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  • The Weekly Genealogist

  • Vol. 15, No. 46
    Whole #609
    November 14, 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.

    * Coming Soon in the Fall 2012 Issue of American Ancestors
    * NEHGS Holiday Closures
    * The NEHGS Annual Fund
    * NEHGS Database News
    * Fieldstone Common
    * A Note from the Editor: Veterans in the Family
    * Name Origins
    * The Weekly Genealogist Survey
    * Spotlight: Indiana Resources
    * Stories of Interest
    * Discounts at the NEHGS Bookstore
    * Upcoming Education Programs  


    Coming Soon in the Fall 2012 Issue of American Ancestors

    Introducing The Winthrop Fleet: Massachusetts Bay Company Immigrants to New England, 1629–1630, by Robert Charles Anderson

    A Great Migration-Era Family Relic, by Priscilla Colstad Greenlees

    Personal Archiving and the Genealogist, by Susan Lukesh

    Scanning and Safeguarding Your Family Photos, by Laurie Davis

    On the Trail of Treason: Peggy Shippen’s Amazing Story, by Stephen H. Case

    The Authenticity of Joseph Ware’s Journal: A Historical Argument Revisited, by Stephen Darley

    Eighteenth-Century Family Histories, by Karin Wulf

    Also in this issue…

    • Genetics & Genealogy: Combining Traditional and DNA Research to Locate Joseph Moeglein’s European Origin
    • Manuscripts at NEHGS: Permission Granted: Quotes and Images Reprinted from the R. Stanton Avery Special Collections
    • Diaries at NEHGS: Excerpts from the 1875 Diary of Harvey Hood
    • Focus on New York: Records of the Poor in New York State

    And, as always, news of NEHGS and the world of genealogy, upcoming NEHGS programs and tours, new publications, the NEHGS cartoon, notices of family association events, genealogies in progress, and DNA studies in progress. Subscription to American Ancestors is a benefit of NEHGS membership. If you are not a member, you may join online at or call, toll-free, 1-888-296-3447.

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    NEHGS Holiday Closures

    The Society's offices and research library will close at 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday, November 21, and will be closed on Thursday, November 22, for Thanksgiving Day. The research library will be open regular hours on Friday, November 23, and Saturday, November 24. The Society's administrative offices will be open with minimal staff on Friday, November 23.

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    The NEHGS Annual Fund

    Annual Fund donations help to keep membership fees down, enhance our website capabilities, make our educational programs possible, and provide member access to expert genealogists and researchers. Consider a year end gift of cash or appreciated securities. By supporting the New England Historic Genealogical Society’s Annual Fund, you make an investment in your own family history research and preservation. Give now.

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

    The Mayflower Descendant, Volumes 36–40

    Volumes 36 to 40 (publication years 1986–1990) are now available to search. Additional volumes will continue to be added regularly throughout the year.

    The Mayflower Descendant has been published by the Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Descendants since 1899. It is an essential source of information on many New England families, and its focus is not limited to those with Mayflower lineage. The journal includes transcriptions and abstracts of deeds, wills, vital records, and other original documents. In addition, it features compiled genealogies and analytical studies of genealogical problems.

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    Fieldstone Common

    Fieldstone Common, an Internet radio show hosted by Marian Pierre-Louis, is dedicated to discussing the history and genealogy of New England and the Northeast. Guests on this show are authors, historians, curators, archivists, archaeologists, and others who share a passion for keeping New England history alive. Fieldstone Common is broadcast live every Thursday at 1 p.m. EST. (Past broadcasts are available as podcasts.) More information about guests and the upcoming schedule can be found on the show blog.

    On Thursday, November 15, 2012, Fieldstone Common will feature Cambridge Historical Society curator Heli Meltsner, who will discuss her book The Poorhouses of Massachusetts. This work details the rise and decline of poorhouses in Massachusetts, painting a portrait of life inside these institutions, and revealing a history of constant political and social turmoil over issues that dominate the conversation about welfare recipients even today. The first study to address the role of architecture in shaping as well as reflecting the treatment of paupers, The Poorhouses of Massachusetts also provides photographs and histories of dozens of former poorhouses across the state.

    Marian Pierre-Louis is a full-time professional genealogist and house historian who shares her love of New England history through her research, blogs and social media (Facebook, Twitter and Google+). She is also a regular presenter for Legacy Family tree webinar.

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    A Note from the Editor: Veterans in the Family
    by Lynn Betlock, Editor

    The Veteran’s Day observances on November 11 prompted a number of stories on air and online about those who served in the military, both recently and long ago. As The Weekly Genealogist team chatted, we discovered all three of us had fathers – and grandfathers – who served in the military. My dad served in Vietnam in the mid-sixties, and during World War II my maternal grandfather worked on the Alaska Highway and my paternal grandfather, an optometrist, was posted to various locations to screen the eyesight of recruits.

    Valerie Beaudrault’s father was in the Air Force during World War II. He flew P-47 Thunderbolts and was credited as the first pilot in the 9th Air Force to destroy an ME-262, a German jet. Her grandfather was drafted during World War I and was literally on his way to the Charlestown Navy Yard on November 11, 1918, when the bells started ringing to signal the end of the war.

    As genealogists we know not to wait too long to ask questions of living family members. After I wrote the sentence on my family’s service in the above paragraph, I could email it to my parents and ask for their input. But that won’t always be possible. During the decades I’ve worked on my genealogy, World War II and the Vietnam War always seemed to me to be a little too recent to demand much attention. I’ve spent much more time on documenting my one Civil War ancestor than on the service of more recent generations. Over the years, I have done database searches on my grandfathers’ war records and sent away for some records, but the information has been fairly minimal.

    What I know that has stuck with me were a handful of evocative photographs and the stories that my grandmothers — not my grandfathers — told. My grandmothers were more loquacious and they interpreted my grandfathers’ service through their own experiences. One told about being at home alone with one daughter and another on the way, desperately hoping my grandfather would return from Alaska before her second child was born. (He did.) My other grandmother chose to accompany her husband — with their two little boys under the age of three — to his various postings, from South Carolina to Boston’s Charlestown Navy Yard. For someone who had previously spent little time outside of her small Minnesota town, this was a significant time in her life.    

    What Valerie knows comes from a variety of sources. She says that the fighter group her father served in holds biannual reunions. Her mother and sister attended the one held in September. She’s also got articles from the World War II-era Yank Magazine: The Army Weekly. Valerie’s family has a glass record of her father being interviewed on a base in Belgium for a Coca-Cola-sponsored radio show, and P-47s can be heard taking off in the background. Valerie says that the only person who didn't talk about her father’s war experiences was her father; the stories were all told by her very proud grandmother and mother.

    Clearly now — not later — is the time to ask the questions and listen to the stories. And I also recommend seeking the perspectives of the women in the family, the mothers, wives, sisters, and daughters who can likely tell a good deal about what their men went through and also provide the details of their own unique wartime experiences.

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    Name Origins
    by Julie Helen Otto, Staff Genealogist

    DINARZADA (f): In The Arabian Nights’ Entertainments (the title of the first English edition, published in 1706), Dinarzade was the sister of SCHEHEREZADE, the great teller of tales. Dinazada Covell was baptized Edgartown, Mass. 13 Nov. 1774, daughter of Joseph and Judith (____) Covell (Edgartown VRs, p. 26).

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    The Weekly Genealogist Survey

    Last week’s survey asked whether any of your ancestors emigrated from Ireland due to the Great Famine (1845–1852). 2,953 people answered this survey. The results are:

    30%, Yes
    55%, No
    15%, I don’t know.

    This week’s survey asks whether any of your ancestors served in major American military conflicts. Take the survey now!

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    Spotlight: Indiana Resources
    by Valerie Beaudrault, Assistant Editor

    Vigo County Public Library, Indiana  

    Vigo County is located in southwestern Indiana, and is in the center of the Wabash Valley region. This region includes counties in two states — Indiana and Illinois. Terre Haute is the county seat and home to the Vigo County Public Library. The library has made some of its resources available on its website. These include Vigo County Marriage Records and the Wabash Valley Obituary Index, about which I wrote in 2010. Click on the title links to access these resources.

    Click on the Local History tab and choose Local History Books Online to open a new page to access the resources. The resources include digitized versions of ten general histories, ten pictorial histories, and four periodicals. In addition, there are specialized materials in the following areas: African American histories (two speeches); architecture (an 1875 description of plans for a new state capitol); two biographies; a volume on natural disasters; a history of public school education; fire department, hospital, and library histories; school publications, including a large number of yearbooks; travel accounts; women’s history; and an index to a 1858 Vigo County map, among other resources.

    Another resource available on the Vigo County Library website is a collection of more than fifty oral history interview transcripts. Select the Vigo County Oral History Project link to access this resource. Click on an individual’s name to read a transcript of that person’s interview.

    Fosdick Funeral Home Records, Union County, Indiana  

    Union County is located in southeastern Indiana. Its county seat is the town of Liberty. An index to the records of the Fosdick Funeral Home has been made available via the Union County Public Library website. The funeral home was located in Liberty, and the records cover the period from 1915 through 1971. The data fields in this alphabetical index include the full name of the deceased and the year of death.

    Obituary Database, St. Joseph County Public Library, South Bend, Indiana  

    St. Joseph County is located in northern Indiana. Its county seat is South Bend.

    This database indexes obituaries from the South Bend Tribune from 1913 to the present. The index includes obituaries, death records, arrangements pending notices, funeral notes, news items/articles, legal notices, and memorial announcements for individuals who had ties to St. Joseph County. (These include people who lived or had lived in the county, worked or had worked there, died, were buried, or had relatives there.)

    To search for an obituary, type the deceased’s name in the search box. The search results can be sorted by name, address, city, state, or year published. Use the dropdown list to select your sort order. The data fields in the search results are last name, address, city, state, and year. Click on the name link to open a new page with detailed search results, which may include some or all of the following: source, full publication date, article type, section and/or page, date of birth, date of death, age at death, and notes. The notes field includes information such as spouse’s name(s), names of other family members in South Bend, and South Bend residential status.

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    Stories of Interest

    Late Honor Comes to Civil War Soldiers
    “An obscure gubernatorial Soldiers' Recognition subcommittee…has been combing through cemetery records, genealogical websites and other historical haystacks to track down Minnesota's first veterans.”

    Answer Man: How Many World War II Vets Still With Us?

    Columnist Roger Schlueter of the Belleville, Illinois, News-Democrat examines a number of interesting statistics for veterans past, present, and future.

    Ranks of WWII Heroes Are Diminishing

    A profile of WWII veteran Robert Ware Foster, 93, of East Walpole, Massachusetts.

    French Couple Connect Canadians with Distant Graves of Loved Ones

    “For a decade now this unheralded French couple has been scouring the cemeteries and war memorials of Normandy, answering queries from Canadian families searching for a grave location—or a photograph, or a tombstone inscription—any information about the resting place of a relative who died in France during the Second World War.”

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    Discounts at the NEHGS Bookstore

    The NEHGS Bookstore is offering discounted prices on five titles by Carl Boyer III.

    Medieval Welsh Ancestors of Certain Americans (Was $35.00, now $22.50)

    Medieval English Ancestors of Certain Americans (Was $35.00, now $22.50)

    Medieval Ancestors of Robert Abell (Was $35.00, Now $22.50)

    Ancestral Lines: 206 Families in England, Wales, the Netherlands, Germany, New England, New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania (Was $70.00, Now $50.00)

    Ancestral Lines From Maine to Virginia (Was $30.00, now $20.00)

    Prices are good while supplies last, through 11/23/12. Prices do not include shipping. Massachusetts residents, please add 6.25% sales tax.

    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:

    • Newberry Family of Windsor, Connecticut, in the Line of Clarinda (Newberry) Goodwin of Hartford, Connecticut, 1634–1866 (Item P4-H20148, $25.50)
    • Gathering of the Descendants and Kinsmen of John Lee, One of the Early Settlers of Farmington, Connecticut, Held in Hartford, Connecticut, 1884 (Item P4-H17646, $31.50)
    • Olcott Family of Hartford, Connecticut, in the Line of Eunice Olcott Goodwin 1639–1807 (Item P4-H20448, $28.50)
    • Sergeant Francis Nicholls of Stratford, Connecticut, 1639, and the Descendants of His Son, Caleb Nicholls (Item P4-H20211, $28.00)
    • Thomas Newell who Settled in Farmington, Connecticut, 1632, and His Descendants (Item P4-H20175, $52.00)

    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 Visitor Welcome Tour
    99–101 Newbury St., Boston
    Saturday, December 1, 10–11 a.m.

    This orientation and tour introduces you to the NEHGS research facility. Founded in 1845, NEHGS is the country’s oldest 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.

    Winter Weekend Research Getaway - African American Family History Research
    99–101 Newbury St., Boston
    Thursday, January 31–Saturday, February 2, 2013

    Spend a weekend at NEHGS researching, meeting with staff genealogists, learning from themed lectures, and enjoying group meals. Explore the rich offerings of the NEHGS Research Library and benefit from the knowledge of expert genealogists. This year's Winter Weekend Research Getaway focuses on African-American family history research. Register for all three days, or choose particular days to attend.

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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

© 2010 - 2014 New England Historic Genealogical Society