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  • The Weekly Genealogist

  • Vol. 16, No. 13
    Whole #628
    March 27, 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 Database News
    * Attend the NEHGS Annual Dinner Honoring David Gergen
    * Veterans of the (British) Civil War
    * Name Origins
    * The Weekly Genealogist Survey
    * Spotlight: Midwestern Cemetery Databases
    * Stories of Interest
    * At the NEHGS Bookstore: Settlers of the Beekman Patent
    * Upcoming Education Programs

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

    Connecticut Vital Records Update
    Search Connecticut Vital Records to 1870 (The Barbour Collection)

    Newly added to Connecticut Vital Records to 1870 (The Barbour Collection): Cornwall (1740–1854), Kent (1739–1852), Sharon (1739–1865), and Torrington (1740–1850) birth, marriage, and death records. These towns add more than 15,400 records to this database collection, which is compiled from an original Lucius Barnes Barbour typescript in the NEHGS special collections.

    The complete Barbour Collection contains records of births, marriages, and deaths in 137 Connecticut towns from the 1640s to about 1850 (some towns include records up 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 an NEHGS member from 1907 until his death in 1934. This set of typescripts was donated to NEHGS by Mr. Barbour's wife and children in 1938. Remaining towns will be added to the database over the next year. The NEHGS library also offers the complete Barbour collection onsite.

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    Attend the NEHGS Annual Dinner Honoring David Gergen

    NEHGS Annual Dinner
    Friday evening, April 19, 2013
    Four Seasons Hotel, Boston

    We invite you to attend the NEHGS Annual Dinner, a benefit for “Connecting Families. Advancing History, A National Campaign for the New England Historic Genealogical Society.” David Gergen, senior political analyst for CNN, will be honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award in American Public Service at the event.

    Gergen has served as White House adviser to four U.S. presidents — Nixon, Ford, Reagan, and Clinton — and currently serves as professor of public service and director of the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government. The dinner will be hosted by CNBC anchor Bill Griffeth. Gergen will speak on “Leadership: From First Families to Our Family.” For more information or to register for this special event, please visit our website.

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    Veterans of the (British) Civil War
    by Martin Marix Evans

    A Weekly Genealogist reader in Northamptonshire, England, has contributed an article about his historical interests, which relate to the exchange of people and ideas between England and New England during the mid-seventeenth century — Editor.

    I am intrigued by the fact that a number of people from New England returned to fight in the English Civil Wars in the 1640s, and that many people returned or migrated to the American colonies afterwards. It makes me wonder, first, what influence American thinking had on British ideas and, second, if the descendants of these people can be traced today.

    Thomas Rainsborough (or Rainborowe) was a London merchant who commanded a regiment for Parliament against the Royalists. He had New England connections: his sister Martha married John Winthrop; his sister Judith married John Winthrop’s son, Stephen; and his brother William Rainsborough traveled to New England and, after Thomas's death, would take his son, also William, back to Boston (where he was last heard of in 1673). Several of Thomas's officers came from New England, including Nehemiah Bourne, John Leverett, and Israel Stoughton. Stoughton died in the battle to retake Lincoln in 1644, but left children in New England; a notable descendant is John Kerry. (Susan Hardman Moore’s 2007 book, Pilgrims: New World Settlers and the Call of Home discusses [on page 65] this specific topic and, more generally, the subject of early New Englanders who returned permanently to England.)

    I have researched men who fought at the Battle of Naseby in 1645 and established contact with the Denison Society. (New England immigrant George Dennison [b. 1620] returned to England, fought, was wounded at Naseby, and then went back to New England.) My attention is now on the town of Newark, in Nottinghamshire, and surrounding counties, as a new museum is being created in Newark.

    Among those who fled reprisals after the restoration of the monarchy were Edward Whalley, major-general for Nottinghamshire, and William Goffe, who both signed Charles I's death warrant. The two regicides (the term used to describe the judges and court officers who were responsible for the execution of Charles I in 1649) made their way to Boston in July 1660. Pursued by government agents, they hid near New Haven and Milford, Connecticut, before finding more permanent shelter in Hadley, Massachusetts. (More information about the regicides is available at the Society of Colonial Wars on the State of Connecticut website.) Whalley and Goffe left their families in England but other men who fled reprisals did leave descendants in America, and I am interested in identifying them.

    I would like to be in touch with people to whom these links are of interest, and to share the larger list of possible connections. Please email me at

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    Name Origins
    by Julie Helen Otto, Genealogist

    CASSANDER(m): Greek; A Latinized form of a word transliterated from Greek as KASSANDROS, which incorporates the pre-Greek -ss- element. Dr. E. Cobham Brewer, author of Dictionary of Phrase and Fable: Giving the Derivation, Source, or Origin of Common Phrases, Allusions and Words that Have a Tale to Tell (1896), considered it a variant of ALEXANDER, since both names bear the Greek root -andr- 'man' and were much used at the Macedonian court. In the confused and bloody period after the death of Alexander the Great without adult heirs (323 B.C.), Cassander, son of the regent Antipater, became King of Macedonia and, in 316 B.C., ordered the death of Olympias, Alexander's formidable mother, and had Alexander's widow Roxane and son Alexander IV poisoned.

    Cassander Dodge Keith (b. 1797) of Bridgewater, Mass., son of Ambrose and Katherine (Howard) Keith, was a modern bearer of this name. The 1790 census shows two men named Cassander (both in Maryland), while the 1850 census lists 39 men with the name. There were three men named Cassander in the 1940 census.

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    The Weekly Genealogist Survey

    Last week’s survey asked about whether you’d solved any photographic mysteries. 3,652 people answered this survey. The results are:

    • 62%, Yes, I have successfully solved at least one photographic mystery from my family photo collection.
    • 30%, No, I have not yet been able to solve my photographic mystery/mysteries.
    • 8%, No, I don’t have any photographic mysteries in my family collection.

    This week’s survey asks whether any of your immigrant ancestors returned to their countries of origin. Take the survey now!  

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    Spotlight: Midwestern Cemetery Databases
    by Valerie Beaudrault, Assistant Editor

    Forest Lawn Cemetery, Nebraska

    Forest Lawn Cemetery is located in Omaha, Nebraska. The city of Omaha is located in the eastern part of the state and is the seat of Douglas County. The cemetery was organized in 1885. Click on the Last Name Lookup link to search the interment database. Click on the first letter of the last name you are seeking to open a new page. This page contains an alphabetical listing of individuals buried in Forest Lawn Cemetery whose surnames begin with that letter. The data fields are last name, first name, middle name, suffix, AKA (also known as), internment number, date of interment, section, lot number and grave number. Click on a link in the section field to open a corresponding PDF map. In the middle of the homepage you will also find a link to a clickable PDF overview map of the cemetery. Click on a section to open a new map that showing all of the plot numbers in the section. The site also contains several photo galleries, including aerial photos, and a list of stops and map related to the cemetery's historical walking tour.

    Spirit Lake Public Library, Iowa

    Spirit Lake is located in northwestern Iowa. It is the seat of Dickinson County. The Spirit Lake Public Library has made cemetery record databases available on its website. Click on the Cemetery Records link in the middle of the homepage to access the databases. Find the records by clicking on the cemetery name links in the contents list on the left side of the page. A new page will open with links to PDF files containing the cemetery cover page, cemetery records, and, in most cases, cemetery maps. Click on the records links to open the databases. The data fields in the alphabetical lists are cemetery abbreviation, lot, last name, first name, date and year of birth, date and year of death, and other. The information in the other field includes facts about the deceased and his/her burial.

    Oak Hill Cemetery, Iowa

    The city of Cherokee is located in western Iowa, and is the seat of Cherokee County. Oak Hill Cemetery is maintained by the city of Cherokee. Its burial database is on the city's website. The database and cemetery map are PDF files. Click on the cemetery directory link to open a file containing an alphabetical listing of all the individuals buried there. The data fields in the database are last name, first name, block, lot, grave, burial date, and age. There are more than 7,000 burials in the directory.

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    Stories of Interest

    Can You Help the Little Museum of Dublin with their New Exhibition?
    The Little Museum of Dublin is preparing for an exhibition called “Huddled Masses,” which will tell the “story of Irish America and the search for the American dream.” The museum is seeking relevant Irish American items to display.

    What Did You Do in the Civil War, California?
    The “little-known but fascinating story of California in the Civil War is told at the Drum Barracks Civil War Museum, part of the City of Los Angeles museum system.”

    Gravestone Inscription Triggers Unearthly Row
    In St. George, Ontario, “a tombstone inscription in Korean characters has triggered such community ruckus that it could practically raise the dead.”

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    At the NEHGS Bookstore: Settlers of the Beekman Patent

    The Bookstore at NEHGS announces the availability of Volume XI of The Settlers of the Beekman Patent, by Frank J. Doherty. Volume XI is 1,055 pages and contains 57 surnames, from Rood to Sly. The index has over 25,000 entries. This new volume is available in hardcover ($85.00) or on CD for Mac or Windows ($34.95). A CD of all eleven volumes is also available ($185.00).

    In addition, you can save 10% on any of the previous 10 volumes of the Beekman Patent series through April 4, 2013.

    Visit the NEHGS Bookstore for a complete listing of available Beekman Patent titles.

    (The 10% discount is offered only on volumes 1-10. Prices do not include shipping. Massachusetts residents, add 6.25% sales tax.)

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    Upcoming Education Programs

    NEHGS Preservation Roadshow
    Sunday, April 21, 9–4:30 p.m.
    99–101 Newbury Street, Boston, Mass.

    Join experts from NEHGS and The Northeast Document Conservation Center for a full-day seminar on preserving your family photographs, papers, books, and more. Learn how to take care of your family's documents, both past and present. During the “roadshow,” experts will give advice on caring for your own family's materials.

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