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  • 2001 Archive

  • Vol. 3, No. 13
    Whole #48
    September 7, 2001

    -A New Enewsletter Editor
    -NEHGS Education Events
    -FGS Conference, September 13-15, in Davenport, Iowa
    -"Genealogies Recently Published"
    -GENTECH 2002
    -Long Overdue
    -Feedback Forum
    -NEHGS Aids Scholars Through New England Regional Fellowship Consortium
    -A Letter from Alex Woodle, Circulating Library Supervisor
    -Sales Department and Circulating Library Update
    -From the Volunteer Coordinator
    -The NEHGS "Vault"
    -MASS-CONN-ECTION II: A Polish Genealogy Conference in New Britain, CT
    -BCG Announces New Web Site
    -Twilight Tour of Boston Historic House Museums
    -NEHGS Contact Information

    A New Enewsletter Editor

    I am pleased to announce that with this issue of HisGenHighlights I am assuming the role of enewsletter editor. I'd like to thank Michael Leclerc, the previous editor, for all the improvements he made to the enewsletter and for the help he has given me during this transition. My work on the enewsletter will be part of my new position as the NEHGS marketing director. Although I have just started this position, I have been with NEHGS since 1995 as sales manager. You may remember me standing behind the table selling books at various conferences or taking your sales order over the telephone. In my new role I am pleased to have the opportunity to spread the word, not only about what we offer for sale, but about our great education programs, magazine and journal, and library and research resources. I am excited about using this enewsletter as a means to keep you informed about NEHGS and its activities as well as news from the larger genealogical community. As time goes on, I would like to solicit your input and content to make this enewsletter into more of a forum for us to educate one another. Please contact me with suggestions, comments, and ideas at

    -Lynn Betlock,
    NEHGS Director of Marketing

    Researching Irish or British Ancestors? Don't miss September's education events. 

    Saturday, September 15, 2001, 10 a.m.
    Public Saturday Lecture with Irish Historian Dr. Christine Kinealy
    Elusive and Enigmatic: Searching for Obscure Irish Ancestors
    At NEHGS, 101 Newbury Street, Boston, MA

    Join NEHGS for this very special opportunity to hear the author of such works as "Tracing Your Irish Roots" and "The Great Calamity: The Irish Famine 1845-52," as she discusses Irish genealogy and modern Irish history in a lecture entitled "Elusive and Enigmatic: Searching for Obscure Irish Ancestors."

    This event is free and open to the public. Advance registration is not necessary.

    September 22, 2001, 10a.m. - 4:30p.m.
    Researching Your British Ancestors: A Saturday Conference
    At NEHGS, 101 Newbury Street, Boston, MA

    This day-long symposium brings together genealogists to share their knowledge and expertise on British genealogical research. If you have English or Scottish ancestors, these lectures will point you towards the best resources available at NEHGS and elsewhere. Whether you are trying to trace your ancestors back to England or wonder if people you're searching for might appear in The Great Migration, "Researching Your British Ancestors" provides a substantial look at where to go next. Featured lectures to be presented are:

    · "Building a Great Migration Sketch," Robert Charles Anderson, FASG

    · "LDS Sources for English Genealogy," David C. Dearborn, FASG

    · "Bridging the Atlantic: How to Find the English Home of Your Immigrant Ancestor," David C. Dearborn, FASG

    · "Sources for Scottish Research at NEHGS," George F. Sanborn, FASG

    Tuition is $90 for members, $95 for non-members

    For more information about our programs or how to register, please call our education department at 1-888-286-3447, ext. 202 or locally at 617-536-5740, ext. 202. You may also email us at

    FGS Conference, September 13-15, in Davenport, Iowa

    The Federation of Genealogical Societies' conference in the Quad Cities is right around the corner. NEHGS will be staffing a booth at the conference, featuring demonstrations of our completely redesigned website and two brand new CDs (Sprague's Genealogies of the Families of Braintree, Massachusetts and The Inhabitants and Estates of the Town of Boston, 1630-1800.) We will also have a wide variety of books and CDs for sale. If you will be attending the conference, please stop by and say hello.

    Book Signings at the NEHGS Booth:

    Please note: The following list of book-signings has been changed and updated since the list was last published in the enewsletter several weeks ago. Maureen Taylor, originally scheduled for Thursday, is now signing on Saturday from 1:00pm - 2:00pm. In addition, three book-signings, by Sharon DeBartolo Carmack, Paul Milner and Jim Warren, have been added.

    Thursday, September 13th:

    9:30 - 10:30a.m. Marsha Hoffman Rising, author of Vermont Newspaper Abstracts, 1783-1816

    1:30 - 2p.m. Sharon DeBartolo Carmack, author of My Wild Irish Rose: The Life of Rose (Norris) (O'Connor) Fitzhugh and her mother Delia (Gordon) Norris, A Study in the Lives of Irish Immigrant Women in America, A Genealogist''s Guide to Discovering Your Immigrant and Ethnic Ancestors, and other titles.

    3 - 3:30p.m. Paul Milner, author of A Genealogist's Guide to Discovering Your English Ancestors

    Friday, September 14th:

    10:30 - 11a.m. Jim and Paula Stuart Warren, authors of Your Guide to the Family History Library (published in August 2001)

    1 - 2 p.m. Robert Charles Anderson, director of The Great Migration Study project, and author of the Great Migration Begins & Great Migration series

    3:15 - 4p.m. Marsha Hoffman Rising, author of Vermont Newspaper Abstracts, 1783-1816

    4:30 - 5:30p.m. Carl Boyer 3rd, author of Ancestral Lines, Medieval English Ancestors of Certain Americans, & Medieval English Ancestors of Robert Abell

    Saturday, September 15th:

    10:30 - 11a.m. Jim Warren, co-author of Your Guide to the Family History Library (published in August 2001)

    1 - 2p.m. Marcia Y. Melnyk, author of The Genealogist's Handbook to New England Research, 4th edition & The Weekend Genealogist: Time Saving Techniques for Effective Research

    1 - 2p.m. Maureen A. Taylor, author of Uncovering Your Ancestry Through Family Photographs and Preserving Your Family Photographs.

    2:30 - 3:30pm Marsha Hoffman Rising, author of Vermont Newspaper Abstracts, 1783-1816

    3 - 4p.m. Carl Boyer 3rd, author of Ancestral Lines, Medieval English Ancestors of Certain Americans, & Medieval English Ancestors of Robert Abell

    The conference will be located at the RiverCenter (136 East Third Street, in downtown Davenport, Iowa). You can find NEHGS in the exhibit hall at booth numbers 502, 504, and 506.

    The exhibit hall hours are as follows:

    Thursday, September 13th 9:30 a.m. - 6 p.m.
    Friday, September 14th 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.
    Saturday, September 15th 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.

    If you would like information about attending the conference, you can contact the Federation of Genealogical Societies at 1-888-FGS-1500 or visit their website at

    "Genealogies Recently Published"

    Each issue of New England Ancestors features a column devoted to "Genealogies Recently Published". These listings are provided as a service to NEHGS members who wish to announce genealogies published since 1998. There is no charge for this service, but the donation of at least one copy of each book to NEHGS is required. Some books may be selected for review in the Register, in which case a second copy will be requested. NEHGS reserves the right to publish announcements or select titles for further review at its own discretion. Submitted books will become the property of NEHGS. All submissions will be published on a space-available basis, as follows: Received by September 15 - Winter issue; December 15 - Spring issue.

    Please direct books to Robert Shaw, c/o New England Ancestors, 101 Newbury St., Boston, MA 02116-3007, and include the following information: 1) Title; 2) Author(s)/editor(s)/compiler(s); 3) Place of publication; 4) Publisher/self-published; 5) Year; 6) Hardcover/softcover/ other; 7) Page count; 8) Specify if index, illustrations or appendixes are included; 9) Description of the book in 25 words or less; 10) Contact/ordering information.

    Questions regarding the "Genealogies Recently Published" listings should be directed to Robert Shaw at 617-536-5740, ext. 209, or

    GENTECH 2002

    Plan to join us in Boston on January 25 & 26, 2002 for the 10th annual GENTECH Conference for Genealogy and Technology. The conference will feature informative sessions on a range of cutting-edge topics for family historians. NEHGS members should have received the GENTECH 2002 registration brochure with their July issue of the Register. (Please note that the fax number that was listed in the GENTECH 2002 registration brochure is incorrect. The correct fax number is 508-788-9500.) For further information about the conference, visit email

    Long Overdue

    Last Tuesday NEHGS received a phone call from a woman in Bemidji, Minnesota who had recently been cleaning out her great-aunt's house. While sorting through some belongings in the attic, she discovered two books from the NEHGS Circulating Library. These books, it turns out, had originally been loaned to her great-aunt, an NEHGS member, back in the 1950s. We are pleased to report that the books are back on their way to NEHGS from Bemidji, and we invite others with overdue books - no matter how overdue they are! - to send them back to us. The mailing address for the Circulating Library is: NEHGS Circulating Library, One Watson Place, P.O. Box 5089, Framingham MA 01701. You can also reach the Circulating Library by phone at 1-888-906-3447 from 9-5 Eastern time, or via email at

    Feedback Forum

    Topic #6: Reliable Sources

    In an earlier feedback forum, we asked you to identify the sources that you have found to be the most unreliable. Now, we would like to know what sources you find to be the most reliable (e.g., books, CD-ROMs, websites, primary sources). Please include specific examples and titles in your answer.

    To respond, please email, or write to "Feedback," New England Ancestors, 101 Newbury Street, Boston, MA 02116-3007. Results will be published in an upcoming issue of New England Ancestors. Please include your name as you wish it to appear if selected for publication. We regret that we cannot respond to every letter. Letters will be edited for clarity and length. Personal statements or opinions made by respondents are not verified and do not reflect opinions or policies of NEHGS.

    NEHGS Aids Scholars Through New England Regional Fellowship Consortium

    NEHGS is pleased to be one of fifteen organizations assisting scholars in conducting research both at the Society and at several other sponsoring organizations. Awarded annually, the fellowships allow scholars to work at each of three institutions for at least two weeks. "The goal of the group is to stimulate interest and research in the history of our region, The mechanism -- fellowships -- provides support for scholars planning to do research at a minimum of three participating organizations," states Conrad E. Wright, Ford editor of Publications at the Massachusetts Historical Society. One of the 2001 recipients, Joan Radner, a professor in the department of literature at American University in Washington, D.C., was the first scholar from the program to visit NEHGS; her research topic was "Performing the Paper: Rural Intellectual Life in Postbellum Northern New England." The repositories and libraries sponsoring research have diverse collections, ranging from genealogies, personal papers, organizational records and printed works, to paintings, furniture, engravings, furniture, and maps. Other sponsoring organizations include the Boston Athenaeum, John Nicholas Brown Center at Brown University, Connecticut Historical Society, Countway Library of Medicine, Harvard Business School, Harvard Law School Library, Historic Deerfield, Maine Historical Society, Massachusetts Historical Society, Mystic Seaport Museum, New Hampshire Historical Society, Rhode Island Historical Society, Scheslinger Library and Vermont Historical Society. For more information on the New England Regional Fellowship Consortium, write to the Massachusetts Historical Society, 1154 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02215.

    A letter from Alex Woodle, Circulating Library Supervisor:

    Dear Circulating Library Patrons,

    I wanted to personally bring all of you up to date on some exciting changes coming your way in the next few weeks.

    The first change, of course, is the Circulating Library's move to a new location. Our North Washington Street site in Boston served us well for six years, but we had outgrown the space. Our new venue will not only allow the library's continued expansion, but we will have room to consolidate various functions of NEHGS ultimately streamlining our operations to provide you with better service.

    Our new space is in a suburban setting in an old mill in the town of Framingham, Massachusetts. The high ceilings and open floor plan adds to its spaciousness. We are very excited about our new home. Of course, only the Circulating Library and Sales Departments have moved; all other departments will remain at the Newbury Street address.

    We hope the move will not disrupt our daily functions for very long, but there will be delays in filling orders as we transfer the Circulating Library to its new setting. Our toll free phone number will remain the same as will our email address.

    As with any change, it allows us to evaluate where we are and where we would like to be. We have added hundreds of new books to our library since the 2000 Catalogs were published. I hope to publish an updated version in early 2002. I have heard from many of you about suggestions to improve the catalog and we hope to incorporate many of them.

    In September, we will begin to test a revised and much improved website for NEHGS. It will facilitate the ordering of books, it will tell you if a volume is part of a series, and it will tell you if the book is currently available, eliminating the need for reserving books for online users. The Circulating Library will have its very own web pages! As the website launch progresses I will be contributing comments on our holdings, posting pictures of our site and hopefully increasing our interaction.

    NEHGS has tried very hard to keep our prices as low as possible, but rising labor, material, handling and shipping costs during the past three years have necessitated new rates. They will become effective on October 1st, 2001:

    Minimum Order Fee (up to three books) $15.00
    Additional Books (maximum of three additional books) $ 5.00 each
    Handling $ 1.75/ order

    Library Rate $ 5.00
    UPS (will vary from $6.00-9.00 depending upon location)

    For example:
    Three books sent by USPS will now cost $15.00 plus $5.00 plus $1.75 = $21.75.

    Four books sent by USPS will cost $20.00 plus Library rate (depends upon weight) plus $1.75 handling.

    Three books sent by UPS (zone 2) will be $15.00 plus $6.00 plus $1.75 = $22.75.
    Four books sent by UPS (zone 8) will be $20.00 plus UPS rate (depends upon weight) plus $1.75 handling.

    Sincerely yours
    Alex Woodle, Supervisor
    Circulating Library

    Sales Department & Circulating Library Update

    As noted above, both the sales and circulating library departments have just moved into new quarters in Framingham, Massachusetts. Because of the move, there will be some delays in service. Both departments are doing their best to make the transition as smooth as possible and we ask for your patience during this time.

    Please note that all sales and circulating library orders should now be mailed to:

    NEHGS (Sales or Circulating Library)
    One Watson Place
    P.O. Box 5089
    Framingham MA 01701

    Sales Toll-Free Number: 1-888-296-3447
    Circulating Toll-Free Number: 1-888-906-3447
    Fax Number (for both departments): 1-508-788-9500 (new number)

    Sales email:
    Circulating library email:

    From the Volunteer Coordinator:

    Now that our circulating library, sales, and membership departments are moving out to the Saxonville area of Framingham Mass., I am hoping that some of our members who live within a reasonable driving distance of that area would be able to volunteer to help our staff. Our membership mailing group has been meeting here at 101 Newbury Street every first Thursday of the month, and some of these members are unable to reach the Saxonville area. If you are able, have the time and would enjoy helping with the work there, please contact Susan R. at, or 617-536-5740 ext. 276.

    The NEHGS "Vault"

    Libraries always struggle with finding places to put things. Check out any library and you'll find that there is probably a storage area for less-used materials that is not visible to patrons. The Vermont Historical Society in Montpelier stores all book on other states in a closed stack, while very large libraries such as the Boston Public Library or Harvard's Widener Library have off-site annexes for storing hundreds of thousands of books.

    At NEHGS, we run into the same space problems for materials, which is one reason why we renovated in 1997 and 2000 to acquire greater book space for years to come. But our members expect us to keep up to date with all the publishing that takes place in New England (and beyond) and that takes up quite a bit of space. Therefore, a few years back we began storing some lesser-used materials in what we call "The Vault," so that the most useful material is available in the stacks for the convenience of the patrons. The space is called the "Vault" since it is one of the former money vaults dating from when 101 Newbury Street was a bank in the early twentieth century.

    Most patrons come across items that are in the Vault through our on-line catalog, available on our web site ( or through the catalog terminals in the library itself. [The website will have full records and advanced searching capabilities with the upgrade to our website later this month but more about this in the next enewsletter.] The call number (which tells you where in the library to look for a book) will have the designation "Vault" informing the searcher that the item in stored in this closed area. There is also a binder at the fifth floor reference desk that has an alphabetical, geographical, and call number listing of all the material stored in the Vault for quick browsing.

    Patrons who wish to retrieve items from the "Vault" can simply fill out a call slip on the first, fifth or sixth floors and the librarian on duty will retrieve those items, just as they do for Rare Books on the sixth floor or manuscripts on the fifth floor. The items are pulled on demand and generally only take a few minutes to retrieve.

    What's in this mystery Vault anyway? Anything good? As previously mentioned, it mostly contains items that our library patrons tend not to use all that often. This includes historical journals (where genealogy is not a main focus) and genealogical journals of the states outside of New England, such as The Colorado Genealogist, Hawkeye Heritage (Iowa), and North Carolina Historical Review. In recent years we have received many back issues of journals and magazines, so this area has grown quite a bit and members with interests in states outside the Northeast may be surprised at what we own.

    Other little-used, but important publications such as annual reports of some New England towns, reports of historical organizations, various legislative volumes, minor heraldry works, back reprints of peerage volumes (e.g. Debrett's Peerage and Burke's Peerage), and archive inventory publications (i.e. listings of holdings in a particular public archives) all reside in the famed Vault and can be pulled by librarians for you.

    Is there something in the Vault for you? Examine our library catalog or browse through the binder on the fifth floor to see what titles are located in this storage area. Since many of these publications may not have an index of their own, it may be helpful to search the Periodical Source Index, which is available in our library on CD-ROM (fourth floor), book form (sixth floor), or on the internet at The Periodical Source Index will provide particular journal titles and volume numbers of those journals where certain articles appear. Users of this index will find the holdings in the Vault of great use for those searches.

    Chad Leinaweaver
    Director of Library User Access Services

    MASS-CONN-ECTION II: A genealogy conference sponsored by the Polish Genealogical Society of Connecticut and the Polish Genealogical Society of Massachusetts

    If you are interested in strategies for tracing your Polish-American roots, this conference is for you! The conference will take place on October 6, 2001 at the General Jozef A. Haller Polish Army Veterans Post in New Britain, Connecticut. (Registration will close September 29, 2001. If you attempt to register after this date, there may or may not be a space available for you.)

    For further information about the conference, including the conference fee, please call (860) 223-5596 (10am-10pm) and leave your name, telephone number, and postal or email address, or email at

    The conference schedule is as follows:

    8:30a.m. - 8:45a.m. Registration

    8:45a.m.-10:15a.m. Beginner's Workshop: Getting Started: Finding the Missing Pieces of Your Polish-American Family History by Professor Jonathan D. Shea, A.G.

    8:45a.m.-10:15a.m. Records of Our Ancestors' Homeland: A Panorama of Polish Documents throughout the Centuries by Mathew Bielawa

    10:15a.m.-10:30a.m. Coffee Break

    10:30a.m.-11:45a.m. Polish Surname Origins: What They Do and Don't Tell You by William "Fred" Hoffman

    12-1p.m. A Polish-American Buffet Lunch

    1p.m.-2:30p.m. Using the National Archives to Find Your Immigrant Ancestor by Jean Nudd, Archivist, NARA, Pittsfield, MA

    2:45p.m.-4p.m. Mutilation: The Fate of Eastern European Names in America by William "Fred" Hoffman

    In addition to the class sessions, there will be a collection of books, maps, and other materials that will be available to all attendees for consultation. Officers of both societies will be present to answer questions for you.

    BCG Announces new Web Site

    The Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG) announces a new web site. The address is the same as before- the look is dramatically different and the content is updated and greatly expanded.

    One of the new features is a "test yourself" page where visitors are supplied with online copies of two documents similar to BCG test documents. Readers can transcribe, abstract, and interpret the documents themselves, then compare their products with online transcriptions, abstracts, and interpretations of the same documents. With this feature and the sample reports and compilations in The BCG Genealogical Standards Manual (Orem, UT: Ancestry, 2000), prospective certification applicants now have access to examples of all of the larger elements of a certification application portfolio.

    One of the most popular features of the previous site was the series of "skillbuilding" articles reprinted from BCG's educational newsletter, OnBoard. These have been imported to the new site and more articles added.

    BCG's online roster of certified persons is now a true database. The previous site did not have a database. Each listing- first letter of surname, state, each specialty, etc.-required a separate page, making updates tedious and time-consuming. The online roster now is part of the database that BCG's Executive Director uses to maintain BCG records. As a result, any change she makes in a listing will appear online immediately.

    Established in 1964, BCG's mission is to promote high standards of competence and ethics among genealogists, and to foster public confidence in genealogy. Its certification program is one way the Board works to attain these goals. Applicants seeking certification submit portfolios demonstrating how they meet standards for genealogical research, analysis, and compilations. At the present time, approximately 360 genealogists hold certification in one or more of the categories BCG offers.

    Individuals interested in certification should visit the BCG website at or request further information from the board's executive director, Lynn McMillion, CLS; P.O. Box 14291; Washington, DC 20044.

    Twilight Tour of Boston Historic House Museums

    Downtown Boston's House Museum Alliance invites you to enjoy a twilight celebration at five historic house museums once owned by some of Boston's most intriguing families. The museums included are the Paul Revere House, the Otis House, the Nichols House, the Prescott House, and the Gibson House. The five museums, all within walking distance, will open their doors and invite guests to experience historic homes in a new light. Tours, refreshments, music, and costumed interpreters will be part of the evening.

    The tour takes place on Thursday, September 20, from 6p.m. to, rain or shine. Tickets are $15.00. Tickets are available in advance at participating house museums or at the door the evening of the event. For information, please call 617-227-3957, x. 256.

    NEHGS Contact Information

    We encourage you to e-mail this newsletter to others who might be interested. If this newsletter was forwarded to you and you wish to subscribe, please visit:

    To view the website of the New England Historic Genealogical Society, please visit

    If you have questions, comments or suggestions about the enewsletter, please contact Lynn Betlock at

New England Historic Genealogical Society
99 - 101 Newbury Street
Boston, Massachusetts 02116, USA

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