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  • The Weekly Genealogist

  • The Weekly Genealogist
    Vol. 14, No. 48
    Whole #559
    November 30, 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.

    * Coming Soon In the October 2011 Issue of the Register
    * NEHGS Database News
    * On Blogs and Blogging
    * Name Origins
    * This Week’s Survey
    * Spotlight: Houston, Texas, Websites
    * Stories of Interest
    * NEHGS Book Store Holiday Bundles
    * Upcoming Education Programs
    * NEHGS Contact Information


    Coming Soon in the October 2011 Issue of the Register

    The Exhurst Ancestry of the Stoughton Siblings of New England
    by Adrian Benjamin Burke, John Blythe Dobson, and Janet Chevalley Wolfe

    Proving the Identity of Deliverance, Wife of Samuel2 Legg of Boston, as Deliverance Sandys
    by Doris Schreiber Willcox

    The English Origins of Captain Francis Norton of Charlestown, Massachusetts
    by Roger Thompson

    The Two Richard Taylor Families of Early Yarmouth, Massachusetts
    by Jillaine S. Smith

    Non-Massachusetts Probates Recorded in Suffolk County, Massachusetts, to 1799
    by David Allen Lambert

    Watertown, Massachusetts, Marriages, Deaths, and Other Events, 1794–1837
    by Scott Andrew Bartley (concluded from 165:205)

    Also in this issue . . .
    Editorial, Additions and Corrections, Reviews of Books, Index of Subjects in Volume 165, Index of Persons in Volume 165, and Annual Table of Contents of Volume 165

    Coming Soon in the 2011 American Ancestors Journal Supplement to the Register

    (American Ancestors Journal
    , an annual supplement to the Register introduced in October 2009, provides genealogical content of national scope, with an emphasis on New York State and out migrations from New England. American Ancestors Journal is bound with the October Register, but has its own separate index.)

    John and Mary (Berberich) Hans, Nineteenth-Century Immigrants in Upstate New York
    by Marian S. Henry

    William Berry (1753–1839) and His Children and Grandchildren in Massachusetts and New York
    by Harold Henderson

    Reconstructing a Passenger List for the Pearl: Scottish Highlanders to the Mohawk Valley
    by Kim A. Taylor

    New Yorkers in 1717
    by Henry B. Hoff

    Also in this issue . . .
    Editorial and Index of Persons

    A subscription to the Register is a benefit of NEHGS membership. If you are not a member, you may join online at or call toll-free 1-888-296-3447.


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    NEHGS Database News
    by Sam Sturgis, Digital Collections Administrator, and Ryan Woods, Director of Internet Technology

    The New England Historical and Genealogical Register – Volume 165 (2011)

    Published quarterly since 1847, The New England Historical and Genealogical Register is the flagship journal of American genealogy and the oldest in the field.

    A wide variety of genealogies and source material have been published in the Register for over 160 years, with an emphasis on New England. Authoritative compiled genealogies have always been a primary focus of the Register. Thousands of New England families have been treated in the pages of the journal, and many more are referred to incidentally. Typically, these articles solve a genealogical problem, identify immigrant origins, or present a full-scale treatment of multiple generations.

    Volume 165 adds 9,500 searchable names to our existing Register database.

    American Ancestors Journal – Volume 165 (2011)

    American Ancestors Journal provides readers genealogical content of national scope, with an emphasis on New York State and out migrations from New England. The editors are Henry B. Hoff, CG, FASG, editor of the Register, and Helen Schatvet Ullmann, CG, FASG, associate editor of the Register.

    Volume 165 adds 1,000 searchable names to our existing American Ancestors Journal database.

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    On Blogs and Blogging

    Earlier this month, Weekly Genealogist survey questions on blogs prompted a range of questions and comments from readers. While some asked what blogs were, others wrote that they read hundreds of blogs a week. Based on this feedback, we asked blogger — and NEHGS member — Randy Seaver to provide some insight into blogs and blogging.
    — Lynn Betlock, Editor

    Welcome to the World of Genealogy Blogs

    by Randy Seaver, Genea-Musings

    What do you call a writer who tells family stories, opines on current genealogy news and issues, and shares research tips on a website that encourages comments from readers? If you guessed a “blogger” — someone who writes a blog (the term comes from “web log”) — you're right.

    I started my Genea-Musings blog in April 2006, thinking that the world needed my opinions on world affairs, science, religion, and sports. Well, it soon became a genealogy-only blog, with family stories, news commentary, software and website reviews, research advice, and some genealogy humor. I write fifteen to twenty-five blog posts each week, and that often consumes ten to twenty hours of my time. My blog subjects come from my own research, questions from readers, new record collections, new websites, and new software. Reader feedback is valued, and often helps me with my own research challenges.

    There are over 2,000 genea-bloggers currently listed on the website in dozens of categories, including Acadian Genealogy, Forensic Genealogy, Libraries and Archives, Technology, and Writing Your Family History. Three to four hundred blog posts are written each day by these genea-journalists. The writers range from teenagers and busy moms and dads to empty nesters and retired researchers — all of whom are having fun writing about their passion for genealogy and family history. There are genea-bloggers all over the world.

    The beauty of genealogy blogging is that anybody with a computer and genealogy stories and experience can do it for free ( and are two free platforms). Setting up a blog is easy — it takes ten minutes at most to create a blog title and description, and choose a blog template (layout, background, fonts, etc.). You are then ready to write your first post. A blogger might add a blog archive (previous posts), subject labels, a blog roll (list of websites and blogs), and widgets (banners, badges, etc.). Some genealogy blogs have advertisements for affiliate companies. A blog can have a free URL associated with the host site (e.g., or a paid URL (e.g.,

    Blogs usually have from one to twenty posts on their main page. The most recent post appears at the top of the web page. All blog posts are archived, and content can be found by search engines. Most blogs permit readers to comment on each post, and comments are desired and encouraged. Many genea-bloggers post family pictures, document images, and screen captures to enhance the text.

    Genea-bloggers are part of a welcoming, encouraging, and helpful community. You may know the names of some of them, such as Dick Eastman, Leland Meitzler, Lisa Louise Cooke, and Michael John Neill. Some readers will be familiar with Thomas MacEntee, Elyse Doerflinger, Michael Hait, and Amy Coffin. Some bloggers use a nom de plume, like the Ancestry Insider, DearMYRTLE, footnoteMaven, and Jasia. At regional and national genealogical conferences, “Official Bloggers” (sponsored by the conference promoters) are making their presence known, writing about classes, exhibits, and their experiences.

    The most popular tool used to read multiple blogs is Google Reader. Users can copy and paste a blog URL into the “Subscribe” box in Google Reader. When a new post is published, Google Reader adds it to the user's Reader list for easy access. To comment, the user can click on the blog post title in the Reader and go to that post. The Reader reduces the time it takes to visit a number of blogs.

    If you want to stay on top of the latest genealogy news, see reviews of the latest software and technology, or just read research or family stories, start reading genealogy blogs while you're having your morning cup of coffee. You'll enjoy reading about genealogical perspectives from all over the world.

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    Name Origins
    by Julie Helen Otto, Staff Genealogist

    AHASUERUS (m): From the Book of Esther. Nathaniel and Keziah (Blackman) (Cross) Ferris of Greenwich, Conn., named a son Ahasuerus Ferris in 1750; he was living in Genoa, Cayuga Co., N.Y., as late as 1820, and had a large progeny. In 1855 King Ahasuerus Chillson and Cynthia Eaton of Springfield, Vermont, were made heirs of Largan Lockwood, also of Springfield (Vermont Genealogy 9 [2004]: 17, #360, citing Vermont Legislature, Acts and Resolves of 1855, orig. p. 220, #148). The 1850 census lists three men with the exact spelling Ahasuerus: Ahasuerus Capen (b. about 1806) in Winthrop, Maine; Ahasuerus James (b. about 1828) of Nanticoke Hundred, Delaware; and Ahasuerus Yates (b. about 1845) of Milton, Indiana.

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    This Week's Survey

    Last week’s survey results contained a typo. We had asked how many Weekly Genealogist readers write genealogical blogs. The results should have been:

    • 91%, No, I do not write a genealogy blog.
    • 6%, Yes, I write a genealogy blog.
    • 2%, I plan to write a genealogy blog.
    • Less than 1%, I used to write a genealogy blog.

    Last week’s survey asked how many of you visited (or lived in) Plymouth, Massachusetts. The results are:

    • 66%, I have visited Plymouth, Massachusetts
    • 33 %, I have not visited Plymouth, Massachusetts
    • >1% (20 people), I have lived in Plymouth, Massachusetts

    This week's survey how Weekly Genealogist readers manage their genealogical data. Take the survey now!

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    Spotlight: Houston, Texas, Websites
    by Valerie Beaudrault, Visitor Services Representative

    Glenwood Cemetery, Texas

    Houston is the largest city in Texas. The city is also the seat of Harris County. The Houston Cemetery Company established Glenwood Cemetery in 1871, and it opened for business in the summer of 1872. The Glenwood Cemetery has made a burial records database available on its website. Click on the Burial Records link in the banner below the photograph at the top of the homepage. This will open a new page from which you can access the database. Click on one of the two Search Burial Records links to open the search page.

    The burial records database can be searched by first name and / or last name and limited by selecting a date range to search. The search results include full name of the deceased and the burial date. The results returned are arranged by date, from the most recent to the earliest records. The fields in the detailed search results include name, burial date, section, lot number, and marker.

    In 1999, Glenwood assumed ownership and responsibility for the adjacent Washington Cemetery. The German Society of Houston established Washington Cemetery in 1887. It was known as the German Society Cemetery until its name was changed to Washington Cemetery during the summer of 1918. It is an active cemetery with over 7,500 burials. To access the cemetery’s website you can click on the Washington Cemetery link toward the bottom of the History section in the About Glenwood webpage. The Washington Cemetery website is under construction. It will eventually contain a searchable burial records database.

    Genealogical researchers may request from Glenwood Cemetery the complete information available in the records of both Glenwood and Washington cemeteries. However, due to the condition of the burial records, photocopies are not provided. Up to three burial locations or records searches will be provided free of charge. The non-refundable fee for each additional location or search is $5. The information contained in burial records includes the name of the deceased, burial date, burial location, and sometimes age at death, cause of death, and place of nativity. The burial records do not include birth or death dates, or parents’ names. There are short biographies of notable individuals interred in Glenwood Cemetery on the About Glenwood page.

    Houston Public Library / Clayton Library Center for Genealogical Research

    The Clayton Library, Center for Genealogical Research, was founded in 1921 as a special collection for genealogical research at Houston Public Library. The library has made a death records database available on its website. This database is an index to the records of two Houston funeral homes: the Fogle-West Funeral Home and the Boulevard Funeral Home. The records for the Fogle-West Funeral Home housed at the Clayton Library cover the time period 1921 through 1975. The records for the Boulevard Funeral Home owned by the Clayton Library cover from December 12, 1961, through December 1, 1967. Information in the funeral home records include last name, first name, middle name, nicknames, sex, age, death date, parents, place interred, copy of a death certificate, an obituary, information on an autopsy, last residence, insurance records, military service information, and many other miscellaneous bits of information about the deceased. Learn more about these records.

    The search fields are last name, first and middle names, and a death date range. The results returned include the death date, last name, first and middle names, and the funeral home name. The death date field is a link to a form you can use to request the full record.

    The last field contains an abbreviation for the types of papers found in the individual’s file. For the Fogle-West Funeral Home these include the following: ‘B’ for an entry in the bound record book; ‘C’ for a death certificate; ‘I’ for a family information sheet, a preprinted form with space for information about pall-bearers, surviving relatives, songs played at the funeral, and so on; ‘L’ for a ledger sheet containing payment information on one side and, in some cases, family data on the other; ‘M’ for miscellaneous papers, such as military papers, letters to the funeral home about payments, and more; and ‘O’ for a copy of an obituary. For the Boulevard Funeral Home the list does not include ‘B’ for bound volumes, which they did not have, but does include ‘F’ for a pre-printed folder with spaces for information on pall-bearers, surviving relatives, songs played at the funeral, etc.

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    Stories of Interest

    This Book is 119 Years Overdue: The Wondrous Database That Reveals What Americans Checked Out of the Library a Century Ago
    A discussion of What Middletown Read, a database that tracks the borrowing records of the Muncie [Indiana] Public Library between 1891 and 1902.

    Depleted Texas Lakes Expose Ghost Towns, Graves
    Drought in Texas has caused lakes to recede, revealing a variety of historical artifacts long buried beneath the waters.

    Markyate Man Uncovers a Deadly Family History
    An article in The Herts Advertiser describes how an English genealogist discovered what became of his elusive great-great-great-great-grandfather, George Cain, born in Bedfordshire in 1834.

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    NEHGS Book Store Holiday Bundles

    The NEHGS Book Store is once again offering Holiday Bundles. Save up to 30% on many of our most popular titles, which are bundled together for easy gift shopping. Supplies are limited, so don’t wait! View a full listing.

    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:

    • Records of the Town of Tisbury, Massachusetts, Beginning June 29, 1669 and Ending May 16, 1864 (Item P5-MA0500H, $87)
    • Records of the First Church at Dorchester, Massachusetts, in New England, 1636–1734. (Item P5-MA0526S, $27.50)
    • Richmond Co., Virginia, Wills. 1699–1800. (Item P5-VA0034S, $22)
    • Probate Records of Lincoln County, Maine, 1760–1800 (Item P5-ME0256H, $47)
    • Old Houses of the Ancient Town of Norwich, Connecticut, 1660–1800 with Maps (Item P5-CT0105H, $67)

    Search the entire Classic Reprints catalog. 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

    Boston University Certificate in Genealogical Research – Information Sessions
    January 11, 2012, Charles River Campus & January 12, 2012, Online Webinar

    Boston University’s Certificate in Genealogical Research helps participants reach their goals of professionalism. Designed to accommodate a range of backgrounds — serious amateurs, budding professionals, or seasoned experts — this rigorous 14-week weekend program will help advance genealogical work to the next level. NEHGS members receive a 10% tuition discount. Register for a free information session to learn more.

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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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