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  • The Weekly Genealogist

  • The Weekly Genealogist
    Vol. 13, No. 44
    Whole #503
    November 3, 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.

    * NERGC 2011 Registration Now Open
    * New NEHGS Scanning Service
    * Research Recommendations: Living the Poor Life in Great Britain
    * Name Origins
    * This Week's Survey
    * Spotlight: Missouri Cemetery Databases
    * Stories of Interest
    * Classic Reprints
    * Upcoming Education Programs
    * NEHGS Contact Information



    NERGC 2011 Registration Now Open

    The 2011 New England Regional Genealogical Conference, Exploring New Paths to Your Roots, will be held in Springfield, Massachusetts, April 6–10. Featured speakers are John Philip Colletta and Paul Milner. NEHGS staff members David Allen Lambert, Michael J. Leclerc, Judy Lucey, and D. Joshua Taylor are also among the dozens of presenters at the conference. Early Bird registration costs only $110 for all three days. Get more details and register online at

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    New NEHGS Scanning Service

    With the popularity of the document scanner at the Family History Day Convention in Boston, 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 t or by telephone at 617-536-5740 x234.

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    Research Recommendations: Living The Poor Life in the Great Britain
    by Michael J. Leclerc

    Great Britain’s National Archives has recently completed an extensive effort to digitize and index poor law records from the Ministry of Health. These records, which cover the period from 1834 to 1871, are from letters, memoranda, reports, and other correspondence between the Poor Law Commission, the Poor Law Board, and the Local Government Board with Poor Law Unions and local officials. Twenty-one poor law unions from almost twenty counties in England and Wales are represented in the papers.

    Of immense interest to historians, genealogists will also find a great deal of information in these records. Many documents involve cases submitted from local authorities to the Poor Law Board. The case of John Stanner of the parish of Radstock, for example, left a question that could not be answered locally. Widow Amelia Pratton was a pauper belonging to the parish of Holcombe, but resided at Radstock. She was “irremovable in consequence of her industrial residence there for five years” (She rented her house there for several years.) John Stanner married her, and at the time of the 1853 correspondence had become a pauper. The question was whether he was entitled to assistance based on his residence there with Amelia (who was irremovable), and whether he was disqualified because she herself was a pauper at the time of her residence. The case includes the fact that “Amelia Pratten was a Widow the fourth day of January 1849.” It also stated that “John Stanner married Amelia Pratten the seventh day of Feby 1853.”

    Not every record is directly about people on the poor rolls. For example, some reports contains lists of people from whom poor law rates could not be collected. These people themselves were likely on poor, but not so destitute as to need government assistance. Such reports can be used to document residence in a particular parish for a certain timeframe.

    The eighteen-month project to digitize these records involved more than 200 volunteers from across the country. The database is keyword searchable, and images of the original records can be downloaded from the TNA website. Thanks to the efforts of these volunteers, TNA can make the database available free of charge. For more information, visit

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    Name Origins
    by Julie Helen Otto

    REYNARD (m): Related phonetically (via L- to R- transfer) to REINOLD (and to such surnames as REYNOLDS which is derived from it), this name has long been borne by the clever foxes in European folk-tales.

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    This Week's Survey

    Last week’s survey asked about your use of the Family History Library in Salt Lake City and the network of Family History Centers. The results are:

    I access material on the and websites, 83%
    I have been to my local Family History Center once or a few times, 50%
    I have been to the Family History Library once or a few times, 27%
    I go to my local Family History Center regularly, 12%
    I go to the Family History Library regularly (at least every other year), 11%
    I never use material from the Family History Library, 6%

    This week’s survey asks about your research interest in the six New England states. Take the survey now!

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    Spotlight: Missouri Cemetery Databases
    by Valerie Beaudrault

    Poplar Heights Farm, Bates County, Missouri

    Poplar Heights Farm is a living history farm and nature conservancy located in Bates County, Missouri. Butler is the seat of Bates County, located on the western border of state.

    Click on the People button in the site’s contents list to learn about the farm’s history and read biographical sketches of members of the families who developed the farm. The Heritage section of the website contains a discussion of the farm’s German-American heritage. There is also a report on early stonecutters of western Missouri, which you can access by clicking on the Stone Cutters button in the Research section of the website.

    To access the Cemeteries of Bates County website, click on the Research link and then on the cemeteries link in the last paragraph. More than 40 Bates County cemeteries have been transcribed and uploaded to this website. To find the cemetery’s page, hover over the letter grouping containing the initial letter in the cemetery’s name. This will bring up an alphabetical list of cemetery names within that grouping. Click on the desired cemetery’s name to open a new page with photographs and an alphabetical listing of burials in the cemetery. In some cases, there will be more than one page for the cemetery. For example there is often a separate page containing the history of a cemetery. The data fields in the alphabetical burial listings include name, relationships/notes, birth date, and death date.

    As noted on the cemetery pages, if the individual’s name is highlighted, Poplar Heights Farm has additional information on that individual. Types of materials in their holdings include obituaries, biographies, photographs, news stories and other family history information. The site has provided both a postal address and email contact information.

    Audrain County Area Genealogical Society, Missouri

    Audrain County is located in eastern Missouri. Mexico is the county seat. The Audrain County Area Genealogical Society is “dedicated to assisting individuals with an interest in genealogical and family history by providing educational programs, seminars, formal classes and volunteer assistance.” The society currently has one cemetery database available on its website, for the Elmwood Cemetery in Mexico. Click on the Cemetery Lists link to access it. The database is an alphabetical list to the burials in the cemetery. If you would like information on any name on the list, you may contact the Audrain County Area Genealogical Society directly.

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    Stories of Interest

    Growing Interest in Genealogy Shines Light on Forgotten Poor
    The Southtown Star discusses increased interest in the more than 100,000 individuals buried in Cook County, Illinois, potters’ fields.

    Climb the Family Tree: How Scouts Can Break Down Walls Between Generations
    The November-December 2010 issue of Scouting, the official magazine of the Boy Scouts of America, talks to scouts about getting the genealogy merit badge.

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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:

    • The Flight of a Century (1800-1900) in Ascension Parish, Louisiana (Item P5-LA0002H, Price: $46.50)
    • Brief History of Winthrop, Maine, from 1764 to October, 1855 (Item P5-ME0153H, Price: $44.00)
    • Burial Inscriptions of Berwick, Maine, to 1922 (Item P5-ME0002H, Price: $27.00)
    • Early History of Caribou, Maine, 1843-1895 (Item P5-ME0151H, Price: $33.50)
    • History of Scarborough, Maine, from 1633 to 1783 (Item P5-ME0162H, Price $48.50)

    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

    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 historical 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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