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  • The Weekly Genealogist

  • Vol. 15, No. 37
    Whole #600
    September 12, 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.

    * A New Look for The Weekly Genealogist
    * NEHGS Announces New Assistant Vice President
    * A Note from the Editor: “My Favorite Ancestor” on the NEHGS Facebook Page
    * Name Origins
    * The Weekly Genealogist Survey
    * Spotlight: Dallas Genealogical Society
    * Stories of Interest
    * Classic Reprints
    * Upcoming Education Programs


    A New Look for The Weekly Genealogist

    With this issue — our 600th — we introduce a dynamic new design for The Weekly Genealogist. We expect that this version, which uses more graphic elements, will be easier to read. We hope that you like the new style!

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    NEHGS Announces New Assistant Vice President

    Brenton Simons, President and CEO of the New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS), announced September 5 that staff member Ryan Woods has been promoted to NEHGS Assistant Vice President for the Website and Library. Woods, a five-year veteran of the NEHGS staff, will oversee and the Boston-based library, bringing those two areas into greater alignment with each other and advancing the organizations national mission. He will report to Thomas R. Wilcox, Jr., NEHGS Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. Simons said, “This new position will help us centralize core activities, better serve our growing body of constituents, and allow for more productive experiences both online and in our library.” Woods, who joined NEHGS in 2007, will work to re-staff several areas to manage increases in web traffic and visitors to the NEHGS Boston library, due in part to growing interest in and popularity of genealogy across the country.

    Ryan succeeds Marie Daly, who served as Director of the Library for ten years. Daly will be staying on at NEHGS as Senior Genealogist (a new role she helped craft) with particular emphasis on Irish research. NEHGS staff member Jean Maguire has been promoted to the new position of manager of the library.

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    A Note from the Editor: “My Favorite Ancestor” on the NEHGS Facebook Page
    by Lynn Betlock, Editor

    Last week NEHGS staff posted a new message on the Society’s Facebook page: “My favorite ancestor is…because…” Many people found those five words to be quite evocative because they prompted eighty-three comments on the topic as of Wednesday morning.

    Here are some of the responses:

    Roxanne Richardson: My favorite ancestor is my second great-grandmother Emily (Emma) Forder, b. 1849, in Indiana to her English immigrant parents, William and Maria (Wells) Forder. Emma has given me more genealogical fun for my money than any other ancestor. She lived to be just a few months short of 100 years, had four husbands, migrated a total of 6,000 miles over the course of her lifetime, and had six children, one of whom died and another of whom she gave up for adoption.  

    Laurie Davis: My great-grandmother, Chessell Abigail Bryant Davis. She raised 16 kids and was named Maine Mother of the Year in 1959.

    Becky Mascari: I have way too many to count but here are two: My second great-grandmother, Angelica Fritcher, for running me around in circles for years thinking her maiden name was really Fletcher. Bless her for naming one of her sons John Fritcher Davis. My second one is Encyclopedia Britannica Dewey, because who can't love a name like that?

    Debora Norton: My great-grandparents — Dr. John Billings and Jessie Wheldon — she for being strong enough to march in front of a May Day parade wearing men's pants, demanding women be able to vote and he, for loving her and standing by her in an era where men did not allow their women to exhibit such reckless behavior.

    Lynda Gutierrez: My great-great-grandmother Rachel Mary (Westcott) Trefry (1833–1920), who accompanied her sea captain husband on tall ships throughout much of the world from their Nova Scotia home. She even gave birth to two children while at sea! Her evident spirit of adventure and joy for life is inspirational.  

    Joyce Chambers: My favorite is Joanna Williams, born 1838 in Wales and buried in a tiny cemetery in Kansas. After searching for her grave and almost giving up, I felt her spirit standing beside me and telling me to turn around — and there was her headstone.  

    Darlene Hill Burbine: Henry Bozyol Hill (born Nov. 1823 in Salem, Mass., died 4 Aug. 1913, East Boston, Mass.) was an amazing man who helped his mother support his four younger siblings when he was about thirteen, after his father fell overboard and was killed by a shark! He was an author, business owner, politician, Vice President of the MSPCA, and helped start a national bank in East Boston. He had setbacks, but never gave up.

    Karon Towns: My mom, Donna Lorraine (Bowens) Aldrich. She introduced me to the rest of my ancestors.

    If you’d like to read more favorite ancestor stories and share your own, please visit the NEHGS Facebook page.

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    Name Origins
    by Julie Helen Otto, Staff Genealogist

    BRITOMART (f): A virgin heroine of Edmund Spenser&rsquot;s allegorical epic The Faerie Queene (1590, 1596), modeled on Elizabeth I, Queen of England. Britomart L. Fassett (b. ca. 1866), daughter of Charles and Emma (____) Fassett of Rochester, Vermont, m. there 19 Aug. 1886 Hambie C. Martin [VT VRs]; the 1900 census finds them living at 45 Cross St., Gardner, Mass., with son Claude.

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    The Weekly Genealogist Survey

    Last week’s survey asked what role, if any, your ancestor played in the Salem witchcraft trials. (More than one answer could be selected.)

    7%, Yes, one (or more) of my ancestors was executed as a witch.
    20%, Yes, one (or more) of my ancestors was tried as a witch.
    22%, Yes, one (or more) of my ancestors was accused as a witch.
    8%, Yes, one (or more) of my ancestors served as a judge during the witchcraft trials.
    5%, Yes, one (or more) of my ancestors served as a juror during the witchcraft trials.
    16%, Yes, one (or more) of my ancestors testified in court during the witchcraft trials.
    11%, Yes, one (or more) of my ancestors accused someone of witchcraft.
    57%, No, as far as I know none of my ancestors were involved in the 1692 Salem witchcraft hysteria.

    This week's survey asks about your print genealogical journal and magazine subscriptions. Take the survey now!

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    Spotlight: Dallas Genealogical Society
    by Valerie Beaudrault, Assistant Editor

    Dallas Genealogical Society, Texas

    Dallas is a large city in northeastern Texas. The Dallas Genealogical Society has made a number of resources available on its website. Click on the Resources tab in the contents list near the top of the homepage to access them.


    Click on the Cemeteries link in the contents list to open the Cemeteries main page. Nearly thirty cemeteries can be accessed, most through a unified database. Click on the name of one of the cemeteries included in the unified database for the cemetery location and other pertinent information. Click on the Search Database link in the contents list to access the database search page. The database can be searched by name. You can search the entire database or select a particular cemetery from the dropdown list. There is a search box for cemetery section and a dropdown list for military service. The data fields in the search results include cemetery, stone type, last name, first, middle, and maiden names, date born, date died, section, subsection, subsection number, part of lot, grave number, and more info. Click on the More Info button to open a detailed record page containing additional information such as spouse’s name, date buried, lot owner’s name, funeral home, tombstone inscription, notes, and military service. The notes field may include the names of other relatives.

    The records of the five cemeteries that have not yet been migrated to the unified database may also be accessed from the cemeteries main page. They are the Farmers Branch (also know as Keenan), Marsh and Webb Chapel Cemeteries, Pioneer Cemetery, and Wood Creek Cemetery. Clicking on these cemetery names in the contents list will allow you to view burial listings.

    As noted on the website, the Dallas Genealogical Society does not plan to transcribe the records for some area cemeteries because they are available by contacting the cemetery directly. The cemeteries are Forest Lawn Cemetery, Greenwood Cemetery, Laurel Land Memorial Park, Lincoln Memorial Cemetery, Lincoln Memorial Park, Restland Cemetery, Rose Lawn Cemetery, and Sparkman-Hillcrest Cemetery and Mausoleum.

    Local Records Databases

    Click on the Local Records link in the contents list to open the local records main page. The resources here include the following databases.

    Mortality Schedules: This database contains extracted mortality schedule data for Dallas for 1850, 1860 and 1870. The data fields include some or all of the following: name, age, sex, marital status, place of birth, month died, occupation of the deceased, cause of death, and length of illness.

    14th District Court Records: This database comprises abstracts from the 14th District Court Minute Book A, for 1846 through 1855. Page numbers are cited in the transcription.

    County Tax Records: The tax records in this database were transcribed from reel 1 of the Dallas County Tax Records, and cover 1846 and 1847. The database is searchable by last name and first name. Searches can be limited by stream (name of a creek, etc.) and year. The data fields include last name, first name, acres, grantee, stream, total value, page, roll, and year.

    Marriage Records: The genealogical society has transcribed Dallas County Marriage Books A through W, covering 1846 to 1899. Only Marriage Book O, which covers the period from August 6, 1895 through November 26, 1896, is available online. The database can be searched by groom’s last name, bride’s last name, and officiate’s last name. You can also select the officiate’s name from a dropdown list. The data fields in the results returned include the groom’s full name, bride’s full name, officiate’s full name, marriage date, book, page, and ID number.

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    Stories of Interest

    Does the Internet Bring You Immortality?
    In the wake of his stepmother’s death, Marcelo Gleiser muses on how the Internet “offers a kind of passive immortality, the kind acquired through the accumulated storage of the many interactions an individual has with the World Wide Web.”

    How Could You Go Ahead of Me?
    The “Letters of Note: Correspondence Deserving of a Wider Audience” blog features a poignant letter written by the widow of a thirty-year old Korean man who died in the 1500s. The letter was found resting on his chest when the tomb was excavated in 1998.

    Washington’s Annotated Constitution Returns to Mount Vernon
    George Washington's annotated copy of the United States Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and first Acts of Congress recently sold for $9,826,500 to the Mount Vernon Ladies' Association. This artifact had been in the Mount Vernon Library until 1876, when it was sold at auction for $13, having been consigned by the president's grandnephew.

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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

    Stirring Up the Past: Food & Family in the NEHGS Archives
    99–101 Newbury St., Boston Wednesday, October 3, 6–7 p.m.
    Archivist Judy Lucey will share items from the NEHGS collection that focus on the importance of traditions surrounding food and family, including recipe books, menus, photographs, and rare account books and diaries which were also used to record family recipes. These documents, dating from the 17th to the 20th centuries, have been carefully preserved over time, first by families and now by NEHGS, and were often just as treasured as a family Bible or diary. Learn more about the treasures to be found in the NEHGS archives and the stories they tell. Free and open to the public. Please RSVP to or 617-226-1226.

    Salt Lake City Research Tour
    Sunday, October 28–Sunday, November 4
    Only a few spots remain on our 34th annual Salt Lake City Research Tour to the world-renowned Family History Library. Let the experts from NEHGS help you navigate the collections of the largest genealogical library in the world. In this intensive week of research, consultations, lectures, group meals, and other activities, you'll explore the resources of the Family History Library with support and guidance to help you make the most out of your visit.

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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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