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

  • The Weekly Genealogist
    Vol. 14, No. 31
    Whole #542
    August 3, 2011
    Edited by Lynn Betlock, Jean Powers, 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.


    * A Walking Tour of Boston’s North End through the Eyes of Hannah Mather Crocker (1752-1829)
    * In The New York Times: “The Van Dusens of New Amsterdam”
    * A New Beginning
    * Name Origins
    * This Week's Survey
    * Spotlight: Maine and Georgia Resources
    * Stories of Interest
    * Free Shipping on Genealogical Writing in the 21st Century
    * Seminars and Tours
    * NEHGS Contact Information


    A Walking Tour of Boston’s North End through the Eyes of Hannah Mather Crocker (1752-1829)
    Wednesday, August 17, 2011, 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.

    Join Notre Dame University associate professor Eileen Hunt Botting and North End expert Alex Goldfeld for a historic tour of Boston’s oldest neighborhood. Hannah Mather Crocker’s early nineteenth-century account of the city, Reminiscences and Traditions of Boston (now available from NEHGS), will serve as the tour’s basis. Attendees will visit her birthplace, North Square, Old North Church, and the Mather tomb at Copp’s Hill Burying Ground — and learn about the North End’s place in early America.

    Hannah Mather Crocker was the granddaughter of Rev. Cotton Mather and niece of the royal Governor of Massachusetts Thomas Hutchinson. Her Reminiscences chronicle topics ranging from Puritan law to colonial and provincial history; the establishment of Boston’s churches; and Boston’s economic growth, with a special emphasis on women’s work and culture.

    The tour will begin at NEHGS at 99–101 Newbury Street at 6:30 p.m. and proceed to the North End by coach. The tour will last one hour and progress at an undemanding pace. Attendees will return by coach to NEHGS, where a book signing for Botting’s edition of Reminiscences and Traditions of Boston and Goldfeld’s The North End: A Brief History of Boston’s Oldest Neighborhood will be held and refreshments served.

    Space is limited, so register today! Register online or by calling call 617-226-1226. Please email us for more information. Cost: $25.

    Return to Table of Contents


    In The New York Times: “The Van Dusens of New Amsterdam”

    A feature article in the Sunday, July 24, New York Times on the Van Dusen family was based, in part, on research supplied by NEHGS.The multi-page article was written by Alison Leigh Cowan, who made two trips to Boston to use NEHGS resources and interview staff members. Abraham Pieterszen, the Van Dusen family progenitor, was one of Manhattan’s earliest settlers. The article recounts Abraham’s history and highlights the life stories of several of his more than 200,000 descendants.

    In addition, an interactive feature and video traces scores of Van Dusens across the centuries, with photographs, maps, documents and vignettes.

    Return to Table of Contents


    A New Beginning
    by Lynn Betlock

    This issue of The Weekly Genealogist marks a new beginning. With Michael Leclerc’s departure from NEHGS, I have become the new editor. I will be assisted by Valerie Beaudrault, who has proofed the enewsletter and contributed the Spotlight column since 2004, and Jean Powers, my colleague in the Publications Department. Over the years Michael did a superb job of developing a clear format and engaging content for The Weekly Genealogist. As the new editor, I’m looking forward to building on the foundation he established as well as introducing some new elements.

    I first joined the NEHGS staff in 1995 as sales manager. My position changed in 2001 when I assumed a marketing role. In 2003, I became the managing editor of New England Ancestors, now American Ancestors. I also work on the Great Migration Study Project and other NEHGS publications.

    Some of you who are long-term subscribers may remember that I was the enewsletter editor from 2001 until 2004. In fact, when I became the editor of HisGen Highlights (as it was called) in 2001, I was taking over from Michael then, too. As I was writing this announcement, I checked the enewsletter archive for the exact date and found that I’d written the following on September 7, 2001:

    “I am pleased to announce that with this issue of HisGen Highlights I am assuming the role of enewsletter editor. I'd like to thank Michael Leclerc, the previous editor, for all the improvements he made to the enewsletter and for the help he has given me during this transition. My work on the enewsletter will be part of my new position as the NEHGS marketing director. Although I have just started this position, I have been with NEHGS since 1995 as sales manager. You may remember me standing behind the table selling books at various conferences or taking your sales order over the telephone. In my new role I am pleased to have the opportunity to spread the word, not only about what we offer for sale, but about our great education programs, magazine and journal, and library and research resources. I am excited about using this enewsletter as a means to keep you informed about NEHGS and its activities as well as news from the larger genealogical community. As time goes on, I would like to solicit your input and content to make this enewsletter into more of a forum for us to educate one another.”

    Nearly ten years later, as I reassume the enewsletter editorship, I find my words still hold true. I continue to be excited at the prospect of choosing and shaping interesting stories about NEHGS and the genealogical world. I’m looking forward to where The Weekly Genealogist goes from here.

    Return to Table of Contents


    Name Origins
    by Julie Helen Otto

    ELIPHALET (m): Hebrew. A son of David, born in Jerusalem (2 Samuel 5:16). In colonial New England the name was sometimes abbreviated as LIFFE.

    Return to Table of Contents


    This Week's Survey

    Last week’s survey asked about missionary ancestors. 81% of respondents did not know of any ancestors who were missionaries. 6% reported missionary ancestors in the Western United States, and 5% percent reported “missionary service elsewhere in the world.” Only 1% had missionary ancestors in the Middle East. Complete results are:

    • 81%, I do not know of any ancestors who were missionaries
    • 6%, Western United States
    • 5%, Missionary service elsewhere in the world
    • 4%, Eastern Asia
    • 2%, Pacific Islands
    • 1%, Middle East
    • 1%, South America

    Readers who wish to learn more about missionary ancestors may enjoy Rhonda R. McClure's "Onward Christian Soldiers: Researching New England Missionary Ancestors," New England Ancestors 9 (2008) 1:29-31. This issue also features Jonathan Conant Page's "New England Missionaries Abroad: The Allen and Wheeler Families in the Ottoman Empire," and Betty Fullard-Leo's "Lucy Thurston, Missionary Wife." These articles are available to NEHGS members through

    This week's survey asks how old you were when you first began your genealogy. Take the survey now!

    Return to Table of Contents


    Spotlight: Maine and Georgia Resources
    by Valerie Beaudrault

    Walsh History Center, Camden Public Library, Maine

    The town of Camden is located in Knox County, on the Maine coast. Through its Walsh History Center, the Camden Public Library has made local history and genealogy resources available on its website. There are links to these resources on the homepage.

    Local Histories and Photo Galleries
    Researchers will find brief local histories for the towns of Camden, Rockport, and Lincolnville on the site. You will also find a collection of photographs containing images of scenes in these towns under the Photo Galleries link.

    Oral Histories
    The Walsh History Center has collected the oral histories of several long-time residents of the Camden, Rockport, and Lincolnville areas and made them available through the library’s Oral History Program. At present one of these “living histories” has been made available on the library’s website.

    Cemetery Database
    Click on the Cemetery Database link to open the search page. Click on Find in the blue banner to begin your search. Enter the information about the individual for whom you are looking in the boxes in the first row of the table. The data fields are the same as the search fields, which include first name, last name, date of birth, date of death, cemetery name, and notes. The notes field includes information such as parents’ names and spouse’s name. There is also an advanced search option with additional search fields, such as birthplace, occupation, and affiliation (fireman, Mason, veteran). Click on the magnifying glass at the end of the row to view a detailed record.

    Vital Records Database, Augusta-Richmond County Public Library, Georgia

    Augusta, also known as Augusta–Richmond County, is a consolidated city located along the Savannah River. The vital records database is an index to births, marriages, deaths and other announcements published in the Augusta area newspapers, including the Augusta Chronicle and Augusta Herald. The index covers the period from 1982 through the present. Some records from 1981 have also been included. According to the website, the database is updated weekly. The database can be searched by name, spouse’s name, event type, event date, source, and source date. The data fields in the index include name, spouse’s name, event abbreviation, event date, newspaper date, newspaper page and column information, and newspaper name. Click on the print link to print a specific record.

    Return to Table of Contents


    Stories of Interest

    Half of European Men Share King Tut's DNA
    Swiss scientists have reconstructed the DNA profile of King Tut and discovered he shares a haplogroup with more than fifty percent of men in Western Europe — a haplogroup found in less than one percent of modern Egyptians.

    Hidden Village Excavated in Central Park
    Archeologists find remnants of a nineteenth-century African-American village located in today's Central Park.

    Return to Table of Contents


    Free Shipping on Genealogist Writing in the 21st Century

    The Bookstore at NEHGS is offering free book rate shipping on our publication Genealogical Writing in the 21st Century through August 10, 2011. Orders can be placed online or by calling 1-888-296-3447.

    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:

    • Abstracts of Wills of Greene County, New York, Volume I 1800-60 (Item P5-NY0433-1S, $18.00)
    • A Report of the Record Commissioners of the City of Boston, Massachusetts, Containing Boston Births from A.D. 1700 to A.D. 1800 (Item P26826000, $63.00)
    • Chronicles of the Scotch-Irish Settlement of Virginia Extracted from the Original Court Records of Augusta Co. 1745-1800. (Augusta Co.) Volume III (Item P5-VA0045-3H, $65.00)
    • The Ancestors of Charity Haley 1755-1800 Wife of Maj. Nicholas Davis of Limington, Maine (Item P4-H12861, $30.00)
    • Descendants of Deacon Aaron Baldwin of North Branford, Connecticut 1724-1800 with Brief Account of His Ancestors (Item P4-H01485, $29.00)

    You can search the entire Classic Reprints catalog online. 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 99–101 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

    Online Boston University Certificate in Genealogical Research
    Begins September 6, 2011
    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 15-week program will help you take your genealogical work to the next level. NEHGS members get a 10% tuition discount.
    Get more details at

    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 continuing 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.

    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 The Weekly Genealogist , please visit

    Visit the Society on Facebook at

    The Weekly Genealogist, 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 2011, New England Historic Genealogical Society
    99–101 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