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  • The Weekly Genealogist

  •  Vol. 13, No. 37
    Whole #496
    September 15, 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.

    * Family History Day
    * Research Recommendations: A Medical Miscellany for Genealogists
    * Name Origins
    * This Week's Survey
    * Spotlight: Virginia and West Virginia Cemetery Databases
    * Stories of Interest
    * Classic Reprints
    * Upcoming Education Programs
    * NEHGS Contact Information




    Family History Day

    NEHGS and invites you to join us for our second Family History Day on Saturday, October 16, 2010, at the Seaport Hotel and World Trade Center 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're new to family history or have been researching for many years, this unique event promises to deliver an experience for every genealogist. The day features more than a dozen lectures, including getting started in genealogy, organizing research materials, getting the most from your NEHGS and memberships, and best practices in family history research.

    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. Learn more at

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    Research Recommendations: A Medical Miscellany for Genealogists
    by Michael J. Leclerc

    As I sit here battling my regular asthma/bronchitis battle brought on by seasonal allergies, my thoughts turned to the medicine of the past. In genealogical research, we often find references to diseases, treatments, and other medical information that may escape our modern knowledge. The Internet can be helpful, but in my experience I often find that the answers I find online are not quite right or accurate for the historical period in which I am researching.

    One excellent print source to help you is A Medical Miscellany for Genealogists, by Dr. Jeanette L. Jerger. The Miscellany is composed of:

    • medical descriptions reflecting 19th century understanding of the most prevalent diseases;
    • definitions of obsolete or infrequently-used terms that assist in contextual understanding;
    • popular herbal remedies;
    • treatments for prevention and cure of disease;
    • ethnic variations in cause, prevention, and treatment of disease;
    • and historical reference points.

    Jerger consulted dozens of historical and modern references to compose her list. The alphabetical list includes cross-references for multiple terms that refer to the same thing. From Abdominal Dropsy to Zwischentrager, this reference book will help you in deciphering causes of death, or illnesses and treatments mentioned in family diaries or writings of the time. A random check of items listed in the book found a significant number that were not readily available online.

    This book is an excellent addition to your home library. It is available for $22 from Heritage Books.

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    Name Origins
    by Julie Helen Otto

    HANDEL (m): From the surname of the great German composer George Frederick Handel (1685-1759). Handel Naphthali Daggett, born at Attleborough, Mass. 27 Jan. 1821, was a twin son (with his brother Homer Micaijah) of Ebenezer and Sally (Maxcy) Daggett (Attleborough VRs, p. 88).

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    This Week's Survey

    Last week’s survey asked about military service (either your own or that of your ancestors). Of the more than 2,000 respondents, only 2% did not have any service. 85% had ancestors who served in the American Revolution, and 78% had ancestors who fought in the Civil War. Following are the complete results:

    American Revolution, 85%
    Civil War, 78%
    World War II, 71%
    Colonial Wars, 63%
    War of 1812, 54%
    World War I, 53%
    Indian Wars, 32%
    Korean War, 24%
    Vietnam War, 24%
    Spanish-American War, 21%
    None of the Above, 2%

    This week’s survey asks about seventeenth-century ancestors.

    Take the survey now!

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    Spotlight: Virginia and West Virginia Cemetery Databases
    by Valerie Beaudrault

    Chincoteague Cemeteries Online, Virginia

    Chincoteague Island is located in Accomack County, Virginia. The Chincoteague Cemeteries Online website began as an individual effort to document family gravesites. It was expanded to document twenty-one cemeteries on the island. Enter the website from the welcome page to view the list of cemeteries recorded here. To access the burial databases and photographs of gravestones, click on the image above the cemetery’s name. This will open a new page with information on where the cemetery is located and a notation on whether or not the cemetery has been completely documented. In addition to the images, there is a caption giving the deceased’s name and birth and death dates.

    Blandford Cemetery, Petersburg, Virginia

    Blandford Cemetery is located in Petersburg, an independent city in Virginia. Located on the Appomattox River, it is about 25 miles south of the state capital of Richmond. This large cemetery has been used as a burying ground since the early eighteenth century. The cemetery records database may be searched by name only—last name, first name and middle name. The data fields in the search results include last, first, and middle name; date of death; parents names, if known; and a link to additional information. Click on the link to view a detailed record. The additional data fields in the detailed record include birth date, interment date, race, sex, age, birthplace, place of death, residence at the time of grave purchase, doctor, funeral home, and grave information such as location details, grave number, old or new grounds, and type of vault.

    Cemeteries in Parkersburg, West Virginia

    Parkersburg, the seat of Wood County, is located in northwestern West Virginia, at the point where the Ohio and Little Kanawha Rivers converge. In my search for cemetery records online, I found Christy and Jeff Little’s Parkersburg, West Virginia, Nostalgic Gazette website, which contains records and images for six cemeteries, in addition to historic images and maps of Parkersburg. The cemetery information provided on this site includes historical background on the cemeteries, an alphabetical list of the known burials in each cemetery, and, in some cases, photographs of the gravestones. Where a gravestone has been photographed, the deceased’s name is a link to that image. Click on the link to view the photograph. The burial lists are well documented. Information about the individuals buried in these cemeteries has been compiled from headstone readings, newspaper obituaries, and veterans’ lists, to name a few sources.

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    Stories of Interest

    Pilgrims in the Family Tree
    Descendants of the Mayflower's passengers may be legion, but proving the lineage is no easy task. Boston Globe correspondent Christine Legere reports on the increased interest in joining the General Society of Mayflower Descendants.

    Appeals Court Records Can Reveal Colorful Family History
    Tampa Bay Tribune correspondent Sharon Tate Moody discusses the value of using court records in genealogical research.

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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:

    • 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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    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 at .


    New Visitor Welcome and Tour
    October 6, 2010, 10:00AM
    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. Free and open to the public.

    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.

    Fall Research Getaway: “Preserving and Organizing Your Family Records”
    October 13 –15, 2010
    NEHGS’ “Weekend Research Getaways” are among the most popular programs we offer. Escape to 99 Newbury Street in downtown Boston and experience a guided program with one-on-one consultations and expert reviews of your research. Whether you are a new genealogist or a longtime member, this three-day onsite visit to NEHGS is certain to advance your research — and you make new friends too. Registration includes breakfast, daily lectures, and group gatherings to share your progress.

    Family History Day
    October 16, 2010
    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. Space is limited, so we encourage you to register early to guarantee your spot. To learn more, or to register, visit

    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 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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