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  • The Weekly Genealogist

  • Vol. 17, No. 11
    Whole #678
    March 12, 2014
    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.

    * Now Available in the January 2014 Issue of the Register
    * NEHGS Database News
    * New at Online Learning Center
    * Ask a Genealogist
    * The Emilie Davis Diaries Project
    * Spotlight: Mahoning County, Ohio Cemetery Resources
    * The Weekly Genealogist Survey
    * Stories of Interest
    * 20% Off Essential New England Titles
    * Upcoming Education Programs


    Now Available in the January 2014 Issue of the Register

    The Origin of Thomas Gleason of Watertown and Cambridge, Massachusetts, by Judith Gleason Claassen

    The Earliest Shermans of Dedham, Essex, and Their Wives: Part 6: Edmund Sherman and His Descendants, by Michael Johnson Wood

    “Book of Births & Deaths of Benjamin and Rachel Brenton’s family,” by Cherry Fletcher Bamberg

    The Family of Philip (Sole) Sales of the Winthrop Fleet, by Patricia Law Hatcher

    Henry1 Butterworth of Halifax, Yorkshire, and Weymouth, Massachusetts, by Clifford L. Stott

    Early Coy and Harris Families of Eastern Connecticut: A Further Analysis of the 1798 Estate of Martha Harris, by Gale Ion Harris

    Abigail Cobb, Wife of Ebenezer7 Fairbank, and Daughter of Ebenezer2 (Stephen1) Cobb of Cheshire County, New Hampshire, by Patricia Sezna Haggerty

    Also in this issue … Editorial, Reviews of Books

    A subscription to the Register is a benefit of NEHGS membership. If you are not a member, you can 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

    Connecticut Vital Records to 1870(The Barbour Collection)

    Newly added to Connecticut Vital Records to 1870 (The Barbour Collection): New Canaan (1801–1854), Oxford (1793–1850), Waterford (1801–1851), and Wolcott (1796–1854). Together, these towns add more than 5,400 records to this database. Compiled from an original Lucius Barnes Barbour typescript in the NEHGS special collections, this database currently contains records for 96 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). 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.

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    New at the Online Learning Center

    Online Courses—exclusively for NEHGS Members:*

    Getting Started in Genealogy
    Saturdays, March 15, 22 & 29, 3 P.M. EST
    Instructor: Rhonda McClure, Genealogist

    How do you get started in genealogy? There are plenty of websites, libraries, and printed sources out there, but access to all that information can leave a beginner feeling overwhelmed. Let NEHGS Senior Researcher Rhonda R. McClure help you navigate the first steps in tracing your family history. This course includes three 1.5-hour online seminars, exclusive access to a recording of each presentation, handouts and worksheets, assessment, and in-depth Q&A sessions with the instructor. Cost: $65 Register today!

    FREE Webinar (open to the public)

    Irish Resources at NEHGS
    Tuesday, March 25, 3 p.m. EST
    Presented by: Judy Lucey, Archivist

    Discover what Irish resources await you at NEHGS—both on-site and online. Join NEHGS archivist and Irish genealogy expert Judy Lucey as she provides an overview of our invaluable reference works, online databases available at, and unique manuscript items. Plus, gain a basic understanding of the concepts essential to Irish research. Register today!

    Our growing Online Learning Center contains subject guides on a variety of genealogical topics, informative 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

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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: Can you tell me anything about the migration path my ancestor might have taken when he moved from West Springfield, Massachusetts, to Marcellus, Onondaga County, New York? I think my ancestor, who was enumerated in the 1820 census in Marcellus, was born in West Springfield in 1790.

    Answer by Genealogist Alice Kane: William Dollarhide’s succinct Map Guide to American Migration Routes, 1735–1815 (Heritage Quest, 1997) outlines a route (on page 14) that goes west from Springfield to Catskill, N.Y., then north to Albany. From Albany, the Mohawk Turnpike continues west to Onondaga County and beyond. Albany is a major junction of migration to western New York and into Pennsylvania; a map and brief descriptions about the migratory routes from that city can be found here.

    To further document your ancestor’s migration, you should conduct research in Springfield to locate land sale transactions that might have occurred prior to a move to New York. If your ancestor’s father’s place of death can be found, his probate record or posthumous land transactions may identify his children and their locations to confirm your ancestor’s presence in New York. A census study comparing families with that surname in Massachusetts and New York in the 1810, 1820, and 1830 censuses could reveal patterns of relationship that then could be pursued in local records.

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    The Emilie Davis Diaries Project
    by Lynn Betlock, Editor

    An article in the most recent issue of Common-Place, an online journal sponsored by the American Antiquarian Society, examines the experience of digitizing a historic text and inviting the larger community to collaborate in shaping it and assigning meaning to it.

    As part of Common-Place’s focus on “The Civil War at 150: Memory and Meaning,” Villanova University Professor of History Judy Giesberg shared her experience with the Emilie Davis Diaries Project. A young free black woman living in Philadelphia during the Civil War, Emilie Davis kept three diaries, one each for 1863, 1864, and 1865. Her writings offer a valuable perspective, particularly because black women are underrepresented in Civil War-era first-person accounts. In January 2012, Dr. Giesberg and a group of graduate students began to transcribe and annotate the diaries, making them available online at a dedicated website, Memorable Days. The first diary entry, on January 1, 1863, was written on Emancipation Day: “To day has bin a memorable day and i thank god i have bin sperd to see it the day was religously observed all the churches were open we had quite a jubilee in the evenin i went to Joness to a Party had a very pleasant time.”

    Dr. Giesburg writes: “Digital history offers opportunities to democratize access to the past and to invite users into the research process. We saw our collaboration grow in concentric circles, beginning with me and a small group of graduate students at Villanova (‘Team Emilie’); then a team of digital librarians and a web designer; students in undergraduate, middle school, and high school classes; and finally Website users and audiences at commemorative events. Instead of working for years on a project before “releasing” it to the public, much of the work was done in public, as we invited students to take a stab at transcription and to identify points at which the diary should be annotated. The collaboration continues on our site, where users participate and join in the investigation.”

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    Spotlight: Mahoning County, Ohio Cemetery Resources
    by Valerie Beaudrault, Assistant Editor

    Goshen Township Cemetery Databases, Ohio

    Goshen Township is located in Mahoning County, in eastern Ohio. Its county seat is Youngstown. Goshen has made available on its website databases for Bunker Hill Cemetery, East Goshen Cemetery, and Lumberton Cemetery. Click the Cemeteries link in the contents list to access the databases, then click the cemetery links near the bottom of the page to open each database. The data fields may include lot number, lot position, owner, name of the deceased, burial date, veteran status, birth date, death date, age, purchase date and amount, funeral home, and notes.

    Tod Homestead Cemetery, Ohio

    Tod Homestead Cemetery is located in Youngstown, Ohio, the seat of Mahoning County. The cemetery was established in 1908. A second cemetery, the Rodef Sholom Cemetery, was relocated to the Tod Homestead Cemetery four years later. Youngstown Township Cemetery, a “potters field,” was added in 1914. More than 35,000 burials are recorded in the database.

    Click the “About Us” tab in the menu bar and select “Cemetery History” from the dropdown menu to learn more about the cemetery. Select “Cemetery Layout” for interactive and downloadable cemetery maps. Click “Find a Grave” on the menu bar to begin your search of the burial database. You can search the database by entering part of the first or last name. The data fields in the database are first name, last name, age, date of death, and section of the cemetery in which the deceased is buried.

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    The Weekly Genealogist Survey

    Last week’s survey asked how many formal genealogical interviews you have conducted with relatives. 3,448 people answered the survey. More than one answer could be selected. The results are:

    • 13%, None, and I don’t plan on conducting interviews in the future.
    • 7%, None, but I plan on conducting interviews in the future.
    • 8%, One
    • 35%, Two to four
    • 19%, Five to nine
    • 7%, Ten to fourteen
    • 2%, Fifteen to nineteen
    • 6%, Twenty or more
    • 4%, I don’t know.
    • 8%, A relative has conducted a genealogical interview with me.

    This week’s survey asks about your current affiliation with NEHGS.Take the survey now!

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    Stories of Interest

    Closure/Consolidations of Three National Archives Facilities
    On Tuesday the National Archives announced plans to close the NARA branch in Anchorage and consolidate NARA facilities in Philadelphia and Fort Worth. An Anchorage Daily News story about local reaction to the closing is available here.

    Washington [Pennsylvania] Funeral Director Hopes Website Connects Families with Cremated Remains of Loved Ones
    “After years of contemplation, [funeral home director] Michael Neal recently opened, an online registry of unclaimed cremated remains—also known as cremains—in the possession of funeral homes, coroners and other agencies.”

    Homesteader’s Shanty on the State Quarter? Don’t Sell the Familiar Scene Short
    Omaha World Herald columnist Erin Grace writes about Nebraska’s design for its national park state quarter and the Homestead National Monument.

    The Historian Who Unearthed Twelve Years a Slave
    Sue Eakin, who died at age 90 in 2009 and taught at Louisiana State University at Alexandria for twenty-five years, “spent her career rescuing [Solomon] Northup’s memoir [Twelve Years a Slave] from obscurity.”

    Mother and Child Utah Reunion Only a Click and 50 Years Away
    A man adopted as a baby didn’t intend to look for his birth family, but a DNA match online led him to his mother and siblings.

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    Sale Extended! 20% Off Essential New England Titles

    The Bookstore at NEHGS is offering 20% discount on titles to help you with your New England research.

    To get your 20% discount, enter the code NE0314 into the coupon field online, or mention it when ordering via phone at 1-888-296-3447.

    *Prices good through 3/14/14, while supplies last. Prices do not include shipping. Offer cannot be combined with any other discounts, including the NEHGS member discount.

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    Upcoming Education Programs

    Uncovering African American Stories
    When: Wednesday, March 26, 2014, 6–8 p.m.
    Where: 99–101 Newbury Street, Boston, Mass.

    The lives of African Americans have long been hidden in histories of the northern United States. However, the labor and contributions of African Americans, enslaved and free, are a part of many New England sites. Join Historic New England museum historian Jennifer Pustz as she explores the African American experience across New England from the eighteenth to the early twentieth centuries through the lens of historic properties.

    Expert genealogist David Allen Lambert will discuss the primary and secondary sources available at the New England Historic Genealogical Society for researching African Americans in New England. He will highlight how to best utilize materials such as vital records, probates, deeds, and newspapers to further expand your knowledge of African American ancestry. A wide range of sources from family manuscripts to Internet resources will give you the clues to further your research and trace your family tree.

    Co-sponsored with Historic New England.

    Registration is required. Free to Historic New England and New England Historic Genealogical Society members, $5 nonmembers.

    To register, call 617-994-5959 or click here.

    Nova Scotia Research Tour
    When: June 22–29, 2014
    Where: Halifax, Nova Scotia

    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

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    NEHGS Contact Information  

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    Copyright 2014, 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

© 2010 - 2014 New England Historic Genealogical Society