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  • The Weekly Genealogist

  • Vol. 17, No. 12
    Whole #679
    March 19, 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.

    * NEHGS Database News
    * New at Online Learning Center
    * Features from the American Jewish Historical Society
    * Irish Genealogy Study Group
    * A Note from the Editor: A Featured Blog
    * Spotlight: York County Library, South Carolina
    * The Weekly Genealogist Survey
    * Stories of Interest
    * Sale on Irish Research Titles
    * Upcoming Education Programs


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

    Vermont Marriage Records to 1871

    Our Vermont vital records database now contains pre-1871 marriage records filed at the state level. These records are currently held by the Vermont State Archives and Records Administration. Names of parents and spouses have also been indexed, when available. The records held in this collection refer to the statewide index of vital records maintained by the Vermont State Archives. Town clerks were required to send copies of vital records to the state beginning in 1857. The state government began creating a statewide index to these records in 1919. The original vital records are still held at the town level. It may be possible to obtain a copy of the original record by contacting the corresponding town clerk’s office.

    Boston, MA: Taking Records, 1800 (Transcribed by Chief Genealogist David Allen Lambert)

    Since the 1800 Boston census records do not survive, the 1800 Boston tax lists, or “taking books,” are particularly valuable. Additional information may include: occupation or employment status; mental or physical disability; whether “at sea”; and, sometimes, race or ethnicity. The original 1800 tax lists are held at the Boston Public Library’s Rare Book Department. The database includes 4,648 records.

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    New at the Online Learning Center

    Sign up for the FREE Webinar*

    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!

    *If you can’t attend the live session, a recording of the presentation will be available at the following day.

    Learn more about family history research and resources in Ireland with our Irish genealogy subject guide.

    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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    Features from the American Jewish Historical Society

    This week we launch a new occasional column highlighting stories from the collections and resources of our partners at the American Jewish Historical Society (AJHS). Founded in 1892, AJHS is the oldest ethnic historical society in the country. Its mission is “to foster awareness and appreciation of American Jewish heritage and serve as a national scholarly resource for research through the collection, preservation, and dissemination of materials related to American Jewish history.” In 2013, NEHGS became the permanent home of the New England Archive of AJHS, that portion of the AJHS collection relating to Jewish genealogy and Jewish cultural and institutional history in Greater Boston and New England.

    Our new column will feature selections from Chapters in American Jewish History, a series of essays edited by Michael Feldberg, Ph.D., Executive Director of AJHS from 1991 to 2004 and the current Executive Director of the George Washington Institute for Religious Freedom.

    In the spirit of spring and the approach of baseball season, we begin our new column with a Chapters in American Jewish History essay profiling Hank Greenberg, baseball’s first Jewish superstar.

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    Irish Genealogy Study Group

    The Irish Genealogy Study Group will meet on Saturday, March 22, 2014, between 10 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 bring records for discussion. 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: A Featured Blog
    by Lynn Betlock, Editor

    Our latest blog profile features Stories from Ipswich, written by Gordon Harris. Here, Gordon introduces his blog:

    After I met my wife, Deb, 14 years ago, she introduced me to Ipswich, Massachusetts, and I immediately fell in love with the town. Soon we found a home in Ipswich and I began leading cycling tours of the North Shore for Elderhostel. To further my own education and promote the tours I developed a personal website about the town, and this circuitous path eventually brought me to join the Ipswich Historical Commission. My first task was to create the site Historic Ipswich so that we could share our wealth of photos, documents, and historic resources.

    Being a woodworker and carpenter, I was especially interested in our 59 “First Period” homes, but as I began digging through the information, I became fascinated by the stories about the town’s residents. My old website became a great location for Stories from Ipswich. Most of these stories have circulated about town for a long time, so, in a sense, they’re all true! To promote the two sites, I joined a couple of Facebook groups, “I Love Ipswich MA” and “I grew up in Ipswich.” From people on these sites I have received photos and additional information about their historic homes. The popularity of the sites affirms my instinct that providing accessible information about the history of a place is a viable tool for promoting preservation of a town that has guarded its independence and resists the imposition of a historic district bylaw.

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    Spotlight: York County Library, South Carolina
    by Valerie Beaudrault, Assistant Editor

    York County Library, South Carolina

    York County is located in north central South Carolina. Its county seat is the city of York. The York County Library Digital Collections contains a number of resources for family history researchers. You will find links to the databases on the main page.

    Photograph Database
    The photographs in this database were donated by members of the local community. The photographs are grouped into five named collections, and other photographs not part of a particular collection. The “no collection” images include pictures of churches, homes, and commercial buildings. Click on the link in the first paragraph to view the Photograph Database. Photos can be browsed by collection or searched by keyword.

    Newspaper Article, Manuscript, and Church History Database
    This database contains digitized articles from the local newspaper (The Herald and its forerunners, The State and The Charlotte Observer), manuscripts of family histories, and church histories. There are stories of “prominent citizens, founding families, historic homes, churches, events, and businesses” in York County. You may browse the collection by issue date, author, titles, and subject, or search by keyword. Click on the link in the first paragraph to access the database.

    News and Obituary Index
    The newspaper database indexes selected articles from the York County newspaper collection on microfilm and in clipping files held at the York County Library. The index comprises nine local newspapers and covers various years between 1823 and the present. With some newspapers the indexing is not yet complete. In some cases the articles and obituaries indexed in this database have been digitized as part of the Newspaper Article database. For copies of obituaries not found online you may contact the library. Click the link in the first paragraph to access the database. You may browse the collection by issue date, author, titles, and subject, or search by keyword.

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    The Weekly Genealogist Survey

    Last week’s survey asked about your affiliation with NEHGS. 3,963 people answered the survey. More than one answer could be selected. The results are:

    • 73%, I am a current NEHGS member.
    • 11%, I am a former NEHGS member.
    • 12%, I am an NEHGS guest user.
    • 3%, I have never been an NEHGS member or guest user.
    • 2%, I don’t know.

    This week’s survey asks if you have submitted genealogical corrections to an author, a compiler, or a website. Take the survey now!

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    Stories of Interest

    You Got the Luck of the Irish: You’re a Redhead!
    “Red hair is associated with the gene MC1R, a recessive and somewhat rare gene that occurs in only about 2 percent of the world’s population, according to the National Institutes of Health.”

    Staffordshire Hoard of Anglo-Saxon Gold Reassembled after 1,300 years
    “For the first time since someone dug a hole in a Staffordshire field and buried a sack holding five kilos of glittering gold, some 1,300 years ago, the entire hoard has been reassembled far from the public gaze in a drab back room at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery.” More information on the “Staffordshire hoard” is available here.

    Preserving Family History, One Memory at a Time
    StoryWorth “is one of a handful of new companies focused on enabling people to collect their family histories.”

    Ancient Migration Patterns to North America Are Hidden in Languages Spoken Today
    “Languages spoken in North America and Siberia are distantly related. What does that tell us about the first Americans?”

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    Sale Extended! 20% Off Essential New England Titles

    In celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, The Bookstore at NEHGS is offering 10% off of twelve titles for Irish research.

    To see a listing of these titles, click here.

    To get your 10% discount, enter the code IRISH14 in the coupon field on your online order (or mention the code when ordering over the phone at 1-888-296-3447).

    *Prices do not include shipping. Offer good through 3/26/14, while supplies last. Massachusetts residents will be charged 6.25% sales tax.

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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.

    Preserving and Identifying Family Photographs with Maureen Taylor
    When: Friday, June 13, 2014, 9 a.m.–noon
    Where: 99–101 Newbury St, Boston, Mass.

    Join internationally recognized photograph identification and preservation expert Maureen Taylor for a workshop at NEHGS. In this half-day seminar, participants will learn techniques for identifying important historical and genealogical information in family photos, and how to preserve images from daguerreotypes to digital. Personal consultations with Maureen Taylor will be available after the seminar for an additional charge.

    Details 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