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  • The Weekly Genealogist

  • Vol. 16, No. 08
    Whole #623
    February 20, 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.

    * Ancestry Day with NEHGS
    * In the January 2013 Issue of the Register
    * NEHGS Database News
    * The African American Cemetery of Rye, New York
    * Name Origins
    * The Weekly Genealogist Survey
    * Spotlight: Alaska State Archives
    * Stories of Interest
    * Upcoming Education Programs

    Ancestry Day with NEHGS

    Sheraton Boston Hotel, 39 Dalton St., Boston, Mass.
    Saturday, March 2, 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m.

    Now just ten days away! NEHGS and are pleased to invite you to attend Ancestry Day with NEHGS on Saturday, March 2, 2013. This day-long program will offer classes and sessions to help you get the most out of your family history research. Whether you are new to genealogy or have been researching for many years, you can learn new techniques, methodologies, and make the most of the resources available at NEHGS and Details and registration

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    In the January 2013 Issue of the Register

    The current issue of the Register is available online. Members who receive the print journal will see it in their mailboxes soon.

    Julian Adcocke, Wife of John1 Sutton of Hingham and Rehoboth, Massachusetts, and Their Family
    by Eugene Cole Zubrinsky

    Richard1 Pratt of Maldon, Essex, and Malden, Massachusetts
    by Stanley E. Pratt  

    The Estate of Martha Harris and Early Bacon Families of Eastern Connecticut
    by Gale Ion Harris

    The Earliest Shermans of Dedham, Essex, and Their Wives: Part 2: Henry Sherman the Younger and His Wife
    by Michael J. Wood (continued from 166:258)

    Sampson1 Dunbar and His Family
    by The Dunbar Research Team (concluded from 166:297)

    The Ancestry of Mary Whitten (Whiting), Wife of Ichabod Crippen
    by Henry Z Jones, Jr. (concluded from 166:270)  

    Also in this issue . . .
    Editorial and Reviews of Books

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

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

    Families of Ancient New Haven — Completely Re-indexed

    This eight-volume, 2,100-page database has been completely re-indexed, increasing the number of name entries from 65,000 to 92,000. The original index was based on a work which only indexed the names of individuals who did not have the same surnames as the featured families. The new all-name index provides many more search results.

    Families of Ancient New Haven is an eight-volume work created by Donald Lines Jacobus between 1923 and 1932. These volumes were originally published as New Haven Genealogical Magazine, which was the predecessor of The American Genealogist.

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    The African American Cemetery of Rye, New York
    by Carol Ubosi, Guest Author

    My mother’s family was committed to maintaining graves of family members. As a child, I would accompany my mother, May Bell P. Smith, and my aunts, Ruth Potter and Flora Murphy, to the African American cemetery adjacent to Greenwood Cemetery in Rye, New York. I was unaware that the African American cemetery was actually a separate cemetery. Due to lack of maintenance, it was often difficult to enter. During our visits, we would plant flowers and remove weeds and bushes around the graves of my grandmother, Mary Bell Potter, and my aunt, Dorothy Potter. My mother told me that her grandparents, Samuel E. Bell and Elmira Purdy Bell, were buried nearby, as was her uncle, Edwin Purdy, who served on the USS Mahopac. Many years later we discovered a letter written by Edwin Purdy describing being in Washington, D.C., at the time of Lincoln’s assassination. My great-grandfather, Samuel E. Bell, was a member of the Massachusetts 54th Regiment, Co. E. His wife, Elmira, kept not only his pension papers, but his funeral receipt dated 1882, totaling $80.

    According to the town of Rye website: “The African Cemetery was established in Rye when its site was deeded to the town on June 27, 1860, by Underhill and Elizabeth Halsted ‘(to) be forever after kept and used for the purposes of a cemetery or burial place for the colored inhabitants of the said Town of Rye and its vicinity free and clear of any charge therefore.’…The cemetery includes a variety of professionally carved and dressed grave stones, with 35 indicating that a war veteran is interred. African American veterans of the Civil War through World War II are buried here… In 1983 the African Cemetery was listed as a Westchester County Tercentennial Historic Site, and in 2003 the cemetery was listed in the National Register of Historic Places.”

    More information about the cemetery, including restoration project details and a local news video, is available online.

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    Name Origins
    by Julie Helen Otto, Genealogist

    ETHAN (m): (1 Chron. 2:6. This verse, detailing some of the descendants of Judah, states, “And the sons of Zerah; Zimri, and Ethan, and Heman, and Calcol, and Dara: five of them in all.") Joseph and Mary (Baker) Allen of Litchfield and Cornwall, Connecticut, took this verse literally. Three of their six sons — Ethan Allen (1737–1789), of Ticonderoga fame; Heman Allen (1740–1778); and Zimri Allen (1748–c. 1775) — were named from this one verse.

    Be warned that many people named sons for the Vermont hero. If the parents’ surname was also Allen, after a generation or two family members often assumed that they were closely related to the Ethan Allen. NO ONE now bearing the surname is an agnate (male-line) descendant of Ethan Allen. The last of these, Ethan Allen V (1883–1911), descended from Ethan Allen’s youngest child, Ethan Alphonso Allen (1789–1855), died married, but without children, in Brooklyn, N.Y. Of the six Allen brothers, only Heman Allen has agnate descendants now living; for his descendants to ca. 1907, see Orrin Peer Allen, The Allen Memorial: Second Series. Descendants of Samuel Allen of Windsor, Connecticut, 16401907 [Palmer, Mass., 1907].

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    The Weekly Genealogist Survey

    Last week’s survey asked whether you own any ancestral valentines or love letters. More than one answer could be selected. 2,616 people answered this survey. The results are:

    • 29%, Yes, I own at least one original valentine that belonged to a parent, grandparent, or earlier ancestor.
    • 4%, Yes, I have copies of at least one valentine that belonged to a parent, grandparent, or earlier ancestor.
    • 27%, Yes, I own at least one original love letter that belonged to a parent, grandparent, or earlier ancestor.
    • 8%, Yes, I have copies of at least one love letter that belonged to a parent, grandparent, or earlier ancestor.
    • 53%, No, I do not have any valentines or love letters that belonged to an ancestor.

    This week’s survey asks about your relationship to New England. Take the survey now!

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    Spotlight: Alaska State Archives

    by Valerie Beaudrault, Assistant Editor

    Alaska State Archives  

    The Alaska State Archives has made a number of resources available on its website. Click on the For Researchers link to access them. The resources include but are not limited to:

    Territorial Governors Letterpress Books
    This online collection contains the digitized images of letters of territorial governors for the period from 1884 to 1919. This is a work in progress. You can view the books file by file (scroll to the bottom of the page to find the links) or click on the By Subject Listing link to open a new page with an alphabetical listing of subjects treated in the letters. Click on the subject heading to expand the list to include links to “index pages or groups of related documents in the various Governor Letterpress books.” You should note that the numbers in the index pages refer to letter number, not the page number.

    Probate Index
    The probate index comprises approximately 17,000 probate cases. The cases were administered in the district court system, which served Alaska from 1884 until the Alaska State Court system was established in 1960. The types of cases indexed include estates, guardianship of minors, adoptions, search and rescue, and sanity hearings. It should be noted that the probate records collection is not comprehensive because many were destroyed by fire, natural disasters, or neglect prior to Alaskan statehood. The index is arranged alphabetically by surname. The data fields include last name, first name, case number (if available), precinct, type of case, date, whether it is a docket or a case file, and the location of files, if available.

    Naturalization Records
    The naturalization database serves as an index to 6,045 records created in the district courts of Juneau, Petersburg, Skagway, Wrangell, Nome, and Cordova. The index is arranged alphabetically by surname. The data fields include last name, first name, AKA (also known as) last name, AKA first name, country of origin, type, archival location, date of application, record type, judicial precinct, case number, residence, and occupation. There is also a guide to the Archives’ naturalization record holdings.

    Military Service Records
    The Alaskan Legislature passed an act in 1923 that required compiling a list of all Alaskans who served in the Army, Navy, and Marine Corps during World War I. The Secretary of Alaska placed the list in the Territorial Auditor’s Office of all Alaska Territory residents who served in these branches between April 6, 1917, and November 11, 1918. The data has been transcribed to spreadsheets and converted to PDF files. The data fields in the Service Personnel Information file include the individual’s name, age, residence, place and date of entry, branch of service, service record, and date, place, and type of discharge. There is a second file that contains information about individuals who died while in the service. The data fields for the Death Statistics file are last name, first name, enlistment type, date enlisted, died, station, cause of death, and branch of service.

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    Stories of Interest

    Irish American Heritage Museum Are Looking for the Best Soda Bread
    The Irish American Heritage Museum in Albany, N.Y., is holding the First Annual Irish Soda Bread Competition on March 9.

    Civil War Letters on Display in Portsmouth
    Letters at the University of New Hampshire Milne Special Collections written by and to New Hampshire soldiers are being exhibited at the Portsmouth Public Library.

    Daughter Writes, Mother Reconciles
    Pat Skidmore of Port Moody, British Columbia, researched her mother’s past as a "Home Child" and wrote a book about it. In 1937, her mother, Marjorie Arnison, then a child, was sent from Northern England to an institution in British Columbia.

    Digging for Roots Can Yield Gold
    Columnist Joan Morris of the San Jose Mercury News relates the unexpected discoveries she made while researching her genealogy.

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    Upcoming Education Programs

    London Research Tour
    May 19–26, 2013

    In the most recent Weekly Genealogist survey, readers chose London as the destination they’d most like to visit on a future NEHGS research trip. Here’s your chance! Experience the wealth of information available in London's archives as NEHGS returns to the U.K. Participants will enjoy one-on-one consultations, guided research at the Society of Genealogists and The National Archives, and two group dinners. Daily educational activities include lectures and tours by the experts from the SoG, The National Archives, and NEHGS. NEHGS experts Christopher Child and David Dearborn will accompany the group. Details and registration  

    New! Essex, Norfolk, & Suffolk County Record Offices Research Tour
    May 27–May 31, 2013

    For the first time, NEHGS will lead a tour of county record offices in England. Join us for trips to the archives of Essex, Suffolk, and Norfolk, and take advantage of opportunities to learn from local experts. The trip, which immediately follows our London Research Tour held from May 19–26, will be based in Bury St. Edmunds in Suffolk, with day trips to the county record offices in Bury St. Edmunds, Norwich, and Chelmsford. Details and registration.

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