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  • The Weekly Genealogist

  • Vol. 16, No. 43
    Whole #658
    October 23, 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.

    * Free NEHGS Webinar Series
    * Last Chance to Register for NEHGS Salt Lake City Reception
    * NEHGS Database News
    * Irish Genealogy Study Group
    * A Note from the Editor: Library of Massachusetts Digital Collections
    * The Weekly Genealogist Survey
    * Spotlight: Huntsville, Alabama, Resources
    * Stories of Interest
    * Halloween Sale at the NEHGS Bookstore
    * Upcoming Education Programs


    Free NEHGS Webinar Series

    Maximize your Search Results

    Join Web Content Coordinator Andy Hanson-Dvoracek for this two-part webinar series and learn how to get the most out of your database searches. All you need to participate in these free, live events is an Internet connection and computer speakers. This series is ideal for current NEHGS members who have full access to all online databases, or for anyone interested in becoming a member who wishes to learn what online resources we offer.

    Sign up today--space is limited!

    Part I: November 20, 3–4 pm EST Register!

    Part II: December 18, 3–4 pm EST Register!

    All registrants will also receive a post-event email with a link to a recording of the webinar.

    Visit for more ways to broaden your research skills and maximize your results. If you have questions, email Online Education Coordinator Ginevra Morse at

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    Last Chance to Register for NEHGS Salt Lake City Reception

    The registration deadline is approaching for our Salt Lake City Reception. NEHGS members are invited to join us for a special reception with refreshments, hors d’oeuvre, and a presentation by NEHGS experts to celebrate 35 years of NEHGS educational program research successes in Salt Lake City. Enjoy reminiscences of past trips and share your research stories with this year’s Salt Lake City Tour participants and NEHGS genealogists Chris Child, David Lambert, Judy Lucey, Rhonda McClure, and Suzanne Stewart.

    The reception will be held Saturday, November 9, 2013, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the Radisson Hotel in Salt Lake City. Space is limited. Please register by October 31 at

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

    The Mayflower Descendant, Vol. 46–50

    Volumes 46 to 50 of the Mayflower Descendant (1996–2001) are now searchable on Additional volumes will be added throughout the year. With the addition of these volumes, the Mayflower Descendant database now contains more than 300,000 records.

    The Mayflower Descendant has been published by the Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Descendants since 1899. It is an essential source of information on many New England families, and its focus is not limited to those with Mayflower lineage. The journal includes transcriptions and abstracts of deeds, wills, vital records, and other original documents. In addition, it features compiled genealogies and analytical studies of genealogical problems.

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    Irish Genealogy Study Group

    The Irish Genealogy Study Group will meet on Saturday, October 26, 2013, between 9:30 a.m. and noon in the second floor Education Center at NEHGS. The study group gathers to talk about research problems and share solutions. Everyone is welcome to come and join in, and people can attend part or all of the session. (The NEHGS Library is open for research from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.) Contact Mary Ellen Grogan at for more information.

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    A Note from the Editor: State Library of Massachusetts Digital Collections
    by Lynn Betlock, Editor

    The State Library of Massachusetts has digitized most of its Massachusetts real estate atlas collection. These materials are now available online in PDF form through its institutional repository, DSpace, and with individual page images (jpgs) via its Flickr site.

    The digitized collection of atlases includes 167 volumes with more than 6,000 maps and other illustrations. These include statewide, county, and municipal atlases from throughout Massachusetts, with the majority published in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

    I looked at the collection’s 1904 Atlas of Berkshire County to try to identify where my family would later live in the town of Hancock. I was impressed with the detail of the maps and the clarity of the images, and found the online version of the atlas easy to use. Genealogists with an interest in Massachusetts in this time period should definitely be aware of this resource.

    The State Library has also digitized material related to the development of transportation systems in the state during the 19th and early 20th centuries. These materials include maps, manuscripts, and photographs. Nearly 400 highway photographs were taken in 1892 to document the conditions of the state’s roads, and I think they offer a unique documentary perspective. The collection is called Mapping Massachusetts: The Development of Transportation Systems in Massachusetts.

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    The Weekly Genealogist Survey

    Last week’s survey asked about your preferences for online education topics. More than one answer could be selected. 3,894 people answered this survey. The results are:

    • 62%, Using for your research
    • 23%, NEHGS member benefits and services
    • 5%, Getting started in genealogy
    • 63%, Research tips and techniques
    • 48%, Organizing my materials
    • 54%, Using records/repositories
    • 49%, Technology in genealogy
    • 42%, Understanding my family’s social/historical context
    • 37%, Writing/publishing my family history
    • 48%, Genetics and DNA studies
    • 2%, None of the above

    This week’s survey asks how far removed you are from your most recent immigrant ancestor.Take the survey now!

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    Spotlight: Huntsville, Alabama, Resources
    by Valerie Beaudrault, Assistant Editor

    Huntsville-Madison County Public Library

    The city of Huntsville is located in north central Alabama. It is primarily in Madison County with part of the city extending into Limestone County. Huntsville is the county seat of Madison County.

    The Huntsville-Madison County Public Library has made a searchable obituary index available on its website. There are more than 70,000 records from 33 newspapers. Click the database link to access the search page. The obituaries cover 1819 through 1998. The database can be searched by name, and searches can be limited by start and end date. The data fields in the search results are prefix, first name, middle name, maiden name, last name, newspaper title, obituary date, and interment location. Click the person’s name for a more complete obituary reference. Click the cemetery name in the interment location field for more information, including a complete listing of the individuals buried there. Print copies of obituaries may be purchased from the library for a fee.

    The Huntsville History Collection: A Portal to Huntsville’s Past

    The Huntsville History Collection, published in cooperation with the Huntsville-Madison County Public Library, is an Internet portal devoted to the history of Huntsville and Madison County. The site includes articles by local historians, a postcard collection, an architectural collection, an historic homes photo collection, biographical sketches, maps, and oral history recordings. The Collection is a work in progress and features recent additions in its “What’s New” section.

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    Stories of Interest

    The Ugly Truth about My Family History
    In an article in Canada’s Globe and Mail, the author recounts what she learned about her grandfather, who deserted his family in 1931 and disappeared.

    Take Apart a Time Capsule: Museum Finds Unexpected Treasures in Paulson Estate
    The Oregon [Wisconsin] Area Historical Society recently inherited most of the contents of a house owned by Florice Paulson, an unmarried only child and avid collector “of everything,” who died earlier this year at age 95. The process of analyzing the contents of the house, which contains three generations of possessions, has been compared to an archeological dig.

    The Guide to Preserving Your Family Archive
    “These top tips from National Library of Ireland’s conservation expert could help you hold onto family memories for longer.”

    Six Decades of the Most Popular Names for Girls, State by State
    “The maps [displayed], based on data from the Social Security Administration, show the most popular baby names for girls by state, for babies born from 1960 through 2012, with the colors representing the most popular single name for that year.”

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    Halloween Sale at the NEHGS Bookstore

    Witches, Rakes and Rogues: True Stories of Scam, Scandal, Murder, and Mayhem in Boston, 1630–1775
    Hardcover: Normally $24.95, Sale price: $19.96
    Soft cover: Normally $14.95, Sale price: $11.96

    Annals of Witchcraft in New England and Elsewhere in the United States
    Normally $17.95, Sale price: $14.36

    Marie Therese, Child of Terror: The Fate of Marie Antoinette’s Daughter
    Normally $25, Sale price: $20

    To get the 20% discount, enter coupon code BOO13 in the coupon field, or mention this coupon when ordering online.

    Prices good through October 31, 2013, while supplies last. Prices do not include shipping. Cannot be combined with other discounts, including the NEHGS member discount.

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    Upcoming Research Programs

    “He Devoted Several Years to Service at a Government Facility”: Researching Criminal Ancestors
    99–101 Newbury St, Boston, Mass.
    Wednesday, October 23, 2013, 6–7 p.m.

    As part of the Partnership of the Historic Bostons’ Boston Charter Day program focusing on crime and punishment in early Massachusetts, NEHGS Genealogist Rhonda R. McClure will look at records and resources that can explain when, where, why, and how your ancestor may have spent time in a criminal facility. The Partnership of the Historic Bostons, a non-political, non-profit organization, was established in 1999 to recognize and celebrate the unique historical connection between Boston, Massachusetts, founded in 1630, and Boston, Lincolnshire, England, founded in 1086. For information on more of this year’s events, visit The program is free and open to the public.

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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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