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  • The Weekly Genealogist

  •  Vol. 13, No. 8
    Whole #467
    February 24, 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 at Who Do You Think You Are? Live
    * In Memoriam: Marsha Hoffman Rising, 1945–2010
    * Research Recommendations: Genealogical Writing: Foreign Words
    * Name Origins
    * Spotlight: American Battle Monuments Commission
    * Stories of Interest
    * Celebrating Black History Month
    * Upcoming Education Programs
    * NEHGS Contact Information




    NEHGS at Who Do You Think You Are? Live

    This year the Society will participate for the first time in the Who Do You Think You Are? Live national history show in Olympia, London. This weekend President and CEO D. Brenton Simons will join staff members Tom Champoux, Michael J. Leclerc, and D. Joshua Taylor to provide information to thousands of individuals who attend the show each year. The Society will have a stall in the exhibit hall, provide consultations, and make presentations during the Society of Genealogists’ Family History Show.

    For more information about the show, visit And if you are planning on being at the show, please stop by our stall and say hello.

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    In Memoriam: Marsha Hoffman Rising, 1945–2010

    Well-known professional genealogist Marsha Hoffman Rising died peacefully 17 February 2010 after bravely battling cancer for more then 13 years. After her diagnosis, Marsha became a traveler, ultimately visiting all seven continents, forty-two countries, and all fifty states. She was born at Kansas City, Missouri, 19 August 1945, daughter of Paul and Zella (Deschner) Hoffman. With a BA in psychology from the University of South Florida and an MSW from Florida State University, Marsha was hired to become the first director of the undergraduate Social Work program at Missouri State University. In 1980 she changed careers, becoming a professional genealogist.

    Marsha’s work in genealogy has left an indelible imprint. For three decades she researched, wrote, published, and taught genealogy to countless individuals. Her most popular book was The Family Tree Problem Solver. Her magnum opus, Opening the Ozarks: The First Families in Southwest Missouri, 1835–1839, which was featured in the Winter 2010 Issue of American Ancestors magazine.

    Marsha firmly believed in quality and standards from all genealogists, professionals and hobbyists alike. In addition to her service as a board member of the New England Historic Genealogical Society, she served as president of the Genealogical Speakers Guild, president of the Federation of Genealogical Societies, vice-president of the National Genealogical Society, and a trustee of the Association of Professional Genealogists. She was honored with election to the American Society of Genealogists, and served as that organization’s president. She was also a contributing editor to The American Genealogist. Few individuals have had as significant an impact on genealogy as Marsha.

    The Federation of Genealogical Societies, the National Archives, and the genealogical community have started a project to digitize the War of 1812 pension files — a fitting beginning to the bicentennial commemoration of this important war. Marsha strongly supported the preservation of these documents. Friends and colleagues have established a special category of contributions to the War of 1812 Preserve the Pensions Fund, titled A Tribute to Marsha Hoffman Rising. Donations received in Marsha’s name will go towards making these records available online for interested researchers. A donation of $25 will digitize 50 images — a donation of $500 will digitize 1,000 images. Mail to: FGS, 1812 Fund – Rising Tribute, P.O. Box 200940, Austin, TX 78720-0940. The names of donors will appear in FORUM Magazine and notification will be sent to Marsha’s family.

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    Research Recommendations: Genealogical Writing: Foreign Words
    by Michael J. Leclerc

    If you are writing your family history in English, you may discover that it becomes necessary to use foreign words, especially if your ancestors came from a country where English was not the primary language.

    When you have isolated words or phrases in a foreign language, you should use italics to highlight the terms, such as “My ancestor Joseph Lavallée was a voyageur.” Foreign terms that are familiar to English-speaking readers (e.g. Arriverderci, Ciao, or Bon Appétit) do not need to be italicized. If the term needs explanation, translation, or definition, you should enclose such in parentheses after the foreign term. For example: “My ancestor Joseph Lavallée was a voyageur (fur trapper) in the pays d’en haut (upper country). Foreign proper nouns are not italicized in English. If a word is repeated throughout your work, it is only necessary to italicize the word the first time it appears. All subsequent occurrences should be Roman.

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    Name Origins
    by Julie Helen Otto

    [THE] MUSES (f): In Greek mythology, the Muses number nine, daughters of the Titaness Mnemosyne, each of whom presides over an art or science. In art they are often seen dancing in a ring with the god Apollo.

    • Calliope: Muse of Epic Poetry, patron of Homer; mother of Orpheus
    • Clio: Muse of History
    • Erato: Muse of Lyrics and Love Poetry
    • Euterpe: Muse of Music and Lyric Poetry
    • Melpomene: Muse of Tragedy
    • Polyhymnia: Muse of Sacred Poetry and Geometry
    • Terpsichore: Muse of Dance
    • Thalia: Muse of Comedy
    • Urania: Muse of Astronomy

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    Spotlight: American Battle Monuments Commission
    by Valerie Beaudrault

    American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) is an agency of the Executive Branch of the federal government. The U. S. Congress established the Commission in 1923 to “commemorate the service, achievements, and sacrifice of U.S. armed forces where they have served overseas since 1917, and within the U.S. when directed by public law.” Its commemorative also mission includes: “Designing, constructing, operating and maintaining permanent American cemeteries in foreign countries.”

    The ABMC has made available on its website three searchable databases containing burial location information for Americans who died and were buried overseas since 1917. There are twenty-four overseas military cemeteries where nearly 125,000 service men and women were buried. Tablets of the Missing memorialize more than 94,000 additional U.S. service men and women

    To search all three of the databases enter the last name, a space, and the first name or first initial of the given name of individual for which you are searching, and then click on the Search button.

    There are 33,717 records in the World War I database. They represent war dead buried in the cemeteries or listed on the “Walls of the Missing,” which is only about one-third of the total number of American casualties during that war. In addition to running a search of the database, the list can also be viewed by state from which the individual entered the service and cemetery in which they are buried.

    There are 176,399 records in the World War II database. They represent Army and Air Force war dead buried in the cemeteries or listed on the “Walls of the Missing.” In addition to running a search of the database, the list can also be viewed by specific unit, state from which the individual entered the service and cemetery in which they are buried, as well as from what country the individual entered the service.

    There are nearly 39,000 records in the Korean War database. This number includes the more than 8,000 missing individuals listed on the Honolulu Memorial. In addition to running a search of the database, the list can also be viewed by specific unit, state from which the individual entered the service and cemetery in which they are buried, as well as from what country the individual entered the service.

    Under the Other Burial Listing link you will find databases commemorating American war dead and veterans of other wars—the Mexican War, Civil War and Spanish-American War. These individuals are buried at the ABMC cemeteries in Corozal, Panama and Mexico City. There is also a database containing all interments in the American cemetery at Corozal. There are more than 5,000 individuals buried in that cemetery, including civilians who built and operated the Panama Canal.

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    Stories of Interest

    Did Quilts Play Part in Underground Railroad?
    The cause in the 1800s was freedom. The occasion on Sunday will be Black History Month, when the members of the Stitchers of Faith quilting group make a presentation about what some quilt historians say was a secret language that helped slaves escape to the North.

    God Said Multiply, and Did She Ever
    When Yitta Schwartz died last month at 93, she left behind 15 children, more than 200 grandchildren and so many great- and great-great-grandchildren that, by her family’s count, she could claim perhaps 2,000 living descendants. She may have generated one of the largest clans of any survivor of the Holocaust — a thumb in the eye of the Nazis. Her descendants range in age from a 75-year-old daughter named Shaindel to a great-great-granddaughter born Feb. 10 named Yitta in honor of Mrs. Schwartz and a great-great-grandson born Feb. 15 who was named Moshe at his circumcision on Monday.

    Tutankhamun: Research Continues on His Genealogy
    General of Supreme Council of Egyptian Antiquities, Zahi Hawass, announced Wednesday that experts are currently trying to identify the mummy identified by DNA analysis as the mother of Tutankhamun.

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    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:

    • Ancestors and Descendants of Jonathan Abell, who Came from Connecticut and Settled in Schenectady Co., New York, About 1812 (Item P4-H00138)
    • Burritt Family in America: Descendants of William Burritt of Stratford, Connecticut, 1635-1940 (Item P4-H04716)
    • Descendants of William Leete, One of the Founders of Guilford, Connecticut, President of the Fed. of Colonies, and Governor of New Haven and Connecticut Colonies (Item P4-H17700)
    • King Family of Suffield, Connecticut, Its English Ancestors, 1389 - 1662, and American Descendants, 1662-1908 (item P4-H16800)
    • Descendants of Isaac Bradley of Connecticut, 1650-1898; with A Brief History of the Bradley Families in New England (Item P4-S03720)

    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:


    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
    101 Newbury Street, Boston, MA 02116

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Boston, Massachusetts 02116, USA

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