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  • The Weekly Genealogist

  • The Weekly Genealogist
    Vol. 13, No. 43
    Whole #502
    October 27, 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.

    * New NEHGS Scanning Service
    * NARA Seeks Feedback
    * Research Recommendations: Tips for Genealogical Research Trips
    * Name Origins
    * This Week's Survey
    * Spotlight: Blue Earth County Historical Society, Minnesota
    * Stories of Interest
    * Classic Reprints
    * Upcoming Education Programs
    * NEHGS Contact Information



    New NEHGS Scanning Service

    In response to the popularity of the document scanner at the Family History Day in Boston last week, the New England Historic Genealogical Society is implementing a new scanning service. Visitors may bring in documents, including oversized books and manuscripts, to be scanned and saved as a digital file on a USB drive. An NEHGS staff person will scan the materials.

    The service will be available on Saturdays from 10:00 A.M. to 12:00 P.M. and 2:00 to 4:00 P.M. Thirty minute appointments will be available starting on Saturday, November 6, 2010. Access to the document scanner is free. Visitors must supply their own USB drives. NEHGS has drives for sale on the fourth floor. To make an appointment, please contact David Dearborn at or by telephone at 617-536-5740 x234.

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    NARA Seeks Feedback

    Last Spring, the National Archives announced that within the next two years the Northeast branch in New York City will move to the Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House at One Bowling Green in New York City.

    Researchers who use the National Archives microfilm and textual records are being asked to comment BEFORE 1 November about the records you most want to see remain at the new facility. Public comments are welcome regarding the preliminary list of textual records moving to One Bowling Green, and the preliminary list relating to the microfilm collection.

    Visit for more details about the move, and to provide your feedback. For questions, please contact Dave Powers, Acting Director of Archival Operations, National Archives at New York City, by phone: 212-401-1620; fax: 212-401-1638; or e-mail at

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    Research Recommendations: Tips for Genealogical Research Trips
    by Michael J. Leclerc

    Once again the Society’s annual tour to Salt Lake City is upon us. This year we will have almost 100 people joining us on the tour, which is certain to keep the staff hopping for the week. In addition to the preparatory efforts for my work with the participants, I have been preparing for my own personal research that I will be doing while I am at the Family History Library (FHL).

    Whenever taking a research trip, either on your own or as part of a tour, it is helpful to review materials and develop goals prior to departing. All too often, on many of our tours, we have folks who are not able to get as much research done as possible because they did not refresh their memories and develop a list of specific problems and questions to deal with on the tour. Not only is it frustrating for them, it is frustrating for us as staff members. We love working closely with participants on our tours, doing our best to help them solve problems, break down brick walls, and find new ancestors.

    Before taking any trip, sit down and look at your research. This is especially important if you haven’t worked on some lines in a long time. In preparing for my trip, I looked at research I had done on my uncle’s ancestors. I hadn’t touched these lines in 10 years or more. I had hit a brick wall with a couple who lived in Philadelphia and married in the late 1840s. Just looking at it again, and using the online databases now available, I was able to identify the couples’ parents, the wife’s grandparents, and the English origins of her grandfather. Researching English and Jamaican records at the FHL will hopefully confirm what I have found in other sources.

    As another step in my research, I create a word processing document and call it “SLC Research [insert month and year of trip].” In this document, I start a summary list of questions and problems to work on. Under each one, I copy FHL film and fiche numbers, as well as call numbers of print materials that I will look at for that problem. I can then print this document and use it to retrieve materials when I am onsite. This cuts back on the time I have to wait to consult the catalog there. I then type in a summary of my findings for each film under that film number/book in the list and save it. Sometimes I put page breaks between items so I can have a partly blank page to write notes on while I am moving around the library.

    One of the tasks I perform when I am in the stacks in the library is to conduct a literature review. Once I have retrieved information from books I pulled out of the catalog, I look at every book on the shelf that deals with the locality in which I am researching. This sometimes involves moving to several areas in the stacks because of the way items are catalogued. I often find at least one or two nuggets of hidden information that I might not have found otherwise. I’ve also found more than one index/abstract/transcription of records that I might not have found through a regular FHLC search.

    Whenever you are taking a research trip, make sure to take the time to do your homework before leaving. Even if you will be consulting with professionals on your trip, the more work you do in advance, and the more familiar you are with the problems you will be researching, the greater your chances will be for success.

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    Name Origins
    by Julie Helen Otto

    LOUIS (m): This name, originally the Frankish CHLODOWEG, was introduced to what is now France by the Franks in the very early Middle Ages. It evolved into one of the most popular French male names, used at every level of society, perhaps most famously by the Bourbon kings: Louis XIII, "the Just" (1601–1643, king from 1610); his son Louis XIV, “le Grand” (1638–1715, king from 1643, whose long reign practically made the given name a royal institution); his grandson Louis XV (1710–1774, king from 1715), and Louis XV's grandson, Louis XVI (1754–1793, king from 1774).

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    This Week's Survey

    Last week’s survey asked how long you have been conducting genealogical research. Most readers have been researching 10 to 15 years. Following is the total distribution:

    10 to 15 years, 17%
    15 to 20 years, 13%
    5 to 10 years, 13%
    30 to 35 years, 11%
    20 to 25 years, 10%
    25 to 30 years, 9%
    35 to 40 years, 8%
    1 to 5 years, 6%
    40 to 45 years, 6%
    More than 50 years, 4%
    45 to 50 years, 3%
    Less than 1 year, <1%

    This week’s survey asks how you use the Family History Library and Family History Centers. Take the survey now!

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    Spotlight: Blue Earth County Historical Society, Minnesota
    by Valerie Beaudrault

    Blue Earth County is located in southern Minnesota. Mankato is its county seat. The Blue Earth County Historical Society (BECHS) has made a number of indexes available on its website. Click on the Research tab and select the Resources link, then Indexes to view them.

    Digital Photograph Images
    Click on this link to view a collection of county photographs that have been digitized and made available by the Minnesota Digital Library. The originals of the 1,426 images are part of the BECHS photograph collection. Click on the thumbnail to view an enlargement with a detailed description of the photograph.

    Cemetery Index
    Burials in seventy-eight cemeteries have been transcribed and included in this alphabetical index. It contains only the full name of the deceased. Complete information is available in the BECHS Research Center in book form.

    Marriage Index
    This is an alphabetical index to marriage announcements published in the Mankato Free Press in 1947 and 1948. The data fields include groom, bride, marriage date, and Mankato Free Press issue. You may order a photocopy of an announcement from the historical society.

    Minnesota State Census
    This database comprises an alphabetical index to the Minnesota State Census of 1865 for Blue Earth County. The pages have been indexed by last name. The data fields include person number, last name, first and middle names, down, page and family number.

    Obituary Index
    Like the Marriage Index above, this database indexes obituaries published in the Mankato Free Press in 1947 and 1948. The data fields in the index include surname, given name and age, maiden name, two reference fields (publication dates), birth date, and death date. You may order a photocopy of an announcement from the historical society.

    Social Notes
    This database contains indexes to articles published in Blue Earth County newspapers from 1875 to the 1940s. These articles have been clipped from the original papers, and are in scrapbooks at the Historical Society. They have been indexed by town and are listed in chronological order. The towns covered in these scrapbooks are Beauford, Cambria, Caroline, Ceresco, Cray, Cream, Danville, Decoria, Eagle Lake, and Garden City.

    Wills Index
    This database provides an alphabetical index to wills that were donated to the society. It indexes only Blue Earth County residents. The wills date from 1858 to 1973. Researchers can request a copy of a will for a fee.

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    Stories of Interest

    South Shore Maritime Museums Preserve the History of Shipwrecks
    The Quincy Patriot Ledger discusses the efforts of the Hull Lifesaving Museum and other organizations in Massachusetts to preserve the history of shipwrecks.

    Christmas Gift Suggestions for Genealogists
    The Oklahoman newspaper in Oklahoma City recently ran this article with helpful suggestions for holiday gifts for genealogists. Perhaps forwarding this link to family members might be beneficial to you as we enter the holiday shopping season.

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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 Early Terre Haute, Indiana, from 1816 to 1840 (Item P5-IN0091H, Price: $41.50)
    • Abstracts of Probate Records at Fairfield, County of Fairfield, Connecticut, 1648-1750 (Item P5-CT0356H, Price: $53.50)
    • Black Rock, Seaport of Old Fairfield, Connecticut, 1644-1870 (Item P5-CT0316H, Price: 46.00)
    • History of Durham, Connecticut, from its First Grant of Land in 1662 to 1866 (Item P5-CT0100H, Price: $61.00)
    • Souvenir History of Pella, Iowa, 1857-1922 (Item P5-IA0100H, Price: $53.50)

    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 99–100 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 .

    Public Lectures

    The Bradfords of Austerfield: the English Roots of a Mayflower Pilgrim
    Wednesday, October 27, 2010, 6:00PM
    By way of an illustrated case study of William Bradford's home village, Nick Bunker explains how he used new primary sources to recreate the rural world from which the Plymouth colonists came.

    About the Speaker:
    A graduate of King’s College, Cambridge, with a master’s degree from Columbia University, Nick Bunker has had a diverse career in finance and journalism. A former investment banker and reporter for the Financial Times, he now lives with his wife, Susan, in Lincolnshire, England.

    New Visitor and Welcome Tour
    Saturday, November 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
    Founded in 1845, NEHGS is the country’s oldest and largest non-profit genealogy library and archive. With more than 15 million artifacts, books, manuscripts, microfilms, journals, photographs, records, and other items, NEHGS can provide researchers of every level some of the most important sources of information.

    You will also have an opportunity to describe your research interests to one of our expert genealogists on staff, who can offer some advice on how to proceed with your research. The program starts with a thirty-minute introductory lecture, followed by a tour of the library and its vast holdings. Make plans to start your genealogy with this great tour.

    Seminars and Tours

    Identification and Care of Photographs
    Saturday, November 13, 2010, 10:00 AM–4:00 PM
    Maximum class size: 20
    Class level: Beginner to intermediate
    Instructor: Monique Fischer, Senior Photograph Conservator, Northeast Document Conservation Center

    This hands-on workshop, an introduction to the preservation of photographs, will focus on historic photographic prints, including their identification, deterioration, and conservation. Participants will learn to recognize various photographic formats and will study the preservation problems associated with each format type. The workshop will culminate with a discussion of storage concerns and an examination of photographs brought in by participants.

    Cost: $75. To register visit or call 617-226-1226.

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    NEHGS Contact Information

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    Copyright 2010, New England Historic Genealogical Society
    99–101 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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