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Vol. 16, No. 38
September 18, 2013
Edited by Lynn Betlock, Jean Powers, and Valerie Beaudrault
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NEHGS collects, preserves, and interprets materials to document and make
accessible the histories of families in America.
* NEHGS Database News
* Ask a Genealogist
* The Weekly Genealogist Survey
* Spotlight: Kentucky Cemetery Databases
* Stories of Interest
* NEHGS Bookstore Sale
* Upcoming Research Programs
NEHGS Database Newsby Sam Sturgis, Digital Collections Administrator, and Christopher Carter, Digital Collections Coordinator
Pennsylvania Genealogical Magazine, Volumes 41–45
Volumes 41 to 45 (publication years 1999 to 2008) of the Pennsylvania Genealogical Magazine, offering an additional 43,498 records, are now searchable on AmericanAncestors.org.
The Pennsylvania Genealogical Magazine, published since 1895 by the Philadelphia-based Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania, publishes family histories, original records, book reviews, and scholarly essays.
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Ask a Genealogist
We occasionally feature “Ask a Genealogist” questions posed to our staff genealogists and their answers. For more about Ask a Genealogist, click here. - Editor.
Question: In the 1855 Massachusetts state census I found my great-great-grandfather George Armstrong (b. 1808) living in Newburyport, with his wife Lucy (b. 1807) and their daughters Charlotte (b. 1831) and Elizabeth (b. 1832). All of them were supposedly born in England and yet I can't find any of them in an English record. Is it possible that all of them were born in Scotland borders area and they just referred to that region as England?
Answer by Senior Genealogist David C. Dearborn: While it is true that the Armstrong surname is prevalent on both sides of the English-Scottish border, the heaviest concentration is to be found on the English side, especially in the counties of Northumberland and Cumberland. If the records for George consistently list his birthplace as England, then that is almost certainly where he was born. There is no reason why he would intentionally list his birthplace incorrectly.
The fact that you have been unable to locate his birth record (and those of his wife and daughters) is not surprising, since birth records were not civilly recorded in England until 1 July 1837. Prior to that date, baptisms were recorded in churches and these sometimes, but not always, include the date of birth. The majority of the population still adhered to the Church of England, but by the early 1800s it was not uncommon for individuals and families to belong to so-called Nonconformist churches, such as the Baptists, Methodists, Congregationalists, etc. Keep in mind that even if a record of George's baptism exists, it might not be indexed or available online.
It would be helpful for you to check whether George ever became a U.S. citizen. It is not uncommon for naturalization records in Massachusetts to show the subject's place of birth. NEHGS has a copy of the naturalization index for Massachusetts, from 1791 to 1906, on microfilm, and copies of the naturalization records themselves may be found at the National Archives branch on Trapelo Road in Waltham, Massachusetts.
The Weekly Genealogist Survey
Last week’s survey asked about researching at public libraries. 3,852 people answered this survey. The results are:
This week’s survey asks about improving research skills. Take the survey now!
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Spotlight: Kentucky Cemetery Databasesby Valerie Beaudrault, Assistant Editor
Lexington is a consolidated city-county, officially known as Lexington-Fayette Urban County. It is located in central Kentucky.
Lexington Cemetery was established in 1849. Click the Events and Education link in the menu bar and select Cemetery History from the drop-down list to learn about the cemetery's history. Next click the History Book link to access the full text of A History of The Lexington Cemetery by Burton Milward. Under the Cemetery History link you will find a link to a list of Notable People buried there. Click the name link to read a brief biography of the individual and find where he or she is buried. There is also a burials database on the website. Click the Genealogy link to begin your search. The database can be searched by first and last name. Select the record you would like to view and click on the name link. The data fields in the search results include name, city/state, date of birth, date of death, age at death, burial date, disposition number, funeral director, cremation date and number, and interment location.
Oak Grove Cemetery
Oak Grove Cemetery is located in the city of Paducah, in the western part of Kentucky. It is the county seat of McCracken County. The city of Paducah has made the Oak Grove Cemetery resources available on its website.
In 1847 the town of Paducah's trustees purchased 36 acres what became Oak Grove Cemetery. The cemetery is divided into four “additions”: Old, New, Mausoleum, and Rushing. Scroll down the page to locate links to three map-related resources. There is the Oak Grove Cemetery general map, a detailed hand-drawn map, and a GIS mapping database. You will also find the link to the burial records database here.
The burial records database comprises a number of PDF documents with burials listed in alphabetical order by last name. One set covers 1800 through 1999; the other covers 2000 to the present. The earliest legible headstone bears an 1811 death date. It is believed that the individual was originally interred in the city's first burial ground. The database was last updated August 15, 2013. The data fields in the databases are addition, section, lot, grave, headstone, outer container, last name of deceased, first name, middle name, maiden name, title, age of death, date of death, last residence, cause of death, next of kin, funeral director, date of birth, place of birth, and sex.
The History section provides links to a typescript containing a cemetery history and obituaries of some prominent residents of Paducah who are buried there.
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Stories of Interest
Long Ago, Vt. Took Care of Indigent on Local Poor Farms
An article and video tell the story of Vermont poor farms and what two women, Dot Monfette, 86, and Ruth Austin, 99, remember of the Newport, Vermont, City Farm in the 1930s and 1940s.
The Readers’ Writers: The Greatest Untold Story
Columnist DA Kentner advocates autobiographical writing, and provides literary author and writing instructor Patricia Ann McNair's “five steps to writing your story.”
Pages from a 19th-Century Schoolgirl’s Gorgeous Hand-Drawn Atlas of the United States
The Vault, Slate's history blog, highlights “pages come from a book produced by Vermont student Frances Henshaw in 1828. The schoolgirl painstakingly copied maps of nineteen of the twenty-four existing states, adding a page of geographical explanation for each one.”
NEHGS Bookstore Sale
The NEHGS Bookstore is offering 15% off on five Connecticut research titles.
Colony of Connecticut Minutes of the Court of Assistants, 1669–1711, Normally $24.95, Sale price $21.21
Genealogical Notes: First Settlers of Connecticut and Massachusetts, Normally $24.95, Sale price $21.21
Stamford Town Records, Volume 1, 1641–1723, Normally $34.95, Sale price $29.71
Hartford County Court Minutes Volumes 3 and 4, Normally $19.00, Sale price $16.15
Genealogist’s Handbook for New England Research, Normally $24.95, Sale price $21.21
To get your 15% discount, please use the coupon code CT913 online or when ordering over the phone. Prices do not include shipping. Cannot be combined with any other discounts, including the NEHGS 10% member discount. Prices good through 9/28/13.
Upcoming Research Programs
Registration deadline is September 30!
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
Registration deadline is October 1!
Salt Lake City Research Tour
November 3–10, 2013
Visit the world's largest library for genealogy and family history as NEHGS returns to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City for our 35th annual research tour. Daily activities include individual consultations with NEHGS genealogists, lectures, and other special events.
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