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  • The Weekly Genealogist

  • Vol. 14, No. 5
    Whole #515
    February 2, 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.

    * Coming Soon in the Winter 2011 Issue of American Ancestors
    * Earliest American Broadside Family Register Now Online
    * Research Recommendations: Genealogical Writing: Serial Commas
    * Name Origins
    * This Week's Survey
    * Spotlight: Old Berwick Historical Society, Maine
    * Stories of Interest
    * Three New Titles from NEHGS
    * Upcoming Education Programs
    * NEHGS Contact Information


    Coming Soon in the Winter 2011 Issue of American Ancestors

    A Connecticut Pioneer Family in Ohio’s Western Reserve
    Barbara Cook Barnes

    The Western Reserve: A Brief Overview
    John Grabowski

    An Overview of Genealogical Research in the Western Reserve
    John Grabowski

    Tracing My Hidden Family Heritage in Hungary and Serbia
    Erica Hahn

    Researching Art & Craft: Allen Holcomb and his Daughter Collata Holcomb
    Rebecca Rector

    “To Look at the Ground Once Owned and Trod by My Forebears”: On the Road with Thomas Hibbard
    Lynn Betlock

    Also in this issue . . .

    • Genetics & Genealogy: YDNA Markers in Seven Agnate Descendants of Robert Chapman (1616–1687) of Saybrook, Connecticut
    • Manuscripts at NEHGS: The Pulsifer Family Papers
    • Diaries at NEHGS: Excerpt from the Diary of Rev. Daniel Rogers (1707–1785) of Exeter, N.H.
    • Tales from the Courthouse: The Real Scarlet Letters: Forbidden Love in Puritan Days
    • Focus on New York: Using the James Riker Papers in the Manuscripts and Archives Division of the New York Public Library

    And, as always, news of NEHGS and the world of genealogy, upcoming NEHGS programs and tours, new publications, notices of family association events, genealogies in progress, and DNA studies in progress.

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    Earliest American Broadside Family Register Now Online

    Family records for the Bollinger, Cooper, Dunham, Harris, Marsh, Melley, Nason, Partridge, Quicksell, and Roche families have been added to the NEHGS Digital Library and Archive. The register of the children of Rudolph and Elisabeth and Catherine (Blum) Bollinger dates from 1763 and is the earliest known American broadside family register. It was printed by the Ephrata Cloister in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. The Bollinger register has long been a treasure of the NEHGS collections, and we are pleased to make it available online for our members to view.

    If you plan to view multiple items in the Digital Library, we recommend that you begin by logging in at Once you log in, click the “Search Catalog” button or the “New Books & E-books” link to start using the digital collections. On the “New Books & E-books” page, you can browse a list of the family records in the Digital Library by selecting “Online Family Records.” The records are presented in order by surname.

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    Research Recommendations: Genealogical Writing: Serial Commas
    by Michael J. Leclerc

    Commas are one of the most abused punctuation marks. One of the more confusing is the serial comma. Also known as a series comma or the Oxford comma, a serial comma is used before the conjunction that joins the last two elements in a series. For example:

    Chris, Michael, and Henry gave many consultations at the last education program.
    My great-grandfather’s main crops were barley, peas, and turnips.

    When the elements in the series have internal punctuation, it is usually easier to separate the elements with a semi-colon instead of a comma:

    Their children were Steven, b. 1862; Jonathan, b. 1864; Mary, b. 1866; and Louisa, b. 1868.

    For more information on the proper use of serial commas, see the Chicago Manual of Style, 16th edition.

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    Name Origins
    by Julie Helen Otto

    MALLY (f): Scottish/Northern English nickname for MARY. Mally (Graham) Coatsworth was an ancestor of the American writer and Newberry Award winner Elizabeth Jane Coatsworth of Nobleboro, Maine.

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    This Week's Survey

    Last week’s survey asked about participation in national institutes. These institutes provide opportunities for intensive and advanced week-long study in a focused area of genealogical research. 93% of respondents have not had the opportunity to attend one of these institutes. 4% have attended the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogical Research (SLIG) held in Salt Lake City. The National Institute on Genealogical Research (NIGR) in Washington, D.C., and the Institute of Genealogical and Historical Research (IGHR) held at Samford University, tied with 2.5% each.

    This week’s survey asks about family health histories. Take the survey now!

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    Spotlight: Old Berwick Historical Society, Maine
    by Valerie Beaudrault

    The mission of the Old Berwick Historical Society is to promote “public awareness of and appreciation for local and regional history through a variety of activities that explore, preserve, interpret, and celebrate the past.” Berwick is located in York County on the border between Maine and New Hampshire. The Society has made a number of resources available on its website.

    Under the Explore History contents lists you will find a number of resources. You can also take a virtual tour of South Berwick, visiting historic buildings, homes, and landmarks and learning the stories of the people and events of the town of South Berwick. Click on the People link to read sketches of notable Berwick residents from the seventeenth to twentieth century, with a section devoted to one of the town’s most notable natives, writer Sarah Orne Jewett. There are also links to descriptions of Places & Landmarks, Trades & Occupations, and Historic Events.

    Find the For Research index on the lower left of the homepage. Click on the Histories and Articles link to learn about Berwick by reading local histories written through the years. The earliest of these documents was written in the 1790s and the latest is an excerpt from Sprague’s Journal of Maine History, Vol. XIV, No. 4, written by Everett S. Stackpole and published in 1926.

    South Berwick has five community cemeteries:

    • Old Fields Burying Ground or Vine Street Cemetery was established during the 1600s.
    • Freewill Baptist Cemetery was established in 1835. According to the website, many of citizens of South Berwick were buried there during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Click on the second link in the cemetery’s description to learn more about the Freewill Baptist Church.
    • Portland Street Cemetery was established in 1818. Funds to establish the cemetery “for the inhabitants of Berwick and South Berwick” were provided through the will of a merchant named Micajah Currier.
    • Pleasant Hill Cemetery was established by the mid-1800s. It was originally associated with the Great Works woolen mill and many textile mill workers there.
    • Woodlawn Cemetery is the newest and largest cemetery in South Berwick. Burials date back to the 18th century. It began to be used regularly in the 1880s and contains the graves of many World War I and II veterans.

    Each cemetery must be searched individually. You can access the databases by clicking on the database link in the cemetery description or by clicking on the words, Cemetery Database, just below the title at the top of the cemeteries page. This will open a page with links to each of the cemeteries, as well as a link to a database containing an index to smaller burying grounds titled, “List of Graves in Small Cemeteries & Burial Grounds.” The databases may be searched by keyword. To navigate through the databases enter the surname of the deceased in the search box and click on ‘GO.’ The data fields in the databases include last name, first name, date of birth, date of death, age, ‘on or near stone’ and veteran information. There is an additional data field for the index to small cemeteries; it is name of the cemetery in which the burial took place.

    There is an online collection of nine historical maps of Berwick and South Berwick Village. They were published or drawn between 1805 and 1884.

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    Stories of Interest

    Most Inconvenient Storm
    The Maine Historical Society recently launched an online exhibit of photographs taken in Portland after a dramatic ice storm hit the state on January 28, 1886.

    Holocaust Historical Data Goes Digital
    Yad Vashem, the world's largest collection of Holocaust documents, is teaming with Google to make its materials available online.

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    Three New Titles from NEHGS

    The Bookstore at NEHGS is happy to announce the arrival of three long anticipated titles:

    Manuscripts at the New England Historic Genealogical Society, R. Stanton Avery Special Collections, First Comprehensive Edition
    edited by Timothy G.X. Salls and Judith Lucey

    New York Probate Records: A Genealogist s Guide to Testate and Intestate Records, Second Edition
    by Gordon Remington

    The Classic Reprints Catalog

    For a full description or to purchase any of these titles, simply click on the above links or call toll free at 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:

    • Collins Family Record of Descendants of William Collins and Esther Morris from 1760 to 1897 (Item P4-S06339, $26.50)
    • Genealogy of the Splawn and Collins Family 1600-1960 (Item P4-S24222, $17.00)
    • Kings Mountain, its Heroes & History of the Battle of Kings Mountain, North Carolina, Oct. 7 1780 and the Events which Led to It. (Item P5-NC1500H, $57.50)
    • Family History in the Line of Lt. Benjamin Ogden of New York (1735-1780) and His Wife Rachel Westervelt (Item P4-H20421, $30.00)
    • List of Persons Whose Names Have Been Changed in Massachusetts 1780-1892 (Item P5-MA0148H, $49.50)

    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 .


    Defiance of the Patriots: The Boston Tea Party and the Making of America
    February 23, 2011, 6:00 p.m.
    Benjamin L. Carp, Associate Professor of History at Tufts University, will discuss his recent book, Defiance of the Patriots: The Boston Tea Party and the Making of America. Professor Carp did some of his research at NEHGS. He is looking forward to discussing, in particular, the vexing problem of verifying the identities of the men who destroyed the tea in Boston harbor.

    Seminars and Tours

    London Heritage Long Weekend
    February 22–28, 2011
    Discover the rich heritage of London with NEHGS in February 2011. This unique long weekend will feature memorable events led by renowned scholars George Redmonds and John Titford, including talks, a guided tour of historic London churches, a visit to the College of Arms, optional side visits, special guests, and dinner at an exclusive private club. The weekend also includes up to three full days at Who Do You Think You Are? LIVE! — the largest family history event in the world. Space is extremely limited.

    In addition to events, the NEHGS English Heritage Long Weekend includes six nights lodging at the Hilton London Kensington Hotel, located at 179–199 Holland Park Avenue, London, daily coach service, and daily English breakfast for five days, and two additional group meals. Participants are responsible for their own travel arrangements to and from the Hilton London Kensington Hotel and optional activities and all other meals not included in scheduled tour events.

    Washington D.C. Research Tour
    March 6–13, 2011
    Research in the repositories of the nation’s capital with NEHGS as we return to Washington, D.C. Researchers will visit the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) Library, Library of Congress (LOC), and the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) during this intensive week of guided research, individual consultations, lectures, and group meal events. Featured consultants include Henry B. Hoff, David A. Lambert, and Rhonda R. McClure.

    NEHGS/TIARA Irish Seminar
    March 19, 2011
    Join NEHGS and The Irish Ancestral Research Association (TIARA) for a day-long seminar relating to Irish genealogy and family history. Speakers include Marie Daly, Janis Duffy, Judy Lucey, Eileen O’Duill, and Sean O’Duill who will each address topics relating to Irish records, methodologies, and strategies.
    Pre-Registration Required, $18.

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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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