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  • The Weekly Genealogist

  • Vol. 11, No. 31
    Whole #438
    August 5, 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.

    * Planned Outage for
    * Become an NEHGS Member for Life
    * Research Recommendations: New England Folklore
    * Name Origins
    * New On
    * Spotlight: Marathon County Historical Society (Wisconsin)
    * Stories of Interest
    * Question of the Day
    * 20% off of The Ancestry of Diana, Princess of Wales, for Twelve Generations
    * Upcoming Education Programs
    * NEHGS Contact Information




    Planned Outage for

    Dear members and friends, please be advised that NEHGS is moving to a new datacenter. The website will be down on Monday, August 10, 2009, from 7:00 A.M. (EST) to 5:00 P.M. (EST). Thank you for your understanding while we make this necessary upgrade to our infrastructure.

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    Become an NEHGS Member for Life

    NEHGS is pleased to announce that for the first time our Life and Life Benefactor memberships are being offered at special, discounted prices. During the month of August our Life Membership, available to individuals aged 62 or over and regularly priced at $3,000, is available for $2,500. Our Life Benefactor Membership, regularly priced at $6,000 and available to individuals at any age, is available for $5,000.


    In addition to the many benefits our individual members already enjoy, our Life and Life Benefactor Memberships include the following added benefits:

    • A 3.5 hour tutorial with our expert staff
    • An historic Life Member certificate with raised gold seal
    • A sterling silver NEHGS member lapel pin
    • Complimentary subscriptions to the Great Migration Newsletter
    • Tax deductions to the extent permitted by law

    Contact Member Services by email at mailto:membership@nehgs.orgor by phone at (888) 296-3447 for more details. Hurry, prices return to their regular rates on August 31, 2009.


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    Research Recommendations: New England Folklore
    by Michael J. Leclerc

    My friend Peter loves folklore. So much so that he has a blog about New England folklore. I don’t know where he finds his material, but I enjoy reading many of the stories. Some examples of topics he has written about:

    • Ethan Allen’s Life After Death
    • Goody Glove: Witch, Martyr, Irish Pub
    • Prince Hall’s Funeral Monument
    • 19th-century methods of predicting the weather on Thanksgiving.
    • Black Cat Lore for Halloween
    • Pokeweed
    • Snapping Turtles, UFOs and a Witch’s Estate

    A recent post discussed the Black Flash of Provincetown, a phantom that appeared in town in the fall of 1938. If you are interested in folklore, I highly recommend his blog, which you can read at

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    Name Origins
    by Julie Helen Otto

    ZERUIAH (f): A daughter of Jesse (1 Chron. 2:16).

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    New On

    The Virginia Genealogist

    The latest addition to the collection of scholarly genealogy journals is The Virginia Genealogist. Edited and published by John Fredrick Dorman from 1957 to 2007, The Virginia Genealogist has a reputation for quality research and genealogical information not available elsewhere. Topics include
    compiled genealogies, personal property tax lists (which serve as useful substitutes for non-existent census records), and other local record abstracts, including court orders, deeds, wills, marriage registers, and other county sources. Also included are a wide variety of transcriptions and abstracts of Bible, church, military, and mercantile records.

    Our Virginia Genealogist database currently contains Volumes 1–5. Additional volumes will be added on a regular basis. The database currently contains 31,877 names, 8,531 subject and article titles, and 1,187 browseable page images. The database may be searched by first and last name, or by subject/article title keywords. Page images may be accessed from the search results page. Once viewing a page image, buttons allow access to previous and next pages, or previous and next database hits. A “jump to page” feature allows direct access to pages by entering a volume number or year, and page number.

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    Spotlight: Marathon County Historical Society (Wisconsin)
    by Valerie Beaudrault

    Marathon County is located in central Wisconsin. Wausau is the county seat. The Marathon County Historical Society has made a number of resources available on its website. Click on the Library Resources link to access them. The resources include:

    Online Photo Collection
    This collection contains thirty-five photographs of railroad-related scenes. Reproductions of the photos may be purchased from the society.

    People, Places, and Events
    This resource has been divided into three sections. The last, Events, is under construction.

    Cities, Towns and Villages
    This section contains brief histories about the founding of the communities in Marathon County. The type of information included here is name of the village, when founded, a brief description of the town, when the post office was established, name of the first postmaster, and other postal history, as well as information about railroads and schools.

    People of Marathon County
    This section contains brief biographies of several hundred important individuals from Marathon County that have been researched and written by the historical society volunteers and interns. The alphabetical index includes the name of the historical figure, his or her occupation, and the name of the author of the biography. Click on the name link to access it. Each biography includes the person’s name, occupation, background — date and place of birth, education, and accomplishments. In most cases date of death and the names of spouses and children have been included.

    Name Index
    This database indexes records from local history publications, Wausau city directories, obituaries, and the 1095 Marathon County census. Each database has a separate search box. Copies of the various records may be ordered from the historical society for a fee.

    Local History Publications
    Ten local history publications have been indexed here. Click on the link on the database search page to access the list. Each record includes name, publication title, page and volume number, if applicable, type of record, and narrative.

    Wausau City Directories
    This database indexes the following directories: 1883, 1886, 1888, 1893, 1910, 1912, and 1914. The data fields in each record include year of publication of the directory, name as it appears in the database, home address, occupation, and business address.

    Obituary Index
    It appears that this database indexes obituaries from local newspapers, although it is not stated in these records. The initial search results contain the name of the deceased, date of death, resided at, and a link to the detailed record. The data fields in the detailed record include name, date of birth, date of death, birth place, resided at, date obituary was published, and the name of the publication. Currently, the date of publication also appears in the name of publication field.

    1905 Marathon County Census Records
    The records indexed in this database are from handwritten cards recording each household enumerated in the official 1905 Marathon County Census. The initial search results contain surname, first name, age, location, and a link to the detailed record. The data fields in the database include surname, first name, relationship, age, occupation, and location. There are also instructions on how to order a copy of the census document on this page. You should not that each record in the census contains surname, location, first name, relationship, sex, race, age, marital status, birthplace, parent's birthplace, occupation and notes.

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    Stories of Interest

    Author Warns of Pitfalls in Writing Narrative Family History
    Noted genealogist John Colletta recently spoke at the Brigham Young University genealogy conference, telling his audience that "According to the Catholic catechism, you can sin by doing something, and you can sin by neglecting to do something. Well, ladies and gentlemen, I hate to shock you here at Brigham Young University, but I have to tell you, when it comes to writing narrative family history, Catholic doctrine applies."

    Late Blight Yields Bitter Harvest
    The same disease that caused the infamous 19th-century Irish Potato Famine is now striking farms and gardens in New England and wreaking havoc.

    How to Make a Family History Foods and Nutrition Genogram Time Capsule
    A genogram time capsule contains cookbooks, recipes, family nutrition history, and family medical history as well as projects and products, items, records, and research you want to give to future 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

    Can you tell me what the occupation “Hog reaver” is?

    This occupation is generally spelled “Hog reeve” and can also be referred to as field driver or a Hayward. This was a town job, usually assigned at town meeting. The hog reeve was tasked with rounding up any stray livestock in the town. If a townsperson lost an animal, it was generally taken to the pound. You would pay the costs involved for the catching and feeding of the animal. Though the Hog reeve is not generally seen in New England anymore, you may have a Dog Catcher or Animal Control Officer in most communities who gathers stary animals and oversees them in the town pound.

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    20% off of The Ancestry of Diana, Princess of Wales, for Twelve Generations

    The late Princess was 1/8th American and 1/64th New England Yankee. The following is a list of the colonial Massachusetts and Connecticut families whose immigrant ancestors are covered: Strong, Holton, Blott. Hart (Stephen), Cogswell, Hawkes, Hibbard, Morgan (James) and Parke (Robert) and Fobes.

    To order a copy of The Ancestry of Diana, Princess of Wales, for Twelve Generations by Richard K. Evans, please call toll free at 1-888-296-3447 or visit

    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:

    Truro, Barnstable County, Massachusetts, Births, 1850-1884 (Item P5-MA0503H)
    Dover, New Hampshire, Marriages, 1623-1823 (Item P5-NH0159H)
    Abstracts of Wills of Wayne County, New York, 1823-1866 (Item P5-NY0468H)
    Early History of Saugerties, New York, 1660-1825 (Item P5-NY0349H)
    History of New Paltz, New York, and its Old Families, from 1678-1829 (Item P5-NY0132H)

    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

    We encourage you to email this newsletter to others who might be interested. To subscribe or view back issues of eNews, please visit

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    To become a member of the New England Historic Genealogical Society, please visit

    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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