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  • The Weekly Genealogist

  • Vol. 11, No. 1
    Whole #408
    January 7, 2009
    Edited by Michael J. Leclerc and Valerie Beaudrault
    enews@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:
    * Library Usage Up Dramatically
    * Research Library Returns to Regular Hours
    * Research Recommendations: GenealogyBank.com
    * Name Origins
    * New On NewEnglandAncestors.org
    * Spotlight: Billerica Public Library, Massachusetts
    * Stories of Interest
    * Special Holiday Bundle Pricing Extended
    * Upcoming Education Programs
    * NEHGS Contact Information

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    Library Usage Up Dramatically

    As genealogists, we know the value of the resources in local public libraries. Even those who start out doing research only on the internet will come to realize that not everything is out there, and that much of what they have found is actually false information. Local libraries, after a period of declining usage, are now finding their numbers up dramatically. This is due in no small part to the problems in the economy.

    The Boston Globe recently reported on the irony that budget cuts implemented by short-sighted governments may gut their services completely at a time when more people need them. You can read Keith O’Brien’s full story at http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2009/01/04/check_it_out/.

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    Research Library Returns to Regular Hours

    The Society's research library at 101 Newbury Street returns to normal hours this week: Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Wednesday from 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM.

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    Research Recommendations: GenealogyBank.com
    by Michael J. Leclerc

    A couple of years ago, Newsbank decided to create an online service that would be helpful to genealogists. Since that time, GenealogyBank.com has grown into a tremendous collection of electronic resources that are very valuable for genealogists.

    The information on GenealogyBank is divided into two sections: Historical Collections and Modern Collections. The Historical Collections section has three components. The first is Historical Books. This unique source provides the complete text of almost 12,000 genealogies, biographies, sermons, local histories, and more. These materials were all published in the United States between 1801 and 1900. In addition to the obvious genealogical value, many of these titles will allow you to get more information on how your ancestors lived. Thomas White Ruble’s The American Medical Guide for the Use of Families, published in 1810, allows you to understand medical treatments of the time. Various sales catalogues will show you examples of your family’s possessions in different eras.

    Historical Documents contains information from the American State Papers (1789–1838) and the U.S. Serials Set (1817–1980). These important records from the U.S. Congress include valuable information on military service, pensions for soldiers and widows, land grants, orphans, and more.

    Most important is the Historical Newspapers section, which includes more than 133 million articles from more than 2,500 newspapers published in the U.S. between 1690 and 1980. Every state is represented in this collection, providing a valuable source of marriage and death notices as well as obituaries and everyday news.

    The Modern Collections section contains almost 30 million obituaries published in more than 1,100 U.S. newspapers from 1977 to the present. Among the major newspapers represented are the Boston Evening Transcript, the Hartford Courant, and the Boston Globe. GenealogyBank also provides free access to the Social Security Death Index.

    An annual membership is $69.95. You can subscribe monthly for $19.95. They are currently offering a special 30-day introductory offer for $9.95. You can search without being a subscriber, but you must have a subscription to view results.

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    Name Origins
    by Julie Helen Otto

    KAREN (f): Scandinavian form of CATHERINE/KATHARINE.

    KATE/KATY (f): Nickname formed from CATHERINE/KATHARINE. An alternate spelling is CATY/CATE.

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    New On NewEnglandAncestors.org

    New Netherland Connections, Volume 8
    www.newenglandancestors.org/database_search/NewNetherlandConnections.asp

    The week, we are adding the contents of New Netherland Connections, Volume 8, from 2003. 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 dkoenig@LMI.net.


    Diaries of the Rev. Thomas Cary of Newburyport, Mass., 1762–1806
    Just added 1806
    www.newenglandancestors.org/database_search/diary.asp
    The Rev. Thomas Cary (1745–1808) started his diary in Weston, Massachusetts, in 1762. He wrote his notes opposite the pages of An Astronomical diary: Or, Almanack for the Year of Our Lord CHRIST 1762, which he “bot at Mr. Philips.” His entries are sparse, but invaluable. He continued his diaries until 1806, two years before his death.
    The original diaries are kept in the R. Stanton Avery Collections at NEHGS, call number MSS 640.
    The database contains transcriptions of Cary's notes, done by Marsha Hoffman Rising, CG, CGL, FASG, as well as images of the diaries. Additional years will be added regularly.

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    Spotlight: Billerica Public Library, Massachusetts
    by Valerie Beaudrault
    www.billericalibrary.org/main/genealogy.htm

    The town of Billerica is located in Middlesex County, about 20 miles northwest of Boston and just south of the city of Lowell. The town was incorporated in 1655. The Local History department of the Billerica Public Library has made a number of resources available on its website.

    Voices of Billerica
    Under the Voices of Billerica header, researchers will find John Farmer’s history entitled An Historical Memoir of Billerica, originally published in 1816. The book has been digitized and uploaded to the site. In addition, you will find a poem entitledTale of the Ancient Oak, about Billerica’s history from the perspective of an oak tree, written in 1934 by Edward Fowler Dickinson.

    Vital Statistics
    Currently, the library’s online vital records resources are limited to town births for the years 1896–1930. The data contained in these indexes has been transcribed from the Billerica Town Reports. The databases are organized by year and by name. The data fields include full name; month, day and year of birth; father’s given name, mother’s given name, and year recorded. It should be noted that the births for the years 1911 and 1914 are not available. More records will be added in the future.

    Cemeteries
    There are seven cemeteries in the town of Billerica: South, Old Corner, Rogers, Smallpox, North, Job Hill, and Fox Hill. Online indexes for five of the cemeteries have been prepared and uploaded to the library’s website. For the larger cemeteries the indexes include the following information: last name, first and middle name, parents’/spouse’s names, date of birth, date of death, and map location. Click on the Map link to open a new page with a map of the cemetery with plots locations listed.

    Miscellaneous Resources
    Memorials: This page contains the names of veterans from various wars whose names appear on plaques and monuments in town. They plan to add photographs to this page in the future.

    Photos/Maps: In this section researchers will find a 1939 Survey map of the town; a map of Ancient Billerica from Hazen’s History of Billerica, complete with its index; and a photograph of the Pollard School Cadets from 1911.

    Points of Interest: This section of the website contains twenty-nine images created by Nicholas Lazott, an Eagle Scout. In addition to Nicholas’s photographs of various sites of interest in Billerica, the documents included here contain historical photographs of the same sites and descriptions of each of these sites from the Billerica Historical Society and Billerica Museum.

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    Stories of Interest

    Who the Hell Writes Wikipedia Anyway?
    Wikipedia is a very popular source of information. Henry Blodget reports in the Silicon Alley Insider on a recent analysis of who exactly contributes to the online encyclopedia. Is it 1,400 obsessed freaks or tens of thousands of individuals?

    Reunited Brother and Sister Were Living Only 300 Yards Apart
    The Telegraph reports on the story of Ken Whitty and his sister Yvonne. Separated after the death of their parents, they hadn’t seen each other in almost 45 years, only to recently discover that they were living near one another.

    Saving Pieces of History
    Read about technicians in the University of Iowa’s conservation lab, working diligently to save items of historical significance.

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    Special Order Books

    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:

    Ancestry of Daniel Bushnell (Item P4-H04814)
    The Harmon Genealogy Comprising All Branches in New England (Item P32432500)
    History of the Redfearn Family (Item P4-H22083)
    William Slade of Windsor, CT, and His Descendants (Item P4-H23874)
    History of the Slaymaker Family (Item P4-H23886)

    You can search the entire Classic Reprints catalog online at www.newenglandancestors.org/store.asp.

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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 rwoods@nehgs.org.

    You can view a full listing of upcoming programs: www.newenglandancestors.org/events/6816.asp.

    Lectures
    Researching Your Italian Ancestors
    Saturday, January 10, 2009, 10:00 AM
    Join genealogist to the Newbury Street Press Rhonda McClure as she discusses the resources available at our Boston library to help you find your Italian roots.

    Using NewEnglandAncestors.org
    Wednesday, January 14, 2009, 10:00 AM
    With over 110 million names in 2,200 databases, NewEnglandAncestors.org is the primary internet resource for New England genealogy. This free lecture will offer an overview of the Society’s website and online databases.

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

    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.

    Finding Your Family: Best Research Practices
    Saturday, January 24, 2009 , 9:30 AM–4:00 PM
    Join expert NEHGS genealogists for a two-track seminar exploring best practices in genealogical research. Topics will include the most effective strategies for researching family history online and how to best prepare for visiting libraries and repositories. Whether you are a seasoned genealogical researcher or a new family historian, this seminar is sure to advance your research skills.
    Registration: $70 (includes continental breakfast).

    Winter Research Getaway
    Thursday, February 5–Saturday, February 7, 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.

    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).

    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 http://www.newenglandancestors.org/programs_events.asp or email mailto:tours@nehgs.org.

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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 www.newenglandancestors.org/publications/eNews.asp.

    NEHGS eNews, like all of our programs, is made possible through the generous contributions of our members. For more information about giving to NEHGS visit www.newenglandancestors.org/support.asp.

    To view the website of the New England Historic Genealogical Society, please visit http://www.newenglandancestors.org/.

    To become a member of the New England Historic Genealogical Society, please visit http://www.newenglandancestors.org/join.asp.

    Copyright 2010, New England Historic Genealogical Society
    101 Newbury Street, Boston, MA 02116

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