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  • The Weekly Genealogist

  • Vol. 13, No. 21
    Whole #480
    May 26, 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.

    * FGS Early Registration Deadline Approaching
    * The Meaning of Mozingo
    * Research Recommendations: Connecticut Probate Guides
    * Name Origins
    * Spotlight: Peel's Prairie Provinces Website, Alberta, Canada
    * Stories of Interest
    * New Titles from NEHGS
    * NEHGS Holiday Closures
    * Upcoming Education Programs
    * NEHGS Contact Information




    FGS Early Registration Deadline Approaching

    The deadline for the early registration discount for the Federation of Genealogical Societies’ annual conference, Rediscovering America's First Frontier, is Tuesday, June 1. The conference will be held at the convention center in Knoxville, Tennessee, August 18–21, 2010. NEHGS will be there, as always. Staff members Christopher Child, Michael J. Leclerc, Rhonda McClure, and Joshua Taylor will be presenting at the conference and staffing our booth in the exhibit hall.

    For more details about the conference, and to register online and get the registration discount, visit

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    The Meaning of Mozingo

    Reporter Joe Mozingo of the Los Angeles Times became interested in family history and found his father’s ancestors shrouded in mystery. Some family members claimed Italian ancestry, while others suggested French or Swiss origins. As his research progressed, Joe discovered that he, “the blue-eyed surfing son of a dentist,” had a last name that traced back to a Bantu warrior from the Congo who was an indentured servant in seventeenth-century Virginia. His fascinating three-part story tracing his family back through Indiana and Kentucky to the rural northern neck of Virginia to discover the “Meaning of Mozingo” was recently published in the Times.

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    Research Recommendations: Connecticut Probate Guides
    by Michael J. Leclerc

    My friend Barbara Matthews showed me a section of the Connecticut State Library (CSL) website that will prove very valuable for those researching probate records in that state. Connecticut’s probate system involves probate districts whose borders, naturally, changed over time. CSL now has a very informative Research Guide to Probate Records at the Connecticut State Library available online.

    The main page is especially helpful, with sections on Early Connecticut Probate Records, Probate Courts, Types of Probate Records, Other Sources of Probate Information, Probate Abstracts, Other Helpful Sources, and For Further Reading. The list of compiled information includes a number of abstracts of original records available only in manuscript form at CSL.

    There is also a link to the Research Guide to Connecticut Probate Districts. This guide is meant to help users understand the state’s probate system:

    “The extensive system of probate courts in Connecticut often presents a challenge for Connecticut genealogical and historical researchers. Unlike other New England states where one probate court per county, often located in the county seat, is typical, the probate courts in Connecticut historically catered to much smaller geographic areas. Connecticut's probate courts evolved, both in number and in area of coverage, over the past 350 plus years. Currently 130 different probate courts serve Connecticut's 169 cities and towns.”

    The guide identifies which probate district had jurisdiction over a given city or town through time, what materials are available, and in what format. At the bottom of the page are links to each letter of the alphabet. These links bring you to a page listing all towns started with that letter, presented alphabetically. Following is a sample entry:

    Windham County, Town established in May 1785, Parent Town: Killingly

    Thompson Probate District was constituted May 25, 1832, from the Pomfret Probate District. The Thompson Probate District currently serves the Town of Thompson.

    Present location of probate court: Town Bldg., North Grosvenor Dale, Thompson CT, 06255;
    Address: Box 74, North Grosvenor Dale, Thompson CT, 06255.
    Hours: 9 a.m.- 12 Noon, Monday through Friday; Saturday and evenings by appointment.
    Telephone: 860 923-2203.

    Town of Thompson, Probate District chronology:
    May 1785-May 24, 1832 Pomfret District
    May 25, 1832-Present Thompson District

    Estate Papers
    Indexes: 1832-1945 included in General Probate Index at CSL.
    Originals: 1832-1945 at CSL.
    Microfilms: 1832-1880 at CSL, and available through LDS Family History Centers.

    Probate Court Record Books
    Originals: None at CSL, contact probate court.

    1832-1916 at CSL, and available through LDS Family History Centers.

    Inventory Control Book

    These guides are invaluable to understanding the complex system of jurisdictions, greatly simplifying the process of accessing materials. The Guide to Probate Records is available at, and the Guide to Probate Districts can be accessed at

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    Name Origins
    by Julie Helen Otto

    ORILLA (f): Phonetic variation (with diminutive added) on AURORA, or derivation from Latin AURELIA (family name derived from aurum ‘gold’)

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    Spotlight: Peel's Prairie Provinces Website, Alberta, Canada
    by Valerie Beaudrault

    The Peel's Prairie Provinces website is "dedicated to assisting scholars, students, and researchers of all types in their exploration of western Canadian history and the culture of the Canadian prairies." The site's resources include an online bibliography of books, pamphlets, and other materials related to the development of the Canadian Prairies. According to the website there were more than 7,200 digitized titles and more than 10,000 newspaper issues, as of May 2009. The materials in the collections are primarily in English, with some materials in French, Ukrainian, and other languages. The website is hosted by the University Alberta Libraries. The following is an overview of a few of their searchable resources.

    Newspaper Collection
    Click on the Find Newspapers tab to access this collection. There are 27 newspapers in the collection: Alberta Non-Partisan (1917–1919); Alderson News (1915–1918); Bassano Mail (1913–1936); Bassano Recorder (1937–1945); Beiseker Times (1949–1953); Bowden News (1911–1912); Chinook Advance (1915–1945); Claresholm Advertiser (1914–1916); Le Courrier de l'ouest (1905–1915); The Farm and Ranch Review (1944–1959); Folio (1964–2007); Le Franco-Albertain (1967–2000); The Gateway (1910–2006); Grain Growers Guide (1909–1919); Bassano Herald (1955–1958); The Illustrated War News (1885); Mirror (1912–1913); Le Patriote de l'ouest (1910–1932); The People's Weekly (1950–1952); Poundmaker (1972–1974); Red Deer News (1906–1926); Saturday News (1907–1912); La Survivance (1928–1967); United Farmers of Alberta (1922–1933); L'Union (1919–1923); Vermilion Signal (1906–1908); and Wetaskiwin Times (1928–1933).

    The collection is full-text searchable. You can search by keyword and limit your search by newspaper title, publication year and language. Results can be sorted by relevance or by date. The results returned include a summary of the publication information and a thumbnail showing the keyword. Click on the thumbnail to view an enlargement of the entire article.

    You can also browse the collection. Click on the newspaper title link to open a page with background information on the newspaper and links to complete issues. Should you decide that you want to search that issue, you can do so from that page.

    Images: Paririe Postcards Collection
    Click on the Find Images tab to locate this resource. This collection contains more than 14,000 postcards showing life on the Canadian Prairies from the late-nineteenth through the mid-twentieth centuries. You can search the collection by keyword and then narrow it by selecting from a number of options.

    Featured Collections
    Under the Featured Collections tab you will find links to an extensive collection of Henderson city directories, covering the following locations: Edmonton; Calgary; Lethbridge; Medicine Hat and Redcliff; Alberta; Winnipeg and incorporated towns of Manitoba; Brandon; and Manitoba and Northwest Territories. The directories may be viewed page by page, as a flip book, or on a 3D wall. The directories may also be searched by keyword.

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    Stories of Interest

    A Contrary Code of Conduct
    The Genealogue recently posted a very humorous code of conduct for genealogy bloggers.

    New Colonial History of New Haven Area Earns Literary Award
    The Connecticut Society of Genealogists announced that "Visible Saints" by Peter J. Malia is the winner of its prestigious 2010 Literary Award as best new genealogical resource on Connecticut history.

    Rochester Man’s Long Family History with the Erie Canal
    A Rochester man with a long history of connections to New York’s canals has found an unusual way of getting to Syracuse for a new exhibit of his family’s picture collection about the waterway: by canal.

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    Sale on Select Titles

    The NEHGS Bookstore is offering a one-week discount on ten popular titles. These books have been discounted up to 50%. Sales prices are good through June 2nd, 2010, while supplies last. Massachusetts residents please add 6.25% sales tax.

    Notable Kin, Volume 1 by Gary Boyd Roberts
    Normally $30.00, Sale Price: $22.50

    Notable Kin, Volume 2: by Gary Boyd Roberts
    Normally $30.00, Sale Price: $22.50

    Finding Oprah’s Roots: Finding Your Own by Henry L. Gates Jr.
    Normally $19.95, Sale Price: $15.95

    Great Migration Newsletter, Volumes 11–15
    Normally $11.95, Sale Price $9.95

    New York State Probate by Gordon Remington
    Normally $19.95, Sale Price: $16.95

    Best Genealogical Sources in Print by Gary Boyd Roberts
    Normally $50.00, Sale Price: $40.00

    Wills of the County of Essex, England, Volume 2, 1565–1571 by F. G. Emmison
    Normally $30.00, On Sale for $15.00

    Hartford County, Connecticut, County Court Minutes, volumes 3 & 4, 1636–1687, 1697 by Helen Schatvet Ullmann
    Normally $19.00, On Sale for $15.00

    Stoughton, Massachusetts, Vital Records to 1850 Compiled by David Allen Lambert
    Normally $50.00, Sale Price: $40.00

    Large Format Decorative Family Tree Notecard
    Normally $8.50. Sale Price: $4.25

    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:

    • Halifax County, Virginia, Marriage Bonds, 1753-1854 (Item P5-VA0074H)
    • Fauquier County, Virginia, Marriage Bonds, 1759-1854 (Item P5-VA0075H)
    • Isle of Wight, Virginia, Marriages, 1628-1800 (Item P5-VA0052H)
    • Pittsylvania County, Virginia, Marriage Bonds, 1767-1864 (Item P5-VA0070H)
    • History of Tazewell County and Southwest Virginia, 1748-1920 (Item P5-VA0045BH)

    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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    NEHGS Holiday Closures

    The NEHGS administrative offices will be closed on Monday, May 31, 2010 in observance of Memorial Day. The Research Library will be closed on Saturday, May 29, 2010 for the holiday.

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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
    Wednesday, June 2, 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 genealogical 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 for the field. You will also have an opportunity to describe your research interests to one of our expert genealogists on staff, who can offer 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.

    Seminars and Tours

    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 a 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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    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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