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  • The Weekly Genealogist

  • Vol. 11, No. 18
    Whole #425
    May 6, 2009
    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.

    * RIP Albert Gordon, 1901–2009
    * NEHGS at NGS
    * Research Recommendations: Checking Catalogs
    * Name Origins
    * New On
    * Spotlight: Obituary Databases
    * Stories of Interest
    * Question of the Day
    * Spring Clearance
    * Upcoming Education Programs
    * NEHGS Contact Information




    RIP Albert Gordon, 1901–2009

    Former NEHGS Trustee Albert Hamilton Gordon died Friday at his home in Manhattan at the age of 107. Mr. Gordon went to Wall Street in 1925 as a new graduate of the Harvard Business School. He joined the firm of Kidder Peabody in 1931 after surviving the crash of 1929. At the age of 29, he became one of the youngest principals of an investment bank.

    Mr. Gordon was greatly dedicated to physical fitness. When he was in his 80s he started to run marathons, and was twice the oldest participant in the London marathon. At the age of 105 he worked four days a week at Deltec Asset Management. At the time of his death he was the oldest living graduate of both Harvard University and the Harvard Business School.

    A full obituary is available in the New York Times at

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    NEHGS at NGS

    If you will be attending the National Genealogical Society Conference next week in Raleigh, North Carolina, please stop by the exhibit hall and visit the NEHGS booth. Staff members Research Services Researcher Mary Edwards, Director of Special Projects Michael J. Leclerc, and Assistant Archivist Judy Lucey will be in the booth all week. President and CEO D. Brenton Simons will also be there, along with Marketing Director Tom Champoux. On Thursday afternoon Judy will present “Finding and Accessing Manuscript and Archival Collections.” Brenton will deliver a luncheon presentation on Friday, “What’s New in New England and New York Research.”

    The conference will be held at the Raleigh Convention Center May 13 to 16. You can find more details at

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    Research Recommendations: Checking Catalogs
    by Michael J. Leclerc

    I was giving an introduction to genealogy presentation this morning to a group of seniors here at the Society. One of them asked me an excellent question, which brought up a point that I’m sure many people don’t think about. The person asked me how many new genealogies are added to the Society’s collections each year.

    This was an excellent question, which I was unable to answer on the spot. Afterwards, however, I went to visit the cataloging staff in Technical Services. Each year the Society adds about 500 published genealogies to the collections. In addition to that, another 1,500 local histories, compiled records, and other books are added. That is 2,000 new entries in the catalog (available at every year!

    Those numbers just include published materials. The archivists working in R. Stanton Avery Special Collections add an additional 650 items to the catalog each year. Half of those are newly-acquired materials; the other half are items in the collection for which new cataloging is being done to make them more accessible. And when it comes to new manuscript collections, remember that a single new entry can represent anything from a single piece of paper to dozens of boxes of family papers, and anything in between.

    What does this mean in practical terms for the genealogist? When was the last time you checked the library catalog for a family name or a local history for a location where they lived? Just because there was nothing in the catalog last week, does not mean there isn’t something new there this week. It is important to look, and look often. You wouldn’t want to miss an important resource because you hadn’t checked for additions recently.

    The same rules hold true for every repository you work with. New materials are constantly being added, so put a tickler in your calendar to periodically check catalogs for new entries. You might be surprised at what you find.

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    Name Origins
    by Julie Helen Otto

    LIFFE (m): Nickname for ELIPHALET.

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    New On

    New Netherland Connections, Volume 11

    This week, we are adding the contents of New Netherland Connections, Volume 11, from 2006. This represents an additional 7,802 names. The remaining issues of New Netherland Connections will be added in the future.

    Begun in 1996, New Netherland Connections is a genealogical quarterly that aims to help people trying to identify and document their New Netherland ancestors and their descendants. It focuses on New York and New Jersey in the Dutch colonial period (1624–1664). Each issue runs to about 28 pages, and includes feature articles, items of Dutch colonial interest, queries (of any length), and replies to queries. Images of the original journal pages are available from the search results pages. The remaining volumes will be added to the database in the future.

    Subscriptions to the printed journal may be ordered from Dorothy A. Koenig, Editor, 1232 Carlotta Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94707.  She may also be contacted by email at

    Cemetery Records of Barnstable, Massachusetts, 1683–1898

    This most recent addition to our “Cemetery Transcriptions from the NEHGS Manuscript Collections” database contains 5,434 inscriptions from 19 Barnstable cemeteries: Baptist Cemetery, Catholic Cemetery, Centerville Meeting House Cemetery, Centerville Oak Grove Cemetery, Centerville Phinney’s Lane Cemetery, Cotuit Cemetery, Dimmock’s Lane Cemetery, Goodspeed’s Hill East Cemetery, Goodspeed’s Hill West Cemetery, Hyannis Old Cemetery, Lothrop’s Hill Cemetery, Marston’s Mills Cemetery, Oak Grove Cemetery, Osterville East Cemetery, Osterville West Cemetery, Parish Line Cemetery, Universalist Cemetery, and West Barnstable Cemetery.

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    Spotlight: Obituary Databases
    by Valerie Beaudrault

    Adams County Public Library, Pennsylvania

    Adams County is located on the Maryland border in south central Pennsylvania. Gettysburg is the county seat. Among the county library’s resources is an obituary database.

    The records in this database have been drawn from the following newspapers: Gettysburg Times (1800–1815 and 2000 to the present), Gettysburg Truth (March 12, 1887 to January 25, 1890 and August 23, 1890); and the Adams Sentinel. The Adams County Library and the Adams County Historical Society have been working to extend the obituary database to include all death notices from Gettysburg newspapers for the period from November 1800 to the present.

    The database can be searched by entering information that would appear in any of the data fields into the search box. Click on the name link in the search results to view the detailed record. The data fields in the detailed record include decedent, spouse, parents, date of death, place of death, date of birth, place of birth, age, sex, last residence, newspaper source, and notes. The notes field includes such information as children’s names, siblings’ names, and place of interment. You can order copies of obituaries from the Adams County Historical Society for a fee.

    Albion District Library, Michigan

    The city of Albion is located in Calhoun County, which is in the south central part of the Lower Peninsula of Michigan. The Albion District Library has made an obituary database available on its website. Click on the Local History Room link on the homepage to access it.

    This database includes Albion area obituaries and cemetery records. While it originally included the period from January 1, 2001, to the present, the library is adding data from its obituary file, which dates back to the 1830s. The database can be searched by surname, first name, maiden name, and / or burial location. The data fields in the search results include surname, first name, middle name, maiden name, spouse, birth date, death date, burial location, burial date, obituary source, obituary date, death notice, notice date, photo, survivors, notes, and veteran status. A copy of full obituary may be requested from the Local History Room in writing or via email.

    In addition to the obituary database, the library also hosts the Albion Veterans Oral History Project and Honor Roll project. Currently, the Local Area Veteran Database is off-line due to technical problems. They are working to correct the problem, which will hopefully be fixed soon.

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    Stories of Interest

    Genealogy: Digging Deeper into Military Records can Reap Rewards
    Professional genealogist Julie Miller, columnist for the Broomfield Enterprise in Colorado, wrote an informative piece recently about the benefits of researching in military records.

    Jefferson’s Retirement Retreat Restored
    Thomas Jefferson built Poplar Forest as a retreat after his retirement from the presidency. The plantation has just undergone a 20-year, $6-million restoration.

    History, Curiosity Link This Descendant to Champion Hill
    Sid Champion (the fifth in his family to carry the name), would like to be buried in Champion Hill, the place where the armies of North and South clashed in the last hurrah of Confederate Gen. John C. Pemberton.

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    Question of the Day

    Each day (M-F), David Lambert, the NEHGS Online Genealogist, will post an interesting "Question of the Day" on http:/// to share with you. We hope these questions will be valuable and beneficial in your research. Check back daily for new questions and answers or read through our archives. What follows is a question asked this week. You are invited to submit research questions to David Allen Lambert at Please note that he will make every effort to reply to each message, but will respond on a first come, first-served basis. In some cases, he may need to refer individuals to the NEHGS Research Service for more in-depth research services for a fee. You can view more questions of the day at

    The marriage record for Walter Daniel Howland and Minnie Barrington indicates they were married by Rev. W.E. Perrin in Boston 24 January 1882. I would like to locate the church records to look for additional information on the individuals. How can I determine the church that Rev. Perrin served?

    The 1882 Boston City Directory has a listing of Churches and Ministers. There was a Rev. Willard T. Perrin of the Monument Square Methodist Episcopal, Charlestown, Massachusetts on page 1330. This church began as the Union Methodist Episcopal Church in 1847, and changed the name in 1874 to Monument Square Methodist Episcopal Church. The edifice suffered a fire in 1891. After being rebuilt the church was final closed in 1899. The members were transferred to Trinity Methodist Episcopal Church.

    The records for this church do exist for the years 1881-1899 at the Boston University School of Theology Library at 745 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston MA 02215 as part of the Research Collections. You can contact them at or phone (617) 353-1323. The collection is listed as:

    Monument Square Methodist Episcopal Church (Charlestown, Mass.) [CH-MA C35 M6]. The inventory of the holdings of this church include: Baptism: 1881-1899; Marriages: 1889-1899; Membership: 1883-1898; Official Board records: 1894-1898; and Quarterly Conference records: 1895-1899.

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    Spring Clearance

    The NEHGS Sales department is happy to announce a one-week-only Spring Clearance sale. We are looking to liquidate some inventory of many titles, so we have dropped the prices for one week only. To get a complete listing of the titles on sale, their prices, and ordering instructions, send an email with “Spring!” in the subject line to Prices are good until May 13th, 2009 while supplies last. Massachusetts residents add 5% sales tax.

    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:

    Thurston Genealogy, 1635-1892 (Item P35640000)
    Early History of the Wilson Family of Kittery, Maine (Item P4-H27735)
    Grip’s Historical Souvenir of Cortland, NY (Item P5-NY0078H)
    Huntington, New York, Town Records, Including Babylon, Long Island, 1653-1688 (item P5-NY0464AH)
    History of Boothbay, Southport and Boothbay Harbor, Maine, 1623-1905, with Genealogies (Item P5-ME0051H)

    You can search the entire Classic Reprints catalog online at

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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

    You can view a full listing of upcoming programs:


    Wednesday, May 13, 2009, 10 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.

    Lafayette and the Role of France in the American Revolution
    Wednesday, May 20, 2009, 6 PM
    In celebration of Massachusetts Lafayette Day, in conjunction with the Massachusetts Lafayette Society, Consulate General of France and in partnership with the office of State Senator Richard T. Moore, the New England Historic Genealogical Society will host a panel discussion about “Lafayette and the Role of France in the American Revolution."

    Panelists will include the distinguished Harvard Professor Robert Darnton, Director of the Harvard University Library and specialist of the Enlightenment period; David Hackett Fisher, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of “Washington’s Crossing” and “Champlain’s Dream”; Professor Robert Allison, Chairman Suffolk University’s History Department, will serve as moderator. A light reception will follow. This event is free and open to the public, however, reservations are required. Please RSVP at

    Seminars and Tours
    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.

    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 week-long program, "Come Home to New England." Research your roots with expert assistance at the extensive NEHGS library, one of the premier genealogical facilities 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.

    Newfoundland Research Tour
    Sunday, July 12–Sunday, July 19, 2009
    Discover your Newfoundland family history with NEHGS in the provincial capital of St. John's. 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; 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 Newfoundland newspapers.

    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 week-long program, "Come Home to New England." Research your roots with expert assistance at the extensive NEHGS library, one of the premier genealogical facilities 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.

    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 week-long 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 history. The main holdings of NAS include records created by the government of Scotland beginning in the twelfth century, including records of the crown and parliament; legal registers; court documents; and records of the Church of Scotland. Vital records, including births, marriages, and deaths 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.

    Salt Lake City Research Tour
    Sunday, October 25–Sunday, November 1, 2009
    Join NEHGS for our thirty-first annual research tour to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah. Along with more than 70 other participants, you are invited to take part in an intensive week of research where you will be aided by expert staff. Daily programming also includes computer tutorials for accessing the library card catalog, research tips and techniques lectures, personalized consultations and group dinning events.

    For more information about NEHGS programs, visit or email

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    NEHGS Contact Information

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    Copyright 2009, New England Historic Genealogical Society
    101 Newbury Street, Boston, MA 02116

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Boston, Massachusetts 02116, USA

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