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  • The Weekly Genealogist

  •  Vol. 13, No. 39
    Whole #498
    September 29, 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 Autumn Dinner
    * Family History Day
    * Research Recommendations: Creating a Winning Family History
    * Name Origins
    * This Week's Survey
    * Spotlight: Library Databases
    * Stories of Interest
    * Beekman Patent Volume 10 Now Available
    * Upcoming Education Programs
    * NEHGS Contact Information




    NEHGS Autumn Dinner

    The New England Historic Genealogical Society cordially invites you to its autumn dinner featuring a presentation on The Last Muster: Images of the Revolutionary War Generation, by Maureen Taylor, October 22, 2010, Concord’s Colonial Inn, 48 Monument Square, Concord, Massachusetts, 5:30 p.m. Reception with a 6:30 p.m. dinner. Kindly R.S.V.P. by Tuesday, October 12, to Kelly McCoulf, 617-226-1220. Spouses and guests welcome. Please make checks payable to NEHGS. Dinner $95 per person.

    A remarkable work of documentary history, The Last Muster is a collection of rare nineteenth-century photographic images including daguerreotypes, ambrotypes, and carte de visite paper photographs of the Revolutionary War generation. This extraordinary collection assigns faces to an un-illustrated war and tells the stories of our nation’s founding fathers and mothers. The array of images includes veterans, loyalists, Native Americans, African Americans, children who witnessed battles and aided soldiers, and women who nursed the wounded and even took up arms themselves.

    Maureen Taylor is an internationally known photo identification expert who teaches seminars on photographs and family history. As the author of a number of books and magazine articles, Maureen has been featured in media outlets including the Wall Street Journal, the Boston Globe, MSNBC, and the PBS Ancestors series. She is a past staff member of NEHGS and a frequent contributor to the Society’s publications.

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    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: Creating a Winning Family History
    by Michael J. Leclerc

    The National Genealogical Society recently published a revised 2010 edition of Creating a Winning Family History by Carmen J. Finley. NGS sponsored its first Family History Writing Contest in 1984. In 1988 they first published Write Your Family History to accompany the contest. It has been updated and expanded several times before the current edition.

    The first section deals with standards for research and writing. This area includes reference to three NGS publications that can help authors:

    • Numbering Your Genealogy: Basic Systems, Complex Families, and International Kin, by Joan F. Curran, Madilyn Coen Crane, and John H. Wray (rev. ed. 2008)
    • Evidence: A Special Issue of the National Genealogical Society Quarterly (NGSQ 87, September 1999)
    • Putting Family History Into Context: A Special Issue of the National Genealogical Society Quarterly (NGSQ 88, December 2000)

    Each of these works is extremely beneficial to the potential author. Unfortunately, the two special issues of the NGSQ are not currently available for purchase on their website. Hopefully NGS will consider bringing them back into print. There are also links to numerous standards for research and writing available on the NGS website.

    The next section discusses six elements of a good genealogy:

    • Research includes a broad variety of records
    • Sources are carefully developed
    • Conclusions are based upon a thorough analysis of the evidence
    • Text is written in a clear and engaging style
    • Each information item is documented
    • A standard numbering system is used

    Each of these points is discussed further in the text, although some get more extensive treatment than others. The last section includes a detailed list of publications for further study. The list includes a variety of guides to assist in genealogical research and writing, but it is by no means exhaustive.

    The compact guidebook also includes two appendixes that serve as a guide to the NGS Family Writing Contest. Even those who are not submitting an entry to the contest will benefit from the rules for submission, which will help you become a better writer.

    Creating a Winning Family History is available from NGS at a price of $10 for NGS members and $12 for non-members. You can find more details at

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    Name Origins
    by Julie Helen Otto

    CHLOË (f) (Greek ‘the first light-green shoot of a plant in spring’): Originally an epithet for the great earth goddess Demeter, this name comes into English via Greek and Latin pastoral literature.

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    This Week's Survey

    Last week’s survey asked about seventeenth-century immigrants and where they settled. The largest group of respondents, 75%, had ancestors who settled in New England. The lowest rate of response, 1%, settled in Pennsylvania and the mid-Atlantic states. The complete results are:

    • Plymouth, Boston, or elsewhere in New England, 75%
    • Jamestown, St. Augustine, or elsewhere in the South, 8%
    • I have no seventeenth-century immigrants, 6%
    • New Netherland, 5%
    • New France, 3%
    • Acadia, 2%
    • Pennsylvania, or elsewhere in the mid-Atlantic, 1%

    This week’s survey asks about how you share family information online.

    Take the survey now!

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    Spotlight: Library Databases
    by Valerie Beaudrault

    Vital Records Database, Winneconne Public Library, Wisconsin

    Winneconne is located in Winnebago County, in east central Wisconsin. The Winneconne Public Library has made a vital records database available on its website. Scroll down on the library’s homepage to find the Winneconne, Wisconsin, Vital Records index. The index includes births, marriages, and obituaries from all surviving issues of Winneconne newspapers from 1871 through 2009. The records were found in the Winneconne Globe, Winneconne Item, Winneconne Local, Winneconne News and Winneconne Weekly Item. The database can be searched by last name and first name. Searches may be limited by date, including before, after, or between particular dates. Click on the search tips link to learn more about how to search this database. The search results returned are in alphabetical order and include all variations of the name you enter. The data fields include last name, first name, event, newspaper, date, and page. Maiden names will also be included in the searches. Photocopies of the notices may be requested from the library. A link from the library database to Winneconne Historical Society’s cemetery database is included on the search page.

    Online Historical Collections, Acton Memorial Library, Massachusetts

    Acton, a small town in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, is located about twenty miles west-northwest of Boston. The Acton Memorial Library has made two historical collections available on its website. Click on the Online Historical Collections link in the site’s contents list to access them.

    Early Town Records
    This collection contains the Town of Acton's official records from its founding in 1735 up to 1764. The records include Acton’s earliest town meeting records and selectman's minutes, plus financial accounting and surveys of roadways and town boundaries. You will find digital images of the pages, original records that are part of a single bound volume covering the period from 1735 to 1797. The image is paired with a transcription of the page. There is an alphabetical Name Index with links to the page images and transcriptions. While the spellings of names in the Name Index have been standardized, they have not been standardized in the transcriptions. The database may be searched and the table of contents browsed. Click on the Enter link to read the records from page one.

    Civil War Records
    As noted on the website, the Acton Memorial Library was founded in 1890 as a memorial to Acton citizens who fought in the Civil War. In 2008 the library opened a permanent exhibit of historical documents and artifacts related to the Civil War, entitled "Not Afraid To Go." They have also developed an online Civil War archives. The archives includes an index to soldiers and sailors, regimental histories, United States Navy, pension files, Isaac Davis Post No. 138 Grand Army of the Republic (GAR), obituaries, burial records, documents and manuscripts, photographs, the Memorial Library and Soldiers' Tablets, and a bibliography. Researchers may search the archives or browse through the records.

    Cemetery Database, Spirit Lake Public Library, Iowa

    Spirit Lake, located in northern Iowa, is the seat of Dickinson County. The Spirit Lake Public Library has made sixteen separate cemetery records databases available on its website. First click on the Cemetery Records tab to open the database page. To view an alphabetical by surname list of the individuals buried in them, click on the cemetery name. The data fields include cemetery abbreviation, lot number, last name, first name, date of birth (month and day), year of birth, date of death (month and day), and other. Maps of all but two of the cemeteries have been provided. In addition, a ‘cover page’ with photographs of the entrance to the cemetery and the address of the cemetery has been provided. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the map and cover page. The cemetery records for the sixteen cemeteries have also been merged into two alphabetical databases. The data fields for the merged database include cemetery abbreviation, last name and first name.

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    Stories of Interest

    NPR’s Michele Norris on her Family’s Hidden History
    National Public Radio host Michele Norris set out to write a book about the nation's hidden conversation about race. She ended up unraveling the secret painful history of her own African-American family, including the circumstances surrounding her father’s being shot.

    Scientists Construct T. Rex Family Tree
    A decade of new fossil discoveries that have more than doubled the number of known tyrannosaur species has changed perceptions of the huge dinosaur with the tiny arms, a release from the American Museum of Natural History says.

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    Beekman Patent Volume 10 Now Available

    The latest volume of the Settlers of the Beekman Patent series by Frank J. Doherty is now available. Volume 10 covers the surnames from Paine to Rogers, and is available as a book or as a CD-ROM. Prices are exclusive of shipping.

    Order Volume 10, Printed Volume, $85.
    Order Volume 10, CD-ROM, $34.95.
    Order Volumes 1 to 10, CD-ROM, $180.

    You can also order these items and any other volumes of The Settlers of the Beekman Patent series by calling toll free at 1-888-296-3447.

    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:

    • An Account of the Descendants of John Bridge, Cambridge, 1632 (Item P4-S03939)
    • History of Cambridge, MA, 1630-1877, with a Genealogical Register (Item P5-MA0338H)
    • Epitaphs from the Old Burying-Ground of Cambridge, MA, with Notes. (Item P5-MA0388S)
    • John Hopkins of Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1634, and Some of His Descendants (Item P4-H14958)
    • Patten Genealogy: William Patten of Cambridge, MA, 1635, and His Descendants (Item P4-S20823)

    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 to be 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

    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 will 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
99 - 101 Newbury Street
Boston, Massachusetts 02116, USA

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