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  • The Weekly Genealogist

  • Vol. 15, No. 4
    Whole #567
    January 25, 2012
    Edited by Lynn Betlock, Jean Powers, and Valerie Beaudrault


    Greetings from the New England Historic Genealogical Society! This newsletter has been sent to people who asked to receive it. 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
    * In Memoriam: Robert Johnston Dunkle, 1929–2012
    * Irish Genealogy Study Group
    * A Note from the Editor: A New Featured Blog
    * Name Origins
    * This Week’s Survey
    * Spotlight: Massachusetts and Vermont Resources
    * Stories of Interest
    * Five Classic Titles Now Available in Paperback from NEHGS
    * Upcoming Education Programs
    * NEHGS Contact Information


    NEHGS Database News

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

    American Ancestors magazine — Volume 12 (2011)
    A 64-page magazine published by NEHGS, American Ancestors contains a wealth of information for family historians. American Ancestors features a wide range of article topics and styles, and is designed to appeal to family historians of all levels. Topics include coverage of a particular region or group of people; case studies; descriptions of particular record sets; “how-to” articles; compelling historic accounts that illuminate the past; research strategies and methodology; and accounts of migration and immigrant groups. Regular columns include Diane Rapaport’s “Tales from the Courthouse”; David Allen Lambert’s “Online Genealogist”; and “Genetics and Genealogy”; as well as columns featuring Bible records, diaries, and other items from the NEHGS manuscript collection. The magazine’s “Family Focus” column features announcements of genealogies in progress, recently published books, family association news, and DNA studies in progress.This update to the American Ancestors magazine database adds Volume 12 (2011). Search American Ancestors

    Connecticut Nutmegger — Volumes 42 and 43 (2009 and 2010)
    The Connecticut Nutmegger has served as the “journal of record” for the Connecticut Society of Genealogists, Inc. (CSG) for forty years. During this time it has captured a wealth of information for genealogists. Vital records, probate records, Bible records, headstone records, memorials and other useful records have been published and made readily accessible for genealogical research. Well-documented family histories and genealogical articles, covering hundreds of families — mainly with Connecticut ties — have been presented. This update adds Volumes 42 and 43 (2009 and 2010). Search Connecticut Nutmegger

    New York: Albany County Deeds Completed
    With the addition of Volumes 13 and 14, our Albany County deed database is now complete, with a total of 302,300 records. Search Albany County Deeds

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    In Memoriam: Robert Johnston Dunkle, 1929–2012

    With great regret NEHGS announces the death of Bob Dunkle of Naples, Florida, on January 20, 2012. Bob was a thirty-eight-year member of the Society who worked at NEHGS as a full-time or near-full-time contractor since 1992. During his tenure, Bob made many important contributions to the field of genealogy, particularly editing and transcribing New England church and vital records. His work resulted in eight books (six with Ann S. Lainhart) and eleven CDs. In addition to his publications, Bob spent countless hours indexing and preparing materials for NEHGS websites, often submitting work all seven days of the week. In this role, Bob also provided valuable day-to-day management of volunteer projects related to the websites — overseeing, with Helen Herzer, the distribution, training, and collection of volunteer projects for more than sixty volunteers at any given time. It is difficult to overstate what Bob has meant to NEHGS for the past twenty years.

    Robert Dunkle was born to the late Robert J. and Ruth L. Dunkle on May 29, 1929, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He graduated from Noble & Greenough School in Dedham, Massachusetts, in 1947, and received his B.A. in History from Trinity College in 1951. He married Joan Osborn in 1953 and raised his family in the Boston area, later relocating to North Hampton, New Hampshire, and, finally, to Naples, Florida.

    Robert was a veteran of the U.S. Navy Reserves, in which he served in the ZP-911 Squadron as a dirigible radioman and bombardier from 1948 until May 1956. During his business career, Robert was an investment broker and vice-president for Laird, Bissell and Meads of Wilmington, Delaware, and Boston, Mass. He went on to further positions in the investment world with firms as R.W. PressPridge & Co. and Tucker Anthony & R.L. Day.

    Bob will be greatly missed at NEHGS.

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    Irish Genealogy Study Group

    The Irish Genealogy Study Group will meet on Saturday, February 4, between 9:30 and noon on the first floor at NEHGS. This is an informal group gathered to talk about research problems and share solutions. Everyone is welcome to come and join in.

    Contact Mary Ellen Grogan for more information.

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

    Our latest blog profile is by Bill West, who writes “West in New England." Here, Bill introduces himself and his blog:

    I'm a 63-year-old former bookseller with a degree in history. My interest in genealogy was sparked by the research done by my Aunt Dorothy (West) Bargar. My ancestry is a mix of Pilgrim and Puritans on my Dad's side of the family, and Irish and German immigrants on my Mom's. I began blogging in hopes of making contact with relatives from both sides, and to put what I'd discovered in my research online where it could be shared with them. I still consider myself a newbie and I'm learning new things everyday. I enjoy the journey and hope my readers do as well!

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    Name Origins
    by Julie Helen Otto, Staff Genealogist

    MACUTH (m): In 1993 Mary Ann Long Skinner demonstrated (The American Genealogist [TAG] 68 [1993]: 31-32) that the immigrant Macuth Pratt (ca. 1595-1672) of Aston Clinton, Buckinghamshire, and Weymouth, Mass., was NOT named Matthew, but instead bore the name of an obscure medieval saint venerated in England’s West Country and elsewhere. The name is cognate with that of St. Machute or St. Malo, the “Apostle of Brittany,” seen in an early Latin form Maclovius (Notes and Queries, 6th ser., V [24 June 1882]: 493). See also Frederick J. Nicholson, “The English Origin of Macuth (or Matthew) Pratt of Weymouth, Massachusetts,” TAG 65 (1990): 33-43, 89-96.

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    This Week's Survey

    Last week’s survey asked which genealogical software program you use. The results are:

    • 50%, Family Tree Maker
    • 33%,’s online family tree program
    • 13%, Legacy Family Tree
    • 12%, PAF (Personal Ancestral File)
    • 12%, RootsMagic
    • 11%, Master Genealogist
    • 11%, Reunion (Mac)
    • 4%, Family Tree Maker (Mac)
    • 2%, Ancestral Quest
    • 2%, Clooz
    • <1%, Family Historian
    • <1%, MacFamilyTree (Mac)
    • <1%, Genealogy Pro (Mac)
    • <1%, Heredis (Mac)

    We also received emails from readers who used other programs: Brother’s Keeper, Gene for the Mac, iFamily for the Mac, and Personal Ancestry Writer II for Mac OS X. Several readers wrote to say that they used genealogical programs they designed themselves, and a couple of others wrote that they did not use a genealogical software program at all.

    This week's survey asks about whether you share your genealogical information online. Take the survey now!

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    Spotlight: Massachusetts and Vermont Resources
    by Valerie Beaudrault, Assistant Editor

    Fall River Public Library, Fall River, Massachusetts

    Fall River is in Bristol County in southeastern Massachusetts. The Fall River Public Library has made an obituary index of the Fall River Herald News available on its website. Click on the Obituary Index link in the contents bar to access the database. The index currently covers the period from 1950 through 2010. The database is a work in progress.

    The obituary index is organized by year. The files are in Microsoft Excel file format. Click on the year link to download a file. The data fields in the index are last name; first name; maiden name, if known; name of the spouse, if any; and the date the obituary appeared. The index will display in database format, sorted by last name, first name, and the date the obituary appeared in the paper.

    Bennington Town Clerk’s Office, Vermont

    Bennington is in southwestern Vermont in Bennington County, on the Vermont-New York border. The Bennington Town Clerk’s Office has made vital records, cemetery records, and other genealogical information available on its website. Links to these resources may be found in the contents list at the left side of the page beneath the Vital Records tab.

    Cemetery Databases
    Click on the Burial Information link to access the records. There are two cemetery databases. One is arranged alphabetically by cemetery name and the other is alphabetical by last name of the deceased. The databases are in Microsoft Excel file format. Click on the link to download the file. The data fields in the database are name of deceased; date of birth; date of death; name of spouse, if married; name of parents; age (years / months / days); and name of cemetery.

    Vital Records
    Click on the Genealogical Information link to access the vital records databases. The databases are in Microsoft Word file format. There are four alphabetical vital records databases – births, deaths, and marriages. They cover the period from 1763 to 1850. The data fields in the births index are name, gender, book / page, date of birth, and the names of the father and mother. The data fields in the deaths index are name, gender, book / page, age (years / months / days), and the names of the deceased’s father and mother. The data fields for the two marriage indexes are the same, but the order of the first two fields is reversed depending on whether it is organized by bride or groom. The data fields are bride, groom, book, page, and date of marriage.

    Early Town Records
    Book A-1 of the early Bennington town records have been transcribed and uploaded to the Town Clerk’s website. There are three files in Microsoft Word file format. The first file covers the first twenty pages of the original town records book. The original book then starts over at page 1 and the first 200 pages comprise the second Microsoft Word file. The third file covers the rest of the book.

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    Stories of Interest

    On Facebook, Librarian Brings 2 Students from the Early 1900s to Life
    Using archival material, Facebook profiles have been created for Joe McDonald and Leola Lewis, 1910s graduates, who are the basis of a history project designed to appeal to a wider audience than the typical patrons of special collections.

    Long Trip Home for WWII Dog Tag
    With a great deal of assistance from many people, a WWII dog tag made its way from Indonesia to the son of the Omaha-born soldier who wore it.

    Family Ties: 2014 Acadian Congress looking for more family reunions
    “The next World Acadian Congress, featuring as many as 120 family reunions, will be held in August 2014 in Maine, northwestern New Brunswick and part of Quebec.”

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    Five Classic Titles Now Available in Paperback from NEHGS

    The Best Genealogical Sources in Print by Gary Boyd Roberts
    $24.95 ($22.46 for NEHGS members)

    Colony of Connecticut Minutes of the Court of Assistants, 1669–1711 by Helen Schatvet Ullmann
    $24.95 ($22.46 for NEHGS members)

    Genealogical Notes: First Settlers of Connecticut and Massachusetts by Nathaniel Goodwin
    $24.95 ($22.46 for NEHGS members)

    The Genealogist’s Dictionary of Maine and New Hampshire by Sybil Noyes, Charles Thornton Libby, and Walter Goodwin Davis
    $27.95 ($25.16 for NEHGS members)

    The Expansion of New England: The Spread of New England Settlement and Institutions to the Mississippi River, 1620–1865 by Lois Kimball Matthews
    $17.95 ($16.16 for NEHGS members)

    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:

    • Records of the Town of Tisbury, Massachusetts, Beginning June 29, 1669 and Ending May 16, 1864 (Item P5-MA0500H, $87)
    • Records of the First Church at Dorchester, Massachusetts, in New England, 1636–1734. (Item P5-MA0526S, $27.50)
    • Richmond Co., Virginia, Wills. 1699–1800. (Item P5-VA0034S, $22)
    • Probate Records of Lincoln County, Maine, 1760–1800 (Item P5-ME0256H, $47)
    • Old Houses of the Ancient Town of Norwich, Connecticut, 1660–1800 (Item P5-CT0105H, $67)

    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

    African American History and Genealogy Open House Day
    Wednesday, February 8
    9 a.m. – 9 p.m.

    Join us for a free day of research and learn about African American family history. NEHGS Online Genealogist David Allen Lambert will help you learn how to trace African American ancestors, author and historian Alex R. Goldfeld will present stories of Boston’s earliest African American community, and former Executive Director of the Springfield Museums and author Joseph Carvalho III will share his revised edition of Black Families in Hampden County, Massachusetts 1650-1865, recently published by NEHGS. The lecture will be followed by a book signing and reception. All participants will receive free access to the NEHGS research library for the day, with ample time for research.

    10 –11 a.m.: "Researching African Americans in Pre-Civil War New England," David Allen Lambert
    12–1 p.m.: Brown Bag Lunch Lecture: "In Slavery and Freedom: Boston's Black Community since 1638," Alex R. Goldfeld
    6–7 p.m.: Lecture, book signing, and reception: Black Families in Hampden County, Joseph Carvalho III

    Free; registration required. Please call 617-226-1226 to register.

    An American Journey
    Sunday, March 4
    2:30–4:30 p.m.

    NEHGS is a proud sponsor of An American Journey, produced and performed by the Revels Repertory Company. This original musical theater production brings the story of American immigration to life in partnership with Watertown’s Arsenal Center for the Arts. The 90-minute production finds Italian, Irish, and Eastern European Jewish immigrants on a passenger ship bound for America circa 1907. Sharing their music and songs, their dances and their dreams, the diverse group of travelers become one, as they leave their hardships behind and steam toward America, the land of hope and promise.

    Rhonda McClure, NEHGS Senior Researcher and an expert on American immigration, will give a pre-conference talk at 2:30 p.m. Learn more about finding your family in records, which can bring you closer to understanding how they lived and why they chose to immigrate.

    Revels Repertory Co. is the touring ensemble of Revels, Inc., the national performing arts company that presents the Christmas Revels in ten cities across the U.S. The show is appropriate for adults and children ages six and up and includes audience participation.

    Tickets: $20 adults ($18 for NEHGS members), $12 students/children 12 and under. Visit for tickets. NEHGS members may enter the discount code NEHGS2012.

    Albany Research Tour
    Wednesday, July 11 – Sunday, July 15

    Our first trip to Albany, N.Y., in July 2011, was such a success we’re offering a repeat trip. If you missed your chance last year, sign up now and join NEHGS as we explore the vast resources of the New York State Archives in Albany. The trip includes individual consultations, lectures, a reception, and a group dinner. Space is limited.

    Tuition (includes four nights’ lodging at the Crowne Plaza Hotel): single, $785; double (shared lodging with another participant), $585 per person; double with non-researching guest, $935; commuter (no lodging), $185.

    More information is available at

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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
99 - 101 Newbury Street
Boston, Massachusetts 02116, USA

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