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  • The Weekly Genealogist

  • Vol. 16, No. 20
    Whole #635
    May 15, 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 Library Renovations
    * NEHGS Publications Honored
    * British Institute Registration Open
    * MGC Annual Meeting & Seminar
    * Ask a Genealogist
    * Name Origins
    * The Weekly Genealogist Survey
    * Spotlight: Nokomis, Saskatchewan
    * Stories of Interest
    * Classic Reprints
    * Upcoming Education Programs


    NEHGS Library Renovations

    Due to upcoming renovations, the fourth floor of the NEHGS library will be closed from Friday, May 17, through Saturday, June 8. Several microfilm and microfiche readers will be available on the seventh floor, and the staff there will retrieve film and fiche for patrons. We ask library visitors to please bear with us during these renovations, when there will be a reduced number of readers available.

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    NEHGS Publications Honored

    On Tuesday, May 7, three NEHGS publications were honored with New England Book Show Awards: Genealogist’s Handbook for New England Research, 5th Edition;Western Massachusetts Families in 1790; and the NEHGS Book & Gift Catalog 2012/2013. The New England Book Show is an annual juried show that recognizes the year’s most outstanding work by New England publishers, printers, and graphic designers. Winning books are selected for their design, quality of materials, and workmanship.

    Last week, at the 2013 NGS Family History Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, Helen Schatvet Ullmann received the National Genealogical Society’s Award for Excellence: Genealogy and Family History for her book, Some Descendants of Roger Billings of Dorchester, Massachusetts (Newbury Street Press, an imprint of NEHGS, 2012). This award recognizes a significant contribution to genealogy that serves to foster scholarship and advance excellence in family history.

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    British Institute Registration Open

    Registration is now open for the International Society for British Genealogy and Family History’s British Institute. The Institute will be held October 7–11, at the Radisson Downtown in Salt Lake City. Four new courses will be led by instructors from the U.S. (David Rencher, AG, CG and Tom Jones, PhD., CG) and England (Paul Blake, BA, DipGen, FSG; Maggie Loughran; and Graham Walter, MBCS). This unique program offers morning lectures followed by afternoon research instruction at the Family History Library. For details, visit

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    Massachusetts Genealogical Council (MGC) Annual Meeting & Seminar

    Saturday, July 20, 2013, 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.Holy Cross College — Hogan Center, Worcester, Mass.

    The MGC 2013 Annual Meeting & Seminar will feature Judy G. Russell, CG, CGL, “The Legal Genealogist,” who will give three presentations: “Breaking through the 20th-century Brickwall — Building a Family through Circumstantial Evidence”; “How Knowing the Law Makes Us Better Genealogists”; and “’No Person Shall…Gallop Horses in the Streets’: Using Court Records to Tell the Story of our Ancestors’ Lives.”

    The seminar will also include continental breakfast and lunch; a luncheon presentation by Kimberly Toney of the American Antiquarian Society, “Worcester History as seen through the Eyes of the American Antiquarian Society”; a civil records legislative panel; genealogical vendors; door prizes; and the opportunity to network with peers and colleagues.

    Before July 1, registration is $50 for MGC members and $65 for others; after July 1 the cost will be $75.To register, click here.

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    Ask a Genealogist

    Question: My grandparents immigrated to the United States from Yugoslavia in 1900. They lived in Michigan but I don’t find any documentation for them until the 1910 census. Then they disappear. I haven’t found death records for them, or where they were buried. Where can I look when all else fails? Why do some families just disappear?

    Answer by Genealogist Libby Feil: Research on the Central, Eastern, and Southern European families who immigrated to the Midwest can be very challenging. Their surnames often became mangled in the census and other official documents. Sometimes the families also shortened or otherwise anglicized their names, which introduces another level of complexity. Therefore, be sure to search for alternate spellings of the last name and use databases’ “Soundex” features to search for variant spellings. Keep in mind, too, that someone you know as “Great-Grandpa George” may have been born as “Juraj” (Croatian), “György” (Hungarian), “Georg” or “Jürgen” (German or Austrian), or “Jerzy” (Polish). And if your relative was Catholic, he might appear as “Georgius” in Latin church records.

    Also, these same regions of Europe have changed rulers — and names — frequently. For instance, Yugoslavia was formed at the end of World War I from parts of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire. These shifting borders can cause confusion in official records; depending on the year in which a document was created, a person could be described as “Austro-Hungarian” or “Yugoslavian.” (One hint to someone’s "true" origin — rather than simply the country their region belonged to at a particular time — is their birth language, which would have been recorded, for instance, in the 1920 and 1930 censuses.)

    Knowing of these possible variations in names and countries can help you seek out your immigrant ancestors and track them in official documents. Have you searched and thoroughly, using their Soundex or similar options? Another tip with commonly misspelled names is to search in a particular database, say the 1920 census, without using the surname at all. Simply search for first names and birthdates. Don’t forget to try searching for an alternate ethnic spelling of a first name, such as Jerzy instead of George; this tip works particularly well for finding a relative in passenger lists and naturalization records, because people typically did not “Americanize” their first names until after arriving in this country, and their birth names appear on any documents they brought with them.

    Another trick to use in searching for ancestors who seem to “just disappear” is to contact the local public library, historical society, and genealogy group in the town or county where you last know of them living. Often these local organizations will have unique resources, such as city directories, unpublished indexes to local civil and church records, obituary indexes, etc. Sometimes these institutions will have original documents or original or microfilmed local newspapers available nowhere else.

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    Name Origins
    by Julie Helen Otto, Genealogist

    CLEMENTINA (f): Derived from the Latin clemens ("mild, merciful") with addition of productive suffix -ina to the adjective root, this name has long been used in England. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the female name had strong Jacobite connotations; one of the fabled romantic stories of that era was the journey in 1717/18, across much of Europe, of [Maria Casimire] Clementina Sobieska (d. 1735), Princess of Poland, to meet and marry James Francis Edward Stuart (1688–1736, the Jacobite "James III"). Her namesake, Clementina Maria Sophia Walkinshaw (ca. 1720–1802), mistress of their son "Bonnie Prince Charlie" (Prince Charles Edward Stuart, 1720–1788, the Jacobite "Charles III"), bore him several children. After the mid-1750s, however, and the appearance of Samuel Richardson’s Sir Charles Grandison (1753/4) — one of whose two heroines is the noble Italian Clementina della Porretta — the name was favored by readers across the political spectrum. Clementine was a variant form which gained great currency in the mid-nineteenth century with the popular song "Oh, My Darling Clementine," which requires no previous knowledge of Richardson.

    Clementina Janes (b. 1802), daughter of Peleg Cheney and Patty (Coy) Janes of Brimfield, Mass., m. there 1 Jan. 1828 Edward Parsons of Northampton, Mass. (Brimfield VRs, p. 207). Clementina (Ballou) Wright (1812-post 1888, daughter of Rev. Hosea and Ruth [Washburn] Ballou) had no issue by her marriage to Col. Isaac Hall Wright, but namesakes included nieces (both b. 1834) Clementina (Ballou) Mason (daughter of Rev. Hosea Faxon and Mary [Ballou] Ballou) and Clementina Clarissa (Ballou) Tucker (daughter of Rev. Massena Berthier and Mary Sheffield [Jacobs] Ballou, who named their daughter for two Richardson heroines), herself mother of Clemmie Richmond Tucker (b. 1863).

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    The Weekly Genealogist Survey

    Last week’s survey asked how many generations of your maternal line you have researched. 4,010 people responded to this survey. The results are:

    • <1%, One (you)
    • <1%, Two (you and your mother)
    • 3%, Three (you, your mother, and grandmother)
    • 13%, Four
    • 18%, Five
    • 15%, Six
    • 9%, Seven
    • 6%, Eight
    • 4%, Nine
    • 5%, Ten
    • 3%, Eleven
    • 4%, Twelve
    • 18%, Thirteen or more
    • <1%, I don’t know

    This week’s survey asks when your first immigrant ancestor arrived in North America. Take the survey now!

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    Spotlight: Nokomis, Saskatchewan
    by Valerie Beaudrault, Assistant Editor

    Town of Nokomis, Saskatchewan, Canada

    The town of Nokomis is located in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan. The town is about 400 miles west of Winnipeg, Manitoba, and 85 miles north of the city of Regina. Click on the History tab to view the resources on the town’s website. Resources include Nokomis and Lockwood town histories, cemetery, census, and obituary databases, as well as approximately 40 old photographs.

    Town Histories
    The History of Nokomis, The Junction Town, 1905–1955 can be accessed by clicking on the Junction Town link. The Story of Lockwood Community can be found by clicking on the Lockwood History link. (Lockwood is located about ten miles north of Nokomis.)

    Cemetery Databases
    There are two databases, one for Nokomis and the other for Lockwood. Clicking on the cemetery links will open new pages containing alphabetical databases. The databases contain the following information: full name, date of birth, date of death, and, in some cases, the names of the deceased’s parents and other information. The Nokomis Cemetery database includes plot information (page number in the town records, block number and lot number) and some surnames are linked to obituaries. The Lockwood Cemetery database contains links to photographs of gravestones.

    1906 and 1911 Censuses
    The data fields for the local 1906 census are household, name, relationship, age, marital status, origin, immigration year, and location. The data fields for the 1911 local census are household, name, sex, relation, marital status, birth date, age, birthplace, immigration, occupation, and location.

    This section contains the “names, dates and locations of the original ‘Dominion Land Grants’ as issued by the Dominion Lands Branch of the Federal Department of the Interior from 1871 to 1930 and then by the Lands Branch of the Government of Saskatchewan since 1930.” The data fields are name, land location (part, section, township, range, meridian), and date.

    Click on the Obituaries links to access 434 obituary transcriptions for residents and former residents of Nokomis and Lockwood. Click on a surname link in the alphabetical list to view an obituary.

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    Stories of Interest

    Maps Reveal Owners of Lands Taken by Cromwell
    “A staggering collection of maps assembled in Trinity College Dublin…reveal the exact ownership of the lands that were plundered from Irish families and given to landlords during the Cromwellian Plantation” of 1652–58.

    Alice E. Kober, 43 — Lost to History No More
    Margalit Fox, a senior obituary writer at the New York Times, brings the story of Alice Kober, who worked tirelessly to crack an ancient Aegean code, Linear B, out of obscurity.

    Charlemagne’s DNA and Our Universal Royalty
    In a recent National Geographic blog, Carl Zimmer discusses the findings of statisticians and geneticists who’ve looked at the “web-like tapestry” that is genealogy.

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    Sale on Two New York Titles

    Save 20% for one week only on two New York titles published by NEHGS:

    New York Essays: Resources for the Genealogist in New York State outside New York City, Was $17.95, On Sale for $14.36

    New York State Probate Records: A Genealogist’s Guide to Testate and Intestate Records, Was $24.95, On Sale For $19.96

    Prices good through 5/22/13, while supplies last. Prices do not include shipping.

    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:

    • Index of Wills for New York County (New York City) from 1662 to 1850 (Item P5-NY0449H, $49.50)
    • Phillips’ 1881–1882 Elite Directory of Private Families and Ladies’ Visiting and Shopping Guide for New York City: Containing the Names of 25,000 Householders (Item P5-NY0217H, $54.50)
    • Vermont Historical Gazetteer: Volume III Part 1 (Orleans and Rutland Counties) and Part 2 (Rutland County) (Item P28373300, $184.00)
    • Gazetteer and Business Directory of Bennington Co., Vt., for 1880–81 (Item P5-VT0089H, $55.00)
    • Origins of Williamstown, Mass. (Item P5-MA0418H, $65.00)

    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

    The Lewis Hine Project: Tracking Down the Lives of Child Laborers
    Saturday, June 22, 2–3 p.m.
    99–101 Newbury Street, Boston, Mass.

    In 1908, the National Child Labor Committee hired Lewis Hine to take photographs of children in or near their workplaces, in order to make as many influential people as possible aware of their plight. For the last seven years, Joe Manning has been identifying some of the 5,000+ child laborers that were photographed by Lewis Hine, and then tracking down and interviewing their descendants. So far, he has succeeded in telling the stories of more than 300 children. Manning will show some of these photographs (most taken in New England), tell the children’s stories, and talk about the exciting process of searching for descendants, most of whom were not aware of these pictures of their parents or grandparents.

    Free. Call 617-226-1226 or email to reserve a space.

    Click for more information of Manning’s Lewis Hine Project

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99 - 101 Newbury Street
Boston, Massachusetts 02116, USA

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