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  • The Weekly Genealogist

  •  Vol. 10, No. 8
    Whole #362
    February 20, 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.

    * Coming Soon: Changes to
    * New on
    * NEHGS Annual Dinner
    * Name Origins
    * Used and Remaindered Book Sale
    * Research Recommendations: USGS GNIS
    * Spotlight: Public Library Resources
    * Stories of Interest
    * Upcoming Education Programs
    * NEHGS Contact Information




    Coming Soon: Changes to

    NEHGS is excited to let you know about some changes coming to our website, We are planning to release a new redesign of our website in the next few weeks. The site may look completely different and a few things may be found in different places. We hope the new navigation is simplified and organized in a way to make more resources easier to access. Keep an eye out for the new

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    New on

    The Essex Antiquarian – Volume 12 (1908)

    This week we are releasing the twelfth 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.

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    NEHGS Annual Dinner

    New England Historic Genealogical Society invites you to attend our annual dinner to benefit the Society's Bringing Your Heritage Home Campaign on Sunday, April 27, 2008, at the Algonquin Club, in Boston, Massachusetts. Guest speaker Mary Beth Norton, distinguished scholar and author of In The Devil's Snare: The Salem Witchcraft Crisis of 1692, will discuss how her own genealogical research on her own family informed her work on the Salem Witch Trials.

    Contact the Development Office for more information at (617) 226-1217.

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    Name Origins
    by Julie Helen Otto

    Two weeks ago I discussed the following sound shifts to watch for:

    R-to-H and R-to-D changes (these explain the derivation of surnames HIGGINS and HUTCHINSON, and DOBBINS and DODGE, from RICHARD and ROGER respectively).

    It should have read:

    HIGGINS and DICKENS derive from the personal name RICHARD; HODGE(S) and DODGE from ROGER; and ROBBINS and DOBBINS, are from ROBIN, a form of the personal name ROBERT.

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    Used and Remaindered Book Sale

    The NEHGS sales department has an overstock of certain used book titles that have been priced to move. Most of these titles have been used in the NEHGS research library and have recently been replaced with newer copies. Others have been donated by local libraries and NEHGS patrons, and have been available only at the Family Treasures book store at our Boston facility.

    Prices have been cut by as much as 80% on more than 150 different titles, many of which have a limited quantity available. Orders will be accepted on a first come, first served basis. The sale price is good only for the titles we have in stock. For a full list of titles available during this sale, along with complete price and ordering information, please send an email with the words "REMAINDERED" in the subject line to

    Please note that this list will not be available until the afternoon of Thursday, February 21st. If you don’t receive the list after this time, please check your spam filters before requesting it again.

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    Research Recommendations: USGS GNIS
    by Michael J. Leclerc

    How’s that for alphabet soup? If you are looking for a particular place in the United States and its associated territories (even Antarctica!), the Geographic Names Information Service (GNIS) from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is the place for you to go. They can even help you with foreign names as well. Since 1890, the U.S. Board on Geographic names has maintained uniform geographic name usage throughout the Federal Government. The board oversees the GNIS.

    The USGS website has an area dedicated to the U.S. Board on geographic names ( There are both basic and advanced search levels for searching the GNIS database. You can search by feature name (such as the name of a town, river, mountain, etc.), state, or county. The advanced search allows you to locate USGS topographical maps on which the particular place is located.

    A search on “Salem” produced more than 2000 hits for airports, basins, bays, cemeteries, churches, populated places (i.e., cities and towns), and many more . The results list the feature name, class, county, latitude, longitude, elevation, and USGS topo map name as well as the ID number and entry date. Clicking on the feature name brings you to a detail report giving you additional information about the location. There are also links from here to the USGS National Map, Google Map, Yahoo! Local Maps, and other online services to show you exactly where that place is.

    If you are looking for foreign names, you will be directed to the GEOnet Names Server (GNS). Note that the GNS is the official repository of standard spellings of foreign place names for the Federal Government. That means you will find the American English version of a place name, not necessarily the spelling it would have in its native language.

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    Spotlight: Public Library Resources
    by Valerie Beaudrault

    Blair Public LIbrary, Nebraska

    The city of Blair is located along Nebraska’s border with Iowa, just west of the Missouri River. It is the county seat of Washington County. Click on the Blair Public Library’s Genealogy link to access the library’s online resources. Local resources include two cemetery databases.

    Washington County Cemetery Records
    This site contains information on all of the known cemeteries located in Washington County. You will find a map of the county showing the locations of 30 cemeteries. Click on the cemetery number on the map or the cemetery name link to access the page for that cemetery. This page contains information such as cemetery location, alternate names for the cemetery (if they exist), and general burial statistics.

    Click on the ‘here’ link to access the search page. The database can be searched by last name and first name. You can search all cemeteries, except for the Blair Cemetery, at one time, or you can limit your search to a single cemetery. The data fields in the search results are name, birth and death dates, if known, cemetery name and comments. Comments might include the date of death, names of other relatives, and source of the data.

    Blair Cemetery Search
    There is a separate searchable database for the Blair Cemetery records. This database can be searched by last name, first name, date of death, mother’s maiden name, father’s name and date of birth. Possible data returned in the search includes full name, location of the grave, date born, date died, date burial took place, age at death, place of death, and father and mother’s names.

    Albemarle Regional Library, North Carolina
    The Albemarle Regional Library serves residents of Bertie, Gates, Hertford and Northampton counties. These counties are located in the northeast part of the state.

    In the Special Collections of the Albemarle Regional Library researchers will find a World War II Scrapbook, which has scanned and uploaded to the website. A woman named Amelia Perry (White) compiled the scrapbook from 1941 through 1945. It contains articles about World War II servicemen that were cut from local Bertie County newspapers. There is an online index to the scrapbook. Use the index files to look up a particular serviceman or browse through the scrapbook page by page. Most of the newspaper clippings include a photograph of the serviceman. Click on the page to enlarge the images.

    Digital Collections
    The Paul Ronald Jenkins Photograph Collection
    This photography collection documents the Murfreesboro, North Carolina, area during the period from 1870 and 1960. It contains 557 photographs and negatives. Currently 50 of these photographs have been uploaded to the website. The collection is owned by the Murfreesboro Historical Association.

    Paul Ronald Jenkins was a pharmacist and amateur photographer who “printed vintage negatives and copied ‘old photographs’ for his customers and friends.” Most of the originals that Mr. Jenkins copied no longer exist. They only exist in this collection.

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    Stories of Interest

    Genealogy - where you confuse the dead and irritate the living
    In Kaye Mindar’s Mountain Mail article about making time in your schedule to do the things you enjoy she included a list of quotes about genealogy, including the one above.

    Climbing the Family Tree
    Cary News staff writer Beth Hatcher discusses her family history research and interviews others in the North Carolina town who are conducting research.

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    From the Online Genealogist

    I was looking on your website for an index to the Massachusetts Jewish Advocate. Is this on your website?

    The Jewish Advocate index by David Rosen is not part of the New England Ancestors website, but you can find it on If you have never visited the site before, you will have to register first. The index to the Advocate can then be searched at It contains nearly 25,000 entries and cover the years from 1907 to December, 2007. This is a quick way to locate obituaries in the Jewish Advocate, and is only one of the many wonderful databases on the site.

    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:

    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

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    NEHGS Contact Information

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    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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Boston, Massachusetts 02116, USA

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