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  • The Weekly Genealogist

  • Vol. 14, No. 13
    Whole #524
    March 30, 2011
    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 Seeks Stories
    * Research Recommendations: Finding the Civil War In Your Family Album
    * Name Origins
    * This Week's Survey
    * Spotlight: Michigan and North Carolina Resources
    * Stories of Interest
    * Classic Reprints
    * Upcoming Education Programs
    * NEHGS Contact Information


    NEHGS Seeks Stories

    We are in search of your amazing stories! Please send us an interesting, fascinating, or incredible story from your family’s history. Stories can (but don’t need to) relate to larger events in American history, ethnic discoveries, immigrant successes, geographic migrations, overcoming severe situations, or anything else you think is incredible about someone in your family. We are especially interested in surprises you may have uncovered during your research that gave you reason to rethink your family history.

    You can add your story to our website at

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    Research Recommendations: Finding the Civil War In Your Family Album
    by Michael J. Leclerc

    The Photo Detective is at it again. Just in time for the sesquicentennial of the Civil War, Maureen Taylor has published a book that will greatly help genealogists with ancestors who served in the conflict.

    Finding the Civil War In Your Family Album is a unique resource for researching this time period in American History. While images of soldiers have often been discussed, Maureen focuses on images of the entire family: men, women, and children. The initial chapters discuss the types of photographs that were made during this time period and the use of photo albums at the time.

    She then gets into fashions for all ages of individuals, uniforms, mourning customs, wedding outfits, and more. Later chapters focus on researching photographers (to help identify images) and suggestions for finding photographs of your ancestors in this time period. A bibliography of resources is also included.

    The 192-page book is lavishly illustrated with 130 photographs. In addition to the illustrations in each chapter, there is a section on iconic images from the Civil War.

    Anyone with ancestors in this time period will find this a valuable work. You can order a copy of the book from NEHGS for $24.95 at

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    Name Origins
    by Julie Helen Otto

    DOROTHY/DOROTHEA (f): From the Greek for ‘gift of God,’ thus related to THEODORE/THEODORA.

    DOTTY/DOT (f): Nickname for DOROTHY. (Also, in local usage [Boston and vicinity] it is slang for Dorchester, Massachusetts.)

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    This Week's Survey

    Last week’s survey asked about your genealogical interest in the South Atlantic states. It will come as no surprise that Virginia was the highest, with 75% of respondents interested. Florida was last, with 22%. Complete results are:

    • 75%, Virginia
    • 49%, North Carolina
    • 35%, West Virginia
    • 29%, South Carolina
    • 24%, Georgia
    • 22%, Florida


    This week we ask about your experience in researching land records. Take the survey now!

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    Spotlight: Michigan and North Carolina Resources
    by Valerie Beaudrault

    Gratiot County Historical & Genealogical Society, Michigan

    Gratiot County is located in the center of Michigan’s lower peninsula. The county seat is Ithaca. The Gratiot County Historical & Genealogical Society has made an obituary database online. Currently just more than 100 obituaries have been transcribed and posted on the website. They are organized alphabetically by time period and encompass the period 1850 – 2010. Links to the obituaries can be found under the Items of Interest header on the right side of the page.

    Under the GCHGS Resources header on the right side of the page there is link to an online collection of photographs. They are organized by the following subject areas: business advertisements; Stovall Studios, Alma; Ithaca, Michigan; Gratiot County people, Gratiot County Postcards; and a number of unidentified pictures. The line directly above the photograph contains the identity of the sitter or other identifying information.

    Newspaper Obituaries, Randolph County Public Library, North Carolina

    Randolph County is located in central North Carolina. Asheboro is its county seat. The online resources of the Randolph County Public Library include an index to a collection of newspaper obituaries. The obituaries being indexed are from the Courier and Courier-Tribune newspapers. The database will ultimately cover the period from 1903 through at least 1985. The index for the obituaries for the period from 1903 through 1909 have not yet been digitized and uploaded.

    The index is divided into alphabetical lists for five and ten year periods. The data fields for the period 1910 – 1929 are name, date of paper and date of death. The periods from 1930 through 1935 and 1960 through 1985 and are in PDF format. You will need free Adobe Acrobat Reader in order to view them. The data fields include name of the deceased, newspaper date, page number, and date of death. The indexes for the period from 1936 through 1955 and for 1960 through 1985 are in a standard webpage format and contain the same data fields as noted above. The database for the period from 1956 through 1959 is a Microsoft (MS) Excel file. If you do not have MS Excel on your computer there is a link through which you can download Microsoft’s free Excel viewer.

    Click on the Randolph Room link in the banner near the top of the page to open a new page on which you will find a link to the library’s online Historic Photograph Collection. It is the first entry in the contents list on the left of the page. Enter a keyword to search the collection. The collection can be searched by title, descriptive information, subject, and name of township. Photographs from the following townships are included in the collection: Back Creek, Brower, Cedar Grove, Coleridge, Columbia, Concord, Franklinville, Grant, Level Cross, Liberty, New Hope, New Market, Pleasant Grove, Providence, Randleman, Richland, Tabernacle, Trinity and Union. The search results returned are in the form of a list of photograph titles. Click on the title link to view the image and its caption. Click on the image to view an enlargement of the image.

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    Stories of Interest

    NY Marks 100th Anniversary of Capitol Fire
    The disaster, according to the man who served as the State Library's director before and after the fire, was unequaled in the history of modern libraries. The fire is estimated to have destroyed about 500,000 books and 300,000 manuscripts; only 7,000 books and 80,000 manuscripts were saved. The blaze also destroyed 8,500 artifacts in the New York State Museum, including irreplaceable Seneca Indian craftworks.

    Monuments to Clan Life Are Losing Their Appeal
    The gargantuan buildings are so iconic that they appear on a Chinese stamp. The most famous have distinctive round shapes, appearing from a distance like flying saucers that have plopped down in the middle of farm fields. Some were reportedly mistaken for missile silos by American officials poring over satellite images. But the thousands of “earthen buildings” here, built by the ethnic Hakka and Minnan people of rural Fujian Province, are the ultimate architectural expression of clan existence in China.

    ‘Archive of Melrose Memories:’ One Man’s Dedication to the Past
    Among local history buffs, the competition to scoop up Melrose artifacts can be fierce. Enter Scott Macaulay, a Melrose resident who, with his son, Walter, has spent the past year collecting items for an exhibit he calls “Archive of Melrose Memories.” Macaulay told the Free Press that there are 14 major collectors of Melrose memorabilia in the area, and said he knows them all by name. Some he’s met in person, while others he knows through their bidding history on the online auction website eBay.

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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:

    • Index to the Probate Records of Norfolk County Massachusetts 1793 to 1900 in Two Volumes (Item P26707500, $188.00)
    • Joannes Nevius Schepen, 3rd Secretary of New Amsterdam and His Descendants 1627-1900 (Item P4-H20136, $111.00)
    • Arthur Scovell and His Descendants in America 1660-1900 (Item P4-H23256, $57.50)
    • History of Robert Adams of Newbury Massachusetts and His Descendants 1675-1900 (Item P4-S00192, $72.50)
    • Descendants of Joseph Sheets (1812-1900) (Item P4-S23535, $25.00)


    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

    Seminars and Tours

    Embracing the Power of Technology for Family History
    May 1, 2011
    The New England Historic Genealogical Society is proud to present, “Embracing the Power of Technology for Family History,” a special seminar with The Genealogy Guys, George G. Morgan and Drew Smith.

    Allen County Public Library Research Tour
    May 22–28, 2011
    Join NEHGS on our inaugural visit to Fort Wayne, Indiana as we discover one of the world’s largest genealogical collections at the Allen County Public Library (ACPL). With more than 350,000 printed volumes and over 513,000 items of microfilm and microfiche, ACPL is a destination for every genealogist. Includes individual consultations, group meals, lectures, and other events. Featured consultants include Christopher Child, Judy Lucey, and Rhonda McClure.

    Come Home to New England
    June 13–17, 2011 and August 14–20, 2011
    Uncover the treasures at 99-101 Newbury Street and "Come Home" to the nation’s oldest and largest genealogical society. As one of the Society’s most popular programs, Come Home to New England features an intensive week of research, lectures, individual consultations, group meals, and other activities.

    Weekend Research Trip to Albany
    July 14–16, 2011
    Searching for ancestors from New York state? Join NEHGS as we explore the vast resources of the New York State Archives in July 2011. The weekend includes individual consultations, lectures, and a group dinner. Featured consultants include Henry B. Hoff, editor of the Register, and Christopher C. Child, Genealogist of the Newbury Street Press.

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    NEHGS Contact Information

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    Copyright 2011, 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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