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  • The Weekly Genealogist

  • The Weekly Genealogist
    Vol. 14, No. 26
    Whole #537
    June 29, 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.

    * FGS Early Registration Deadline
    * Research Recommendations: MSMD: Not Just for Mayflower Descendants
    * Name Origins
    * This Week's Survey
    * Spotlight: West Virginia Archives and History
    * Stories of Interest
    * Classic Reprints
    * Upcoming Education Programs
    * NEHGS Contact Information


    FGS Early Registration Deadline

    Since its founding in 1976, the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) has been providing educational opportunities for those interested in genealogy and family history through its support of genealogical and historical societies throughout the United States. This year's conference, "Pathways to the Heartland," will be held September 7 to 10, 2011, at Springfield, Illinois, and offers an exciting opportunity for anyone interested in researching their family history.

    Individual sessions are designed to balance the needs of genealogists at all levels, exploring a variety of records, strategies, and other tools available to family historians. Wednesday's Focus on Societies includes sessions dedicated to members and leaders of genealogical and historical societies. In addition, special events, such as the FGS 35th Anniversary Celebration, Spotlight on Societies, and daily sponsored lectures provide an excellent environment to meet and network with others interested in family history and genealogy.

    NEHGS will once again be participating in the conference, with presentations by staff members Christopher C. Child, Michael J. Leclerc, Rhonda McClure, and D. Joshua Taylor. The deadline for the early registration $50 discount is Friday, July 1. You can find more details on the FGS website.

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    Research Recommendations: MSMD: Not Just for Mayflower Descendants
    by Michael J. Leclerc

    The Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Descendants has added some new resources to its website, all free to the public. In the Online Resources section of the Research menu, you will see the plans they have for providing information. Currently, only the state guides, vital records, and genealogical tools sections have information. Future plans include cemetery, census, church, court, land, military, and town records, city directories, immigration and naturalization, and newspapers.

    The genealogical tools section has a PDF file of a pedigree chart. The state guides provide information on the New England states. Here you will find various records sources and repositories in the state. You will also find a list of counties in the state.

    Particularly helpful is Franklin County, Massachusetts, where the index for the dockets and files of the probate court from 1812 to 1925 has been scanned and made available online. The images are not searchable, but you can browse through. You can jump down to a particular letter of the alphabet to a list of links with the first surname on each page of the index that starts with that letter. The images load in a new tab in your browser, and loaded fairly quickly with a high-speed internet connection. Having them open a new tab makes accessing easier, as you can quickly open up a new tab with another page instead of having to hit the back button and wait for the page to reload.

    As GSMD is able to add to the website, the value will only increase over time. Check it out at

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    Name Origins
    by Julie Helen Otto

    POLLY (f): An extremely popular nickname (often used as its own name) formed from MARY, by the same initial M-to-P linguistic process that produces PATTY from MARTHA and PEG/PEGGY from MARGARET.

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    This Week's Survey

    Last week’s survey asked about how your access 69% of respondents have a personal subscription to 12% have a personal subscription, but also access it at repositories. 11% access it only through repositories. 8% of respondents do not use at all.

    This week's survey asks about your ancestors' involvement in the Revolutionary War (or the War for American Independence for you Brits). Take the survey now!

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    Spotlight: West Virginia Archives and History
    by Valerie Beaudrault

    There are two searchable collections on the West Virginia Archives and History website. Links to these collections can be found on the lower half of the page under the Explore Archives and History heading. They are:

    Births, Deaths, and Marriages
    Click on the Births, Deaths, and Marriages (databases) link on the main page to open the vital records project database page. As noted in the article on the project, the West Virginia Vital Research Records Project is a collaborative project of West Virginia State Archives and the Genealogical Society of Utah (GSU). The majority of the records that are eligible to be uploaded to the database have been; however more records are being added when possible. Births and deaths were first reported to the counties in Virginia/West Virginia in 1853. Marriages have been recorded in the counties since their inception.

    Click on the link to the database (Birth, Death, or Marriage) you would like to explore to open the search page. Each of the databases can be searched by name, first and last. Searches can be limited to a specific county and/or year or range of years. Results include name, date of the event, county and a link to a page image in the records. Click on the name link to open a detailed record. For birth records, the data fields include name, date and place of birth, sex, parents' names and ages, and even maternal and paternal grandparents' names. For deaths, the data fields include name, sex, death date, death place, age at death, burial place and date, cemetery, funeral home, birth date and place, marital status, spouse’s name, occupation, address, residence, mother’s name and birth place, father’s name and birth place, and informant’s name. For marriage records the data fields include date and place or the marriage, bride’s and groom’s names, birth date, birth place, age at marriage, marital status prior to marriage, and parents' and grandparents' names. Click on the image link to view a digitized image of the record.

    West Virginia Memory Project
    Click on the West Virginia Memory Project (databases) link on the main page to open the memory project’s main page. There are a number of searchable databases in the West Virginia Memory Project collections. Among the collections are:

    John Brown
    In December 1999, the West Virginia State Archives placed online a database of materials pertaining to John Brown from the Boyd B. Stutler Collection. The papers of Mr. Stutler (1889–1970), a recognized authority on John Brown, were acquired by the State of West Virginia. The State Archives have digitized more than 20,000 pages of material from the Stutler Collection and linked them to fully searchable descriptive text. The database contains more than 100 original John Brown letters and manuscripts, family letters, and three books of business letters, as well as several hundred letters of Brown's associates and biographers. In addition, pictorial materials from the collection are available.

    Click on the Militia link to access Civil War records from the State Adjutant General's Office of West Virginians who served in Union militia units. The records include muster cards, muster rolls, forms and requisitions, and correspondence. Click on the Finding Aid link to view the list of boxes in the collection and their contents. Click the folder numbers that are active links to view an image of that document. There are links to selected letters, which have been digitized, and to rosters for five counties (Calhoun County, Marshall County, Ohio County, Pleasants County, and Upshur County), which have been transcribed. You can search the database by first name, last name, and military unit. You can search for keywords and limit your search to a specific county.

    The Photograph Collection includes more than 100,000 images on a variety of subjects in the West Virginia’s history. Currently, photographs from ten collections are available in the online database. They started the project with the Coal Life collection and the most recently uploaded collection is the Chester Webb collection, which contains more than 800 photographs of “Civilian Conservation Corps activities in and around Camp White in Pendleton County and views taken in the Huntington and Cabell County area.” You can search the database by keywords, location and people. Searches can be limited by collection and topic.

    Click on the History Center link on the homepage to access other resources including online photographic exhibitions, audio / video presentations and resources on a number of different subjects, including a photo exhibit related to the feud between the Hatfields and the McCoys.

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    Stories of Interest

    Colchester Man Updating Records of Who's Buried Where in Connecticut
    Ed Laput has made it his mission to update the Hale Collection of gravestone inscriptions made in 1934. He has spent the past five years photographing cemeteries from around the state of Connecticut.

    GI is in Their Genes: Family with Broad Military History Reunites in Saratoga Spa State Park
    All nine sons in the Duggan family followed their father into the military service. The one daughter who considered it was prevented from doing so by her brothers. The family recently held a family reunion in New York.

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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

    Public Lectures

    July New Visitor and Welcome Tour
    Wednesday, July 6, 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).

    Using American
    Wednesday, July 13, 2011, 10:00AM
    NEHGS recently launched its new website, It is full of new features, tools, resources, and content that highlight NEHGS’ growing national expertise in genealogy and family history. We now have more than 135 million searchable names covering New England, New York, and other areas of family research dating back to 1620. We invite you to attend this free lecture to learn more about this incredible online resource.

    Seminars and Tours

    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.

    Salt Lake City Research Tour
    October 30 – November 6, 2011
    You won't want to miss our thirty-third annual research tour to the world-renowned Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah. Following a continued tradition of excellence, NEHGS staff will guide you through a week of research, consultations, lectures, group meals, and other activities as you explore the collections of the largest genealogical library in the world.

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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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