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  • The Weekly Genealogist

  • Vol. 15, No. 29
    Whole #592
    July 18, 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
    * Robert Anderson To Be Featured on Online Radio Show
    * A Note from the Editor: Debunking Family Myths
    * Name Origins
    * The Weekly Genealogist Survey
    * Spotlight: Carson City, Nevada
    * Stories of Interest
    * Pre-publication Sale on The Winthrop Fleet
    * Upcoming Education Programs
    * NEHGS Contact Information


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

    The Mayflower Descendant, Vols. 31–35
    Volumes 31 to 35 (publication years 1933, 1934, 1935, 1937, and 1985) are now available to search. Additional volumes will continue to be added regularly throughout the year. (Note: The Mayflower Descendant was not published in 1936, or between 1938 and 1984.)

    The Mayflower Descendant

    has been published by the Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Descendants since 1899. It is an essential source of information on many New England families, and its focus is not limited to those with Mayflower lineage. The journal includes transcriptions and abstracts of deeds, wills, vital records, and other original documents, as well as compiled genealogies and analytical studies of genealogical problems.

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    Robert Anderson To Be Featured on Online Radio Show

    Puritan expert Robert Charles Anderson joins genealogist Jane E. Wilcox on “The Forget-Me-Not Hour: Your Ancestors Want Their Stories to Be Told” talk radio show at 9 p.m. Eastern time on Wednesday, July 18. Bob will talk about the Puritans, who emigrated from England to New England during the Great Migration (1620–1640), and greatly influenced American traditions and government. He will explain who these people were, explore some of the myths surrounding them, and talk about his forthcoming book, The Winthrop Fleet, as well as his upcoming tour in England. Join Bob live tonight or listen on-demand after the show airs.

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    A Note from the Editor: Debunking Family Myths
    by Lynn Betlock, Editor

    Last week’s survey asked readers if they had ever debunked a family myth. About 70% had, and several readers shared their stories.

    Mary Brochu of Hardwick, Vermont:
    I was always told that my great-grandmother left her husband, took their ten kids, and immigrated to the U.S. from Canada at the turn of the century. She settled in Vermont and died of pneumonia a few years later — leaving children ranging in age from five to eighteen alone. The younger children were "farmed out" to relatives and neighbors while the older boys lived in boarding houses. Imagine my surprise when I was browsing the 1900 census and found the entire family — father, mother, children, and grandmother — all living in Vermont in the same house! When I approached my mother's cousin with this information, she insisted that it was wrong, that the father never came to the U.S. I even showed her the mother's obituary stating that the entire family came from Canada in 1899. My cousin never believed that the father ever came to the U.S. with his family — until her dying day!

    Jennifer Thurber Willis of Cincinnati, Ohio:
    I have debunked more than a few family myths in the ten years since I began researching our family, and nobody is too happy about it! Especially the myth — apparently believed by many descendants — that early New Jersey settler Albrecht Zabriskie was descended from the noble Sobieski family of Poland. (My grandmother wrote an article that was published in the Paramus, N.J., newspaper in 1925 containing this "fact.") Also, it turns out our Thurbers did not have a firearm business with Ethan Allen's family — instead an Ethan Allen possibly completely unrelated to THE Ethan Allen did have a gun manufacturing business with another branch of the Thurber family in the 19th century. But these and other “losses” have been offset with new discoveries so, all in all, I would say we are about even.

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    Name Origins
    by Julie Helen Otto, Staff Genealogist

    ARPHAXAD/ARPACHSHAD (m): What inspired Samuel and Abigail (Tidd) Thompson of Woburn, Mass. (parents of Samuel, Abigail, Mary, Jonathan and [later] Leonard) to name their third son Arphaxad Thompson (Woburn, Mass. 7 March 1763-15 Dec. 1771) (Woburn VRs 1:257, 2:190, 3:276) for the “third son of Shem [son of the patriarch Noah], and a remote ancestor of Abraham, according to Genesis and I Chronicles” (Clarence D. Barnhart, William D. Halsey et al., eds., The New Century Cyclopedia of Names [New York, 1954], 1:226), is not now clear, especially since “ARPACHSHAD is not necessarily a single person. From the structure of the genealogical tables the name may be that of a tribe or land of which the people were descendants from that son of Shem. The name long referred to the mountainous country on the Upper Zab, north and east of Nineveh, called by the Greek geographers ARRAPACHITIS (Gen. 10:24, 11:10)” (ibid.). The Biblically-associated names SHEM and NOAH [father and grandfather of the Biblical Arphaxad] were not used among the Woburn Thompsons, which may only deepen the mystery as to why this obscure name was chosen.

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    The Weekly Genealogist Survey

    Last week’s survey asked whether you had ever debunked a family myth. The results are:

    69%, Yes, I have debunked a family myth.
    31%, No, I have not debunked a family myth.

    This week's survey asks if you have ever researched a house history. Take the survey now!

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    Spotlight: Carson City, Nevada
    by Valerie Beaudrault, Assistant Editor

    Carson City, Nevada
    Carson City is the capital of Nevada. It is located at about the midpoint on Nevada’s western border. The Carson City Clerk-Recorder’s Office has made available on its website a database comprising a number of resources. The original records from which the database was compiled are available in the Clerk-Recorder’s Office. Click on the "Browse Our Files" bar to open the search page and view the following records:

    Birth Records
    Birth records from 1867 through 1957 are indexed under both the parents’ names and that of the child. If the children do not have first names, they are listed as son or daughter.

    Death Records
    Death records from 1887 through 1957 include coroner's report records, burial records, physicians' certificates of death, and other types of documents.

    Public Health Officer Reporting
    The records in the index contain data from the Public Health Officer reports from 1911 through 1941. The County’s Public Health Officer was required to file a monthly report related to the health status of the county. These reports included monthly listings of births, deaths, burial and removal permits, diseases, and other health conditions, such as identified epidemics or contagious diseases.

    Citizenship Documents
    This database covers the period from 1868 through 1926. Sources include Declarations of Intention, Oaths of Loss of Declaration of Intention, Oaths of Minority, Oaths of Allegiance, and Certificates of Citizenship.

    Cemetery Indexing
    This database contains the names of people buried at Lone Mountain Cemetery and Empire Cemetery from 1850 to the present. The detailed records in the database do not name the cemetery in which the individual is buried, just the plot location. Click here for more information about Lone Mountain Cemetery and other Carson City cemeteries.

    The Carson City Clerk-Recorder’s Office database can be searched by surname or date. You may enter a partial surname to include spelling variations in the results. For the date search you must enter month, day, and year. Searches may be limited by record type. Unusual names have been indexed as written. For example, there is a death record for "One Arm Jim (Indian)" who died in 1915 at age 109. A description of how Chinese names have been indexed is provided.

    The data fields in the search results include name, person type, document type, and date. "Person type" may include status information such as parent(s), child, deceased, and citizen. Click on the "Open" button on the left to view the detailed record. The data fields in the "details" record include file number, document type, reference location, document date, and comments. The information found in the "reference location" field includes volume and page numbers for original records and cemetery plot locations. The "comments" field contains information such as age at death, birth and death dates for cemetery records, country of origin, and date of birth on a Declaration of Intention.

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    Stories of Interest

    Earliest Americans Arrived in Waves, DNA Study Finds
    A new DNA study reveals that a main migration which populated the entire Americas was followed by two further smaller migrations. The study vindicates a 1987 proposal made on linguistic grounds by Joseph Greenberg, the great classifier of the world’s languages.

    Op-Ed: Jewish Groups Must Preserve Vital Records
    "The recent decision by B’nai B’rith International to turn over its remarkable historical records to the American Jewish Archives is such a unique example -- and a deep blessing -- to the community as a whole."

    Like this Abilene Couple, Trace Home ‘Genealogy’ with Property Records
    This article includes useful tips for researching a house history.

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    Pre-publication Sale on The Winthrop Fleet

    The Bookstore at NEHGS announces a pre-order sale on the highly anticipated title, The Winthrop Fleet: Massachusetts Bay Company Immigrants to New England, 16291630, by Robert Charles Anderson.

    This new volume, due to be shipped in late August, describes the organization of the Winthrop Migration and the Winthrop Fleet in some detail, and provides detailed genealogical and biographical information on each of the more than two hundred families and individuals who came to New England in 1629 and 1630 as part of this movement. (These sketches have been updated and expanded since they first appeared in The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England, 1620–1633.) Each sketch begins with information on the English origin of the immigrant, when known, and the evidence for his or her arrival in 1629 or 1630. This is followed by biographical data, on education, officeholding and the like, and genea­logical data, including birth, death, marriage, and children. The sketches often include information on the place of each immigrant in the migra­tion process, whether as master or servant, and unusual and interesting features of their lives.

    We are offering a pre-publication price of $54.95 for The Winthrop Fleet, which is $10 off the standard price of $64.95, until September 30. In addition, from now until July 31, we will also be offering 20% off most Great Migration titles. Order by using the links below or by calling 1-888-296-3447. To use the 20% discount online, enter the coupon code GMFLEET. (This coupon is not valid for already established special pricing, such as all seven volumes of The Great Migration: Immigrants to New England, 16341635, nor for the upcoming Great Migration Newsletter, Volumes 120. Coupon cannot be combined with any other coupons/discounts, including the NEHGS member discount.) Prices do not include shipping. Please note that The Winthrop Fleet will not ship until late August but the other Great Migration titles will ship immediately. Offer good while supplies last.

    The Winthrop Fleet
    The Great Migration Begins: 1620–1633
    The Great Migration: Immigrants to New England, 1634–1635, Volume AB
    The Great Migration: Immigrants to New England, 1634–1635, Volume CF
    The Great Migration: Immigrants to New England, 1634­­–1635, Volume GH
    The Great Migration: Immigrants to New England, 1634–1635, Volume IL
    The Great Migration: Immigrants to New England, 1634–1635, Volume MP
    The Great Migration: Immigrants to New England, 16341635, Volume RS
    The Great Migration: Immigrants to New England, 1634–1635, Volume T–Y
    The Pilgrim Migration: Immigrants to Plymouth Colony, 1620–1633
    The Great Migration Newsletter, Volumes 1–15
    The Great Migration Newsletter, Volumes 11–15

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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 on NEHGS programs, please visit the events page on

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    NEHGS Contact Information

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    Copyright 2012, New England Historic Genealogical Society
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