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  • The Weekly Genealogist

  • Vol. 13, No. 26
    Whole #485
    June 30, 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.

    * NEHGS Holiday Closure
    * This Week's Survey
    * Research Recommendations: Valuable Additions to Maine Memory Network
    * Name Origins
    * Spotlight: Little River County Genealogical Society, Arkansas
    * Stories of Interest
    * Brigham Pre-Pub Special Extended
    * Upcoming Education Programs
    * NEHGS Contact Information




    NEHGS Holiday Closures

    The NEHGS Research Library will be closed on Saturday, July 3, 2010, for the Independence Day holiday. The Society’s administrative offices will be closed on Monday, July 5.

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    This Week's Survey

    Last week’s survey on writing your family history brought the most responses ever. Only 17% had not written anything. The rest of the results are as follows:

    68% have written bits and pieces for family members.
    16% have written articles for family associations/genealogical societies.
    13% have written and self-published a book.
    4% have written compiled genealogies for peer-reviewed journals.
    2% have written articles for popular genealogy magazines.
    2% have written a book and published with a traditional publisher.

    This week’s survey asks how long you’ve been researching. Take the survey now!

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    Research Recommendations: Valuable Additions to Maine Memory Network
    by Michael J. Leclerc

    The Maine Historical Society (MHS) has done an excellent job with the Maine Memory Network over the past few years, adding a great deal of material about Maine history to the site. Now, MHS has announced two major additions to the site that make it even more valuable: Maine History Online and the Maine Community Heritage Project.

    Maine History Online is a “vast, comprehensive introduction to Maine history.” It tells the stories of the people of Maine and their heritage in the state. These stories are told in a variety of ways, such as exhibits, historical images, documents, and objects. But, more importantly, these items are brought together through essays that make the stories come alive.

    You can explore the site by theme or by time period. Themes include Peopling Maine; Living Off the Land and Sea; Mainers Go to War; and Culture and Community, among others. Time periods are logically subdivided into ten subsections dating from 1500 to the present.

    The Peopling Maine essay discusses the diversity of backgrounds represented by the inhabitants. In addition to the essay, there are links to online exhibits about Chinese in Maine; Les Raquetteurs; Bringing in the Swedes; and Blacks in Maine. Each exhibit includes beautiful images dealing with the subject.

    The Time Period essay dealing with the colonial era is quite interesting. 1668–1774: Settlement & Strife details a period of great change in the state’s history: “The century before the American Revolution was marked by a series of destructive wars between Natives and Europeans that kept Maine – the frontier between New France, New England, and the Abenaki homelands – in constant turmoil.” Among the several exhibits linked to this essay is one that reveals the changing landscape of the state. The Shape of Maine uses maps, documents, and artistic representations of the state dating from the seventeenth through the early-twentieth centuries.

    The Maine Community Heritage Project, a joint project of MHS and the Maine State Library (MSL), is funded by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Over the past two years, MHS and MSL have worked with teams from sixteen communities to develop online histories for their community. The teams (which consisted of local historical societies, schools, and public libraries) worked together to create essays and online exhibits of images from local and state repositories to document the heritage of the town. Each community has its own section on the Maine Memory Network website. The sixteen towns that have so far participated in the project are Bangor, Bath, Biddeford, Blue Hill, Cumberland/North Yarmouth, Farmington, Guilford, Hallowell, Hampden, Islesboro, Lincoln, Lubec, New Portland, Presque Isle, Scarborough, and Thomaston.

    You can check out Maine History Online at The Maine Community Heritage Project (at has links to the individual town sections.

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    Name Origins
    by Julie Helen Otto

    JOHN (m): Hebrew. Until quite recently, this was consistently the most common male given name in English.

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    Spotlight: Little River County Genealogical Society, Arkansas
    by Valerie Beaudrault

    Little River County is located in southwest Arkansas. The Little River County Genealogical Society’s (LRCGS) genealogy research room is located in the public library in Ashdown, the county seat.

    The LRCGS has made a number of resources available to the general public through its website. Other resources are available to members only. Click on the Resources link to access the public resources.

    This section of the website contains links burial databases for about sixty cemeteries in Little River County and seven cemeteries in Sevier County. The files are in PDF format, so you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view them. For many of the cemeteries you will also find links to topographical maps. In some cases, photographs of the gravestones have been included.

    This section contains databases with lists of superintendents, teachers, high school graduates, and brief histories of some schools. In addition there is a link to six school photographs. In five of them the students have been identified.

    Census and Tax Lists
    Researchers will find links to indexes to census records for a number of counties and years, including a slave owners’ census and an Indian lands census, in this section. There are also tax lists for Little River County (1868, 1885, 1890) and one for the 1909 Ogden Levy District Tax.

    Southwest Arkansas Vital Records
    This section contains four marriage records databases and the mortality index from the 1870 federal census for Little River County. The marriage records indexes are for Sevier, Little River, Howard, and Hempstead counties.

    Little River County History
    This section contains narratives and articles related to a number of different aspects of life in Little River County.

    There are a number of databases, some on the website and others with links to outside resources, which have lists of soldiers who fought in the Civil War, World War II, and the Vietnam War. In addition, there is a database of the proceedings of the County Confederate Pensioners Board and the 1916 menu for the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers.

    Wills, Estates and Obituaries
    One of the resources here is an alphabetical death index for the period from 1914 to 1923. The index contains the full name of the deceased only.

    Pioneer: Little River County Settlers
    This section is an index to the names of Little River County settlers who obtained land from the government. Related original documents may be found on the Bureau of Land Management — General Land Office website. The link to this site may be found on the LRCGS website.

    In addition there are links to church histories; courthouse records; Goodspeed’s History of Southern Arkansas (which includes biographies); photographs; and files related to famous individuals from Little River County. There is also a link to a section containing family genealogies contributed by Little River County families.

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    Stories of Interest

    Internet is Resource, But Not Do-All Genealogy Tool
    Julie Miller is a noted professional genealogist in Colorado. Her column in the Broomfield Enterprise always makes for excellent reading, and especially so this week. Julie discusses the shortfalls of restricting research to online sources only.

    A New Turn for Racial History and a Family’s Pride
    Boston Globe columnist Kevin Cullen reports on the discover by Boston Police Department Archivist Margaret Sullivan of the “first colored officer” appointed by the BPD in 1878: a half-century earlier than previously thought.

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    Brigham Pre-Publication Special Extended

    NEHGS is extending the pre-publication price of The History of the Brigham Family: Descendants of Thomas Brigham by one more week. The prepublication price of $74.95 (discounted from $84.95) is now being offered through July 7. To order online, visit 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 Rockton, Winnebago County, Illinois, 1820-1898 (Item P5-IL0168H)
    • History of Barnstable County, Massachusetts, 1620-1890 (Item P5-MA0365H)
    • History of Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1630-1877, with a Genealogical Register (Item P5-MA0338H)
    • History of Bolton, Massachusetts, 1738-1938 (Item P5-MA0378H)
    • History of Otisfield, Berkshire County, Massachusetts, from 1734-1800 (Item P5-MA0322H)

    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:

    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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