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  • The Weekly Genealogist

  •  Vol. 13, No. 6
    Whole #465
    February 10, 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 Launches Web Portal
    * Presidents' Day Closures
    * Research Recommendations:Type Justification
    * Name Origins
    * Spotlight: Crawfordsville District Public Library [Indiana]
    * Stories of Interest
    * Sale on Books by D. Brenton Simons
    * Upcoming Education Programs
    * NEHGS Contact Information




    NEHGS Launches Web Portal

    The Society last week hosted a launch reception to announce a new partnership with Boston’s Museum of African American History (MAAH) and the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society, New England Chapter (AAHGS-NE). Together the three organizations will work on special initiatives and programs in the coming months that bring together family history and local history in ways that have not been examined before. As part of the initiative, NEHGS launched a new web portal,, which features resources, content, and articles on conducting African American research. Attending the reception were MAAH executive director Beverly Morgan-Welch, AAHGS-NE president Leona Martin, noted Black Roots author Tony Burroughs, and NEHGS councilor and Association of Professional Genealogists vice-president Kenyatta Berry.

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    Presidents' Day Closures

    In honor of Presidents' Day, the Research Library will be closed on Saturday, February 13, 2010. The Administrative Offices will be closed on Monday, February 15.

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    Research Recommendations: Type Justification
    by Michael J. Leclerc

    Word processors today generally handle four types of type justification: left, right, center, and full. Left justification is the standard default setting for computers set to type in languages such as English that read from left to right. This leaves a jagged edge on the right margin. Right justification does just the opposite, with a flush-right side and a jagged edge on the left margin. Centered justification centers each line of text separately along the center axis, leaving jagged margins on both left and right sides. Full justification inserts empty space in each line to have flush lines on both the left and right margins.

    When writing your genealogy, make sure you use the appropriate justification format. Right-justified text is almost never used, except on title pages or in small blocks to emphasize the contrast with small blocks of left-justified text on the same page. Center-justified text should be used sparingly, as long blocks of it can be cumbersome to read. Too much of either of these styles are a sure sign of amateur work.

    Left-justified text is easy to read, but beware the right margin. As a rule, the text along the right margin should fall in gentle concave curves from top to bottom. A greatly ragged edge that moves back and forth over and over again will make it more difficult to read the text.

    Full justification is very important for text that appears in multiple columns on a page, as it does in newspapers and magazines. One must be careful, however, in using full justification. Word processors will automatically fully justify text by automatically hyphenating words according to standard rules, and adding additional space between words. This can result, however, in “rivers” of white space appearing in text blocks. You can adjust this by careful editing of wording to eliminate the extra space. Hyphenation problems will occur because not all words should be hyphenated according to standard rules. A classic example of a major problem in this area would be the word “therapist” which, if hyphenated according to standard rules, would read “the- rapist.” Surely this is not the message you want to leave your reader with concerning a relative’s occupation!

    These rules only apply to print text. One must be careful of justification in electronic publication. For example, website text can reflow when people resize their windows. This will change your justification. You can force justification into online text, but that means that readers will have to use the bottom scroll bar to go back and forth on the page to read the text.

    No matter which format you use, make certain to proofread your text after you have applied the justification. You will save yourself endless headaches (and potential embarrassment) in the long run.

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    Name Origins
    by Julie Helen Otto

    NAN/NANNY (f): Nicknames formed from ANNE by placement of N before the initial vowel.

    NANCY (f): Nickname formed from ANNE by substitution of N for initial vowel; it has since the mid- to late-eighteenth century become a name in its own right.

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    Spotlight: Crawfordsville District Public Library [Indiana]
    by Valerie Beaudrault

    Crawfordsville, located in west-central Indiana, is the seat of Montgomery County. The library has created and gathered a large number of databases and uploaded them to the Local History and Genealogy section of its website, under the Local History link. Some of these resources are in PDF format, requiring Adobe Acrobat Reader to access them. Online resources include, but are not limited to the following:

    Cemetery Databases
    Cemeteries of Montgomery County (1830–1981)
    This database contains tombstone inscription information for the period from 1830 through 1981, with two cemeteries updated to 2000. You can search the database by last name, first name, birth date, death date, and keyword. The search can be limited by cemetery. You will also find links to a cemetery locater map and location list for Montgomery County on this page.

    Masonic Cemetery Records
    There are two Masonic Cemetery databases on the website. One is for the Crawfordsville Masonic Cemetery and it covers the period from 1921 through 1982. The source documents for this index are burial permits, cash receipts, foundation orders, miscellaneous papers, and correspondence donated to the library. The database can be searched by last name, first name, date of death, date buried, age, cause of death and keywords. The Waynetown Masonic Cemetery database contains more than 6,000 records and covers the period from 1862 to 2008. There are links to more than 4,000 obituaries and more than 1,000 burial/transit permits. The database can be searched by last name, first name, death date, and keyword.

    Veteran Cemetery Records Database
    In this database, there are 5,529 records for veterans from the Revolutionary War to the present. Volunteers transcribed the data from the library’s collection of graves registration cards and other records. The database includes information on Montgomery County veterans buried in or outside the county.

    Confederate Veterans Buried in Montgomery County
    This database contains the cemetery records for 64 Confederate veterans buried in Montgomery County. The information provided includes name, birth date, death date, unit served in, cemetery buried in and place of birth.

    Maps and Images
    Two historical atlases have been scanned, digitized, and uploaded to the website. They are the Illustrated Historical Atlas of the State of Indiana (1876) and the Atlas of Montgomery County (1878). The former is a searchable database of images and text; the latter is a PDF version of the complete atlas.

    Image File
    This searchable database contains scanned images with captions of postcards and photographs in the library’s collection. There are over 42,000 images in the collection.

    Court Records
    Guardian’s Docket Books Database
    This database covers the period from 1825 through 1874. It can be searched by first name and last name. In addition to names, volume and page number, the search results includes a PDF image of the docket book page containing the record.

    Index to Probate Records of Montgomery County
    This database is an index to the records found on microfilm owned by the Crawfordsville District Public Library. It covers the period from 1822 through 1940. It is in the form of a PDF file.

    Vital Statistics
    Marriage Affidavits, Records, and Licenses, Montgomery County
    This database contains marriage-related records as follows: Affidavits: September 1883–February 1905; Records: December 1888–June 1941; and Licenses: October 1867–June 2001. Currently there are digitized images of the affidavits and marriage records in the databases. The licenses have not yet been digitized. The database can be searched by last name and first name of the bride or groom and the book number.

    Local Newspaper Vital Statistics Database
    This index covers the period from 1834 through 1899 (partial) and 1900 to the present. There are more that 305,000 records in the database. The index is searchable by last name, first name, date, and notes. The specific event you are seeking may be selected from a drop-down list. The search can also be limited by newspaper title. There is a link to the library’s newspaper holdings list on the page.

    Other online resources include the following:
    Hawcreek Church of God Records (1839–1853); Register of Negroes and Mulattoes (1851–1853); Three Years in the Saddle: Journal of Events, Facts, and Incidents Connected with the 18th Indiana Battery (Civil War); Teachers: Examinations and Contracts (1881–1912); Yearbooks (Montgomery County schools 1902–present); and Central School and Crawfordsville High School Faculty/Staff Index: 1876–2001. There is also a database containing images from the account book of a general store (Burk, M. L.) in Coal Creek Township. It covers the period from 1837 through 1839.

    Back on the library’s homepage you will find a link to several World War I Letters that have been digitized and uploaded to the website. The letters were donated to the library in the early 1960s. Click on the “Letters from some local veterans” link to access them. Images of each page of each letter can be viewed by clicking on the individual letter link. The letters have also been transcribed.

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    Stories of Interest

    The Heirloom That They Fear
    Boston Globe correspondent Hinda Mandell discusses a dilemma facing her family. The question is what her Jewish family should do with an heirloom her great-uncle brought back as a war souvenir from Europe: a 1937 edition of Mein Kampf taken from a German soldier killed in the war.

    Researcher Gave the Chumash a Gift: Their Heritage
    John Peabody Harrington relentlessly studied Indian families for decades. Today, a 71-year-old woman who considered him a pest is grateful for his intense scholarship.

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    Sale on Books by D. Brenton Simons

    The NEHGS Book Store is happy to offer 20% off on three titles by NEHGS president and CEO, D. Brenton Simons:

    The Art of Family: Genealogical Artifacts in New England

    Boston Beheld: Antique Town and Country Views

    Witches, Rakes, and Rogues: True Stories of Scam, Scandal, Murder and Mayhem in Boston, 1630–1775
    (Soft cover)

    Discounted prices are good through February 17, 2010. Discount cannot be combined with any other member discount. Prices do not include shipping.

    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 Newton, Massachusetts, Town & City, from its Earliest Settlement to the Present Time, 1630–1880 (Item P5-MA0023H)
    • Genealogical Records of the Descendants of David Mack to 1879 (Item P4-H18441)
    • Random Historical Sketch of Meeker County, Minnesota, from its First Settlement to July 4Th, 1876 (Item P5-MN0054S)
    • A Memorial of Rev. Thomas Smith and His Descendants: A Full Genealogical Record, 1707–1895 (Item P4-H23928)
    • The Genealogical History of Dover, Massachusetts, Tracing All Families Previous to 1850 & Many Families That Have Lived in the Town Since (Item P5-MA0044H)

    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:


    An Introduction to African-American and Cape Verdean Genealogical Research Techniques
    Wednesday, February 17, 2010, 6:00 PM
    Join us for an introduction to research methods and sources for African-American and Cape Verdean ancestry, including primary and secondary sources available in the collections of New England Historic Genealogical Society and beyond.

    Researching African-Americans in Pre-Civil War New England
    Wednesday, February 24, 2010, 6:00 PM
    This lecture will discuss the primary and secondary sources available at NEHGS for researching your African-American ancestors. Discussion on how to best utilize materials such as vital records, probates, deeds, and newspapers will show you how to further expand your knowledge of your pre-Civil War New England ancestry. A wide range of sources from family manuscripts to internet resources will give you the clues to trace your family tree.


    Seminars and Tours

    Online Boston University Certificate in Genealogical Research
    Boston University’s Online Certificate in Genealogical Research will help you reach the next level of professionalism. Whether you are a serious amateur, a budding professional, or an expert with a CG®, this rigorous 14-week program will help you take your genealogical work to the next level. NEHGS members get a 10% tuition discount. The next class will begin on May 10, 2010, with a registration deadline of April 23. For more information, visit

    Boston University Certificate in Genealogical Research (Intensive Summer Program)
    Weekdays, July 12–July 29, 2010.
    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. This intensive summer program is offered Monday through Friday over a 14-day 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. For more information, visit

    Technology Seminar
    March 26–27, 2010
    Explore the important relationship between technology and genealogy with NEHGS experts. You will have hands-on training learning how to customize your internet experience, build your own electronic databases, and gain valuable insight into using genealogical software for the preservation and sharing of your family history. For more information visit

    Irish Genealogy Research Tour
    May 23–30, 2010
    Discover your Irish heritage with the New England Historic Genealogical Society. This weeklong guided research tour will give you access to a treasure trove of records in Dublin and the benefit of consultations with some of the foremost experts in Irish genealogy. Your tour features guided research at various repositories in central Dublin, including the General Register Office, National Library, National Archives, and Registry of Deeds, among others. Daily programming includes tutorials, research tips and techniques lectures, personalized consultations and group dinning events. For more information visit

    For more information about NEHGS programs, visit or email

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    NEHGS Contact Information

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    Copyright 2010, New England Historic Genealogical Society
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Boston, Massachusetts 02116, USA

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