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  • The Weekly Genealogist

  • Vol. 11, No. 19
    Whole #426
    May 13, 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.

    * NEHGS and TAG Partnership
    * Coming Soon in the Spring 2009 Issue of New England Ancestors
    * Research Recommendations: The NEHGS Digital Library and Archive
    * Name Origins
    * Holiday Closure
    * New On
    * Spotlight: Pioneer Genealogical Society, Oklahoma
    * Stories of Interest
    * Question of the Day
    * By Faith Alone
    * Upcoming Education Programs
    * NEHGS Contact Information




    NEHGS and TAG Partnership

    D. Brenton Simons, President and CEO of the New England Historic Genealogical Society, is pleased to announce a new collaboration with The American Genealogist (TAG), one of the premier scholarly genealogical publications in the country. The Society is digitizing back issues of the journal and making them available on

    Founded in 1922 by Donald Lines Jacobus, TAG is edited by a trio of NEHGS members: Dr. David L. Greene, FASG, past recipient of the Society’s Coddington Award of Merit; Robert Charles Anderson, FASG, director of the NEHGS Great Migration Study Project; and Joseph C. Anderson II, FASG, who is also editor of The Maine Genealogist. These distinguished genealogists, along with dozens of highly-regarded contributors, uphold and advance the standards for genealogical scholarship so carefully articulated by Jacobus and the Jacobus “School.”

    Henry B. Hoff, FASG, editor of The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, notes that the addition of TAG to online searchable databases will provide unprecedented access to some of the most important scholarly work in the field, adding that when editing Register articles, he always makes certain that authors have cited all relevant TAG articles.

    The first eight volumes, covering the years 1923–1932, were published as “Families of Ancient New Haven.” These are also available online at

    Volumes 9–13, published between 1933 and 1937 are now available online at These first five issues contain 34,537 name records, 847 title/author records, and 1,508 pages images. The database may be searched by first and last name. It may also be searched by “article title keyword(s).” This option is an “any match” search that includes article titles and authors. Finally, entering a specific year or volume number, and page number, will provide access to that portion of the journal. When search results are displayed, links to the corresponding TAG pages are provided. Once viewing a TAG page, additional links allow users to see the previous or next search result, or the previous or next TAG page.

    Additional volumes will be added regularly, until the database includes Volume 78. At that point new volumes will be added each year, five years after publication. The most recent five volumes will only be available in print, as subscription revenue is necessary for the ongoing health of the journal. The American Genealogist is published quarterly by David L. Greene for $40 for one year, $75 for two years, and $100 for three years. Credit card and online orders are not accepted. Checks should be sent to TAG, P.O. Box 398, Demorest, GA 30535-0398.

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    Coming Soon in the Spring 2009 Issue of New England Ancestors

    More Than Eighty Years of Genealogical Excellence: The American Genealogist
    by Scott C. Steward

    Discovering the Best Material in Genealogical Journals
    by Henry B. Hoff

    Finding Answers in Long-Lost Letters: Three Genealogical Case Studies
    Finding the Father of George Noyes Sewall: Genealogy in the Internet Age
    by Eben W. Graves

    Postscript from the Past: How a Two-Hundred-Year-Old Letter Solved a Hewes Family Mystery
    by Laura Lyons

    Family Lore that Came to Life: The Kenneys of Cape Cod and Florida
    by Justine Squailia

    Philatelic Genealogy: Old Envelopes, Postcards, and Immigrant Origins
    by James R. Miller

    The NEHGS Digital Library and Archive
    by Jean Maguire

    Preserving New England Records Project Uncovers More Family Treasures
    by Ralph J. Crandall

    Also in this issue:
    • Computer Genealogist: Note-taking Goes High Tech
    • Genetics & Genealogy: DNA Analysis Identifies the Origins of Captain Benjamin Frank Noyes
    • Manuscripts at NEHGS: Stirring Up the Past: Recipes in the R. Stanton Avery Special Collections
    • Diaries at NEHGS: Excerpt from the Journal of Capt. William Smith, 1751–1753
    • Tales from the Courthouse: A Case of Two Nathaniels
    • Focus on New York: New York Quaker Records Now Online

    And, as always, news of NEHGS and the world of genealogy, upcoming NEHGS programs and tours, new publications, notices of family association events, genealogies in progress, and DNA studies in progress.

    Subscription to New England Ancestors is a benefit of NEHGS membership. If you are not a member, you may join online at, or call toll-free 1-888-296-3447, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, Eastern time.

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    Research Recommendations: The NEHGS Digital Library and Archive
    by Michael J. Leclerc

    The Society this week launches another initiative that will greatly benefit members. The Digital Library and Archive (DLA) will provide online access to many books, manuscripts, and other items from our collections through our library catalog. Unlike the materials in our searchable databases, these items will contain images only, and must be browsed. The DLA will allow us to provide greater access to materials that may be too small (or too complex at the moment) to turn into searchable databases.

    Among the items you will find in the DLA:

    • Family and local histories
    • Bible records
    • City Directories
    • Vital Records
    • Family Registers

    In addition to these materials, you will find a number of cases from our Research Services files. These cases often solve problems that have perplexed researchers for years.

    While anyone can search the library catalog and view results for free, only NEHGS members will be able to see the images in the DLA. The library catalog runs on software separate from the website, and therefore requires a separate login. Your username is your last name (not your email address, as on the website). Your password is your NEHGS member number. Unfortunately logins are not stored. Once you close the window, you must log in again.

    Once you are logged in, you can search the entire catalog, or you can limit your search to the DLA. In addition to searching, you can browse lists of titles available. The “New Books & E-books” link at the bottom of the page will bring you to, where you can find lists of titles available in the DLA sorted by category.

    When you open the list, you will find a number of catalog entries for items that have an online version. You will see “E-resource” on the left side of the entry. Please note that catalog entries may be for entire series of books, not all of which might be available online. This is especially true for city directories, where we might have a run of 50 years or more, but only one or two years are currently available in the DLA.

    Smaller items, such as Bible records, are viewable as an image file. Items with many pages, such as published books and research services cases, are in PDF format. Long books are divided into separate files to make downloading time faster. You can print the files, or save them to your computer for later use.

    The initial launch of the DLA includes 30 family histories; 20 local histories, vital records, and other books; 10 city directories, and 9 Bible records. Additional materials will be added on a regular basis.You can search the Digital Library and Archive at If you have any questions about using the Digital Library and Archive, please contact Member Services at

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    Name Origins
    by Julie Helen Otto

    PAMELA (f): Originally pronounced pa-MEE-la, this name first appears in pastoral poetry by Sir Philip Sidney (1554-1586), but was extremely rare before the 1740 publication of Samuel Richardson’s best-selling novel Pamela, about a virtuous servant girl who finally marries her employer Mr. B. The original pronunciation explains such very common variants (often used interchangeably by the same woman) as Pamelia, Parmelia, Permelia, Permilla, or Purmela.

    If that untraceable, intractable female ancestor “Milly [--?--]” dates from the mid-eighteenth century, consider that she may actually be an Amelia, Pamelia, or some similar name with middle element –mel–. The nickname “Milly” is most often associated in modern times with the names MILLICENT and MILDRED, but in colonial New England I have rarely seen MILLICENT (except for certain branches of the Lockwoods of western Connecticut and eastern N.Y., and perhaps scattered other families) or MILDRED (much more frequently seen in colonial Virginia).

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    Holiday Closure

    The Research Library will be closed Saturday, May 23, in observance of Memorial Day. The administrative offices will be closed on Monday, May 25, for the holiday.

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    New On

    The Great Migration Newsletter, Vol.18, No. 2

    An essential companion to the Great Migration books, the Newsletter offers feature articles on a variety of topics, including the settlement of early New England towns, migration patterns, seventeenth-century passenger lists, church records, land records, and much more.

    Subscribing to the online version includes access to volumes 11 though 17 as well. You may opt to receive four printed issues through the mail. Subscriptions to the printed version of the Newsletter are $20 per year.

    You can read a sample issue at

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    Spotlight: Pioneer Genealogical Society, Oklahoma
    by Valerie Beaudrault

    The Pioneer Genealogical Society (PGS), formed in April 1971, “collects and preserves both genealogical and related historical materials for public use.” These materials are available in the Genealogy Room of the Ponca City Public Library. Ponca City is located in Kay and Osage counties in the north central part of Oklahoma, about eighteen miles south of the Kansas border. Click on the Online Records link on the genealogical society’s homepage to access the society’s resources.

    Birth Records — Miscellaneous Birth Records
    This alphabetical database contains extractions of Kay County newspaper articles with announcements of births that took place in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries. The data fields in the records include parents’ names, a transcription of the article, the newspaper title and date.

    Death/Obituary Records
    Cemetery Index: An alphabetical index for approximately twenty area cemeteries has been uploaded to the website. There are more than 34,000 records in the index. The index shows the name of the individual and the cemetery name. It should be noted that the names in the index have been taken transcribed from the gravestones and, therefore, the index includes persons who are not deceased. This is a work in progress and additional cemeteries will be added until there is an inventory for the entire county. The Cemetery CD is available for purchase from PGS. Each record on the Cemetery CD has the following information: name, birth & death dates, any inscriptions on the gravestone, marriage dates and military information, children’s and parents’ names; sexton information, lot ownership and funeral home names, where available. Other sources have been used to establish birth and death dates where no dates are on the gravestones.

    A published collection of obituary records, titled Some Obituaries of Early Kay County, Oklahoma, Pioneers, has been digitized and uploaded to the website. This collection includes five volumes and a master index. The volumes cover the following locations and time periods: Volume I — Obituaries extracted from the The Ponca City Courier and The Ponca City Democrat (1893–1908); Volume II — Obituaries extracted from newspapers published in the eastern Kay County towns of Newkirk and Kildare (1893–1908), Volume III — Obituaries extracted from newspapers published at Nardin and Tonkawa (1893–1908); Volume IV — Obituaries extracted from The Kaw City Star, Kaw City (1893–1908); and Obituaries extracted from newspapers published at Braman, Oklahoma (May 18. 1901–December 31, 1908). The Master Index is a combined index that covers all five volumes.

    In the Individual Obits section, individual death notices and obituaries appearing in local newspapers have been extracted from various newspapers and, in the case of later twentieth century deaths, the articles and accompanying photographs have been scanned and uploaded to the website. These obituaries have been organized alphabetically.

    Marriage Records
    This section contains transcriptions of miscellaneous marriage announcements found in local newspapers. The announcements are for marriages that took place during the late nineteenth century and the early twentieth century. The records are listed alphabetically by the groom’s name. Marriage license application dates are listed, if known. In addition, images of newspaper announcements of marriages and anniversaries, marriage affidavits, and photographs have been included.

    Military Records
    This section includes local military history files, a number of photographs of war memorials, and the Kay County Honor Roll and Service Records for World War I. In addition, there is a file containing photographs of gravestones for veterans of the Civil War, Spanish American War, and World War I, whose names were found in a local newspaper.

    Property Records
    This section contains the 1941–1942 Kay County, Oklahoma Atlas, which has township-by-township listings of acreage with location code owned by individuals. There is a location code system on page 51 of the atlas.

    School Records
    Photographs of students and school buildings and images of a variety of artifacts from area schools including a commencement program (1927), a yearbook (1924), alumni lists (1898–the present), two “school booklets” (1905 and 1917).

    Miscellaneous Records
    The Miscellaneous Records section includes files containing guidance and information on doing research in Oklahoma vital records, a list of Kay County officials, a chronological history of the state of Oklahoma, a list of Oklahoma’s counties and their dates of establishment. In addition there are collections of photographs, newspaper clippings, and other documents related to Kay and Osage county families and communities. There are also transcriptions of "Notice of Publications" lists for homesteads or property and for probate (guardianships and estates) that appeared in the local newspapers.

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    Stories of Interest

    Obama to Trace Family History in Germany
    President Obama will be visiting Germany in June. Instead of an official state visit, he will be planning on visiting sites important in his family history.

    Delving Into Family History
    Kurt Egelhof took his family history in South Africa and turned it into a play: For Generations.

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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

    In a probate for my ancestor it mentions expenses for “funeral gifts”? Can you explain what funeral gifts are?

    It was common in the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries to find allocations in a probate for such items, which were often mourning apparel, such as rings and gloves. Often the rings would have the name or initials of the deceased inscribed upon them.

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    By Faith Alone

    Bill Griffeth had been a TV journalist covering Wall Street and the world of high finance for a quarter of a century. But when he made the startling discovery that his eight-times great-grandmother was convicted and executed during the Salem witch trials of 1692, he began to research the biggest story of his life: the four-hundred-year history of his family and of our country’s Protestant roots. It was a history that dated back to the seventeenth century and the English Puritans and Separatists who fled to North America for an uncertain future.

    His travels took him to the fishing village in England where his earliest ancestors lived and worshipped; to the Netherlands where they sought refuge from persecution; and to the sites in New England and New York where they were members of colonial villages with legendary names: Salem, Plymouth, and New Amsterdam. They were Congregationalists, Presbyterians, Lutherans, and Methodists, and they had a surprising connection to the founder of the Mormon Church.

    Griffeth’s account includes not only the stories of his long-forgotten relatives but also of some of their neighbors and colleagues whom history still remembers, including Plymouth’s great governor William Bradford, New Amsterdam’s swashbuckling director general Peter Stuyvesant, the infamous Salem witch trial judge Colonel John Hathorne, and the stouthearted Methodist bishop Francis Asbury.

    By Faith Alone is a rich history of our country’s Protestant heritage. It is also one man’s journey of more than ten thousand miles and four centuries, and it captures his personal desire to understand the courage and faith of his distant family members and to better appreciate how religion and the context of history shape his own life even today.

    By Faith Alone is available in soft cover only, for the price of $13.95 plus shipping. Orders can be placed by clicking on or by calling toll free at 1-888-296-3447. Offer good while supplies last.


    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:

    History of Lynnfield, Massachusetts, 1633-1785 (Item P5-MA0252H)
    History of Greenfield, Massachusetts, 1682-1900, 2-volume set (Item P5-MA0317H)
    History of Haverhill, Massachusetts, from its First Settlement in 1640 to the Year 1860 (Item P5-MA0145AH)
    Kansas City, Missouri: Its History and Its People, 2-volume set (Item P5-MO0039H)
    General History of Duchess County, New York, from 1609 to 1876 (Item P5-NY0476H)

    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:


    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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New England Historic Genealogical Society
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Boston, Massachusetts 02116, USA

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