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  • The Weekly Genealogist

  • Vol. 15, No. 19
    Whole #582
    May 9, 2012
    Edited by Lynn Betlock, Jean Powers, and Valerie Beaudrault


    Greetings from the New England Historic Genealogical Society! 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 Database News
    * Upcoming Genealogical Conferences
    * NEHGS Joins the 1940 U.S. Census Community Project
    * A Note from the Editor: Diaries and a Recommended Website
    * Name Origins
    * This Week’s Survey
    * Spotlight: Monroe County, New York, Cemetery Databases
    * Stories of Interest
    * Classic Reprints
    * Upcoming NEHGS Education Programs
    * NEHGS Contact Information


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

    Portsmouth, NH: Vital Records, 1709–1841

    These vital records of Portsmouth, N.H., were abstracted by NEHGS member Sean Furniss from microfilmed records held by the New Hampshire State Archives. The majority of these birth, marriage, and death records were created between 1709 and 1842, but a handful date from as early as 1706 and as late as 1863.  

    Mr. Furniss also abstracted Overseers of the Poor records from Portsmouth town records, warnings out from the New Hampshire State Archives, and local news and advertisements from Portsmouth newspapers. These databases will be released in coming weeks.

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    Upcoming Genealogical Conferences

    The following genealogical conferences will include expert NEHGS speakers and an NEHGS exhibit booth:

    The National Genealogical Society 2012 Conference will be held May 9–12, in Cincinnati, Ohio. NEHGS Online Genealogist David Allen Lambert will speak on “Westward Migration from New England,” and NEHGS will sponsor a luncheon talk by Christopher C. Child on the Western Massachusetts in 1790 project.

    At the 43rd Annual Southern California Genealogy Jamboree, June 8–10, in Burbank, California, Christopher C. Child will speak on “Tracing Descendants in the 21st Century — Using Social Media in the Case of Updating the John Lowell Genealogy.” Rhonda R. McClure will discuss “Immigration and Naturalization: Finding Your Ancestors,” and “The Strange and Unexpected: Dealing with Research Surprises.” 

    At the Federation of Genealogical Societies 2012 Conference, August 29–September 1, in Birmingham, Alabama, David Allen Lambert will present the NEHGS luncheon talk, “Tales from the Reference Desk.”

    The New England Regional Genealogical Conference (NERGC) will be held April 17–21, 2013, in Manchester, New Hampshire. Conference registration will likely begin in October. For news about the conference, subscribe to the official blog or visit the NERGC Facebook page. The first 2013 New England Regional Genealogical Conference E-zine is now available to view.

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    NEHGS Joins the 1940 U.S. Census Community Project

    The New England Historic Genealogical Society has joined forces with genealogy societies and organizations around the country as part of the 1940 U.S. Census Community Project. The initiative aims to publish a free, online searchable name index of the 1940 U.S. Federal Census from the census images released in April. The index will allow the public to easily search every person found in the census and view digital images of the corresponding original census pages. The index will be free forever, offering family history researchers a rich genealogical data set for their ongoing use.

    Three leading genealogical organizations,, FamilySearch International, and, launched the initiative at the end of 2011, and the project has engaged large numbers of volunteers who are working to complete the index as quickly as possible. The 1940 U.S. Census Community Project is also receiving support from leading organizations like the Federation of Genealogical Societies, the National Genealogical Society, and the Ohio Genealogical Society, as well as other societies across the United States. Go to and register to participate. Simply select “New England Historic Genealogical Society” on the profile screen when creating your account. For more information or questions, email

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    A Note from the Editor: Diaries and a Recommended Website
    by Lynn Betlock, Editor


    I was impressed — and rather envious — to see the results of last week’s survey and realize that over a quarter of respondents own at least one ancestor’s original diary. That number seems to me to be quite high. Fortunately, many of our readers seem to come from families who valued their history or were, perhaps, simply packrats.

    Carol R. Austin of Garden Grove, California, wrote about her research into two diaries:

    I transcribed my great-grandmother’s diary of a trip from her home in Puyallup, Washington, back to her hometown of Gallipolis, Ohio, by Model T in 1926. I mapped their travels and annotated the diary to identify the family members they visited along their route, which went through Oregon, California, and Oklahoma, among other states. Later, I was asked to transcribe an 1867 diary written by an unidentified schoolgirl at the Patterson Institute in Kentucky. The diary had been found in the effects of a cousin after she died, and no one was able to read it or knew who wrote it. After I transcribed it, I was able to identify the diarist as Eliza “Nina” Boone (1848–1909), the paternal grandmother of the cousin, Nina Boone (Willmott) Tucker Gibbons. It must have been given to the younger Nina since she was named after her grandmother. Priceless!

    A Recommended Website for British and Irish Researchers

    In his latest Tour Talk newsletter for Great Migration Tour participants, Robert Charles Anderson, Director of the Great Migration Study Project, recommends Geograph Britain and Ireland. He writes:

    On the home page, this website describes its mission as follows:

    The Geograph Britain and Ireland project aims to collect geographically representative photographs and information for every square kilometre of Great Britain and Ireland.

    11,338 contributors have submitted 2,897,398 images covering 265,092 grid squares, or 79.9% of the total.

    The home page also includes a very small map of Great Britain and Ireland. Clicking on this map allows you to zoom in until you reach a page devoted to one of the grid squares. There you will find one or more images, almost always including the church if there is one in that grid square. Once you have had your fill of that particular grid square, there is also a little box which allows you to move to the next adjacent grid square in any direction. Or, you may return to the original map and set off in another direction

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    Name Origins
    by Julie Helen Otto, Staff Genealogist

    ARAMANTHA/ARAMINTA (f): The exquisitely lovely heroine of Aramantha: A Pastorall (1649) by the Cavalier poet Richard Lovelace (1618–1657). The element –nth- in Greek personal or place names (e.g. Aramantha, Corinth, etc.) is an indication of pre-Greek origin. ARAMINTA was the slave name of the great abolitionist Harriet Tubman (1820–1913). In the rough-and-ready spelling of colonial and Federal America, the name is often seen as EMERANSY or variants, even occasionally as EMERGENCY.

    Thomas and Jedidah (Cleveland) Mayhew named two daughters Araminta Mayhew, b. Edgartown 7 Jan. 1820 (d. 22 Dec. 1821) and 26 Feb. 1822 (Edgartown VRs, p. 47); the second Araminta m. Edgartown 31 Oct. 1844 Robert S. Coleman, a tin worker from Nantucket (Edgartown VRs, p. 147).

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    This Week's Survey

    Last week’s survey asked about ancestral diaries. (More than one answer could be selected.) The results are:

    47%, No, I do not think that any of my ancestors kept a diary.
    27%, Yes, I own the original diary of one or more ancestors.
    15%, Yes, I have a copy of the diary of one or more ancestors.
    10%, Yes, I can access the diary of one or more ancestors held by other people or institutions.
    9%, No, I believe one or more ancestors kept diaries but I don't know what became of them.
    3%, No, someone else owns the diary of one or more of my ancestors but I do not have access to them.

    This week's survey asks about your plans for attending genealogical conferences this year. Take the survey now!

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    Spotlight: Monroe County, New York, Cemetery Databases
    by Valerie Beaudrault, Assistant Editor

    Mt. Hope & Riverside Cemetery Records, Rochester, New York

    The city of Rochester is located on the southern shore of Lake Ontario. It is the Monroe County seat.

    The Department of Rare Books, Special Collections and Preservation of the River Campus Libraries of the University of Rochester has made the Mount Hope & Riverside Cemetery Records database available on its website. This online resource contains records of the approximately 360,000 burials in Mount Hope Cemetery that took place between 1837 and 2002. The records of Riverside Cemetery through 2002 are also part of the database. Records since 2002 have been computerized and are available directly from the cemeteries.

    You can search the database by entering the first two letters of the surname. If you know when the individual died you can select a date range from the menu box. The results include a link to the ledger book; click on it to view the ledger page. Look for the letter grouping containing the first letter of the first name of the individual whose record you are seeking and look for the person’s name. The data fields in the ledger book are subdivisions, date of interment, age, cause of death, residence, and where interred.

    The website notes that although the Department of Rare Books & Special Collections maintains the databases for both cemeteries, the Department is not able to answer questions about burial locations, the names of others buried in a particular plot, and so on. This type of inquiry should be directed to the Friends of Mount Hope.

    Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, Rochester, New York

    Rochester’s Holy Sepulchre Cemetery is located adjacent to Riverside Cemetery. According to its website, this 135-year-old cemetery is one of the largest and most active cemeteries in Rochester. I found this cemetery resource upon discovering that two members of my family are buried there. Click on the Locate a Loved One link to begin your search. The index can be searched by clicking on the Search by Name link in the contents list. Enter the following into the search box: last name only, first name only, or last name then first name. The results will appear below the search box. Each record is an active link. Click on the link to view the detailed record. The data fields in the detailed search results are name of deceased, cemetery, cemetery section, cemetery lot/tier, cemetery wall, grave number, burial date, additional cemetery information, and age. There are links to cemetery maps in the contents list on the left of the page.

    Webster Union Cemetery, Webster, New York

    The town of Webster is located in Monroe County, east of Rochester, near the southern shore of Lake Ontario.

    This cemetery’s first burial occurred in 1820. The cemetery was established as a burial ground in 1824, and was first known as the Union Cemetery of Webster. Its name was officially changed to the Webster Union Cemetery in 1954. Click on the Burial Listings link to open a new page containing an alphabetical by surname index to burials. The data fields include last name, first name, middle/maiden name, age, birthplace, date of death, and lot, grave, and section numbers. Click on a data field to sort the records by that particular field. Burial plot maps are available on the website. They can be downloaded as PDF files. You will need the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the downloaded maps.

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    Stories of Interest

    Stumbling Across a Rarity, Even for the Rare Book Room
    “A few weeks ago, Ms. Malchodi opened yet another leather-bound book, one of more than 300,000 rare volumes in the hold of the John Hay Library” at Brown University – and discovered an unusual print by Paul Revere.

    Boyd Man Returns Missing Piece of Family’s History
    How a document-filled World War II briefcase was plucked from an abandoned storage unit and, after a decade passed, returned to a descendant. 

    Family Reunion Was Centuries in the Making
    In South Orange, New Jersey, 265 Schwarzes attended a gathering of descendants of Mendel Schwarz and Bella Adler.  

    Get Started on Your Family Cookbook
    A food editor and writer offers helpful advice on “building the family cookbook.”

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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:

    • Vital Records of Norwich Connecticut 1659–1848 (Item P2-6520700, $175.00)
    • History of Norwich, Connecticut (Item P2-6520600, $117.00)
    • First Church of Christ, New London, Connecticut (Item P2-6520300, $88.00)
    • History of the Town of Goshen, Connecticut (Item P2-6497500, $94.00)
    • Thomas Barnes (c.1615–1689/90) of Hartford and Farmington, Connecticut (Item P4-H01755, $29.00)

    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 NEHGS Education Programs

    **Note: May 9 program has been rescheduled to May 16.
    99-101 Newbury St, Boston
    Wednesday, May 16, 10–11 a.m.

    The NEHGS website is full of great features, tools, resources, and content. We now have more than 200 million searchable names covering New England, New York, and other locations. We invite you to attend this free lecture to learn more about this incredible online resource.

    Insider’s Tour of USS Constitution
    USS Constitution Museum, Charlestown, Mass. 
    Thursday, May 31, 5:30–7:30 p.m.

    Join the crew at the USS Constitution Museum for a private, after-hours tour of the USS Constitution, “Old Ironsides,” the oldest commissioned warship afloat in the world. Led by Margherita Desy, historian with the Naval History & Heritage Command Detachment Boston, USS Constitution, you can explore the ship’s decks and hear the ship’s inspiring story. Then, take a behind-the-scenes look at the museum’s collections, archives, and exhibits. Museum president Anne Grimes Rand will share plans for the Bicentennial of the War of 1812. Guests should meet at the USS Constitution Museum and bring a valid photo ID for access to the ship. Refreshments will be served. This event is free for guests of the New England Historic Genealogical Society. To RSVP, email by May 25, or call 617-426-1812, ext. 167.

    Come Home to New England — Session I
    99-101 Newbury St, Boston
    June 11–16

    One of NEHGS’s most popular programs, Come Home to New England is an intensive week of family history discovery and education at the Society’s headquarters in Boston’s Back Bay. NEHGS experts provide individual consultations and useful lectures to guide researchers of all levels in their family history explorations. Participants also enjoy group meals and social events, making every moment of this fun-filled week a chance to learn more about your family history.
    Tuition: $750. Register online.

    More information can be accessed by visiting the events page on

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    NEHGS Contact Information

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    Copyright 2012, 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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