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  • The Weekly Genealogist

  • Vol. 11, No. 6
    Whole #413
    February 11, 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.

    * Black History Month on
    * Presidents Day Holiday Closures
    * Research Recommendations: Beyond the Names:
    * Name Origins
    * New On
    * Spotlight: Berlin Public Library, Wisconsin
    * Stories of Interest
    * Question of the Day
    * Ancestors of American Presidents and Other Titles by Gary Boyd Roberts
    * Upcoming Education Programs
    * NEHGS Contact Information


    Black History Month on

    February is Black History Month, and the Society is highlighting some of the materials in our collection dealing with African-Americans. Two new online exhibits showcase items in the R. Stanton Avery Special Collections. The first is the manumission of John Hoar’s slave Cuff in Lincoln, Massachusetts on May 28, 1776. You can view the original document as well as a full transcription at The second exhibit is a Bible record for the family of Elisha Swan of Horseheads, Chemung County, New York. You can see the record, as well as photograph that came with it, at

    In addition to the online exhibits, the "Free Negro Heads of Families in the United States in 1830" database will be available for free on for the month of February. More African-American resources, including databases are available at

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    Presidents Day Holiday Closures

    The Society’s administrative offices will be closed on Monday, February 16, in observance of Presidents Day. The Research Library will be closed for the holiday on Saturday, February 14.

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    Research Recommendations: Beyond the Names:
    by Michael J. Leclerc

    The Family History Library’s website has for years been an indispensible tool for genealogical research. The International Genealogical Index, Ancestral File, Pedigree Research File, Vital Records Index, and Census transcriptions have been providing online access to names, dates, and places for a decade. And the Family History Library Catalog is the gateway to millions of records from around the world, available at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City and their Family History Center network.

    But did you know that in addition to all the names, dates, and places, there are other valuable research aids available for free from the website? Gathered under the Research Helps tab is an abundance of information for family historians. The Research Guidance section is organized by locality, and provides basic information on finding records of birth, marriage, and death for that particular area. The information includes not only the civil registrations of these matters, but substitutes for this information that can be found or deduced from church records, cemetery records, Bibles, pension, military records, etc.

    Clicking on one of the links under birth, marriage, or death, brings you to a Search Strategy section, with links to different types of records. Other tabs will bring up a Historical Background for the locality, and basic research assistance for beginners. Clicking on one of the Search Strategy links provides a links to a number of resources, organized under the various governmental structures for that area. For example, clicking on the Parish Register link under Bayern, Germany, provides links organized under Country Records, Kingdom Records, and Town Records. The links bring you to entries in the Family History Library Catalog that give more detailed information on each source.

    The other section under Research Helps is Articles. Here you will find hundreds of documents to give you more how-to information in your research. They include historical backgrounds, explanations of records, word lists for non-English records, and letter-writing guides among other resources. You will also find a number of blank forms, such as pedigree charts, research logs, census abstractions, etc. The default view is Sorted by Place, but the navigation bar on the left allows you to sort the articles by title, subject, or document type. Also in the left navigation bar is a link to a glossary with definitions for words from a multitude of languages.

    Check out these research helps at

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    Name Origins
    by Julie Helen Otto

    SINA (f): Often a nickname for ASENATH, or for names with middle or ending element –sin- (e.g. MELUSINE, PARISINA, etc.)

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    New On

    New Netherland Connections, Volume 9

    This week, we are adding the contents of New Netherland Connections, Volume 9, from 2004. This represents an additional 4,801 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. This database contains an index to the 22,764 names referenced in the first eight volumes (1996–2003). 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

    Abstracts of Wills, Administrations and Guardianships in NY State, 1787 – 1835. 47,714 additional records added!

    This week, the final 47,714 records have been added to this database from the following counties: Rensselear, Saratoga, Schoharie, Ulster, and Westchester.

    This compilation of Abstracts of New York Wills, Administrations and Guardianships was created by William Applebie Daniel Eardeley. The original materials are part of the Brooklyn Historical Society's manuscript collection. Eardeley abstracted original estate proceedings in the counties of this state. In addition he indexed on 3 x 5 cards all the names in his abstracts, i.e. those of the decedents, executors, administrators, petitioners, guardians, witnesses, named beneficiaries and minor children. The original abstracts were written in pencil on yellow legal pad paper. Although the original title of the collection refers to the years 1691 to 1860, the bulk of the material concerns the period 1787 to 1835. Also, while the abstracts generally end at 1835, it appears that in a few cases the dates were extended to fill a county's file folder. For estate proceedings of counties formed after 1835, the researcher should look under the names of the parent county.

    This database contains abstracts for the following counties:
    Albany, Allegheny, Broome, Cattaraugus, Cayuga, Chautauqua, Chenango, Clinton, Columbia, Cortland, Delaware, Dutchess, Erie-Niagara, Essex, Franklin, Genesee, Greene, Herkimer, King’s, Lewis, Livingston, Madison, Monroe, New York, Niagara, Oneida, Onondaga, Ontario, Orange, Orleans, Oswego, Otsego, Putnam, Queens, Rensselear, Richmond, Rockland, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Seneca, St. Lawrence, Sullivan, Steuben, Tioga, Tompkins, Ulster, Warren, Washington, Wayne, Westchester, and Yates.

    This database is now complete.

    Biographical sketches of the officers of the American Revolutionary War qualifying as members of the Massachusetts Society of the Cincinnati
    The Society of the Cincinnati was established in 1783 by and for the officers in Continental Service. It was organized in 14 constituent societies, one of which is the Massachusetts Society. Eligibility was based on the officer's length and terms of service. Membership in the Society of the Cincinnati was extended to the officers of the Continental Army, as well as Continental Navy and Marine officers, who had served until the end of the war, plus those who had been declared no longer needed by acts of Congress and those who had served honorably for three years during the war. Also eligible were the oldest male lineal descendants of officers who died in service. The officers of the French Navy and Army who served with the American Army were also entitled to join.

    This database contains information on those Massachusetts officers eligible for membership. Absence from this list does not conclusively exclude eligibility.

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    Spotlight: Berlin Public Library, Wisconsin
    by Valerie Beaudrault

    The City of Berlin is located approximately 20 miles west of Oshkosh, Wisconsin. It is mostly in Green Lake County with a small part located in Waushara County.

    Click on the Berlin Public Library’s ‘Genealogy Research’ link to access a list of Local History and Genealogical Materials of use to individuals researching the Berlin, Wisconsin area. Some of the resources can only be accessed on site and other resources owned by the library have been digitized and made available online through the University of Wisconsin Digital Collections. Using the tools on the left side of the page you can enlarge or shrink the images, view a transcription of the page text, and set the image for printing. Most of the files are also keyword searchable.

    Berlin City Directories
    Berlin City directories for the years 1858, 1892, 1898, and 1915–1916 have been digitized and uploaded to the website. Click on the link to the directory you would like to view. This will open a new webpage on the University of Wisconsin Digital Collections. To view a page image, click on the desired page link. These volumes are part of a larger collection of directories owned by the library.

    Farmer Atlas and Farm Directory with Complete Survey in Township Plats; Green Lake County, Wisconsin
    Published in 1914, this directory contains plats of all townships in Green Lake County with the names of property owners, an outline map of the county showing townships, villages, roads, schools, churches, railroads, and streams, among other items.

    History and Directory of Green Lake and Waushara Counties
    This directory also contains information regarding the city of Ripon, plus “historical sketches of the counties cities and principal villages, alphabetical lists of firms and individuals engaged in business, a complete classified business directory, lists of first and present county and city officers, present town officers, churches, schools, organizations.”

    History of Green Lake County, Containing Biographical Sketches, Anecdotes, etc.
    The full title of this county history, which has been digitized as part of this collection, is The history of Green Lake County, containing biographical sketches, anecdotes, etc., as related by old pioneers; with a reliable description of the city of Berlin, towns and villages, soil, productions, population, etc., observations and general remarks.

    Index to Green Lake County Plat Maps Contained in Historical Atlas of the World Illustrated.
    This volume was published in 1875 and was indexed for the Dartford Historical Society, Green Lake Wisconsin. The information found in this index includes last and first names of property owners, township, section, building and acreage owned. There are no page images.

    Map of the City of Berlin, Wisconsin
    This map was published in 1892. Click on the ‘image detail’ link to open a new page where you can enlarge the map image to XLarge, which is an easily-readable version of the map. The image can also be rotated 90 degrees per click.

    Standard Atlas of Green Lake County, Wisconsin
    This volume was published in 1923. The file contains actual page images and contains directory information in addition to the maps. It is keyword searchable.

    They Went South: Biographical Sketches Of The Civil War Veterans, From Berlin, Wisconsin
    The Berlin Historical Society published this volume in 1966. It contains biographical sketches of the 192 soldiers from Berlin who fought in the Civil War.

    While the library notes that the following volume, Portrait and Biographical Album of Green Lake, Marquette and Waushara Counties, Wisconsin, has been digitized and is available online, the link takes you to the catalog record.

    Researchers are invited to browse the collection of atlases, directories, and local histories of Fond du Lac and Green Lake counties that are part of The University of Wisconsin Digital Collection. Twenty-three volumes are available.

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    Stories of Interest

    Genealogy, Like Politics, is Local and is About “Where”
    Paul Drake discusses the importance of location in genealogical research.

    Saline County Century Farm: Hutcherson Family Continues Tradition of Improving the Land
    Read about the Hutcherson family’s modern-day efforts to continue the philosophy of their ancestor Willis Walker “Pete” Hutcherson that when he owned a farm he should leave it better than it was when he bought it.

    Digging Up Family History
    Flora Cauchi interviews forensic investigator turned genealogist Ian Beckett and his efforts to trace his family.

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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 to share with you. We hope these questions are valuable and beneficial in your research. Check back daily for new questions and answers or read through our archives. Following is one question asked this week.

    Could you answer a debate I have with another genealogist. They claim they saw a census pre-1850 that gives exact ages for families. I do not recall ever seeing such a census.

    Thanks for your intriguing question. Your colleague is actually partially correct. The 1840 U.S. Census does list the exact age and the name for those collecting a military pension or a widow’s pension. They are often the head of household, but occasionally they are listed living with another family member. These names and ages appear on the second page of each enumeration sheet. The statistics for this was used to publish A census of pensioners for revolutionary or military services, with their names, ages, and places of residence, as returned by the marshals of the several judicial districts, under the act for taking the sixth census. (Washington, Printed by Blair and Rives, 1841). This volume can be seen online at

    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.

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    Ancestors of American Presidents and Other Titles by Gary Boyd Roberts

    NEHGS is happy to announce the availability of the 2009 edition of Ancestors of American Presidents by NEHGS Senior Research Scholar Emeritus Gary Boyd Roberts. This new revised edition of Roberts's popular title has been updated to include information about the newly elected 44th president, Barack Obama, as well as new information about previous presidents. Building on the comprehensive research conducted for the previous edition, Roberts has exhaustively investigated the most reliable genealogical sources. Includes 160 charts and comprehensive index. On sale for $34.95 plus shipping.

    Also, you can save 20% on these other titles by Gary Boyd Roberts (prices on the following titles good until February 15th, 2009, while supplies last):

    Notable Kin, Volume 1, Normally $30.00 now $24.00

    Notable Kin, Volume 2, Normally $30.00, now $24.00

    Royal Descents of 600 Immigrants, Normally $75.00, now $60.00

    To order any of the titles by phone, please call toll free at 1-888-296-3447. Prices do not include shipping.

    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:

    Eckert Record: Story of Georg Bernhardt Eckert & His Descendants, 1793-1957 (Item P4-H09348)
    A Century and a Half of the Isaac Harrison Family, 1744-1899 (Item P4-H13476)
    Memorial of the Descendants of Amos Morris of East Haven, CT (Item P4-H19782)
    Col. William Rose of Tennessee, His Ancestors & Descendants, 1034-1938 (Item P4-H22698)
    John Gibson of Cambridge, MA & His Descendants, 1634-1899 (Item P32180000)

    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:


    Researching Your Police Ancestors
    Saturday, February 28, 2009, 10:00 AM
    Do you have a law enforcement officer in your ancestry? Join Margaret R. Sullivan, Records Manager & Archivist for the Boston Police Department to learn more about discovering your police ancestors.

    New Visitor Welcome & Library Orientation
    Saturday, March 7, 2009, 10:00 AM
    Starting your family genealogy can seem a little daunting at first. There is so much information found in a variety of locations. Let NEHGS help you make sense of it all by attending this FREE lecture for both members and non-members. This talk introduces you to the NEHGS research library, located at 99 Newbury Street in Boston. Founded in 1845, NEHGS is the country’s oldest and largest non-profit genealogy library and archive. With more than 15 million artifacts, books, manuscripts, microfilms, journals, photographs, records, and other items, NEHGS can provide researchers of every level some of the most important sources of information.

    You will also have an opportunity to describe your research interests to one of our expert genealogists on staff, who can offer some advice on how to proceed. The program starts with a thirty-minute introductory lecture and will be followed by a tour of the library and its vast holdings. Make plans to start your genealogy with this great tour.

    Wednesday, March 11, 2009, 10:00 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.

    NEHGS and The Irish Ancestral Research Association (TIARA) St. Patrick’s Day Seminar
    Saturday, March 14, 2009, 9:30 AM—12:30 PM
    This second annual jointly sponsored half-day seminar will feature two presentations, Irish Archives, Libraries and Genealogy Centres by Robert O'Neill, Ph.D and Public Health Records in Massachusetts: a Resource for Irish Family History Marie Daly. Robert K. O'Neill is the Burns Librarian at Boston College. He is the editor of Irish Libraries: Archives, Museums & Genealogical Centres, Marie Daly is Director of Library Services at the New England Historic Genealogical Society. She is the past president and co-founder of TIARA (The Irish Ancestral Research Association) and has been researching, lecturing, and writing about Irish genealogy since 1976.
    This event is free and open to TIARA and NEHGS members.

    Digging Your Ancestors Out of American State Papers & The U.S. Serial Set
    Saturday, March 21, 2009, 10:00 AM
    You have probably heard of the American State Papers and its private claims, but have you heard of the great treasures you can find in The U.S. Serial Set? What is the Serial Set and what will you find there? Join Connie Reik, M.S.L., M.A., Government Publications Coordinator and Reference Librarian at Tisch Library, Tufts University to learn how to search these resources efficiently for maximum results.

    Seminars and Tours
    For more information or to register for any of these events, please contact Ryan Woods at 617-226-1226 or

    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.

    Washington, D.C. Research Tour
    Sunday, March 8–Sunday, March 15, 2009
    NEHGS returns to the nation's capital to explore its wealth of genealogical resources. Staff will be providing daily consultations at three repositories throughout the city: the Library of Congress, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution Library and the National Archives and Records Administration. An orientation will be offered at each repository at the beginning of the week. Program registration includes two group dinners to socialize and share research.
    Registration fees (includes seven nights' lodging at the State Plaza Hotel): Single, $2,700; Double, $2,300 per person; Double with non-participant, $2,950; Commuter, $850 (no lodging).

    NEHGS Weekend Seminar—Phoenix, Arizona
    Saturday, March 21, 2009, 9:30 AM–4:00 PM
    Join expert genealogists from the New England Historic Genealogical Society for a one-day seminar devoted to best practices in family history research and presentations to help you find your New England ancestors.

    The conference will be held at The Foothills Golf Club, 2201 East Clubhouse Drive, Phoenix, AZ 85048. Registration includes a continental breakfast and deli lunch buffet. For directions, please visit

    The featured speakers will be Michael J. Leclerc, NEHGS director of special projects and Christopher C. Child, genealogist of the Newbury Street Press. Topics will include, Internet research methodology, DNA and its uses in genealogy, migrations from Western Massachusetts in 1790 and local resources for Arizona genealogists. Registration is $55 for members, $65 for non-members. To register, please call 617-226-1226.

    Massachusetts Archives Research Days
    Thursday, March 26, 2009
    Spend a day with NEHGS staff amidst the rich collection of the Massachusetts State Archives at Columbia Point, Boston. Archive resources include Massachusetts vital records, 1841–1915; Alien Port Arrivals, 1848–1891; State censuses, 1855 and 1865; and the Felt Collection containing Colonial-era and Revolutionary War land grant, military, tax, legislative, estate and early divorce records. Registration also includes a one-on-one consultation with an NEHGS genealogist.
    Registration fee: $55. Please call 617-226-1226 or email to register.

    Spring Research Getaway
    Thursday, April 16–Saturday, April 18, 2009
    Weekend Research Getaways in Boston are among the most popular NEHGS programs in recent years. Escape to 99 Newbury Street and experience a guided research program with one-on-one consultations and special access to the collections. Whether you are new to genealogy or have participated in an NEHGS research program before, a visit to our Boston library to experience our expert staff and vast collections will surely further your research.
    Since 1845 the NEHGS library has collected a vast number of compiled genealogies, local histories, census records, vital records, deeds, probates, and military records. The library has the latest in print, microtext, CD-ROM, and Internet resources. NEHGS also provides a highly trained research staff of professional genealogists who are eager to help you in your genealogical endeavors. While the strength of our collection is in American, English, Irish, Scottish, and Canadian records, with documents spanning seven centuries and covering more than 110 million names, we are able to provide important and essential information on more than just early American families. In addition to our rich archive, we have more than a dozen full-time professional genealogists who have significant experience and knowledge of German, Italian, African-American, Caribbean, French, Native-American, Jewish and Latin American records.
    Registration fees: $300 per registrant for full three-day program; $110 per registrant for single-day program. Registration includes a continental breakfast daily and two group meals.

    English Family History Tour
    Sunday, May 17–Sunday, May 24, 2009
    The English Family History Tour to London is an essential research trip for genealogists with British ancestry. Based at the Society of Genealogists (SoG), researchers will be offered daily classes providing historical context and research methodology tips for working with the extensive record collection of the SoG. The library's holdings include more than 120,000 books and microforms featuring census indexes; family histories; biographies; service, professional, and trade directories; an apprenticeship index (1710-1774), school and university lists, will and marriage license indexes; runs of Burke's Peerage and Landed Gentry; a large number of manuscripts arranged by surname; and a miscellaneous card index of 3 million references.
    Registration fees: (includes seven nights' lodging at the Holiday Inn Bloomsbury) Single, $4,850; Double, $4,550 per person; Double with non-participant, $5,550; Commuter, $2,300 (no lodging).

    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 weeklong program, "Come Home to New England." Research your roots with expert assistance at the extensive NEHGS library, one of the premier facilities for genealogical records 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.
    Registration fees: $750 per registrant; $125 per non-researching guest.

    Newfoundland Research Tour
    Sunday, July 12–Sunday, July 19, 2009
    Discover your Atlantic Canada family history with NEHGS in St. John's, Newfoundland. 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, and 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 newspapers of Newfoundland.
    Registration fees: (includes seven nights' lodging at the Fairmont Hotel) Single ocean view room, $3,250; Single city view room, $3,100; Double, $2,700 per person; Double with non-participant, $3,550; Commuter, $850 (no lodging).

    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 weeklong program, "Come Home to New England." Research your roots with expert assistance at the extensive NEHGS library, one of the premier facilities for genealogical records 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.
    Registration fees: $750 per registrant; $125 per non-researching guest.

    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 weeklong 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 ancestry. The main holdings of NAS include records created by the government of Scotland beginning in the twelfth century, including records of the crown, parliament, legal registers, courts documents, and records of the Church of Scotland. Vital records including birth, marriage, and death 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. Registration fees: (includes seven nights' lodging at the Sheraton Grand Hotel) Single, $4,750; Double, $4,450 per person; Double with non-participant, $5,350; Commuter, $2,300 (no lodging).

    For more information about NEHGS programs, visit or email

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    NEHGS Contact Information

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99 - 101 Newbury Street
Boston, Massachusetts 02116, USA

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