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  • The Weekly Genealogist

  • Vol. 15, No. 7
    Whole #570
    February 15, 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 Library Holiday Closing
    * Coming Soon in the Winter 2012 Issue of American Ancestors
    * Subscribe to the 2012 Great Migration Newsletter
    * NEHGS Database News
    * A Note from the Editor: Genealogical Sharing and Sampler Databases
    * Name Origins
    * This Week’s Survey
    * Spotlight: Skagit Valley Genealogical Society, Washington
    * Stories of Interest
    * Classic Reprints
    * Upcoming Education Programs
    * NEHGS Contact Information


    NEHGS Library Holiday Closing

    The NEHGS library will be closed on Saturday, February 18, in observance of the Presidents’ Day holiday. Please plan your visit accordingly.

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    Coming Soon in the Winter 2012 Issue of American Ancestors

    Following the Threads of the Carver Fruit Tree Family Register
    by Dan and Marty Campanelli

    More than a Spoon: Tracing a Matrilineal Heirloom through Seven Generations
    by Deborah Nowers

    Lives Captured in Verse: The William and Hannah (Fornis) Conant Family
    by Deborah Stewart Adams

    A Glimpse into the Store Window: The Records of S. Stern & Co., Marcellus, Michigan
    by James E. Carbine with Judith Huber Halseth

    Two Widows: Alice Rand (1594–1691) and Mary Nash (ca. 1605–74)
    by Roger Thompson

    Pension and Bounty-Land Records Relating to Military Service in the War of 1812
    by John P. Deeben

    Bonnets, Bowlers, and Boaters: Interpreting Nineteenth-Century Hats
    by Maureen A. Taylor

    Also in this issue . . .

    • Genetics & Genealogy: Surnames and DNA — A Revolution in Methodology
    • Manuscripts at NEHGS: The Lamoureux Family Papers
    • Diaries at NEHGS: From the Diary of Helen M. Warner, January 1850
    • Focus on New York: New Netherland Connections and Researching New York Dutch Families

    And, as always, news of NEHGS and the world of genealogy, upcoming NEHGS programs and tours, new publications, notices of family association events, genealogies in progress, and DNA studies in progress.

    Subscription to American Ancestors magazine is a benefit of NEHGS membership. If you are not a member, you may join online or call toll-free 1-888-296-3447.

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    Subscribe to the 2012 Great Migration Newsletter

    The Great Migration Newsletter (GMN) offers feature articles on a variety of topics, including the settlement of early New England towns, migration patterns, seventeenth-century passenger lists, church and land records, and much more. The eight-page GMN complements the individual sketches in the Great Migration books, and addresses broad issues key to understanding the lives and times of New England’s first immigrants. The first issue of 2012, featuring articles on household goods and the pivotal year 1629, will be mailed out shortly.

    Print subscribers to volume 21 (2012) receive a new issue of the GMN through the mail each quarter ($20 for a one-year subscription or $36 for a two-year subscription).

    Online subscribers access issues through, where the GMN is posted each quarter. They can also access past issues from volumes 11 through 20, as well as selected biographical sketches ($10 for a one-year subscription or $18 for a two-year subscription).

    To subscribe, please visit or call Member Services at 1-888-296-3447.

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

    The American Genealogist, volumes 59–63

    Newly updated on, The American Genealogist database now includes volumes 59 through 63, publication years 1983 to 1987.

    The journal now known as The American Genealogist (TAG) has been published quarterly since 1923, and represents an important body of scholarly genealogical research covering the breadth of the United States (with an early preference for New England). NEHGS is pleased to offer it as a fully searchable online database. The current TAG database covers volumes 9 to 63. Additional sets of five volumes are scheduled to be added periodically throughout 2012. Volumes 1–8, covering the years 1923–1932, are available online under the name Families of Ancient New Haven.

    Founded by Donald Lines Jacobus, TAG is edited by a trio of NEHGS members: Dr. David L. Greene, FASG; Robert Charles Anderson, FASG, director of the NEHGS Great Migration Study Project; and Joseph C. Anderson II, FASG, who is also editor of The Maine Genealogist. These distinguished genealogists, along with dozens of highly-regarded contributors, uphold and advance the standards for genealogical scholarship so carefully articulated by Jacobus and the Jacobus “School.”

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    A Note from the Editor: Genealogical Sharing and Sampler Databases
    by Lynn Betlock, Editor

    The issue of sharing — or “stealing” — genealogical information online has continued to resonate with readers and we received many more emails on this topic. Several people wrote to ask why we hadn’t included any reader excerpts about the positive aspects of sharing information online. Frankly, no one had written in with positive stories the first week — it was the negative practices that really seemed to strike a nerve.

    This week we have three positive accounts to share.

    Susan J. Rabick of Grand Rapids, Michigan:  
    I have connected with people who were from other branches of my tree, which has been exciting because our branches had generally lost touch. (There are cases of separated orphans, a North vs. South division in the Civil War, etc.) While sometimes I can get bare bones facts from online sources, other descendents can provide the wonderful stories behind the facts.

    Joan Schuette of Fitchburg, Wisconsin:  
    A third cousin who lives in Sweden found me because a cousin here in the U.S. set up a website that contained my research and notes. (I had given my permission.) We have now visited each other and, recently, another Swedish cousin visited. I had to share this good news!  

    Jared Handspicker of Nashua, New Hampshire:
    I just wanted to put in a plug for those of us who, despite having experienced some negatives related to sharing our research online, have had mostly positive experiences. Those positive interactions bring a greater joy to genealogical research that leads to a greater desire to do an even better job, and to put more time and effort into perfecting our research techniques, and so on. Let's not dwell on the negatives since the positives of sharing surely seem to outweigh them!

    Samplers and Sampler Databases

    The cover story of the spring issue of American Ancestors magazine which has just been mailed to members has given me a new appreciation for samplers and the stories behind them. Dan and Marty Campanelli’s article, “Following the Threads of the Carver Fruit Tree Family Register,” traced the history and genealogy behind a sampler created in the early nineteenth century in Taunton, Massachusetts. The story has heightened my sampler awareness, and I know now about two initiatives designed to collect sampler information.

    Recently launched by the University of Delaware, the University of Oregon, and the Sampler Consortium, and funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Sampler Archive Project intends to create an online searchable database of information and images for all known American samplers and related girlhood embroideries from the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. As the project progresses, an online database that will make information and digitized images available to the public will be unveiled.

    "Our hope is that historical societies, art museums, private collectors and families will help us build this online database by contributing information and digital photographs of the antique samplers in their possession," says University of Delaware history professor Ritchie Garrison. Project staff members estimate that there may be as many as 15,000 to 20,000 American samplers in existence. "Our goal," says University of Oregon professor Lynne Anderson, "is to find them all." If you have an historic sampler or know of a collection that should be included in the Sampler Archive, you can let the Project know by filling out a brief questionnaire by visiting, clicking the downloads tab, and then selecting “sampler survey.” For more on the Project and for background on samplers, you can read “Stitches in Time Go Online.”

    The National Society of Colonial Dames of America has a long-standing interest in samplers. In 1921, the National Society of Colonial Dames in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts published American Samplers by Ethel Stanwood Bolton and Eve Johnston Coe, now available on GoogleBooks.

    In order to bring this knowledge up to the present day, the Society has undertaken a decorative arts sampler survey which includes samplers in museums, historical societies, and individual collections.  To learn more, visit To participate, fill out a sampler survey form, available on the webpage. Survey results and a link to the sampler database are available at

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    Name Origins
    by Julie Helen Otto, Staff Genealogist

    BOADICEA (f): A Latinized form of BOUDICA, the widowed chieftainess of the Brythonic Celtic Iceni (who held lands in what is now Norfolk). In an arrangement common with client kingdoms in recently conquered Roman territory, her husband Prasutagus had willed his domain to his daughters and to Rome — which disregarded the daughters’ claims. Boudica was subsequently severely flogged, her daughters raped; outraged by their treatment, she led the Iceni, Trinovantes, and other tribes in a bloody rebellion in A.D. 60/61 which led to the destruction of Camulodunum (Colchester, Essex), Londinium, and Verulamium (St. Albans), before the Romans crushed the uprising at the Battle of Watling Street. Boudica’s revolt was seen in later years as a heroic resistance to Roman tyranny in what is now England, and is commemorated in Thomas Thornycroft’s statue, “Boadicea and Her Daughters” (1901–2), by the Thames River near Westminster Pier, London.

    Boadicea Townsend m. Stafford, Conn. 20 Aug. 1771 Thomas Warner (Stafford, Conn. Congregational Church Records, Corbin Coll. [SG COR 5] 176, p. 14). In about 1787 Thomas and Mehitable (Griggs) Wakefield of Enfield, Conn., had a daughter Boadice Wakefield, who died there 8 Sept. 1807 in her 20th year (“O: don’t forget that you must die, / and turn to dust as well as I”) (Francis Olcott Allen, The History of Enfield, Connecticut, Volume III, 3 vols. [Lancaster, Penn., 1900], 3:2479). At least one bearer of this rare given name used the nickname “Dicy” (which suggests di- could be the accented syllable). Boadicea “Dicy” Scott (not, so far as I know, related to either Mrs. Townsend or her daughter) m. Kent, Conn. (by Rev. Daniel Porter), 29 May 1802 William Brown of Kent (Kent VRs, Barbour Collection of Conn. VRs, citing orig. town rec. vol. 2:64).

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    This Week's Survey

    Last week’s survey asked what methods you use to share your genealogical information. The results are:

    93%, Email
    62%, Postal mail
    42%, Telephone calls
    38%, Online message boards or forums
    36%, Genealogical or historical website
    18%, Published book or article
    16%, Commercial website
    13%, Other
    10%, Lectures and presentations
    8%, Personal website
    5%, Social media websites
    4%, Your own blog
    <1%, Someone else’s blog
    <1%, Instant messages
    <1%, Twitter

    This week's survey asks how often you go online for genealogical purposes. Take the survey now!

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    Spotlight: Skagit Valley Genealogical Society, Washington
    by Valerie Beaudrault, Assistant Editor

    Skagit Valley Genealogical Society, Washington

    Skagit County is located in northwest Washington, about fifty miles south of the Canadian border. Mount Vernon is its county seat. The Skagit Valley Genealogical Society has made a number of resources available on its website. Click on the Cemetery Index link in the contents list on the left side of the page to access the database.

    Obituary Index
    The database indexes Skagit County obituaries that have been extracted from a variety of weekly newspapers in the county’s small communities and from the daily editions of the Skagit Valley Herald. The Skagit Valley Genealogical Society has been collecting obituaries since 1987. There are approximately 29,000 records in the index. The database includes some obituaries from the 1970s and early to mid-1980s, with more consistent coverage from 1987 through September 2008. You may request copies of the obituaries for a small fee by writing to the Skagit Valley Genealogical Society.

    Click on the Databases link in the contents list on the left side of the page to access the following resources.

    Skagit County Death Index
    This alphabetical-by-surname database contains 679 records. It is drawn from a Skagit Valley Genealogical Society publication, Skagit County, Washington, Death Records 1891–1908. The records in the index were extracted from records on file with the Skagit County Auditor's Office. The data fields in the index include name, date of death, and age at death.

    Pioneer Book
    This alphabetical database is an index to more than 4,000 early residents of Skagit County who died between 1926 and 1955. The records are drawn from The Pioneer Book of Skagit County, Washington, a publication of the Skagit Valley Genealogical Society. The data fields in the database are surname, given name, age, and date of death.

    Union Cemetery, Sedro-Woolley, Washington
    This alphabetical database is an index to the records of Union Cemetery, Sedro-Woolley, Washington. The burials indexed here cover the period from 1889 through 1992. The data fields in the index are site (burial location), name, birth date, and death date.

    You will also find links to an every name index to the 1910 federal census for Skagit County, an every name index to the 1910 federal census for all counties in Washington State, and the Skagit County District Clerk’s Report on the Birdsview School (1888–1932), including a name index to children who attended the school. Please note that the Washington State index was completed in 2005 and has since been moved to The Washington State Digital Archives.

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    Stories of Interest

    Family’s Secret Now in the Open: Cousins Track Down Their Hidden Black and Jewish Ancestry
    Cousins researching their genealogy discovered “that their family hadn't come from Scotland after all but from Jamaica.”

    Long-lost Identities of Slaves Uncovered in Old Virginia Papers
    A new website, "Unknown No Longer: A Database of Virginia Slave Names," the first online resource to list slaves' names across all of slaveholding Virginia, has revealed the identities of 3,200 slaves from unpublished private documents.

    Storing Digital Family History
    Seattle Times Q&A/Technology columnist Patrick Marshall answers a reader question about how best to ensure that photos in a time capsule will last for 100 years.

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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

    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.

    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

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