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  • The Weekly Genealogist

  • Vol. 15, No. 6
    Whole #569
    February 8, 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.

    * Coming Soon in the January 2012 Register
    * NEHGS Database News
    * A Note from the Editor: Following Up on Genealogical “Clan” Characteristics and Sharing Genealogical Information Online
    * Name Origins
    * This Week’s Survey
    * Spotlight: South Dakota and Montana
    * Stories of Interest
    * Classic Reprints
    * Upcoming Education Programs
    * NEHGS Contact Information


    Coming Soon in the January 2012 Register

    Thomas1 Burnham of Long Crendon, Buckinghamshire, and Hartford, Connecticut
    by Cathy Soughton

    The Slaves of Gov. Stephen Hopkins
    by Cherry Fletcher Bamberg and Donald R. Hopkins

    The English Ancestry of Michael and Sarah (Elwyn) Metcalf of Dedham, Massachusetts
    by Richard L. Bush

    Richard Hixson of Massachusetts and His Descendants
    by Carol J. Botteron

    The Exhurst Ancestry of the Stoughton Siblings of New England (concluded from 165:260)
    by Adrian Benjamin Burke, John Blythe Dobson, and Janet Chevalley Wolfe

    Non-Massachusetts Probates Recorded in Suffolk County, Massachusetts, to 1799 (continued from 165:292)
    by David Allen Lambert

    Also in this issue . . . Editorial and Reviews of Books

    A subscription to the Register 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 Database News
    by Sam Sturgis, Digital Collections Administrator, and Ryan Woods, Director of Internet Technology

    Parents and Witnesses at Baptisms in the Reformed Dutch Church, 1639-1730 (New Amsterdam/New York) 1639-1730

    Search the database

    The Reformed Protestant Dutch Church of the City of New York was officially founded in 1628, although services conducted by laymen had been held for several years earlier.  The church building was rebuilt on several occasions and the most famous today is probably the Marble Collegiate Church on Fifth Avenue at 29th Street in New York City.  More information on the church and its history is available at Wikipedia.

    This database contains 44,600 names of mothers, fathers, and witnesses at baptisms.

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    A Note from the Editor: Following Up on Genealogical “Clan” Characteristics and Sharing Genealogical Information Online
    by Lynn Betlock, Editor

    Two of last week’s stories struck a chord with readers and we received many responses, some of which will be shared here.

    Genealogical “Clan” Characteristics

    The excerpt on “clan” characteristics from The Grant Family (1898) by Arthur Hastings Grant elicited a number of emails, particularly from readers who didn’t think I gave enough credibility to the occurrences of those characteristics in the various lines of the Grant family.

    From Letha A. Chunn of Prescott, Arizona: I read the Genealogical “Clan” Characteristics discussion in your last newsletter with interest. I am a marriage and family therapist with theoretical underpinnings in Bowen Family Systems Theory originated by Murray Bowen, M. D., in the mid-1900s. There may be more truth to the family/clan characteristics than you may think. Dr. Bowen described certain family processes that are extant in families through generations, and developed a “family diagram” (a genogram), a sort of a family tree of these intrafamilial processes, to track them. One of the processes he describes is family extinction, not to mention branches of the family that succeed vs. those that don’t, and the reasons why.

    The Bowen Center for the Study of the Family operates out of Georgetown University under the direction of Michael Kerr, M.D.  An overview of the theory can be seen on their website at

    Sharing Genealogical Information Online

    Ronald Miller’s story of how his genealogical research had been posted online by others led to a number of reader emails. Unfortunately, we only have room for a fraction of them here:

    Anonymous: I had a sour experience with sharing information, and have tried to learn from it. A number of years go I met a distant cousin on the web and we started exchanging data. I had recently put ten or twelve generations of my ancestors together, and was very eager to pass on all my wonderful work. I sent him a GEDCOM file of it all. Some months later I came across some forum postings by this cousin offering new info on this ancestry as though it were his original work.

    Well, live and learn. I freely offered the GEDCOM file, and there was no discussion about further dissemination. So I have only myself (and my eagerness to show off) to blame. Perhaps in the years since, it has helped others in their research. After all, that's what genealogy is all about, in my opinion.

    Now all these years later, I have new research which I am putting online. I chose to create my own website, and make it publicly available. I have put each family group on a separate web page. The citations, images, charts, etc, are also on separate pages. I feel it makes the site easier to navigate. But more importantly, it limits the amount of info that can be copied in one operation. There are many thousands of pages, and if someone wants to copy them all, one at a time, then I'm willing to let them have it. Needless to say, I do not do GEDCOMs at all, for anybody.

    Janet Bailey: I offer family information to relatives and share information with those researching the same lines. Early on I would share a GEDCOM with new cousins but later I found my information online. No one asked for permission but felt that adding my information and my research to their database made it their own. I now do not share any of my research online or via GEDCOM or tree format. I will correct information that I see on Ancestry or other places, but do not add mine. I would rather wait until I am ready to publish with thorough edits and full sources. My working GEDCOM is not something I want on the Internet.

    Ellen Stevens Newton of Boothbay, Maine: I share my information with people that place queries online, but I am very cautious about accepting unsourced information. I have often found that what is so freely given without proof is usually copied and often incorrect. One example is a French family in Maine. I studied countless records and manuscripts and traveled to Boston and New Hampshire to prove the correct lineage. Shortly thereafter I saw an online genealogy of the same family on, and knew it was incorrect. I contacted the submitter and offered my resources and proof, and the information was met with some hostility. I think that folks are just grasping at whatever information they find and assume it's true. There are many erroneous family lineages online that will be perpetuated by those not willing or unable to take the time to do it correctly. Researchers beware!

    Daisy Thomas: Recently when I contacted someone to verify her posted information, she said she just copied from others online. Do I want to give out all my hard work for nothing? Absolutely not! Just a little name recognition would be nice. I also had the experience of having my data botched up completely by someone else, and I was then grateful my name was not on it. Back in the days before www, we did a lot of snail mail with correspondents sharing information back and forth. I made a major breakthrough on our family that no one had cracked in over fifty years of trying. I, of course, shared that with a correspondent, who later posted it all on the web, signing his name as if he did it all by himself. Like Mr. Miller, I was the one to do all the leg work, and traveling miles and miles to gather this info searching through primary documents.  Also, like Mr. Miller, I will not post any of my research on the net. And I have over forty years of data that I've gathered. All of our family members that are interested in it have a copy with the caveat that they not post it online while I'm still living.

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    Name Origins
    by Julie Helen Otto, Staff Genealogist

    PERMENIO (m): PARMENION was a powerful general in the Macedonian army of Kings Philip II and his son, Alexander III (the Great). His son Philotas (named for his paternal grandfather) was high in Alexander’s cavalry. In December 330 B.C., after a number of Alexander’s Persian conquests, Philotas and several of the King’s bodyguards (Companions) were reported to have entered into a conspiracy to kill him. After torture Philotas was said to have confessed before his execution to plotting against the King because Alexander was now claiming to be a god. Although there was no clear proof that Parmenion was involved in the plot, he held too powerful a position to remain alive; Alexander sent an express messenger ahead to Ecbatana (Hamadan, Iran) with orders to kill the old general. The Greek PARMENION was Latinized as PARMENIO and variant PERMENIO, accented on the second syllable.

    Permenio Callisthenes Shaw, b. Raynham, Mass. 7 Oct. 1779, son of Jonathan [Jr.] and Lydia (Gushee) Shaw (Raynham, Mass. VRs, p. 25), was named both for Parmenion and for another anti-Alexander plotter: the philosopher Aristotle’s great-nephew Callisthenes (d. 328 B.C.), a historian who turned against Alexander’s adoption of Persian royal customs, was implicated in another conspiracy, and died in prison. The choice of these two long, anti-tyrannical names for a small child in Revolutionary War Massachusetts is quite telling. His parents were big readers — some later children were Amyntas (b. 25 Sept. 1785), named for Alexander the Great’s grandfather; Cassini Shaw (b. 10 Sept. 1790), named for the astronomer; and Henrietta Maria Antonietta Shaw (b. 8 Jan. 1793), for Henrietta Maria of France, Queen of England’s Charles I, and of course for Queen Marie Antoinette, very much in current events that year (Raynham VRs, p. 25).(There is no connection between the male name PARMENION/PERMENION and the female PARMELIA/PERMELIA, which is a form of PAMELA.)

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    This Week's Survey

    Last week’s survey asked you to characterize your experience of sharing genealogical information online. The results are:

    33%, I have had both positive and negative experiences sharing my genealogical information online.
    32%, I have had mostly positive experiences sharing my genealogical information online.
    29%, I do not share my genealogical information online.
    6%, I have had mostly negative experiences sharing my genealogical information online.

    This week's survey question is on how you share your research more generally. Take the survey now!

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    Spotlight: South Dakota and Montana
    by Valerie Beaudrault, Assistant Editor

    Moody County Historical Society, South Dakota

    The Moody County Historical Society is located in Flandreau, South Dakota. Moody County is on the eastern border of South Dakota and Minnesota. The Society has made resources available on its website, including a cemetery database, a land patents database, and a veterans’ list. These databases are in PDF file format. You will need the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to view them.

    Cemetery Database
    The Moody County cemetery database contains more than 8,000 records. It is arranged alphabetically by surname. The data fields include name of the deceased, date of birth, date of death, grave location (block, lot, grave), veteran status, comments, id number, and cemetery name. Information found in the comments field includes place of birth, military service details, cause of death, parents’ names, spouse’s name, marriage date, gravestone inscription, and much more.

    Land Patents Database
    The South Dakota Land Patents Database is derived from General Land Office and Bureau of Land Management information. It contains land patents issued between 1859 and 1995 by the United States in what is now the state of South Dakota. The data fields for each land transaction in the database include: date, location (township, range, section, meridian), name of person the land was patented to, case type, conveyance type, county, and the patent document identification number. You should be advised that the data fields only appear as headers on the first page of this nearly one hundred page file. This information can be used obtain copies of the patent file from the National Archives.

    Veterans List
    The Veterans List is an alphabetical database of Moody County veterans, from the Civil War to the Vietnam War. It has about 1,200 records. The data fields include last name, first name, war served in, regiment/branch, company, date enrolled, end of service, rank at end of service, and cemetery in which the veteran is buried.

    Parmly Billings Library Genealogical Resources, Montana

    The city of Billings is located in south central Montana. It is the county seat of Yellowstone County. The Parmly Billings Library has made some Billings-area resources available on its website. These databases are in PDF file format. You will need the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to view them.

    Vital Statistics from Early Billings Gazettes

    The vital statistics database contains more than 13,000 names. It indexes births, deaths, business licenses, and other records of early residents of Billings as recorded in the Billings Gazette. The index covers the period from 1882 to 1901. It is arranged alphabetically by last name. The data fields include name, date of publication, type of event, place, and newspaper title. The notices include marriages and births, delinquent taxes, registered voters, naturalizations, student status, prisoners, pardons, business licenses, commitments to an asylum, and obituaries.

    There is a second database of the Billings Gazette indexes that covers the 1930s. The database contains scanned images of original typed indexes. According to the website, the indexing is not comprehensive. There is an A to Z database, which is very large, and three smaller databases broken into alphabetical sections.

    Early Billings City Directories
    A number of early Billings city directories have been scanned and uploaded to the website. They are for the years 1883, 1894, 1900–1901, and 1903–1904. It should be noted that pages containing only advertisements were not scanned.

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    Stories of Interest

    Rare List of P.E.I. Acadians Intrigues N.B. Researchers
    “Acadian researchers at l'Université de Moncton have discovered a list of 289 names of Acadians who were living on Prince Edward Island in 1763.”

    Remembering “Roots”: The Series that Inspired a Nation
    An article in the Sag Harbor [N.Y.] Express features interviews with members of the Eastville Community Historical Society about the impact of “Roots,” thirty-five years after it debuted.

    This Popular Website Helps Icelandic Couples Avoid Incest
    The Íslendingabók database contains genealogical information about the inhabitants of Iceland dating back more than 1200 years. The project goal of tracing all known family connections between Icelanders from the time of the settlement to the present also has practical applications — to help avoid dating between close relatives in this country of 300,000 people.

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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:

    • A Brief History of John Valentine Kratz and a Complete Genealogical Register (Item P4-H17151, $53.50)
    • Descendants of Valentine Hollingsworth Sr. (Item P4-H14766, $44.00)
    • Genealogical History of the Family Semple From 1214 to 1888 (Item P4-H23367, $24.00)
    • Town History of Weare, N.H., from 1888 (Item P5-NH0205H, $37.50)
    • History of Clarendon, N.Y., 1810-1888 (Item P5-NY0149H, $44.00)

    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 York Family History Day
    Tarrytown, New York
    Saturday, March 17

    Join the New England Historic Genealogical Society and for New York Family History Day on March 17 at the Westchester Marriott in Tarrytown, N.Y. This is the third Family History Day, and it should prove to be our best yet. Twelve classes will be offered to help you get started with your family history research or to hone your research skills. Family History Day will have something for everyone. The classes include:

    • Using
    • Online resources for Irish research
    • Uncovering your New York ancestors
    • Jumpstarting your family history
    • And much more

    We invite you to join us for a special day of discovery and exploration. Full day registration is just $44, and includes free parking. You will also have an opportunity to register for a private one-on-one consultation with an expert NEHGS staff member. Space is limited. To learn more or to register, visit

    Getting Started in Genealogy
    99-101 Newbury St., Boston
    Wednesdays, February 15, 22, 29
    6 –8 p.m.

    How does one go about getting started in genealogy? There are plenty of websites, libraries, and printed sources available, but access to all that information can leave a beginner feeling overwhelmed. Let an NEHGS expert help you navigate the first steps in tracing your family history. Senior Researcher Rhonda R. McClure will share her knowledge and helpful strategies for beginning a family history journey in this three-part course. Pass this information on to that friend or family member who has been looking for the right place to start their own research! Tuition: $30. Registration required; register online or by phone at 617-226-1226.

    Spring Weekend Research Getaway: Discovering New England’s Records
    99-101 Newbury St., Boston
    March 29, 2012–March 31, 2012

    NEHGS Weekend Research Getaways combine personal, guided research at the NEHGS Research Library with themed educational lectures to create a unique experience for every participant. Personal consultations with NEHGS genealogists throughout the program allow participants to explore their own genealogical projects, while guided by the nation’s leading family history experts. This year's Spring Weekend Research Getaway, “Discovering New England’s Records,” offers lectures focused on getting the most out of the many records available in New England. Staff will explore techniques and strategies for using sources in print, online, and on film. Land and probate record research will also be highlighted.

    More information and registration forms can be accessed by visiting the events page on

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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