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Vol. 15, No. 22
May 30, 2012
Edited by Lynn Betlock, Jean Powers, and Valerie Beaudraultdailygenealogist@nehgs.org
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NEHGS collects, preserves, and interprets materials to document and make accessible the histories of families in America.
* NEHGS Database News
* New Records Added to the Digital Library and Archive
* A Note from the Editor: Ancestral Possessions
* Name Origins
* This Week’s Survey
* Spotlight: Resources in Arizona and Massachusetts
* 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
Massachusetts Vital Records, 1915 Deaths
1915 death records for Massachusetts are now available on AmericanAncestors.org.This update to the Massachusetts Vital Records 1911–1915 database includes 97 volumes of death certificates with 63,009 searchable names. Note that 1915 Boston death records are in their own volumes, named “1915/Death Boston V1” and “1915/Death Boston V2.” Unlike the individual death certificates in the other 1915 volumes, the Boston volumes are printed on two pages, with multiple names per page.
Return to Table of Contents
New Records Added to the Digital Library and Archive
Recent visitors to the NEHGS library catalog may have noticed that many new items have been added to the Digital Library and Archive, which contains digitized versions of items from our library and special collections. Here is a small sampling of the latest additions.
E-book — Local History: Annals of the Church in Brimfield [MA] Includes names of church members from 1724-1856 and their dates of admission and dates of death or dismissal, when applicable. Also includes notes on the locations of members' residences.
E-book — City Directories: W.E. Shaw's Westboro (Mass.) Directory, 1898 (also includes Northborough, Southborough, Berlin, Bolton, and Boylston)
Bible and Other Family Records: For the following families: Aylsworth, Blanchard, Braman, Cole, Crane, Day, Hedley, Howland, Kohly, Parker, Perkins, Robinson, Tripp, White, and Wilbur
Manuscripts – 1700s – Land and Tax Records: Petition, 1755 March 26, Boston, Mass., to William Shirley et al., Boston – Requests that Nathaniel Loring be empowered to execute a divisional deed on behalf of Hannah Loring, his minor daughter. Land involved is at Colrain, Mass.
Manuscripts – 1700s – Military Records: Muster roll of Capt. Thomas Cartwright's Company of the Regt. of foot commanded by Col. Henry Jackson in the service of the United States Manuscripts – 1700s – Other: An inventory of the estate of John Harris, late of Brookline [Mass.], Manuscripts – 1800s: Deaths in the town of Dorchester [Mass.] [1844-1846]
– Conveys title to 160 acres in Iowa.
For those members who plan to view multiple items in the Digital Library and Archive during one search session, we recommend that you begin by logging in athttp://library.nehgs.org/patroninfo so you will only need to enter the login information once. After logging in, click the “Search Catalog” button or the “Browse the Digital Library” link to start using the digital collections. All Digital Library and Archive items are included in the general library catalog and can be found by entering the same kinds of searches you would use for any other items in the catalog. If you have questions about the Digital Library and Archive, please email email@example.com.
A Note from the Editor: Ancestral Possessions
by Lynn Betlock, Editor
We had a number of emails about the story of the Zeller trunk I found at a rummage sale in Maine. Weekly Genealogist readers researched Rev. Albert Zeller and sent me their findings, as well as information about Rev. Zeller’s religious affiliations. Another reader let me know that there were Zellers in the Damariscotta, Maine, area, so a Zeller family member from an earlier generation likely brought the trunk there from Pennsylvania. If any further information comes to light about the trunk, I will be sure to write about it!
Other readers told their own interesting stories of ancestral possessions:
Ronald Dale Karr of Lowell, Mass.:
My wife and I had a similar experience two years ago at the Brimfield (Mass.) antique fair. We bought (at a very low price) a fine crazy quilt signed “K.C. Hasson,” and dated 1890. One of the ribbons sewn into the quilt was from Kansas City. We were able to trace the maker’s genealogy online in a few minutes! The quilt maker, Kisiah C. Morris, was born about 1830 in western Pennsylvania, had married Dr. John Hasson, a physician, around 1850, and, according to the 1860 census, was living in West Newton, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. Kisiah was in the same location in 1870, but at the time of the 1880 census she was a widow living with her lawyer son in Kansas City. We even found a newspaper account of her death in 1895 a few years later — her son had rushed his wedding so he could be married in front of his dying mother! And although we did not find a photo of Kisiah Hasson online, there was one of her mother, Sybilla (Kern) (Morris) Craig (1808–1888). We wonder how the quilt had found its way from Kansas City to New England.
Erica Bodden of Shrewsbury, Mass.: After serving in the Merchant Marines during WWII, my grandfather died of a brain tumor at the age of 32 in 1949. My grandmother, "not being a very sentimental person," and distraught over her husband's untimely death, gave away a number of items, including his uniform. Fast forward to 2005. I received word from my grandmother's sister that she knew where the uniform was. The daughter of the couple to whom the uniform had been given took three years to return it — she had been using it as a Halloween costume — but what a surprise for my mother! The expression on her face was worth the effort.
Name Originsby Julie Helen Otto, Staff Genealogist
GAD (m): A son of the Biblical Jacob; his mother was Zilpah (maid of Jacob’s favorite wife Rachel). Jacob’s son was also ancestor of the Hebrew tribe of Gad, first mentioned in the Book of Numbers. The prophet Gad, who assisted King David, was a different man (1-2 Samuel, 1-2 Chronicles).
I have noticed a higher incidence than usual of Gads in the Connecticut Valley. Gad Hitchcock, 15 Feb. 1765–22 June 1829, son of Noah and Silence (Burt) Hitchcock lived in Brimfield, Mass.; Gad Hunt (April 14, 1773–March 13, 1835), the son of Gad and Elisabeth (Woodward) Hunt, lived in Coventry, Connecticut. Gad Cooley (1767–1854) of Lower Canada and Mooers, N.Y., was an ancestor of the late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Harry Andrew Blackmun.
Eighty men in the 1800 U.S. Federal census had the first name Gad. Seventy-nine were from New England or New York. The exception was Gad Lamb Sr. of Tioga, Lycoming County, Pennsylvania, but further research revealed that he had been born in Wilbraham, Mass. (in the Connecticut Valley), Nov. 9, 1744, to Daniel and Martha (Ashley) Lamb. At this early date, use of the name Gad thus strongly suggests a New England or New York origin.
This Week's Survey
Last week’s survey asked whether you tried to return a possession (a photograph, a book, a memento, or other item) to a descendant of the original owner, or whether you received one yourself. The results are:
41%, I have had an ancestral possession returned to me.
34%, Yes, I was successful in giving an ancestral possession to a descendant.
30%, I have never received an ancestral possession.
26%, No, I have never tried to find a descendant to pass on an ancestral possession.
14%, Yes, I tried to find a descendant to pass on an ancestral possession but did not succeed.
This week's survey asks about your interest in genealogical publications in an ebook format. Take the survey now!
Spotlight: Resources in Arizona and Massachusetts
by Valerie Beaudrault, Assistant Editor
Pioneer & Military Memorial Park Cemeteries Database, Arizona
Maricopa County is located in south-central Arizona. Phoenix is its county seat. Pioneer and Military Memorial Park (P&MMP) at 14th Avenue and Madison Street, Phoenix, Arizona, is home to a number of cemeteries: AOUW Cemetery, City Cemetery, IOOF (Odd Fellows) Cemetery, Knights of Pythias Cemetery, Loosley Cemetery, Masons Cemetery, Porter Cemetery, and Rosedale Cemetery. Additional burials in the Pioneer & Military Memorial Park include removals from Old Phoenix Cemetery. The Pioneers’ Cemetery Association, Inc. has made a burial listing database for these cemeteries available on its website.
The database is organized as an alphabetical by surname list. Click on the first letter of the surname to open a new page with the burial listing. The data fields in the database include last name, first name, death date, age, cemetery name, and marker.
The website has additional helpful resources. You will find links to online burial listings for many of the cemeteries in this list, and a list of all cemeteries and gravesites known to exist in Maricopa County, under the List of Cemeteries in Maricopa County link. There is also a link to a list of Historic Cemeteries of Arizona.
Marblehead Museum and Historical Society, Massachusetts
Marblehead is located on the Atlantic coast in Essex County in northeastern Massachusetts. The Marblehead Museum and Historical Society has made some of the resources from its archives available on its website. Click on the Archives tab to access them. They are in PDF format. You will need the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to download and view them. Click on the Archival Documents link to open the page with links to download the documents.
The digitized resources include the following:
Old Marblehead Sea Captains and the Ships in Which They Sailed, by Benjamin J. Lindsey, Treasurer (1915), a document compiled and published for the Marblehead Historical Society
A Discourse on the Disasters at Sea, September 19, 1846, delivered by Rev. Edward Lawrence, Pastor of The First Church in Marblehead, 1848
Short History of Marblehead, by Jonathan H. Orne, an excerpt from The Standard History of Essex County, compiled by the Essex Institute, 1878
The Louis Russell genealogy and “Marblehead Tales,” which includes two stories on Lafayette’s visit to Marblehead’s Lee Mansion.
A number of maps of Marblehead, including the 1700 Marblehead Composite Map, Harborside, an 1850 map, and interactive maps based on the research of Sidney Perley’s description of the town in 1700.
“Marblehead in the 1600s” and “Marblehead’s Maritime History: The Ship’s Pass,” presentations created by Standley Goodwin
Ship’s Passes: Vessels involved in foreign trade were required to register with their District Customs Collector. Once they had registered, Ship’s Passes were issued to them. The passes were signed by the sitting U.S. President and the Secretary of State. Some of the eighteen early Ship’s Passes in the museum’s collections have been digitized and uploaded to the website.
Stories of Interest
DNA Study Yields Surprising Clues to Genetic Origins of Dark-Skinned Melungeons of Appalachia
“Genetic evidence shows that the families historically called Melungeons are the offspring of sub-Saharan African men and white women of northern or central European origin.”Going Back in Time to Unlock a Family Mystery
Commentator Linda Chavez discusses the unexpected family history she learned when she was featured on Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
Happy 200th Birthday, War of 1812!
“A primer on America’s most bumbling, most confusing, and most forgotten conflict.”
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:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Upcoming Education Programs
New Visitor Welcome Tour
99 –101 Newbury Street
Saturday, June 2, 10–11 a.m.
This orientation and tour introduces you to the NEHGS research facility in Boston. You will also have an opportunity to describe your research interests to one of our expert genealogists on staff, who can offer advice on how to proceed using the resources available at NEHGS. Registration Now Open!Fall Weekend Research Getaway
99 –101 Newbury Street
Uncover the wealth of materials available to researchers at the NEHGS Library during a Weekend Research Getaway. Each program features extended library hours, individual consultations, and themed lectures. Spend one, two, or three days devoted to your family history research under the guidance of NEHGS experts.
This year's Fall Weekend Research Getaway, “Researching Female Ancestors,” offers lectures focused on methods, techniques, and strategies for approaching the often challenging task of tracing the women in your family's history.
More information can be accessed by visiting the events page on AmericanAncestors.org.
NEHGS Contact Information
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