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  • The Weekly Genealogist

  • Vol. 15, No. 43
    Whole #606
    October 24, 2012
    Edited by Lynn Betlock, Jean Powers, and Valerie Beaudrault
    dailygenealogist@nehgs.org

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    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.

    Contents:
    * New Online Register Format
    * Jacobus Award Presented to Lowell Genealogy Published by NEHGS
    * “New England’s Famous Witch-Hanging Judge”
    * The Last Muster Documentary
    * A Note from the Editor: Ireland Reaching Out Diaspora Project
    * Name Origins
    * The Weekly Genealogist Survey
    * Spotlight: Gorham Historical Society, Maine
    * Stories of Interest
    * The NEHGS Book and Gift Catalog
    * Classic Reprints
    * Upcoming Education Programs


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    New Online Register

    We are pleased to announce that recent issues of The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, the flagship journal of American genealogy, will now be available to members as a FlippingBook. This new format provides the experience of a book with more convenience and features not found in PDFs. You can now bookmark pages for printing, zoom in to examine figures or footnotes, and share online citations. The books also feature an enhanced table of contents, and an improved reading experience on smartphones and tablets.

    The Register will continued to be offered as a PDF in addition to the new format. If you are currently a member of NEHGS, you can read the most recent issue on AmericanAncestors.org or browse our archive of issues from 2007 to the present.


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    Jacobus Award Presented to Lowell Genealogy Published by NEHGS

    At its meeting in Fort Wayne, Indiana, on 20 October 2012, the American Society of Genealogists voted to give their annual Donald Lines Jacobus Award to The Descendants of Judge John Lowell of Newburyport, Massachusetts, by Scott C. Steward and Christopher C. Child. The prestigious Donald Lines Jacobus Award was established in 1972 to encourage sound scholarship in genealogical writing. It is presented to a model genealogical work published within the previous five years. Nominations for the Jacobus Award are made by Fellows of the American Society of Genealogists who edit journals that run book reviews.

    Published by the Newbury Street Press of the New England Historic Genealogical Society in 2011, this genealogy treats some fourteen generations of Lowells, beginning with their English origins, following a line of descent from Percival1 Lowell to Judge John6 Lowell of Newburyport, and then branching out, treating descendants of John’s six children down to the present day. Generously illustrated, this book begins with short biographical accounts of some of the more renowned members of the family, of which there are many. It then presents 1089 family sketches with meticulous documentation.

    The Descendants of Judge John Lowell also won the 2012 National Genealogical Society Award for Excellence, Genealogy and Family History and the Connecticut Society of Genealogists’ Grand Prize, Literary Awards Contest in Genealogy earlier this year. More information about the book is available on the NEHGS website.


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    “New England’s Famous Witch-Hanging Judge”
    by Lynn Betlock, Editor

    At a recent evening of food, family, and history at NEHGS, Boston chef Jeremy Sewall spoke about how his family’s deep New England roots influenced his food and career. Author and historian Eve LaPlante, who wrote Salem Witch Judge: The Life and Repentance of Samuel Sewall, discussed the family connections she and Chef Sewall shared to some of New England’s most famous early residents, including Salem witch trial judge Samuel Sewall.

    Radio Boston, a program produced by WBUR, a Boston NPR station, covered this event. You can hear the story online.


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    The Last Muster Documentary

    Maureen Taylor, the Photo Detective, and Verissima Productions were recently at NEHGS filming a trailer for a documentary on her series, The Last Muster: Images of the Revolutionary War Generation. Click here to watch.


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    A Note from the Editor: Ireland Reaching Out Diaspora Project
    by Lynn Betlock, Editor

    I recently learned about the Ireland Reaching Out (Ireland XO) Diaspora project. According to the group’s website, “the Ireland XO project is based on a simple idea; instead of waiting for Irish-Americans and their global counterparts to come to Ireland to trace their roots, we go the other way. Working through voluntary effort at a townland, village and parish level, we identify who left, and trace them and their descendants worldwide, proactively engaging with them and inviting them to become part of an extended ‘virtual’ community with their place of origin. In this way, the entire Irish Diaspora of 70 million can be systematically reunified online and invited back to engage with their ancestral parish for the benefit of all. . . . ”

    “While Ireland XO parish volunteers are reaching out around the world, the project’s website provides a landing point in Ireland for people abroad who have some detail about where their emigrant ancestors come from in Ireland. By joining any parish community online, they can seek direct genealogical research assistance from local people in the area who also volunteer to meet them on their return. This “Meet/Greet/Connect” offer from parish communities across Ireland has been identified as a missing element from developing the Irish Diaspora in times past.” A successful pilot already occurred in South-East Galway and the project was launched as a “National Diaspora Programme” in March 2012.

    I’m very intrigued by this project. Instead of a descendant tracing one ancestor back to a place of origin, this model has the impetus for the search coming from the place of origin, with a goal of reconstructing the essence of a long-vanished community. This effort reminds me of the numerous and very popular old settlers organizations and Old Home weeks held in New England and elsewhere in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. (For an article on this topic, see “Tracking Migrating Families: The Records of Old Settlers Organizations,” by Paula Stuart Warren in the winter 2010 issue of American Ancestors.) In the Internet age, it will be fascinating to see what kinds of genealogical and historical connections can be made on a group level across time and distance.


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    Name Origins
    by Julie Helen Otto, Staff Genealogist

    ALCIBIADES (m): A prominent Athenian statesman (ca. 450-404 B.C.) during the Peloponnesian War, who claimed descent from the Argonaut Nestor (who appears in Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey). In childhood a ward of Pericles, and later a friend of the philosopher Socrates, Alcibiades held power in Athens but defected to Sparta after accusations of sacrilege, and later to Persia. Returning to Athens, he was reinstated and was instrumental in several victories but was again exiled and later assassinated; his character and career are still controversial. Alcibiades Whittier (b. Dorchester, Mass. ca. 1818-20) of Reading, Mass. was a cabinet maker in Massachusetts (he is enumerated in Reading in 1850 as “Archibald” Whittier, in the household of future father-in-law Washington Damon); a later Alcibiades [also later Archibald] Whittier (ca. 1840-1928), a carriage maker in Hyde Park, Mass., was related, but apparently not a son.


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    The Weekly Genealogist Survey

    Last week’s survey asked whether you had ancestors who lived in Connecticut. The results are:

    74%, Yes, I have ancestors who lived in Connecticut.
    20%, No, I don’t have ancestors who lived in Connecticut.
    6%, I don’t know if I have ancestors who lived in Connecticut.

    This week's survey asks if you have Irish ancestors. Take the survey now!


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    Spotlight: Gorham Historical Society, Maine
    by Valerie Beaudrault, Assistant Editor

    The town of Gorham is located in southeastern Maine. The Gorham Historical Society has made a number of resources available on its website. You must download these databases, in Microsoft Excel format, to your computer before opening them. Click on the Databases tab to open a new page with links to the society’s databases. The online resources include the following:

    Vital Records from Town Reports
    There are three vital records databases—births, marriages, and deaths. The databases cover the period from 1893 through 1944. There are about 2,500 birth records in the Town Report Births database. The data fields include family name, father, mother, date of birth, and son or daughter. The Town Report Deaths database contains nearly 3,500 records. The data fields include last name, first name, date of death, age, and cause of death. The Town Reports Marriage database contains 1,860 records. The data fields include groom’s last and first name, groom’s residence, bride’s last and first name, bride’s residence, date of marriage, and name of officiant.

    Early Records of Gorham
    The information in this database appears to have been extracted from Gorham’s early town records. It covers only surnames beginning with the letters A, B, and C. The data fields include last name, first name, event (birth/death/marriage), date of event, father’s name, mother’s name, spouse name, volume and page, and miscellaneous. Information found in the miscellaneous field includes information about where the individual came from, age, where born, spouse’s name, who married, and where married.

    Town of Gorham Cemetery Records
    This database contains more than 8,000 records of burials in Gorham cemeteries. The data fields include last name, first name, cemetery name, section, lot, gravesite, date of burial, and comments. Information found in the comments field includes lot ownership data, birth date, age, where buried when the burial took place outside of Gorham, name of spouse or parents, name of person the individual is buried next to, cremation, and location within the lot.

    First Parish Church Membership Records
    This database contains records of the membership of the First Parish Church in Gorham. There are nearly 5,000 individual records. The earliest record of admission dates from 1803 and the latest date of dismissal is in 2008. The data fields include last name, first name, date of admission, date of dismissal, reason for dismissal, record book or report information, and comments. Information included in the comments field most often contains names of individuals related to the church member. Data in the dismissal field may include the location to which dismissed members moved.

    There is also a brief chronology of historical events that occurred in the town of Gorham between 1736 and 2007. Click on the Events tab to access it.


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    Stories of Interest

    Ghosts of World War II: The Photographs Found at Flea Markets Superimposed on to Modern Street Scenes
    After purchasing 300 old negatives at a local flea market, historical consultant Jo Teeuwisse of Amsterdam began a project to “overlay modern scenes from France with atmospheric photographs taken in the same place during the war.”

    Old Pieces Connect Us to the Past
    The writer muses on his family possessions: “Through the years, I rescued many odd pieces that would have been lost. I live with them. They connect me to loved ones, no longer living, and to ancestors I never even knew.”

    Ancestry.com Sets $1.6 Billion Deal
    “Online family history website Ancestry.com said Monday it has agreed to be acquired by European private equity company Permira for $1.6 billion, or $32 a share.”

    After Uproar, Georgia Officials Back Off Archives Plan
    “Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal…announced that he was restoring $125,000 of a $733,000 budget cut so that the archives could remain open two days a week and visitors could view records without making an appointment.”


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    The NEHGS Book and Gift Catalog

    The new NEHGS Book & Gift Catalog, which includes essential resources, must-have classics, family genealogies, and exclusive gift items, is available online. Members receive 10% off all NEHGS book and gift purchases.*

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


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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:

    • Henrico County, Virginia, Marriage Bonds 1780–1861 (Item P5-VA0073S, $29.00)
    • Ancestry of Lt. Amos Towne of Kennebunkport, Maine (Item P4-H25638, $28.00)
    • List of Persons Whose Names Have Been Changed in Massachusetts 1780–1892 (Item P5-MA0148H, $49.50)
    • Maine Wills, 1640–1760(Item P2-6567000, $137.00)
    • Fryeburg, Maine: An Historical Sketch (Item P5-ME0032H, $37.50)

    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 sales@nehgs.org.


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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.

    Albany, New York, Research Tour
    Wednesday, July 24–Sunday, July 28, 2013
    Our extremely popular trip to Albany is now in its third year, and spaces on our 2013 tour are already filling quickly! Join NEHGS as we explore the vast resources of the New York State Library and the New York State Archives. The trip includes individual consultations, expert lectures, a reception, and a group dinner.


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


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