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  • The Weekly Genealogist

  • Vol. 11, No. 8
    Whole #415
    February 25, 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.

    * New Online Exhibit
    * Gary Boyd Roberts on NECN
    * Research Recommendations: Reunion for iPhone
    * Name Origins
    * New On
    * Spotlight: Atlantic County Library System, New Jersey
    * 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

    In our final installment highlighting African American manuscripts, we present pages from the original account book of Capt. Ethan Earle of Boston, commander of the First Kansas Colored Volunteer Regiment Company F. His account book contains a 28-page history of the regiment, a list of the regiment’s field, staff and line officers, and the roll of soldiers in Company F. The roll is followed by monthly lists concerning the issuance of clothing to the Company.

    You can view the exhibit at

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    Gary Boyd Roberts on NECN

    Senior Research Scholar Emeritus Gary Boyd Roberts was interviewed on Presidents Day last week by New England Cable News. Gary was discussing his newest book, Ancestors of American Presidents, 2009 Edition, that was recently published by the Society. You can watch Gary’s interview at

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    Research Recommendations: Reunion for iPhone
    by Michael J. Leclerc

    Reunion has long been the standard program for Macintosh users to use for their genealogy. Leister Productions has now released a companion application for use on the iPhone and iPod Touch that is sure to delight everyone who uses it.

    This full-featured program allows you to carry your family history with you everywhere your phone can go. Not only that, you can download multiple family files, allowing you to access all of your research.

    The family card display is a slimmed-down version of the card view on the desktop version of Reunion. When downloading, you can choose to include pictures as well as information.

    Clicking on a person opens up their personal information. Clicking on a child or parent opens that person’s family card. Clicking on the links icon opens up a window where you can see the parents, spouses and children of that person.

    You can edit any of the information in the family file on your iPhone. Imagine being able to transcribe cemetery information directly into your database while standing in front of the stone! And you won’t have to lug your notebook computer into the middle of a field to do it.

    When you make changes to your files on your iPhone or iPod Touch, you will need to sync the information back to your Mac. You cannot, however, sync the changes in both directions. Once you have the changes imported to your Mac, delete the file from your iPhone or iPod Touch and replace it with an updated version downloaded from your computer.

    Large family files may be slow to load and navigate. I loaded a file with 8,000 people in more than 4,700 families, and experienced some slowdown when navigating in a number of views.

    One inconvenience is that you cannot use a USB cable to sync to your computer. Apple restricts this functionality to Apple software. All other programs, including Reunion, must use your WiFi to download the software and sync family files.

    Before purchasing the app and downloading it from the App Store, make sure that you have downloaded the most recent versions of software for both Reunion and for your iPhone or iPod Touch. You must have Reunion 9.08 or higher to use the Reunion for iPhone app. Upgrading is free for those using version 9.x. If you are using an older version of Reunion, you will need to purchase a version 9 upgrade prior to purchasing the app.

    The biggest drawback to this excellent app is the price. At $14.99, this app is dramatically more expensive than the average app price, which is well under $5. Still the convenience of being able to use your database in places that are inconvenient to take your desktop or notebook computer may make it worth the investment.

    You can read more about Reunion for iPhone on the Leister Productions website at Watch a Quicktime video about the app at

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    Name Origins
    by Julie Helen Otto

    Names can be formed by adding suffixes to form the name. For example, the dimunitives suffixes of -ELLA (Italian-derived), -ELLE (French-derived), and -ILLA or -ILLE (Latin-derived) are often used to coin names, usually female.

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    New On

    The Connecticut Nutmegger

    This week, we continue the presentation of a collaborative effort of The Connecticut Society of Genealogists (CSG) and the New England Historic Genealogical Society – additional searchable volumes of The Connecticut Nutmegger.

    The Nutmegger has served as the “journal of record” for CSG for forty years. During this time it has captured a wealth of information, including vital records, probate records, bible records, headstone records, memorials and other useful records. Well-documented family histories and genealogical articles, covering hundreds of families—mainly with Connecticut ties—have been presented. Published articles include commentary on and corrections to previously published family lines, vital records and town histories. Book reviews, research tips, queries and other valuable tools for genealogists have been presented.

    Additional volumes will be added to this database over the next year, continuing this week with volumes 7 to 11. Additional sets of five volumes will be added periodically. The database search facility is very similar to that of the Register and allows searches by last and/or first name, or by subject keywords. Images of the original pages may be seen from the search results page. It is also possible to browse the pages of the Nutmegger by entering a year or volume number, and a page number. This installment indexes 8,760 names and 276 subject records contained in 3,472 pages.

    Social Security Death Index - Free Access
    Updated through December, 2008
    The SSDI, taken from the U.S. Social Security Administration's Death Master File, is one of the key resources available to genealogists today. It contains those individuals who were assigned Social Security numbers and whose death was reported to the SSA. Data is now current through December, 2008. Access to the SSDI is FREE to all who visit This database now contains the names of 83,781,534 individuals, most of whose deaths were recorded after 1965.

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    Spotlight: Atlantic County Library System, New Jersey
    by Valerie Beaudrault

    The Atlantic County Library System, based in Mays Landing (an unincorporated area in Hamilton Township, New Jersey), operates ten area branches and a bookmobile. A number of digital resources available through the library’s website are useful to genealogists.

    Egg Harbor City German Project—Exploring Atlantic County’s German Immigrant Experience
    The Atlantic County Library System and the Egg Harbor City Historical Society received a grant from the New Jersey State Library for a project on the German immigrant experience in Egg Harbor City, New Jersey. Through this grant more than 600 photographs and many documents related to the German immigrant experience were digitized and indexed. Highlights of the collection in more than a dozen topic areas are available on the library’s website. The complete collection is available on the New Jersey Digital Highway. Click on the “Search the New Jersey Digital Highway” link to access search boxes for the rest of the collection. The materials there include photographs, and indexes for an 1862 property tax ledger book and more than 2,000 US Immigration and Naturalization Records.

    There are more than 5,000 newspapers in the library’s digitized newspaper collection. They cover the period 1860–1923. The titles and dates of the individual newspapers are: Atlantic Journal (1860); Hammonton Farmer (1863 and 1866); South Jersey Republican (1863–1923); Atlantic Democrat and Cape May County Register (1864–1865); Atlantic Democrat and Cumberland County Patriot (1866); Atlantic Democrat (1866, 1867–1868); Hammonton Item (1872–1877); Mays Landing Record (1877–1906); Atlantic County Record (1908–1917); and South Jersey Star (1917–1923). The newspapers can be searched by keywords. You will need the free Adobe Reader to view the newspaper images. Click on the newspaper link to bring up the PDF image of complete newspaper. Use the Find function to locate your keyword in the newspaper.

    Immigration Records
    This collection contains thousands of immigration records, both declarations of intention and correspondence. They cover the period 1850–1930. These records are currently being indexed and posted to the website. The online collection currently contains mostly declarations of intention. The Immigration Record database is indexed by last name. The project is ongoing. Two thousand six hundred (2,600) records have been indexed to date. You can search the index by last name or browse through the alphabetical by surname list. Click on the surname link to view a digital image of the record.

    Civil War Era Records—Mustered Out Records
    This section contains a database of “mustered out” (discharge) records of US Civil War Veterans from Atlantic County. The database was created from a ledger book containing about 400 names of mostly Atlantic County Civil War veterans. The ledger book lists the following information: “date of muster, regiment, rank, name, city of residence, married or single, whether or not the solder had a widowed mother, date of discharge and if the soldier was listed as a deserter.” The database can be searched by last name or browsed through alphabetically. The digitized records are in PDF format. Click on the veteran’s name to view a PDF image of the ledger book page.

    Wills, Orphans Court and Letters of Administration
    The Wills, Orphans Court and Letters of Administration collection is a part of the library’s digitization project. This collection contains more than 8,000 wills, guardianship files, and documents from Atlantic County's Orphan's Court. They cover the period from 1837 to 1921. The images in this database are available on the library’s website in Adobe PDF format. Enter the surname of the individual you are seeking in the search box to bring up a list of individuals with that surname. Click on the surname link to view the Detail page, which shows all of the Wills, Guardianship and Orphan's Court database associated with that record. Click on the “Show Image #1” to view the first record associated with this record. Additional image links will be listed below the text.

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    Stories of Interest

    National Archives Facility in Waltham Looks to Broaden its Appeal
    NARA in Waltham is looking to become a destination for students to learn about government.

    French Battleship Intact After Nearly a Century Under Water
    A French battleship sunk by German torpedoes in 1917 is lying upright and almost intact at the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea, where it was found by an unmanned submarine surveying a proposed gas pipeline route between Italy and Algeria.

    You Must Publish These Books in English
    The Jews of Pinsk 1506–1880, first published in Hebrew in 1973, has finally been published in English, documenting this large city in Belarus whose Jewish population (27,000 out of a total population of 30,000) was almost entirely wiped out during the Holocaust.

    Slave in Jefferson Davis’ Home Gave Union Key Secrets
    William Jackson was a slave in the home of Confederate president Jefferson Davis during the Civil War. It turns out he was also a spy for the Union Army, providing key secrets to the North about the Confederacy.

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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.

    Can you help me sort out the division of a Massachusetts town? I am very confused by what is the history of the Bridgewater, Plymouth Co., Massachusetts, boundaries and splits of the communities. My late aunt had done substantial research, however some of her records say North Bridgewater, West Bridgewater, or even Brockton for the same event.

    The town of Bridgewater was originally known as “Duxborrow New Plantation” until it was incorporated into a town June 3, 1656. On June 15, 1821, part of Bridgewater was established as North Bridgewater. North Bridgewater was officially changed to Brockton on May 5, 1874. On February 16, 1822, another portion of Bridgewater was established as the town of West Bridgewater. And finally on February 20, 1823, part of Bridgewater was established as the town of East Bridgewater.

    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

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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 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. Prices good thru March 8th, 2009, 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 Mower County, Minnesota (Item P5-MN0006H)
    A Century & A Quarter of History: Geneva, NY, from 1787-1912 (Item P5-NY0098H)
    The Schwenkfelders in Pennsylvania: A Historical Sketch (Item P5-PA0138H)
    History of Hartford, VT, July 4, 1761-April 4, 1889 (Item P5-VT0025H)
    History of Rochester and Monroe County, NY, from Earliest Historic Times to the Beginning of 1907—2-volume set (Item P5-NY0136H)

    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 "The Health of Our Ancestors: Public Health from the 17th through the 20th Centuries," by 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 a former 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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