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  • The Weekly Genealogist

  • Vol. 12, No. 42
    Whole #449
    October 21, 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 Bible Records and City Directories in the Digital Library and Archive
    * Massachusetts Society of Genealogists Conference
    * Research Recommendations: Genealogical Writing: Footnotes vs. Endnotes
    * Name Origins
    * New On
    * Spotlight: Virgin Islands Resource
    * Stories of Interest
    * Half Off Sale
    * Upcoming Education Programs
    * NEHGS Contact Information


    New Bible Records and City Directories in the Digital Library and Archive

    The following bible records and city directories have been added to the NEHGS Digital Library and Archive. To browse lists of the items available online, please visit If you plan to view multiple items in the Digital Library, we recommend that you begin by logging in at Once you log in, you can click the “Search Catalog” button or the “New Books & E-books” link to start using the digital collections.

    Bible records from the R. Stanton Avery Special Collections at NEHGS for the following families:
    Copeland, Cutler, Gillmore, Gough, Gridley, Hewes, Penhallow, Ten Eyck, Thomson, Toppan, and Tuttle.

    City directories for the following locations and years:

    • Albany, N.Y.: 1844
    • Baltimore, Md.: Matchett’s Baltimore directory, 1829
    • Keene, N.H.: 1871
    • Los Angeles, Calif.: early telephone directory, 1882
    • New York, N.Y.: Longworth’s city directory, 1840.

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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, Surgeon 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: Genealogical Writing: Footnotes vs. Endnotes
    by Michael J. Leclerc

    When writing your family history, documenting your sources is of critical importance. For many beginning authors, the question is whether to use footnotes or endnotes for your work. While historical works generally use endnotes, those writing for genealogists are usually better served with footnotes. Why is this?

    • Footnotes allow readers to read the notes without losing your place in the text. Readers do not have to flip pages back and forth; the eye can shift to the bottom of the page and back up.
    • Notes for genealogies often include explanatory text in addition to the source citation. This is more easily read with ready access to the original text above.
    • When copying sections of compiled genealogies, footnote at the bottom of the page will be included. Endnotes might be lost if the user forgets to copy and include them as well.

    In times past some genealogists used embedded notes, set off by square brackets within the text. Depending on where the sources are embedded within the text, this can make prose more difficult to read. Fewer and fewer genealogists use this system any more because of the difficulties it presents, and the ease with which footnotes can be inserted in modern word processing systems.

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    Name Origins
    by Julie Helen Otto

    RAYMOND (m): This name, common today, is of Norman derivation. After the High Middle Ages, it was uncommon in English until the late–eighteenth century; as late as 1799 it was apparently exotic enough to be given to the protagonist of “Raymond: A Fragment,” an anonymous story in the Gothic mode by “Juvenis.”

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    New On

    Massachusetts Vital Records 1911–1915 — Just Added: 1914 Marriages.
    We are continuing to release the marriage records of the 1911–1915 period. This week, we are releasing the index and records for 1914 marriages. This consists of 86,121 names and 3,555 record page images. Please note that Boston marriage records in years 1914–1915 are printed on two record pages, an even-numbered "left hand" page and an odd numbered "right-hand" page.  For these records, please use the "Next Page" button to see the "right-hand" record page when viewing the record images.
    The indexes and records for marriages of 1915 will be released in the future.

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    Spotlight: Virgin Islands Resource
    by Valerie Beaudrault

    Digital Collection of the University of the Virgin Islands Libraries and Virgin Islands Division of Libraries, Archives & Museums

    University of the Virgin Islands (UVI) Libraries, in partnership with the Virgin Islands Division of Libraries, Archives & Museums (DLAM), developed a project to increase public access to information on Virgin Islands' history and culture. The project’s partners received a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) in 2000 in support of the project.

    Three collections that were digitized under the grant funding might be of interest to individuals with Virgin Islands ancestry. You should note that the original documents are in the holdings of the UVI and the DLAM libraries on St. Croix and St. Thomas. These include the following:

    Funeral/Memorial Booklets
    This digital collection contains Funeral and Memorial Booklets for hundreds of Virgin Islanders who died during the latter part of the twentieth century and the early twenty-first century. These booklets are generally 10–20 pages in length and contain a significant amount of genealogical and biographical details about the deceased. They also frequently include a photograph of the deceased. The original booklets are in Enid M. Baa Library of the Division of Libraries, Archives and Museums (DLAM).

    Project Introspection Materials
    The materials in this section were developed between 1965–1972 by the Virgin Islands Department of Education for the purpose of documenting social life and customs of Virgin Islanders. They were added to the digital collection for ease of dissemination. Documents found here include such titles as Brief Historical Notes on Schools of the Virgin Islands, European and African Influences on the Culture of the Virgin Islands, and Historical Account of the Purchase and Transfer of the Danish West Indies. You will also find a series of biographical sketches of more than sixty well-known Virgin Islanders.

    Historical Photographs
    The photography collection documents important events and individual in Virgin Islands history and culture. The late Geraldo Guirty, a journalist and historian who was born on St. Thomas in 1906, donated much of this historical collection. Several photographs have been digitized and uploaded to the website. They are organized by category. The categories include Economics, Historic Sites, People and Places, Politics, and Social life and Customs. First click on the category icon and then on the thumbnail of a photograph to enlarge it. Click on the Description tab to read about the photograph.

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    Stories of Interest

    Finding Your Roots
    Radio host Tom Joyner was interviewed recently on CNN about his participation in a new PBS special about African-American genealogy, and the surprising discovery about his family.

    Tom Joyner's Wrongly Executed Relatives Cleared — 94 Years Too Late
    National Public Radio ran a follow-up to the story above, taking about the exoneration of Joyner's ancestors by South Carolina officials.

    Commentary: Tracing Michelle Obana’s Roots — And Yours
    Professional genealogist Tony Burroughs, author of Black Roots: A Beginners Guide to Tracing the African American Family Tree, offered commentary last week on CNN about the misconceptions the public has that there are no records for African American research prior to the mid-1800s.

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    Half Off Sale

    For one week only we are offering 50% off the following titles:

    Researcher's Guide to Boston, $14.95, Now $7.48

    Guide to the Manuscript Collections of NEHGS, $24.95, Now $12.48

    Ancestral Lines, Third Edition, $70.00, Now $35.00

    Ancestral Lines from Maine to Virginia, $25.00, Now $12.50

    Medieval English Ancestors of Certain Americans, $35.00, Now $17.50

    Medieval Welsh Ancestors of Certain Americans, $40.00, Now $20.00

    Medieval English Ancestors of Robert Abell, $35.00, Now $17.50

    Marie-Therese, Child of Terror: The Fate of Marie Antoinette's Daughter, $39.99, Now $20.00

    Opening the Ozarks: First Families in Southwest Missouri, 1835-1839, $150.00, Now $75.00

    NEHGS Sun Catcher, $12.00, Now $6.00

    An American Family, 1575-1945: A History of the United States of America Viewed Through the Eyes of One Family, $35.00, Now $17.50

    Did you know that the NEHGS Book Store offers library-quality copies of over 10,000 rare and out-of-print books? Some titles ordered by recent customers include:

    History of Rockton, Winnebago County, Illinois, 1820-1898 (Item P5-IL0168H)
    History of Barnstable County, Massachusetts, 1620-1890 (Item P5-MA0365H)
    History of Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1630-1877, with a Genealogical Register (Item P5-MA0338H)
    History of Bolton, Massachusetts, 1738-1938 (Item P5-MA0378H)
    History of Otisfield, Berkshire County, Massachusetts, from 1734-1800 (Item P5-MA0322H)

    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.

    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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    99–101 Newbury Street, Boston, MA 02116

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