Beaudrault

    Crown Hill Cemetery, Salem, Indiana
    http://cityofsalemin.com/departments/cemetery-2.html

    Salem is located in Washington Township, Washington County, Indiana, and serves as the county seat. The Crown Hill Cemetery was established in 1824. It is located in the southwestern part of the city. There have been a number of additions to the original cemetery over the years. The burial database for the Crown Hill Cemetery can be found on the city’s official website. Three different search options are available. One can search for individuals, search by year, or search for veterans by year. Under the search for individuals option, one can search by last name, “lastname, firstname”, or by first letter of the surname only. For all options, the data displayed will include an alphabetical listing for all burials fitting the criteria for the year specified. The data fields in the search results include name and year of death, plus a link to burial information. Click on the burial information link to access burial location information, including a map showing the area in which the individual is buried. Researchers will also find a printable cemetery layout map on the site.

    Obituary Database, Wakarusa Public Library, Indiana
    http://www.wakarusa.lib.in.us/historical/obituaries.asp
    Wakarusa is a town in Harrison and Olive townships in Elkhart County, Indiana. It is in the north-central part of the state, not far from the Michigan border. The Wakarusa Public Library’s Historical Room Collection includes an online obituary database. The records are from the late-nineteenth and early-to-mid-twentieth centuries. The database can be searched by first name and last name and searches can be limited by providing a range of dates for the deceased’s birth and death. The search results are returned as an alphabetical list of full names. Click on the name link for more detailed information, which can include the following: name, date of birth, date of death, source date, and source(s) title(s). In all of the records that I found there was also a link to a transcription of the obituary text, which is in Microsoft Word document format.

    Obituary Database, Nappanee Public Library, Indiana
    http://opac.nappanee.lib.in.us/historical/obituaries.asp

    Nappanee is a city in Elkhart and Kosciusko counties, in the north-central part of the state of Indiana. The Nappanee Public Library’s Evelyn Lehman Culp Heritage Center Collection contains an online obituary database. The records date back to the turn of the twentieth century. The database can be searched by first name and last name and searches can be limited by providing a range of dates for the deceased’s birth and death. The search results are returned as an alphabetical list of full names. Click on the name link for more detailed information, which can include the following: name, source date, source page, source column, and source(s) title(s). There is, on occasion, a notes field in the search results.

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    Stories of Interest

    Lena, 88, Keeps Her Family History Alive
    Lena Cooper recently published her fifth book at the age of 88. The article closes with a sage piece of advice from this octogenarian: “Remember that life is for living, not moping.”

    Discovering Identity of Colonial Craftsman
    Researchers have recently solved the puzzle of who manufactured ornate, Revolutionary-War-era chests and desks. The answer was hidden in account books at the Massachusetts Historical Society.

    Shocking Revelations After Woman Researches Family History
    Terri Brahm knew nothing of her father’s history when she started her research. Over the past five years she made a remarkable discovery. Her late father, Ralph Brahm, was really Uri Hanauer, a Jewish holocaust survivor. 15,000 children entered a prison camp in Germany between 1941 and 1945. Uri was one of only 132 of those children who survived.

    It’s All Relative: Those Stories About Aunt Gertie and Cousin Ralph Told at the Holiday Table Could Offer Insight Into Your Health
    An interesting discussion of how to use the holidays to get potentially life-saving information about your family’s medical history.

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    California Gold Rush Story Submissions

    The editors of New England Ancestors magazine received an overwhelming response to last week’s call for Gold Rush accounts. They would like to thank all of those who took the time to share their stories, and let them know to expect a response by email around the first of the year.

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    Special Order Books

    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:

    Canadian Descendants of Newlove Family of Yorkshire, England (Item P4-H20184)
    Abiah Wadsworth & His Family (Item P4-H26355)
    Illustrated History of Lowell, Massachusetts (Item P5-MA0295H)
    History of Omaha, Nebraska, from the Pioneer Days to the Present Time (1889) (Item P5-NE0005H)
    Kegley’s Virginia Frontier: Beginning of the Southwest, the Roanoke of Colonial Days, 1740-1783 (Item P5-VA00086H)

    You can search the entire Classic Reprints catalog online at www.newenglandancestors.org/store.asp.

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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 99 Newbury Street unless otherwise indicated. For more information, please contact Ryan Woods at 617-226-1226 or rwoods@nehgs.org.

    You can view a full listing of upcoming programs: www.newenglandancestors.org/events/6816.asp.


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

    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.

    Winter Research Getaway
    Thursday, February 5–Saturday, February 7, 2009
    Weekend Research Getaways in Boston are among the most popular NEHGS programs in recent years. Escape to 99 Newbury Street and experience a guided research program with one-on-one consultations and special access to the collections. Whether you are new to genealogy or have participated in an NEHGS research program before, a visit to our Boston library to experience our expert staff and vast collections will surely further your research. Since 1845 the NEHGS library has collected a vast number of compiled genealogies, local histories, census records, vital records, deeds, probates, and military records. The library has the latest in print, microtext, CD-ROM, and Internet resources. NEHGS also provides a highly trained research staff of professional genealogists who are eager to help you in your genealogical endeavors. While the strength of our collection is in American, English, Irish, Scottish, and Canadian records, with documents spanning seven centuries and covering more than 110 million names, we are able to provide important and essential information on more than just early American families. In addition to our rich archive, we have more than a dozen full-time professional genealogists who have significant experience and knowledge of German, Italian, African-American, Caribbean, French, Native-American, Jewish and Latin American records.
    Registration fees: $300 per registrant for full three-day program; $110 per registrant for single-day program. Registration includes a continental breakfast daily and two group meals.

    Washington, D.C. Research Tour
    Sunday, March 8–Sunday, March 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).

    Spring Research Getaway
    Thursday, April 16–Saturday, April 18, 2009
    Weekend Research Getaways in Boston are among the most popular NEHGS programs in recent years. Escape to 99 Newbury Street and experience a guided research program with one-on-one consultations and special access to the collections. Whether you are new to genealogy or have participated in an NEHGS research program before, a visit to our Boston library to experience our expert staff and vast collections will surely further your research.
    Since 1845 the NEHGS library has collected a vast number of compiled genealogies, local histories, census records, vital records, deeds, probates, and military records. The library has the latest in print, microtext, CD-ROM, and Internet resources. NEHGS also provides a highly trained research staff of professional genealogists who are eager to help you in your genealogical endeavors. While the strength of our collection is in American, English, Irish, Scottish, and Canadian records, with documents spanning seven centuries and covering more than 110 million names, we are able to provide important and essential information on more than just early American families. In addition to our rich archive, we have more than a dozen full-time professional genealogists who have significant experience and knowledge of German, Italian, African-American, Caribbean, French, Native-American, Jewish and Latin American records.
    Registration fees: $300 per registrant for full three-day program; $110 per registrant for single-day program. Registration includes a continental breakfast daily and two group meals.

    English Family History Tour
    Sunday, May 17–Sunday, May 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).

    Come Home to New England
    Monday, June 22–Saturday, June 27, 2009
    The staff of the New England Historic Genealogical Society invites you to participate in our classic intensive weeklong 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 fees: $750 per registrant; $125 per non-researching guest.

    Newfoundland Research Tour
    Sunday, July 12–Sunday, July 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).

    Come Home to New England
    Monday, August 10–Saturday, August 15, 2009
    The staff of the New England Historic Genealogical Society invites you to participate in our classic intensive weeklong 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 fees: $750 per registrant; $125 per non-researching guest.

    Scottish Family History Research Tour
    Sunday, September 20–Sunday, September 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 http://www.newenglandancestors.org/programs_events.asp or email mailto:tours@nehgs.org.

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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 www.newenglandancestors.org/publications/eNews.asp.

    Visit the Society on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Boston-MA/New-England-Historic-Genealogical-Society/25596854450?ref=ts#.

    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 www.newenglandancestors.org/support.asp.

    To view the website of the New England Historic Genealogical Society, please visit http://www.newenglandancestors.org/.

    To become a member of the New England Historic Genealogical Society, please visit http://www.newenglandancestors.org/join.asp.

    Copyright 2010, New England Historic Genealogical Society
    101 Newbury Street, Boston, MA 02116

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