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  • The Weekly Genealogist

  • Vol. 15, No. 34
    Whole #597
    August 22, 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
    * NEHGS at the FGS Conference
    * A Note from the Editor: A Featured Blog
    * Name Origins
    * The Weekly Genealogist Survey
    * Spotlight: Maine Cemeteries
    * Stories of Interest
    * New from Newbury Street Press
    * Upcoming Education Programs
    * NEHGS Contact Information


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

    Connecticut Vital Records Update

    Newly added to Connecticut Vital Records to 1870 (The Barbour Collection): birth, marriage, and death records for the towns of Colchester (1699–1850), Glastonbury (1690–1854), Windham (1692–1850), and Woodstock (1848 –1866).

    Compiled from an original Lucius Barnes Barbour typescript in the NEHGS Special Collections, the Connecticut Vital Records to 1870 database currently contains records for Branford, Danbury, Derby, Fairfield, Farmington, Greenwich, Guilford, Haddam, Hartford, Killingworth, Lyme, Middletown, Milford, New London, Norwalk, Norwich, Preston, Saybrook, Simsbury, Stamford, Stratford, Stonington, Suffield, Wallingford, Waterbury, Wethersfield, Windsor, and Woodbury. The complete Barbour Collection contains records of marriages, births, and deaths in 137 Connecticut towns from the 1640s to about 1850 (some towns include records up to 1870). These records were collected, transcribed, and abstracted by Lucius Barnes Barbour (Connecticut Examiner of Public Records, 1911–1934) and his team of researchers between 1918 and 1928. Mr. Barbour was an NEHGS member from 1907 until his death in 1934. This set of typescripts was donated to NEHGS by Mr. Barbour's wife and children in 1938. Remaining towns will be added to the database over the next year.

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    NEHGS at the FGS Conference

    The 2012 Federation of Genealogical Societies conference will be held from Wednesday, August 29, to Friday, September 1, in Birmingham, Alabama. NEHGS will have a booth in the exhibit hall, and David Allen Lambert will present the NEHGS luncheon talk, “Tales from the Reference Desk,” on Friday, August 31. For more information about the FGS conference, please visit

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

    Our latest blog profile features Marian’s Roots and Rambles, written by New England genealogist and house historian Marian Pierre-Louis. (You may already be familiar with Marian through her role as a regular webinar presenter for Legacy Family Tree Webinars and Family Tree University.) Here, Marian introduces her blog:

    Roots and Rambles is a general interest blog that covers a broad range of topics including interviews, book reviews, technology, social media, speaker tips, family memoirs, and the latest goings on in the genealogical community. It's a refreshing blog that will give you advice on getting organized or make you think about what it means to be a family historian. Marian's Roots and Rambles has a strong following, and some of the best discussions happen in the comments. As a full-time historical researcher, I wanted a place to write about all the things I encounter on my daily journey through history. My blog gives me the opportunity to share my passion for genealogy and history with the world at large.

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    Name Origins
    by Julie Helen Otto, Staff Genealogist

    POLYCARP (m): St. Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna (ca. 70-23 Feb. 156 A.D.), an early martyr, was said to have known the Apostle John. He was a formative figure of the early generations of the Christian Church (Henry Wace and William C. Piercy, eds., A Dictionary of Christian Biography and Literature to the End of the Sixth Century A.D., with an Account of the Principal Sects and Heresies [London: John Murray, 1911, repr. Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson Publishers, 1994], pp. 846-50). Polycarpus Nelson of Mamaroneck, N.Y., is mentioned by Jacobus (Donald Lines Jacobus, Genealogy as Pastime and Profession [New Haven, Conn.: Tuttle, Morehouse and Co., 1930, repr. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1968], p. 31) as having a “helpless son,” Maher-Shallal-Hashbaz. Another instance of the name is “Polli Carpus”: “As early as 1792 Polli Carpus Packard [1768-1836] came from Plainfield, Conn., to Jericho [Vt.], and in 1794 settled in what is known as the Packard district” (History of Jericho, Vermont [1916], p. 590); he was apparently known also as “P. Carpus” or plain “Carpus.”

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    The Weekly Genealogist Survey

    Last week’s survey asked whether you attended (or will attend) a family reunion in 2012.
    28%, Yes, I will attend a family reunion in 2012.
    72%, No, I will not attend a family reunion in 2012.

    This week's survey asks whether you belong to a family association. Take the survey now!

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    Spotlight: Maine Cemeteries
    by Valerie Beaudrault, Assistant Editor

    Fairmount Cemetery, Presque Isle, Maine

    Fairmount Cemetery, established in 1864, is south of Presque Isle, Maine. Presque Isle is located in Aroostook County in far northern Maine. According to the website, Fairmount is the largest cemetery in northern Maine. More than 6,000 individuals are buried in the cemetery, 700 of whom were war veterans.

    The following is a simplified description of the burial-recording process for this cemetery. A research team from the University of Maine at Presque Isle has conducted a project to develop a burial database and map the cemetery using GPS, GIS, and web GIS technologies. The project involved faculty and students, and community associations such as the Fairmont Cemetery Association and the Northern Maine Historical Society. For a complete description of the project, click the “About the Project” tab.

    Click “Explore the Cemetery” to open the search page. There are two ways to search for a burial. You can scroll to the dropdown list at the bottom of the page. When you choose a name from the alphabetical list, the individual’s plot will be highlighted in red on the map (you may need to zoom in). Click the plot to open a window with information about the person interred there and a photograph of the gravestone. The information provided includes personal information, military/civil service, plot site information, and GPS coordinates. Plots with gravestones showing no year of death have been excluded, with the exception of those showing a birth year prior to 1925.

    Municipal Cemeteries, Bangor, Maine

    Bangor, in Penobscot County, Maine, is home to four municipal cemeteries. Three are maintained by the city — Pinegrove, Oakgrove, and Maplegrove. The Mt. Hope Cemetery Corporation maintains the city section of the fourth, Mt. Hope Cemetery.

    At thirteen acres, Pinegrove Cemetery, established in the nineteenth cemetery, is the largest of the three city-maintained cemeteries. Oakgrove Cemetery was also established during the nineteenth century. At four acres, Maplegrove Cemetery is the smallest. Mt. Hope Cemetery was established in 1834, the year Bangor was incorporated.

    Click the “Cemetery Interment Listing” link in the “Cemetery Links” to download an alphabetical listing of individuals interred in Pinegrove, Oakgrove, and Maplegrove Cemeteries. There are more than 6,500 records in the database. The data fields include ID number, name of the deceased, cemetery abbreviation, lot number, grave number, and date of death.

    Click the “Mount Hope Cemetery” link to open the cemetery’s webpage. There are nearly 29,000 records in the burial database, which comprises the city-owned section as well as a private cemetery. To open the search page, click “Interment Records.”

    The database can be searched by name, death year, and birth year. The data in the immediate search results includes full name, date born, where born, when died, where died, and when buried. Click a name for additional information about the deceased, including parents’ names (if known), age at death, lot information, and funeral director’s name. An annotated cemetery map provides information on some well-known individuals buried in the cemetery, as well as a photo gallery.

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    Stories of Interest

    Digging into Plymouth's Slave History
    "An excavation this summer in a small shed and nearby grounds on North Street has yielded more than 30,000 artifacts dating back 1,000 years."

    Calendar Clock Strikes a Chord in Kentwood Man's Family History
    A long-lost photo yields clues to the role a clock has played in a family. From the Prized Possessions series at Grand Rapids Press.

    Family Meets Daughter of Last American Soldier Killed in Vietnam
    Research and DNA testing unites a woman born in Vietnam with the parents of her American soldier father.

    The Self-Written Obituary: The Hottest Thing in Dying
    "Having done all they can to dictate exactly how their funerals will go — down to playlists, menus, and off-beat hearses — baby boomers, and some members of the Silent Generation, are now taking control over the story of their lives."

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    New from Newbury Street Press

    Some Descendants of Roger Billings of Dorchester, Massachusetts
    By Helen Schatvet Ullmann, CGsm, FASG

    Accomplished genealogist Helen Schatvet Ullmann traces her Billings ancestry from Roger Billings, who was born in England about 1620, immigrated to Massachusetts, and died at Dorchester in 1683. She presents the families of Roger’s son Ebenezer, his son Rev. Richard of Little Compton, Rhode Island, and his son Richard of Newport. She then treats five generations of the younger Richard’s descendants, who mostly remained in Rhode Island. A final chapter lists the known ancestors of the younger Richard and his wife Abigail Woodman, including Richard Warren and James Chilton of the Mayflower.

    6 x 9, hardcover, 246 pp., $39.95 (member price $35.96)

    Order today!

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    Upcoming Education Programs

    Writing and Publishing Seminar, Part I
    99-101 Newbury Street
    Saturday, September 15, 9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
    If you’re ready to turn your family history research into a publication, join the experts at NEHGS to learn best practices in publishing your findings. 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 February, 23, 2013, delves into the editorial process and book production, and offers a chance to meet with publishers/printers and consult with experts. Space is limited.
    Tuition: $110 for Part 1. More information.

    Fall Weekend Research Getaway: Researching Female Ancestors
    99-101 Newbury Street
    October 18 – 20
    Uncover the wealth of materials available to researchers at the NEHGS Library during our Weekend Research Getaways. 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.
    Tuition: $300 for full program, $110 each for single days. More information.

    NEHGS Comes West
    Seminar in Berkeley, California
    Friday, October 26, 9 a.m.–8:30 p.m.
    Consultations (by appointment) at the California Genealogical Society, Oakland
    Saturday, October 27, 9 a.m.–2 p.m.

    NEHGS is coming to the Bay Area! We are pleased to partner with the California Genealogical Society for a full-day seminar and opportunities for one-on-one consultations with Senior Researcher Rhonda R. McClure and Online Genealogist David Allen Lambert.
    Click here
    for more information and to register.

    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
    99–101 Newbury Street, Boston, MA 02116

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New England Historic Genealogical Society
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Boston, Massachusetts 02116, USA

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