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  • The Weekly Genealogist

  • Vol. 13, No. 18
    Whole #477
    May 5, 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.

    * Patricia Law Hatcher Elected GSP Fellow
    * East Boston Immigration Station Slated for Destruction
    * Research Recommendations: Archives Canada-France
    * Name Origins
    * Spotlight: Genealogical Society of Rockland County, New York
    * Stories of Interest
    * Free Shipping on all Great Migration Titles
    * New on
    * Upcoming Education Programs
    * NEHGS Contact Information




    Patricia Law Hatcher Elected GSP Fellow

    In honor of her exemplary service to the Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania ( and scholarly achievement as editor of Pennsylvania Genealogical Magazine, Patricia Law Hatcher, FASG, was elected a Fellow of the Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania at the Society’s Annual Meeting on March 26. The following comes from GSP:

    Patricia Law Hatcher, FASG, FGSP, has been editor of the Pennsylvania Genealogical Magazine since 2001 and editor of the New York Genealogical and Biographical Record since 2006. She is the author of Researching Your Colonial New England Ancestors, Locating Your Roots—Discover Your Ancestors Using Land Records, Producing a Quality Family History, and other books. She has written over three hundred articles, which have appeared in over a dozen publications, many of which have been on Pennsylvania topics. She is a former trustee of the Association of Professional Genealogists and in 2000 was elected a Fellow of the American Society of Genealogists. A popular lecturer and instructor, she has spoken at many national conferences and institutes.

    Notable of the numerous articles she has authored, are three published in Pennsylvania Genealogical Magazine: “Finding George Lorah: An Exercise in Genealogy,” (Spring/Summer 2000); “Untangling the 15 Henry Hoffs of York County,”(Fall/Winter 2001); and “Land Record Magic, Scotch-Irish to German: The Wiley/Wahle Family of York and Cumberland Counties,” (Fall/Winter 2005).

    In addition to her work with GSP, she has been a consulting editor for Newbury Street Press for many years. Among the NSP titles she has worked on are The Ancestry of Harry E. Figgie, Jr., and The Abraham Family of Lengerich, Germany, and the Abrams Family of America.

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    East Boston Immigration Station Slated for Destruction

    An unassuming building in East Boston, Massachusetts, currently slated for demolition, once served as an immigration station for those coming into the United States through the port of Boston. Among the well-known individuals who passed through this station was the infamous Italian swindler Carlo "Charles" Ponzi, creator of the Ponzi Scheme. He went through the building when he was deported after serving prison sentences for his crimes. It also served as a prison during World War II.

    Boston Globe staff reporter Andrew Ryan tells the story of the station in Gateway to Hope and Heartache.

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    Research Recommendations: Archives Canada-France
    by Michael J. Leclerc

    The Archives de France, in cooperation with Library and Archives Canada (LAC) and the Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec (BAnQ) has put together a valuable website for those researching their French-Canadian roots. Archives Canada-France makes available images of almost 40,000 documents pertaining to the history of the French in America.

    Besides the LAC and BAnQ, documents come from several branches of the Archives de France. In addition to the main archives in Paris, documents come from the departmental archives of Charente-Maritime, Gironde, Pyrénées-Atlantique, and the Archives nationales d’outre-mer.

    Among these records are the records of ministerial departments, records of the Admiralty, the Sovereign Council of Québec, notarial records from France, private papers, and more. You can see an alphabetical list of all of the collections online, or look at one grouped by subject.

    The documents are keyword searchable. You can limit your search to the title of a document, or search the entire text. You can also limit your searches by repository or by collection.

    Results show a description of the contents of the document, and a link to view an image of the original. The viewer is simple and very easy to use. You can zoom in and out on the entire document, even zoom in on a particular section. You can print the image, or download a PDF or ZIP file to your computer.

    Searching was easy, and I found many documents on my ancestors. The day I searched there some issues connecting to documents on BAnQ servers, but other than that the system worked well. They are in the process of adding English versions of pages, but for now most of it is in French only.

    All in all this is an excellent website that should help out those searching their French-Canadian roots. You can find out more at

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    Name Origins
    by Julie Helen Otto

    MABEL (f): Norman French, from amabilis (“lovable”). Often incorrectly interchanged with the Hebrew-derived MEHETABEL.

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    Spotlight: Genealogical Society of Rockland County, New York
    by Valerie Beaudrault

    Rockland County is located in an area just to the north-northwest of New York City, only about ten miles from Manhattan. Its county seat is New City. Members of the Historians Roundtable of the Historical Society of Rockland County organized the Society in 1985. They have made a number of resources available online.

    Cemeteries Online
    This database is an index of burials in Clarkstown area cemeteries. Click on the Cemeteries Online link to access the database. To access short descriptions of each cemetery included in the series, Rockland County Cemeteries, Volume I, Clarkstown, click on the ‘view the introduction’ link. The database can be searched by first name, last name, year born, cemetery name, and / or the town in which the deceased is buried. The data fields in the search results include first name, last name, suffix, maiden name, date born and died, cemetery name, town where cemetery is located, buried, spouse’s first and last name, mother’s first and last name, where mother was born, father’s first and last name, and where father was born. The search results may be exported into Excel or xml files.

    Funeral Homes Online
    This database indexes the funeral home records of two funeral homes—A. W. Dutcher’s and Sons Funeral Home and George M. Holt’s Funeral Home—located in Haverstraw, New York. You can search both sets of records together or one at a time. Click on the ‘view the introduction’ links to read about the funeral homes. The database can be searched by first name, last name, year born, location where died, cemetery name, and funeral home name (Source). The data fields in the search results include first name, last name, suffix, maiden name, date and location born, date and location died, cemetery name, burial location, spouse’s first and last name, mother’s first and last name, where mother was born, father’s first and last name, and where father was born, as well as who was billed for the funeral and where they lived plus funeral home name, record book and page number. The search results may be exported into Excel or xml files.

    1892 Rockland County Census Online
    This database indexes the 1892 Rockland County census. You can search the database by first name, last name, year born, and town. The data fields include last name, first name, sex, age, year born, race, birth date, citizenship, occupation, town, enumeration district, and page number. The search results may be exported into Excel or xml files.

    Rockland Images Project
    Click on the Rockland Images Project link to access the image collection of the Library Association of Rockland County. The project began in January 2005 with a printed survey of libraries' postcard and photograph collections. By the fall of 2005, digitizing of the libraries’ image collections began. There are more than 2,000 images in the collection. You can browse through the image collections library by library or search by keyword. The collections cover a number of subject areas including postcards, architecture, houses, people, business and industry, education, women, and transportation. The collection also includes the Combination Atlas Map of Rockland County, New York, which was published by the F. A. Davis Company in 1876.

    Rockland Children’s Homes
    A number of asylums in Rockland County were organized to care for orphans and foundlings from New York City. In addition, many Orphan Trains passed through the county. The Rockland Children’s Homes webpage was developed to introduce researchers to the “history of the charitable organizations, and their facilities, including children’s and adult homes, and schools where individuals of interest may have lived, gone to school or worked.” In many cases direct links to the organizations have also been included.

    Signatures in the Belanger Collection
    The genealogical society has an online collection of signatures of deceased residents of Rockland County. They have been gathered by Mr. Belanger from a variety of sources such as the signatures of census enumerators, deeds, court records, postcards, and pension records, to name a few. The signatures are sorted by last name. This project is a work in progress.

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    Stories of Interest

    Indian Tribe Wins Fight to Limit Research of Its DNA
    The Havasupi Indians of Arizona recently won a settlement from the Arizona State University based on wrongful use of the DNA for genetic testing.

    A Lost Estate
    Buried in the backyards of suburban villas, along 800 acres from the Charles River in Needham, Massachusetts, to Longmeadow Road in Wellesley, lie the remains of the estate of eccentric and wealthy William Emerson Baker. The estate once included a 90-foot water tower capped by an 11-foot state of Neptune, monkey cages, bear pits, and a “Sanitary Piggery” where pigs slept in linen sheets.

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    Free Shipping on all Great Migration Titles

    The NEHGS Sales Department is offering FREE book rate shipping on all Great Migration titles. This offer is good on The Great Migration Begins, 1620–1633 (three-volume set); The Great Migration, Immigrants to New England, 1634–35 (five volumes); The Pilgrim Migration: Immigrants to Plymouth Colony, 1620–1633; The Complete Great Migration Newsletter, Volumes 1–15; and The Great Migration Newsletter, Volumes 11–15. The free shipping is for economy/book rate shipping only. Economy shipments can take 10-20 business days to arrive, depending on location. Customers must choose economy shipping on all online orders or request it when purchasing by phone.

    Offer good for ONE WEEK ONLY, from May 5 through May 12, 2010.

    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:

    • Genealogical Data from Bristol, Connecticut Cemeteries (Item P5-CT0339H)
    • Descendants of Richard Woody of England and Massachusetts (Item P4-H28026)
    • Descendants of Robert Taylor of Pennsylvania (Item P4-H25209)
    • Records of the First Church of Rowley, Massachusetts (Item P5-MA0088H)
    • Centennial History of Kutztown, Pennsylvania (Item P5-PA0208H)

    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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    New on

    Vital Records of Dover, New Hampshire to 1850

    Dover, Strafford County, New Hampshire, was first settled in 1623 and is considered “the oldest permanent settlement in New Hampshire and the seventh oldest in the United States.” The original township of Dover included the present towns of Dover, Durham, Lee, Madbury, Somersworth, Rollinsford, and parts of Newmarket, Newington, and Greenland.

    This database consists of the records of 801 church admissions, 679 Baptisms, 2,409 births, 3,425 marriages, and 716 deaths. Images of the original book pages are accessible from the search results.

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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:


    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 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.

    Applying to Lineage Societies
    Wednesday, May 26, 2010, 10:00 AM
    Join expert genealogist Christopher C. Child as he shares techniques for applying to lineage societies including the Daughters of the American Revolution, Sons of the American Revolution, Society of Colonial Wars, Society of Mayflower Descendants, and other. Discover acceptable documentation and other important information for preparing your application.

    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

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    Copyright 2010, New England Historic Genealogical Society
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New England Historic Genealogical Society
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Boston, Massachusetts 02116, USA

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