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  • The Weekly Genealogist

  • Vol. 13, No. 31
    Whole #490
    August 4, 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 and Family History Day
    * This Week's Survey
    * Research Recommendations: Saving Your Favorite Pages
    * Name Origins
    * Spotlight: Obituary, Burial, and Cemetery Databases: Pennsylvania and Idaho
    * Stories of Interest
    * Free Shipping on Great Migration Titles
    * Upcoming Education Programs
    * NEHGS Contact Information




    NEHGS and Family History Day

    NEHGS and invite you to join us for our second Family History Day on Saturday, October 16, 2010, at the Seaport Hotel and World Trade Center in Boston. Come and explore the world of genealogy, listen to engaging lectures, meet with expert staff, digitize your important family documents, and learn more about how the incredible resources at NEHGS and can help you find your family.

    Whether you are new to family history or have been researching for many years, this event promises to deliver an experience for every genealogist. The day includes more than a dozen lectures for every genealogist, including:

    • Getting started in genealogy,
    • Organizing research materials,
    • Getting the most from your NEHGS and memberships, and
    • Best practices in family history research.

    Participants will also have opportunities for private consultations with expert staff from NEHGS, and free document scanning provided by (limited slots available).

    This special day offers the unique opportunity to spend time with family and uncover your genealogical roots, all while taking in the scenic waterfront views from Boston's Seaport Pavilion. Make plans to join us for an incredible day of family history fun. Our first "Family History Day" sold out quickly. Space is limited, so we encourage you to register early to guarantee your spot. To learn more, or to register, visit

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    This Week's Survey

    Last week’s survey dealt with how you educate yourself about genealogical research and methodology. The vast majority of respondents have been researching for more than five years, most having more than ten years of experience.

    The results were quite interesting. The top two answers were separated by a single percentage point. 77% of respondents said that they learn from talking with friends and other genealogists. 76% said they learn by reading articles on websites. In third place were popular magazines. Fourth place was programs at local genealogical or historical society. The top five was rounded out with scholarly journals. The complete results are:

    • Talking with friends and other genealogists, 77%
    • Articles on websites, 76%
    • Popular magazines, 67%
    • Programs at local genealogical/historical societies, 55%
    • Read scholarly journals, 44%
    • Read blogs, 30%
    • Attend statewide/regional conferences, 29%
    • Watch online presentations, 28%
    • Attend NEHGS programs, 18%
    • Attend national conferences, 16%
    • Attend research tours with other groups, 11%
    • Attend research institutes, 6%
    • Attend NEHGS research tours, 3%

    This week’s survey takes on the battle of the operating systems.

    Take the survey now!

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    Research Recommendations: IPUMS
    by Michael J. Leclerc

    One of the students in the Boston University Genealogy Certificate Program told me about this website, and I can’t recommend it more strongly. The Integrated Public Use Microdata Series provides census microdata for social and economic research. IPUMS-USA collects and preserves data and information, and disseminates the data for free.

    IPUMS has fifty-nine high-precision samples of the American population. These samples were drawn from 15 censuses, the American Community Surveys of 2000 through 2007, and the Puerto Rican Community Surveys of 2005 through 2007. Their samples are cluster samples, based on samples of households or dwellings.

    The census bureau has often published books with data obtained from the information in each enumeration. IPUMS has those books available in PDF form for 1790 through 1890, 1980, 1990, and 2000. You can also find lists of the questions asked on these censuses.

    Another excellent piece of information you can find is the Enumeration Instructions. These are the exact instructions delivered to the U.S. Marshals and others who conducted the enumerations. In 1880, for example, you will find the following directive to the enumerators regarding the providing of information by residents:

    "That each and every person more than twenty years of age, belonging to any family residing in any enumeration district, and in case of the absence of the heads and other members of any such family, then any agent of such family, shall be, and each of them thereby is, required, if thereto requested by the superintendent, supervisor, or enumerator, to render a true account, to the best of his or her knowledge, of every person belonging to such family in the various particulars required by law, and whoever shall willfully fail or refuse shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof shall forfeit and pay a sum not exceeding one hundred dollars."

    A little later, instructions are provided about recording information on the census schedules. The following instruction is about question 13, which concerns occupation:

    "The inquiry 'profession, occupation, or trade,' is one of the most important questions of the schedule. Make a study of it. Take especial pains to avoid unmeaning terms, or such as are too general to convey a definite idea of the occupation. Call no man a 'factory hand,' or a 'mill operative.' State the kind of a mill or factory. The better form of expression would be, 'Works in a cotton mill,' 'Works in paper mill,' etc. Do not call a man a 'shoemaker,' 'bootmaker,' unless he makes the entire boot or shoe in a small shop. If he works in (or for) a boot or shoe factory, say so."

    And a bit further down in the same section:

    "The term 'housekeeper' will be reserved for such persons as receive distinct wages or salary for the service. Women keeping house for their own families or for themselves, without any other gainful occupation, will be entered as 'keeping house.' Grown daughters assisting them will be reported without occupation.
    You are under no obligation to give any man’s occupation just as he expresses it. If he can not tell intelligibly what it is, find out what he does and characterize his profession accordingly."

    Understanding the instructions that were given to enumerators can make it much easier to understand the information (and the lack thereof) in census schedules.

    The IPUMS website can help you to better interpret census information in your genealogical research, and it helps to provide historical context as well. Visit IPUMS at

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    Name Origins
    by Julie Helen Otto

    DIDYMUS (m): From the Greek word for twin, "didymos" [Hebrew ‘Thomas’].

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    Spotlight: Obituary, Burial, and Cemetery Databases: Pennsylvania and Idaho
    by Valerie Beaudrault

    Obituary Database
    The Bradford Landmark Society, Pennsylvania

    The Bradford Landmark Society, founded in 1969, is a “historical organization dedicated to the preservation and dissemination of the history of the Bradford and Tuna Valley areas.” It is located in the city of Bradford, McKean County, which is on the New York border in north central Pennsylvania.

    When you click on the obituary database link, you will be redirected to the McKean County, Pennsylvania, GenWeb page. You can obtain a copy of an obituary from the Bradford Landmark Society for a fee.

    The Bradford Era obituary index covers the period from 1935 to 1995. The data fields in this alphabetical index include the name of the deceased/age at death, residence/place of death, and death/obituary date. Later records include the name of the cemetery under the residence/place of death field.

    Burial Database
    Eccles-Lesher Memorial Library, Pennsylvania

    The Eccles-Lesher Memorial Library is located in western central Pennsylvania, in the town of Rimersburg, Clarian County. The library has made a burial database available on its website. Click on the Burial Database link under Library Collections on the homepage to open the Cemetery Records Search page. Researchers may search by first and last name, birthplace, place of death, age, year of death, undertaker’s name, cemetery name, cause of death and survivors names. You may choose exact year of death or years before or after the one entered into the search box.

    The data fields in the search results include name, deceased (date of death), birthplace, place of death, age, cause of death, and cemetery. Click on the “view” button to access a detailed record. Additional data fields in the detailed record include date of burial, cemetery lot and section, undertaker’s name, survivors and notes. The notes field may include information such as occupation, date of birth and parents names, name of spouse, and cost of the funeral.

    Canyon County, Idaho, Headstone Photos and Obituaries Project, Idaho Family Scanners

    This website contains photographs of headstones and obituaries of many of the individuals whose headstones have been photographed. More than 15,000 headstone images have been uploaded, and obituaries for about 4,500 of these headstones are also available on the website. Canyon County is located is the southwestern part of the state. Individuals in the following Canyon County cemeteries are available: Canyon Hill, Kohlerlawn, Greenleaf, Lower Boise, Roswell, Wilder, Fargo, Parma, Pleasant Ridge, Middleton, Mount Calvary, and Hillcrest. Click on the cemetery name in the index on the right side of the page to view the lists of names for that cemetery. There will be an image of a headstone for each record.

    When an obituary has been uploaded, the name is a link to the additional information about that individual that has been uploaded to the website. In another section of the website there are “orphan” obituaries, for people buried in Canyon County, but not yet included on the headstone photograph list. The Idaho Family Scanners welcome contributions of obituaries and other pieces of information related to individuals buried in Canyon County. Guidelines for submission are provided.

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    Stories of Interest

    In a Tenement’s Meager Kitchens, a Historian Looks for Insight
    New York Times reporter Dwight Garner reviews Jane Ziegelman’s new book, An Edible History of Five Immigrant Families in One New York Tenement. The book focuses on the Glockners, the Moores, the Gumpertzes, the Rogarshevskys and the Baldizzis, who all lived at 97 Orchard Street, on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, between 1863 and 1935.

    Remembering History, Service, Family
    On the eve of the anniversary of the Battle of Bennington, Moe Harrington reminisces in the Bennington Banner about the contributions of members of the Harrington family in various American conflicts.

    Rare Joseph Smith Family Bible Selling for $1.5 Million
    After Joseph Smith, founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, was killed, his wife Emma continued to keep her family Bible until the day she died. It remained in the family until 1979, when it was sold. The Bible’s current owners put the Bible on display for sale this week.

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    Free Shipping on Great Migration Titles

    The NEHGS Bookstore 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 at, or request it when purchasing by phone. Offer good for ONE WEEK ONLY, August 411, 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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    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

    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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