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  • The Weekly Genealogist

  • Vol. 16, No. 03
    Whole #618
    January 16, 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 Purchases 97 Newbury Street Building
    * Brenton Simons Discusses Collecting Antiques
    * David Allen Lambert on History Detectives
    * NEHGS Database News
    * A Note from the Editor: Atlas of the Great Irish Famine
    * Name Origins
    * The Weekly Genealogist Survey
    * Spotlight: North Carolina and Washington Resources
    * Stories of Interest
    * Save 15% on Genealogical Classics from the NEHGS Bookstore!
    * Upcoming Education Programs

    NEHGS Purchases 97 Newbury Street Building

    NEHGS President and CEO Brenton Simons has announced the purchase of the adjacent property located at 97 Newbury Street, giving NEHGS an opportunity in future years to expand on its current location at 99–101 Newbury St. The seller, jeweler John Lewis, has leased back the property from NEHGS and plans to continue his successful retail jewelry operation there for the foreseeable future.

    The purchase of the four-story brownstone building will give NEHGS an additional 4,500+ square feet for a variety of purposes, including education and public programs, collaborations with other organizations, exhibition space, parking, and a museum store retail enterprise. In particular, NEHGS can continue expanding its collection of more than 28 million objects while allowing the organization to maintain a larger portion of those important artifacts on the premises rather than in off-site storage. It also allows for the addition of expert staff to help the increasing numbers of people coming in to learn more about getting started with their own family history research.

    Simons said, “This is an historic time at NEHGS. The organization has grown dramatically in recent years, nearly reaching maximum capacity in our present building. We are especially excited about the opportunity to build a new platform for educating and training the next generation of genealogists while advancing the important work of preserving our nation’s family and local history for decades to come.”

    The brownstone, built in the 1870s by local department store founder Eben Jordan, will be preserved by NEHGS because, Simons noted, “It is an important part of the Back Bay cityscape.” NEHGS, founded in 1845, moved to 99–101 Newbury Street in 1964 and expanded by adding an additional four floors.

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    Brenton Simons Speaks at Gardner Museum

    Meet Brenton Simons, President and CEO of NEHGS, when he co-hosts a presentation on collecting antiques at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston on Saturday, January 19. He will discuss NEHGS collections and antique family history items being collected by the Society. The program is free for Gardner Museum members. For more information, see the Gardner's website.

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    David Alen Lambert on History Detectives

    NEHGS Chief Genealogist David Allen Lambert was recently on the PBS series History Detectives. The episode featured a powder horn engraved with the words “For Richard Cobb – 1762.” The portion of the show with David Lambert begins about thirty minutes into the episode and can be found online.

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

    Connecticut Vital Records Update (The Barbour Collection)  

    Newly added to Connecticut Vital Records to 1870 (The Barbour Collection): East Haddam (1743–1857), Somers (1734–1850), Union (1734–1850), and Willington (1727–1851), birth, marriage, and death records. These towns add more than 22,000 records to this database collection.

    Compiled from an original Lucius Barnes Barbour typescript in the NEHGS special collections, this database currently contains records for the towns of Ashford, Branford, Canterbury, Colchester, Danbury, Derby, Durham, East Haddam, Fairfield, Farmington, Glastonbury, Greenwich, Groton, Guilford, Haddam, Hartford, Hebron, Killingly, Killingworth, Lebanon, Litchfield, Lyme, Middletown, Milford, New London, New Milford, Newtown, Norwalk, Norwich, Plainfield, Pomfret, Preston, Ridgefield, Saybrook, Simsbury, Somers, Stafford, Stamford, Stratford, Stonington, Suffield, Tolland, Union, Voluntown, Wallingford, Waterbury, Wethersfield, Willington, Windham, Windsor, Woodbury, and Woodstock. 

    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.

    Bristol County, Mass.: Extracts from Court of General Sessions of the Peace, 1697–1801

    Courts of General Sessions of the Peace were established in Massachusetts counties in 1692. Extant records for Bristol County begin in 1697. The extracts included here principally concern fornications and warnings out, although there are a few other items. In fornication cases, the mother often revealed the father of her child, though the sex of the child is rarely stated. In the late 1700s there are apt to be birthdates, exact or approximate. When a young man posted bond, his sureties may be close relatives. Warnings out often reveal the subjects' town origin. Occasionally there are disputes between towns about responsibility for an indigent inhabitant. Anyone finding an item of interest is encouraged to look at the actual records themselves. The related files, which can have more detail, are at the Massachusetts Judicial Archives, arranged by date.

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    A Note from the Editor: Atlas of the Great Irish Famine
    by Lynn Betlock, Editor

    A lavish and substantial volume, The Atlas of the Great Irish Famine, edited by Joseph Crowley, William J. Smyth, and Mike Murphy was published in Ireland in August 2012 by Cork University Press; it was published later in the year in the United States by New York University. The work was the winner of the Best Irish Published Book of the year for 2012. For those interested in Irish history, and especially those interested in knowing more about what pushed their ancestors to emigrate, this is a book well worth reading and becoming immersed in.

    The December 9, 2012, Boston Sunday Globe offered a summary: “For decades following the famine, little was said or written about it. Today it is the subject of a monumental study. Atlas of the Great Irish Famine . . . is aimed at general readers as well as academics. It analyzes the famine on a parish-by-parish basis, contemplating the details of daily life, and it situates the Famine in the context of others throughout the world. It includes essays by more than fifty scholars — examining, among other subjects, relief measures and land reform — as well as maps, period illustrations, and archival documents."

    During the Great Famine, between 1845 and 1852, over a million Irish people died and nearly one and a half million fled the country, most to North America. The facts and poignant details behind those impossibly hard-to-grasp numbers are all in the atlas. An user gave his review of the book the title, “An Atlas Made Me Cry,” and I think that comment probably provides the best short summary of how powerful this volume is.

    The Atlas of the Great Irish Famine has its own website. The book is available for patrons to use at the NEHGS Library, and it is currently offered for purchase on for $66.45.

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    Name Origins
    by Julie Helen Otto, Genealogist

    CARLISTA (f): In Spain’s bloody Carlist Wars of nineteenth century, the conservative adherents of Carlos [paternal uncle of Queen Isabella II] were known as Carlistas. In New England usage — much of which predates the Carlist Wars — CARLISTA appears apparently as a phonetic variant of CALLISTA (q.v.). An unplaced Carlista Smith (b. Troy, N.Y. 1810) inspired seven generations of namesakes. (With thanks to her descendant Barbara Taylor.)

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    The Weekly Genealogist Survey

    Last week’s survey asked about what kind of information you thought would be the most helpful for writing your family history. 2,967 people answered this survey. The results are:

    44%, How to narrow my focus and determine the appropriate scope
    50%, How to organize my materials into a book or article
    23%, How to export my data from a genealogical software program
    31%, How to apply genealogical style and numbering to my writing
    31%, How to use Microsoft Word in the most efficient way
    28%, How to format my text into pleasing-looking pages
    19%, How to select appropriate illustrations
    29%, How to create an index
    27%, How to get from a draft manuscript to a printed book or article
    25%, How to choose a printer or publisher
    18%, I am not thinking of writing a family history

    This week’s survey asks if you have ancestors who worked on the railroad. Take the survey now!

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    Spotlight: North Carolina and Washington Resources

    by Valerie Beaudrault, Assistant Editor

    Cemetery/Obituary Database, Hartnett County Public Library, North Carolina  

    The Hartnett County Public Library is in the town of Lillington, which is the county seat of Hartnett County. It is located close to the geographic center of the state of North Carolina. The library has made a cemetery/obituary database available on its website.

    The database project was begun in 1989 when library staff and volunteers began indexing obituaries in the collections from Hartnett County and outlying areas. More than 10,000 obituaries have been added to the database since its inception, and the project is ongoing, with volunteers adding to the database on a regular basis. About five years ago the library decided to make the obituaries available to the public by incorporating the database into its library catalog. A cemetery database, with photographs of tombstones compiled by Hartnett County residents Julie and Vernon Gambrell, is also part of this resource. Click on the blue Cemetery List tab to open a new page with a list of the cemeteries in the Cemetery/Obituary database. The data fields in this database include cemetery name, location, and town/community.

    Click on the Online Catalog link in the opening paragraph to access the database. Select the Advanced Search tab to open the search page. Select the Obituary database from the list of databases in the drop down Database list and begin your search. The database can be searched by keyword, last, first, or full name, date of birth, date of death, cemetery, preceded by, survived by, epitaph, title, source, cemetery, and funeral home. Click on any of the links in the search results to open a new page containing the detailed record. The detailed record might include date of birth, date of death, and a photograph of the tombstone, or it might include all of the data fields listed above plus a notes field. Click on the thumbnail image to enlarge it. The Cemetery database can be searched in a similar fashion. You can access this database by clicking on the Cemetery Database tab.

    Cemetery Database, City of Camas, Washington  

    Camas is located in Clark County, which is in the southwestern corner of Washington State. In 1883, the Camas Colony Company purchased land and set up a paper mill near La Camas Lake. In 1885, the company also established the Camas Cemetery. It has been owned by the City of Camas since 2007. City of Camas staff have worked hard to “compile, preserve, and verify the burial records from over 100 years of cemetery operation.”

    Click on the City Cemetery tab in the index and select Records from the drop down list. Click on the cemetery database link to download a PDF file containing more than 5,500 burial records. The data fields in the database are surname, first name, lot, block, date of birth, place of birth, date of death, and place of death. You can also download a map of the cemetery.

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    Stories of Interest

    Brother and Sister Reunion a Lifetime in the Making
    Siblings separated for sixty-five years were reunited last week thanks to some searching on Facebook by a seven-year-old neighbor.

    McDaniel Students Research African-American Cemetery
    Students from Maryland’s McDaniel College are documenting African-American residents of Libertytown, Frederick County, as part of Professor Rick Smith's January session class on tracing family histories.

    Sampling Another Time: Saco Museum’s Needlepoint Exhibit Sheds Light on Lives of Federal Period Women
    A new temporary exhibit at the Saco Museum in Saco, Maine, “I My Needle Ply With Skill,” features more than 100 samplers created in Maine by schoolgirls during the late 1700s and early 1800s.

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    Save 15% of Genealogical Classics from the NEHGS Bookstore!

    What is old is new again! Affordable, portable, and attractive, these new paperback editions of genealogical classics feature new forewords by experts and remain essential resources for any family historian.

    The following titles are now available:

    Also available through this offer:

    To receive the 15% discount off these titles, enter JAN13 into the coupon field of your online order.

    Prices good through January 23, 2013, while supplies last. Discount cannot be combined with any other discounts or coupons, including the NEHGS member discount. Prices do not include shipping. To order by phone, call toll-free at 1-888-296-3447.

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    Upcoming Education Programs

    Spend a weekend at NEHGS delving into research, meeting with staff genealogists, learning from themed lectures, and enjoying group meals. Explore the rich offerings of the NEHGS Research Library and benefit from the knowledge of expert genealogists. Register for all three days, or choose which days to attend. Both programs are held at the NEHGS Research Library at 99–101 Newbury Street, Boston, Mass.

    Winter Weekend Research Getaway — African American Family History Research
    Thursday, January 31—Saturday, February 2, 2013

    Spring Weekend Research Getaway — Organizing Your Research & Records
    Thursday, April 4—Saturday, April 6, 2013

    Ancestry Day with NEHGS
    Sheraton Boston Hotel, 39 Dalton St., Boston, Mass.
    Saturday, March 2, 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m.

    NEHGS and are pleased to invite you to attend Ancestry Day with NEHGS on Saturday, March 2, 2013. This day-long program will offer classes and sessions to help you get the most out of your family history research. Whether you are a beginner or have been researching for many years, you can learn new techniques, methodologies, and make the most of the resources available at NEHGS and Details and registration.

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    Copyright 2012, New England Historic Genealogical Society
    99–101 Newbury Street, Boston, MA 02116

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Boston, Massachusetts 02116, USA

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