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  • The Weekly Genealogist

  •  Vol. 12, No. 41
    Whole #448
    October 14, 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.

    * Ben Affleck and Matt Damon Connection
    * Massachusetts Society of Genealogists Conference
    * Research Recommendations: Maps from the National Library of Scotland
    * Name Origins
    * New On
    * Spotlight: Allegany County, New York, Resource
    * Stories of Interest
    * The Great Migration, Volume VI
    * Upcoming Education Programs
    * NEHGS Contact Information




    Ben Affleck and Matt Damon Connection

    Genealogists to the Newbury Street Press Christopher Child and Rhonda McClure recently proved that Ben Affleck and Matt Damon have a common ancestor: William Knowlton, an Ipswich bricklayer who died in 1655. You can read more about the story in the Boston Herald.

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    Massachusetts Society of Genealogists Conference

    The annual meeting and conference of the Massachusetts Society of Genealogists (MSOG) will take place Saturday, October 24, 2009, from 9 AM to 4 PM at the First Parish Church (Hall), 24 Vernon Street, Framingham. Speakers include Michael Chesson, Ph.D., speaking on "Civil War Medicine, with a Focus on Dr. J. Franklin Dyer, Surgeonn for the 19th Massachusetts Infantry"; Melinde Lutz Sanborn, FASG, "Lost Babes: Birth Records and Maiden Names in Fornication Cases;" and MSOG Vice-President Connie Reik, "World War II in Federal Publications."

    For more details, including registration information, visit

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    Research Recommendations: Maps from the National Library of Scotland
    by Michael J. Leclerc

    The National Library of Scotland (NLS) has one of the largest cartographic collections in the world, with around two million maps and related items. Among the items in the collection are 15, 000 atlases; 100,000 maps on microfilm; more than 250,000 digital maps; and more than 1.5 million sheet maps.

    NLS has been working to provide greater access to their materials through cataloging and scanning. For example, a three-year project is underway to thoroughly document the Bartholomew Archive. The archive is the record of John Bartholomew & Son, Ltd., one of the greatest firms of map engravers, printers, and publishers in the country. Their first known map dates to 1825. The firm started printing operations in 1870 and continued for more than a century.

    Among the items available online is the firm’s 1912 Survey Atlas of Scotland. The online version includes 23 page of text from the original. These pages discuss the etymology of Scottish place names, a historical chronology of Scotland, occupations, and emigration from Scotland among other topics. Next are 68 map plates from the original. Clicking on one of the links for a location will open a page with more information on that map, plus a thumbnail picture of the map. Clicking on the thumbnail opens a new window that allows you to zoom in on the map. (Warning: NLS uses the MrSid viewer for their maps; this viewer is not fully supported for MAC users, who may have problems viewing the images). At the bottom of the page are five plates only published in the 1895 version of the Survey Atlas. One of interest to genealogists deals with languages spoken in different areas of the country at that time.

    The earliest maps on the site are Pont’s Maps of Scotland, which date back to the sixteenth century. 77 of these maps, drawn in the 1580s and 1590s, survive. Some cover a vast territory while others focus on smaller geographic areas.

    Some of the maps on their website date into the early twentieth century. Among them are the Ordnance Survey maps, from 1847 to 1930; estate maps, 1772–1878; the Roy Military Survey of Scotland, 1747–1755; Great Reform Act Plans and Reports from 1832; and Thematic Maps of Scotland, 1718–1932.

    While some maps are in black and white, a number are in vivid full color. Once you have explored the maps available online, make sure to search the catalog to see what other maps and other materials NLS has that would be of interest you. You can visit the maps section, and access the rest of the site, from

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    Name Origins
    by Julie Helen Otto

    BUENA VISTA (f): This Mexican place-name was occasionally bestowed about 1848, in honor of the American victory there in the Mexican War.

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    New On

    The Virginia Genealogist, Volumes 11–15

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

    Our Virginia Genealogist database currently contains Volumes 1–10. This update adds 32,851 names, 9,243 subject and article titles, and 1,212 browseable page images. The database may be searched by first and last name, or by subject/article title keywords. Page images may be accessed from the search results page. Once viewing a page image, buttons allow access to previous and next pages, or previous and next database hits. A “jump to page” feature allows direct access to pages by entering a volume number or year, and page number.

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    Spotlight: Allegany County, New York, Resource
    by Valerie Beaudrault

    Thelma Rogers Genealogical & Historical Society and Nathaniel Dyke Museum, New York

    The Thelma Rogers Genealogical & Historical Society and Nathaniel Dyke Museum is located in Wellsville, Allegany County, New York. The organization has made a number of resources available on its website, including:

    Biographies of Allegany County, NY
    There are a number of biographies of well-known individuals from Allegany County. They include businessmen, teachers, bankers, servicemen, and even an inventor. There are also biographies of lawyers and judges from the county taken from Allegany County and Its People: A Centennial Memorial History of Allegany County, NY by John S. Minard (W. A. Fergusson & Co., Alfred, NY, 1896).

    Blacksmiths, Timber, Sawmills & Nails
    This part of the website provides stories, background and photographs about some Allegany County industries. As noted on the webpage, all of the areas noted above are related to the timber industry.

    This section contains records and information from two funeral homes. There is a 50 Year Commemorative Memorial Yearbook from the Wildman Funeral Home of Whitesville, New York, covering 1934–1984. This funeral home served four counties—Allegany, Steuben, Potter and McKean. It contains an alphabetical listing of all burials by the funeral home during those years. There is also an alphabetical database containing records from the J. W. Embser & Sons Funeral Home for the period from 1913 to 1929. Click on the letter range link to access the individual records in the index. The data fields include name, birth date, date of death/age, burial date, cemetery, birthplace, father, mother, spouse, and comments. Comments include information such as place of birth of parents and occupation.

    The Cemeteries section contains transcribed lists of individuals buried in more than 100 cemeteries in towns throughout Allegany County.

    Maps of Allegany County
    There are several maps of Allegany County from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries on the website.

    This section contains digitized and transcribed obituaries of persons from Allegany County. For the main database, the obituaries are organized alphabetically by surname. There are ten additional collections of indexed obituaries available here. They are mostly in the form of indexed clippings, although some collections have been transcribed.

    There are also “Pictures of Yesteryear,” photographs and stories about Allegany County Schools, stories on the oil industry, a section on various types of roads and modes of transportation — early roads, plank roads, railroads, stagecoaches, and waterways, veterans service lists, and much more.

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    Stories of Interest

    Michelle’s Great-Great-Great-Granddaddy—and Yours
    Henry Louis Gates, Jr., discusses the recent story of Michelle Obama’s ancestry in the Washington Post.

    Watseka Woman Talks About Family History
    The Watseka Times Republic provides tips from Denise Corke, who teaches genealogy in the Iroquois County, Illinois, area.

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    The Great Migration, Volume VI

    Get in on the special pricing of The Great Migration: Immigrants to New England, 1634-1635, Volume VI, R-S by Robert Charles Anderson. Normally priced at $64.95, the NEHGS Book Store is offering it at $54.95 through October 31, 2009. Don’t miss out! Order your copy today at

    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:

    The Lauderdales of Scotland and America, 1056-1936 (Item P4-H17472)
    John Lee of Farmington, Hartford County, Connecticut, and His Descendants, 1634-1897 (Item P33342500)
    Genealogy of the Lefferts Family, 1650-1878 (Item P33345000)
    Erasmus Stevens, Boston, Massachusetts, 1674-1690, and His Descendants (item P4-H24495)
    Family of General John Stark, 1728-1822, of New Hampshire (Item P4-H24350)

    You can search the entire Classic Reprints catalog online at If you would like a list of FAQs and search tips for the Classic Reprints catalog, simply send an email with "Classic Reprints" in the subject line to

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    Upcoming Education Programs

    Each year the Society presents a number of dynamic lectures, seminars, and tours for genealogists and the general public. Programs are held at 99 Newbury Street unless otherwise indicated. For more information, please contact Ryan Woods at 617-226-1226 or

    You can view a full listing of upcoming programs:

    Seminars and Tours

    The Gods of Copley Square: Dawn of the Modern American Experience
    Wednesdays, October 7–October 28, 2009, 6–7:30 PM
    Back Bay Historical/The Global Boston Perspective has asked the New England Historic Genealogical Society to partner with it in presenting a series of historical lectures by Douglass Shand-Tucci in which Victorian Copley Square will be detailed for the first time through the exploding worlds of art and science, religion and architecture, medicine and psychology.
    Visit for more information.

    NEHGS Weekend Seminar—Oakland, Calif.
    Friday, October 23—Saturday, October 24, 2009
    Join NEHGS President and CEO D. Brenton Simons and California Genealogical Society President Jane Lindsey along with other NEHGS staff on Friday, October 23 for a seminar and dinner program in Oakland, California, devoted to helping you find your New England Ancestors. Michael J. Leclerc and Christopher Child, NEHGS genealogists will present talks on Researching Your New England Ancestors online; Western Massachusetts Families in 1790; and more. Capping off the day will be a dinner and presentation "The Lighter Side of Genealogy." On Saturday, October 24, NEHGS genealogists will hold research consultations for New England genealogy at the California Genealogical Society library.

    Salt Lake City Research Tour
    Sunday, October 25–Sunday, November 1, 2009
    Join NEHGS for our thirty-first annual research tour to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah. Along with more than 70 other participants, you are invited to take part in an intensive week of research where you will be aided by expert staff. Daily programming also includes computer tutorials for accessing the library card catalog, research tips and techniques lectures, personalized consultations and group dinning events.

    Boston University Certificate in Genealogical Research
    Saturdays, January 9—April 17, 2010.
    Developed in collaboration with nationally-recognized experts, the Certificate in Genealogical Research is ideal for those who wish to develop the knowledge and skills essential to conducting quality genealogical assignments. Offered on Saturdays over a 14-week period, the program provides hands-on training in basic genealogical principles, techniques, and core competencies, and leads to a Certificate in Genealogical Research from Boston University.
    NEHGS members receive a 10% tuition discount. For more information, visit

    For more information about NEHGS programs, visit or email

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    NEHGS Contact Information

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    Copyright 2009, New England Historic Genealogical Society
    101 Newbury Street, Boston, MA 02116

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