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  • The Weekly Genealogist

  • Vol. 17, No. 08
    Whole #675
    February 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.

    * USA Today Lists NEHGS as One of Ten Great Places to Trace Family Roots
    * NEHGS Database News
    * New at Online Learning Center
    * Irish Genealogy Study Group
    * Symposium on St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, Marblehead
    * A Note from the Editor: Not Even Past & 15 Minute History
    * Spotlight: Columbus, Georgia, Cemeteries
    * The Weekly Genealogist Survey
    * Stories of Interest
    * Sale on Essential Massachusetts Research Titles
    * Upcoming Education Programs


    USA Today Lists NEHGS as One of Ten Great Places to Trace Family Roots

    Last month USA Today published a special travel feature that included the New England Historic Genealogical Society as one of ten great places to trace family roots. The web version of the article includes a beautiful image of our Treat Rotunda and quotes Jennifer Utley, head of research at, as saying: “If you have roots that have been in America for a long time, you’re going to have to come through New England.”

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

    Early Families of New England Update

    This update includes four new sketches for the families of Benedict Arnold (m. 1640), John Perkins (m. 1636), Joseph Andrews (m. 1632), and Richard Saltonstall (m. 1633).

    The Early New England Families Study Project was created to provide accurate and concise published summaries on seventeenth-century New England families. Using Clarence Almon Torrey’s bibliographic index of early New England marriages and its recent successors as a guide, the goal is to compile authoritative and documented sketches in searchable format on and, potentially, in a series of books. The Early New England Families Study Project will focus on individuals who immigrated from 1641 through 1700, grouped by year of marriage.

    The New England Historical and Genealogical Register — Volume 167 (2013)

    Published quarterly since 1847, The New England Historical and Genealogical Register is the flagship journal of American genealogy and the oldest in the field. A wide variety of genealogies and source material have been published in the Register for over 160 years, with an emphasis on New England. Thousands of New England families have been treated in the pages of the journal, and many more are referred to incidentally.

    Volume 167 adds 8,800 searchable names to our existing Register database. You can also read the Register in PDF format.

    American Ancestors Journals — (2013)

    American Ancestors Journal provides readers genealogical content of national scope, with an emphasis on New York State and out migrations from New England. The editors are Henry B. Hoff and Helen Schatvet Ullmann, who are also the editor and associate editor of the Register, respectively.

    The 2013 issue adds 900 searchable names to our existing American Ancestors Journal database. You can also read the Journal in PDF format.

    American Ancestors magazine — Volume 14

    A 64-page magazine published by NEHGS beginning in 2010, American Ancestors features a wide range of article topics and styles for family historians of all levels. Topics include coverage of a particular region or group of people; case studies; descriptions of particular record sets; “how-to” articles; compelling historic accounts that illuminate the past; research strategies and methodology; and accounts of migration and immigrant groups.

    This update to the American Ancestors magazine database adds Volume 14 (2013).

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    New at the Online Learning Center

    Recorded Webinar

    “Find Your 17th-c. New England Ancestors with NEHGS”
    1:03:34, presented by David C. Dearborn, Senior Genealogist at NEHGS

    Learn the basics of researching your early New England ancestors using NEHGS resources--both on-site and online. Join Senior Genealogist David Dearborn as he discusses key reference works, records, and databases available to NEHGS members and guest users. Watch the presentation.

    For more information on researching early New England ancestors, check out our NEW subject guide on the topic, complete with how-to tips, videos, a list of essential resources, and more.

    Online Courses

    Available to NEHGS members only, our Online Courses offer a way to enhance your genealogical education through online presentations, handouts, readings, assessment, and access to event recordings. Start learning from home today!*

    Bridging the Atlantic: From New England Back to England
    Saturday, March 8, 3 P.M. EST
    Instructor: David C. Dearborn, FASG, Senior Genealogist

    You’ve found your New England immigrant. Now what? Trace your English ancestry without having to hop the pond! Learn about key resources and records and how to access them, and about research strategies for when you hit a brick wall. This course includes a 1.5-hour online seminar, exclusive access to a recording of the presentation, virtual handouts, and a Q&A session with the instructor. Cost: $30 Register today!

    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!

    *Only NEHGS members can enroll and participate in online courses. Not a member? Join today!

    More Resources

    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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    Irish Genealogy Study Group

    The Irish Genealogy Study Group will meet on Saturday, February 22, between 9:30 a.m. and noon at NEHGS. The study group gathers to talk about research problems and share solutions. At this session, we will be talking about online records for Irish research. Everyone is welcome to come and join in, and people can attend part or all of the session. (The NEHGS Library is open for research from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.) Please RSVP to Mary Ellen Grogan at by Friday, February 21.

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    Symposium on St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, Marblehead

    Founded in 1714, St. Michael’s of Marblehead, Massachusetts—the oldest Episcopal congregation in New England holding worship services in its original building—is celebrating its 300th anniversary in 2014. A symposium entitled, “Building a Handsome Church,” moderated by NEHGS trustee Donald R. Friary, will examine St. Michael’s in historical context.

    The symposium, to be held June 7 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, is open to the general public. The $75 registration fee includes a box lunch and afternoon tours of St. Michael’s Church, including access to its crypt, belfry, and archives. For details about presentations and speakers, and to register, visit To learn more about the history and historic interior of St. Michael’s Church, visit

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    A Note from the Editor: Not Even Past & 15 Minute History
    by Lynn Betlock, Editor

    I recently discovered two engaging online history resources—a website and a podcast series—produced by the University of Texas at Austin (UT-Austin).

    Not Even Past is a website representing a wide variety of historical issues, produced by the History Department at UT-Austin. The site offers book and movie reviews, audio interviews and sound clips, and commentary on historic images and texts, as well as some Texas-themed content.

    Some interesting features include:

    15 Minute History is billed as a podcast for educators, students, and history buffs. The podcasts are conducted by faculty and graduate students at UT−Austin. The series is devoted to short, accessible discussions of important world and U.S. history topics. While the podcasts are meant to be a resource for teachers and students, they can be enjoyed by anyone with an interest in history. Each podcast is accompanied by illustrations and, sometimes, documents and readings related to the topic.

    Forty-two episodes have been produced to date. The diverse topics span the globe and cross the centuries. Here is a sampling:

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    Spotlight: Columbus, Georgia Cemeteries
    by Valerie Beaudrault, Assistant Editor

    City of Columbus Public Works Department

    The city of Columbus, located on Georgia’s western border, is the county seat of Muscogee County. The city of Columbus owns and maintains four cemeteries. The Public Works department has made databases, directions, and maps for these cemeteries available on the city’s website.

    • Linwood Cemetery was established in 1828. Among those buried there are John Pemberton, who originated the Coca-Cola formula, and Lizzie Rutherford, who promoted the observance of a national Memorial Day.
    • Porterdale Cemetery, established in 1836, was named after the first African American Sexton in Columbus.
    • Riverdale Cemetery was established in 1890. (The burial records for all four cemeteries are housed here.)
    • East Porterdale Cemetery, established in 1946, is the burial site of many African Americans, including civil rights advocate Primus King.

    Click the Cemetery Records Database to access the search page for a consolidated burials database of all four cemeteries. Enter a name or a cemetery name in the search box to begin. The data fields in each record include cemetery name, name of the deceased, date of death/date of birth, father/mother, and burial location. Click the cemetery name to view a detailed record. The data fields in the detailed record are cemetery name, deceased’s name, sex, date of death, burial location, cause of death, place of death, date of birth, age, place of birth, mother’s name, father’s name, vault, undertaker, and remarks. Information in the remarks includes the names of others buried with the deceased and existence of an obituary in the cemetery record.

    More information on Linwood Cemetery may be found at, which provides a PDF map of the cemetery, lists of notable residents and points of interest, and two burial databases. The first database was drawn from official city records of burials, beginning in October 1866. The data fields for this database include section, lot, last name, first name, and interment. The second database is for Old Cemetery Burial Records (this database does not provide lot or section numbers).

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    The Weekly Genealogist Survey

    Last week’s survey asked about the longest marriage in your ancestry. 3,269 people answered the survey. The results are:

    • 1%, Less than 20 years
    • 1%, Between 20 to 30 years
    • 2%, Between 30 to 40 years
    • 7%, Between 40 to 50 years
    • 15%, Between 50 and 55 years
    • 19%, Between 55 and 60 years
    • 22%, Between 60 and 65 years
    • 14%, Between 65 and 70 years
    • 6%, Between 70 and 75 years
    • 2%, More than 75 years
    • 11%, I don’t know

    This week’s survey asks about the longest marriage in your ancestry. Take the survey now!

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    Stories of Interest

    How Your DNA Can Reconstruct History
    A new study in the journal Science concludes that our DNA contains clues about how genetically distinct groups intermingled over the last 4,000 years.

    Crowdsourcing and the New Genealogy Boom
    OnPoint Radio with Tom Ashbrook, a program produced by WBUR, a Boston NPR station, recently featured a show on “the new frontiers of genealogy.” Guests included A. J. Jacobs, an author and journalist; Judy Russell, “The Legal Genealogist”; and Spencer Wells, geneticist and director of the Genographic Project at National Geographic.

    Trace Your Family Tree, From Roots and Green Shoots
    This New York Times article (and accompanying video) describes a selection of genealogy apps.

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    Sale on Essential Massachusetts Research Titles

    The Bookstore at NEHGS is offering 20% off eleven essential titles with your Massachusetts research.

    To get your 20% discount, enter the code MA0214 into the coupon field online, or mention it when ordering via phone at 1-888-296-3447.

    *Prices good through February 28, 2014, 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

    Six Women of Salem
    When: Wednesday, March 12, 2014, 6–7 p.m.
    Where: 99–101 Newbury Street, Boston, Mass.

    Join NEHGS and historian and author Marilynne K. Roach for a lecture based on Roach’s book, Six Women of Salem: The Untold Story of the Accused and Their Accusers in the Salem Witch Trials. Roach chronicles the lives of six specific women involved in the witch hunt who represent the accusers, the accused, or both, and she uses their unique stories to illuminate the larger crisis of the trials.

    More information and registration

    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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    For more information on the New England Historic Genealogical Society, please visit our website.

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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

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