American Ancestors New England Historic Genealogical Society - Founded 1845 N.E. Historic Genealogical Society Seal View Your Shopping Cart Join NEHGS
  • The Weekly Genealogist

  •  Vol. 13, No. 7
    Whole #466
    February 17, 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.

    * In Memoriam: John S. "Fip" Fipphen, 1927–2010
    * NERGC Call for Proposals Deadline
    * Research Recommendations: O, Canada!
    * Name Origins
    * Spotlight: Cemetery Databases
    * Stories of Interest
    * Celebrating Black History Month
    * Upcoming Education Programs
    * NEHGS Contact Information




    In Memoriam: John S. "Fip" Fipphen, 1927–2010

    John S. “Fip” Fipphen, of Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, a longtime member and supporter of the Society, passed away January 29, 2010, at Lebanon, New Hampshire, after a short illness. He was born in Worcester, Massachusetts, in 1927, son of Clarence Wyman and Ethel (Dole) Fipphen, and a descendant of David Phippen of Hingham and Boston.

    Raised in Shrewsbury, Fip was a graduate of Clark University. He had a long career in spectroscopy, with extended service at the Wyman-Gordon Company. In 1975 his son Richard was given an assignment in high school to write a one-page paper on the derivation of his surname. This led Fip and Richard to the Northborough Public Library, and eventually to NEHGS. Richard spent many afternoons with his parents at the Society’s library researching their collective ancestors. Fip and Richard collaborated on a book, Phippen Genealogy: Ancestors and Descendants of David Phippen of Melcombe Regis, Dorset, who immigrated to the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1634, which will be published by Newbury Street Press. He served as State Historian for the New Hampshire Society of Mayflower Descendants, as editor of the New Hampshire Society of Genealogists newsletter, volunteered at the New Hampshire Division of Vital Records Administraton. Besides the Phippen Genealogy, he was the compiler of 1798 Tax List, District 13, New Hampshire and Cemetery Inscriptions, Wolfeboro, New Hampshire.

    In addition to Richard, Fip leaves his wife of 53 years, Christine (Churchill) Fipphen, and son Peter Fipphen.

    Return to Table of Contents



    NERGC Call for Proposals Deadline

    Lecture proposals are now being accepted for the 11th New England Regional Genealogical Conference, Exploring New Paths to Your Roots, to be held 6-10 April 2011 in Springfield, Massachusetts. For more information on the conference, or how to submit proposals, visit The deadline for submission of proposals is 1 March 2010.

    Return to Table of Contents


    Research Recommendations: O, Canada!
    by Michael J. Leclerc

    The entire world is celebrating Canada this week as the games of the Twenty-Fourth Winter Olympiad are underway at Vancouver, British Columbia. My personal favorite events of Winter Olympics are the figure skating events, so I plan on having great fun watching them this week. In honor of the games, I want to give you five websites to help you in your Canadian research, all of them free!

    Canadian Genealogy Centre, Library and Archives Canada
    The Canadian Genealogy Centre is run by Canada’s national archives and library. Their mission is to “facilitate the discovery of our roots and family histories as a basic part of our Canadian heritage” and “to encourage the use of genealogy and the resources available in libraries and archives as tools for life-long learning.”

    The Centre is working to provide greater access to the materials in the nation’s libraries and archives. A number of databases are available online, including census, land, immigration, and some vital records. Information is also available on obtaining materials through your local library via Interlibrary Loan.

    Canada GenWeb
    The Canadian counterpart to USGenWeb offers a wide variety of information on researching our neighbor to the north. Each province and territory has its own page, with subpages further dividing the province/territory into sections. There are a number of national projects being conducted, including cemetery transcriptions, Bible transcriptions, and even an Immigrants to Canada list. The CanadaGenWeb blog provides the latest information about the site.

    The Quaker Archives and Library of Canada
    The Quaker Archives and Library of Canada has two components: The Canadian Yearly Meeting Archives and The Arthur Garratt Dorland Reference Library. The library contains thousands of non-circulating books, journals, newspapers, and pamphlets dating from the late 1600s to today. The Yearly Meeting archives, including information from the half-yearly, quarterly, monthly, and preparative meetings and their various committees, are a trove of information for genealogists; finding aids and catalogs are available online for their collections. Also available is the Canadian Quaker Genealogical Index, which provides access to information on individuals mentioned in the meeting records.

    Geographical Names of Canada
    Geographical Names of Canada is a website run by National Resources Canada/Ressources Naturelles Canada. Since 1897 names on official federal government maps have been authorized through a national committee, now known as the Geographical Names Board of Canada (GNBC). The Canadian Geographical Names Data Base (CGNDB) is the data bank of Canada’s geographical names, maintained by the Geographical Names Section, part of the Centre for Topographic Information, Geomatics Canada, Natural Resources Canada. You can search the database online for free, by name or GPS coordinates. Remember that this records the name of civil divisions and geographical features, not church parishes. You can even get a national or regional map that pinpoints the location of your town.

    Canadian Genealogical Projects Registry
    The Alberta Family Histories Society keeps a section on their website devoted to projects being worked on to abstract, index, and transcribe records from across Canada. Listing is free, and a number of projects have information available online. AFHS itself maintains a database of cemetery transcriptions from the province.

    Return to Table of Contents


    Name Origins
    by Julie Helen Otto

    MATILDA (f): A Latinized form of the Germanic Mechtildis, which is often abbreviated in America as MATTIE (sometimes TILDA). The name is found from the Middle Ages.

    Return to Table of Contents


    Spotlight: Cemetery Databases
    by Valerie Beaudrault

    Dickinson Cemeteries Burial Database, North Dakota,{D40E86AD-1357-43F0-93AD-21CC8C33593C}&DE=

    Dickinson, a city in central North Dakota, is located in Stark County.

    According to Dickinson’s website, the city assumed responsibility for all of its cemeteries in the early 1980s. They have made an alphabetical cemeteries database available on the city’s website. Because it is in PDF format you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the database files.

    The cemeteries included in the database are the St. Wenceslaus Cemetery, St. Joseph’s Cemetery, St. Patrick’s Cemetery, and Dickinson City Cemetery. Each cemetery has been given a single letter designation in the database. The data fields include last name, first name, cemetery abbreviation, plot information (section, block, lot, grave), date of birth, date of death, and comments. Information in the comments section includes family members names, plot location, removal information, name of plot owner, whether the deceased was cremated, and whether the plot was purchased ‘pre-need.’

    Walnut Grove Cemetery, West Virginia

    Walnut Grove Cemetery was established in the 1860s by a group of families who settled early in Bluefield. The City of Bluefield is located in Mercer County, in the southern most part of West Virginia.

    There are two databases on the cemetery’s website. One is an alphabetical registry of graves. The data fields in this database include the full name of the deceased and the individual’s birth and death dates. The second is alphabetical database of veterans buried in the cemetery. The data fields in this database include the full name of the veteran and service, as well as the individual’s birth and death dates.

    Museum of Jewish History and Culture, Richmond, Virginia

    The Beth Ahabah Museum & Archives “collects, preserves and exhibits materials which relate to Jewish history and culture — with particular emphasis on Richmond, Virginia — so that Jewish history and culture may be documented, interpreted and passed on to future generations.” The museum is affiliated with Congregation Beth Ahabah, which is the successor to Congregation Beth Shalome (founded in 1789).

    The Burial Records of Jewish Cemeteries in Central Virginia database was created to help family history researchers locate the gravesites of Jewish individuals in the Central Virginia area. Area congregations and cemetery managers provided the information to the museum. The amount of information recorded varies from location to location.

    The database can be searched by last name, first name, maiden name and middle name. The data fields in the search results also include date of birth, date of death, cemetery name and ‘More Info?’ If the word ‘Yes’ appears in the last column of a record, it indicates that the Beth Ahabah Museum & Archives has in its holdings additional information that is too extensive to be included in the database. Additional information might include obituaries, newspaper articles, photographs, congregational records, family records, or other information.

    Return to Table of Contents


    Stories of Interest

    Crib Notes on Canada, From a Canadian
    Welcome to Canada. Bienvenue à Canada! If you’re like most Americans, Canada conjures up words like “efficient,” “pleasant,” “boring,” “socialized medicine,” “Is Gordie Howe still playing?” and, “I’ve been to Minnesota. Isn’t it the same only bigger?” New York Times reporter Bruce Headlam provides a tongue-in-cheek overview of Canada for Americans.

    Knowing Where Home is Can Get Complicated
    After two decades as a loyal resident of Rehoboth, Massachusetts, a small, quiet suburb, 67-year-old John Harker was startled when a new land survey determined that his century-old house on Agricultural Avenue actually sits just over the town line in Attleboro, a city of 42,000 on the Rhode Island border.

    Return to Table of Contents


    Celebrating Black History Month

    In celebration of Black History Month, the Bookstore at NEHGS is happy to announce a 15% discount on the following books:

    New! African American Resources at the New England Historic Genealogical Society: A Selected Bibliography

    The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family by Annette Gordon-Reed

    In Search of Our Roots: How 19 Extraordinary African Americans Reclaimed Their Past by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

    Finding Oprah’s Roots, Finding Your Own by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

    Black Roots: A Beginner’s Guide to Tracing the African American Family Tree by Tony Burroughs

    Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters’ First 100 Years by Sarah & A. Elizabeth Delany (Limited Quantity)

    The discounted prices are good through February 28th, while supplies last.

    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:

    • A Twentieth Century History of Erie County, Pennsylvania: a Narrative Account of its Historical Progress, its People, & its Principal Interests (Item P5-PA0018H)
    • Descendants of Capt. Thomas Carter of "Barford", Lancaster Co, Virginia, with Allied Families (Item P4-H05217)
    • History of Ryegate, Vermont, from its Settlement by Scotch-American Farmers to 1912 (Item P5-VT0004H)
    • Brewster Genealogy, 1566-1907; Descendants of William Brewster of the Mayflower, 2 vols (Item P4-S03936)
    • Thomas Jones, Ft. Neck, Queens Co. Long Island, 1695, and His Descendants: the Floyd-Jones Family, with Connecticut from the Year 1066 (Item P4-H1596)

    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

    Return to Table of Contents


    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:


    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

    Return to Table of Contents


    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

    Visit the Society on Facebook at

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

    To view the website of the New England Historic Genealogical Society, please visit

    To become a member of the New England Historic Genealogical Society, please visit

    Copyright 2010, New England Historic Genealogical Society
    101 Newbury Street, Boston, MA 02116

    Return to Table of Contents


New England Historic Genealogical Society
99 - 101 Newbury Street
Boston, Massachusetts 02116, USA

© 2010 - 2014 New England Historic Genealogical Society