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Vol. 15, No. 32
August 8, 2012
Edited by Lynn Betlock, Jean Powers, and Valerie Beaudraultdailygenealogist@nehgs.org
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.
* Now Available! The Winthrop Fleet: Massachusetts Bay Company Immigrants to New England, 1629–1630* Coming Soon in the July 2012 Issue of the Register
* NEHGS Database News
* A Note from the Editor: Morrison County, Minnesota, WPA Histories
* Name Origins
* The Weekly Genealogist Survey
* Spotlight: Hancock County Historical Society, Mississippi
* Stories of Interest* NEHGS Bookstore Sale
* Upcoming Education Programs
* NEHGS Contact Information
Now Available! The Winthrop Fleet: Massachusetts Bay Company Immigrants to New England, 1629–1630
In 1630 John Winthrop led hundreds of Puritans and a fleet of more than a dozen ships from England to the New World. The Winthrop Fleet: Massachusetts Bay Company Immigrants to New England, 1629–1630by Robert Charles Anderson features more than 200 genealogical and biographical sketches of Winthrop Fleet immigrants — updated and expanded from The Great Migration Begins — and describes migration to New England in 1629 and 1630, as organized and directed by the Massachusetts Bay Company. This volume also includes a fifty-page interpretive essay which characterizes the structure of immigration during the entire Great Migration period, from 1620 to 1640. 6 x 9, hardcover, 912 pp., $64.95 (member price $58.46).
Special offer: $54.95 when ordered before September 30, 2012. (Prices do not include shipping.)
Return to Table of Contents
Coming Soon in the July 2012 Issue of the Register
Jonathan Fairbank of Dedham, Massachusetts, and His Family in the West Riding of YorkshirebyRuth Fairbanks Joseph and James Swan Landberg
When Did Ephraim3 Kempton of Boston and Salem Marry?by William E. Kempton
Sampson1 Dunbar and His Familyby The Dunbar Research Team
David Dickey of New Hampshire, Nova Scotia, and Maineby Ellen J. O’Flaherty
The English Origin of John1 Ingersoll of Westfield, Massachusetts: Additional Evidence from Stepney Parish Registersby Janet Chevalley Wolfe
New England Articles in Genealogical Journals in 2010by Henry B. Hoff
A subscription to the Register is a benefit of NEHGS membership. If you are not a member, you may join online at www.AmericanAncestors.org or call toll-free 1-888-296-3447.
NEHGS Database News
by Sam Sturgis, Digital Collections Administrator, and Ryan Woods, Director of Internet Technology
The Essex Genealogist, volumes 1 to 25
The leading publication for genealogical research in Essex County, Massachusetts, this quarterly journal has been published since 1981 by The Essex Society of Genealogists (founded in 1975). Within the pages of this journal are selections of cemetery transcriptions, Bible records, vital and church records relating to Essex County families, and verbatim transcriptions of lectures. The Essex Genealogist has also published numerous member Anentafels (ancestor tables). The database is searchable by first and last name; volume and page; article title; and subject. There are now 183,198 records in this database. Currently, volumes 1 to 25 (publication years 1981–2005) are available. Additional volumes will be added through the year.
A Note from the Editor: Morrison County, Minnesota, WPA Histories
by Lynn Betlock, Editor
I’ve just returned from my annual summer visit to Minnesota. My parents, three of my grandparents, and four of my great-grandparents were born in Morrison County, Minnesota, in the central part of state. At about age fourteen, my interest in family history was sparked by the WPA (Works Progress Administration) histories at the Morrison County Historical Society.
I don’t know how many other historical societies can attribute their existence to the WPA, but that was how the Morrison County Historical Society began in 1936, when Sarah Thorp Heald, a WPA district supervisor, called the original meeting. “One of the primary purposes of the new organization, along with collecting the history of Morrison County events from the time of Zebulon Pike’s 1805 expedition to the present, was to record biographies of county residents.” (Sarah Heald had previously launched a similar project in adjacent Crow Wing County.)
The WPA employed ten people from Morrison County to collect oral histories from long-time residents from 1936 until 1939 (when funding was cut). The WPA workers visited residents in their homes, conducted interviews, and took handwritten notes, which were typed up by office staff. Those interviewed were given carbon copies of the sketches, and copies were also sent to the Minnesota Historical Society in St. Paul. More than 1,130 biographies were completed, representing approximately one-third of Morrison County families. According to the society’s website, “These WPA biographies and histories became the basis for the Morrison County Historical Society’s collections.”
As a teenager I visited the Society and discovered the sketches about three sets of my great-grandparents. I knew the different ethnicities of my ancestors and probably some basic information but the sketches, just two or three typed pages, offered an abundance of facts and details. All of a sudden my ancestors seemed more real, and I felt connected to — and intrigued by — these distant family members who came before me.
Here’s an excerpt from the 1937 sketch given by Henry Smith, my great-grandfather: “Henry Smith was born in Little Falls, Minnesota, on July 12, 1888, the son of Francis and Johanna Urtnoski Wyrwicki. His parents were natives of Poland, both having been reared near Bydgoszcz on large farms. They had a fair education. Francis Wyrwicki was a blacksmith in the Old Country. He served in the German Army for three years and fought in the German-Franco War. He married Johanna Urtnoski in 1868. In 1874 he came to the United States and his wife followed a year later, leaving one child buried in the old country. They lived in Buffalo, New York, for a couple of years and then moved to Duluth, Minnesota, where Francis worked at unloading cargo from ships. Later they moved to St. Paul, where Francis worked as a laborer dragging roads. From St. Paul, they came to Morrison County, settling at North Prairie, where Francis operated a blacksmith shop for two years. From there they moved to Little Falls. Francis started another blacksmith shop and did various jobs. He died on his 68th birthday, September 22, 1916.”
Without the information in this sketch, I probably would have known little more than that the family came from Poland to Little Falls. Instead, I have been able to follow up on the many clues the sketch provided. For instance, I examined the records of the Polish Catholic church in Buffalo and located the baptismal record of a Wyrwicki child who died young. The record listed the name of the family’s village in Poland – which I highly doubt I would have found without the mention of Buffalo in the history.
I didn’t realize until much later how remarkable these WPA histories were, or how fortunate I was to have these sketches (for collateral relatives as well as direct ancestors). Although by the 1930s New Englanders had long been documenting their family histories back to the Great Migration era, my nineteenth-century immigrant ancestors from Bohemia, Denmark, Germany, Norway, and Poland were not covered in any history or genealogy. The WPA sketches captured their migration and settlement stories, and gave their lives validity and importance.
A complete index of the original Morrison County WPA histories can be found online. To obtain a copy of a sketch, call the Morrison County Historical Society at 320-632-4007 or email email@example.com.
Name Originsby Julie Helen Otto, Staff Genealogist
NUMA POMPILIUS (m): Numa Pompilius Rose (Canandaigua Co., N.Y. 28 April 1811–Ann Arbor, Mich. 24 June 1899, a Civil War veteran), a younger son of Jairus and Zilpha (Gillett) Rose of Granville, Mass., and Canandaigua and Niagara Cos., N.Y. (Eretta Rose Starr, The Ancestry and Descendants of Jairus Rose and Zilpha Gillett [Portage, Wash., 1930], p. 71), was named for the legendary Roman king (actually a Sabine), successor of Romulus; aided by the nymph Egeria, King Numa Pompilius drew up the Roman religious law. The seven ancient kings of Rome (who ruled from the founding of Rome, traditionally by Romulus in 753 B.C., until the establishment of the Roman Republic) were chronicled by the Roman historian Livy [Titus Livius Patavicinus, ca. 59 B.C.?–ca. 17 A.D.?] in the early books of his History of Rome. Numa Pompilius was the second of the seven legendary kings, after Romulus the founder; he was said to have built the famous temple of Janus, and to have originated many of the earliest Roman priesthoods, occupational guilds, and political institutions.
The Weekly Genealogist Survey
Last week’s survey asked how many U.S. states you have visited. The results are:
1%, 1 to 5 states.
5%, 6 to 10 states.
18%, 11 to 20 states.
22%, 21 to 30 states.
20%, 31 to 40 states.
29%, 41 to 49 states.
5%, All 50 states!
This week's survey asks whether your family has (or had) a special summertime vacation spot. Take the survey now!
Spotlight: Hancock County Historical Society, Mississippi
by Valerie Beaudrault, Assistant Editor
Hancock County Historical Society, Mississippi
Hancock County is in southern Mississippi. It is bordered by the Gulf of Mexico to the south and by Louisiana to the west. The Hancock County Historical Society has made a number of resources available on its website. Go to the Research/Reference tab and choose an option from the drop down list.
Hancock County Cemeteries
The Hancock County Historical Society has created an online inventory of individuals buried in more than fifty county cemeteries. Click on the Hancock County Cemetery Index to browse the consolidated database by last name. There are more than 13,500 records in the index. The data fields in the index are last name, first name, birth, death, cemetery, and grave location. Click on the individual record to open the specific cemetery page. The data fields for the listings contain a comments field. Information found in this field includes military service, age and more. You may also click on the cemetery name and go directly to the alphabetical burial list.
Hancock County census records
This database is an index of the 1820, 1830 and 1840 censuses. (The 1820 census is the earliest one taken for Mississippi.) To browse the index, click on a letter to view all last names starting with that letter, or click on the census year to view the records in the order in which they were recorded. The data fields include last name, first name, year, page, and record number.
Catholic Church Records
This database includes digitized marriage and baptismal books from Our Lady of the Gulf Church in Bay Saint Louis, and the Church of the Annunciation in Kiln. There are nearly 53,000 records in this database, covering the years 1847 through 1911. “The names of all parties involved have been extracted individually, so anyone who is mentioned in these records, be they a parent, a godparent, a witness, or else, is included in this index.” Click the database link to browse the index by last name. Click on the record of an individual to view all of the information available for that person.
Hancock County Marriage Index
This index includes marriages recorded from 1849 to 1956. To browse the index, click on a letter to view all last names starting with that letter. The names of the bride, the groom, and witnesses are included. Brides are listed under their maiden and married names. Beginning in 1938, the names of the parents of both the bride and groom were recorded by the Court and are included in the database. Click on the record to view detailed information.
Hancock County Divorce Index
This database indexes of all Hancock County divorces from 1916 to 1950. To browse the index, click on a letter to view all last names starting with that letter. The data fields in the database include last name, first name, plaintiff / defendant, case number and year.
Hancock County Obituary Index
This database includes the obituaries on file at the Hancock County Historical Society. To browse the index, click on a letter to view all last names starting with that letter. Click on a record to view a transcription of the individual’s published obituary.
Early Hancock County Land Records
Early Hancock County land records were destroyed in a courthouse fire in 1853. Following the fire there was an effort to re-register the previously registered deeds and claims. There were three deed books – A, B and C. The website contains a transcription of the records recorded in Deed Book B. Copies of the original deeds are at the Historical Society.
Stories of Interest
Rediscovered Headstones Hold Clues To California Quake
Gravestones that fractured during the 1906 earthquake are being pieced together at the Gilliam Cemetery, near Sebastopol, sixty miles north of San Francisco.
Are You Asking the Right Questions While Researching Your Family Tree?
Columnist Lynda Rego reminds readers why it is so important to interview parents and grandparents about family history.
Reunited, 22 Nurses Recall WWII service
Twenty-two women who served in the U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps gathered in Quincy, Massachusetts, to reminisce about their training and service. More information about the U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps can be found at www.uscadetnurse.org/.
NEHGS Bookstore Sale
The Bookstore at NEHGS announces a Used and Remaindered Book Sale, starting on Friday, August 10, 2012. Hundreds of titles are discounted to move. To obtain a full listing of the titles available and instructions on how to order, please send an email with SUMMER in the subject line to firstname.lastname@example.org. The list will be emailed to you.
Upcoming Education Programs
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.
Writing and Publishing Seminar, Part I
99–101 Newbury St., Boston, Mass.
Saturday, September 15, 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
Join the experts at NEHGS to learn best practices in publishing your genealogical research. NEHGS offers guidance on writing and publishing your family history project in this two-part seminar. Workshops in Part 1 include defining your project, writing in genealogical format, working with images, and adding narrative to your genealogy. (Part 2, to be held on February 23, 2013, delves into the editorial process and book production, and offers a chance to meet with publishers/printers and consult with experts.) Tuition: $110. Register online.
For more information on NEHGS programs, please visit the events page on AmericanAncestors.org.
NEHGS Contact Information
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Copyright 2012, New England Historic Genealogical Society
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