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  • 2001 Archive

  • Vol. 3, No. 15
    Whole #50
    October 5, 2001
    -Special Discounts for NEHGS Members
    -Genealogy 101 Comes to New York State
    -October Public Lectures at NEHGS in Boston
    -GENTECH Announces New Email Newsletter
    -Share Your Stories About the New Torrey CD-ROM
    -The Thwing Index: Inhabitants and Estates of the Town of Boston,
    1630-1800, now available on CD-ROM!
    -New and Improved Library Acquisitions Updates Coming Soon
    -New NEHGS CD Series is Mac-compatible
    -New Bus Service to National Archives in Waltham, MA
    -Genealogies in Progress
    -Fall Meeting of the Genealogical Society of Vermont
    -Upcoming Events


    Special Discounts for NEHGS Members

    NEHGS members can take advantage of special pricing on the following books:

    -Genealogist's Handbook for New England Research (Item #S2-62300)
    Non-member price: $19.95
    15% off for members through November 30, 2001: $16.95

    -Genealogist's Handbook for Atlantic Canada Research (Item #S2-28150)
    Non-member price $15.00
    15% off for members through November 30, 2001: $12.75 

    -Genealogist's Guide to Discovering Your Female Ancestors (Item #B2-62960)
    Non-member price: $17.99
    20% off for members through November 30, 2001: $14.39

    -Genealogist's Guide to Discovering Your Immigrant and Ethnic Ancestors (Item #B2-64010)
    Non-Member price $18.99
    20% off for members through November 30, 2001: $15.19
    -Genealogist's Guide to Discovering Your English Ancestors (Item #B2-62482)
    Non-Member price $18.99
    20% off for members through November 30, 2001: $15.19

    -Genealogist's Guide to Discovering Your Germanic Ancestors (Item #B2-62727)
    Non-Member price $18.99
    20% off for members through November 30, 2001: $15.19
    -Genealogist's Guide to Discovering Your Irish Ancestors (Item #B2-62504)
    Non-Member price $19.99
    20% off for members through November 30, 2001: $15.99

    Genealogist's Guide to Discovering Your Italian Ancestors (Item #B2-62620)
    Non-Member price $16.99
    20% off for members through November 30, 2001: $13.59
    Orders may be placed through our website using the links provided or you can mail an order to: NEHGS Sales, One Watson Place, PO Box 5089, Framingham MA 01701. Phone orders can be placed by calling 1-888-296-3447 from 9-5 Eastern time, Monday through Friday. Items can also be purchased at our bookstore at 101 Newbury Street. If you have any questions, please email sales@nehgs.org


    Genealogy 101 Comes to New York State

    Join NEHGS as we take Genealogy 101 to Binghamton, New York, on October 20, 2001. Taught by professional genealogist Marcia Melnyk, this program offers step-by-step instruction on how to develop the research skills necessary for exploring your family history. This will be an opportunity to increase your genealogical vocabulary, become acquainted with available resources, and discover effective organizational skills through a series of lectures that promise to engage and inspire you! This one-day event will be offered in collaboration with the Southern Tier Genealogical Society and the Broome County Public Library. To register, please contact the Education Department toll-free at 1-888-286-3447, locally at (617) 536-5740, ext 202, or at education@nehgs.org.


    October Public Lectures at NEHGS in Boston

    Blair Fuller, author of Art in the Blood
    On Wednesday, October 10 at 6:00 p.m., NEHGS presents a special public lecture with Blair Fuller, author of Art in the Blood: Seven Generations of the Fuller Family. This intimate and informal history traces the lives of generations of artists in one family (with New England connections) from Revolutionary times to the present. This lecture is free and advance registration is not necessary.

    Don Stone, "An Exploration of Ancient Lineages"
    On Wednesday, October 17 at 6:00 p.m., NEHGS advisory council member and director of the Ancient and Medieval Descents Project, Don Stone presents a special public lecture "An Exploration of Ancient Lineages." Come and see if you can link your ancestors to ancient times. This lecture is free and advance registration is not necessary.

    If you have questions about either lecture, please contact the Education Department at education@nehgs.org or at 1-888-286-347.


    GENTECH Announces New Email Newsletter

    Are you planning on attending GenTech 2002, January 25-26, in Boston?Are you unsure but would like to learn more about the conference? Then sign up for a free enewsletter with up-to-date information on the conference. Each issue will spotlight speakers, lectures, and exhibitors as well as practical information on attending the conference. The enewsletter will initially be sent out every two weeks but as the date of the conference approaches it will become more frequent.

    Even if you aren't registered for the conference you can sign up to receive the newsletter. There is a survey included in on the signup page, but the questions are optional. To subscribe go to:http://lb.bcentral.com/ex/manage/subscriberprefs?customerid=15243

    All GenTech 2002 conference information is also available at their website www.gentech.org.


    Share Your Stories About the New Torrey CD-ROM

    The upcoming winter issue of New England Ancestors will feature an article on the recently published New England Marriages CD by Clarence Almon Torrey. Because the CD makes Torrey's sources widely available for the first time, we've heard that it has led to a number of genealogical breakthroughs. We'd like to hear from you about your experiences with New England Marriages. How has Torrey helped in your research? Can you give examples of discoveries you've made? Please feel free to comment on your use of Torrey on CD-ROM, in manuscript form here at NEHGS, or in published book form. Excerpts from readers' responses will be published in the winter issue of New England Ancestors (due to be mailed in early January 2002.)

    Please send your comments to: HisGenHighlights@nehgs.org.

    To view information about Torrey on CD-ROM, visit our online store at: /book/marketplace/store/libdetail.asp?sku=3107


    The Thwing Index: Inhabitants and Estates of the Town of Boston, 1630-1800, now available on CD-ROM!
    -A Special Feature by Len Travers


    When Annie Haven Thwing (1851-1940), the daughter of a Boston coal merchant, reached her mid-thirties, she became curious to know "where my ancestors lived, who were their neighbors, and what the neighborhood was like." She found it impossible, however, to contain her project, and she spent the next thirty years researching the geographic and built environment of Boston from 1630 to 1822. Tracing people and their properties through deed, probate, and the recently printed town records, enlisting church records, diaries, and graveyard epitaphs, Thwing painstakingly built an index consisting of some 125,000 catalog cards. These she used to publish, in 1920, her classic The Crooked and Narrow Streets of the Town of Boston, 1630-1822. Four years before, she had given her card index to the Massachusetts Historical Society, where it occupied seventy-four library drawers in the catalog room. Although arranged only by subjects' names, the index has proved a valuable resource for historians and genealogists.

    In 1993, the MHS decided to convert Annie Thwing's monumental work into an electronic database, which would be searchable not just by name, but by occupation, spouse, birth, death, property holdings -- up to twenty different factors or any combination of them. The task, which included editing and adding to the original card index, was completed in early 1999.

    Thwing's card index, and this database, are by no means comprehensive. The 62,000 records at your fingertips do not represent a census of all Boston inhabitants during this period. Thwing's methodology, and indeed the historical records themselves, were biased toward property holders. The creators of this database began to make records for the many spouses and children indicated in Thwing's index not given cards of their own, but could not finish that phase of the project. Additionally, the vast majority of Boston's African American and Native American residents lacked records; users will now find nearly 5,000 such records in the database, created by MHS staff.

    Thwing was diligent in her search for information. She examined original as well as published materials. Sources that she consulted include town and council records (Book of Possessions, Reports of the Record Commissioners of the City of Boston, 39 vols.); colonial records (Records of the Governor and Company of Massachusetts Bay in New England, 5 vols. in 6); newspapers (The Boston News-Letter); Suffolk County land and probate records; Copp's Hill, Granary, and King's Chapel burying grounds; court records (Records of the Court of Assistants of the Colony of the Massachusetts Bay, 1630-1692). She also examined published materials such as Bostonian Society Publications, Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors of the American Revolution, The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, and Massachusetts Historical Society Collections as well as Proceedings.

    As with the original card file, the database is built from sets of historical data, relating to individuals in records. Each record represents one individual in the database, which includes upwards of 62,000 records. Information within each record is divided into as many as twenty fields, including first and last name, spouse, parents, children, dates of birth and baptism, dates of death and burial, occupation, town offices, address, probate, deeds, abutters, as well as other miscellaneous pieces of information. For some individuals the record may consist of no more than a single item of information, such as a birth or death date, while other records contain extensive detail in many fields.

    In 1920, Annie Thwing used this index card database to create The Crooked and Narrow Streets of the Town of Boston 1630-1822. Taking the reader section by section through the city, Thwing shows how the streets changed over time, who the owners and their families were, and how they interacted with each other. This book is an incomparable view of the period before Boston became a city.

    The Massachusetts Historical Society and the New England Historic Genealogical Society are pleased to be able to present these two valuable works. The information contained here is invaluable not only to genealogists, but to historians as well for the data it supplies about early Boston inhabitants.

    -Len Travers, assistant professor of history at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, is the author of Celebrating the Fourth: Independence Day and the Rites of Nationalism in the Early Republic (1997)

    Inhabitants and Estates of the Town of Boston (Item #CD-TH) is available from NEHGS Sales for $39.99, plus $1.50 shipping and handling. Please call, toll-free, 1-888-296-3447 from 9-5 Eastern time, Monday through Friday..

    This article first appeared in the fall 2001 issue of New England Ancestors. Subscription to New England Ancestors is a benefit of NEHGS membership; to join, please call 1-888-296-3447 (toll-free) or visit /.


    New and Improved Library Acquisitions Updates Coming Soon

    Some of our members may recall that for many years (first in Nexus, then in the enewsletter) NEHGS published a list of recent library acquisitions. This popular feature was designed to keep our members informed of the many new and unique items that are added to our library collections every day. Earlier this year, we suspended publication of the list while we came up with ways to make it even more useful and interesting for NEHGS researchers. We are now pleased to inform our enewsletter readers that this feature is about to reappear here every four weeks in a new and improved form!

    Some changes and enhancements you will see are:

    -A shorter and easier-to-read format!
    Instead of a list of thirty to fifty titles, we will present a select group of no more than ten.

    -A more focused selection!
    Rather than grouping titles solely by the date they were added to the collection, we might narrow our focus to a single subject or format. We might provide a list of recent publications that would serve as additional reading for people who want to learn more about the topic of an upcoming conference in the region or a NEHGS lecture. Or perhaps we'll offer a selection of titles chosen simply because we found them particularly useful, exciting, important, or fun.

    -Brief descriptive annotations!
    We will give you more information about the titles so that it will be easier for you to decide if they will be helpful in your research.

    We look forward to once again providing this service to you, our members, and we hope that you will find it to be a truly valuable and interesting part of your genealogical research. We eagerly await your feedback! If you have any suggestions on how these updates can be more useful, or if you have any ideas for topics that you'd like us to cover, please contact me at jmaguire@nehgs.org. Thank you.

    Jean Maguire Technical Services Librarian


    New NEHGS CD Series is Mac-compatible

    When NEHGS embarked on a new program to publish important genealogical resources on CD-ROM, a strong commitment was made to produce those CDs in a Mac-compatible format, as well as in Windows. Mac users have traditionally been underserved in the genealogical marketplace and some of the larger genealogical software producers have chosen to discontinue their Mac offerings. NEHGS recognizes that Mac users represent an important and essential segment of the genealogical audience. Accordingly, the New England Historic Genealogical Society will publish all future CD products in a Mac-compatible format.

    NEHGS has published four CDs in 2001, all compatible for both Mac and Windows:

    -Sprague's Braintree Families 1640-1850

    -Inhabitants and Estates of the Town of Boston 1630-1800 and The Crooked and Narrow Streets of Boston 1630-1822

    -Torrey's New England Marriages Prior to 1700

    -Bible Records from the Manuscript Collections of the New England Historic Genealogical Society

    To order CDs by phone, please call 1-888-296-3447, from 9-5 Eastern time, Monday through Friday. If you have questions, you can also email the sales department at sales@nehgs.org.


    New Bus Service to National Archives in Waltham, MA

    How many of you have made the trek on foot from the MBTA bus stop in Waverley Square in Belmont to the National Archives site, a mile and a half away in Waltham? It is a trek I've made more than once, and one I'd rather not repeat if I don't have to. That is why I was particularly pleased to hear about a new bus service run by the city of Waltham. The Waltham Citibus, route #14, takes passengers from Waverley Square down Trapelo Road, and passes right by the National Archives building. The bus stop in Waverley Square is at the corner of Trapelo Road and Church Street. It is conveniently located near the Fitchburg commuter rail stop and the #73 bus from Harvard Square. The Waltham Citibus down Trapelo Road runs only on weekdays. The regular fare price is $1.00.

    For more information on the Waltham CitiBus, please visit: http://waltham.128bc.com/.

    For more information on the MBTA commuter rail line or the #73 bus from Harvard Square to Waverley, please visit: www.mbta.com.

    For more information on the National Archives site in Waltham, please visit: http://www.nara.gov/regional/boston.html


    Genealogies in Progress

    Genealogies in progress are announced free for NEHGS members on a space-available basis in New England Ancestors. Publication of these notices is intended to facilitate contact among researchers preparing book-length genealogies, and may not be used for commercial solicitations. All submissions will be published on a space-available basis, as follows: received by December 15 - Spring issue; received by February 15 - Summer issue. Please send your brief notice to Robert Shaw, c/o New England Ancestors, 101 Newbury St., Boston, MA 02116-3007; email: bshaw@nehgs.org.


    Fall Meeting of the Genealogical Society of Vermont, October 20, 2001

    The Fall Meeting of the Genealogical Society of Vermont will be held from 9:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. at Warner's Gallery Restaurant, Route 302, Wells River, VT (just east of Exit 17 of I-91).

    The program features three lectures:

    -"It's in the cards: the Nye Index at the VT State Archives", given by Gregory Sanford, Vermont State Archivist

    -"Introduction to the Genealogical Resources at the Massachusetts State Archives", given by Janis Duffy, Archivist at State Archives

    -"Vermont People, Vermont Courts: Sources of History in the Records of the Vermont Judiciary", given by Paul Gillies, Montpelier lawyer and history hobbyist

    The cost is $14 for GSV members: $16 for non-members, which includes morning coffee and a luncheon. Please make reservations by October 12, 2001 by mailing a check to GSV, PO Box 1553, St. Albans, VT 05478-1006.

    If you have questions, please email John Leppman at john.a.leppman@dartmouth.edu.


    Upcoming Events

    You are invited to submit your upcoming genealogical events for publication in the NEHGS enewsletter. We are primarily interested in genealogical events taking place in New England or events related to New England genealogy taking place in other parts of the country. If you have questions or you would like to submit an event, please contact Lynn Betlock at HisGenHighlights@nehgs.org.


    NEHGS Contact Information

    We encourage you to email this newsletter to others who might be interested. If this newsletter was forwarded to you and you wish to subscribe, please visit: /nehgspubssection/pubs_current_detal.sp?key=1151

    To view the website of the New England Historic Genealogical Society, please visit http://www.newenglandancestors.org/

    If you have questions, comments or suggestions about the enewsletter, please contact Lynn Betlock at HisGenHighlights@nehgs.org.


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99 - 101 Newbury Street
Boston, Massachusetts 02116, USA
888-296-3447

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