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  • The Weekly Genealogist

  • Vol. 13, No. 11
    Whole #470
    March 17, 2010
    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:
    *
    National Public Radio Features FindaGrave.com
    * NEHGS Irish Genealogy Tour
    * Research Recommendations: Rewriting History
    * Name Origins
    * Spotlight: Kalamazoo Valley Genealogical Society, Michigan
    * Stories of Interest
    * Question of the Day
    * Classic Reprints
    * Upcoming Education Programs
    * NEHGS Contact Information

     

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    National Public Radio Features FindaGrave.com

    The popular NPR radio show All Things Considered featured a story this past weekend on popular cemetery website FindaGrave.com. The story reports that more than a half-million photographs have now been uploaded, with more than 40,000 names a day being added to the database. You can listen to the story on NPR’s website at http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=124671879&sc=emaf.

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    NEHGS Irish Genealogy Tour

    Discover your Irish heritage with the New England Historic Genealogical Society in Dublin, Ireland, May 23–30, 2010. 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 www.newenglandancestors.org/9062.asp.

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    Research Recommendations: Rewriting History
    by Michael J. Leclerc

    Everyone who ever wrote a history book, from textbooks to trade hardcovers and softcovers, has a particular agenda and story to tell. I experienced this first hand recently when I was in London conversing with a colleague. We were discussing the events around 1776 and the forming of the United States. I asked her how these events are taught in English history classes. She informed me that they are candid about the facts, but that it is never referred to as a revolution. It is taught as a battle for independence.

    In our own country, one will find different attitudes towards the events of 1861 through 1865. Was it the “Civil War,” or was it the “War of Northern Aggression?” One might receive different answers from someone raised in Pennsylvania as opposed to someone born and raised in Alabama.

    It is always a dangerous idea to rely on a single published source of information. How many times have you read a “mug book” filled with biographies of individuals who paid to have themselves included? Ever notice how rarely anyone is ever criticized or questioned in one of those books?

    Which version is “right” and which is “wrong?” The answer is most likely both and neither (or neither and both). It is crucial to examine as many versions of the story as possible. One way to do this is to look for the history of people or events who are far removed (by time or distance) from the occurrence. The best sources are versions that tell multiple sides of a story. This will leave you in the best place possible to understand your ancestors, and in understanding them you will hopefully find more resources for additional information about them.

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    Name Origins
    by Julie Helen Otto

    LINUS (m): Any one of three sons of Apollo, not one of whose lives ended well.

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    Spotlight: Kalamazoo Valley Genealogical Society, Michigan
    by Valerie Beaudrault
    www.mikvgs.org

    The Kalamazoo Valley Genealogical Society (KVGS) is located in the southwest corner of Michigan's lower peninsula, in Comstock Charter Township, Kalamazoo County. The society's mission is to "to foster genealogical interest and activities in southwestern Michigan; provide education in genealogical research techniques; publish and make available genealogical materials and works to ensure access to and the preservation of public records." KVGS recently celebrated its 50th anniversary.

    Click on the Historical Records link to access KVGS Historical Records Database Search link. There are more than 31,400 records in 22 databases. These databases have been compiled, transcribed, and proofread by volunteers of the society. They include census records, indexes to marriages and deaths, insurance applications, bible records, funeral home records, and the records of protection associations, among others. In a few cases images of the actual records are available.

    Census Records
    1884 Kalamazoo County Census (Partial)
    The 1884 state census was designed for determining state legislative apportionment. The first survey of this type was taken in 1827, and others were conducted up to 1904. The data fields include last name, first name, residence, age estimated birth year, gender, relationship to head of household, condition, place of birth, father and mother's places of birth, census page number, family number, sequence, and a link to the census image.

    Records of Inmates at the Kalamazoo County Home
    This database was compiled from a volume containing is a “census” of inmates, maintained by keeper or overseer of the Kalamazoo County Home. The database covers the period from 1912 to 1951. The data fields include last name, first name, year, age, gender, residence, nationality, date received, date discharged, cause of discharge or pauperism and other, and notes.

    Records of Vital Events
    City of Kalamazoo Police Deaths
    This database is an index to deceased Kalamazoo police and public safety personnel. It includes the names of special police officers who served as reserve officers to control crowds at fairs, conventions, and the like. The data fields include last name, first name, birth year, death year, and rank or position.

    Foreign Deaths, 1931–2002
    This database indexes the deaths of Kalamazoo County residents who died in locations other than Kalamazoo County. These deaths were first recorded in 1931 and continue to be recorded by the state. The database contains records from 1931 through about August 2002. The data fields include last name, first name, date of death, city, county, state, country, and document number.

    Foreign Marriages
    This database indexes marriages of resident of Kalamazoo County (bride, groom or both) that took place outside the county. The data fields include last name, first name, marriage date and place, age, occupation, residence, birthplace, and the father's name, for both the bride and groom. The fields also include the document number and date of the intention to marry.

    Truesdale Ansell Funeral Home, 1942–1946
    This database was compiled from funeral cards used by the Truesdale Ansell Funeral Home. They cover the period from 1942–1946. The records can be searched by the last name of the deceased, or by a woman’s maiden name. The data fields in the results returned include maiden name, first name, date of death, case number and last name. There is also a link to the image of the funeral record on which the following information appears: name of the deceased, occupation, place of burial, place of birth, place of death, father's name, residence, father's place of birth, name of husband or wife, mother's maiden name, date of death, mother's place of birth, date of birth, cause of death, and age in years, months, and days.

    Farmers' Mutual Insurance Applications
    The Farmers' Mutual Insurance Applications was compiled from a nine-volume collection of the original applications for insurance from across Kalamazoo County. It covers the period from 1864 through 1880. The data fields include last name, first name, ledger and policy numbers, date of application, township/range/section coordinates, and notes.

    Additional databases, among others, include an index to Indigent Soldier, Sailor, or Marine Burials that contains the names of poor and impoverished former Armed Service personnel buried in Kalamazoo County; an index to Licenses Granted to Ex-Service Men to Peddle or Vend, that were issued at no cost to former members of the armed forces; and an index to Michigan Industrial Accidents from 1897–1898, which contains a list of persons and the company for which they worked, when they were injured while on the job.

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    Stories of Interest

    Fending Off Digital Decay, Bit by Bit
    Archivists are finding themselves trying to fend off digital extinction at the same time that they are puzzling through questions about what to save, how to save it and how to make that material accessible.

    West End’s Old Guard Reaches Out to Instill Passion for Cause
    The travesty of the destruction of Boston’s West End spurred historic preservation efforts around the country in the twentieth century. The West End Museum documents the old neighborhood. With those who lived through the event starting to die off, the museum is facing a challenge faced by many small organizations throughout the country: how to get the next generation interested in their history.

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    Question of the Day

    You are invited to submit research questions to David Allen Lambert at onlinegenealogist@nehgs.org. Please note that he will make every effort to reply to each message, but will respond on a first come, first-served basis. In some cases he may need to refer individuals to the NEHGS Research Service for more in-depth research services for a fee. You can view more questions of the day at www.newenglandancestors.org/research/services/7389.asp.

    Question:
    In the vital records of Kennebunk, Maine, I found someone’s cause of death (c. 1835) listed as "Intemperance." What does that mean? A quick Google search hasn't yielded a clear answer.

    Answer:
    This was a gentle way to say your ancestor died from a problem with consuming alcohol on a regular basis. The temperance movements of the nineteenth century arose to combat the effects of alcohol abuse on individuals and their families.

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    Classic Reprints

    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 Mower County, Minnesota (Item P5-MN0006H)
    • A Century & A Quarter of History: Geneva, NY, from 1787-1912 (Item P5-NY0098H)
    • The Schwenkfelders in Pennsylvania: A Historical Sketch (Item P5-PA0138H)
    • History of Hartford, VT, July 4, 1761-April 4, 1889 (Item P5-VT0025H)
    • History of Rochester and Monroe County, NY, from Earliest Historic Times to the Beginning of 1907, 2-volume set (Item P5-NY0136H)

    You can search the entire Classic Reprints catalog online at www.newenglandancestors.org/store.asp. 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 sales@nehgs.org.

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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 jtaylor@nehgs.org.

    You can view a full listing of upcoming programs: www.newenglandancestors.org/events/6816.asp.

    Seminars and Tours

    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. The next class will begin on May 10, 2010, with a registration deadline of April 23. For more information, visit
    http://genealogyonline.bu.edu/.

    Boston University Certificate in Genealogical Research (Intensive Summer Program)
    Weekdays, July 12–July 29, 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. This intensive summer program is offered Monday through Friday over a 14-day 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
    www.professional.bu.edu/cpe/Genealogy.asp.

    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
    www.newenglandancestors.org/9062.asp.

    For more information about NEHGS programs, visit http://www.newenglandancestors.org/programs_events.asp or email education@nehgs.org.

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    NEHGS Contact Information

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    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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