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. 7
    Whole #361
    February 13, 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 Presidents Day Closures
    * New on
    * Staff Speaking Engagements
    * Name Origins
    * Sale on NEHGS Speaker Titles
    * Research Recommendations: Immigrant Ancestors Project Script Tutorial
    * Spotlight: Public Library Resources
    * Stories of Interest
    * Upcoming Education Programs
    * NEHGS Contact Information




    NEHGS Presidents Day Closures

    As a reminder, the NEHGS research library will be closed Saturday, February 16, in honor of Presidents Day. The administrative offices will be closed on Monday, February 18.

    Return to Table of Contents


    New on

    The Essex Antiquarian – Volume 11 (1907)

    This week we are releasing the eleventh volume of The Essex Antiquarian, "An illustrated ... magazine devoted to the biography, genealogy, history, and antiquities of Essex County, Massachusetts," which was published and edited by Sidney Perley between 1897 and 1909. The journal was published monthly from January 1897 to June 1901, then quarterly from July 1901 to October 1909. Each yearly volume contains 200–220 pages consisting of genealogical articles and a variety of photographs, maps, illustrations, gravestone inscriptions, all pertaining to Essex County.  The thirteen original volumes of The Essex Antiquarian are available in our Research Library, call number F72.E7 E74 1897-1909.

    Return to Table of Contents


    Staff Speaking Engagements

    Please join NEHGS staff members at one of our upcoming speaking engagements around the country.

    Online genealogist David Allen Lambert will be speaking on researching military records at the Boston Public Library ( on March 26 at 6:30 p.m. He will also present a talk on researching New England ancestors on April 17 at the Rochester [N.Y.] Genealogical Society ( On April 19, assistant archivist Judy Lucey will discuss the Irish in Newfoundland and using U.S. records to find Irish ancestors at the Irish Family History Forum in Bethpage, Long Island, N.Y. (

    Director of special projects Michael J. Leclerc and research services coordinator D. Joshua Taylor will be speaking at the Massachusetts Genealogical Council annual seminar ( on April 26 at Bentley College in Waltham, Mass. Michael will also be speaking on the Liberty of the Seas as part of the Genealogy Seminar at Sea ( October 25–November 1, 2008, and with The Irish Ancestral Research Association on their Irish Genealogy Seminar and Cruise ( on the Independence of the Seas January 10–18, 2009.

    Staff genealogist Rhonda R. McClure will be giving four talks on April 26 at the Sonoma County Genealogical Society ( all-day seminar in Santa Rosa, California. On May 3, she will present entitled “Old and New: Combining the Best of the Internet and Traditional Research” at the Westport Historical Society ( in Westport, Mass. Library director Marie Daly will be speaking at the Waltham [Mass.] Historical Society ( on May 13 at 7 p.m. on Irish immigration to the Waltham, Watertown, and Belmont area.

    Return to Table of Contents


    Name Origins
    by Julie Helen Otto

    KATE (f) – Nickname formed from CATHERINE/KATHERINE.

    Return to Table of Contents


    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! Order online with the links provided or call 617-226-1212. Prices do not include shipping. Prices good through February 29, 2008, while supplies last.

    Pilgrims: New World Settlers & The Call of Home by Susan Hardman Moore, 2007, hardcover, 316pp, Sale price $35.00

    Dwelling Place of Dragons: An Irish Story, by Marjorie Harshaw Robie, 2006, 399pp, softcover, 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, softcover, 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, softcover, 72pp, Sale price $11.00

    Return to Table of Contents


    Research Recommendations: Immigrant Ancestors Project Script Tutorial
    by Michael J. Leclerc

    Last week I discussed the Immigrant Ancestors Project ( ) at Brigham Young University and gave an overview of the things you can find on their website. This week I would like to discuss another of their initiatives.

    The project has developed another website, Immigrant Ancestors Project Script Tutorial (, to provide assistance in reading and transcribing old documents. You must register to use the site. This is a simple painless process of providing your email address and selecting a username and password. Once you have registered you can then log in to use the tutorials.

    The site currently has only one tutorial loaded, that for Old German Script, but they are working on tutorials for Dutch, French, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish. While those are under development there are some referrals to other resources that may help you for those languages.

    Old German Script was used throughout German-speaking countries during the eighteenth, nineteenth, and early-twentieth centuries. Although based on Latin, letter formations can be very different to untrained eyes. Materials in the tutorial cover both handwriting and typefaces. As German scribes developed forms of handwriting and typesetting that were different from the rest of Europe, they came to be derisively known as Gothic, meaning inferior. There were many variants on this style, but eventually all Gothic typefaces came to be known as Fraktur.

    The tutorial has four sections; Getting Started, Handwriting and Typefaces, Extraction Guidelines, and Transcription Tests. Getting Started gives you an overview and introduction to Old German. You get a list of tools and materials that you will need, as well as a checklist to prepare for the lesson. Then there are actual writing practice exercises for you to learn from.

    The Handwriting and Typefaces section shows you a full chart of uppercase and lowercase letters, as well as the special characters ß, ä, ö, and ü. The charts include both handwritten and typeface versions of the letters. Clicking on any of the letters brings you to a page focused on that letter, how to read it, and examples of how it is used. The Gothic Handwriting area provides you with samples of the Kurrent handwritten alphabet, as well as downloadable practice sheets. Gothic Typefaces focuses on the printed Fraktur alphabet.

    The Extraction Guidelines section provides assistance in getting the genealogically significant information from records. You will find helpful information on names and common terms used in documents. The Old Documents area teaches you the four questions you need to ask when deciphering handwriting and provides guidelines for extracting information. You will also see a sample document. The final section, Transcription Tests, is an interactive area with various tests to reinforce your knowledge of letters, words, and passages of text. Multiple tests are available.

    The German Script Tutorial is an excellent introduction to a complex and difficult language. I look forward to the additional tutorials. As always when using tools such as this, please thank the Immigrant Ancestors Project for providing access to such a valuable tool, and give them feedback on your experience as well.

    Return to Table of Contents


    Spotlight: Public Library Resources
    by Valerie Beaudrault

    Concord Public Library, New Hampshire

    If your ancestors lived in the Concord, New Hampshire area and you know little or nothing about the city’s history, a visit to the Concord Public Library’s website is in order. Click on the Concord History link in the site’s index to access 5 local histories. They are:

    The History of Concord, From Its First Grant in 1725 To The Organization Of The City Government in 1853, With a History Of The Ancient Penacooks, by Nathaniel Bouton, published by Benning W. Sanborn Concord, New Hampshire, 1856.

    History of Concord New Hampshire From the Original Grant in Seventeen Hundred and Twenty-Five to the Opening of the Twentieth Century, Volume 1 and Volume 2, by James O. Lyford, published by Rumford Press, Concord, New Hampshire, 1903.

    The History of Penacook, N. H., From Its First Settlement in 1734 Up To 1900, by David Arthur Brown, The Rumford Press, Concord, New Hampshire, 1902.

    Of particular interest because has not been published in print form, is the three-volume manuscript by Grace P. Amsden entitled, A Capital for New Hampshire. It is an account of life in Concord through the mid- twentieth century. This manuscript tells “stories of buildings related to Count and Countess Rumford, Franklin Pierce, Robert Rogers, Isaac Hill, and other Concord notables.” The original manuscript, with its photographs, is housed at the Tuck Library, New Hampshire Historical Society.

    It is useful to be able to access these local history resources at the click of a mouse from the comfort of your home.

    Norfolk Public Library, Nebraska

    The Norfolk Public Library, located in Norfolk, Nebraska, has two obituary databases on its website. Click on the Obituary File link to access the Historical Obituaries main page. The obituaries have been drawn from local newspapers in the towns of Columbus and Norfolk, Nebraska. These towns are located in northeast Nebraska. Norfolk is in Madison County and is directly north of Columbus, which is in Platte County.

    The obituary database for Columbus covers the period from 1930 to 2006. To begin your search, enter a name (or part of a name) in the search box. The data fields in the results are full name, obituary date and newspaper name. Copies of obituaries can be ordered for a fee from the Platte Valley Kin Seekers, a local genealogical society.

    The Norfolk obituary database covers 1888–1918, 1940, 1944–1945, 1954, partial 1955–1956, 1957–1969, partial 1993–1994, and partial 1997–1998. The database can be searched by last name and first name. The data fields in the search results are name, date of death, date of funeral, abstract of obituary, and the newspaper title, date, and page number. Copies of obituaries can be obtained from the Norfolk Public Library for a fee. The library does not do genealogical research. For research services they refer individuals to the Madison County Genealogical Society.

    Return to Table of Contents


    Stories of Interest

    Akenson Finalist for Book Award
    A couple of months ago we reported the publication of Canadian historian Donald Akenson's Some Family: The Mormons and How Humanity Keeps Track of Itself. The book is now a 2008 finalist for British Columbia's National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction, which comes with a prize of $40,000.

    The Jerusalem Post Starts Genealogy Column
    Schelly Talalay Dardashti was recently hired by the newspaper as head of their new ‘Ask the Genealogy Expert’ section. A native New Yorker now living in Tel Aviv, Dardashti has been researching for almost two decades.

    Return to Table of Contents


    From the Online Genealogist

    Can you help me confirm a family legend that a cousin was murdered in Chicago circa 1904–1908? The story goes that a small argument over a lost coat turned into a fight which ended in murder.

    In the list of databases for my Criminal Ancestors lecture I have a website you will want to search. The website,, is run by Northwestern University and is called Homicide in Chicago 1870–1930. You can search by keyword; case number; date of offense; address event occurred, and the names of the victim and the defendant. Please let me know if you locate your case!

    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.

    Return to Table of Contents


    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:

    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 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

    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

    Weekend Research Getaway
    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

    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 Programs
    Massachusetts Archives Research Day

    Thursday, March 27, 2008
    Spend a day with NEHGS staff amidst the rich collection of the Massachusetts State Archives at Columbia Point, Boston. Archive resources include Massachusetts vital records, state censuses, military records, and much more. Registration also includes one-on-one consultations with NEHGS genealogists.
    For more information visit

    Family History in England, Scotland, and Ireland
    Saturday, April 26, 2008
    Discover your ancestors of England, Scotland, and Ireland with three leading genealogists, Else Churchill, Marie Daly, and David Dearborn. This one-day seminar will identify and demystify the best record sources for finding your 17th, 18th, and 19th century forebears. The seminar will conclude with a roundtable discussion where you can pose your specific genealogical problems.
    Early Registration: $95. Standard Registration: $110.
    For more information visit

    National Archives Research Day
    Thursday, May 22, 2008
    The National Archives Northeast Region in Waltham, Massachusetts, holds a treasure trove of genealogical material. Join NEHGS staff experts for a day of guided research and consultations at NARA. Highlights of the collection include federal census records 1790-1930, Revolutionary War records and extensive passenger lists.
    Registration fee: $75 per person (includes lunch).
    For more information or to register, please call Ryan Woods at 617-226-1226 or visit

    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

    Return to Table of Contents


    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

    Return to Table of Contents

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

© 2010 - 2014 New England Historic Genealogical Society