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  • The Weekly Genealogist

  • Vol. 14, No. 20
    Whole #531
    May 18, 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.

    * National Archives Transfers Railroad Retirement Board Records
    * Research Recommendations: Taking Advantage of Conference Opportunities
    * Name Origins
    * This Week's Survey
    * Spotlight: Lynchburg, Virginia Funeral Home Records
    * Stories of Interest
    * Sale on Mayflower Titles
    * Upcoming Education Programs
    * NEHGS Contact Information


    National Archives Transfers Railroad Retirement Board Records

    Approximately 54,000 cubic feet of Inactive Claims Folders from the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) were recently transferred from the National Archives Great Lakes Region to the National Archives at Atlanta, Georgia. These records contain claims files that have been inactive for at least seven years. Active claims files are still with the RRB. The RRB deals only with individuals who worked on the railroads after 1936.

    For more information about these valuable records, visit

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    Research Recommendations: Taking Advantage of Conference Opportunities
    by Michael J. Leclerc

    Last week I was in Charleston, South Carolina, staffing the NEHGS booth in the exhibit hall at the annual conference for the National Genealogical Society. The conference was once again an unqualified success. I heard reports of 1,800 registrants for the conference, with hundreds more attending a special genealogy day on Saturday sponsored by

    There is nothing quite like a national genealogical conference. With hundreds of fellow genealogists, from beginners to professionals with decades of experience, it is always an exciting week. We were able to talk with many members at the NEHGS booth, answering questions and helping them with problems. Dozens of individuals also joined the Society for the first time.

    As much of a financial investment as a national conference can be, most people I talk to believe that it is well worth every penny. Online learning and smaller conferences are great ways to learn, but nothing beats the opportunities to interact with fellow genealogists of all levels at a national conference.

    The educational opportunities were outstanding. With so many of the leading genealogists in the country making presentations, the choices were often difficult to make. Fortunately, there was another option. JAMB has been recording conferences for the National Genealogical Society, Federation of Genealogical Societies, Ohio Genealogical Society, Fairfax (Virginia) Genealogical Society, and the Southern California Jamboree for several years. JAMB once again did an excellent job recording the NGS conference, and stacks of CDs were being sold for sessions that people could not attend.

    These recording are a great resource for genealogists. For each conference JAMB provides a listing of sessions available for purchase. Keep in mind that not every session at every conference is recorded. The choice is up to the speaker, and many speakers choose not to have sessions recorded. One of my sessions at the FGS conference last year was not recorded last year, for example, because I felt that without the images from the presentation the listener would not be able to make sense of the lecture. Other reasons can also affect availability as well. Technical issues this year prevented two of my sessions at the Ohio Genealogical Society conference from being available.

    The 2011 NGS conference listing will soon be available on their website, I strongly recommend you check out the website. I’m certain you will find more than one session recording that you would like to hear. And think about joining NEHGS at either the Southern California Jamboree in Burbank, California, this June, or at the FGS conference in Springfield, Illinois, this September.

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    Name Origins
    by Julie Helen Otto

    ORONDATUS/OROONDATES (m): From Oroondates, a male character in medieval and Renaissance romance.

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    This Week's Survey

    Last week’s survey asked about your interest in the states of the Pacific and the West. California had the highest rate, with 87% of respondents having interest there. Hawaii was the lowest, with 7%. Full results are:

    • 87%, California
    • 50%, Washington
    • 44%, Oregon
    • 8%, Alaska
    • 7%, Hawaii

    This week we start a different regional interest, asking on which continents you have genealogical research interests. Take the survey now!

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    Spotlight: Lynchburg, Virginia Funeral Home Records
    by Valerie Beaudrault

    The independent city of Lynchburg is located in the central part of the Commonwealth of Virginia. As an independent city it is not a part of any county.

    Diuguid Digital Archive
    A Spotlight article reader brought this website to my attention. The undertaking records of the Diuguid Funeral Service & Crematory of Lynchburg were placed on permanent loan with the Southern Memorial Association in 2005 and 2007. The SMA now sponsors this website.

    The site provides access to the burial records for the period from 1820 to 1950. There are nearly 54,000 entries and, according to the website, most of those “who died in the Lynchburg area before 1920 were buried by Diuguid and will be found in these records.” The database is searchable by name and/or date.

    Only a portion of the material in the collection, which is comprised of 42 general burial ledgers and 14 cemetery plot books, has been made available online. The general burial ledgers contain records for every person for whom they provided mortuary services. In the earliest years these services were orders for coffins, provided by carpenters in the Diuguid family.

    Individuals were buried in one of four cemeteries in Lynchburg. In many cases the funeral home records can help determine the location of someone’s burial. Starting in 1896, the funeral home used a pre-printed ledger form that included the residence, date of death, cause of death, age, cemetery, and plot of every person handled by the funeral home. These forms contain valuable information for family history researchers. Much of this is not found on the state level, because the Commonwealth of Virginia did not keep official death certificates until much later. This description was drawn from the Overview section under the About the Records tab. Be sure to read the About the Records page before starting your search because it contains not only an Overview but also the following sections on interpreting the records, a history of the Diuguid Funeral Home, and a bit of historical and demographic information on Lynchburg over the years. There is a link beneath each image that will take you to the Interpret the Records page, should you have difficulty in understanding what is in the record that you are viewing.

    The database can be searched by last name, first name, and year in the simple search. You can specify an exact year or a range of years. Advanced search allows you to also search by account holder, designated race, year of burial, book and page numbers, Diuguid’s Notes, place of interment, and gravedigger’s name. The data fields in the search results include surname, prename (given and middle names), date of burial, and name of account holder. The search results are returned in alphabetical order. They can be sorted by any of these fields by clicking on the up/down arrow in the field header. Click on one of the name links to access the detailed record and a page image. The data fields in the detailed record include all of the fields found in the advanced search option. To the right of the record you will find a thumbnail of the page image. Click on the thumbnail to enlarge it. Clicking on the image a second time will enlarge it further.

    The records contain information on many Civil War soldiers, both Union and Confederate. In one search I conducted a page brought up with the burial records of “Yankee prisoners”. One entry reads as follows:

    Browns Stable Yankee Prisoner Jno Lambert 1st Maryland Co B was buried No 5 in 4th line lot 171

    J.E. Fauber Funeral Home
    The second funeral home collection is part of the holdings of the Jones Memorial Library, the second oldest public library in Virginia. It opened in 1908. The Whitten Funeral Home gave the burial records of the J. E. Fauber Funeral Home to the library for the purpose of preserving them.

    This collection includes burial records, “first call sheets” and sales records of the J. E. Fauber Funeral Home of Lynchburg, Virginia for the period from 1919 through 1952. Also included in the collection are the burial records of J. J. Hughes and Company for 1915 through 1917, and the Lynchburg Undertaking Company, Inc. for 1918. These establishments were predecessors of the Fauber Funeral home. The burial records of the Virginia Funeral Chapel, Inc., for the period from 1952 through 1985.

    The database can be searched by last name, first name, and year. You can specify an exact year or a range of years. The data fields in the search results include surname, prename (given and middle names), race, date of death, spouse’s name, father, and mother. The search results are returned in alphabetical order. They can be sorted by any of these fields by clicking on the up/down arrow in the field header. Reproductions of both "first call records" and sales records may be purchase from the library for a fee. Click on the surname or prename link to open a new page from which you can order a copy of the record.

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    Stories of Interest

    Just Call Him Pop Culture's Sleuth
    NEHGS Genealogist to the Newbury Street Press was recently profiled by the Boston Globe, discussing his work tracing relationships between pop icons, presidential families, and other notable ancestry.

    Long-form Census Info Critical to Tracing Family Tree
    Lesley Anderson discusses the dangers of the voluntary long-form census report in Canada, which will wreak havoc for future genealogists.

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    Sale on Mayflower Titles

    The Bookstore at NEHGS is happy to offer a 10% discount on four Mayflower titles dealing with the descendants of John Howland:

    John Howland of the Mayflower, Volume 1: The First Five generations Through Desire2 Howland, Normally $79.50, Now $71.55

    John Howland of the Mayflower, Volume 2: The First Five generations Through John2 Howland, Normally $52.50, Now $47.25

    John Howland of the Mayflower, Volume 3: The First Five generations Through Hope2 Howland, Normally $79.50, Now $71.55

    John Howland of the Mayflower, Volume 4: The First Five generations Through Elizabeth2 Howland, Normally $37.50, Now $33.75

    These books can also be ordered by calling the Bookstore at 617-226-1212. Prices do not include shipping. Massachusetts residents add 6.25% sales tax. Prices good though May 25, 2011, 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:

    • Scandinavian Immigrants in New York 1630-1674. with Appendices on Scandanavians in Mexico South America Cananda New York Plus Germans in New York (Item P5-NY0137H, $47.00)
    • New York [City] Directory from 1786 Prefaced by a General Description of New York by Noah Webster An Appendix of the Annals of New York City 1786. (Item P5-NY0216H, $29.50)
    • Ancestry of Rev. William Howe Whittemore Bolton Connecticut 1800 - Rye New York 1885 and of His Wife Maria Clark Whittemore. New York 1803 - Brooklyn 1886 (Item P4-S27387, $22.50)
    • Index of Wills For New York Co. (New York City) from 1662 to 1850. (item P5-NY0449H, $49.50)
    • Descendants of Claude Le Maitre who Came from France and Settled at New Netherlands Now New York in 1652 (item P4-H08025, $46.00)

    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

    Public Lectures

    June New Visitor and Welcome Tour
    Wednesday, June 1, 2011, 10:00AM
    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. Free and open to the public (no registration necessary).

    Seminars and Tours

    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.

    London Research Tour
    September 25 – October 2, 2011
    Discover the wealth of information available in London's repositories as NEHGS returns to London in 2011. Participants will take part in two group dinners, consultations, and guided research through the Society of Genealogists (SOG) and the National Archives (UK). Daily educational activities include lectures and tours by the experts at the National Archives (UK), SOG, and NEHGS. Featured NEHGS experts include David C. Dearborn and Christopher C. Child.

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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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