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

  • Vol. 15, No. 2
    Whole #565
    January 11, 2012
    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 Database News
    * Lecture and Book Signing: Reminiscences and Traditions of Boston by Hannah Mather Crocker
    * A Note from the Editor: Featured Blogs
    * Name Origins
    * This Week’s Survey
    * Spotlight: More Obituary Indexes
    * Stories of Interest
    * Classic Reprints
    * Upcoming Education Programs
    * NEHGS Contact Information


    NEHGS Database News

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

    New York: Albany County Deeds Updated

    This important fourteen-volume set contains 250,000 land transaction abstracts from Albany County, searchable by grantor, grantee, corporation, and date of transaction. They include some of Albany’s only surviving early records; a devastating fire on February 10, 1880, at Albany City Hall destroyed or severely damaged many city and county records.

    This database update adds 93,655 records to our database, which now contains Vol. 1–12. The remaining two volumes in the series will be added in the future.

    Return to Table of Contents


    Lecture and Book Signing: Reminiscences and Traditions of Boston by Hannah Mather Crocker

    January 12, 2012, 6 p.m.–7 p.m.
    Sacred Heart Church Hall, 9 Sun Court Street, North End, Boston

    Join Eileen Hunt Botting, editor of Reminiscences and Traditions of Boston by Hannah Mather Crocker, for a free lecture and book signing. Hannah Mather Crocker (1752–1829) was the granddaughter of Cotton Mather, the niece of Thomas Hutchinson, and a leading women’s rights advocate of her time. Her early nineteenth-century manuscript, upon which Botting’s book is based, presents a unique history of Boston and its environs from the 1620s to the 1820s. Botting’s talk will focus on Crocker's views on religion and politics with a special focus on churches in the North End.

    Hosted by the North End Historical Society with support from the New England Historic Genealogical Society. This event is free and open to the public, but reservations are required as space is limited. Please email or call 617-680-3829 to RSVP. Visit to learn more.

    Return to Table of Contents


    A Note from the Editor: Featured Blogs
    by Lynn Betlock, Editor

    In this issue, we introduce a new occasional column that will highlight blogs of interest. Randy Seaver wrote a well-received article on blogs and blogging, “Welcome to the World of Genealogy Blogs,” in the November 30 issue. After the article appeared, Randy sent me a list of some blogs he followed, particularly ones with a New England or New York focus. I contacted the bloggers, asked if they’d like to be featured in The Weekly Genealogist, and requested that they write introductions to their blogs and explain why they began blogging. 

    Our first blog profile is by Heather Wilkinson Rojo:

    About four years ago I started blogging on a local Londonderry, New Hampshire, website,, with some local history and genealogy stories. After a while I decided to start my own genealogy blog, and I called it Nutfield Genealogy, after the original name for Londonderry and Derry, New Hampshire. My first blog story was in July 2009.

    My blog includes my own genealogy stories, as well as local history and genealogy. I've included some posts on genealogy trips we've taken to Spain to research my husband's family, and a trip to Hawaii to research one of my New England sea captain ancestors who went to Honolulu. I donated much of the material from Hawaii to NEHGS after that trip.

    I've been doing genealogy research since I was a teenager. I rode my bike to the American Antiquarian Society in Worcester to research my family history before I could even drive a car! In high school I took a local community college class in genealogy, and discovered NEHGS and other archives around Massachusetts. I was lucky to go to college in Cambridge, Mass., so I could research at NEHGS. I continued to drop by NEHGS on and off for many years, but didn't become a member until later when my own daughter started to ask questions about her family tree. Now I'm an empty nester, with plenty of time to visit NEHGS and travel around New England to work on genealogy stories.

    After thirty years of research I decided it was time to take all that data and write up the stories I found. This is why I decided to blog. It is a baby step to perhaps writing some articles or books someday. It has been very easy for me to write a few paragraphs every day with all the great stories I've collected. Soon I hope to take the next step towards writing up longer articles!

    Return to Table of Contents


    Name Origins
    by Julie Helen Otto, Staff Genealogist

    MANASSEH (m): Son of Joseph the patriarch, and head of one of the twelve tribes of Israel. Manasseh Minor (1647–1728) of Stonington, Conn., son of diarist Capt. Thomas Minor (1608–1690, diary 1653–1684), also kept a valuable diary, published in 1915 as The Diary of Manasseh Minor, Stonington, Conn., 1696-1720. The two diaries were reprinted by John A. Miner in 1993, and are vital sources for many Stonington families and for the town’s history in general. Images of the 1915 edition of Manasseh’s diary are now online at  Manassas, sometimes seen, is a Greek version of the Hebrew MANASSEH.

    Return to Table of Contents


    This Week's Survey

    Last week’s survey asked about your genealogical resolutions for 2012. The results are:

    • 57%, I will organize research papers and files that I have accumulated.
    • 41%, I will write up some of my family history.
    • 31%, I will share genealogy stories with my family.
    • 29%, I will take a research trip to a location where my ancestors lived.
    • 24%, I am not making any resolutions this year.
    • 23%, I will attend a conference or other genealogical education program.
    • 19%, I will take a research trip to a distant repository I have been meaning to visit.
    • 18%, I have other genealogical resolutions not listed above.
    • 9%, I will join a new society.
    • 2%, I am making resolutions this year, but they do not include genealogical research.

    This same question and set of answers was posed a year ago, when we asked about readers’ New Year Resolutions for 2011. There are some interesting differences between the responses for 2011 and 2012. In 2011, 69% resolved to organize research papers and files, and a year later that number had dropped to 57%. Last year 50% promised to write up some family history; this year 41% made the same promise. In fact, in 2012, smaller percentages of people resolved to undertake all the various resolutions. The only exception was for “I am not making any resolutions this year” — in 2011 10% selected this response compared to 24% in 2012. People seem to have lowered their expectations a bit for 2012.   

    This week's survey asks about membership in first family/pioneer settler organizations. Take the survey now!

    Return to Table of Contents


    Spotlight: More Obituary Indexes
    by Valerie Beaudrault, Assistant Editor

    Warren-Trumbull County Public Library, Ohio

    The city of Warren is the seat of Trumbull County, Ohio. It is located in the northeastern part of the state. The Warren-Trumbull County Public Library has made two obituary indexes of the Warren Tribune Chronicle available on its website.

    The first set of indexes includes the years 1900 through 1939. Four PDF files each cover a ten-year period. You will need the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to download and view the indexes. The data fields in the database include the name of the deceased, date of issue, page and column number, and newspaper title abbreviation. The name field sometimes contains additional information, such as age at death, date of birth, spouse or parent’s name, place of death, whether there is a photograph, and cause of death.

    The second index is a searchable online database that covers 1970, part of 1980, 1981, and 1987 through 2009. There are more than 137,500 records in the index. You can search for an individual by surname or full name. If you are searching for a full name, you should format it as “last name, first name.” The data fields in the index are name, date of birth, date published, and page and column.

    Plainfield Public Library, New Jersey

    The city of Plainfield is located in Union County, New Jersey. It is in the northeastern part of the state. The Courier News obituary index, a collection of obituaries and biographical articles published in the Courier News between the mid-1920s and the mid-1980s, was donated to the Plainfield Public Library in 2009. Library staff and volunteers are in the process of indexing the collection. The database is organized alphabetically by surname. Currently it contains surnames beginning with letters A through H. It is a work in progress and will be updated as additional data becomes available. You will need the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to view and search the index. The data fields include last name, first name, relationship, date, source data (news or obituary), and item type. The relationship field contains the names of related individuals and how they are connected to the deceased.

    Musser Public Library, Iowa

    The city of Muscatine is the seat of Muscatine County. It is located on the eastern border of the state. The Musser Public Library has made an obituary index available on its website. The index contains obituaries and death notices from newspapers published in Muscatine from 1840 to the present. There are gaps in the index, and volunteers are working to complete it. To access the index, click on the Local History tab in the menu bar beneath the library’s name, then click on Genealogy under Quick Links. This will open a new page. Scroll to the bottom, and click on the Obituary index link to access the database page. Click on the first letter of the surname to view the alphabetical index. The data fields include last name, first name, type of record (D = death), date of paper, page number, and date of event. Copies of obituaries may be requested from the library for a fee.

    Return to Table of Contents


    Stories of Interest

    Searching Mexico’s Census for Clues about American History
    The 1930 Mexican national census, regarded as the earliest, most thorough accounting of that country’s population, is available for free on

    Walt Disney and the Kilkenny Connection
    Walt Disney’s great-grandfather, Arundel Elias Disney, was born in County Kilkenny, Ireland, about 1801.

    Martin Sheen, Reba McEntire, Rob Lowe Among 'Who Do You Think You Are?' Season 3 Cast
    The NBC genealogy series returns Feb. 3 with a new group of celebrities exploring their family history.

    Return to Table of Contents


    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 (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

    Return to Table of Contents


    Upcoming Education Programs

    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 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 available on

    Return to Table of Contents


    NEHGS Contact Information

    We encourage you to email this newsletter to others who might be interested. Subscribe or view back issues of The Weekly Genealogist.

    Visit the Society on Facebook.

    The Weekly Genealogist, like all of our programs, is made possible through the generous contributions of our members. Visit us online for information about giving to NEHGS.

    For more information on the New England Historic Genealogical Society, please visit our website.

    Become a member of the New England Historic Genealogical Society or sign up for a FREE research account!


    Copyright 2012, 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