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  • The Weekly Genealogist

  • Vol. 15, No. 27
    Whole #590
    July 4, 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.

    * Happy July 4 from NEHGS
    * NEHGS Database News
    * A Note from the Editor: Digital Cameras and Genealogy
    * Name Origins
    * The Weekly Genealogist Survey
    * Spotlight: Idaho Cemetery and Obituary Databases
    * Stories of Interest
    * Classic Reprints
    * Upcoming Education Programs
    * NEHGS Contact Information


    Happy July 4 from NEHGS

    NEHGS wishes everyone a happy Independence Day. Please note the NEHGS Library will be closed on Wednesday, July 4, but will be open regular hours the rest of the week.

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

    Brooklyn, N.Y.: Brooklyn Cemetery Inscriptions, 1707-1882

    These records of Brooklyn, N.Y., cemetery inscriptions were published by the King's County Genealogical Club between 1882 and 1898. They record 1,416 births and deaths from inscriptions in four cemeteries in the Brooklyn area.

    Brooklyn, N.Y.: Baptisms and Marriages in the Reformed Dutch Church, 1660-1719

    These records of Brooklyn, N.Y., Reformed Dutch Church Baptisms and Marriages were published by the King's County Genealogical Club in 1898. They summarize 735 baptisms and 129 marriages.

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    A Note from the Editor: Digital Cameras and Genealogy
    by Lynn Betlock, Editor

    This week we present an interesting article by NEHGS member Philip Hermann of Melrose, Mass., on using digital cameras for genealogical purposes.

    Digital Cameras and Genealogy
    by Philip Hermann

    Today’s genealogist is faced with the challenge of digitally storing records. I have tried to use limited financial resources on equipment that will perform a variety of tasks — such as copying vital records and photographing tombstones. I started looking at cameras as a way of preserving important information.

    Some genealogical applications of a good camera:

    1. Tombstone photos — Early morning or evening provides the best light for pictures of tombstones. Make sure to check both the front and back of the tombstone since there could be information on both sides. I also take pictures of the name of the cemetery at the front gate and the plot markers to help identify the tombstone location. You can use to make a virtual memorial at no cost.

    2. Photos of documents — Preserve significant documents such as vital records, newspaper articles, mass cards, and school records by photographing and downloading them to a computer photo storage program such as Picasa. This free program allows the user to manipulate a duplicate of the photo without permanently altering the original. I use the text function to write names and dates on the copy of the photo.

    3. Photos of photos — Many of my old photos are stored in albums with “magnetic pages.” The adhesive chemicals in these pages speed the rate of deterioration. All printed photographs are affected by handling, light, moisture, and chemicals. Digital storage of photographs on computers and portable memory devices will preserve them for future generations. When photographing photos, I find it helps to use a table lamp to provide lighting from different directions.

    4. Family History — Use your camera to record the current members of your family. At family reunions, take pictures of the different generations. After downloading the images, use your photo program to label the names of family members.

    My requirements for a camera would include the following:

    1. Less than $300 and easy to use
    2. Takes pictures in low light (in archives and libraries)
    3. Fits into my pocket (I hate carrying equipment.)
    4. Image stabilization function (reduces blurring)
    5. Excellent close-up functionality
    6. Large LCD screen display (3 inches)
    7. Preview photos quickly on LCD screen
    8. Useful for different types of shots (indoor and outdoor)
    9. Easy process to download to computer
    10. MP greater than 10MP (# of mega pixels = greater detail, larger prints)

    There are some outstanding digital cameras on the market that will meet all these requirements, including the Nikon Coolpix P310 Digital Camera, which features 16.1 MP (excellent detail), ultra-fast f/1.8 aperture glass lens for low light, and handheld image stabilization. There are other manufacturers that make good, easy to use cameras. Search the web particularly for cameras that take high quality pictures in low light. These cameras are constantly improving and their prices are decreasing!

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    Name Origins
    by Julie Helen Otto, Staff Genealogist

    LIBERTY (usually m): Even before the outbreak of the Revolutionary War, idealistic parents who suspected they were living in historic times named children (mostly boys, but the occasional girl) for the precious concept of freedom. Dr. James Potter of New Fairfield, Conn., had a son Libertas Potter (1769–1770) (whose name, the Latin nominative singular for liberty, was botched in transcription to “Libartis” in C.E. Potter, The Potter Genealogies [1888], section five, #98). After the Lexington Alarm, the name became popular as fathers and older brothers marched off to battle. Some other bearers of the name, seen in Bellingham, Mass., were Liberty Partridge, b. Bellingham, Mass. 13 Jan. 1776, son of Joseph and Catherine (Richardson) Partridge (Bellingham, Mass., VRs to 1850, p. 51); a Westminster, Mass., person of this name m. Bellingham 31 Jan. 1814 Rachel Holbrook (Bellingham VRs, p. 132). Liberty Bates, b. Bellingham 16 July 1775, was a son of Laban and Olive (Wheelock) Bates (Bellingham VRs, p. 14). The name was, of course, not confined to Bellingham. Liberty Judd, son of Philip and Mary (Peters) Judd, was born August 27, 1775 in Hebron, Connecticut; he married Abigail Everest and moved to Genesee Co., N.Y.

    (Fortunately for bearers of this name, the Patriot cause prevailed.)

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    The Weekly Genealogist Survey

    Last week’s survey asked whether you are a member of NEHGS. The results are:

    85%, Yes, I am a member of NEHGS.
    15%, No, I am not a member of NEHGS.

    This week's survey asks if any of your ancestors were living in the thirteen American colonies on July 4, 1776. Take the survey now!

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    Spotlight: Idaho Cemetery and Obituary Databases
    by Valerie Beaudrault, Assistant Editor

    Idaho Cemetery and Obituary Databases

    City of Nampa, Idaho

    The city of Nampa is located in Canyon County on the western border of Idaho. To assist genealogical researchers the city has placed a cemetery database on its website. Click on the “I Agree” link at the end of the application disclaimer to open a new page and access the database.

    The database may be searched by first name, middle and last name, date of birth (range of years), date of death (range of years), interment date (range of years), and burial location (section, lot, and space). Click on the map link to download a map of the cemetery. The file is in PDF format. You will need the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to view it.

    The data fields in the search results include full name, section, lot space, photo available, birth, death, and interment date. Click on the word SELECT in the first column to view a detailed record, which also includes the name of the undertaker, GSP coordinates, and a photo of the gravestone, if available.

    In addition to the general burial search there are search pages for veterans and citizens of distinction. For the veterans’ search there are a number of check boxes which will help you narrow your search by rank, branch, war, honors, and more. Citizens of distinction may be searched by type, including: centenarian citizens, died on birthday, Nampa’s fallen heroes, Daughters of the American Revolution, and notables. Both the veterans and citizens of distinction categories contain additional information about the deceased, including articles and obituaries that have been uploaded to the website. Please note that the files are in PDF format.

    Gooding County Historical Society, Idaho

    Gooding County is located in south central Idaho. The Gooding County Historical Society has made a collection of obituaries available on its website. The online obituary collection is a work in progress with new indexes being added each year. Currently, the years covered are 1946, 1947, and 1980 through 2011. For the earlier years the data fields are surname, given name, age, sex, date of birth, date of death, military status, and residence. For the later indexes there are additional fields: place of interment and details regarding military service — branch, war, and rank. The historical society will provide you with a copy of an obituary for a small fee.

    Twin Rivers Genealogy Society (TRGS), Idaho

    Twin Rivers Genealogy Society is located in Lewiston, Idaho. Lewiston, in the northwestern part of the state, is the county seat of Nez Perce County. Many of the obituaries in this online collection were taken from old scrapbooks that were saved from being thrown away. The individuals memorialized in these obituaries had connections to Lewiston, Idaho; Clarkston, Washington; and “outlying areas.” As noted on the website, in cases where the full obituary is not listed due to privacy restrictions, you will have to contact the TRGS webmaster to request a copy of the complete obituary.

    Click on the first letter of the surname of the person whose obituary you are seeking. This will open a new page with a list of names. Select a name from the list and click on the link to open a new page containing a transcription of that individual’s obituary. If two obituaries were published, both will appear on the page. If the newspaper title and/or date of publication are known they follow the obituary text.

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    Stories of Interest

    ‘Old Ironsides,’ 200 Years Later
    A profile of the USS Constitution, commissioned in 1794, which earned the ‘Old Ironsides’ nickname during the War of 1812.

    Eat, Drink, Cook: Elizabeth Gilbert on her Family’s Culinary Inheritance
    This spring the author discovered her great-grandmother’s cookbook, At Home on the Range, published in 1947.

    War Baby Whose Father Had St. Louis Connection Finally Gets Answers
    Norman Spencer of Wales tracked down information about the American father he’d never known, a U.S. W.W. II army airman.

    From Basement to Battlefields and Beyond
    After finding a large framed photograph of a World War soldier I in a storage room at the University of Regina, Professor Mark Brigham rescued it from being discarded and conducted a search for family members. He recently presented the picture to a descendant in Toronto. (An earlier story, which appeared before the descendant was located,provides additional details about the search.) .

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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:

    • Gove Book: History and Genealogy of the American Family of Gove and Notes of European Goves (Item P4-H12150, $111.00)
    • Scandinavian Immigrants in New York, 1630–1674, with Appendices on Scandinavians in Mexico, South America, Canada, New York, Plus Germans in New York (Item P5-NY0137H, $47.00)
    • Index to Probate of Wills, Kings Co., New York, Jan.1, 1850 to Dec. 31, 1890 (Item P5-NY0454H, $37.50)
    • Centennial History of the Town of Nunda, 1808–1908, with a Preliminary Recital of the Winning of Western New York (Item P5-NY0159H, $66.00)
    • History of Levi Greene of Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New York, Michigan, and His Descendants (Item P4-H12381, $74.00)

    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 Education Programs

    Discovering Early Charlestown
    99-101 Newbury St., Boston, Mass.
    Wednesday, July 25, 6 –7:30 p.m.

    Colonial historian Roger Thompson presents a survey of the genealogical and historical sources he used in both the U.S. and the U.K. to trace individual families and groups who settled in 17th-century Charlestown, Massachusetts, with examples from specific case studies. Professor Thompson’s most recent work, From Deference to Defiance: Charlestown, Massachusetts, 1629-1692 is published by NEHGS.Discover how rigorous scholarship and research methods can bring this vibrant world to life.

    The lecture will be followed by a reception with light refreshments.

    Fee: $10 NEHGS members, $20 nonmembers. Registration required. Space is limited. Register online.

    Getting Started in Genealogy

    99-101 Newbury St., Boston Mass.
    Wednesdays, August 15, 29, and September 5, 6–8 p.m.

    How do you get started in genealogy? There are plenty of websites, libraries, and printed sources out there, but access to all that information can leave a beginner feeling overwhelmed. Let an NEHGS expert help you navigate the first steps in tracing your family history. Senior Researcher Rhonda R. McClure will share her knowledge and helpful strategies for beginning your family history journey in this three-part course.

    Tuition: $30 for full course (three sessions). Register online.

    For more information please visit 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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