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  • The Weekly Genealogist

  • Vol. 12, No. 50
    Whole #457
    December 16, 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.

    * Virtual Tour of Society Headquarters
    * Holiday Closures
    * Research Recommendations: Genealogical Writing: Abbreviations and Acronyms
    * Name Origins
    * New On
    * Spotlight: Online Cemetery Records
    * Stories of Interest
    * Holiday Bundles
    * Upcoming Education Programs
    * NEHGS Contact Information


    Virtual Tour of Society Headquarters

    Be among the first to take a new, virtual, ten-minute tour of the Society's Boston headquarters, highlighting members of the staff, collections and NEHGS treasures.You can watch this special view into NEHGS at

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    Holiday Closures

    The Society will have limited hours over the last two weeks in December to allow the staff to enjoy the holidays. The hours for the administrative offices and research library will be:

    Thursday, December 24 (Christmas Eve), Close at 1:00 p.m.
    Friday, December 25 (Christmas Day), Closed
    Saturday, December 26, Research Library Open, Administrative Offices Closed
    Thursday, December 31 (New Year’s Eve) Close at 3:00 p.m.
    Friday, January 1 (New Year’s Day), Closed
    Saturday, January 2, Research Library Open, Administrative Offices Closed

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    Research Recommendations: Genealogical Writing: Abbreviations and Acronyms
    by Michael J. Leclerc

    You may have read somewhere that you should never use abbreviations, acronyms, or symbols when you write. Despite this old adage, it is perfectly appropriate to use some of these even when you are writing formally, especially when you are using them in conjunction with given names.

    The courtesy titles of Mr. and Mrs. are never spelled out in front of a proper name. And I have never seen a full version of the acronym Ms., have you? Likewise, one rarely sees political titles, such as Senator or Representative, spelled out. One refers to Sen. Kerry or Rep. Kennedy. The same is true for military ranks (such as Maj. or Gen.) and occupational titles (such as Dr.).

    This rule is not limited to titles that precede names. Academic degrees and other post-nominals (such as B.A., Ph.D., or C.G.) are routinely abbreviated. Time modifiers are almost always abbreviated as well. When was the last time you saw someone write the time of a meeting as 7:30 Post Meridiem instead of 7:30 P.M.?

    Business acronyms are routinely used in place of the long names of companies. Do you say you watch Brothers & Sisters on the American Broadcasting Company, or on ABC? Business suffixes, such as Inc., Co., Corp., and Ltd., are also acceptable.

    How many genealogy magazines do you know of that run articles discussing “deoxyribonucleic acid” vs. the ones that talk about “DNA?” When you use acronyms, however, make sure you are extra careful in your proofreading. It wouldn’t do for you to discuss the benefits of using the resources of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (commonly called LDS) and accidently write LSD (which stands for lysergic acid diethylamide, a psychedelic, and quite illegal, drug). You might receive a letter or two about that.

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    Name Origins
    by Julie Helen Otto

    DELIA (f): A name derived through pastoral poetry/romance from Greek mythology, DELIA is the feminine form of the adjective describing Delos, birthplace of the powerful twin gods Apollo and Artemis, children of Zeus by the goddess Leto. Researchers in Irish-American genealogy must also remember that in nineteenth-century America, DELIA was often used to substitute for BRIDGET. It often appears as an abbreviation for the Norman French-derived ADELIA. In late eighteenth-century America, DELIA appears to have been used not only in its own right, but as a convenient “updated” female form of the Puritan name DELIVERANCE (like many Puritan “virtue” names, used originally for either sex).

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    New On

    Vital Records of Belfast, Maine, to the year 1892

    From the introduction to volume 1:

    “The Shire town of Belfast was first settled in 1770 by persons from Londonderry, N.H., and was incorporated June 22, 1773. The settlement was broken up by the British in 1779, and was re-established in 1784. In 1845 a portion of the town, with a part of Prospect, was incorporated as Searsport. In 1853 the city charter was adopted.”

    This database contains the records of 5,588 births, 10,286 marriages, and 4,981 deaths. The pages of the original book may be viewed from the search results page.

    Records of the Church of Christ in Buxton, Maine, 1763–1844 

    From the introduction to the book:

    “This pamphlet contains ‘The Records of the Church of Christ in Buxton’ during the pastorate of the Rev. Paul Coffin, D.D.; that is, from the first formation of the church, March 16, 1773, until the ordination of his colleague, Rev. Levi Loring, Oct. 22, 1817."

    This database contains the records of 604 baptisms, 965 marriages, 34 deaths and 159 other church records. The pages of the original book may be viewed from the search results page.

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    Spotlight: Online Cemetery Records
    by Valerie Beaudrault

    Arizona Gravestone Photo Project

    As stated on the Arizona Gravestone Photo Project, “the mission of this family history project is to capture digital images of gravestones of our ancestors” before the inscriptions disappear with the passage of time. The searchable database contains 70,400 gravestone photo records from across the state.

    Researchers can browse the website by cemetery or search the database by surname. You can perform a Quick Search by surname from the homepage. You can limit the search by county.

    Click on the Cemeteries tab to browse the gravestone records by cemetery. You must first select a county. The search results returned are in the form of a list of cemeteries. Click on cemetery name link to access list of those buried in cemetery click and on the individual’s name link to view photographs and read any info available about the deceased and location of cemetery.

    Click on the Search Gravestones link that appears in the bulleted list on any search page to access the custom search function. With a custom search you can limit your search by county, search by surname or given name, and further tailor your search by selecting “starts with,” “contains,” or “sounds like.” The data fields in the search results include deceased’s name, cemetery name, county, and date updated. Click on the name link to view a photograph and any available information. If you click on the cemetery name it will bring up a list of everyone in that cemetery.

    If you have photographs of gravestones in Arizona cemeteries in your collection, you can add them to the website by following the instructions found by clicking on the Submit a Photo tab.

    Mesa County Genealogical Society, Colorado

    Mesa County, relatively large in size, is located in west-central Colorado, on the border of Utah. The Mesa County Genealogical Society was founded in 1980 to “promote interest in genealogy; to encourage and instruct in the art and practice of genealogical research.”

    Click on the "MCGS Projects" button in the website’s contents list to access the Mesa County Cemetery Records database. This database is said to be a work in progress and is partial listing of cemetery records that the Mesa County Genealogical Society maintains.

    The data fields shown in this alphabetical index include surname, given name(s), birth and death dates, cemetery name abbreviation (key provided) and notes. Information found in the notes field includes veteran status, name of the newspaper in which a death notice or obituary appeared, burial date, and the name(s) of others who appear on the same gravestone.

    Cemetery Records of Yell County, Arkansas

    Yell County is located in west-central Arkansas. The records that make up this database have been compiled by and made available through the Yell County Historical and Genealogical Association. There are more than 150 cemeteries in the database. Click on a cemetery name link to access location information, brief historical information, and the list of individuals buried in the cemetery. The data fields include name of the deceased, when born and died, and additional verification. Sources cited in the additional verification include Confederate and Union Pension Files, the Social Security Death Index, and World War I records. In some instances there are photographs of individual gravestones.

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    Stories of Interest

    The Password is ‘Luddite:’ Why Computer Security Has Become a Never-Ending Memory Game
    Boston Globe reporter Mark Feeney blames 70s game-show host Allen Ludden for the current plethora of password problems.

    Book Overdue for 99 Years Returned to New Bedford Library
    A 75-year-old man went to the library to return a book that was due in 1910. It was already twelve years overdue in 1922 when it was given to his mother, an immigrant from Poland.

    On Genealogy: Holiday Gift Lists for Genealogists
    Colorado professional genealogist and Broomfield Enterprise columnist Julie Miller presents a list of suggestions of valuable holiday gifts for genealogists.

    American Histories Are Being Rescued a Second Time
    USA Today reports on efforts to preserve historic interviews that are happening at universities nationwide, including the University of Illinois, University of New Mexico, University of Arizona, University of Florida, University of Utah and UCLA.

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    Last-Minute Holiday Gifts

    If you haven’t finished your holiday shopping, you can turn to the Bookstore at NEHGS for money-saving bundles and gifts under $15. We even offer 1-, 2- and 3-day UPS delivery options to get it to you in time for the holiday. For the entire list of holiday bundles and gifts, visit

    The Bookstore at NEHGS is also offering sets of genealogy note cards at more than 35% off. Adorned with beautiful full-color images of actual heritage family documents from the NEHGS manuscripts collection, these note cards are perfect for sending holiday greetings to long-lost cousins, as stocking stuffers or as a quick and easy gift for just about anyone. These cards come in a set of eight (2 each of four designs) with matching envelopes and are now priced at $5.00 per set (while supplies last). We even offer free shipping on these cards! To see the images or to order these cards, visit

    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:

    • A Documentary History of Chelsea, Massachusetts Including the Boston Precincts of Wimmisimmet, Rumney Marsh & Pullen Point, 1624-1824. Volume I (Item P5-MA0524-1H)
    • A History of Natick, Massachusetts, from its First Settlement in 1651 to the Present Time, with Notices of the First White Families. (P5-MA0056H)
    • Our Kinsfolk (Descendants of William Akers of New Jersey, Ca. 1698) (Item P4-H00336)
    • The Thomas Alger Family, Jabez Alger Line, 1645-1994, of Taunton, Massachusetts (Item P4-H00447)
    • Descendants of Henry Doude who Came from England in 1639 (Item P4-H08664)

    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 D. Joshua Taylor 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

    Online Boston University Certificate in Genealogical Research
    Boston University’s Online Certificate in Genealogical Research will help you reach the next level of professionalism. Whether you are a serious amateur, a budding professional, or an expert with a CG®, this rigorous 14-week program will help you take your genealogical work to the next level. NEHGS members get a 10% tuition discount.

    Winter Research Weekend Getaway
    February 4-6, 2010
    NEHGS’ “Weekend Research Getaways” are among the most popular programs we offer. Escape to 99 Newbury Street in downtown Boston and experience a guided program with one-on-one consultations and expert reviews of your research. Whether you are a new genealogist or a longtime member, this three-day onsite visit to NEHGS is certain to advance your research — and you make new friends too. Registration includes breakfast, daily lectures, and group dinners to share your progress. For more information visit

    Technology Seminar
    March 26–27, 2010
    Explore the important relationship between technology and genealogy with NEHGS experts. You will have hands-on training learning how to customize your internet experience, build your own electronic databases, and gain valuable insight into using genealogical software for the preservation and sharing of your family history. For more information visit

    Irish Genealogy Research Tour
    May 23–30, 2010
    Discover your Irish heritage with the New England Historic Genealogical Society. This weeklong guided research tour will give you access to a treasure trove of records in Dublin and the benefit of consultations with some of the foremost experts in Irish genealogy. Your tour features guided research at various repositories in central Dublin, including the General Register Office, National Library, National Archives, and Registry of Deeds, among others. Daily programming includes tutorials, research tips and techniques lectures, personalized consultations and group dinning events. 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
    101 Newbury Street, Boston, MA 02116

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

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