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  • The Weekly Genealogist

  • Vol. 16, No. 34
    Whole #649
    August 21, 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
    * Coming Soon in the Summer 2013 Issue of American Ancestors
    * A Note from the Editor: Divine Origins
    * Name Origins
    * The Weekly Genealogist Survey
    * Spotlight: Larimer County Genealogical Society, Colorado
    * Stories of Interest
    * NEHGS Bookstore
    * Upcoming Education Programs


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

    Rhode Island Roots, Volume 21–25

    When Rhode Island Roots began publication in 1975, it served as both a newsletter for the newly formed Rhode Island Genealogical Society (RIGS) and as an aid to careful genealogical research. While it was short and unsophisticated in design, Roots was a serious publication assembled by people with considerable genealogical experience. This update includes volumes 21-25, publication years 1995-1999, and adds more than 19,000 records to this collection.

    Each issue of the quarterly journal, now 52 pages, features at least one compiled genealogy, along with Bible records, transcriptions of original sources, book reviews, and studies of the genealogical implications of historical events. Indices of land, Notarial records and petitions to the General Assembly, transcriptions of estimates of ratable estate, gravestones, and early census records all provide invaluable clues to Rhode Island genealogy. The authors include well-known genealogists as well as RIGS members with stories of their own families.

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    Coming Soon in the Summer 2013 Issue of American Ancestors

    Discovering Your New England Roots on,
    by Ryan Woods

    “Well, They Didn’t Live Happily Together”: Researching Humphrey and Lola O’Sullivan Using Coroner’s Inquest Files,
    by J. Homer Thiel  

    Our Search for Fayette: Reconstructing the Life of a Maine Civil War Soldier,
    by Linda S. Sanders  

    Samuel’s Story: Recovering a Forgotten Nineteenth-Century Life,
    by Peter Cooper

    Starting with a Bracelet and a Family Tree: How Family Artifacts Inspired and Informed My Genealogical Search,
    by Susan Snow Lukesh

    Traugott Bromme’s “State of Massachusetts”: An Excerpt from an 1848 Guide for German Immigrants,
    by Richard L. Bland

    Introducing the American Jewish Historical Society, New England Archives at NEHGS,
    by Judith A. Garner

    Also in this issue…

    • Genetics and Genealogy; Using mtDNA to identify remains: Twenty years in review
    • Manuscripts at NEHGS: Preparing collections for donation to NEHGS
    • Seen Elsewhere: New York-related articles in 2011–2012 issues of some non-New York journals

    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.

    A subscription to American Ancestors magazine is a benefit of NEHGS membership. If you are not a member, you may join online at or call, toll-free, 1-888-296-3447.

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    A Note from the Editor: Divine Origins
    by Lynn Betlock, Editor

    An article in the most recent issue of Your Family History, a British genealogy magazine, caught my attention. The article, “My Ancestor Was a God: Pedigrees Claiming Divine Descent” by Anthony Adolph, touched on a phenomenon I’ve noticed and mused upon.

    The article looks back to a pre-Christian age, when people widely believed that gods and goddesses, often in disguise, had children with humans. Most Egyptian pharaohs were convinced their fathers were gods. As time passed, rulers generally began to put more distance between themselves and a divine forbear; instead of claiming to be the children of a god, they claimed to be more distant descendants of gods. This was true also of Classical Greek rulers and Norse kings. As Christianity spread, the emphasis on gods diminished and linkages were instead made to heroes and Biblical figures, particularly Noah’s grandsons. Adolph writes, “[W]e have inherited a bewilderingly rich tapestry of ancient genealogies, full of heroes, gods and the family of Noah. Go to the top of most old royal pedigrees and you will find a whole collection of such characters, slightly dusty now, but bristling with arcane interest.”

    Anyone researching early New England ancestors will likely encounter nineteenth-century and early-twentieth-century books and charts containing descents that might raise a few eyebrows. One Thousand Years of Hubbard History, 866 to 1895, From Hubba, the Norse Sea King, to the Enlightened Present (1895) compiled by Hubbard descendant Edward Warren Day, features an engraving of Hubba landing on the coast of Northumbria in 866. An 1879 genealogy by Albert Welles, The Pedigree and History of the Washington Family: Derived from Odin, the Founder of Scandinavia, B.C. 70, Involving a Period of Eighteen Centuries, and Including Fifty-Five Generations, Down to General George Washington, First President of the United States, claims the family descended from a Norse god.

    From a modern perspective, this sort of descent is an interesting curiosity and an indication of the long history of genealogy. Researchers who discover questionable connections to mythical figures in a family history should certainly consider the validity of the rest of the work!

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    Name Origins
    by Julie Helen Otto, Genealogist

    VICTORY (usually m): This name was usually bestowed to honor or celebrate a particular event, especially the successful outcome of a recent battle or larger armed struggle. Occasionally it might be used in a spiritual sense. The Indo-European root behind the word is weik “to fight, conquer” (Calvert Watkins, The American Heritage Dictionary of Indo-European Roots, 2nd ed. [Boston/New York: Houghton Mifflin, 2000], p. 97).

    Victorius Smith, b. Bellingham, Mass., 22 Jan. 1746/7, son of James and Sarah (VRs, p. 61), may have been named due to his parents’ elation at a military victory in one of the colonial wars. Victory Sikes Tousley/Towsley, b. Litchfield, Conn., 14 Nov 1751, was the son of Samuel and Agnes Tousley/Towsley. Victory Ralph Adams, b. Thetford, Vermont, 8 April 1921, was the son of Leon Henry and Nellie (Anderson) Adams.

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    The Weekly Genealogist Survey

    Last week’s survey asked how you found our website. 3,455 people answered this survey. The results are:

    • 17% Online search engine (i.e. Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc.)
    • 4% Genealogy blog
    • 12% Link from another website
    • 1% Facebook
    • 2% In the news
    • 12% From an NEHGS member
    • 52% Directly from NEHGS (i.e., a publication, signage in the library, or a lecture)

    This week’s survey asks about DNA testing for genealogy. Take the survey now!

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    Spotlight: Larimer County Genealogical Society, Colorado
    by Valerie Beaudrault, Assistant Editor

    Larimer County Genealogical Society, Colorado

    Larimer County is located in northern Colorado, along the Wyoming border. Its county seat is Fort Collins.

    1885 State Census, Larimer County, Colorado
    When the 1885 state census was taken, Larimer County, which was created in 1861, included what is now Jackson County. Jackson County was created in 1909, from a section of Larimer County known as North Park. The information recorded in the census includes line number, dwelling number, surname, given name, color, sex, age, relationship, marital status, occupation, birthplace, father’s birthplace, and mother’s birthplace.

    General Index - 1862–1872
    This database contains records of land transfers in Larimer County between 1862 and 1872, transcribed from the original Larimer County Courthouse General Index books. The transfers are organized alphabetically by grantor and grantee. Data fields include grantee, grantor, nature of instrument, time of reception, volume, and page number(s).

    Marriage Index Volume 1, 1858–1910
    The records in this database were extracted from Larimer County marriage indexes from 1858 to 1910. The database includes marriages for both Larimer County and Jackson County. There is a brides index and a grooms index, both organized alphabetically by surname. The data fields in the indexes are book/page, bride’s name, groom’s name, date married, and date filed. The marriage database files are in PDF format.

    Fort Collins Coloradoan Obituaries
    The genealogical society has begun a project to digitize obituaries published in Larimer County publications. This database indexes digital images of obituaries from the Fort Collins Coloradoan from March 1988 to August 2002. The database is organized alphabetically by last name. The index includes last name, first name, and date on which the obituary appeared in the newspaper.

    The Coloradoan newspaper has a general online archive covering January 16, 2003, to the present. The archive may be searched for free, but there is a charge to access articles.

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    Stories of Interest

    Discovering Your Family History, One Vital Record at a Time
    Vermont Public Radio’s Vermont Edition recently featured a program with Ed McGuire of the Vermont Genealogy Library and Scott Reilly of the Vermont State Archives “about the fascinating stories that come alive when people go digging for details about their ancestors.”

     A Family Tree that Includes Slaves — And Slave Owners
    The NPR radio show Tell Me More features an interview with Andrea Stuart, author of Sugar in the Blood: A Family’s Story of Slavery and Empire, which looks at slavery in Barbados and how it affected Stuart's slaveholder and slave ancestors.

    Can You Name your Baby Messiah?
    This article looks at the recent case of a Tennessee baby named Messiah and provides an overview of the naming restrictions in place in some states and other countries.

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    NEHGS Bookstore

    Classic Reprints

    Did you know that the NEHGS Bookstore offers library-quality copies of over 10,000 rare and out-of-print books? Some titles ordered by recent customers include:

    • History of Barnstable County, Mass., 1620–1830 (Item P5-MA0365H, $105.00)
    • History of Swanzey, N.H., from 1734 to 1890 (Item P5-NH0025H, $59.50)
    • History of the Town of Carlisle, Mass., 1754–1920 (Item P5-MA0408H, $39.50)
    • Pioneer Days and Later Times in Corning (N.Y.) and Vicinity, 1789–1920 (Item P5-NY0077H, $57)
    • Keating and Forbes Families and Reminiscences of C.A. Keating, A.d. 1758–1920 (Item P4-H16359, $38.50)

    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

    Fall Weekend Research Getaway: Preserving and Using Images
    October 17–19, 2013

    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. This year’s Fall Weekend Research Getaway focuses on preserving and using images, both digital and print. Register for all three days, or choose which days to attend.

    Details and registration

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    NEHGS Contact Information

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