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  • The Weekly Genealogist

  • The Weekly Genealogist
    Vol. 13, No. 52
    Whole #511
    December 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.

    * RootsTech Early Bird Registration Deadline
    * NEHGS Annual Fund
    * Research Recommendations: Five Biggest Genealogical Events of 2010
    * NEHGS Holiday Closures
    * Name Origins
    * This Week's Survey
    * Spotlight: California Cemetery Databases
    * Stories of Interest
    * Holiday Bundles Still Available
    * Upcoming Education Programs
    * NEHGS Contact Information


    RootsTech Early Bird Registration Deadline

    The deadline is close for the RootsTech Conference Early Bird registration. The conference, which will be held at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, Utah, will take place February 10–12, 2011. Genealogists and family historians will join technology creators (such as Microsoft, Dell, FamilySearch,, and brightsolid) for a three-day family history and technology conference. Other sponsors of the conference include NEHGS, the Federation of Genealogical Societies, and the National Genealogical Society.

    The Early Bird discount registration fee of $99 is only available through January 7, 2011. After that, registration rises to $150. For more details, or to register, visit

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    NEHGS Annual Fund

    Annual Fund donations help to keep membership fees down, enhance our website capabilities, make our educational programs possible, and provide our members access to expert genealogists and researchers. Consider a year end gift of cash or appreciated securities. By supporting the New England Historic Genealogical Society’s Annual Fund, you make an investment in your own family history research and preservation. Give Now.

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    Research Recommendations: Five Biggest Genealogical Events of 2010
    by Michael J. Leclerc

    It is difficult to believe that another New Year’s Eve is upon us. The older I get, the faster time seems to travel. And the more I feel time pressure to finish projects started but not yet completed. It is amazing how the field of family history has changed over the past decade. As I look back over the last year, it seems as if there was a new product announcement, website launch, or software/book release every time I turned around. In reviewing news items since last January, I have picked five things that I believe have affected the field more than anything else. Please note that these items are my opinion only, and in the interest of fairness I have excluded any contributions made by NEHGS (which have been extensive over the year). By the way, if you read this column on The Daily Genealogist Blog at, you have the ability to make comments on the story.

    5. Association of Professional Genealogists Surpasses 2,000 Members
    While this may seem trivial to the average genealogist, I believe that this represents a significant benchmark for our field. The increasing numbers of individuals who are becoming serious genealogists signifies a growing professionalism for the field. It also shows an increasing market for the skills of professional genealogists and allied professions. While few professionals are able to make a substantial living off of full-time genealogy, the field is clearly moving more and more closely to that point. It also helps to bring respect from other historical fields which have, in the past, viewed the study of family history as the abode of amateurs only.

    4. Acquisitions made two interesting acquisitions this year. In August the company acquired the professional genealogy firm ProGenealogists, Inc. This allows the firm to move into the research and analysis end of the business. It also, of course, allows Ancestry to be even more active in their sponsorship of the Who Do You Think You Are? television series on NBC.

    Just weeks later it was announced that would acquire the parent company of Another in a line of acquisitions of competing websites, this purchase provided access to a great deal of additional data, including the Revolutionary War pension files database. On the downside for the public, it decreases the genealogical market by removing another competitor.

    3. Record Conference Attendance
    The National Genealogical Society saw record numbers attend their annual conference this year. More than 2,000 genealogists gathered in Salt Lake City this May to improve their skills in family history. This is not solely due to the tremendous support of FamilySearch. Other conferences, such as the Southern California Jamboree (which saw almost 2,000 attendees if you include exhibitors and speakers), saw tremendous increases in attendance. Demand for education is clearly increasing. As people new to the field start researching and locating vast amounts of material, they are understanding the need for educating themselves on how to judge this material and how to interpret it.

    2. Apple Launches the iPad
    Since launching last January, Apple has sold almost 14 million iPads. With new versions predicted to arrive in April, as well as iPad imitators expected to be launched next year, the iPad is changing the way we interact with computers and software. While bulky programs have normally been the standard, new applications (Apps) are smaller, sleeker, less expensive, and still provide plenty of bang for the buck. The portability is unequaled, and with 3G models allowing access without a wifi connection, genealogists can conduct research virtually anywhere.

    The iPad is only the latest installment of computer products digging away at the virtual monopoly that Microsoft has had on computers for decades. Apple computers are a steadily increasing segment of the market. Numerous genealogy-related apps are available for iPod, iPhone, and iPad, and the number is constantly growing. Even has finally recognized this market and reinstated development of the Macintosh version Family Tree Maker that was discontinued years ago.

    1. The New
    More than any other event, product, or service in the genealogical community, FamilySearch is changing the way we research family history. With a pilot site, then a beta site, and the recent launch of the new FamilySearch interface, the access to images of original records is unprecedented. In addition to images of records, new indexes are launched quite frequently, providing easier access to information that may still be available only on microfilm or in original paper form.

    The commitment of FamilySearch to improving research for genealogists is incredible. From top-level mangement down to programmers, I have rarely seen such a team committed to success. Even more appreciated is the commitment to listening to feedback and improving processes. This team is extremely committed to providing a high-quality experience for users, and I’m not sure I’ve ever been solicited for feedback by any group as much as this one.
    Even more significant is the price. FamilySearch provides access to all of this material free of charge. Anyone and everyone is allowed to use the materials on without a subscription fee. One way many people give back is volunteering to assist in indexing projects. The more volunteers working on projects, the more quickly material will appear on the website. It will be tremendously interesting to see how this changes the business model of other non-profits or for-profit organizations in the coming years. Kudos to everyone at FamilySearch. We are truly grateful for everything that you do.

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    NEHGS Holiday Closures

    The Society will have special operating hours for the holidays. Please note the difference between the administrative office hours and the library hours.

    Friday, December 31, 2010: Administrative offices closed; Research Library open 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
    Saturday, January 1, 2011: Administrative offices and Research Library closed.

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    Name Origins
    by Julie Helen Otto

    JINCEY (f): Southern nickname for JANE. This name is seen in the ancestry of First Lady Laura (Welch) Bush. You can see her ancestry at

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    This Week's Survey

    Last week we asked about genealogists' requests on your holiday wish lists. Perhaps surprisingly, 60% of respondents had no genealogy-related items on their list. The top genealogy-related item on peoples’ wish lists was books, with 21% requesting them. Full results are:

    60%, No genealogy-related items
    21%, Genealogical books
    10%, Subscription to genealogical website
    9%, Other genealogical present
    8%, Membership to a genealogical society
    6%, Other genealogical trip
    5%, Genealogical education program or conference
    2%, Genealogical research assistance from a professional

    This week’s survey asks about your genealogical New Year’s resolutions. Take the survey now!

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    Spotlight: California Cemetery Databases
    by Valerie Beaudrault

    Davis Cemetery District, Davis, California

    Davis is the largest city in Yolo County, which is located in north central California. The Davis Cemetery District has made a burial database available on its website.

    The Davis Cemetery has been in existence since at least 1855, the date of its earliest marker. The land on which the cemetery is located was originally purchased in 1850 by Colonel Joseph B. Chiles. Click on the History link in the site’s contents list to read a detailed history of the Davis Cemetery District.

    Scroll down the page to the Burial Search With Mapping section and click on the Click Here link to access the search page. The search fields include last name, first name, date of interred with a dropdown list for a time range, section and lot, and AKA search. The AKA search field searches the first, middle, last and AKA (Also Known As) fields of the database. The data fields in the search results include title, first name, middle, last name, AKA, Jr./Sr., date of birth, date of death, date interred, section, block, lot, grave number, funeral home and place of death. Click on the map button to view a map of the cemetery. There are instructions for viewing maps of individual sections, but I did not have any luck with opening those PDF pages. There is also a print button at the top of the search results, which gives you a printer friendly view of those results.

    Riverview Cemetery District, Brawley, California

    Brawley is in Imperial County, which is one of the southernmost counties in California. Riverview Cemetery is a special district of Imperial County. It was formed in 1909. The Riverview Cemetery District has made a burial database available on its website.

    To access the database you should first click on the Burials on the Web link in the site’s contents list to open a new page with instructions on searching the database. Click on the Burials on the Web link on this page and then on the Search Burials tab to access the search page. Enter part or all of the deceased’s name in the search box and click on ‘find people!’ to see the search results.

    The search results are in the form of an alphabetical listing of burials. The data fields in this list include image, map, name, and date of death. Click on the image link to view a photograph of the gravestone and on the map image to view a cemetery map showing the location of the grave. Clicking on the name link will open the Person View page. The information found on this page includes full name, date of birth, if known, location of the grave, age, place of birth, gender, veteran, place of death, date of death, spouse name, father name, mother name, funeral director, date of service, and whether the individual was cremated. This information may be emailed or printed from this page. You may also browse through an alphabetical listing of burials, which may be found below the search box when you open the search page.

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    Stories of Interest

    Take Time to Make a Record of Family Health History
    Dr. Mushrik Kaisey writes in the San Diego Union-Tribune about the importance of sharing family health history with one’s physicians.

    Central Indiana Group Plans History Project on Ryan White
    The Chicago Tribune reports on historians who will be talking with members of the Kokomo community as part of an oral history project on Ryan White’s story.

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    Holiday Bundles Still Available

    There is still time to get in on the holiday bundle sale in the NEHGS Bookstore! Prices are good through December 31, 2010. Visit our online store for more details.

    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:

    • Report of the 31st Reunion of the Landis-Landes Families Held at Perkasie Park Perkasie Bucks Co. Pennsylvania August 19, 1950 (Item P4-H17328, $25.00)
    • History of Block Island, Rhode Island 1514-1876 (Item P28340000, $59.00)
    • Centennial Memorial of Lynn, Massachusetts, Embracing An Historical Sketch 1629-1876 (Item P5-MA0437H, $29.50)
    • Genealogy of the Descendants of Hugh Gunnison of Boston, Massachusetts 1610-1876 (Item P4-H12627, $45.00)
    • Joseph Goldsmith 1796-1876 and His Descendants (Item P4-H11865, $30.00)

    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 99–101 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 and Welcome Tour
    Saturday, January 8, 2011, 10:00 a.m.
    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 99-101 Newbury Street in Boston.

    Wednesday, January 12, 2011, 10:00 a.m.
    NEHGS recently launched its new Website, It is full of new features, tools, resources, and content that highlights NEHGS’ growing national expertise in genealogy and family history. We now have more than 135 million searchable names covering New England, New York, and other areas of family research dating back to 1620. We invite you to attend this free lecture to learn more about this incredible online resource.

    Dom's, An Odyssey
    Wednesday, January 19, 2011
    Join NEHGS as we welcome guest speaker Dom Capossela, who will discuss his recent book. Dom's, An Odyssey is a story of immigrants. All Americans are immigrants whose traditions and culture influenced the course of their assimilation and impacted their descendants. Through the lens of the Italian immigration, a wild Rock and Roll party, and a tour of Boston's 1950s North End, Dom takes us on a voyage of discovery which reminds us that no matter how you season your dish, we have all eaten at the immigrant's table.

    About the Speaker
    Dom was born in Boston’s North End in 1940. He earned his B.S. in Political Science from Boston University and his J.D. from Boston College Law School. 1969 marked Dom’s admission to the Massachusetts Bar, and the opening of Dom’s – an upscale Italian restaurant.

    Seminars and Tours

    Boston University Certificate in Genealogical Research
    Saturdays, January 22– May 7
    Developed in collaboration with nationally-recognized experts, the Certificate in Genealogical Research is ideal for those who wish to develop the knowledge and skills essential to conducting quality genealogical assignments. Offered on Saturdays over a 14-week period, the program provides hands-on training in basic genealogical principles, techniques, and core competencies, and leads to a Certificate in Genealogical Research from Boston University.
    NEHGS members receive a 10% tuition discount.

    Weekend Research Getaway – Effective Use of Technology
    January 27–29, 2011
    NEHGS Weekend Research Getaways combine personal, guided research at the NEHGS Research Library with themed educational lectures to create a unique experience for every participant. Personal consultations with NEHGS genealogists throughout the program allow visitors to explore their own genealogical projects, under the guiding hand of the nation’s leading family history experts.

    Our Winter Research Getaway, “Effective Use of Technology,” offers a variety of lectures surrounding “best practices” in using technology including researching online, software, and other topics relevant to any genealogist.

    London Heritage Long Weekend
    February 22–28, 2011
    Discover the rich heritage of London with NEHGS in February 2011. This unique long weekend will feature memorable events led by renowned scholars George Redmonds and John Titford, including talks, a guided tour of historic London churches, a visit to the College of Arms, optional side visits, special guests, and dinner at an exclusive private club. The weekend also includes up to three full days at Who Do You Think You Are? LIVE! — the largest family history event in the world. Space is extremely limited.

    In addition to events, the NEHGS English Heritage Long Weekend includes six nights lodging at the Hilton London Kensington Hotel, located at 179–199 Holland Park Avenue, London, daily coach service, and daily English breakfast for five days, and two additional group meals. Participants are responsible for their own travel arrangements to and from the Hilton London Kensington Hotel and optional activities and all other meals not included in scheduled tour events.

    Washington D.C. Research Tour
    March 6–13, 2011
    Research in the repositories of the nation’s capital with NEHGS as we return to Washington, D.C. Researchers will visit the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) Library, Library of Congress (LOC), and the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) during this intensive week of guided research, individual consultations, lectures, and group meal events. Featured consultants include Henry B. Hoff, David A. Lambert, and Rhonda R. McClure.

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    NEHGS Contact Information

    We encourage you to email this newsletter to others who might be interested. To subscribe or view back issues of eNews, please visit

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    The Weekly Genealogist, like all of our programs, is made possible through the generous contributions of our members. For more information about giving to NEHGS visit

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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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