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  • The Weekly Genealogist

  • Vol. 16, No. 22
    Whole #637
    May 29, 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
    * In the Spring 2013 Issue of American Ancestors
    * NEHGS Library Renovations
    * International Conference on Jewish Genealogy
    * “Mehetabel Chandler Coit: Finding ‘Her Book’”
    * Readers Respond to Last Week’s Name Survey
    * Name Origins
    * The Weekly Genealogist Survey
    * Spotlight: Aspen Historical Society — Archive Aspen
    * Stories of Interest
    * Sale on Select Titles in the NEHGS Bookstore
    * Upcoming Education Program


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

    Early New England Families Study Project

    The Early New England Families Study Project has been created to fill the need for accurate and concise published summaries on seventeenth-century New England families. Using Clarence Almon Torrey's bibliographic index of early New England marriages and its recent successors as a guide, the goal is to compile authoritative and documented sketches to be published in searchable format on and, potentially, in a series of books. Following the work of Robert Charles Anderson in the Great Migration Study Project, the Early New England Families Study Project will, in the next decades, deal with more than 35,000 marriages.

    The Great Migration Study Project will eventually treat all immigrants who came to New England through 1640. The Early New England Families Study Project will focus on individuals who immigrated in 1641 or later, and will be grouped by year of marriage rather than immigration. The Early New England Families Study Project will treat all marriages through 1700.

    The first sketches released for this database include the families of John Capen (m. 1637); Daniel Denison (m. 1632); George Denison (m. 1640); Edmund Hobart (m. 1632); Joshua Hobart (m. 1637); Peter Hobart (m. 1628); Thomas Hobart (m. 1629); Francis Hudson (m. 1640); and William Hudson (m. 1641).

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    In the Spring 2013 Issue of American Ancestors

    • The Early New England Families Study Project, by Alicia Crane Williams
    • A Sketch from the Early New England Families Study Project: John Capen, by Alicia Crane Williams
    • Carrying the King Away: A Bostonian’s Brush with Treason, 1667, by D. Brenton Simons
    • “The Rise of American Genealogy” — An Excerpt, by Fran¸ois Weil
    • Researching Mrs. Dr. Keck and Her Daughter Cora, by Greta S. Nettleton
    • Growing up in North Cambridge: Capturing a Time and Place in Print, by Stephen Surette
    • Preserving Community in Berlin, New Hampshire: An Historic New England Partnership Project, by Kenneth C. Turino
    • Framing the Past: Identifying Crapo Family Ambrotypes, by Mary Blauss Edwards
    • The Search for the Quebec Ancestry of Louis Hickey, by John P. Hickey, Jr.
    • Excerpts from the Past: An American in London — An Onlooker at the 1893 Royal Wedding Proceedings, by Scott C. Steward

    Also in this issue…

    • Manuscripts at NEHGS: The Riobard O’Dwyer Papers
    • Focus on New York: Helping Overcome the Hurdles to Revolutionary War Research in New York State

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

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

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    NEHGS Library Renovations

    Due to renovations, the fourth floor of the NEHGS library (the Microtext Floor) will be closed through June 8. A reduced number of microfilm readers will be available on the seventh floor, and staff will retrieve film for patrons.

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    International Conference on Jewish Genealogy

    August 4–9, 2013
    Boston Park Plaza Hotel, Boston, Mass.

    More information and registration information is available on the conference website

    Attendees can also hear presentations by two NEHGS genealogists: Saturday, June 8, from 10 to 11 a.m., Genealogist Rhonda R. McClure will present “Naturalization: Law by Law, Court by Court” and Sunday, June 9, Chief Genealogist David Allen Lambert will discuss “Using American Ancestors Website for Military Research” at the NEHGS Breakfast, 7 to 8:30 a.m. (To register for the breakfast, click here and scroll down to the second to last event on the page.)

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    “Mehetbel Chandler Coit: Finding ‘Her Book’”
    by Lynn Betlock, Editor

    One Colonial Woman's World: The Life and Writings of Mehetabel Chandler Coit (2012), by Michelle Marchetti Coughlin, “reconstructs the life of Mehetabel Chandler Coit (1673-1758), the author of what may be the earliest surviving diary by an American woman.” Born in Roxbury, Massachusetts, Coit permanently settled in New London, Connecticut, when she was fourteen.

    Coughlin, who spoke at NEHGS in February, described her search for Mehetabel's diary in an article, “Mehetabel Chandler Coit: Finding ‘Her Book’” in the spring 2013 issue of the online journal Common-Place. To track down the diary, which had been cited in an 1895 book, Coughlin was relentless in her pursuit of every lead, and persisted long after most would have given up the search. Genealogists will appreciate Coughlin's tenacity and her ultimate success. More information about Mehetabel Chander Coit - and Coughlin's upcoming appearances in Massachusetts - is available at

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    Readers Respond to Last Week’s Name Survey

    Prompted by last week's names survey, many readers wrote to us about naming practices in their families. Here is a sample of the responses:

    Patricia R. Reed of Houston, Texas: My sister's middle name is Ruth. She is named after our maternal grandmother Ruth (Cannon) Straight, born in 1897, who was in turn named after her paternal grandmother Ruth (Wood) Canon, born in 1829, who was in turn named after her maternal grandmother Ruth (Peaslee) Ferguson, born about 1777. I am hopeful that if my sister's daughter ever has a female child she will find room for Ruth somewhere in her name, to continue this lovely grandmother to granddaughter connection.

    Dorothy (Learned) Dill of Clermont, Florida: My parents got a double header. I was named after my father's mother and my mother's sister — depending on which parent I was asking.

    Kathy McHale of Walpole, Massachusetts: I was not named for a family member. No one in either my mother or father's family was named Kathleen. I was named for a song my maternal grandfather played on the violin, “I'll Take You Home Again, Kathleen.” I love that story!

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    Name Origins
    by Julie Helen Otto

    ACHILLES (m): The great Greek warrior hero of Homer's Iliad. The name was used by the French and Scots especially. Captain Achilles Preston, who “was at the capture of Ticonderoga and Montreal and under Gen. Wolfe,” died in Providence, Rhode Island, on July 1, 1814 (Rhode Island Vital Records, 1636-1850, on On October 26, 1908, Achilles Frichette married Angelina Bergeron in Lewiston, Maine (Maine Marriages Index, 1892-1966, 1977-1996, on There were three men named Achilles in the 1790 census, in Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Vermont. In the 1850 census, there were 323 men with the name, and in 1940, 361.

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    The Weekly Genealogist Survey

    Last week’s survey asked whether you were named for a family member. 4,353 people responded to this survey. The results are:

    • 47%, Yes, I was named for an ancestor.
    • 12%, Yes, I was named for a relative who was not an ancestor.
    • 2%, I am not sure if I was named for a family member.
    • 39%, No, I was not named for a family member.

    This week’s survey asks your summer genealogical travel plans. Take the survey now!

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    Spotlight: Aspen Historical Society — Archive Aspen
    by Valerie Beaudrault, Assistant Editor

    Aspen Historical Society — Archive Aspen, Colrado

    The city of Aspen is the county seat of Pitkin County, Colorado. It is located in the central part of the state. The Aspen Historical Society has made a number of resources available on its Archive Aspen website.

    Click on the Historic Directories & Records icon to access the document resources.

    City Directories & Phone Books
    The site includes more than twenty city directories and telephone books from various years between 1885 and 1950. Click on the date link to view the directory images.

    Marriage Records
    Volume XI of Colorado Genealogical Etcetera indexes Pitkin County marriages from 1882 through 1930. The data in each record includes groom's full name, bride's full name, and date of the marriage. The volume is in chronological order, and there is an index by surname if you do not know the year the couple married.

    Census Records
    This section contains indexes to various census records for Pitkin County. There are indexes to the 1900 through 1930 U.S. federal census and the 1885 Colorado state census. The data fields for the state census include last name, first name/initials, race, male, female, age, single, married, divorced, and nativity

    Cemetery Records
    The Aspen Historical Society compiled and published a volume of Colorado Genealogical Etcetera containing tombstone transcriptions for four Pitkin County cemeteries: Aspen Red Butte, Aspen Ute, Aspen Grove, and Basalt There is a surname index to the volume.

    Naturalization Records
    This section contains an alphabetical index to naturalization records for the period from 1888 to 1908 for Pitkin County. The data fields are name, country of birth or allegiance, and date of naturalization.

    Click on the Photo Gallery icon to access more than 10,000 images. You can browse through the complete collection or search the image database by keywords. There is also an advanced search function, which enables you to search by keywords, title, subject, creator, object name/other name, people, place, and more. In addition, you can view samples of “Top Pick” photographs in slideshow format.

    Also available is a link to the Colorado Historic Newspaper site, where you can browse and search a dozen Pitkin County newspapers.

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    Stories of Interest

    “Who Do You Think You Are?” Heads to TLC
    A new season of episodes has been ordered for the popular genealogy television show. [Filming has been completed at NEHGS for an upcoming episode.]

    Pathogen Genome Tracks Irish Potato Famine Back to Its Roots
    “Working from 150-year-old dried leaves, two competing teams have now sequenced the genome of the single-celled organism that wreaked havoc on the Irish potato crop.”

    A Race Against Time to Find WWI’s Last “Doughboys”
    “Ten years ago, writer Richard Rubin set out to talk to every living American veteran of World War I he could find. It wasn’t easy, but he tracked down dozens of centenarian vets, ages 101 to 113, collected their stories and put them in a new book called The Last of the Doughboys.”

    “Orphaned” by World War II, Children Salute Fallen Fathers“Those who lost a father in World War II are considered ‘war orphans.’ These are the stories of three of those children who have lived nearly all their lives without their dads.”

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    Sale on Two New York Titles

    NEHGS was recently featured in two published works: Family Trees and DNA USA. Save 10% for a limited time* on these titles:

    Family Trees: A History of Genealogy in America by Fran¸ois Weil
    Reg: $27.95, Sale: $25.16
    “Clear, fully annotated, subtly analyzed, timely, and nuanced, this book offers both general and academic readers a new view of genealogical research in America in a ‘why they did it’ rather than a 'how to do it' presentation.” —Library Journal

    DNA USA: A Genetic Portrait of America by Bryan Sykes
    Reg: $27.95, Sale $25.16
    “Sykes combines history, science, travel and memoir in one grand exposition of what it means to be an ‘American.’” —Kirkus Reviews

    And, in recognition of 2013 NEHGS Lifetime Achievement Award Honoree David Gergen, save 10%* on:

    Eyewitness to Power: The Essence of Leadership, Nixon to Clinton by Daivd Gergen
    Reg: $16.00, Sale: $14.40
    “Few observers are as qualified to comment on the merits of presidential leadership as is Gergen…He brings to life the everyday world of the presidency and provides telling portraits of these fallible yet fascinating leaders.” —Publishers Weekly

    To receive the 10% discount, please enter the coupon code FAM513 when ordering online or mention this code when ordering over the phone. Prices are good until 6/7/13, while supplies last. Prices do not include shipping. Mass. residents, add 6.25% sales tax.

    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:

    • Settlement and Cemeteries in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom (Item P5-VT0007H, $39)
    • Genealogical Data from Connecticut (Item P5-CT0385S, $22.50)
    • History of Block Island, Rhode Island 1514–1876 (Item P28340000, $59)
    • Old Gravestones of Ulster County, New York (Item P28251000, $70)
    • Story of Early Mono County, California: Its Settlers, Gold Rushes, Indians, Ghost Towns (Item P5-CA0044H, $29.00)

    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 Program

    The Mobile Genealogist
    99–101 Newbury St, Boston

    Part I, Using Dropbox and Evernote
    Saturday, June 29, 10:30–11:30 a.m.

    Part II, Imaging on the Go
    Saturday, August 17, 10:30–11:30 a.m.

    The Mobile Genealogist is a two-part lecture series introducing technology and equipment for organizing and conducting genealogy research while on the go. NEHGS staff genealogist Alice Kane draws on her experiences as an independent researcher to introduce users these helpful tools. Part I will present an introduction to Dropbox and Evernote for information storage, organization, and note-taking. Part II will cover digital cameras and the Flip-Pal scanner for recording documents.

    All levels of computer experience are welcome at both sessions. The program is free and open to the public. To reserve your space, email or call 617-226-1226.

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    Copyright 2013, 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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