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  • The Weekly Genealogist

  •  Vol. 13, No. 14
    Whole #473
    April 7, 2010
    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.

    * Jane and Richard Nylander to Receive Award
    * NEHGS Annual Dinner
    * Research Recommendations: English Equivalents to Foreign Given Names
    * Name Origins
    * New on
    * Spotlight: Cemetery and Obituary Databases
    * Stories of Interest
    * Question of the Day
    * New in the NEHGS Bookstore
    * Upcoming Education Programs
    * NEHGS Contact Information




    Jane and Richard Nylander to Receive Award

    Longtime NEHGS members, curators, and authors Jane and Richard Nylander will be honored with the 2010 Award of Merit from the Antiques Dealers’s Association of America at a dinner on Saturday April 17, 2010, to be held in conjunction with the Philadelphia Antiques Show at the Navy Yard, Philadelphia. The Nylanders have had distinguished careers in the fields of material culture and museum studies and administration; they were most recently associated with Historic New England (formerly SPNEA, the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities), where Jane served for many years as President and Richard as Senior Curator. Jane is a past contributor to American Ancestors magazine (formerly New England Ancestors) and the NEHGS publication, The Art of Family: Genealogical Artifacts in New England. For more information on the award dinner, please call 203-364-9913.

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    NEHGS Annual Dinner

    NEHGS will hold its Annual Dinner at the Four Seasons Hotel in Boston on Friday, April 23rd, 2010. This year’s event features Annette Gordon-Reed, winner of the 2009 Pulitzer Prize in history for her book, The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family, as well as guest of honor and NEHGS Council member, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., director of the WEB Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research at Harvard University. A cocktail reception will begin at 6:00 p.m., with remarks at 6:45 and dinner at 7:30.

    Proceeds for the dinner will benefit the Society’s Business and Technology Initiative. Individual dinner tickets are available for $300 per person, $150 of which is tax-deductible, and sponsorship opportunities are also available. To register for the dinner and/or sponsorship, please visit For more information, contact Anika Ebanks, at 617-226-1215 or

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    Research Recommendations: English Equivalents to Foreign Given Names
    by Michael J. Leclerc

    Once again, Cyndi’s List has provided me with a valuable research tool. I was looking for a tool to help me with names, and Cyndi pointed me to a great tool from the US GenWeb Project. Members of the project have put together a list of English equivalents to foreign given names. While the list does not claim to be complete, you will find hundreds of names from a variety of backgrounds.

    The complete list is 114 pages long and is organized alphabetically by a root name that is usually of Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Germanic, or Slavic origin. Diminutives are included, but each name does not necessarily include all diminutives. The pages are PDF files. You can view the entire file or smaller batches of pages grouped alphabetically. Each page is presented in columns.

    The first column contains the Root name. Next you will find common versions of the name, subdivided into male and female versions. The third column indicates whether you are viewing the male or female version. Then there are eleven columns which show the following versions of names:

    • English
    • Czech
    • French
    • German
    • Hungarian
    • Italian
    • Lithuanian
    • Polish
    • Slovak
    • Russian
    • Yiddish/Jewish

    The root name Gavriel is an excellent example. The most common versions of the name are Gabriel (m) and Gabriella (f). Then are listed male variations of the name:

    • English: Gabe, Gabriel
    • Czech: Gabi, Gabin, Gabriel
    • French: Gabin, Gabriel
    • German: Gabi, Gabor, Gabriel, Gabriele, Gabrio, Gavril
    • Hungarian: Gabi, Gabor, Gabriel
    • Italian: Gabriele
    • Lithuanian: Gabrielis, Gabrielius, Gabrius, Gabrys
    • Polish: Gabriel, Gabrzs, Gabrzsy, Gawrzs
    • Slovak: Gaba, Gabika, Gabina, Gabriel
    • Russian: Gacha, Ganya, Gavrill, Gavril, Gavrilla
    • Yiddish/Jewish: Gavrel, Gavriel

    Then we find the female versions:

    • English: Gabby, Gabriella, Gabrielle
    • Czech: Gabi, Gabina, Gabriela, Gabrielka
    • French: Gabrielle
    • German: Gabi, Gabriela, Gabriele, Gawila, Jella
    • Hungarian: Gabi, Gabriella
    • Italian: Gabriella
    • Lithuanian: Gabre, Gabriele
    • Polish: Gabriela, Gabrzsia
    • Slovak: Gabriela
    • Russian: Gavrilla
    • Yiddish/Jewish: [none given]

    There are some other drawbacks. The most significant of these is that diacritical marks are not used. This is unfortunate, as diacriticals not only give an indication of pronunciation, but indicate other spellings as they are used in place of letters. For example, a French cirumflex accent (^) indicates that the accented letter was originally followed by the letter s.

    Also included is a discussion of foreign naming customs adapted from Wikipedia. Hundreds of names are included in the listing. Because it is a PDF file, you can save the document to your desktop if you desire.

    You can search the list of English Equivalents of Foreign Given Names on US GenWeb at

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    Name Origins
    by Julie Helen Otto

    MERODACHBALADEN (m): A King of Babylon “Merodackbaladen”/Merodachbaladen Smith married at Westboro, Massachusetts, 7 April 1752 Abigail Bruce.

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    New on New England

    The Virginia Genealogist, Volumes 26–30
    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 1–30. This update adds 39,637 names, 13,147 subject and article titles, and 1,914 browseable page images

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    Spotlight: Cemetery and Obituary Databases
    by Valerie Beaudrault

    Pueblo Obituary Database, Pueblo City-County Library, Colorado

    Pueblo is the largest city and the county seat of Pueblo County, Colorado. It is located in the central part of the state. The Pueblo City-County Library has made an obituary database available on its website. Click on the Search tab on the library’s homepage and select the Pueblo Obituary Index from the dropdown list. This will open the search page. Enter a surname in the search box and click on the ‘Title’ button to bring up all individuals with that surname. You can also search for individuals by entering ‘surname , given name’. The search results include full name and date of death. If you are looking for someone who died during a particular month, enter the month into the search box and everyone who died during that month, regardless of year, will be returned in the search results. Click on the ‘Detail’ button to view the detailed record, including the date on which the obituary appeared in the newspaper and library call number information. The index is a work in progress. They are currently adding the years 2008 and 1917. The obituaries are from the Pueblo Chieftain, which began publication in 1868.

    The library also has an online photography collection titled, Southeastern Colorado Photographs. To access the collection click on the Search tab on the homepage and select the correct tab. There are 670 photographs in the collection. Enter a keyword in the search box. When the search results are returned click on the keychain icon to view the photograph. Click on the Details button to learn more about the photograph.

    Cemetery Databases, Boise, Idaho

    Boise, seat of Ada County, is located in southwestern Idaho. The Boise Parks & Recreation Department maintains three cemetery databases on its website. You may search for a specific burial by name or burial location by the plot’s owner’s name. The cemeteries are Fort Boise Military Cemetery, Morris Hill Cemetery, and Pioneer Cemetery.

    Click on the cemetery link to access the search page. Choose your type of search and enter information in the search box. The search results will include a map showing where the plot is located. The data fields in the search results for a burial search include owner first name, owner last name, space status, burial (deceased) first name, burial last name, date of birth, date of death, and plot location (block, lot, space).

    Oak Hill Cemetery, Cherokee, Iowa

    Located in northwest Iowa, the city of Cherokee is the county seat of Cherokee County. It is the county seat. The city has made the database available on its website. Click on the Oak Hill Cemetery link and then the Cemetery Database link to access the index. The database comprises an alphabetical by surname list of individuals buried in the cemetery. The data fields include last name, first name, plot locations (block, lot, grave), burial date, age, and burial record page number.

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    Stories of Interest

    President’s Features Reunited After 176 Years
    Andrew Jackson’s figurehead was decapitated from the bow of the U.S.S. Constitution in 1834. With the assistance of PBS’ History Detectives, the mouth of the head has been reunited with the top portion of the head.

    Search for Grandma Starts Opening Doors
    Inspired by the 2010 Census and Who Do You Think You Are?, Nashua Telegraph reporter Stacy Milbouer started a search for her unknown grandmother.

    'Treated Like Royalty'
    The sesquicentennial of the Pony Express was celebrated recently in St. Joseph, Missouri, by descendants of the riders.

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    Question of the Day

    You are invited to submit research questions to David Allen Lambert at 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

    I have been told that my ancestor David Haynes, born January 4, 1730/1 in Brimfield, Hampden County, Massachusetts, died in the French and Indian War in 1757 and is buried in Brimfield. I have been unable to find out anything about his service. Are there records or rosters of soldiers who fought in that war? I would like to find out more about his part in it.

    We have a selection of databases relating to the Colonial Wars in Massachusetts. Included in this series of databases is Massachusetts Soldiers in the French and Indian Wars 1744 – 1755. You can search these at

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    New in the NEHGS Bookstore

    NEHGS is happy to offer two new items in the Bookstore: the NEHGS Boat and Tote Bag and the NEHGS Seal Tie. The L.L. Bean Boat and Tote bag has the NEHGS seal and name printed in classic blue. The sturdy totes were made in Maine using heavy-duty cotton canvas, and they have reinforced flat canvas bottoms plus overlapped seams double-stitched with nylon. Their color is natural, with blue contrast-color 6” handles. The bags measure 12"H x 13"W x 6"D.

    Our new ties are hand-made, 100% silk custom-designed by Vineyard Vines especially for NEHGS. The motif on the ties is taken from the NEHGS seal, designed in 1845 by Horatio Gates Somerby. The ties are available in red or light blue and measure 59” x 3 ¾”.

    The NEHGS Tote is $30 for NEHGS members ($35 for non-members) and can be ordered at

    The NEHGS Ties by Vineyard Vines are $65 for NEHGS members ($75 for non-members) and can be ordered at for red ties and for blue ties.

    Orders can also be placed by calling 617-226-1212. Prices do not include shipping. Massachusetts residents will be charged 6.25% sales tax. Limited quantity available.

    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:

    • 1880 Federal Census of Ashe County. North Carolina (Item P5-NC0003H)
    • Annals of the Town of Mendon, Massachusetts from 1659 to 1880 (Item P5-MA0159BH)
    • Clopper, an American Family: Its Ups & Downs Through Eight Generations in New Amsterdam, New York, Pennsylvania., Maryland, Ohio & Texas, from 1650 to 1880 (item P4-H06057)
    • Gazetteer and Business Directory of Bennington Co. Vermont, For 1880-81 (Item P5-VT0089H)
    • History of Piscataquis County, Maine, from its Earliest Settlement to 1880 (Item P5-ME0217H)

    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:


    The Burial Crypt at Boston’s Old North Church
    Wednesday, April 14, 2010, 6:00 PM
    Remembered in historical legend, and immortalized in prose, the Old North Church is perhaps best known for the two signal lanterns displayed in the steeple of Christ Church to the colonial militia on the night of 18 April 1775, warning of the arrival of British forces sent to seize the arsenal at Concord. This pivotal event marked the beginning of the Revolution, and the eventual birth of a nation.

    As they learn of the building's rich history, and marvel at the beautiful simplicity of its architecture, visitors remain largely unaware that more than one thousand of Christ Church’s earliest parishioners rest directly below their feet. Throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, crypts were continually built within the church’s cellar to receive the mortal remains of Bostonians and their families. Within these ancient tombs lie not only these remains, but a fascinating aspect of the history of the Old North Church and of Boston’s rich historic past that has yet to be explored.

    About the Speaker:
    Jane Lyden Rousseau is a Scholar in Residence at the Old North Church, and a Curatorial Assistant at Harvard University’s Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology. She received her Master of Science degree in Human Osteology and Funerary Archaeology from the University of Sheffield in England, and has done extensive archaeological fieldwork in Ireland, the United Kingdom, and New England.

    American Passage: The History of Ellis Island
    Wednesday, May 12, 2010, 6:00 PM
    For most of New York’s early history, Ellis Island had been an obscure little island that barely held itself above high tide. Today, the small island stands alongside Plymouth Rock in our nation’s founding mythology as the place where many of our ancestors first touched American soil. Ellis Island’s heyday—from 1892 to 1924—coincided with the greatest mass migration of individuals the world has ever seen, with some twelve million immigrants inspected at its gates. Vincent J. Cannato traces the politics, prejudices, and ideologies that surrounded the great immigration debate, to the shift from immigration to detention of aliens during World War II and the Cold War, all the way to the rebirth of the Island as a national monument. Based upon the author’s best-selling book, American Passage: The History of Ellis Island.

    About the Speaker: Vincent J. Cannato is associate professor of history at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. He received his BA with honors in Political Science from Williams College and his PhD in History from Columbia University. At UMASS-Boston, Prof. Cannato teaches courses on New York City history, Boston history, immigration history, and twentieth-century American history.

    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

    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

    Writing Your Family History
    May 7–8, 2010
    Advance your genealogical research and contribute to scholarship in the field by learning the techniques to publishing your findings from expert genealogists. This unique workshop will feature lectures, focus groups, and consultations centered on writing for family historians at all stages of research. 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

© 2010 - 2014 New England Historic Genealogical Society