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  • The Weekly Genealogist

  • Vol. 16, No. 05
    Whole #620
    January 30, 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.

    * Doppelgänger Ancestors on the NEHGS Facebook Page
    * NEHGS Database News
    * In Development: NH History Online
    * A Note from the Editor: Great Enthusiasm for the Old Connecticut Path
    * Name Origins
    * The Weekly Genealogist Survey
    * Spotlight: California and Wisconsin Library Resources
    * Stories of Interest
    * Great Migration Book Sale
    * Upcoming Education Programs

    Doppelgänger Ancestors on the NEHGS Facebook Page

    Next week, February 3–9, is the annual “Doppelgänger Week” on Facebook. Users are invited to post a picture of the celebrity or personality they most resemble. Here at NEHGS, we’d like to add our own family history twist!

    Starting Sunday, February 3, we invite our NEHGS Facebook friends to post photos of themselves along with ancestors or relatives they resemble.  

    At the end of the week, NEHGS will select the three best matches. Each winner will receive a 30-minute expert consultation and a book from our publications department. Visit the NEHGS Facebook page for more info and to post your photos. Remember, we’ll need to see photos of both you and your ancestor!

    Not already a friend of NEHGS on Facebook? Join us today!

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

    Connecticut Vital Records Update

    Newly added to Connecticut Vital Records to 1870 (The Barbour Collection): Canaan (1739–1852), Goshen (1739–1854), Harwinton (1737–1854), and New Hartford (1740–1854), birth, marriage, and death records. These towns add more than 11,000 records to this database collection, which is compiled from an original Lucius Barnes Barbour typescript in the NEHGS special collections.

    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.

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    In Development: NH History Online

    Researchers with New Hampshire ancestors can look forward to the launch of a major initiative by the New Hampshire Historical Society. The Society is working to create a new comprehensive online resource, NH History Online, which will include digital images of its collections, as well as transcriptions and interpretive information. The material to be digitized includes 31,000 objects, 200,000 photographs, and over two million manuscript pages.

    NH History Online is modeled upon the nationally acclaimed Maine Memory Network, a project of the Maine Historical Society. The new website will include an overview exhibit of New Hampshire history in virtual form (updated from the core exhibit at the museum), and virtual displays that correspond with changing exhibitions in the Society’s galleries. Local historical societies and libraries from around the state will be able to share their own digitized materials in the network. (After a decade of operation the Maine Memory Network now includes over 250 Maine local historical societies and libraries.) And an interactive website will allow public school teachers to maintain and save customized lesson plans and resources that tie into the state’s curriculum standards.

    NH History Online is the product of four years of study and planning by the Society’s board and staff, and two years of discussions with the Maine Historical Society. A national foundation has provided joint funding to the New Hampshire and Maine Historical Societies for the initial design of NH History Online. This collaboration will benefit both organizations as they share the cost of developing new technology to support each state’s system.

    The timeline calls for the creation of the final blueprint for the project over the next six months, with a fall implementation and a projected launch of NH History Online in late 2013/early 2014.

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    A Note from the Editor: Great Enthusiasm for the Old Connecticut Path
    by Lynn Betlock, Editor

    Last week we featured an article by Jason Newton, an NEHGS member, on his Old Connecticut Path project. Jason reported great interest in the topic from Weekly Genealogist readers. In the past week, his Old Connecticut Path website was visited by over 4,000 first time visitors and the project’s YouTube videos were viewed by visitors from 47 U.S. states and the District of Columbia!

    Here are excerpts from just a few of the many comments sent to Jason Newton:

    Jan Welch of Clifton, Virginia: Just yesterday my husband and I drove from Westborough, Mass., through Hartford on our way to Virginia, where we live, and as we were driving I wondered if anyone had been or was able to trace the path. My family connections are many, and include Stephen Hart, Anthony Howkins, John Lee, Nathaniel Foote, William Buell, Josiah Churchill, and dozens of others. Thank you for tracing the path. Now I will make it a priority to follow as much of the path as much as possible from the material you have provided. Perhaps next summer.  

    Martin Marix Evans of Towcester, Northamptonshire, England: I was very interested to see your announcement in the NEHGS enewsletter, as I live five miles from Towcester where Thomas Hooker met up with Samuel Stone, then a resident of the town, before setting off for Boston in 1633. I admire your enterprise in rediscovering the Old Connecticut Path. People are very interested in buildings but, here in the UK, find it harder to engage with landscapes. The tracing of ancient pathways reveals so much in history.

    Donna Brock of Wayland, Mass.: I saw the information about your Old Connecticut Path project on the NEHGS Weekly Genealogist newsletter and felt compelled to write. I live on the Old Connecticut Path in Wayland, Massachusetts. At the end of our street, on a small island right before the road intersects with Boston Post Road, is a rock with a plaque to mark the significance of the road and Rev. Hooker. [Readers might find a 2010 New York Times article on the Boston Post Road (between Boston and New York) to be of interest. — LB]

    Ric Skinner, GISP, of Sturbridge, Mass.: Your research into the Old Connecticut Path is fascinating! I completed a project in 2009 with a small grant from The Last Green Valley to map the route of the Indian Bay Path through Sturbridge. The report is available online. My primary source document was Levi Badger Chase’s field map, used when he walked the route across Massachusetts, and his book, The Bay Path and Along the Way.

    David W. Chester of Sherborn, Mass.: I had always wondered about the Old Connecticut Path but then dismissed it as undoubtedly long lost to interstates, state highways, malls, developments, and suburban blight. Now you have rekindled my interest in the path, the famous trek, and perhaps, as you suggest, catching a glimpse into our distant past. The Rev. Thomas Hooker was the brother of my ancestor, Dorothy (Hooker) Chester. 

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    Name Origins
    by Julie Helen Otto, Genealogist

    HOMER (m): The Greek epic poet, author of The Iliad and The Odyssey. Homer Micaijah Daggett, b. Attleborough, Mass. 27 Jan. 1821, was (with his twin Homer Naphthali) a son of Ebenezer and Sally (Maxcy) Daggett. In the 1790 census, three men are listed with the given name Homer: Homer Boardman of New Milford, Connecticut; Homer Potter of Queensbury, New York; and Homer Sacket of Warren, Connecticut. In the 1850 census, there were 2,907 men with the name; and in 1940 there were 89,632.

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    The Weekly Genealogist Survey

    Last week’s survey asked whether any of your ancestors earned a living on the water. 3,636 people answered this survey. The results are:

    • 25%, Yes, at least one of my ancestors was a fisherman, lobsterman, or oysterman.
    • 10%, Yes, at least one of my ancestors was a whaler.
    • 37%, Yes, at least one of my ancestors was on the crew of a merchant ship or commercial vessel.
    • 9%, Yes, at least one of my ancestors was on the crew of a passenger ship.
    • 32%, Yes, at least one of my ancestors served on a Navy or Coast Guard ship.
    • 27%, Yes, at least one of my ancestors was employed in a maritime-related trade on land. (ex. shipbuilder)
    • 19%, Yes, at least one of my ancestors was a “boatman” — a rather ambiguous term that could encompass a range of maritime-related activities.
    • 11%, Yes, at least one of my ancestors earned a living on the water through another occupation.
    • 10%, I don't know.
    • 18%, No, none of my ancestors earned a living on the water.

    This week’s survey asks whether you or any of your ancestors have traveled on the Old Connecticut Path. Take the survey now!

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    Spotlight: California and Wisconsin Library Resources
    by Valerie Beaudrault, Assistant Editor

    Historical Newspaper Archives, Torrance Public Library, California  

    The city of Torrance is located in the southwestern region of Los Angeles County, California. It was incorporated in 1921. The Torrance Public Library has made available on its website a collection of resources related to the city’s history. This collaborative project involves the Torrance Historical Society, the Friends of the Library, and the City of Torrance.

    The library’s website contains a newspaper database and a city/phone directory database. Both databases, which contain more than 100,000 digitized images, are full-text searchable via the same search function. Enter a keyword in the search box; choose the database to search, and number of results per page. The library staff has provided search strategies to help you get the best results. Click on the Advanced Search Tips to access them. You can also browse the individual newspapers and city/phone directories by date. Browse links may be found below the search box.

    Historic Newspaper Archive
    The newspaper database covers the period from 1913 through 1969. The database includes the following newspapers: The Torrance Press, originally The Peninsula Press (1949–1964), and The Torrance Herald (1914–1969). Click on the link in the search results to open a full-page image of the original newspaper in PDF format.

    Historic City and Phone Directories
    The Torrance and South Bay area city/phone directory databases cover various years between 1922 and 1975. Click on the link in the search results to open a full-page image of the original directory in PDF format.

    Local History, La Crosse Public Library Archives, Wisconsin  

    The city of La Crosse is located in the southwestern part of Wisconsin, along the Mississippi River. It is the county seat of La Crosse County. The La Crosse Public Library Archives has many genealogy-related resources in its collections. Indexes to a number of them have been made available through a library database. Click on the local genealogy database to access the database. The resources include obituaries (1904–1960; 1968–1969; 1983–present); births (1987–present); marriages (1987–present); divorces (1992–present); and cemeteries.

    The index is searchable by first name and last name. (Note that parents’ names should be used when searching births.) Select the database or databases that you want to search. You can also choose sort order, gender, and number of results returned from drop down lists. The data fields in the search results are name(s), event date, report date, and source. In the source field the data also includes the residence of the individual named in the record. The data fields in the cemeteries search results are name, birth, death, and cemetery. Click on the browse link to view a more detailed record, including remarks. Click on the cemetery name to open a new page with a brief history of the cemetery, including a map showing its location.

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    Stories of Interest

    The Civil War, Letter by Letter
    [Scroll down to the third story.] “To mark the Civil War sesquicentennial, the University of North Carolina’s Louis Round Wilson Special Collections Library is publishing one piece of Civil War-era correspondence a day, 150 years to the day after it was written.”

    Lost and Found Again: Photos of African Americans on the Plains
    For decades photographer Douglas Keister held on to 280 plate-glass negatives he’d acquired at age seventeen in Lincoln, Nebraska. “Almost by accident, he realized, he had conserved a rare glimpse into the everyday lives of an African-American community on the Great Plains.”

    Are You Carrying the Redhead Gene?
    “A British ancestry company, BritainsDNA, is now offering parents the chance to see if their children might inherit the so-called ‘ginger gene,’ The Telegraph reports."

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    Great Migration Book Sale

    The Bookstore at NEHGS is offering 15% of all Great Migration titles.

    • The Great Migration Begins (hardcover): Was $99.00, Now $84.15
    • The Great Migration Begins (paperback): Was $79.95, Now $67.96
    • The Great Migration: Immigrants to New England, 1634–1635, Volume I, A–B: Was $59.95, Now $50.96
    • The Great Migration: Immigrants to New England, 1634–1635, Volume II, C–F: Was $59.95, Now $50.96
    • The Great Migration: Immigrants to New England, 1634–1635, Volume III, G–H: Was $59.95, Now $50.96
    • The Great Migration: Immigrants to New England, 1634–1635, Volume IV, I–L: Was $59.95, Now $50.96
    • The Great Migration: Immigrants to New England, 1634–1635, Volume V, M–P: Was $59.95, Now $50.96
    • The Great Migration: Immigrants to New England, 1634–1635, Volume VI, R–S: Was $64.95, Now $55.21
    • The Great Migration: Immigrants to New England, 1634–1635, Volume VII, T–Y: Was $64.95, Now $55.21
    • The Pilgrim Migration: Immigrants to Plymouth Colony, 1620–1633: Was $29.95, Now $25.46
    • The Great Migration Newsletter, Volumes 1–20: Was $27.95, Now $23.76
    • The Great Migration Newsletter, Volumes 16–20: Was $11.95, Now $10.16

    To get the 15% discount, enter the code BRR113 into the coupon field online (or mention it when ordering by phone at 1-888-296-3447).

    Prices are good through February 8th, 2013, while supplies last. Offer cannot be combined with any other discounts, including the NEHGS member discount. Prices do not include shipping.

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    Upcoming Education Programs

    Writing and Publishing Seminar, Part II
    99–101 Newbury St., Boston, Mass.
    February 23, 2013, 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m.

    If you're ready to turn your family history research into a publication, join the experts at NEHGS to learn best practices in publishing your findings. NEHGS offers guidance on writing and publishing your family history project in this two-part seminar. Workshops in Part 1, held in September 2012, included defining your project, writing in genealogical format, working with images, and adding narrative to your genealogy. Part 2 delves into the editorial process and book production (focusing on self-publishing), and offers a chance to meet with publishers and printers and consult with experts.

    Prerequisite: A first draft of a publication or attendance at Part I in September 2012.

    Deadline for registration is February 1! Register online.

    Washington, D.C., Research Tour
    March 10–17, 2013

    Discover family history resources in the nation's capital with NEHGS. Visit the National Archives and Records Administration, the Daughters of the American Revolution Library, and the Library of Congress during this intensive week of guided research, individual consultations, lectures, and group events.

    NEHGS experts Henry B. Hoff, David Allen Lambert, and Rhonda R. McClure will accompany the group.

    Deadline for registration is February 8! Details and registration.

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    NEHGS Contact Information  

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

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