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Vol. 11, No. 21Whole #428May 27, 2009Edited by Michael J. Leclerc and Valerie Beaudraultenews@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:* Spring 2009 Issue of New England Ancestors Magazine Now Available Online* Old Fort Western Seeks Descendants* Research Recommendations: Ancestral Atlas* Name Origins* New On NewEnglandAncestors.org* Spotlight: Genealogical Forum of Oregon (GFO)* Stories of Interest* Question of the Day* Ancestors of American Presidents* Upcoming Education Programs* NEHGS Contact Information
Spring 2009 Issue of New England Ancestors Magazine Now Available Online
The contents of the Spring 2009 issue of New England Ancestors magazine is now available online. Members can access the content at www.newenglandancestors.org/publications/54.asp. Stories include:
More Than Eighty Years of Genealogical Excellence: The American Genealogistby Scott C. Steward
Discovering the Best Material in Genealogical Journalsby Henry B. Hoff
Finding Answers in Long-Lost Letters: Three Genealogical Case StudiesFinding the Father of George Noyes Sewall: Genealogy in the Internet Ageby Eben W. Graves
Postscript from the Past: How a Two-Hundred-Year-Old Letter Solved a Hewes Family Mysteryby Laura Lyons
Family Lore that Came to Life: The Kenneys of Cape Cod and Floridaby Justine Squailia
Philatelic Genealogy: Old Envelopes, Postcards, and Immigrant Originsby James R. Miller
The NEHGS Digital Library and Archiveby Jean Maguire
Preserving New England Records Project Uncovers More Family Treasuresby 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.
Return to Table of Contents
Old Fort Western Seeks Descendants
Old Fort Western, the 1754 National Landmark fort, store and house historic site on the riverfront in downtown Augusta, Maine, would like to be in touch with the descendants of people who lived in the fort’s main house between 1840 and 1920. The project is part of a larger effort to more thoroughly interpret the Fort’s 19th- and early-20th-century history.
Using census and city directory resources, Fort staff and volunteers recently compiled a list of known Fort residents. Now they hope to be in touch with the descendants of those residents to learn more about the details of their lives and perhaps become aware of artifacts they may have owned.
You can find out more about Old Fort Western, and a list of people who lived in the house, at www.oldfortwestern.org/TenementResidentRLS051507.pdf.
Return to Table of Contents
Research Recommendations: Ancestral Atlasby Michael J. Leclerc
Last week I wrote about Pharos Tutors. This week I want to tell you about another group I visited with at NGS in Raleigh — Ancestral Atlas. These folks have created a website that allows you to take your genealogical information and put it on the map — literally.
The site works as an overlay to Google Maps and allows you to put pins on a map showing where ancestral events occurred. These can be any type of event, not just birth, baptism, marriage, death, and burial. You can also add commentary to include contextual information.
Users can view and search information uploaded to the site for free. Subscribers get additional features, like the ability to upload GEDCOM files, a messaging service to contact individuals who upload information, and use of a spatial search feature that allows you to make special searches, such as identifying all individuals of the same surname within a certain radius of a location. Subscribers also have the option to save specific searches so that they can reused to check for new information that has been uploaded. Ancestral Atlas is also in the process of adding a historical map layer that will allow subscribers to see a location as it was in an earlier time.
Because this is a British company, much of the currently available data is for the U.K., but Americans are quickly catching on and adding their information. Also, the historical maps currently offered and in the near future are for the U.K. and Ireland.
Ancestral Atlas is currently running an incredible special. Right now you can subscribe for the low price of £15 (currently about $25). This is usually the price of an annual membership, but because they are just launching the product they are offering early subscribers a lifetime membership for what will soon be an annual fee. What a deal!
Check out these folks http://www.ancestralatlas.com/ and see how they will be able to help you.
Name Originsby Julie Helen Otto
AURORA (f): Roman goddess of dawn.
New On NewEnglandAncestors.org
Early Maine Deeds & Willswww.newenglandancestors.org/database_search/YorkDeeds.asp
This database is based on the CD-ROM of the same title issued by NEHGS in 2006.
From the introduction to the CD-ROM: This database includes the contents of William M. Sargent's Maine Wills 1640–1760, published in 1887, and York Deeds, published between 1887 and 1910. These two sources constitute a vast amount of primary genealogical and biographical data on Maine's earliest settlers. Until it achieved statehood in 1820, Maine wills and probate records were filed in the office of the county Registrar of Probate — a practice derived from Massachusetts. In 1687 York County began to record wills and other probate documents in a separate set of books apart from the court records and deeds. The York County Deeds include land conveyances recorded between 1647 and 1737 and mention not only people who lived in what is now Maine but many others who were either moving in or out. This database contains alphabetical lists of the grantors and grantees, and names of other persons mentioned. The transcription and publication of the original volumes of Maine wills and York deeds was made possible by acts of the Maine State Legislature, and for this all genealogists with ancestors in colonial Maine owe a debt of thanks.
This first database installment includes Volumes 1–5 of York deeds, consisting of 14,455 names and 1,630 pages. The remaining volumes will be added in the future.
Spotlight: Genealogical Forum of Oregon (GFO)by Valerie Beaudraulthttp://www.gfo.org/
The Genealogical Forum of Oregon is located in the city of Portland. In addition to its library resources, educational programs, and Interest Group activities, the GFO provides researchers with extensive resources for online historical and genealogical research. Click on the Indexes tab to access the resources. You can search all indexes at one time, except for the WW1 draft registrations index from the database main page.
The newest addition to the website is the Annotated 1850 Census of Nantucket [Massachusetts]. This census is from the GFO’s Willis Corbitt Collection. This transcription is described as “a ledger book filled with what appears to be the 1850 Nantucket County census, in somewhat alphabetical order.” They go on to say that “it was likely written by the court or town clerk because the ages are listed by years, months and days.” The data fields include census page number, name of resident, age at census, date of death and comments. While it is an important resource for genealogists with Massachusetts’ connections, the deaths listed were reported from throughout over the world. You will need Adobe Reader to view the records.
Index to Provisional Land ClaimsThis database is an index to the Genealogical Material in the Oregon Provisional Land Claims abstracted from the original applications filed 1845–1849. This database includes more than 4,000 records. You can order a copy of an abstract for a small fee.
Oregon Donation Land Claim IndexDonation Land Claims were granted to settlers of the Oregon Territory who arrived prior to 1853. Many of these files contain genealogical data. You may request a copy of the claim file from the GFO for a fee. You will need to use the index of claim holders to find the office and claim number, so that you can make your copy request.
Multnomah County Marriage RecordsThe marriage index contains more than 34,000 records. The records in the database have been indexed by both groom and bride. The data fields include surname, given name, spouse’s surname, spouse’s given name, year, and volume and page numbers. You can order copies of the marriage record from GFO for a fee.
Index to marriages by William T. MillikenThis database is an index to the records of William T. Milliken, a Baptist minister. These records are part of the GFO manuscript collection. The data fields include surname, given name, spouse’s surname, spouse’s given name, county, and year.
There are a number of indexes to veterans’ records in the online collection. These include databases abstracted from the Spencer Leonard Manuscript Collection, which focuses primarily on those who fought in the Civil War. There is also an index to the 1890 veterans census. In addition, researchers will find an index to the Register of Veterans at the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers in Roseburg, Oregon, for the period from 1894 through 1937. The range of data collected includes personal descriptions, place of birth, disabilities, amount of pension, remarks noting discharge or death.
Index to WWI Draft RegistrationsThis database is an index to World War I draft registration cards for Oregon residents. There are nearly 180,000 records in the database. You can order a copy of the draft registration card from the GFO. This database cannot be searched from the database homepage search box.
Probate and other death-related indexes — obituaries, funeral and cemetery records
Index to Portland Death CertificatesThis database contains more than 12,500 records and is an index to the Portland Death Certificates 1881–1917. The GFO library has microfilm of these records in its library. The majority of the certificates are from 1889 to 1902, however, there are some from earlier and later dates.
Oregon Obituary IndexThis database is an index to the GFO’s collection of obituaries. There are more than 22,000 records in the database.
Multnomah County Probate IndexThis database is an index of all the probate cases for 1852–1939 in Multnomah County. It includes Estates, Will Contests, Guardianships, and Postponed Estates. While the GFO does not have the original probate files, they have the early DAR abstracts of the probate files to 1900. If you are unable to get to the GFO library, you may request look-ups and copies from the DAR abstracts. Information about this service can be found on the website.
Index to Funeral NoticesThis database indexes 320 Jackson County funeral notices. The majority of the notices are from 1890 to 1914; however, there are some from earlier and later dates. You may order a copy of the notice from the GFO.
St. Mary’s Cemetery IndexThis database is an index to a book containing more than 2,000 interments in St. Mary’s Cemetery, Portland, Oregon. St. Mary's Cemetery, a Roman Catholic cemetery, was founded in 1858. The Clark County Genealogical Society in Vancouver, Washington, published St. Mary's Cemetery, Portland's Pioneer Catholic Cemetery by Connie Lenzen in 1987. The data fields may include the name of the deceased, death date and place, birth date and place, age, cause of death, relatives, comments, parish, and sources.
Stories of Interest
Genealogy Research Brings History to Life: Experts See Increased Interest in Tracing RootsReporter Taleiza Calloway of the St. Cloud Times in Minnesota reports on the tremendous surge of interest in tracing one’s family history.
Preserve Loved Ones’ Wartime StoriesMajor Dudley R. Capps discusses the importance of documenting the stories of our family members who lived through wartime, especially the world wars and Korea. The people who lived through that time as adults are now quite elderly and we risk losing their important stories.
“Powerfully Evocative” Family History Wins Ondaatje PrizeAdam Nicolson, grandson of Harold Nicolson and well-known British author Vita Sackville West, won the Royal Society of Literature’s Ondaatje Prize, which goes to the work of literature deemed to have most successfully evoked “the spirit of a place,” for his family memoir Sissinghurst: An Unfinished History.
Question of the Day
Each day (M-F), David Lambert, the NEHGS Online Genealogist, will post an interesting "Question of the Day" on http:///www.NewEnglandAncestors.org 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 email@example.com. 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 www.newenglandancestors.org/research/services/7389.asp.
Question:Can you explain what the abbreviations Boston USCC and Boston USDC stand for on the U.S. Naturalization Index?
Answer:The abbreviations following the city of Boston stand for:
USCC - U.S. Circuit Court (Massachusetts District) records cover the years 1845-1911USDC – U.S. District Court (Massachusetts District) records cover the years 1790-1966
These records are held at the National Archives Northeast Regional branch in Waltham, Massachusetts:
Frederick C. Murphy Federal Center380 Trapelo RoadWaltham, Massachusetts02452-6399Phone: (781) 663-0130Fax: (781) 663-0154E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ancestors of American Presidents
Have you purchased your copy of Ancestors of American Presidents, 2nd Edition? If not, you might want to get one before the prepublication price ends! On June 1st, the price of this bestselling work by renowned author Gary Boyd Roberts will go back to $39.95, but until then, you can get your copy for $34.95. Prices do not include shipping. You can place your order either by calling us toll free at 1-888-296-3447 or by visiting www.newenglandancestors.org/45_7151.asp.
Don’t miss out on the savings—order before June 1.
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 the George & Catherine Goodman Family, 1730-1942 (Item P4-H11913)Genealogy of the Descendants of Thomas Gleason of Watertown, Massachusetts, 1607-1909 (Item P32210000)Ten Generations in Descent from Thomas Wiswall of Dorchester, 1635 (Item P4-H27864)Early Records of the city and County of Albany, New York, and the Colony of Resselaerwyck, 1656-1675 (Item P5-NY0054H)Early Records of the First Presbyterian Church at Goshen, New York, 1767-1885 (Item P5-NY0204H)
You can search the entire Classic Reprints catalog online at www.newenglandancestors.org/store.asp. If you would like a list of FAQs and search tips for the Classic Reprints catalog, simply send an email with "Classic Reprints" in the subject line to email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can view a full listing of upcoming programs: www.newenglandancestors.org/events/6816.asp.
Seminars and ToursCorrection: 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 EnglandMonday, June 22–Saturday, June 27, 2009The 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, 2009Discover 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 EnglandMonday, August 10–Saturday, August 15, 2009The 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 TourSunday, September 20–Sunday, September 27, 2009Discover 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 TourSunday, October 25–Sunday, November 1, 2009Join 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 http://www.newenglandancestors.org/programs_events.asp or email mailto:email@example.com.
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.
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Copyright 2009, New England Historic Genealogical Society101 Newbury Street, Boston, MA 02116