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  • The Weekly Genealogist

  • Vol. 13, No. 25
    Whole #484
    June 23, 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.

    * The History of the Brigham Family
    * This Week's Survey
    * Research Recommendations: Tips for Research Travel
    * Name Origins
    * Spotlight: Historical Society Resources
    * Stories of Interest
    * Sale on Titles From Maureen Taylor
    * Upcoming Education Programs
    * NEHGS Contact Information




    The History of the Brigham Family

    NEHGS is pleased to announce the forthcoming Newbury Street Press publication, The History of the Brigham Family: Descendants of Thomas Brigham, the first comprehensive treatment of this important family in nearly one hundred years.

    The first volume of The History of the Brigham Family was published in 1907; a second volume appeared in 1927. This new volume, compiled by Rhonda M. McClure of the Society’s staff, reviews and updates (and, in some cases, amends) the accounts of the family’s founder in America (and his children and grandchildren) that appeared in the earlier volumes. In addition, McClure has brought forward as many lines as possible to the fourteenth generation, incorporating information from questionnaires supplied by descendants of Brigham sons and daughters.

    Notable Brigham descendants in the volume include General Artemas Ward, Eli Whitney, Peter Bent Brigham, Horatio Greenough, Dorothea Lynde Dix, Brigham Young, George Herbert Walker Bush, George Walker Bush, Sir Timothy John Berners-Lee, James Brolin, and Josh Brolin.

    This comprehensive book, four years in the making, has over 1000 pages and an every-name index. It will be a sturdy 7 x 10 hardcover.

    Order before June 30 to get the special prepublication price of $74.95 (regularly $84.95). Volume discounts are available. To order, phone 617-226-1212 or visit

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    This Week's Survey

    Last week we asked you to tell us where your research interests lie. This survey generated more answers than previous questions. In order of interest, the results were as follows:

    New England (CT, ME, MA, NH, RI, VT), 95%
    Mid-Atlantic (NJ, NY, PA), 64%
    Midwest (IL, IN, IA, KS, MI, MN, MO, NE, ND, OH, SD, WI), 51%
    South Atlantic (FL, GA, NC, SC, VA, WV), 28%
    West (CA, OR, WA), 25%
    Completely Outside of U.S., 22%
    South Central (AL, AR, KY, LA, MS, OK, TN, TX), 20%
    Mountain Plains (AZ, CO, ID, MT, NV, NM, UT, WY), 11%
    Pacific (AK, HI), 2%

    This week’s survey is about writing your family history. Take the survey now!

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    Research Recommendations: Tips for Research Travel
    by Michael J. Leclerc

    Summer is a popular time for genealogists to travel and do research. Many visitors to the NEHGS research library are here for the first time. Unfortunately, they are not always prepared enough to do a large amount of research. The better prepared you are for these trips, the more time you will have for research — as opposed to talking with librarians, archivists, and other repository officials about your problem and how you might find answers. The following tips may help you on your next research trip.

    1. Charts, Charts, Charts
    Pedigree charts and family group sheets will greatly assist repository staff in understanding your questions, and assisting you in finding answers. These documents telegraph information to the reader quite quickly and easily, allowing them to more readily help you.

    2. Summary of Known Information
    Some information is a bit more complex, and doesn’t easily fit into a chart. Write a small Register-style sketch of the family, including a short discussion of the problem. Doing this before you leave ensures that you include all pertinent information about the problem, and minimizes the risk of forgetting details when you are speaking to repository staff and may feel rushed.

    3. Check the Catalog
    Many repositories now have online catalogs available 24/7. Check the website for any repository in which you are planning to research. Compile a list of items you would like to examine, including authors, titles, and call numbers. Make note of any restrictions to use (for example, you may need to be a member of an organization to look at their manuscript materials). Bring this list with you, and you will be ready to start researching as soon as you arrive at the repository.

    4. Update Electronic Files
    Make sure that any databases, documents, etc., that you have on your laptop are updated before leaving on your trip. That way you will have the most up-to-date information readily accessible. Remember, you may not be able to bring your laptop into some repositories.

    5. Bring Paper and Electronic
    A small three-ring notebook is a handy thing to have on a trip. Put copies of your pedigree charts, family group sheets, Register sketches, etc., in the notebook. These make for easy, ready reference with the staff at the repository. And don’t have to spend time waiting for your computer to boot up. If you are bringing electronic files, be certain to have a backup copy on a USB drive.

    Most importantly, have fun and enjoy your research trip!

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    Name Origins
    by Julie Helen Otto

    VOLIVAR (m): This is an embroidery on the name of Simón José Antonio de la Santísima Trinidad Bolívar Palacios y Blanco (1783 – 1830), whose role in the wars for independence of what are now Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Perú, Panamá, and Bolivia (this last named for him) was widely admired in early nineteenth-century America.

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    Spotlight: Historical Society Resources
    by Valerie Beaudrault

    Willsboro Heritage Society, New York

    Willsboro is located in Essex County, New York, south of the city of Plattsburgh. The Willsboro Heritage Society was organized to study, preserve, and make available the history of the town. The Society has made some resources available on its website. Click on the database links to access the records.

    Civil War Veterans List
    This list of Willsboro and other Essex County Civil War veterans was extracted from the files that Albert Hayward, a well-known local genealogist. Mr. Hayward’s files were donated to the Paine Memorial Library in Willsboro. According to him, the source data for this list may be found at the Plattsburgh Library.

    Cemetery Lists
    Vital data for individuals buried in eleven area cemeteries has been transcribed and uploaded to the website. The included cemeteries are: Adams, Boardman, Brookfield Baptist, Calvary, Currier, Essex, Gilliland, Lakeview, Memorial, Old Burt, and Whallons Bay. Click on the cemetery name to view the transcribed records.

    Starksboro Historical Society

    Starksboro is a small town located in Addison County, Vermont. The stated purpose of the Starksboro Historical Society is to “foster a sense of community through knowledge of our past, connect people to the land through history, and provide a legacy of Starksboro's past and present for future generations.” To that end the Society provides some resources available on its website.

    Starksboro Cemetery Project
    The tombstone inscriptons for individuals buried in twelve cemeteries in Starksboro and one in Hinesburg has been transcribed and uploaded to the website. Photographs of the cemeteries have also been uploaded to the site, including, in some cases, photographs of individual headstone. Click on the name of the deceased to view them. Click on the Starksboro Cemetery Project link to open a page with links to the cemetery records.

    Starksboro Preservation Projects
    Click on the Starksboro Preservation Projects link to access a number of online photo exhibits and other memorabilia. There are photos of three preservation projects and three other collections. The other collections include the following:

    Baldwin Family Photos
    These photographs are from the estate of Ruth Carpenter Baldwin, widow of Walter N. Baldwin, of Starksboro. They were likely taken around 1900. The historical society hopes that anyone who recognizes people in these photos will email the information to them.

    Elisa Ferguson, Postmaster
    This collection contains letters related to Elisah Ferguson's tenure as Starksboro’s postmaster during the early 1840's.

    Starksboro Memorabilia
    By clicking on this link you will be able to access a variety of Starksboro Memorabilia items. The photographs, documents, and statistics related to the town are on the Starksboro Meeting House website.

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    Stories of Interest

    Silversmiths Fear End to Their Craft
    Silversmiths at Old Newbury Crafters fear that time and technology will kill their trade, which has otherwise changed little in centuries.

    Native Island Family Meets Under the Oaks to Strengthen Family Tree
    Little did the Aiken-Singleton family of Hilton Head Island know that when it gathered with covered dishes for their recently widowed father on Father’s Day in 1960, it would turn into an annual event lasting half a century.

    Ohio State Student is a Dedicated Collector of Military History, Culture
    If you meet Kyle Nappi, the first question you might hear is: “Are you or is anyone in your family a veteran?” The 20-year-old Ohio State student has been asking that question a lot for nearly a decade.

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    Sale on Titles From Maureen Taylor

    The Last Muster: Images of the Revolutionary War Generation, Normally $45.00, On Sale for $38.25

    Preserving Your Family Photographs, Normally $24.99, On Sale for $21.24

    Fashionable Folks: Hairstyles 1840 – 1900, Normally $19.95, On Sale for $16.96

    Prices good until 6/30/2010, while supplies last. MA residents add 6.25% sales tax. Prices do not include shipping.


    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:

    • History of Mower County, Minnesota (Item P5-MN0006H)
    • A Century & A Quarter of History: Geneva, NY, from 1787-1912 (Item P5-NY0098H)
    • The Schwenkfelders in Pennsylvania: A Historical Sketch (Item P5-PA0138H)
    • History of Hartford, VT, July 4, 1761-April 4, 1889 (Item P5-VT0025H)
    • History of Rochester and Monroe County, NY, from Earliest Historic Times to the Beginning of 1907, 2-volume set (Item P5-NY0136H)

    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:


    Drawn from Life: Four Women Artists in Nineteenth-Century New England
    June 30, 2010, 6:00pm
    Because nineteenth-century Americans regarded artistic accomplishment as suitably feminine, most middle-class women received some education in art; but pursuing art professionally was another matter. This talk explores the experiences of four New England women in order to map the possibilities, limits, and stakes for those who desired to become professional artists. Painter Fidelia Bridges and sculptor Anne Whitney established long, successful careers and national acclaim in their lifetimes. Prospects for a sister sculptor, Louisa Lander, foundered on the shoals of personal scandal however. And after intense training and early exhibitions of her paintings, artist Adeline Manning remained largely limited to domestic life. A collective portrait of these women and their relationships reveals the contours of nineteenth-century women’s lives.

    About the Speaker: Laura R. Prieto (Simmons College) has a B.A. from Wellesley College and a Master’s. and Ph.D. in History from Brown University. She is a member of the faculty at Simmons College, with a joint appointment in History and Women’s Studies. Harvard University Press published her book, At Home in the Studio: The Professionalization of Women Artists in America, in 2001. She is currently President of the New England Historical Association.

    Seminars and Tours

    Come Home to New England
    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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    Copyright 2010, New England Historic Genealogical Society
    101 Newbury Street, Boston, MA 02116

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New England Historic Genealogical Society
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Boston, Massachusetts 02116, USA

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