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  • The Weekly Genealogist

  •  Vol. 11, No. 28
    Whole #435
    July 15, 2009
    Edited by Michael J. Leclerc and Valerie Beaudrault

    Hello 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.

    * New Online Exhibit
    * New City Directories in the Digital Library and Archive
    * Research Recommendations: iTunes U
    * Name Origins
    * New On
    * Spotlight: The Fredericksburg Genealogical Society, Texas
    * Stories of Interest
    * Question of the Day
    * 10% of all Mayflower Families Through 5 Generations Titles (Silver Books)
    * Upcoming Education Programs
    * NEHGS Contact Information




    New Online Exhibit

    Eyewitness Account of the S.S. Hanoverian Shipwreck, September 2, 1885

    In our last exhibit highlighting some of the family photographs and genealogy of the Crosby family of Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, we noted that the bulk of the collection consisted of family correspondence. Most of the letters belong to Lucinda May (Crosby) Wood, daughter of Capt. Wallace Crosby and his wife Catherine. The Crosby family letters are a typical example of what one may find in family papers. The exchanges between family members relate to personal family matters such as illnesses, activities at church or school.

    Letters that stand out and have broad appeal to family historians and scholars are those in which the correspondent provides a firsthand account of a journey, or are eyewitnesses to a historical event. Among Lucinda’s letters is one written by J. Parr on November 22, 1885 from the ship Peruvian, where Mr. Parr served as ship’s surgeon, at Halifax, Nova Scotia. In his detailed letter, Mr. Parr provides an eyewitness account of the wreck of the S.S. Hanoverian off the coast of Newfoundland.

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    New City Directories in the Digital Library and Archive

    The following city directories have recently been added to the NEHGS Digital Library and Archive. You can browse a list of the directories at If you plan to view multiple items in the Digital Library, we recommend that you begin by logging in at Once you log in, you can click the “Search Catalog” button or the “New Books & E-books” link to start using the digital collections.

    • Pittsburgh: 1819 and 1841
    • Québec: 1862
    • Webster, Dudley, Southbridge, and Sturbridge, Mass.: 1896
    • Winsted, Conn.: 1882
    • Wolfeboro, N.H.: 1907

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    Research Recommendations: iTunes U
    by Michael J. Leclerc

    The Library of Congress is now making materials available for free at iTunes University. iTunes U is a free service provided by Apple to individuals through the iTunes store. LOC offers podcasts that discuss a variety of topics. One of the most interesting at the moment is their Voices from the Days of Slavery series. These recordings were made during the 1930s and 1940s of elderly African-Americans who began their lives as slaves. One of the subjects, Fountain Hughes, stated that he was just over 100 years old at the time of the recording, and that his grandfather was a slave of Thomas Jefferson.

    In addition to the podcasts, LOC offers short movies. Some of these movies are documentaries, such as The History of Household Technology and Manuscripts Behind the Scenes (which offers a look at some of the more interesting or famous manuscript collections at LOC). Others come from the collections, such as early films by Edison and Westinghouse. In the Books & Beyond section you can find discussions ranging from History and the Curse of the Hope Diamond to Books, Before and Beyond: Publishing in the 21st Century.

    LOC even provides professional assistance to librarians and catalogers with lessons on cataloging skills and other resources. If you ever wanted to understand the LOC system of cataloging, one of these courses may help, but remember that they are geared towards professional librarians, not end users.

    The Library of Congress is only one of many institutions and organizations providing content to iTunes U. Colleges and universities such as Cambridge, Cornell, Duke, Emory, MIT, Oxford, Stanford, and Texas A&M provide a great deal of interesting material. You can get anything from single-lecture podcasts to an entire college course (with syllabus material).

    As professionals, we constantly tell people that understanding social history is critically important in genealogical research. If you don’t have an understanding of what is happening in the time and place in which your ancestor lived, you will have difficulty finding records that pertain to your people. Among the more interesting topics I found that would prove helpful to genealogists are:

    • Transportation Infrastructure, part of the Moments in American History series from Central Washington University
    • Early Madison County, part of the Ozark Places series from the Shiloh Museum of Ozark History
    • 300 Years of Ranching in Southern Arizona, part of the Through Our Parents’ Eyes series from the University of Arizona
    • Colonial and Revolutionary America, a 24-part course from Stanford University

    In addition to genealogy, you can find lots of other things, from sociology classes to learning a new language. Some are serious, some are lighthearted (I was particularly amused when an introductory French pronunciation class included directions for pronouncing the French word imbècile), but all will help broaden your horizons.

    To find these materials, click on the iTunes U link in the top left box of the iTunes Store homepage. You must have iTunes installed on your computer to use these materials. The good news is that iTunes is free and easy to download. While built by Apple, there are versions for both Mac and PC. And if you have a PC, you will still be able to run other media players without a problem. Visit to find out more about iTunes and download the viewer. You can also read an interesting review of iTunes U and the impact it has on learning at

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    Name Origins
    by Julie Helen Otto

    TRYPHENA (f): This name (Greek ‘luxurious’) and TRYPHOSA, of the same general meaning, both derive from a passage in which St. Paul wrote his friends at Rome, “Salute Tryphena and Tryphosa, who labour in the Lord” (Romans 16:12). Because the names appear in the same verse and are so similar, they were often used in tandem, though not necessarily always for twins. Of the two names, TRYPHENA (often just recognizable in forms such as PHENEY) is far the more popular.

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    New On

    Massachusetts Vital Records 1911–1915 – Just Added: 1911 Marriages.

    With the 1911–1915 birth index and records completed, we are now turning to the marriage records of the same period. This week, we are releasing the index and records for 1911 marriages. This consists of 85,238 names. The indexes and records for marriages of 1912–1915 will be released in the future.

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    Spotlight: The Fredericksburg Genealogical Society, Texas
    by Valerie Beaudrault

    The town of Fredericksburg, county seat of Gillespie County, is located in central Texas, seventy miles west of Austin. According to the town’s official website, “(t)he town was one of a projected series of German settlements from the Texas coast to the land north of the Llano River, originally the ultimate destination of the German immigrants sent to Texas by the Adelsverein.” The Adelsverein was the Society for the Protection of German Immigrants in Texas.

    The Fredericksburg Genealogical Society was disbanded in January 2008. However, their website is still active. Some genealogical resources are still available on the website.

    Cemetery Index
    This index lists burials in Gillespie County cemeteries. You can browse through the alphabetical by surname lists. The data fields include surname, given name, maiden name, birth date, death date, and cemetery information. Information regarding whether the deceased was a veteran is included in the given name field. There are also alphabetical lists sorted by maiden name. Click on the cemetery name link in the individual record to access Cemetery information. The data on this page includes information about the cemetery’s location. To view photographs of gravestones in the cemetery, click on the camera icon next to cemetery name. There may also be a links to maps showing the cemetery’s section layout. On the Cemetery Index main page there is also a list with links to common surnames in the list. The cemetery photographs on The Fredericksburg Genealogical Society may also be accessed from the Photo Collection page. There are nearly 3,500 photographs of gravestones in over 50 cemeteries in this collection.

    Obituary Index
    The obituary index covers the period from January 1, 1980, through December 31, 2004. The current newspaper is The Fredericksburg Standard-Radio Post. Prior to October 1984, there were two separate newspapers, The Fredericksburg Standard and The Fredericksburg Radio Post. The data fields in this index include surname, given names, maiden name, death date, obituary date, town and state. You should be advised that, because the genealogical society has disbanded, they no longer perform in depth research. Please note that the Pioneer Memorial Library has in its collections issues of the Fredericksburg papers on microfilm back to 1890.

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    Stories of Interest

    Dig Reveals R.I. Ties to Slave Trade
    For the third straight year, researchers this summer have been sifting a 15-by-20-foot pit off lower Thames Street in Newport for items owned by Thomas Richardson II, an 18th-century merchant, captain and slave trader.

    Ballard ‘Hold-Out’ House to be Preserved, Elevated
    The home of the late Seattle woman Edith Macefield, who turned down a $1 million offer to sell her tiny house to a developer, has been sold to a company who plans to preserve and elevate it.

    Family Roots Lure Many African-Americans Back to South
    At the turn of the twentieth century, thousands of African-Americans were on the move, mainly to the Northeast and the Midwest, eager for opportunities related to the war and industrialization

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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

    My ancestors attended the Anglican Church in St. John's Newfoundland. I am looking for records from the 18th century. Can you tell me what is available and where? Is there a cemetery located nearby?

    The Cathedral of St. John the Baptist has been in existence since 1699. Records of births, marriages, and deaths survive as early as 1752. According to the church history, an earlier book was stolen in 1812 and never recovered. The records are at the Provincial Archives of Newfoundland and Labrador, called "The Rooms". The cemetery is located on a slope below the church. The cemetery was closed in 1849 and very few gravestones survive. One gravestone from the 18th century was unearthed and is now inside the church.

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    10% of all Mayflower Families Through 5 Generations Titles (Silver Books)

    The NEHGS sales department is offering 10% off all Mayflower Families Through 5 Generations books (also known as the Silver Books) for a limited time. For a complete listing of available titles, please send an email with the words “Mayflower Families” in the subject to and a listing will be sent to you, along with ordering information. The discount is good through July 25, 2009, while supplies last.

    You can order online or by calling toll free at 1-888-296-3447.

    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:

    Descendants of John Wirebaugh (1821-96) (Item P4-H27846)
    Kissam Family in America, from 1644-1825 (Item P4-H16938)
    Alphabetical Index of Revolutionary Pensioners Living in Maine (Item P5-ME0120H)
    Record of Will in Woodford County, Kentucky, for the Period of Years 1788-1851 (Item P5-KY0040H)
    Records of the Swedish Lutheran Churches at Raccoon and Penns Neck, New Jersey, 1712-1786 (Item P5-NJ0136H)

    You can search the entire Classic Reprints catalog online at 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

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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:


    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 August 10–15, 2009.

    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
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Boston, Massachusetts 02116, USA

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