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  • The Weekly Genealogist

  • Vol. 12, No. 45
    Whole #452
    November 11, 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.

    * Introducing American Ancestors Journal
    * Upcoming Webinar
    * Research Recommendations: Effectively Using the IGI
    * Name Origins
    * New On
    * Spotlight: Elgin County Branch, Ontario Genealogical Society
    * Stories of Interest
    * Used and Remaindered Book Sale
    * Upcoming Education Programs
    * NEHGS Contact Information


    Introducing American Ancestors Journal

    This is to introduce American Ancestors Journal, the first annual supplement to the Register. The creation of this new vehicle for communicating valuable scholarship beyond New England will serve our geographically diverse audience with first rate content and, at the same time, broaden our institutional reach. American Ancestors Journal is automatically included with NEHGS membership, and is available in both print and paperless PDF formats.

    American Ancestors Journal provides readers genealogical content of national scope, with an emphasis on New York State and out migrations from New England. This first issue is thirty-six pages, and future issues may be longer. The editors are Henry B. Hoff and Helen Schatvet Ullmann, who are also the editor and associate editor of the Register, respectively.

    Many good articles have been submitted to the Register that had only a minimal connection to New England — or none at all. Articles like these will now be considered for American Ancestors Journal. The editors are looking for short articles (eight pages or less), that solve identification problems or present a brief genealogy in the eighteenth and/or nineteenth centuries, with an emphasis on New York State and out migrations from New England.

    The most recent survey of NEHGS members revealed that New York research was of great interest to members, second only to Massachusetts. The creation of American Ancestors Journal is one response to that survey. Other NEHGS initiatives for New York State research include the addition of New York material on, particularly “Abstracts of Wills, Administrations and Guardianships in NY State, 1787–1835,” an essential resource for upstate New York research. Each issue of New England Ancestors now has a “Focus on New York” column, in addition to periodic New York articles. And a separate website,, has been created.

    We continue to work hard at NEHGS to create new ways in which we can serve our members and fulfill the Society’s mission to collect, preserve, and interpret materials to document and make accessible the history of families in America.

    D. Brenton Simons
    President and CEO

    October 2009 New England Historical and Genealogical Register Table of Contents


    Peter and Jane (_____) Freeman of Ipswich, Massachusetts, and Their Descendants in Maine: An African-American Family
    Bruno Giles

    The Origin of Gabriel1 Whelden of Yarmouth and Malden, Massachusetts
    Jan Porter and Daniel F. Stramara, Jr.

    Identifying Anna Wheeler of Stonington, Connecticut (1675–1714), as the First Wife of Jeremiah Halsey of Southampton, Long Island
    Mary M. Thacher

    Nathaniel Porter (1692–1758) of Farmington and Bethlehem, Connecticut, and His Family
    Bryson Caldwell Cook and Janet Stacey Porter (continued from 163:182)

    Revised Ancestry for William Moulton of Hampton, New Hampshire, Including Some Revisions of the Early Ancestry of His New England Cousins
    Myrtle Stevens Hyde (concluded from 163:173)

    Humphrey Blake (1494?–1558) and His Descendants in New England and South Carolina: Blake, Richards, Selleck, Torrey, and Wolcott
    Clifford L. Stott (continued from 163:211)

    Hawks Family Record

    Additions and Corrections

    Index of Subjects in Volume 163

    Index of Persons in Volume 163

    Annual Table of Contents of Volume 163

    American Ancestors Journal, First Annual Supplement to the Register Table of Contents


    Revolutionary War Captain Cornelius Wiltsie of Pittstown, New York
    Abbott Lowell Cummings

    Jonathan Wood (1747–1820) of Little Compton, Rhode Island, and Dutchess County, New York
    Michael M. Wood

    The Tudor Family of Barbados, Boston, New York City, Newport, and Bermuda
    Henry B. Hoff

    Index of Persons

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    Upcoming Webinar

    NEHGS and Family Tree Magazine are co-hosting an exciting and informative online lecture, “Brick Wall Strategies: Advice and Ideas for Getting Past Research Dead Ends” on Wednesday, November 18, at 7:00 p.m. (EDT).

    Join NEHGS Online Genealogist David Allen Lambert and Family Tree Magazine Editor Allison Stacy as they discuss getting past stubborn “brick walls” during your research. Participants will learn how to assess research problems, get tips for surmounting common brick wall scenarios, and discover how professional genealogists conquer research challenges.

    Save 20% on registration by registering before Thursday, November 12, at midnight. Register today or learn more at

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    Research Recommendations: Effectively Using the IGI
    by Michael J. Leclerc

    The International Genealogical Index (IGI) on has a great deal of information of use to genealogists. Unfortunately, because much of it comes from undocumented patron submissions, the value varies greatly.

    That said, one should not throw out the baby with the bathwater, so to speak. On our recent tour in Salt Lake City, one of the participants found a large number of dates and places of birth and marriage in England that were patron submissions, yet turned out to be correct. The secret is to look at the information as a clue and use it to find original records. One way to immediately separate more accurate from less accurate information is to look at the dates. Does the entry have exact dates or “about” dates? Those with complete dates may be more accurate. Another clue is the location. If the entry has a location that starts with “of,” (as in “Of, Blidworth, Nottingham, England) or if it is included in angle brackets (e.g. <Doncaster, Yorkshire, England>) it is an indicator that the record is a patron submission.

    Beneath the record in IGI entries is source information for that record. It often will say “Record submitted by a member of the LDS Chur” The original submissions were microfilmed, and you can rent the microfilm through your local Family History Center. Most of them will not have any additional information, but occasionally the information is listed on family group sheets, which may give you more information on the family, or reveal the individual’s source for the IGI record.

    In addition to patron submissions, the IGI has a large number of extracted entries. The message field for these records states that is an extraction. In the Source Information section you will find the Batch Number, Dates, Source Call Number and Type. You may also find a Printout Call Number and Type. Most extractions begin with a C (for baptisms/christenings) or an M (for marriages). Other Batch Numbers may begin with an A, F, I, L, etc.

    Hugh Wallis has created a website that has lots of information on IGI Batch Numbers. In addition to explaining the difference to the types of batches (and providing links to article that discuss even more types of batches), there are direct links into the IGI to search extraction batches for specific locations. This was extremely helpful to me in Salt Lake City when I was attempting to locate a record I knew should be in a specific place. You can find his website at

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    Name Origins
    by Julie Helen Otto

    HUMPHREY (m): Of medieval origin; believed derived from ONOFRIUS (cf. Spanish ONOFRE).

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    New On

    Massachusetts Vital Records 1911–1915 — Just Added: 1915 Marriages.

    We conclude the release of the marriage records of the 1911–1915 period with the index and records for 1915 marriages. This release consists of 84,145 names and 3,493 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.

    Register Table of Contents

    The browsable table of contents for past issues of the Register has been updated to include the October 2009 issue.

    Return to Table of Contents


    Spotlight: Elgin County Branch, Ontario Genealogical Society
    by Valerie Beaudrault

    The Elgin County Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society is located in the city of St. Thomas in southwestern Ontario. The genealogical society has made a number of resources available on its website. Click on the links in the contents list to access them. Resources include the following.

    Cemetery Transcriptions
    This section of the website contains transcriptions from more than 100 cemeteries in Elgin County. The databases can be searched on the Cemeteries homepage or browsed by clicking on the cemetery name link. In addition to the transcribed records, you will find location information and, frequently, a brief description or history of the cemetery.

    Funeral Home Records
    The genealogical society’s holdings include records from a number of funeral homes and undertakers in Elgin County. The society has compiled an index to the records. The data fields in the records may include surname, first name, year of death, and page number. The society will provide extractions of genealogical information from the records for $5 per name. Because of restrictions on the release of private information, such as cause of death and financial information, they cannot provide photocopies of the original records.

    Elgin Newspaper Indexes
    The genealogical society has indexes to three area newspapers on its website. They are the Aylmer Express (1891–1979); Dutton Advance (1910 through 1965); and the St. Thomas Times-Journal (partial postings 1928–1949, with 1906–1950 in progress). Click on the newspaper title link to access each newspaper database. The databases index vital events published in the newspapers. For a fee the Elgin OGS will provide copies of articles found in the newspaper indexes.

    Elgin County Census Indexes
    There are a number of census indexes on the website. These include the 1828 Militia Rolls for Malahide Township, individual 1842 census indexes for 7 townships in Elgin County, and indexes for Elgin County censuses in 1852, 1871, 1881, 1901, and 1911.

    Elgin County Vital Records
    There are nine vital records databases on the website. They comprise indexes to Anglican and Catholic Church records: baptisms, marriages, and deaths/burials, and an index to The Register of Marriages, County of Elgin 1853–1873, and some London District Marriage Records. The various records cover the time period from 1815 to 1938. Click on the links to view the individual indexes.

    Elgin Township Land Papers
    The Elgin Township Land Papers database covers seven Elgin County Townships: Alderborough, Bayham, Dunwich, Malahide, South Dorchester, Southwold, and Yarmouth. The Township Land Papers are “a miscellaneous collection of documents relating to early transactions and correspondence to the lots of land in each township.” They are an important source of information for genealogists and family historian. The Papers provide an index and brief description of the contents of each document on the microfilm. The index also records the names of people that may never have obtained title to the lot and the names of people who witnessed documents.

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    Stories of Interest

    Cemeteries Breath Life into Tourists
    CNN reports on the popularity of graveyard tourism, a concept not unusual for genealogists.

    ITV's £25m Friends Reunited sale hit by competition fears
    The Telegraph reports that the sale of Friends Reunited to Brightsolid has been referred to the Competition Commission over concerns that the new owner will dominate the online genealogy market. Stands the Test of Time
    BusinessWeek reviews last week’s IPO of, including concerns potential investors should address before purchasing stock.

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    Used and Remaindered Book Sale

    The NEHGS Sales department will be having a sale on used and remaindered books starting Thursday, November 12, 2009. Used book titles cover a wide variety of subjects, and remaindered books have had prices slashed up to 80%.

    To receive a copy of titles, prices and ordering instructions, please send an email with the word “November” in the subject line to Please note that this list will NOT be available until 5:00 PM EST on Thursday, November 12. This sale will run through Tuesday, November 17. 2009, while supplies last.

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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

    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 2010, New England Historic Genealogical Society
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New England Historic Genealogical Society
99 - 101 Newbury Street
Boston, Massachusetts 02116, USA

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