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  • The Weekly Genealogist

  • Vol. 13, No. 17
    Whole #476
    April 28, 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.

    * New Officers and Trustees
    * Boston Public Library Microtext Department May Be Closed
    * Research Recommendations: Genealogical Writing: Proofreading
    * Name Origins
    * Spotlight: Various Websites
    * Stories of Interest
    * Free Shipping on all Beekman Patent Titles
    * From the Online Genealogist
    * Upcoming Education Programs
    * NEHGS Contact Information




    New Officers and Trustees

    The Society’s Annual Meeting was held last weekend in Boston last week. The following officers and trustees were elected at the meeting.

    Eric B. Schultz, Chairman
    Carolyn A. Lynch, Vice-Chairman
    M. David Sherrill, Treasurer
    Susan P. Sloan, Secretary

    Richard H. Benson
    William M. Crozier, Jr.
    William Griffeth
    Joseph Swan Junkin
    Harold Hunter Leach, Jr.
    Nancy S. Maulsby
    Peter M. Small
    Kathleen A. Van Demark, M.D.

    Trustees Emeriti
    Rodney Armstrong
    Joan Ferris Curran
    Allis Ferguson Edelman
    Dorothy Brewer Erikson
    William M. Fowler, Jr., Ph.D.
    Alvy Ray Smith, Ph.D.
    Robert C. Stevens
    John Lowell Thorndike

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    Boston Public Library Microtext Department May Be Closed

    Alice Kane and Marian Pierre-Louis have notified us of the following situation:

    The Microtext Department and Newspaper Room at the Boston Public Library are in danger of being closed and their resources distributed to alternate locations within and outside of the Central Library in Copley Square.

    The Boston Public Library is an institution at the forefront of freedom of information and equal access to education in the United States. One of the major libraries in the United States, it contains some of the most significant historical collections used by researchers nationally and internationally. The Microtext Department is the designated Massachusetts service point for the US Newspaper Project funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities. Continued cutbacks and closings such as these jeopardize Americans' access to important current and historical information. Scholars, students, journalists, genealogists, family historians, academic researchers among many others will be severely impacted by the closings of the Microtext and Newspaper rooms.

    We are asking all concerned individuals to write to the following contacts and let them know that the resources and staff of the Microtext Department and the Newspaper Room should not be eliminated or dispersed. If you are a Massachusetts resident or Boston Public Library patron, please indicate that in your email/letter.

    The Boston Public Library Annual Meeting will be held Tuesday, May 11, 2010, 8:30am, at the Copley Square Library. Let's let our voices be heard and make an impact now before that important meeting.


    Amy Ryan, President of the Boston Public Library
    700 Boylston St., Boston MA 02116

    Mr. Jamie McGlone, Clerk to the Board of Trustees
    700 Boylston St., Boston MA 02116

    Mayor Thomas Menino
    1 City Hall Square, Suite 500
    Boston, MA 02201-2013

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    Research Recommendations: Genealogical Writing: Proofreading
    by Michael J. Leclerc

    Proofreading is the process of reviewing a manuscript to minimize errors. One or more copies of the manuscript are printed out and given to readers. This step is crucial to the writing process, and it is important that it is not skipped.

    The term proofreading comes from the old days of printing presses with moveable type. Typesetters would take a manuscript and put lead type into trays for the presses. A few proof copies would be given back to be checked for errors. Readers would then mark up the pages and send them back to the typesetters for corrections. Typesetters would occasionally put a piece of type into the tray upside-down or backwards. Spacing bars might be put in the wrong place. Letters or words were occasionally transposed. Difficulty reading the original manuscript might lead to the wrong letter being set.

    The advent of personal computers has made some of these errors obsolete. For example, one rarely sees characters accidentally inverted in computer manuscripts. But others will still be made.

    Multiple reviews of a manuscript are usually necessary. One will review for formatting and spacing issues, one will look for typographical errors, etc. The more eyes that review a manuscript, the better the chances are of catching mistakes. Articles for American Ancestors, for example, might be reviewed by as many as eight people. eNews is reviewed by a dozen individuals in addition to the editors. While many errors are caught by multiple individuals, each person usually catches things that no other reader caught.

    Professional proofreaders use a standard system of marks when reading text to indicate corrections to be made. The carat symbol (^) is used to indicate a place where text should be inserted. The pound sign (#) is used to show a place where space should be inserted. A slash mark (/) is used to separate two or more marks in a row. You can see some proofreader’s marks from Merriam-Webster at

    Can you proofread your own writing? Absolutely! Should you also have others proofread your work? Absolutely! As the author, you may catch things others don’t see. That said, just as one cannot edit one’s own writing completely, one cannot proofread one’s own work completely. Authors will easily gloss over errors unintentionally that will stick out to other readers.

    Your local community college, university, or adult education program may offer courses in proofreading. They may be offered individually, or as part of a longer course in editing or writing.

    One thing you must prepare yourself for is that no matter how many people proofread your document, the minute you publish something you will find an error that wasn’t caught. Rare is the book or magazine that doesn’t have some type of error in it. You will also discover that many people jump to give you feedback about errors. Some will present it to you in a friendly tone to assist you. Others will come across as self-important know-it-alls who criticize others to inflate their own self-worth. Kindly thank the former, and ignore the latter. Include the important step of proofreading in your writing, and your final product will always be the best it can be.

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    Name Origins
    by Julie Helen Otto

    ROLAND (m): One of Charlemagne’s paladins, his nephew, hero of The Song of Roland.

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    Spotlight: Various Websites
    by Valerie Beaudrault

    The Project, Manitoba, Canada

    The project is an initiative of the Manitoba Library Consortium and its partners. Its goal with this project is to “gather and render accessible a wealth of historically significant documents and publications free of charge to Canadians, young and old.”

    The Manitobia website has a number of resources available. There are overviews and photo collections related to the origins and history of Manitoba, including immigration and settlement, the Manitoba Schools Question, World War I, Women and the Vote, and the Strike of 1919. Click on the Historical Themes tab to access the narratives and the Photo Album tab to view the photographs.

    Under "Our Stories” you will find links to biographies on well-known individuals and descriptions of communities and organizations.

    Click on the Newspapers tab to access the site’s newspaper collection. The database contains more than thirty-five newspaper titles and covers various periods from 1870 to the present. Please be advised that you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the newspaper images. Enter a keyword into the search box and click on the search button. The results returned comprise links to the PDF images of the article containing the search term and of the full page. You can also browse through the newspaper collection title-by-title, issue-by-issue. Click on the Browse link to access the newspapers by title. Click on the title to access the list of issue then click on the date link to read an issue.

    There is also a map collection on the website. It is organized according to the site’s Historical Themes. There are maps representing all of the themes except for World War I and Women and the Vote.

    Obituary Indexes, Union County Public Library, North Carolina

    The Union County Public Library is located in the city of Monroe, in southern North Carolina. It has made a number of local history and genealogy resources available on its website, including three newspaper obituary indexes (click on the Obituary Indexes icon to view them):

    Monroe Enquirer Journal
    The obituary index covers 1968 through the present. It is a work in progress. Some years have not yet been added.

    Marshville Newspapers
    This index contains obituaries from a number of newspapers from Marshville, North Carolina. The index covers the following periods: 1952 – 1955; March 1957 – December 1957; 1962 – 1981; and March 2006 – present.

    Monroe Enquirer
    This obituary index covers the period from June 1875 to June 1880.

    The obituary indexes can be searched by last name, first name, and date. The data fields in the search results include last name, first name, middle name, date of publication, and page number. Because the Marshville obituaries are drawn from a number of newspapers, there is an additional field for newspaper title.

    There is a second Monroe Enquirer database that is full-text searchable. The newspaper’s first issue was published on May 27, 1873. The Union County Public Library had bound copies of the Enquirer for the years between June 1875 and June 1880. During the 1980s they were microfilmed and they have now been digitized and uploaded to the website. Each issue is in PDF format. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view them. Click on the date link to view an issue.

    There is also a photograph collection on the website. This collection contains more than 1,300 images. The photos are organized by subject, location and time period. Another section on the website contains local military history information.

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    Stories of Interest

    12-Hour 'America' Series Gives an Aerial View of History
    The History Channel launched their biggest project ever this week. America, The Story of Us uses dramatic re-creations and computer-generated imagery to document 400 years of U.S. settlement and growth.

    Minuteman Reenactor’s Forebear May Have Started the Battle
    Bill Poole portrays a Minuteman in the annual re-enactment of the Battle of Lexington and Concord. He is a direct descendant of Ebenezer Locke, who, according to one account, fired the musket that started the battle.

    Beware the Family Tree: You May Lift the Lid on Things You’re Rather Not Know
    London’s Daily Mail reports on how genealogy can create problems between present-day relatives.

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    Free Shipping on all Beekman Patent Titles

    The NEHGS Sales Department is happy to offer all Settlers of the Beekman Patent titles with free economy (book rate) shipping. Volumes 1 through 9 are available for $85.00 each and the CD containing all 9 volumes is available for $165.00. These titles can also be sent via UPS for $3.50 per volume.

    To see a full listing of Beekman Patent books or to order this volume or any other Beekman Patent book or CD, please visit the NEHGS store at or call 1-617-226-1212.

    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:

    • Descendants of John Wirebaugh (1821-96) (Item P4-H27846)
    • Kissam Family in America, from 1644-1825 (Item P4-H16938)
    • Alphabetical Index of Revolutionary Pensioners Living in Maine (Item P5-ME0120H)
    • Record of Will in Woodford County, Kentucky, for the Period of Years 1788-1851 (Item P5-KY0040H)
    • Records of the Swedish Lutheran Churches at Raccoon and Penns Neck, New Jersey, 1712-1786 (Item P5-NJ0136H)

    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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    From the Online Genealogist

    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

    The death certificate of my great-grandfather, Horace Dana, states he died on 13 August 1897 in Braintree and was buried in Boston. Where do I begin to search to discover his burial location?

    Since there are many Boston cemeteries to choose from, I would look for an obituary for him, possibly in the The Patriot Ledger newspaper published in nearby Quincy, Mass. You could also try to to locate the death of a sibling or spouse to see if it gives further details where that person is buried. This may turn out to be a family plot in a Boston cemetery.

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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:


    New Visitor Welcome & Library Orientation
    Saturday, May 1, 2010, 10:00 AM
    Starting your family genealogy can seem a little daunting at first. There is so much information found in a variety of locations. Let NEHGS help you make sense of it all by attending this FREE lecture for both members and non-members. This talk introduces you to the NEHGS research library, located at 99 Newbury Street in Boston. Founded in 1845, NEHGS is the country’s oldest and largest non-profit genealogy library and archive. With more than 15 million artifacts, books, manuscripts, microfilms, journals, photographs, records, and other items, NEHGS can provide researchers of every level some of the most important sources of information. You will also have an opportunity to describe your research interests to one of our expert genealogists on staff, who can offer some advice on how to proceed. The program starts with a thirty-minute introductory lecture and will be followed by a tour of the library and its vast holdings. Make plans to start your genealogy with this great tour.

    Wednesday, May 12, 2010, 10:00 AM
    With over 110 million names in 2,200 databases, is the primary internet resource for New England genealogy. This free lecture will offer an overview of the Society’s website and online databases.

    American Passage: The History of Ellis Island
    Wednesday, May 12, 2010, 6:00 PM
    For most of New York’s early history, Ellis Island was an obscure 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

    Come Home to New England
    June 14 – June 20, 2010
    August 9 – August 15, 2010
    Experience NEHGS first-hand during a week of guided research at our library in Boston during Come Home to New England. Daily lectures including a tour of the research library, technology topics, and general methodologies provide a unique research experience for any genealogist. Group dining events, one-on-one consultations and extended library hours ensure you a successful and meaningful week of research at NEHGS.

    Quebec Family History Tour
    September 26 – October 3, 2010
    Discover the records of Quebec during a week of research in Montreal. Researchers will explore the Société Généalogique Canadienne-Française (SGCF) and the Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec (BAnQ). Daily consultations with expert genealogists, lectures, and group meals will provide you with the tools and resources necessary for a successful and beneficial week in Montreal.

    Salt Lake City Research Tour
    October 31 – November 7, 2010
    Join NEHGS for our annual research tour to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah. You are invited to join fellow researchers and NEHGS members for as week of intensive research aided by expert staff. Lectures relating to organizing your materials, accessing the library catalog, and other research tips and techniques are included along with group dining events and personal consultations.

    For more information about NEHGS programs, visit or email

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    NEHGS Contact Information

    We encourage you to email this newsletter to others who might be interested. To subscribe or view back issues of eNews, please visit

    Visit the Society on Facebook at

    NEHGS eNews, like all of our programs, is made possible through the generous contributions of our members. For more information about giving to NEHGS visit

    To view the website of the New England Historic Genealogical Society, please visit

    To become a member of the New England Historic Genealogical Society, please visit

    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