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  • The Weekly Genealogist

  • Vol. 11, No. 3
    Whole #410
    January 21, 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:
    * Help NEHGS Go Paperless
    * Obama's Irish Ancestral Town Mulls Heritage Center
    * Research Recommendations: Irish Ancestors
    * Name Origins
    * New On NewEnglandAncestors.org
    * Spotlight: Denton Public Library, Texas
    * Stories of Interest
    * Special Order Books
    * Upcoming Education Programs
    * NEHGS Contact Information

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    Help NEHGS Go Paperless

    I am pleased to announce that NEHGS is now offering our members the option of reading a paperless PDF edition of our flagship quarterly journal, The New England Historical and Genealogical Register. The fully-searchable and downloadable PDF edition will be published on http://www.newenglandancestors.org/ two to three weeks before the printed version is released. Older issues, published between 1847 and 2005, are already available on our website as a database.

    Members can now choose to stop receiving a printed journal, helping us to save thousands of dollars a month in printing and mailing costs, be more environmentally-friendly, and better utilize our precious resources.

    If you would like to read the electronic Register, or if you do not presently use it in your research, I urge you to help us “go green.” Contact our Member Services team at membership@nehgs.org or toll-free at 1-888-296-3447 and tell them that you wish to stop receiving the printed Register.

    We are proud to offer new issues of our eminent journal in this increasingly popular PDF format and are grateful to those who will make this cost-saving and environmentally-friendly option their delivery preference going forward.

    D. Brenton Simons
    President and CEO

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    Obama's Irish Ancestral Town Mulls Heritage Center

    The following news item about President Obama appeared recently on AFP:

    DUBLIN, Jan 16, 2009 (AFP) - An Irish town that claims to be an ancestral home of US president-elect Barack Obama is mulling plans for a heritage centre in his name, a spokesman said on Friday.

    Offaly County Council already owns the site of the demolished building in Moneygall, where Obama's great-great-great grandfather on his mother's side grew up before emigrating to the US in 1850.

    Councillor Peter Ormond will ask the council to consider building a heritage centre or museum on the site at a meeting next week. "I would like to see us put something in place pretty soon," he told AFP.

    "If Obama did decide to come in three or four year's time then we would have something in place. There is no point in trying to do it a few months before he comes," he added, saying that publicity about Obama's Irish roots has already led to an increase in US tourists to the area.

    Offaly is also the political power base of Prime Minister Brian Cowen, who invited Obama to visit when he telephoned Obama shortly after his election last November.

    The Moneygall site, which used to be known as Kearney's Gardens -- after Obama's ancestor Fulmouth Kearney -- was bought by the council about 10 years ago for "affordable homes."

    Local Church of Ireland canon Stephen Neill, who discovered Obama's Irish connections in parish records, and distant cousin Henry Healy have done a lot of research into the Kearneys, who had a shoe business in the town, said Ormond.

    "An Obama centre would be a big tourist attraction. Since there has been publicity about Moneygall a lot of people have been calling and I think that will continue," he said.

    If Obama does decide to look up his Irish roots he will be following in the footsteps of other presidents with an Irish heritage like Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan and John Kennedy.

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    Research Recommendations: Irish Ancestors
    by Michael J. Leclerc

    I’ve just returned from an eight-day cruise of the Caribbean with The Irish Ancestral Research Association (TIARA). While it is nice to sleep in my own bed, I do miss having someone clean my room for me every day! The trip included top-notch speakers from TIARA as well as from Ireland. I learned more about Irish resources in three days than I have in quite some time. Among the speakers were noted Irish specialist George Handran, who had the participants understanding what Griffith’s Valuation is (and isn’t) in ways they never imagined. Gregory O’Connor from the National Archives of Ireland (NAI) in Dublin and Valerie Adams of the Public Records Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) in Belfast introduced us to a mountain of source material housed in these repositories.

    Both NAI and PRONI have active programs for reviewing collections and making materials available online. The PRONI website, http://www.proni.gov.uk/, provides a great introduction to family history research in Northern Ireland and materials held at PRONI. In addition to their online catalog, PRONI currently has three major databases for genealogists. The Ulster Covenant was signed on September 28, 1912, in protest of the Third Home Rule Bill, which would have established a Home Rule Parliament in Dublin. The Covenant was signed by 237,368 men. The accompanying Declaration was signed by 234,046 women. Together they represent almost a half million adult residents of Ulster.

    Also available from PRONI are the Freeholders’ Records, records of pre-1840 voters in Northern Ireland. The register books include details of those who registered to vote, while the poll books are lists of voters and the candidates for whom they voted. There is also an explanation of what the requirements were to be a voter in different time periods. PRONI is also working to digitize the wills from the District Probate Registries of Armagh, Belfast, and Londonderry between 1858 and 1900. You can currently search the index to the will calendar entries. You will soon also be able to view images of the wills themselves online.

    NAI does not yet have as many records online as PRONI, but there are a large number of finding aids on their website, http://www.nationalarchives.ie/, that will help you to understand genealogical research in the Republic, and what records are and are not available at NAI. Their major online database project at the moment is the digitization of the 1901 and 1911 census records. The returns for the 1911 census in the counties of Dublin, Antrim, Down, and Kerry are currently available. The rest of the counties are scheduled to be released over the course of the next six months or so. The census project is a joint effort of NAI, PRONI, the National Library of Ireland, Dublin City Library and Archives, the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland, the Irish Railway Records Society, the Fingal County Council Archives, and Library and Archives Canada.

    TIARA president Mary Choppa gave an excellent overview of the history of Ireland and vice-president Mary Ellen Grogan gave us a number of excellent resources for Irish research. My particular favorite was the Irish Family History Foundation (IFHF). IFHF is a network of county-based genealogical research centers across all of Ireland. Their main website, http://www.irish-roots.ie/, contains information about IFHF and the research centers, as well as resources for Irish research. The centers have an ongoing project to make records available online through a pay-per-view site, www.irish-roots.ie/pay-per-view.asp. Searching the index is free (you must register as a user first). If you find records you want to look at, you can view and download images for a fee. You can search individual counties, or search all counties. The counties that are currently available are Antrim, Armagh, Cavan, Cork, Down, Dublin, Fermanagh, Galway, Kildare, Kilkenny, Leitrim, Limerick, Longford, Louth, Mayo, Roscommon, Sligo, Tipperary, Tyron, and Westmeath.

    TIARA did an excellent job with this genealogy conference at sea. If you are researching your Irish ancestors, look for more programs from this group in the future. Many thanks to George, Gregory, Valerie, Mary, and Mary Ellen for sharing their incredible knowledge and expertise.

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    Name Origins
    by Julie Helen Otto

    LORENZO DOW (m): Anyone with this name was so designated in honor of the very famous evangelist Lorenzo Dow (1777–1834).

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    New On NewEnglandAncestors.org

    The Connecticut Nutmegger
    www.newenglandancestors.org/database_search/Nutmegger_ct.asp

    This week, we are pleased to announce a collaborative effort of The Connecticut Society of Genealogists (CSG) and the New England Historic Genealogical Society – a searchable database version 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.

    This database will be released in stages over the next year, starting this week with volumes 1 to 6. 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 first installment indexes 12,347 names and 477 subject records.

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    Spotlight: Denton Public Library, Texas
    by Valerie Beaudrault
    www.cityofdenton.com/pages/libraryspecialcollections.cfm

    Denton is the county seat of Denton County, Texas. Its public library has a Special Collections department, containing genealogy, local history, and Texana collections. More specifically the Special Collections department collections include “over 10,000 books, family histories, microforms, scrapbooks, yearbooks, city directories, photographs, maps, and oral histories that focus on local and state history, and genealogy.” The library has made a number of indexes and other resources available on its website.

    Birth Indexes
    These indexes contain birth announcements published in the local newspaper, the Denton Record-Chronicle and other area publications. Indexes cover the period from 1909 through the 1990s, except for the 1980s. Researchers must contact the library for information about births that occurred during the 1980s. There is also a database, which is a work in progress that contains an index to births that took place before 1909. This database also includes full-text articles from Denton, Wise and Dallas newspapers and was last updated in April 2008. The data fields in the alphabetical indexes include the parents’ names, as they appeared in the newspaper, name of the city, date of birth, sex of the child and the newspaper citation.

    Marriage Indexes
    These indexes contain marriage announcements published in the local newspaper, the Denton Record-Chronicle, as well as other area publications. There are indexes that cover the period from 1930 through 2004, except for the 1970s. Researchers must contact the library for information about births that occurred during the 1970s and before 1930. There is also a database, which is a work in progress containing an index to marriages that took place before 1909. This database also includes full-text articles from Denton, Wise, and Dallas newspapers and was last updated in December 2008. As noted on the website, marriages after 2004 can be found in the Denton-Record Chronicle newspaper database on the library’s electronic resources page. The data fields in the alphabetical indexes include the bride’s name and groom’s name, as it appeared in the newspaper, date of the marriage, and the newspaper citation.

    Obituary Indexes
    These indexes contain obituaries and death notices published in the local newspaper, the Denton Record-Chronicle, and other area publications. There are indexes that cover the period from 1909 through 2004. There is also a database, which is a work in progress that contains an index to deaths that took place before 1909. This database also includes full-text articles from Denton, Wise and Dallas newspapers and was last updated in December 2008. As noted on the website, obituaries after 2004 can be found in the Denton-Record Chronicle newspaper database on the library’s electronic resources page. The data fields in the alphabetical indexes include the name of the deceased as it appeared in the newspaper; date or birth, if known; date of death; and the newspaper citation.

    Miscellaneous Denton County Information
    This section contains digitized documents related to the history of the City of Denton and other communities in Denton County. One of the items is an index to early news articles. This database is a work in progress. The data fields in the alphabetical “by subject” index include name/subject and article/citation.

    Research Resources
    Among the Research Resources are a 1950 census precinct map, A Guide to Denton County Genealogy Research, a Source Summary Sheet, and a guide to Using the Birth Death, and Marriage Indexes.

    Researchers can request copies of records from the library by email, mail, or telephone. There is a small fee for this service.

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    Stories of Interest

    A Reasoned Plea for a “Truth in Obituaries” Rule
    I read this editorial piece in the Fort Myers News-Press while visiting my parents recently. While not targeted to genealogists, it certainly serves as an excellent warning to us.

    The Caldwell’s: A Family’s Long Civil Rights Journey
    One black American family used the occasion of the historic inauguration of President Barack Obama to review their journey from slavery to the present day.

    Marquez Descendant Hopes to Restore Family Cemetery in Santa Monica Canyon
    Technicians are using ground-penetrating radar image equipment to determine the locations of buried bodies in the efforts to preserve this historic California graveyard.

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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:

    History of Red Wing, Minnesota (Item P5-MN0065H)
    Twentieth Century History of Berrien County, Michigan (Item P5-MI0020H)
    Cattaraugus County, New York, Cemeteries (Item P5-NY0455H)
    History of the County of Grey, Ontario, Canada (Item P5-ON0005H)
    History of Barrington Twp. And Vicinity, Shelbourne County, Nova Scotia, 1604–1870 (Item P5-NS0003H)

    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

    Author Talk: Boston Beheld: Antique Town and Country Views
    Wednesday, January 28, 2009, 7:00 p.m.
    The Ayer Mansion, 395 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston (between Massachusetts Avenue and Charlesgate East)

    NEHGS CEO D. Brenton Simons will speak on his new book, Boston Beheld: Antique Town and Country Views, published jointly by NEHGS and the University Press of New England, which contains more than sixty images of Boston and environs rendered during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. This acclaimed new book "gives both social and historical context to some of the finest views of Boston ever created. It's a pleasure to see these 'antique' representations of the city, many of them not on public display, collected in one informative and beautiful edition" (Malcolm Rogers, Director, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston).

    The Ayer Mansion is the only extant example of a domestic exterior and interior designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany. Built for Mr. and Mrs. Frederick Ayer between 1899 and 1902, the building is now a residence for women enrolled in Boston-area colleges and universities.

    Author Talk: Museum of Human Beings
    Saturday, January 31, 2009, 10:00 AM
    Join author Colin Sargent for a reading of his new historical novel, Museum of Human Beings, based on the life of Sacagawea’s son, Jean Baptiste Charbonneau.

    “As every schoolchild learns, Sacagawea was the Indian guide who led the Lewis and Clark expedition to the Pacific. She carried her infant son on her back. Museum of Human Beings is a stylish look at the fate of Sacagawea’s baby son--a work of imagination that draws on the extraordinary details of Charbonneau’s life. This memorable novel will captivate all who read it.” From the Library Journal and the Boston Globe. For more information about the book, visit http://www.museumofhumanbeings.com/.
    This event is free and open to the public.

    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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