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  • The Weekly Genealogist

  • Vol. 17, No. 03
    Whole #670
    January 15, 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 Annual Benefit Dinner
    * NEHGS Database News
    * New at the Online Learning Center
    * A Note from the Editor: Portland, Maine, Tax Records and Photos Available Online
    * Spotlight: Georgia Cemeteries
    * The Weekly Genealogist Survey
    * Stories of Interest
    * Genealogical Chart Sale
    * Upcoming Education Programs at NEHGS in Boston


    NEHGS Annual Benefit Dinner

    Save the date! The New England Historic Genealogical Society’s Annual Benefit Dinner will take place on Friday, April 25, 2014, at the Taj Hotel in Boston. The special evening will feature the presentation of a Lifetime Achievement Award to Doris Kearns Goodwin, Pulitzer Prize-winning American biographer and presidential historian.

    Goodwin’s most recent best-seller is The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism (2013). This recent review from the New York Times highlights a key concept presented in the introduction: “‘There are but a handful of times in the history of our country,’ Goodwin writes, ‘when there occurs a transformation so remarkable that a molt seems to take place, and an altered country begins to emerge.’ The years covered in this book are such a time. It makes a pretty grand story.”

    To learn more about the dinner, or to register, visit

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

    Vermont Vital Records: Marriages, 1871–1908

    Our Vermont vital records database now contains the records of marriages filed with the state of Vermont between 1871 and 1908. These records are currently held by the Vermont State Archives and Records Administration. Names of parents have also been indexed, when available.

    The records 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.

    Earlier Vermont vital records, ranging from 1720 to 1870, are not currently available online but will be added to our digital collections in the future.

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    New at the Online Learning Center

    Sign up for two webinars happening in January:*

    Explore our subject guides!

    Written by the experts at NEHGS on a variety of research topics, our subject guides provide lists of key resources, records, and repositories; offer how-to tips; and link to instructional videos, essential templates, and more. Newly added subject guides include:

    Using the NEHGS Library
    Chinese-American Genealogy
    Irish Genealogy
    Naturalization Records
    Newfoundland Genealogy
    Pennsylvania German Genealogy
    World War Veteran Research

    View the entire list of our subject guides, and check back often for new additions.

    And don’t forget to sign up for the upcoming FREE webinars—they’re filling up quickly!

    Get the Most from NEHGS…from Home!
    Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014 3 p.m. EST (2 p.m. CST; 1 p.m. MST; 12 p.m. PST)

    Ten Steps for Writing & Publishing Your Family History
    Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014 3 p.m. EST (2 p.m. CST; 1 p.m. MST; 12 p.m. PST)

    Our growing Online Learning Center contains 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

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    A Note from the Editor: Portland, Maine, Tax Records and Photos Available Online
    by Lynn Betlock, Editor

    The Maine Historical Society has announced that the 1924 Portland Tax Record Digitization project is complete after four and a half years of work—organizing, scanning, and cataloging the records and images for all the taxable properties in Portland (and the Casco Bay islands) in 1924. Approximately 18,800 searchable records are now online. On December 30, 2013, the Portland Press Herald featured an article about the project, a joint effort between the Maine Historical Society, the City of Portland, and the Portland Public Library.

    From the website: “The Portland, Maine, 1924 Tax Records were created as part of a city-wide tax reevaluation. The 2 3/4″ x 4″ original black and white photographs provide extraordinary documentation of the appearance and condition of every taxable property in the city at that time. The accompanying tax forms provide equally valuable information, including the use of the property, the original building materials and finishes and the property’s assessed value as of 1924. On the back of each form, a pencil sketch illustrates the size and shape of the building footprint on the property. The collection consists of 131 books containing approximately 30,000 pages, each page recording a single property (properties with more than one building will generally have a page for each building). The records were kept in a cabinet in the Portland tax assessor’s office in City Hall until 2009.“

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    Spotlight: Georgia Cemeteries
    by Valerie Beaudrault, Assistant Editor

    Rose Hill Cemetery, Macon Georgia
    In my search for cemetery databases this week I came across a blog related to a cemetery in Macon, Georgia. Macon is located in Bibb County in the central part of the state. Rose Hill Cemetery was established in 1840. Currently 170 of those interred in the cemetery have been profiled on the blog. Click one of the 136 surnames in the alphabetical list to open a new page with biographical information, obituaries, tombstone photographs, and other images. Click the Surnames tab to return to the alphabetical list.

    For some surnames you will find multiple blog entries for a single individual. For other surnames there are entries for more than one individual with that surname who is buried in the cemetery. Among the notable individuals buried in the cemetery are two members of the Allman Brothers band—Duane Allman and Berry Oakley.

    Alta Vista Cemetery, Gainesville, Georgia
    The city of Gainesville is located in northeastern Georgia in Hall County. It is the county seat. Gainesville has made the database for Alta Vista Cemetery available on its website. The cemetery comprises the original cemetery, established in 1872, a private cemetery, the old Woodlawn Cemetery, and at least one family cemetery. Those buried there include Revolutionary and Civil War veterans, two former Georgia governors, an astronaut, a rocket scientist, city officials, and a circus performer.

    Click the Alta Vista Cemetery Search button to begin your search. You may search the database by last name, first name, date interred, section, and lot. There is also an AKA (also known as) search box, which searches the first, middle, last name, and AKA fields. The data fields in the search results are title, first name, middle name, last name, AKA, Jr/Sr, date of birth, date of death, date interred, section/block/lot/grave, and funeral home.

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    The Weekly Genealogist Survey

    Last week’s survey asked how many genealogy blogs you follow. More than one answer could be selected. 3,788 people answered the survey. The results are:

    • 57%, 0
    • 23%, 1–2
    • 14%, 3–5
    • 3%, 6–10
    • 3%, More than 10
    • 4%, I write a genealogy blog
    • 2%, I’m planning a start a genealogy blog
    • 1%, I used to write a genealogy blog

    This week’s survey asks about using tax records. Take the survey now!

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    Stories of Interest

    Letter Tied to Fight for Independence Is Found in Museum’s Attic
    Last summer an intern at the Morris-Jumel Mansion in Upper Manhattan, which served as George Washington’s headquarters, discovered an important Revolutionary document, an urgent plea to the people of Britain for reconciliation written by Robert R. Livingston.

    What Happens When a Language’s Last Monolingual Speaker Dies?
    “Emily Johnson Dickerson died at her home in Ada, Okla., last week. She was the last person alive who spoke only the Chickasaw language.”

    “Bone Finder” Plots Unmarked Graves at Historic Congressional Cemetery
    “Equipped with what is essentially a heavy duty baby stroller hooked to ground-penetrating radar, [Bob] Perry helps graveyard officials make sense of incomplete records and find forgotten graves beneath the ground. For the past several months, Perry has painstakingly paced the grounds of Washington’s Historic Congressional Cemetery.”

    I Expected African DNA Results. Why Are Mine Chinese?
    In the “Tracing Your Roots” column on The Root website, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., and NEHGS Researcher Kristin Britanik offer explanations for an unexpected DNA testing result.

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    Genealogical Chart Sale

    To help you keep your 2014 genealogical resolutions, The Bookstore at NEHGS is offering 15% off our most popular blank genealogical charts:

    3-Generation Maternal chart, 17×22″
    3-Generation Paternal chart, 17×22″
    7-Generation American Country Style, 17×25″
    7-Generation Pennsylvania Dutch Style, 17×22″
    9-Generation fan chart on parchment paper***, 23×34″
    15-Generation descendant chart, 8.5×11″ (fold out)
    23-Generation ahnentafel chart***, 28×40″
    38-Generation ahnentafel chart***, 28× 40″

    To get your 15% discount on these charts, please enter the coupon code CHART2014 into the coupon field at online checkout (or mention it when ordering at 1-888-296-3447). Discount good through January 24, 2014, while supplies last.

    Discount cannot be combined with any other offer, including the 10% NEHGS member discount. The starred (***) charts are sent in a special tube. We can ship up to three charts in one tube. As our online store charges shipping by each item, there may be an overpayment of shipping charges. If there is an overpayment of the shipping charges on an order, we will issue the appropriate refund before the charts are mailed out, which will appear as a refund on your credit card. All charts are mailed via USPS 1st-class mail. Massachusetts residents add 6.25% sales tax.

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    Upcoming Education Program at NEHGS

    Weekend Research Getaway
    When: February 27–March 1, 2014
    Where: NEHGS Research Library, 99–101 Newbury Street, Boston, Mass.

    Spend a weekend at NEHGS delving into research, meeting with staff genealogists, learning from lectures, and enjoying the company of a group of like-minded family historians. Explore the rich offerings of the NEHGS Research Library and benefit from the knowledge of experts.

    Only a few spaces remain—register today!

    More information and registration

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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