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  • The Weekly Genealogist

  • Vol. 16, No. 12
    Whole #627
    March 20, 2013
    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.

    * NEHGS Welcomes New Genealogist to the Staff
    * NEHGS Database News
    * RootsTech 2013
    * A Note from the Editor: Intriguing Photographs
    * Name Origins
    * The Weekly Genealogist Survey
    * Spotlight: Various Databases - New Jersey and Louisiana
    * Stories of Interest
    * Upcoming Education Programs

    NEHGS Welcomes New Genealogist to the Staff

    NEHGS is pleased to announce that Libby Feil has joined its team of genealogists. Libby is already hard at work in the library assisting members and the general public with their research and their use of NEHGS resources. A sixth-generation native of Sacramento, California, Libby has a special affinity for California and Gold Rush-era research. She was Manager of Local and Family History Services at the St. Joseph County (Indiana) Public Library for several years, which has given her a great deal of experience in Indiana and Midwestern research. (Ask her about Nellie Pine, South Bend's clairvoyant physician!) She has a master's in American history from the University of California at Davis, a master's in library science from the University of Maryland at College Park, and a bachelor's from Stanford University. Her favorite topic is using genealogy to bring history to life. Please be sure to say hello to Libby the next time you visit the library, or send her your reference questions at

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

    Connecticut: Minutes of the Court of Assistants, 1669–1711

    This database is based on Colony of Connecticut, Minutes of the Court of Assistants, 1669–1711, by Helen Schatvet Ullmann (NEHGS, 2009).

    From the introduction to the book: “The Connecticut Court of Assistants began holding sessions in May, 1666. It functioned as the court of appeal for the colony, many cases coming from the county courts. But it was also the original jurisdiction for some matters, particularly divorce and murder.”

    “In the index, spelling of names has been standardized. Many subjects have been indexed, but not common ones such as debt, land titles, or disputes over boundaries, hay, and timber. Places are included, often indexed both by the town and the specific place name within the town. ‘Indians’ and ‘Negroes’ are indexed under the racial heading. Those with two names are also indexed with a surname. Other inclusive headings are animals, occupations, and weapons.”

    The full introduction to this volume is available for download as a pdf file from the advanced search page for the database.

    Colonial Soldiers and Officers in New England, 1620–1775

    Prior to the American Revolution, many New England men served in the militia and fought against Native Americans, the French, and other opponents. Many of these battles were extensions of European wars. This database contains over 35,000 records of service for men in New England from the seventeenth century to the Battle of Lexington and Concord. These records, originally published by the New England Historic Genealogical Society with support from the Society of Colonial Wars in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts between 1975 and 1985, were compiled from many different sources to create as comprehensive a list as possible, although not all individuals who served are represented in these sources.

    The full introductions to these resources are available for download as pdf files from the citation information provided through the database catalog. (This database is located under “Military Records.”) This citation information can also be found below the image window when viewing specific records in this database.

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    RootsTech 2013

    March 21–23
    Salt Lake City,Utah

    NEHGS is a sponsor of RootsTech 2013, a family history and technology conference held each year in Salt Lake City. If you are attending RootsTech, please stop by the NEHGS booth, #445/544. You can also attend a lecture, “Creating a Virtual New England Community Archive,” by NEHGS Chief Genealogist David Allen Lambert on Friday, March 22, from 9:45 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. (The NEHGS luncheon on Thursday is sold out.)

    Visit the RootsTech website to explore topics, speakers, and conference offerings.

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    A Note from the Editor: Intriguing Photographs
    by Lynn Betlock, Editor

    I’ve recently come across several interesting sites that use evocative photographs as the starting point for thinking about the past.

    Dear Photograph’s tagline is “Take a picture of a picture, from the past, in the present.” Time magazine explains “Some of the Web's best sites consist of variations on one simple idea. In the case of Dear Photograph, that idea is taking a snapshot - usually one featuring one or more people and dating from the film-photography era - and holding it up against the original setting so that past and present blend into a new work of art. The images contributed by the site's readers are wonderfully evocative. Looking at the family photos of strangers was never so transfixing.”

    I was drawn to a story on Boston’s WBUR radio station about a compelling photograph. The online version, “From Photo of a Lawrence Girl 100 Years Ago, Discovering the Legacy of Child Labor,” features a striking image of a girl. The caption reads, “Her name was Eva Tanguay. And she was a ‘doffer in [the] spinning room of Ayer mill,’ according to social reformer Lewis Hine, who photographed her when he visited Lawrence, Mass., in 1911 to document child laborers there. ‘A half hour car ride in a crowded, stuffy car to and from work. Leaves home at 6 a.m. and returns at 6:30 p.m.’” The Lawrence History Center researched Eva's story and those of nine other child laborers photographed by Hine. I found each of the ten stories and photographs fascinating, and any genealogist would appreciate the detective work that went into them.

    The purpose of The Dirty Old Boston Facebook page is to showcase the Greater Boston area before gentrification began in earnest. The time frame is from the end of World War II until the Orange Line “El” came down in 1987. The community commentary about the images and the times add a lot of interesting detail.

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    Name Origins
    by Julie Helen Otto, Genealogist

    IONA (f): The wind-swept scrap of rock off the Isle of Mull, from which place St. Columba (d. 596 A.D.) spread Christianity to Scotland. Occasionally IONA is bestowed as a given name by parents thinking of the place and its Christian connotations; neither the island nor the name is to be confused with the Greek IONE. Iona Velma Hildreth was born to Benjamin M. Hildreth and Mary Clogston, on September 26, 1860, in Chelmsford, Massachusetts. Iona St. Clare Perkins was born to Albert W. and Lilla Perkins on January 16, 1878, in Oxford, Maine. In the 1850 U.S. census, nine women named Iona were enumerated. In 1900, the number was 5,249, and in 1940, there were 14,479 women named Iona.

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    The Weekly Genealogist Survey

    Last week’s survey asked about whether you’d visited an ancestor's country of origin forgenealogical purposes. 3,555 people answered this survey. The results are:

    • 47%, Yes
    • 53%, No

    This week's survey asks about solving photographic mysteries. Take the survey now!  

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    Spotlight: Various Databases - New Jersey and Louisiana
    by Valerie Beaudrault, Assistant Editor

    Willow Crove Cemetery, New Brunswick, New Jersey

    The city of New Brunswick is the county seat of Middlesex County, New Jersey. It is also home to Rutgers University. The Willow Grove Cemetery Complex is located in New Brunswick. The complex is made up of three adjoining cemeteries that were founded and operated independently: Willow Grove Cemetery (founded 1851), Cheesman or Central Cemetery (founded in 1868), and Presbyterian Cemetery (founded in 1837). The Presbyterian Church moved the tombstones and remains from the old Presbyterian Yard to the new cemetery in the fall of 1846. Those tombstones date back to 1746.

    You can search the cemetery directory by name, year of birth, and/or year of death. You can access the cemetery listing by clicking on the Directory tab. This will open a new page with an alphabetical list of 1,688 individuals buried in the cemeteries. The data fields in the database are name, date of birth, date of death, cemetery name, section/plot/stone, and image. Click on the deceased's name link to open a new page with a detailed record that includes information about the tombstone and its current condition, in addition to information about the individual buried there. For a significant number of those interred in the three cemeteries, you may view a photograph of the tombstone by clicking on the image link.

    Newspaper Database, Jefferson Parish Public Library, Louisiana

    Jefferson Parish is located in southern Louisiana and includes most of the suburbs of New Orleans. Gretna is the parish seat. The Jefferson Parish Public Library has made The New Orleans Bee or L’Abeille de la Nouvelle-Orléans newspaper database available on its website.

    The New Orleans Bee was a French language newspaper that began publication in September of 1827. An English language section was added to it three months later. The paper was published in both languages until 1872, when it reverted to French only. The newspaper was published until 1925. Issues from September 1827 to December 1923 may be viewed by clicking on the database links. Follow the instructions on the database homepage to navigate through the individual issues. The files are in PDF format.

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    Stories of Interest

    Chinese Journey to America Marked by Trials and Triumph
    Sampan, the bilingual Chinese-English newspaper of New England, profiled NEHGS staff genealogist Alice Kane and reported on “They Came for the Gold and Stayed: An Introduction to Chinese-American Genealogy,” a lecture she gave at the Boston Public Library several weeks ago. Alice Kane will be presenting this talk at the NERGC conference in Manchester, New Hampshire, on April 20.

    The Stories That Bind Us
    “The more children knew about their family’s history, the stronger their sense of control over their lives, the higher their self-esteem and the more successfully they believed their families functioned.”

    Long-lost Relatives Find One Another After Receiving Inheritance
    When Mary Broderick died in Galway, Ireland, in 2008, a search began for descendants entitled to a share of her estate.

    History Evergreen
    “An Irish historian planned to spend six weeks organizing Jackie Clarke’s collection of more than 100,000 items documenting Ireland’s struggle to free itself of English rule, but eight years later, she's still at it.”

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    London Research Tour

    London Research Tour
    May 19–26,2013

    Experience the wealth of information available in London's archives as NEHGS returns to the U.K. Participants will enjoy one-on-one consultations, guided research at the Society of Genealogists and The National Archives, and two group dinners. Daily educational activities include lectures and tours by the experts from the SoG, The National Archives, and NEHGS. NEHGS experts Christopher Child and David Dearborn will accompany the group.

    Essex, Norfolk, & Suffolk County Records Offices Research Tour
    May 27–31, 2013

    For the first time, NEHGS will lead a tour of county record offices in England. Join us for trips to the archives of Essex, Suffolk, and Norfolk, and take advantage of opportunities to learn from local experts. The trip, which immediately follows our London Research Tour held from May 19–26, will be based in Bury St. Edmunds in Suffolk, with day trips to the county record offices in Bury St. Edmunds, Norwich, and Chelmsford.

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