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  • The Weekly Genealogist

  • The Weekly Genealogist
    Vol. 14, No. 50
    Whole #561
    December 14, 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.

    * NEHGS Library Holiday Closings
    * NEHGS Database News
    * Subscribe Now to the 2012 Great Migration Newsletter
    * A Note from the Editor: Following Up on Recent Columns
    * Name Origins
    * This Week’s Survey
    * Spotlight: Newspaper Databases
    * Stories of Interest
    * NEHGS Book Store
    * Upcoming Education Programs
    * NEHGS Contact Information


    NEHGS Library Holiday Closings

    The NEHGS Library will close at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 15, 2011. NEHGS will be closed on Saturday, December 24, and Saturday, December 31, in observance of the Christmas and New Year's holidays. Please plan your visit accordingly.

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

    Massachusetts Vital Records, 1913 Deaths

    Massachusetts death records for 1913 are now available on This update to the Massachusetts Vital Records database includes 112 volumes of death certificates with 67,571 searchable names.

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    Subscribe Now to the 2012 Great Migration Newsletter

    The Great Migration Newsletter (GMN) offers feature articles on a variety of topics, including the settlement of early New England towns, migration patterns, seventeenth-century passenger lists, church and land records, and much more. The eight-page GMN complements the individual sketches in the Great Migration books, and addresses broad issues key to understanding the lives and times of New England’s first immigrants.

    Print subscribers to volume 21 (2012) receive a new issue of the GMN through the mail each quarter ($20 for a one-year subscription or $36 for a two-year subscription).

    Online subscribers access issues through the Great Migration website, where the Newsletter is posted each quarter. They can also access past issues from volumes 11 through 20, as well as selected biographical sketches ($10 for a one-year subscription or $18 for a two-year subscription).

    To subscribe, please visit or call Member Services at 1-888-296-3447

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    A Note from the Editor: Following Up on Recent Columns
    by Lynn Betlock, Editor

    Last week I wrote about the opening of the 1940 census on April 2, 2012, and provided instructions from the National Archives on how to search for ancestors in the census without an index, since no index currently exists. I mentioned speculation that a complete name index to the 1940 census would be available about six months after the census is released

    Reader Tom Doherty of Wilmington, Delaware, wrote to let me know that the full index to the 1940 census is expected to be available in the U.S. for free on by mid-April 2012 — and remain free through the end of 2013. “When complete, more than 3.8 million original document images containing 130 million plus records will be available to search by more than 45 fields, including name, gender, race, street address, county and state. It will be’s most comprehensively indexed set of historical records to date.”

    The press release is available at

    * * *

    In response to our recent stories on Massachusetts historical markers, a reader sent a link to London Remembers, a website “aiming to capture all memorials in London.” The memorials include “plaques, monuments, statues, fountains, etc, that commemorate a person, an event, a building, etc.”

    I appreciated the site’s caveat: “Be aware that London actually has more cars, more rain and less sun than our photos show.”

    * * *

    And, finally, following up on a previous column on useful map websites, we have the following recommendations to pass on:

    Historic Map Works, Inc.

    This site, which contains a wide range of maps, has an interesting feature I’ve not seen elsewhere. It allows you to search for maps by street address. I entered addresses in Maine and Massachusetts and received results of relevant ward, town, city, county, and state maps that included my location. Had I simply been browsing the site, it would have taken me much more time to assemble this list.

    The Geographicus Antique Map Archive

    The Geographicus Archive, the scholarly arm of an online retail map gallery, attempts to bridge the gap between a webstore and an academic archive. Much of the research the gallery compiles on its maps is made available here for public study and use. Users can link to their maps and embed them into their own websites.

    If you missed any of the above stories, or would like to re-read them, please visit our Daily Genealogist blog. Featured subjects are posted each weekday, and full issues are available in our archives.

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    Name Origins
    by Julie Helen Otto, Staff Genealogist

    PAOLI/PASCALPAOLI (m): A number of Federal-period boys bore the name PAOLI or PASCALPAOLI in honor of the Corsican patriot [Gen.] Pascal Paoli (1725–1807). Pascalpaoli Spear (b. Bellingham, Mass. 23 Nov. 1785, son of Benjamin and Elizabeth [Forrestall] Spear) m. Bellingham (int.) 27 Feb. 1811 Betsey Guild and had a namesake son in 1812 (Bellingham, Mass. VRs to 1850, pp. 61, 146). Paoli Lathrop (1797–1872, son of Joseph and Rowena [Wells] Lathrop) was named for the same hero (Rev. S.B. Huntington, A Genealogical Memoir of the Lo-Lathrop Family [1884], pp. 184–85).

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    This Week's Survey

    Last week’s survey asked whether you currently live in the state (or province) you were born in. The results are:

    38%, Yes, I live in the state or province I was born in.
    62 %, No, I do not live in the state or province I was born in.

    This week's survey again looks at the migration patterns of Weekly Genealogist readers. We ask how many times readers have moved. Take the survey now!

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    Spotlight: Newspaper Databases
    by Valerie Beaudrault, Visitor Services Representative

    The Jacksonville Republican, Jacksonville, Alabama

    Jacksonville is located in Calhoun County, which is in northeast Alabama. Jacksonville State University has made a historic newspaper database available on its website. The Jacksonville Republican is one of the oldest newspapers in northeast Alabama. It began as a weekly paper in January of 1837. The paper was published continuously between 1837 and 1904, with the exception of a month-long period at the end of the Civil War. The digital archive of Jacksonville State University’s Houston Cole Library includes the full range of newspapers from 1837 to December of 1895. You will need the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to view these files.

    Click on The Jacksonville Republican link to access the digital collection. The first two PDF files in the list were digitized from a published index. The first gives a brief history of the collection and the second is an index to proper names. The index entries include “names, local events, state and national happenings, and local advertisements,” a few keywords to describe the article and its contents (obit, murdered, editorials, 3rd regiment, and so on), and the date on which the article appeared. The PDF files are organized by year, from most recent to earliest. Within each year the newspapers for each month are located in a single file. Click on the “PDF” link to open the files. You will have to scroll through the newspaper images to locate particular issues and articles.  

    Newspaper Indexes, Altoona, Pennsylvania

    Altoona is located in Blair County, which is in central Pennsylvania. The Altoona Public Library has made two newspaper databases available on its website. Click on the database link to access the search page.

    Obituary Index
    The database indexes obituaries from the local newspaper, the Altoona Mirror, for the period from 1929 to the present. The index is searchable by last name, first name, and maiden name. The data fields include last name, first name, middle name, maiden name, descriptor, and the date or dates on which the obituary appeared in the newspaper. The descriptor field contains such information as the person’s title (Miss, Mrs., Mr.), nickname, and other descriptive information about the deceased. Once located in the database, photocopies of obituaries may be requested in writing from the library’s Reference Department for a small fee.

    Birth Index
    The Birth Index is a work in progress. The database contains birth notices from the Altoona Mirror. It may be searched by the child's first or last name, mother's first name, maiden name or married name, father's first name or last name, and date of birth. The data fields in the search results include child’s full name, father’s full name, mother’s full married name plus her maiden name, if known, child’s date of birth, and the date on which the birth was announced in the newspaper. If the child is not named, the words son or daughter appear in the first name field.

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    Stories of Interest

    Storage Unit Holds Family Secrets: Trove of Lost Local History Surfaces in Tampa, Fla.
    When a Florida resident purchased the contents of an abandoned storage unit, he didn’t expect to find a cache of Massachusetts family photos, letters, and documents.

    In Digital Age, Women Retell Family History Via Traditional Sources
    This article, which details two women’s family history projects, also speculates about the endurance of early 21st-century sources for future family historians.

    Brothers, Apart for Decades, ‘Didn’t Feel Like’ Strangers
    Genealogical research reunited two brothers separated as young children.

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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:

    • Biographical Sketch of Samuel Rowell and Notices of Some of His Descendants, with a Genealogy for Seven Generations, 1754–1898 (Item P4-H22773, $44.50)
    • History of the Harroun Family in America, Seven Generations of Descendants: Alexander Harroun of Colrain Massachusetts, 1691–1784 (Item P4-H13503, $41.00)
    • Winders of America: John of New York, 1674–5; Thomas of New Jersey, 1703–34; John of Maryland, 1665–98 (Item P4-S27774, $19.50)
    • Leconte History and Genealogy: with Particular Reference to Guillaume Leconte of New Rochelle and New York, and His Descendants (2 volumes) (Item P4-H17640, $171.00)
    • Descendants of the Earle and Morris Families of New York and New Jersey (Item P4-H09201, $25.50)

    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

    NEHGS Research Trip to Belfast

    NEHGS’s inaugural research trip to Belfast, Northern Ireland, will delve into the resources at the new facility of the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI), the Linen Hall Library, Belfast Central Library, and the Presbyterian Historical Society. In addition to individual consultations, the week in Belfast will also feature group activities and educational opportunities with local experts.

    Space is extremely limited; registrations will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. Note that family history research in Ireland is location-based, so knowing the geographic origins of your ancestors is essential to conducting effective research. More information and registration forms are available on

    Winter Weekend Research Getaway: Beyond Names and Dates
    99-101 Newbury St., Boston
    February 9, 2012–February 11, 2012

    NEHGS Weekend Research Getaways combine personal, guided research at the NEHGS Research Library with themed educational lectures to create a unique experience for every participant. Personal consultations with NEHGS genealogists throughout the program allow participants to explore their own genealogical projects, while guided by the nation’s leading family history experts. This year's Winter Weekend Research Getaway, “Beyond Names and Dates,” offers lectures focused on using information beyond vital records to expand your family history. Staff will provide suggestions and advice on using manuscripts and social history to place your family's story in the context of history.

    More information and registration forms are available on

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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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