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  • The Weekly Genealogist

  •  Vol. 13, No. 15
    Whole #474
    April 14, 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.

    * NEHGS on Ellen
    * NEHGS Annual Dinner
    * Research Recommendations: Genealogical Writing: Donating Your Genealogy
    * Name Origins
    * Spotlight: Skaneateles Historical Society, New York
    * Stories of Interest
    * Spring Savings on 10 NEHGS Titles
    * Upcoming Education Programs
    * NEHGS Contact Information




    NEHGS on Ellen

    NEHGS recently discovered a chain of ties linking popular talk show host Ellen DeGeneres through seven other famous individuals and back to herself. Ellen recently featured this discovery in the monologue of her show. You can watch the monologue at

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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: Genealogical Writing: Donating Your Genealogy
    by Michael J. Leclerc

    Authors of compiled family histories often ask me where they should give a copy of their work. Some people ask this in the belief that there is only one place they should place their book. Many of those are surprised when I start talking with them, as a number of places come to mind immediately.

    The first place is the Library of Congress. The Local History and Genealogy Reading Room at LOC has more than 50,000 compiled genealogies and more than 100,000 local histories. If you register your book with the Copyright Office, you are required to submit two copies of your work within three months of publication. One of those copies will be given to the Local History and Genealogy Reading Room. If you choose not to register, you can still donate a copy at any time. You can find more information about donating to LOC at

    You should also donate a copy of your book to major genealogical libraries. I recommend at least three. The first, as you have probably guessed, is the New England Historic Genealogical Society. With more than 30,000 published genealogies, NEHGS has one of the premier collections in the country. Visit for more information about the library and making donations.

    The Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana, is also a leading repository for genealogical research. Between print, microtext, and manuscripts, there are more than 50,000 volumes of compiled genealogies at the library. The ACPL also publishes the Periodical Source Index for genealogical magazines and journals. You can find more information at

    And of course, the biggest genealogical library in the world is the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. The FHL has an active program of collecting compiled genealogies for families from around the world. They do have stringent requirements for donations, which you can read in the Library section of

    Each state in the U.S. also has a state library and state historical society. Consider donating copies to the libraries and historical societies for the states covered in your compilation. The same could be said for local and county libraries and historical societies for locations featured in your work. And remember to include state, county, and local genealogical societies as well.

    The more places you place your book, the more likely it is that a copy will be found by descendants in the future. And when somebody finds a copy of your book at the library, they may contact you to purchase a copy for themselves. That’s a win-win.

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    Name Origins
    by Julie Helen Otto

    MARCIA (f): Roman family name, derived from male personal name MARCUS. MARCIA and its phonetic variant MARSHA were extremely popular names in mid-twentieth century America.

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    Spotlight: Skaneateles Historical Society, New York
    by Valerie Beaudrault

    Skanteateles is located in western Onondaga County, New York, southwest of the city of Syracuse. The Skaneateles Historical Society has made a number of its resources available its website. Click on the “Click Here to View Archives” link to access the resources.

    Newspaper Database — Births, Marriages, and Deaths
    This database is organized by event type and date. The index contains more than 22,300 records that have been compiled from the old Skaneateles-area newspaper announcements. The newspapers include: The Columbian (1831 through March 1853); the Democrat (1843 through 1880); the Free Press (1881 through 1899); and The Skaneateles Press (1900 through 1919).

    Births: There are two indexes to these birth records. One covers the period between 1843 and 1899. The second covers 1900 – 1919. The data fields include the date of newspaper story, name, and date of birth.
    Marriages: There are six marriage indexes. For each time period (1843 – 1880; 1831 – March 1853; and 1900 – 1919), there is an alphabetical index by bride and another by groom. The data fields include the date of the newspaper story, Groom, Bride, date of marriage, and location.
    Deaths: There are two indexes to the death records. One covers the period between 1843 and 1899. The second covers 1900 – 1919. The data fields include the date of newspaper story, name, date of death, and where.

    Census Indexes
    The Society’s collection contains a number of Federal and New York State Census indexes for the town of Skaneateles. There are federal indexes for 1830; 1840; 1850, including the agricultural census; 1860; 1870; 1880; 1900; and 1930. The New York State census indexes are for 1855; 1865; 1875; 1892; 1905; 1915; and 1925. (Note: I believe that the 1892 state census is erroneously identified as a federal census.)

    Cemetery Databases
    The St. Mary's Cemetery gravestone database contains 3,000 records. St. Mary's Cemetery was dedicated in 1856. St. Mary's Cemetery was dedicated in 1856. There is no official record of burials available from St. Mary's Church, due to church fires. The database was compiled from inscriptions on “currently visible and legible stones.” An asterisk indicates the records of war veterans in the database. The data fields include last name, first name, birth date, death date, and grave location.

    The Lake View Cemetery database contains more than 7,900 records. The Village of Skaneateles Cemetery Board provided the information. The records date from 1796 through 1988. The data fields include section number, lot number, last name, first name, middle name, age at death, date of birth, date of death, birthplace, last residence, and comments.

    The Skaneateles Historical Society will provide you with a copy of a newspaper announcement for a small fee.

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    Stories of Interest

    Tomb Sweeping Day: A Disappearing Chinese Tradition
    Family members take care of their deceased anestors' gravesites on this traditional day in Taiwan, but many are worried that this important lessins is getting lost.

    Interesting History
    John Wetrosky writes about high school history, and how a cemetery brought together generations of family. As he states: "If my history teacher in high school had talked about history such as this, I might have gotten an A instead of a C."

    Jewish Genealogy as a Spiritual Pursuit
    Author Arthur Kurzweil discusses what piqued his curiosity and started his interest in family history.

    Learn How to Preserve Your Family’s Food History
    A short discussion of a course at the University of Texas entitled “Recipes for Family History.”

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    Spring Savings on 10 NEHGS Titles

    Save 20-50% on these selected NEHGS titles and jump start your genealogical research:

    Guide to the Manuscript Collections of the New England Historic Genealogical Society, First Edition
    Regular $24.95, Sale $12.50

    Cambridge Cameos
    Regular $19.95, Sale $15.00

    Art of Family: Genealogical Artifacts in New England
    Regular $75.00, Sale $55.00

    Researcher’s Guide to Boston
    Regular $14.95, Sale $9.95

    Guide to the Library of the New England Historic Genealogical Society
    Regular $21.95, Sale $14.95

    The Pilgrim Migration: Immigrants to Plymouth Colony, 1620-1633, Softcover
    Regular $29.95, Sale $23.95

    The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England, 1620-1633 (3 Volume Set)
    Regular $99.00, Sale $85.00

    Ancestry of Diana, Princess of Wales, for Twelve Generations,
    Regular $34.95, Sale $24.95

    Prices are good through April 21st, 2010 only. Prices do not include shipping. Good while supplies last.


    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:

    • An Account of the Descendants of John Bridge, Cambridge, 1632 (Item P4-S03939)
    • History of Cambridge, MA, 1630-1877, with a Genealogical Register (Item P5-MA0338H)
    • Epitaphs from the Old Burying-Ground of Cambridge, MA, with Notes. (Item P5-MA0388S)
    • John Hopkins of Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1634, and Some of His Descendants (Item P4-H14958)
    • Patten Genealogy: William Patten of Cambridge, MA, 1635, and His Descendants (Item P4-S20823)

    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:


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

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