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  • The Weekly Genealogist

  • Vol. 15, No. 42
    Whole #605
    October 17, 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 Books Honored
    * A Note from the Editor: The Connecticut Historical Society Library
    * Name Origins
    * The Weekly Genealogist Survey
    * Spotlight: Sevier County Public Library System, Tennessee
    * Stories of Interest
    * NEHGS Book and Gift Catalog—Start Browsing Today
    * Upcoming Education Programs


    NEHGS Database News
    by Sam Sturgis, Digital Collections Administrator and Christopher Carter, Digital Collections Coordinator

    New York Genealogical & Biographical Record, volumes 21–25

    The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record is the premier genealogical journal devoted to scholarship on families residing in New York State and surrounding areas. Published quarterly since 1870 by the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society, the Record features compiled genealogies and transcriptions of Bible records, census records, church registers, newspaper extracts, muster rolls, wills and deeds, and proceedings of the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society.

    This week, we have added volumes 21 to 25, containing 34,000 additional name records. The database currently contains volumes 1 through 25, publication years 1870 to 1894. Future volumes will be added periodically.

    Families of Western Massachusetts in 1790—Additional Sketches

    Sketches for Moses Bartlett, Southampton; Joseph Byram, Cummington; John Hamilton, Shutebury; Obadiah Hamilton, Windsor; Jonathan Miller, Northampton; John Miller, Northampton; and Winslow Richardson, Cummington were added to the database.

    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 includes genealogical and biographical details. Following this is information about children and 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. Learn more about the project and the recently published volume with fifty sketches at the Western Massachusetts in 1790 webpage. Our database will be enlarged over time thanks to the submitted contributions of NEHGS members and staff.

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    NEHGS Books Honored

    NEHGS is proud to announce that several of our publications have recently received book awards.

    The Heritage Education Commission, an independent commission established by Minnesota State University Moorhead, presented the G. K. Haukebo Heritage Resource Award to our Genealogist’s Handbook for New England Research, 5th edition under the category of Finding Aids and New Englanders in the 1600s, Expanded Edition for the category of Genealogical Emphasis.

    Reminiscences and Traditions of Boston by Hannah Mather Crocker edited by Eileen Hunt Botting and Sarah L. Houser, was given the 2012 Society for the Study of American Women Writers (SSAWW) Edition Award. This award is given every three years in recognition of excellence in the recovery of American women writers. The readers for the award praised the edition “for its interdisciplinary and collaborative nature, and the way it brings American women's voices to a larger audience.”

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    A Note from the Editor: The Connecticut Historical Society Library
    by Lynn Betlock, Editor

    Last Friday I attended a meeting at the Connecticut Historical Society in Hartford, and had the pleasure of viewing the exhibits and exploring the library. Founded in 1825, CHS has served as a repository for the state’s artifacts and archives for nearly two hundred years. If you have Connecticut ancestors — and even if you don’t — you will likely find much to engage your interest here.

    CHS, located in Hartford’s West End in a mansion built in 1928 by Curtis Veeder, offers plenty of free parking. The main exhibit, Making Connecticut, “is the story of all the people of Connecticut, from the 1500s through today. Themes of daily life, clothing, transportation, sports and leisure, work, and social change run throughout the exhibit.” Don’t miss the gallery of inn and tavern signs; the CHS collection is the largest in the country. My favorites were the early toll road signs. There are also changing exhibits. The CHS website features some interesting collection highlights.

    Genealogists will feel right at home in the cozy Research Center. The website’s research page provides a good introduction to the collection, and includes links to online catalogs, finding aids, and subject guides. Open shelves contain Connecticut city directories, genealogies, and local histories. The local histories aren’t limited to Connecticut locations; I saw many Massachusetts county and town resources, as well as material for the other New England states. Also available are Connecticut atlases, genealogical and historical reference books, and general reference notebooks on various collections available in the Research Center, including many paintings and photographs.

    Other resources in closed stacks can be retrieved upon request. Of particular interest are the genealogical manuscripts—hundreds of boxes and files containing material on particular families and towns compiled by family researchers and professional genealogists. The information within the files “includes compiled family histories, data sheets, notes, copies of Bible records, miscellaneous abstracts of probate, land, church, and vital records.” The work of genealogists such as Lucius B. Barbour and Donald Lines Jacobus, among others, is represented. To access this collection, speak to a librarian.

    Additional information about family history resources at CHS is available online.

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    Name Origins
    by Julie Helen Otto, Staff Genealogist

    NUSS (m): Nuss S. Butterfield (d. 1839) of Stockbridge, Vt. (Hartford Probate District, Vt.; with thanks to Scott Andrew Bartley, who brought this name to my attention many years ago). Mr. Butterfield’s first name is probably a truncated form of some name with –nus as an element, perhaps the final syllable (e.g. Oceanus), a construction that abounds in both Latin and Greek. NUSS might also be a derivative of Celtic NAOISE (pronounced something like NEE-sheh), a name borne in ancient Ireland by the lover of Deirdre. I rather suspect a classical, or commemorative, derivation in this case.

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    The Weekly Genealogist Survey

    Last week’s survey asked where you currently reside.

    27%, I live in New England (CT, ME, MA, NH, RI, VT).
    12%, I live in the Mid-Atlantic (DE, MD, NJ, NY, PA, DC).
    15%, I live in the South (AL, AR, FL, GA, KY, LA, MS, NC, SC, TN, VA, WV).
    14%, I live in the Midwest (IL, IN, IA, KS, MI, MN, MO, NE, ND, OH, SD, WI).
    7%, I live in the Southwest (AZ, OK, NM, TX).
    22%, I live in the West (AK, CA, CO, HI, ID, MT, NV, OR, UT, WA, WY).
    2%, I live in Canada.
    <1%, I live elsewhere in North America.
    <1%, I live in the British Isles.
    <1%, I live in Europe.
    <1%, I live in Asia.
    <1%, I live in Australia or New Zealand.
    <1%, I do not live in any of the regions listed above.

    This week's survey asks if you have ancestors who lived in Connecticut. Take the survey now!

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    Spotlight: Sevier County Public Library System, Tennessee
    by Valerie Beaudrault, Assistant Editor

    Sevier County Public Library System, Tennessee

    Sevier County is located in eastern Tennessee. Its county seat is Sevierville. The Sevier County Public Library System has made a number of genealogical and local history resources available through the Sevier County History Center. Click on the tabs in the contents list near the top of the page to access them.

    Before Fire
    A fire in Sevierville in 1856 destroyed the county’s new courthouse and nearly all of its records. On this webpage the library has collected resources on families, businesses, and records in existence prior to 1856. There are links to land records, birth and death records, marriage records, store accounts and records, soldiers' records, and warrants.

    This section contains more than sixty church histories.

    Court Records
    This section contains a variety of items. There is an article about the Sevier County Poor Farm and a list of individuals buried in the Poor Farm Cemetery. There are marriage records for individuals in the 1812 pensions list who married in Sevier County, the 1856–1900 and 1900–1914 bride and groom combined indexes, and bride and groom indexes for 1914–1920. There are also four Chancery Court databases: a Chancery Court divorces index, deeds recorded after the 1856 fire, pre-1900 Chancery Court files in the Sevier County archive, and Sevier County deeds for 1820–1911.

    Here you will find links to websites that feature Sevier County families. There are also links to nearly twenty family Bible records, some to scanned images of the pages and some to transcriptions of the records.

    Several different collections are available here. Click on the “Articles done by Ms. Linn” link to read biographical information about the late county historian and some of her articles. One of the articles covers Sevier County officials since 1794. There are also links to local histories, birth records for 1908–1912, and a cemetery index. The data fields in the birth record files include child’s name, birth date, sex, race, birthplace, father’s name, father’s birthplace, mother’s name, mother’s birthplace, name of the person who delivered the baby, and certificate number.

    This section includes an article on the Sevier County Community Schools, a list of former Sevier County schools, and school superintendents.

    Great Smoky Mountains Property Purchase Database
    When the federal government purchased land to create the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in the 1920s and 1930s, records were kept about the properties that were acquired. Index cards were created to record information about each property at the time of purchase. The amount of information varies. (The cards do not provide information about who was living on the properties at the time of purchase.) Click on the GSM Land tab in the contents list to access the alphabetical-by-surname database. The data fields in the index are Government Tract number, name, number of acres, and deed number. Click on the data in the record to view the scanned index card. Click on the Maps link to view maps with the properties identified by tract number.

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    Stories of Interest

    For Middle-Earth, One Family Tree to Rule Them All
    “Emil Johansson, a university student in Gothenburg, Sweden . . . has spent the past several years creating a comprehensive census and family tree of all the characters—over 900 of them—created by Tolkien for his fantasy world.”

    Website Connects Families with Lost Heirlooms, Antiques
    A South Carolina man found a World War I Army poster with his grandfather's name listed as a sergeant on a website that aims to match “orphaned heirlooms” with interested family members.

    Researchers Wring Hands as U.S. Clamps Down on Death Record Access
    “A shift last year by the Social Security Administration to limit access to its death records amid concerns about identity theft is beginning to hamper a range of research, including federal assessments of hospital safety and efforts by the financial industry to spot consumer fraud.”

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    NEHGS Book and Gift Catalog—Start Browsing Today

    Our new NEHGS Book & Gift Catalog will reach your mailbox in the coming weeks, but if the anticipation is just too great, you can start browsing online today! Find essential resources, must-have classics, family genealogies, and exclusive gift items — something for you or a genealogist in your life. And don’t forget: members receive 10% off all NEHGS book and gift purchases!*

    Start browsing online today!

    *Some exclusions and restrictions apply; may not be used in combination with other special offers.

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    Upcoming Education Programs

    New Visitor Welcome Tour
    99–101 Newbury St., Boston
    Wednesday, November 7, 2012, 10–11 a.m.
    This orientation and tour introduces you to the NEHGS research facility. Founded in 1845, NEHGS is the country’s oldest and largest non-profit genealogy library and archive. With more than 15 million artifacts, books, manuscripts, microfilms, journals, photographs, records, and expert staff to help you navigate it all, NEHGS provides the access you need to research your family history.
    Free and open to the public.

    Uncovering Voices from the Back Stairs
    99–101 Newbury St., Boston
    Wednesday, November 7, 6–8:30 p.m.
    Although domestic servants made everyday life in grand homes possible, their identities and roles within the household have long been hidden. Jennifer Pustz, Museum Historian at Historic New England and author of Voices from the Back Stairs, illustrates the diversity of domestic service in New England over the nineteenth and twentieth centuries by focusing on servants' lives at Castle Tucker, Roseland Cottage, and the Codman Estate. Archival materials illustrate the lives of servants and relationships with their employers.

    Following this lecture, Marie Daly, Senior Genealogist at NEHGS, demonstrates how anyone can research their family history, including hard-to-trace ancestors such as servants, immigrants, and members of the working class. She will highlight both online and on-site research venues, bringing to light the sources that can help piece together your family story. Co-sponsored with Historic New England.

    Free to NEHGS members and Historic New England members, $5 nonmembers 

    Register online or call Historic New England at 617-994-5959.

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    Copyright 2012, New England Historic Genealogical Society
    99–101 Newbury Street, Boston, MA 02116

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