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  • The Weekly Genealogist

  • Vol. 15, No. 36
    Whole #599
    September 5, 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
    * A Note from the Editor: Salem Witchcraft Trial Resources
    * Name Origins
    * The Weekly Genealogist Survey
    * Spotlight: Los Angeles, California, Area Cemetery Databases
    * Stories of Interest
    * Now Available: New Great Migration Newsletter Compilations
    * Classic Reprints
    * Upcoming Education Programs
    * NEHGS Contact Information


    NEHGS Database News
    by Sam Sturgis, Digital Collections Administrator

    Western Massachusetts Families in 1790  

    This database contains genealogical sketches of families enumerated in the 1790 census for Berkshire and Hampshire Counties (in what now also includes Franklin and Hampden Counties). Each sketch begins with the head of household and genealogical and biographical details. Following this is information about their children and their children’s spouses. Many families migrated into western Massachusetts only to migrate further west, often through New York. These sketches were submitted by NEHGS members and staff and edited by Helen Schatvet Ullmann, CG, FASG. For more information on how you can submit a sketch, please visit Western Massachusetts Families in 1790. Our database will be enlarged over time thanks to the submitted contributions of NEHGS members and staff.

    The first printed volume of this series, containing 50 sketches not already online, will be available later this month. Pre-order today!  

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    A Note from the Editor: Salem Witchcraft Trial Resources
    by Lynn Betlock, Editor

    Last week’s survey question on ancestors accused of witchcraft prompted many reader emails on the Salem witchcraft trials and the genealogical connections of those who were affected. Given the interest in the topic, this week we present some resources for further study.

    Salem Witch Trials Documentary Archive and Transcription Project
    A collaborative effort undertaken by the University of Virginia and various partners, this website contains seventeenth-century documents, historical maps, biographical sketches, full-text volumes, and more.

    Salem Witchcraft Trials 1692
    The Salem witchcraft trials are among those profiled in the Famous Trials series by Douglas O. Linder of the University of Missouri – Kansas City School of Law.

    Salem Witchcraft Hysteria
    Presented by National Geographic, this interactive site allows users to “experience the trials.”

    The Salem Witch Museum’s 1692 Sites Tour
    Users can click on a modern map of Essex County to find out more about witchcraft-related sites in Salem and ten other area towns.

    The Comprehensive Salem Guide
    A guide to today’s Salem.

    "A Genealogical Perspective on the Salem Witchcraft Trials" by Marilynne K. Roach
    This spring 2008 New England Ancestors cover story “presents four cases that illustrate how genealogical analysis proved useful in adding detail and identifying key people.” The article includes over a page of suggested resources that cites genealogical articles for specific individuals and families, including Bishop, English, Bridges, Burroughs, Corey, How, Jacobs, Martin, Proctor, Putnam, Tyler, and Wilkins.

    "Hunting for Salem 'Witches” in Your Family Tree" by Maureen A. Taylor
    This article on describes a number of Salem witchcraft trial resources.

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    Name Origins
    by Julie Helen Otto, Staff Genealogist

    The female given name DOLORES — so popular from the very late nineteenth through the middle twentieth centuries — while derived from the same Latin word, is not an offshoot of the Puritan tradition that named Dolor Davis; instead, it stems from the Spanish Nuestra Señora de los Dolores [Our Lady of Sorrows], an aspect of the Blessed Virgin Mary at the foot of the Cross. In Spanish a girl with this name will usually be named María Dolores (or some variant thereof), but in Anglophone [English-speaking] American usage (especially by Protestants) DOLORES (or its later variant DELORES) generally stands alone. During the middle and late nineteenth century, Protestant English-speaking American culture was exposed to Spanish and Latin American culture on many fronts — due to the Mexican or Spanish-American Wars; songs and dime novels about the American West; or from William Hickling Prescott’s histories of the Spanish conquest of Mexico and Peru, to name a few. During this period of exposure to Catholic culture of several ethnic traditions numerous Spanish given names (e.g. CORTES, often modified to CURTISS) were adopted into the body of American given names.

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    The Weekly Genealogist Survey

    Last week’s survey asked whether you have an ancestor who was tried for witchcraft. (More than one answer could be selected.)

    25%, I have an ancestor who was tried for witchcraft in Salem.
    11%, I have an ancestor who was tried for witchcraft elsewhere.
    66%, None of my ancestors were tried for witchcraft.

    Due to popular demand, this week's survey asks about a wider range of roles ancestors may have played in the 1692 Salem witchcraft hysteria. Take the survey now!

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    Spotlight: Los Angeles, California, Area Cemetery Databases
    by Valerie Beaudrault, Assistant Editor

    Green Hills Memorial Park, Rancho Palos Verdes, California  

    Green Hills Memorial Park is located in Rancho Palos Verdes, a suburb of Los Angeles. With the growth of the communities of San Pedro and Palos Verdes Peninsula after World War II, a need arose for additional cemeteries, so Green Hills Memorial Park was founded in 1948. More than 75,000 individuals are buried there.

    Click the Burial Search link to begin. This will open a new page with search boxes. You may search the database by first name and last name. Data fields in the search results include name, date of birth, date of death, location, and coordinates. Click the About Us link and then the Location link to view a PDF map of the cemetery. A link to the South Bay Cities Genealogical Society is provided on the search page, for those interested in learning more about their family history in the area.

    Rose Hills Memorial Park and Mortuaries, Whittier, California  

    Rose Hills Memorial Park and Mortuaries, founded in 1914, is located in the city of Whittier, southeast of Los Angeles. Click the Service & Grave Finder link to begin your search. There are two search options. You will most likely want to select the Search for Obituaries and Grave Locations option. First, enter a full or partial name in the search box, then select either Grave and Interment Locations or Obituaries. The results for a burial location search include full name and date of death; click this information to access the detailed record. This record includes date of death, including day of the week, burial property name, location of the grave, and the closest entrance gate. An obituary search will yield results for 2011 and 2012.

    Pioneer Memorial Cemetery, Sylmar, California  

    Sylmar is located in the San Fernando Valley, which is part of the Los Angeles Metropolitan area. Established in 1874, Pioneer Memorial Cemetery is the second oldest cemetery in the Valley. The cemetery was closed to burials in 1959 and was designated as State Historical Landmark No. 753 on April 30, 1961. Scroll to the bottom of the page for a link to the burial list. Click the Pioneer Cemetery Roster link to an alphabetical listing of burials. The data fields include name, born, died, age, and notes. The notes field includes names of relatives, next of kin (NOK), information about the plot where the individual is buried, cause of death, removal information, military service, and book number.

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    Stories of Interest

    British Family Digs Out Medieval Well Under Living Room
    A man in Plymouth, in sSouthwest England, set out to find the cause of the dip in his living room floor and made an unexpected discovery.

    How Two Stained-Glass Windows Resurrected a Piece of Los Gatos History
    A tale of two windows originally installed in the Los Gatos, California, Methodist Church in 1881.

    Exhibit Idea Leads Back to Own Back Story
    An artist looking for background information on a Virginia Civil War soldier who died in Mercersburg, Pennsylvania, found the information she was seeking in her own basement.

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    New from the Great Migration Study Project

    Newsletter Compilations
    The Great Migration Newsletter has been a cornerstone publication of the Great Migration Study Project for the last twenty years and offers researchers essential articles on migration patterns, early records, life in seventeenth-century New England, and more. Now, for the first time, all twenty volumes of the Newsletter, spanning the years 1990 through 2011, are together in one compendium. A comprehensive index provides an easy way to look up subjects, place names, surnames — and even first names — that appear in these twenty volumes.
    8½ x 11, softcover, 750 pp., reg. $27.95, member price $25.16.
    Order today!

    Also available for owners of previous compilations: The Great Migration Newsletter, Volumes 16-20.
    8½ x 11, softcover, 200 pp
    . reg. $11.95, member price $10.76. 

    The Great Migration Begins, Immigrants to New England, 1620–1633 (3 vol. set) — Now in Paperback!
    This classic three volume set provides information on more than 900 early New England families.
    6 x 9, softcover, 2386 pp
    . reg. $79.95, member price $71.96. Order today! 

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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:

    Alphabetical Index of Revolutionary Pensioners Living in Maine (Item P5-ME0120H, $30.00)
    The Goodwins of Kittery, York County, Maine (Item P32280000, $29.00)
    History of Norridgewock and Canaan, Maine (Item P26520500, $62.00)
    Mower Family History; A Genealogical Record of the Maine Branch of This Family (Item P4-H19893, $49.50)
    Crosby Ancestry and Descendants of Robert, Jonah, and Joel Crosby, Maine Pioneers (Item P4-H07176, $24.50)

    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

    New Israel/New England: Jews and Puritans in Early America
    99–101 Newbury Street, Boston
    Wednesday, September 12, 6–7 p.m.
    Author Michael Hoberman will discuss his book New Israel / New England: Jews and Puritans in Early America. The New England Puritans’ fascination with the legacy of the Jewish religion has been well documented, but their interactions with actual Jews have not received sustained historical attention. This event is cosponsored with the American Jewish Historical Society, New England Archives.
    Free. Please RSVP to or 617-226-1226.  

    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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