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  • The Weekly Genealogist

  •  Vol. 13, No. 16
    Whole #475
    April 21, 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.

    * Coming Soon in the April 2010 Issue of the Register
    * George Washington's $300,000 Late Fee
    * Research Recommendations: Preserving the American Historical Record
    * Name Origins
    * New on New England
    * Spotlight: Cemetery Databases
    * Stories of Interest
    * 10% of all Mayflower Families Through 5 Generations Titles
    * Upcoming Education Programs
    * NEHGS Contact Information




    Coming Soon in the April 2010 Issue of the Register

    The Probable Genetic Signature of Thomas1 Riggs, Immigrant to Gloucester, Massachusetts, by 1658
    Alvy Ray Smith

    The Probable Genetic Signature of Edward1 Riggs, Immigrant to Roxbury, Massachusetts, in 1633
    Alvy Ray Smith

    English Ancestry of Bennett Hodsoll, First Wife of Edmond1 Freeman of Sandwich, Massachusetts
    Richard L. Bush

    Hopkins Bible Record

    Joanna Hooker, Wife of John1 Borden and John1 Gay
    Eldon Wilson Gay and Christopher Challender Child

    Nathaniel4 and Esther (Carpenter) (Bardeen) Bowen and Their Family
    Cherry Fletcher Bamberg

    WilliamA Dwight, Father of John1 and Timothy1 Dwight of Dedham, Massachusetts
    Leslie Mahler

    The English Origins of William1 Whitredge of Ipswich, Massachusetts
    David A. Whittredge

    Identification of Miss Bell Traill of Kirkwall, Orkney, as Isabella (Traill) Tate of Boston, Massachusetts, with a Royal Descent
    Ralph E. Wadleigh, Jr.

    Notes on the Children of John1 and Mary (Woods) Bellows of Concord and Marlborough, Massachusetts
    Michael W. Kearney

    Your April 2010 issue of the Register will arrive in the mail soon. The PDF version of the issue is available for download now at

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    George Washington's $300,000 Late Fee

    On October 5, 1789, President George Washington borrowed two books from a library in New York City, then the nation’s capitol. Law of Nations, a treatise on international relations, and volume twelve of Commons Debates, transcripts of debates in Britain’s House of Commons, were due to be returned on November 2, 1789, but no return date was ever entered into the ledgers. This week staff at the New York Public Library discovered that the volumes are still missing.

    You can read more about this story in the New York Daily News.

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    Research Recommendations: Preserving the American Historical Record
    by Michael J. Leclerc

    For decades now Washington, D.C., has been the site of rancorous partisan politics and obstructionism. This week, however, saw a glimpse of bipartisan work that could result in a tremendous boon for historians and genealogists. The Preserving the American Historical Record Act could open the doors to records that have previously had little access.

    On May 5, 2009, Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) and John McHugh (R-NY) introduced the PAHR bill (HR 2256) to authorize the Archivist of the United States to make grants to states for the preservation and dissemination of historical records. More than 50 Representatives are now co-sponsors of the bill. On Monday, April 19, 2010, Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Carl Levin (D-MI) introduced the PAHR bill (S 3227) to the Senate with five co-sponsors, where it was referred to the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.

    The PAHR would create a formula-based grant program to fund archives at every level in every state. In addition to job growth, the funds would greatly enhance preservation and accessibility to records. The Council of State Archivists, Society of American Archivists, and the National Association of Government Archives and Records Administrators are working with members of Congress to generate support to get the bills passed. More than three dozen other organizations have passed resolutions endorsing the PAHR.

    You can help to get these bills passed by contacting your senators and representatives to get them to endorse and vote for PAHR. Getting genealogical and historical societies and archives to endorse the PAHR will also be helpful.

    To find out more about the Preserving the American Historical Record Act and learn how you can help, visit the Society of American Archivists at

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    Name Origins
    by Julie Helen Otto

    CHESTER (m): Derived from the Latin castra (“camp”), -CHESTER place names (the origin of the given name) are a reliable marker for Roman occupation. The male given name is apparently taken from the place name.

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    New on

    Vital Records of Hallowell, Maine to 1892

    The town of Hallowell, Maine, in Kennebec County, was named for Benjamin Hallowell, a Boston merchant and a proprietor in the Kennebec Patent. Portions of the original town were incorporated as Augusta (in 1797) and Chelsea (in 1850). The town itself was incorporated April 26, 1771 and became a city in 1852.

    This six-volume set of vital records was published by the Maine Historical Society in 1924. The database contains 11,019 births, 10, 512 marriages, and 5,717 deaths. Images of the original book pages are accessible from the search results.

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    Spotlight: Cemetery Databases
    by Valerie Beaudrault

    Webster Union Cemetery, New York

    Webster, New York, is located in the northeastern corner of Monroe County, on the shores of Lake Ontario. The burial ground was established in 1824. The Union Cemetery Society was organized in 1851 and incorporated in 1898.

    The Webster Union Cemetery has made a burial listing available on its website. The listing is an alphabetical by last name database. Click on the first letter of the last name in the alphabetical list to access the list. The data fields include last name, first name, middle/maiden name, age at death, birthplace, date of death, and lot, grave and section, numbers. In addition there are burial plot maps on the site.

    Lewes & Rehoboth Hundred Cemetery Database, Delaware

    Lewes and Rehoboth Hundred are located in Sussex County in southeastern Delaware. They are bordered on the east by Delaware Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. The use of the term “Hundreds” comes from the time when Delaware was a British colony. Hundreds are unincorporated subdivisions that are the equivalent of townships.

    The Lewes Historical Society has been conducting surveys of cemeteries and historic burial sites in Lewes & Rehoboth Hundred since 2003. Dates of death on the gravestones in the survey range from 1707 to 1950. When “multiple persons are listed on a single stone and one has a death date prior to 1950, each person is then listed regardless of date of death.” The historical society has made a database comprising a number of cemeteries available on its website.

    The cemeteries are:

    • Ancient Burying Ground
    • Bethel Methodist Church
    • Burton Family Cemetery
    • Dewey Beach Black Cemetery
    • Ebenezer Methodist Church (Savannah Road)
    • Ebenezer Methodist Church (Cedar Grove Road)
    • Israel United Methodist
    • Lewes Presbyterian Church
    • Marsh Family Cemetery
    • Paynter Family Cemetery
    • People’s Memorial Cemetery
    • Rehoboth Presbyterian Church at Midway (Midway Presbyterian)
    • St. George’s AME
    • St. Peter’s Episcopal Church
    • Wiltbank Family Cemetery

    The alphabetical by surname database currently contains more than 4,500 records. It is a work in progress. The data fields include last name, first and middle names, death year, month, and day; birth year, month, and day; record number, and cemetery name. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the database because it is in PDF format.

    The Bedford Cemeteries, New Hampshire

    The Trustees of the Cemeteries of Bedford, New Hampshire have made a database of the city’s cemeteries available to the public. This website is a work in progress. There are currently more than 3,300 records in the database. The Trustees are responsible for four Bedford cemeteries, three of which have been designated as historical. They date from colonial times.

    • The Old Bedford Cemetery is the oldest cemetery in Bedford. It was begun in 1737 and the oldest grave dates from 1745. There are a number of Revolutionary War veterans buried there.
    • The Beals Road or South Cemetery was established in 1793. The majority of the burials are from 1800 to 1860. The last burial was in 1883. It is the smallest cemetery in Bedford.
    • The Joppa Hill Cemetery was established in 1789. The last burial was in 2008.
    • The Bedford Center Cemetery was established in 1799. It has been expanded over the years and is the only cemetery of the four that is still in active use.

    The databases may be searched or browsed. Researchers may search for individuals by last name, maiden name, date of birth, date of death, father's name, mother's name and mother's maiden name. Click on the ‘Search Page’ tab in the contents list to access the search page. By clicking on the tabs in the index one can browse an alphabetical list by decedent or by cemetery site reference. There is also a list of burials by year.

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    Stories of Interest

    184-Year-Old Adams Letter Found
    An assistant city solicitor for Quincy, Massachusetts, was searching for records to defend the city in a lawsuit when he made a remarkable discovery. Hidden in a dust-covered box in an old jail cell was a scrapbook with an 1826 letter from John Quincy Adams regarding the burial of his parents, John and Abigail Adams.

    The Charge is Murder
    A historian argues for a new interpretation of the Boston Massacre — a significant event in American history that led to the American Revolution. Did some of the soldiers get away with murder?

    British Warship that Paul Revere Eluded Surfaces in Cape Cod Sands
    The wreck of the H.M.S. Somerset hasn’t been seen in 37 years, but recent storms and shifting sands in the Cape Cod National Seashore have revealed a section of it, leading park officials to use three-dimensional imaging technology to uncover the rest of her. The Somerset was the British warship that Paul Revere went past on the night he took his “midnight ride” to Lexington in 1775.

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    10% of all Mayflower Families Through 5 Generations Titles

    The NEHGS sales department is offering 10% off all Mayflower Families Through 5 Generations books (also known as the Silver Books). For a complete listing of available titles, please send an email with the words “Mayflower Families” in the subject to and a listing will be sent to you, along with ordering information, in a return email. The discount is good through April 28, 2010, 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:

    • Sadowski Lineage from the Polish Village of Bogucin, 1880 to Present (Item P4-H22895)
    • History of Hancock, New Hampshire, 1764-1889 (Item P5-NH0012H)
    • History of Penacook From its First Settlement in 1734 Up to 1900 (Item P5-NH0188H)
    • Tales of Early Fredonia, New York (Item P5-NY0096H)
    • Rowley, Massachusetts, Town Records, 1639-1672, Volume 1 (item P5-MA0087H)

    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

    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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