American Ancestors New England Historic Genealogical Society - Founded 1845 N.E. Historic Genealogical Society Seal View Your Shopping Cart Join NEHGS
  • The Weekly Genealogist

  • Vol. 16, No. 45
    Whole #660
    November 6, 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
    * New at the Online Learning Center
    * Writing in Register Style
    * Readers Respond: Ancestors Who Spoke Languages Other Than English
    * The Weekly Genealogist Survey
    * Spotlight: Brainerd, Minnesota, Resources
    * Stories of Interest
    * Great Migration Sale at the NEHGS Bookstore
    * Upcoming Education Programs


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

    Connecticut Vital Records to 1870 (The Barbour Collection)

    Newly added to Connecticut Vital Records to 1870 (The Barbour Collection): Bozrah (1786–1850), East Hartford (1783–1853), Watertown (1780–1850), and Woodbridge (1784–1832). Together, these towns add more than 8,000 records to this database. Compiled from an original Lucius Barnes Barbour typescript in the NEHGS special collections, this database currently contains records for 76 towns in Connecticut.

    The complete Barbour Collection contains records of marriages, births, and deaths in 137 Connecticut towns from the 1640s to about 1850 (some towns include records up to 1870).

    Family Tree Samplers

    This database contains photographs and genealogical information from sixteen family tree samplers in the collection of Marty and Dan Campanelli. A sample from the Campanelli collection was featured in the winter 2012 issue of American Ancestors magazine: “Following the Threads of the Carver Fruit Tree Family Register.” This article is available to NEHGS members and guest users.

    Return to Table of Contents


    New at the Online Learning Center

    Subject Guide for French-Canadian Research

    Visit our Online Learning Center to learn how to trace your French Canadian ancestry with a new subject guide by NEHGS expert genealogist Rhonda McClure. The guide provides how-to tips and resources, explanations on essential record collections, language notes and abbreviations, and more. Researchers of all levels are sure to find helpful advice.

    Our growing Online Learning Center will contain subject guides on a variety of genealogical topics, how-to videos, webinars, online courses, and more. Stay tuned for more resources in the coming weeks and months! If you have questions or feedback, please contact Online Education Coordinator Ginevra Morse at

    Return to Table of Contents


    Writing in Register Style

    “Writing Register Style Using Newer Versions of Word,” a useful article by Seema Kenney, was published in the latest issue of MASSOG, the magazine of the Massachusetts Society of Genealogists. A PDF of the article is available here.

    Other Register style resources are available on our website:

    Our Portable Genealogist series, for sale at the NEHGS Bookstore, includes two titles essential for any genealogist planning to publish research:

    Return to Table of Contents


    Readers Respond: Ancestors Who Spoke Languages Other Than English

    Last week our survey question asked whether you or your more recent ancestors spoke a first language other than English. Two of the emails we received in response to the survey are excerpted below:

    Diane Brook of Wales, UK: My great-grandmother spoke Irish, although born in Scotland of Irish parents. I now live in Wales in the UK, so I am very aware of the non-English languages of the British Isles. I published an article called “Mother Tongues” (Family Tree [UK], November 2011) on the ten languages in Britain and Ireland that were current before 1066 and survived into the period 1500 and later. The article includes sources for researching an ancestor's native language. Also referenced are emigrant communities that preserved some of these languages. [Many thanks to Helen Tovey at Family Tree who kindly posted this article on their blog and provided a link to -- Editor]

    Debbie Semonich of Shelton, Connecticut: When I answered the survey, I first thought of my immigrant great-grandparents and then I wondered if my grandmother, who was born here, spoke Slovak or English as her first language. This question made me think about the fact that one doesn't have to be an immigrant to have a first language other than English. My mother-in-law was born in Connecticut and her first language was French, which I believe she spoke exclusively till she attended elementary school. More amazing to me is her father, who lived his whole life in Connecticut. Not only was his first language French, but his only language was French! Many of the French-Canadian families in his town had been there for at least three generations and spoke only French. I believe it wasn't until my in-laws' generation that English became more important. I think it is rather sad that my husband and his siblings were never taught French. They could never really converse with their grandparents and other family members who spoke only French--such a loss of part of their identity and culture.

    Return to Table of Contents


    The Weekly Genealogist Survey

    Last week’s survey asked if you or any of your more recent ancestors spoke a first language other than English. 4,301 people answered this survey. The results are:

    • 1%, Yes, my first language was not English.
    • 5%, Yes, one of both of my parents spoke a first language that was not English.
    • 21%, Yes, one or more of my grandparents spoke a first language that was not English.
    • 23%, Yes, one or more of my great-grandparents spoke a first language that was not English.
    • 13%, Yes, one or more of my great-great-grandparents spoke a first language that was not English.
    • 36%, No, my ancestors from my great-great-grandparents all spoke English as their first language.
    • 1%, I don't know.

    This week’s survey askswhat style you use most often when writing up a family sketch.Take the survey now!

    Return to Table of Contents


    Spotlight: Brainerd, Minnesota Resources
    by Valerie Beaudrault, Assistant Editor

    Brainerd, Minnesota, Resources

    The city of Brainerd is located in central Minnesota. It is the seat of Crow Wing County. The city has made some historical resources available on its website.

    Historical Newspapers
    A number of issues of two Brainerd weekly newspapers have been digitized. The Brainerd Dispatch's image database, digitized from microfilm found in library and historical society collections, covers August 2, 1883, through December 27, 1901. (A few issues are missing and were not microfilmed.) A few months of the Brainerd Tribune from 1872 have also been digitized. More issues will be added in the future. Click on the date link to open a PDF file with the newspaper pages. Scroll down the file to move from page to page.

    Historical Photos
    Five photographs of Brainerd scenes are on the website.

    Historical City Maps
    Twelve files containing maps of Brainerd, ranging from 1871 through 1949, are in this collection. Some map files, such as the Sanborn Fire Insurance maps, contain several pages of images. Click the thumbnail image to open the PDF files. Scroll down the file to move from page to page.

    The Downtown Brainerd Historical Walk link provides a PDF file with a guide and maps for a walking tour of Brainerd, as well as two videos about the city's history.

    Return to Table of Contents


    Stories of Interest

    The Man Who Loved Cemeteries
    A New York Times op-ed columnist muses on his long relationship with cemeteries

    What's on the Horizon?
    Irish genealogist John Grenham reports on records that will soon be available online.

    Huddersfield Banknote Back in the USA
    NEHGS member Sandi Hewlett was profiled in the Huddersfield Daily Examiner in Yorkshire after she purchased three historic banknotes at auction. She is a descendant of John Dobson, the founder of the bank that issued the notes.

    1947 Dodge Unites Family of Webster Woman
    This past summer a Minnesota brother and sister purchased from their uncle a car that has been in the family for 64 years. Restoring the 1947 Dodge and writing a blog about it has led to closer family ties.

    Return to Table of Contents


    Great Migration Sale at the NEHGS Bookstore

    The NEHGS Bookstore is offering 15% off Great Migration titles, including The Winthrop Fleet; The Pilgrim Migration; The Great Migration Begins, 1620–1633 (hardcover or paperback); The Great Migration: Immigrants to New England 1634–1635 series; and the Great Migration Newsletter compilations (Volumes 1–20 and 16–20).

    To see a full listing of Great Migration titles, visit our store.

    To get your 15% discount, please enter the coupon code GM1113 into the online coupon field (or mention when ordering by phone at 1-888-296-3447).

    *Sale prices are valid through 11/15/13, while supplies last. Discount cannot be combined with any other offers, including the NEHGS member discount or any Great Migration bundle that is already discounted.

    Return to Table of Contents


    Upcoming Research Programs

    Nova Scotia Research Tour
    June 22–29, 2014

    Travel to Halifax, Nova Scotia, to trace your ancestors in Atlantic Canada. Let NEHGS experts David Allen Lambert and Judith Lucey, as well as local historians, guide you through the vast resources at the Nova Scotia Archives and other local repositories. The tour includes lectures, consultations, a walking tour of Halifax, group events, and a day trip to the charming harborside town of Shelburne.

    More information and registration

    Return to Table of Contents


    NEHGS Contact Information  

    We encourage you to email this newsletter to others who might be interested. Subscribe or view back issues of The Weekly Genealogist.

    Visit the Society on Facebook.

    The Weekly Genealogist, like all of our programs, is made possible through the generous contributions of our members. Visit us online for information about giving to NEHGS.

    For more information on the New England Historic Genealogical Society, please visit our website.

    Become a member of the New England Historic Genealogical Society.


    Copyright 2013, New England Historic Genealogical Society
    99–101 Newbury Street, Boston, MA 02116

    Return to Table of Contents

New England Historic Genealogical Society
99 - 101 Newbury Street
Boston, Massachusetts 02116, USA

© 2010 - 2014 New England Historic Genealogical Society