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  • The Weekly Genealogist

  • Vol. 13, No. 28
    Whole #487
    July 14, 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.

    * Free Admission to NEHGS on September 3
    * This Week's Survey
    * Research Recommendations: Why Read Old Magazines?
    * Name Origins
    * Spotlight: Davis Cemetery, Dora, Alabama
    * Stories of Interest
    * Classic Reprints
    * R.I.P. Lowell Warren, Jr.
    * Upcoming Education Programs
    * NEHGS Contact Information




    Free Admission to NEHGS on September 3

    NEHGS is pleased to announce our participation in the popular “Free Fun Fridays” program in Boston. On Friday, September 3, 2010, NEHGS will offer free admission to its Boston research center for everyone for the entire day. We will be hosting special lectures, programs, children’s activities, and consultations. We’ll also be serving light refreshments. Make plans to joins us for what should be a wonderful day of family history fun.

    Free Fun Fridays is a special summer-long event sponsored by the Highland Street Foundation. This year, 26 Boston-area museums and cultural attractions are involved, providing free admission to a different attraction every Friday during the summer. More information can be found on their Web site at

    NEHGS invites you to visit us during the our free day, and bring a friend!

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    This Week's Survey

    Last week we asked you how to tell us your age range. The results were quite interesting. Two readers under the age of 20 responded to the survey, as well as five more between the ages of 20 and 30. Six of our readers are more than 90 years old. The largest percentage of reader falls into the 60 to 70 age bracket, with 70 to 80 following in second place. Complete results are:

    60 to 70, 35%
    70 to 80, 25%
    50 to 60, 21%
    80 to 90, 10%
    40 to 50, 7%
    30 to 40, 2%
    Over 90, <1%
    25 to 30, <1%
    20 to 25, <1%
    Under 20, <1%

    This week’s survey asks you to rate websites you use in your genealogical research.

    Take the survey now!

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    Research Recommendations: Why Read Old Magazines?
    by Michael J. Leclerc

    One of the benefits of working at NEHGS is being surrounded by shelf after shelf of magazines and journals covering the topics of history and genealogy, some of which date back decades, while others date back centuries. I often hear people say that they don’t care about anything but recent periodicals, because older stories about research and methodology don’t take into account modern research styles. These people do themselves an incredible disservice by not looking at everything that is available to them.

    The information contained in the 1860 census has not changed a bit in the century and a half since it was first taken. Our means of accessing it has changed since 1932. We moved from looking at original ledger books to microfilm copies to digital images online. But the essential data is the same, and understanding that data is still the same.

    This point was recently reinforced with me recently. I was looking for an article published in an old version of the Association of Professional Genealogists Quarterly. In looking for my article, I ran across a two-part series from 1989 on “How to Have Your Article Accepted or Rejected by the Editor.” The series was adapted from a panel discussion on the working relationship between writers and editors held at the 1988 National Genealogical Society Conference in Biloxi, Mississippi. The APGQ ran four articles in the series:

    • “Determining Genealogical Journal Content” by David L. Greene, Ph.D., C.G., F.A.S.G.;
    • “Documentation for Journal Articles” by Elizabeth Shown Mills, C.G., C.G.L., F.A.S.G., F.N.G.S.;
    • “Contributing and Article: But to Which Periodical?” by Marcia Eisenberg;
    • “The Editor’s Responsibility to Edit” by John Frederick Dorman, C.G., F.A.S.G., F.N.G.S.

    Among David Greene’s advice for writing is to check published material. He states “Please do not submit to any journal material that simply restates what is in print. We have received articles at our journal, for instance, restating material that is already in Savage’s Genealogical Dictionary of New England, which came out 128 years ago.” In 1989 one had to examine paper versions of the Periodical Source Index (PERSI) and the Genealogical Periodical Annual Index. With the advent of digital versions of journals, such as the Register, TAG, The Virginia Genealogist, and others available on, it is even easier to check material that has already been published.

    Greene’s next tip is to state your conclusions: “Please study the nature of evidence. You are aware of this already, so it doesn’t need to be stated at length But it is even more important — to state in your article why you have reached your conclusions. Over and over again we get articles from very good contributors who are so familiar with their own material that it does not occur to them that they need to state explicitly what is already obvious to them.” Would any of today’s editors disagree with this statement?

    Elizabeth Shown Mills tells the reader that “Documentation actually has a dual purpose. As genealogists we document to keep ourselves straight and we document to help others check our facts.” This is still as relevant today as it was twenty years ago. She also discusses the need for informational notes. These notes are used to discuss source information or other data needing clarification separate from the text.

    One of the most helpful suggestions from Marcia Eisenberg deals with societies (such as NEHGS) that have multiple publications. She encourages writers to examine the contents of both to “clarify whether a contribution would be more acceptable in the newsletter [or magazine] (which normally emphasizes current information) or the journal (which more often presents material of permanent value).”

    John Frederick Dorman gets right to the heart of the matter when he says “An editor must edit? A radical thought indeed! It is also one equally protested by those who submit manuscripts and many of those who agree to help put that material into print.” Unfortunately, little has changed in two decades, and many authors do not properly understand the function of the editor.

    Dorman goes on to say that “Some authors make a point of submitting what they term ‘camera-ready copy.’ Unfortunately it seldom is.” As an editor myself, I would add that truer words were never spoken. He goes on to discuss several duties of the editor, including checking for clarity, amplifying certain arguments the author is making, and eliminating extraneous materials.

    These four articles have stood the test of time quite admirably. Most editors today, while allowing for changes because of modern desktop publishing and other tools, would likely agree with just about everything these four authors said.

    So the next time you are wandering the stacks of the library with a few extra minutes to kill, take a look at some of the old journals and magazines. You might be surprised at the articles you find extremely helpful, even after all of these years. And if you are interested in reading further about the articles mentioned above, you can obtain copies through NEHGS Research Services.

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    Name Origins
    by Julie Helen Otto

    HOSEA BALLOU (m): Rev. Hosea Ballou (1771-1852) was an important early Unitarian-Universalist minister for whom many admiring nineteenth-century parents named sons. If your nineteenth-century ancestors gave a boy this name, it is unlikely that his parents belonged to the Trinitarian wing of the Congregationalist church, as the deep and bitter schism between Unitarians and Trinitarians split more than one early-nineteenth-century family.

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    Spotlight: Davis Cemetery, Dora, Alabama
    by Valerie Beaudrault

    Dora, a small city in Walker County, Alabama, is located in the north central part of the state. The Davis Cemetery is located in Dora next to the Second Baptist Church. The cemetery is on the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage.

    The cemetery comprises two sections—the old section, which contains graves more than hundred years old, and the new section, which is an active burial ground. A database of burials from the establishment of the cemetery through 2009 may be found on the cemetery website. They are continuing to add to the database.

    Brief History of the Davis Cemetery

    According to the Dora Centennial Book 1886–1986, the Davis Cemetery, established in 1847, was the first “burying Ground in East Walker County. It was located on the Davis property behind Dora Second Baptist Church. According to local tradition “Daniel Davis gave the land for the cemetery, built a little ‘chapel’ there, and planted ten cedar trees to ‘guard’ it.” The Dora cemetery is the oldest known cemetery in the area. Its gravestones date back to the earliest settlers.

    Click on the ‘People Buried at Davis Cemetery’ link to access an alphabetical list of individuals buried in the cemetery. The data fields in the database are name; birth date, if known; and death date. In some cases the gravestones have been photographed and the images uploaded to the website. Click on the ‘Marker’ link to view the stone. In a few cases there are photographs of the individual buried in the grave. A number of war veterans are buried there. Their names have been highlighted in blue in the database. Service information has also been provided. In addition researchers will find a link, ‘Pictures’, from the homepage to an alphabetical list of name links to the photographs of those markers.

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    Stories of Interest

    Why Face Recognition Isn’t Scary – Yet
    CNN Reporter John D. Sutton discusses the facial recognition software being used by Facebook and other software developers, as well as that used for security purposes.

    Researchers Take Aim at a Forgotten Battle
    Archeologists and historians are reexamining the Battle of Chelsea Creek, which took place just outside of Boston in May 1775.

    The Legend of the ‘Founding Fathers’
    Long before Americans embraced the tradition of the Founding Fathers, New Englanders honored their ancestors as pioneers of democracy and freedom, and as the nation’s patriarchs.

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    Classic Reprints

    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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    R.I.P. Lowell Warren, Jr.

    Former NEHGS trustee and treasurer Lowell Warren, Jr., died at Boston July 4, 2010, at the age of 84. After serving in the U.S. Army during WWII, he graduated from Harvard in 1950. He had a long and distinguished career in the investment business, serving as an arbitrator for the New York Stock Exchange and the National Association of Securities Dealers after his retirement. His lifelong interest in history is reflected in his active participation in a number of organizations: the Old South Association of Boston; Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Descendants; Society of Colonial Wars, Commonwealth of Massachusetts; Massachusetts Historical Society; the Boston Athenaeum; and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Historical Commission. He is survived by his wife Roseda (Clark) Warren, daughter Melissa Goddu Warren, and sons Elliot, Dwight, and Lowell A. Warren, III. A full obituary appears in the MetroWest Daily News.

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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:


    Using the NEHGS Library Catalog and Digital Library and Archive
    Wednesday, July 21, 2010, 10:00 A.M.
    The NEHGS online library catalog contains records for all the holdings in the Society’s library collections, including books, periodicals, manuscripts, microfilm, electronic resources, and more. It is considered the first stop for researchers as they prepare to use NEHGS library resources. The Digital Library and Archive is included in the online catalog and can be searched either on its own or together with all the non-digital titles held by NEHGS. It provides members with online versions of books, manuscripts, and archival materials. The digital titles include city directories, vital records, family and local histories, bible records, and Research Services case reports. This lecture is intended both for genealogical researchers who have never used the catalog or Digital Library and for those who have used them but may want tips on how to get the most out of them, either by way of advanced searching or by the use of features (such as preferred searches, email alerts, and record saving and sharing) which they may not have encountered before.

    About the Speaker: Jean Maguire is the Society’s Technical Services and Serials Librarian. Her duties include cataloging materials for the library, managing its serials collection, and maintaining the library computer system. Jean joined the NEHGS staff in 1999 after receiving her Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science from Simmons College. Jean also has a B.A. from Regis College and studied at the Université de Nice in France.

    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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