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  • The Weekly Genealogist

  •  Vol. 15, No. 8
    Whole #571
    February 22, 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.

    * New York Family History Day
    * NEHGS Database News
    * A Note from the Editor: Final Thoughts on Genealogical Sharing and a Blog Profile
    * Name Origins
    * This Week’s Survey
    * Spotlight: Indiana Obituary Databases
    * Stories of Interest
    * Classic Reprints
    * Upcoming Education Programs
    * NEHGS Contact Information


    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.

    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. The event is expected to sell out soon. To learn more or to register, visit

    Please note:

    If you’re staying at the Westchester Marriott for New York Family History Day, the deadline for hotel reservations with our special conference rate is Friday, February 24. Book online with the special Family History Day rate here.

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

    Connecticut Vital Records to 1870 (The Barbour Collection) Update

    Newly added to Connecticut Vital Records to 1870 (The Barbour Collection): Haddam (1668–1852), Killingworth (1667–1850), Lyme (1667–1852), and Simsbury (1670 –1855), birth, marriage, and death records.

    Compiled from an original Lucius Barnes Barbour typescript in the R. Stanton Avery Special Collections at NEHGS, this database currently contains records for the towns of Fairfield, Farmington, Greenwich, Guilford, Haddam, Hartford, Killingworth, Lyme, Middletown, Milford, New London, Norwalk, Norwich, Saybrook, Simsbury, Stamford, Stratford, Stonington, Wethersfield, and Windsor. The remaining towns will be added to the database over the next year.

    The complete Barbour Collection contains records of marriages, births, and deaths for 137 Connecticut towns, dating from the 1640s to about 1850, with some records extending to 1870. These records were collected, transcribed, and abstracted by Lucius Barnes Barbour (Connecticut Examiner of Public Records, 1911–1934) and his team of researchers between 1918 and 1928.

    Mr. Barbour was a member of NEHGS from 1907 until his death in 1934. This set of typescripts was donated to NEHGS by Mr. Barbour's wife and children in 1938.

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    A Note from the Editor: Final Thoughts on Genealogical Sharing and a Blog Profile
    by Lynn Betlock, Editor

    We continue to receive lots of email on the positive and negative aspects of sharing genealogical information. We’re wrapping up this topic (at least for now) in The Weekly Genealogist with just a few more reader comments.

    Robert Snyder of Midland, Michigan: I'd like to add my voice to those who, in spite of some negative events, have had mostly positive experiences with online contacts. A descendant of my great-grandmother's sister found me online a year ago. She had a family Bible, which unlocked a half-dozen thirty-year-old puzzles on my Rarick and Lake families. I've had many such serendipities over the years, and they far outweigh the handful of negatives. Online contacts are a huge boon to the genealogical community.

    Karen Abel of Morgan Hill, California: I would like to add my positive experience with sharing genealogical data. Yes, I get frustrated when I see my data, complete with exact notes, in someone else’s database. But that frustration is far outweighed by the positive side of having my data posted online. I have been contacted by countless cousins who have seen my data. This has led to sharing of information and the formation of new friendships. Several years ago, I was contacted by a very distant cousin in Germany. We not only shared our data, but we went on to do further research for one another. She went to the archives in Stuttgart and found ancestral information that I would never have had access to on my own – and thus provided me with some fascinating family history back to the 1400s and 1500s. I was finally able to meet her during a trip to Germany last August. My own experience has been that sharing data is well worth it.

    Donald F. Nelson of Oak Bluffs, Massachusetts: Last fall I received an email from a woman in Yorkshire, England, who had found me through an tree. She asked whether I would like to receive digital copies of photographs of me and my family from the 1930s. I said yes, and when the photos arrived they were authentic and ones I’d never seen before. The woman from Yorkshire and I have figured out we are third cousins. Apparently, the photos were originally sent by my grandmother to some undetermined relative of my cousin. My cousin and I have been exchanging information on the Thackwrays of Yorkshire ever since. Only the web could lead to this.

    Debbie from Connecticut: How can you ensure your research is acknowledged? Is there any way other than asking the person you are sharing it with to make an acknowledgment? Is there some kind of accepted tradition/method/procedure amongst genealogists and family researchers to give credit to the researcher? Or do we only rely on the integrity of those we share with to acknowledge?

    I'm quite curious as this is somewhat of a new notion to me, partly because I am just now at the point where I really have anything of value to share. I have shared tidbits here and there before and certainly have been the recipient of help from others, but have never given this concept much thought. I was somewhat taken aback by the number of negative experiences reported, but then last week I saw several photos which I had shared with a cousin now on display in her tree, with no acknowledgment of where she got them. Then I got a little taste of how some of these respondents felt! I'm not overly upset and I am still happy I shared them, but it would have been nice to be noted as the one who originally had the photos and found the corresponding information, some of which took years to dig up. I am certainly going to go back through my own records and make note of any information I received from others and give them credit, if I haven't already!

    It seems that many of you still have plenty to say on genealogical sharing, and I encourage you to begin a conversation on the NEHGS Facebook page or in the General Genealogy section of the NEHGS Discussion Board.

    A New Featured Blog

    Our latest blog profile is by Diane Boumenot, who writes One Rhode Island Family. Here, Diane introduces herself and her blog:

    I have been pursuing genealogy as a hobby for several years. I was surprised to discover that my mother's family was among the earliest settlers of Massachusetts and Rhode Island, where I live. As I continue to learn and grow in this field, it has been wonderful to reach out for help and advice through my blog. I enjoy discussing the different research problems and puzzles that I encounter, or telling the amazing stories that my ancestors — just like everyone else's ancestors — left behind. My extended family enjoys reading the stories on my blog and sometimes new readers turn out to be descended from the same branches, and we can share information. Lastly, if a method or resource works well for me, I try to pass that knowledge on.

    I have written two posts about visiting NEHGS: "What I saw at the NEHGS,” concerning my discovery that my great-great-great-great-great-grandmother had been crossed out of the family Bible, and "Got Some Help With My Tree,” about a wonderful research weekend.

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    Name Origins
    by Julie Helen Otto, Staff Genealogist

    MANILA (f): Manila Dewey (Stafford) Browne (b. 12 June 1898) of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, daughter of Leroy and Priscilla (Allen) Stafford of Cheneyville, Louisiana, “received her name in response to her father’s patriotic enthusiasm during the Spanish-American War, her birth having occurred about the time of Admiral Dewey’s famous victory over the Spanish fleet in Manila Bay” (George Mason Graham Stafford, Three Pioneer Rapides Families: A Genealogy [New Orleans, 1946], pp. 369, 371).
    Of 534 persons named Manila in searchable census indexes for 1900, 279 were born in 1898 or thereafter (seen 17 February 2012 on

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    This Week's Survey

    Last week’s survey asked how often you go online for genealogical purposes. The results are:

    38%, Multiple times a day
    21%, A few times a week
    16%, Once a day
    12%, About every other day
    6%, A couple of times a month
    4%, Once a week
    2%, Less frequently than once a month
    1%, Once a month
    <1%, Never

    This week's survey asks about whether you have any genealogical connections to American presidents. Take the survey now!

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    Spotlight: Indiana Obituary Databases
    by Valerie Beaudrault, Assistant Editor

    Obituary Database, Union City, Indiana

    Union City is in Wayne Township, Randolph County. The city and county are located in east central Indiana on the Ohio border. The database contains obituaries from the Union City Evening Times and the Union City Times-Gazette. The obituaries from the Union City Evening Times cover from June 1934 to March 1939. The obituaries from the Union City Times-Gazette cover from May 1939 to December 1948. (Newspapers for April 1939 have not been filmed, and issues are missing from 1942.) There are nearly 7,000 obituaries in the database. In addition to Randolph County obituaries, the obituaries of many residents of Darke County, Ohio, are also included. Darke County is to the east, just over the Indiana state line.

    The records are indexed by year. Click on the year link to view an alphabetical list of names. Click on the name link to view a transcription of the article. The database includes not only obituaries but also funeral notices and articles about accidental deaths. When you click on a name, a new page opens containing all of the transcribed articles and notices. This page is organized chronologically. In some cases transcribers have added notes in brackets following the transcription. Notes include references to census records, probate records, funeral home information, high school attended, and other records related to the deceased.

    Obituary Database, Tell City–Perry County Public Library

    Tell City is in Troy Township, Perry County. It is located along the Ohio River on Indiana's southern border. The Tell City–Perry County Public Library has made an obituary database available on its website.

    Click on the obituary database button to access the search page. Then click on the Search button to open the search box. The database can be searched by last name, first name, middle name/initial, maiden name, date of death, birth date, spouse, survived by, other, and obituary source. The search result fields include last, first, and middle name; date of death, obituary file, and other files. The search results are in alphabetical order by surname. Click on the name or date of death to open a new page with detailed search results. If the deceased’s obituary has been transcribed or digitized there will be a View button in the Obituary File field. The obituary transcriptions and images appear regularly with deaths beginning in 2001. There are a few in earlier years. If there is a photograph of the headstone there will be a View button in the Other File field. Please note that you can also click on the View button on the basic search results page. Click on the Back button to navigate back to the search results list. Do not use your browser’s back button, as it will take you to the main search page.

    Obituary Index, Garrett Public Library, Indiana

    Garrett is in Keyser Township, DeKalb County. DeKalb County is located in northeastern Indiana, on the Ohio border. The Garrett Public Library has made an obituary database available on its website. The obituaries are from the local newspaper, The Garrett Clipper. Click on the red Obituary Index button to access the database search page.

    The index currently covers from 1975 through January 2012. The database can be searched by last name, first name, and date of death. The search results show full name, dates of birth and death, and a newspaper icon, if an image of the obituary is available. Each name is a link to the detailed record. The data fields in the detailed record include last name, first name, middle name, date of birth, date of death, information source, and, in some cases, additional notes. The newspaper icon found below the record is a link to a scanned image of the original article. Click on the icon to view the obituary. You can also browse through the index by selecting the first letter of the individual’s last name from a drop-down list.

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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.”

    Colonial-era Belmont Home Escapes Demolition and Is Moved to New Site
    Although a developer had already had demolition permits in hand, the Thomas Clark House, built circa 1760, in Belmont, Massachusetts, was saved from destruction.

    Harvard Square’s Blacksmith House Has Untold Connection to Runaway Slave
    “[Mary] Walker was an enslaved woman who fled north to freedom and ended up owning one of the more famous houses in the Boston area. It’s one of the best known houses on Brattle Street in Cambridge, in the heart of Harvard Square, immortalized in poetry by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, who lived not far away.”

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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

    Discovering American War of 1812 Veterans
    99-101 Newbury St
    March 21, 2012 6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

    This year marks the bicentennial of the War of 1812. Over the past decade, the USS Constitution Museum has researched the lives of over 1,000 members of the Constitution’s War of 1812 crew. Join us as USS Constitution Museum Research Historian Matthew Brenckle presents newly discovered personal stories of the men who made “Old Ironsides” famous. Then, learn how to research War of 1812 veterans using a variety of sources with David Allen Lambert, NEHGS’s Online Genealogist and an expert in tracing military ancestors. Cosponsored with the USS Constitution Museum. Free

    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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