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  • 2001 Archive

  • Vol. 3, No. 16
    Whole #51
    October 19, 2001

    -Share Your Tips for Getting Started in New England Genealogy
    -Share Your Stories About the New Torrey CD-ROM
    -Genealogy 101 at NEHGS in Boston, Saturday, November 3, 2001
    -Coming Soon in the Holiday 2001 Issue of New England Ancestors
    -NEHGS 2002 Technology Excellence Award
    -New Book on Stoughton, Massachusetts, by David Allen Lambert of NEHGS
    -Microfilms on the Move!: An Acquisitions Update
    -GenTech Confirmation Letters
    -Touring Turn-of-the-Century America: Photographs from the Detroit Publishing Company 1880-1920

    Share Your Tips for Getting Started in New England Genealogy

    The New England Historic Genealogical Society is compiling a set of guidelines and tips for those beginning New England genealogical research. We would welcome your input about what recommendations you would have for those just getting started. Please send your comments to

    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 Prior to 1700 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 January 2002.)

    Please send your comments

    To view information about Torrey on CD-ROM, visit our online store.

    Genealogy 101 at NEHGS in Boston, Saturday, November 3, 2001

    Don't miss this all-day event designed to help you develop the research skills necessary for exploring your family history. This year's Genealogy 101 will be offered as a convenient one-day intensive course. Marcia D. Melynk, popular lecturer and author, will cover topics designed to give you the basic building blocks of family history research. Ask all the questions you were afraid to ask, and leave with a new confidence about your research abilities.

    The program will feature the following topics:

    •Getting Organized in Your Research
    •Oral History: Separating Fact from Fiction
    •Using Library Sources and Vital Records
    •Getting the Most from the U.S. Federal Census

    Here are some of the evaluation comments from past Genealogy 101 participants:

    "The whole day was satisfying in every way — Marcia is so knowledgeable as well as an excellent communicator. Her enthusiasm and dynamism are contagious as well as inspiring."

    "This was my first conference and I thought [it was] excellent."

    "I wish I had taken a course like this years ago."

    The Genealogy 101 program will be held at NEHGS, 101 Newbury Street, Boston, from 10:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. on Saturday, November 3. To register or inquire further, please contact the education department at 1-888-286-3447, ext. 202, or email

    Coming Soon in the Holiday 2001 Issue of New England Ancestors:

    • Photographs in Your Family History, by Maureen A. Taylor
    • The Enhancement and Restoration of Photographs, by David Mishkin
    • Seventeenth-Century Probates and Administrations in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, by Robert H. Rodgers
    • Bible Records from the manuscript collections of NEHGS, by Linda Rupnow McGuire
    • Needful Things: Genealogy - and the Future, Part One, by David L. Greene
    • Book Notes: Fire and Roses: The Burning of the Charlestown Convent, 1834, reviewed by Christopher Hartman
    • What's New: An Interview with Westy Egmont of the Dreams of Freedom Museum, by Maureen A. Taylor
    • The Computer Genealogist: The New, by Michael J. Leclerc
    • Around New England: A Secret No Longer - Using the NEHGS Circulating Library, by Laura Prescott Duffy
    • Pocket Librarian: Researching at the Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Library, by Chad E. Leinaweaver
    • Pilgrim Life: Name Deformations, Part Two, by Jeremy Dupertuis Bangs
    • Visiting Boston: The John F. Kennedy Library and Museum, by Christopher Hartman

    NEHGS 2002 Technology Excellence Award

    The New England Historic Genealogical Society (local host of GenTech 2002),
    desiring to encourage and foster the development of rigorous genealogical research techniques in computerized or electronic formats, announces the Third Annual NEHGS Technology Excellence Award. This award is granted annually during the GenTech Conference for Genealogy and Technology.

    The award may be granted to an individual or organization and will carry with it:

    * a one-year membership in NEHGS,
    * prominent listing on the NEHGS website,
    * travel expenses for the recipient (or recipient's representative) to the award ceremony
    * $500 in products of the recipient's choice from the NEHGS Family Treasures store.

    The award will be determined by a committee appointed by NEHGS. Nominations are welcome and may be submitted, but the committee will also consider initiatives that fit its criteria but have received no nomination. To be eligible for consideration, a project must demonstrate or enable the highest standards of genealogical research in electronic form, and do so in an innovative and replicable manner. The award is intended to recognize appropriate use of technology to achieve genealogical results; eligible projects must therefore present a worthwhile genealogical result obtained through technological tools. "Gee whiz" technology devoid of genealogical merit will not be considered, nor will pure genealogical content outweigh technological shortcomings.

    Examples of projects which might fit these criteria are:

    * Electronic representation of original source documents
    * Electronic publication of genealogical research, including full source documentation
    * Cataloging of repository materials for electronic access
    * Collaborative efforts among societies, family history associations or commercial ventures to increase the electronic accessibility of genealogical resources

    Employees of NEHGS and their immediate families are not eligible for consideration for this award. Nominations may be sent to The deadline for submissions is November 20.

    Previous Tech Award winners include:
    the Alberta Family Histories Society, Canadian Genealogical Projects Registry,, in 2000; and the Illinois State Genealogical Society,, in 2001.

    New Book on Stoughton, Massachusetts, by David Allen Lambert of NEHGS

    NEHGS staff member David Allen Lambert is the author of a recently published book on his hometown of Stoughton, Massachusetts. Images of America: Stoughton was published by Arcadia Publishing in September of 2001. David Lambert was extremely well-suited to author this book — he is a life-long Stoughton resident and he has been an active member of the Stoughton Historical Society since 1980. He previously served as that organization's vice president and curator-historian and he is currently their genealogist.

    This new book features hundreds of images that capture the look and feel of Stoughton from the mid-nineteenth to the early twentieth century. The photographs, probably 90% of which had never been previously published, date from approximately 1850 to 1940. The photographs were taken from the author's collection, the collections of other individuals, and the collection of the Stoughton Historical Society. The images are accompanied by detailed captions that provide information about the people and places being featured. Since the town of Stoughton never had an illustrated history prior to this, the new book will undoubtedly be a welcome addition. The book's release this year is very timely since 2001 is the 275th anniversary of the incorporation of the town of Stoughton.

    The Stoughton book is priced at $19.99, plus shipping and handling. To purchase a copy from the NEHGS sales department, please call 1-888-296-3447 from 9 a.m. -5 p.m. Eastern time, Monday through Friday.

    Images of America: Stoughton is also available both in the Society's reference library collection and in the circulating library collection. To reach the circulating library, please email or call 1-888-906-3447 from 9-5 Eastern time, Monday through Friday.

    For information about the Stoughton Historical Society, please visit Their website also contains additional links for those interested in further information about Stoughton.

    Microfilms on the Move!: An Acquisitions Update

    As regular users of the library know, the Society has all the census records microfilms for the six New England states up through and including 1920, with relevant soundexes. Many people may be wondering whether we are going to acquire microfilms of the 1930 census. We are pleased to say that we have ordered these films for the six New England states, to complete our collection, and they should be here by early spring 2002. As you can imagine, the National Archives and Records Administration will be inundated with requests from all over the country, and it will be some time before everyone's order is filled.

    Members and patrons will also be interested to know that we have an impressive collection of census records from other parts of the country from 1790 through 1850, with any published indexes that pertain to them, and our goal is to complete our holdings for that period of time. Scattered films for later census years that have been donated to us are an added attraction. I should also point out here that we have many reels of film of the 1855 and 1865 New York state census, done county by county, and the 1855 and 1865 Massachusetts state census, as well as the 1865, 1875, 1885, 1915, 1925, and 1936 Rhode Island state census. Complementing these holdings, are Ann Smith Lainhart's published volumes in which are complete transcriptions of these records for various Massachusetts towns. Library users will also discover, if they have not already done so, that all census-related guides and finding aids are now to be found on the fourth floor where the microfilms are kept.

    Massachusetts birth, marriage, and death records were recently released to the public without restrictions, and have now been transferred from the Department of Health to the Massachusetts Archives at Columbia Point. They are being microfilmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah prior to being made available for research. The death records are being filmed first, and will be completed sometime in early November. Birth and marriage records will follow thereafter. As each group of records becomes available for purchase, we shall be adding those to our collection, as well.

    And, coming soon, are microfilms of all the probate and deed records for the entire Province of Nova Scotia! Records of all eighteen of Nova Scotia's counties from the beginning to about 1850 will soon be here for you to use. Our library will be only the third to have this full set of records as we join the Nova Scotia Archives and Records Management and the Family History Library in Salt Lake City with this full set of unique research materials.

    Because of all our exciting new acquisitions of important materials, we have had to decide reluctantly to move some of our more massive collections of film to the basement from where individual reels will have to be paged by staff members on duty on the fourth floor. Among the items slated for the move are:

    1. The manifests of the Canadian border crossing records (St. Albans series) [the soundex card films will remain on the fourth floor]

    2. The Drouin Collection of (mostly) Quebec church records [the detailed finding aids will remain on the fourth floor]

    3. The Quebec notarial records

    4. The State census records for New York, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island (described above)

    5. All deeds microfilms [the indexes will remain on the fourth floor]

    All of the above items will still be right here in the building for your use, but will just need the extra step of having to be fetched by a fourth-floor staff person. Finding aids are available on the fourth floor to enable researchers to determine which reels of film they require.

    And lastly we plan to institute a new feature for the fourth floor microtext center. Important new materials will be kept out in plain view for a certain length of time so that users of that part of our library can see what major new acquisitions are ready for their use. Don't forget to check the top of our counter near the reference desk every time you come in!

    —George F. Sanborn Jr., Collection Development Coordinator

    GenTech Confirmation Letters

    Registration for the GenTech 2002 conference in Boston, for which the New England Historic Genealogical Society is local host, is going well. If you have registered, you will be receiving your confirmation package mid-November. If you are interested in more information about the conference, or need to contact anyone associated with GenTech 2002, please visit

    Touring Turn-of-the-Century America: Photographs from the Detroit Publishing Company 1880-1920

    The Library of Congress American Memory website is a real treasure for family historians. It contains over seven million digital items from more than one hundred historical collections. One collection that caught my eye recently was "Touring Turn-of-the-Century America: Photographs from the Detroit Publishing Company 1880-1920" ( from the Prints and Photographs Division of the Library of Congress. This collection of commercial photographs includes over 25,000 glass negatives and transparencies, mostly of the Eastern United States. These images served as the basis for picture postcards of the time. Prominent subjects include buildings and views in towns and cities, colleges and universities, battleships and yachts, resorts, natural landmarks, and industry.

    These images are available for viewing on the American Memory website. You can search by keyword (such as church or railroad), by subject (from abandoned buildings to zoos) or by geographic location. I looked at the images available for Hartford, Connecticut. There are thirty-nine of them, and they include views of Farmington Avenue, the Aetna Insurance Company, Trinity College, and the Cedar Hill Cemetery.

    Overall, the New England states and New York are well represented in this collection:

    New York: 4,408 images
    Massachusetts 1,748 images
    New Hampshire 841 images
    Maine 343 images
    Vermont 239 images
    Connecticut 158 images
    Rhode Island 111 images

    If you have an interest in any particular town or city, especially those east of the Mississippi, I recommend that you investigate what the site might have to offer on your town.

    If you would like to obtain a copy of an image that you find in the collection, you can order one from the Library of Congress Photoduplication Service. They offer prints and negatives in a variety of sizes and formats. A link to the photoduplication service is provided on the Detroit Publishing Company Collection website.

    To search "Touring Turn-of-the-Century America: Photographs from the Detroit Publishing Company 1880-1920," visit

    To search the Library of Congress's American Memory website, visit

    NEHGS Contact Information

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    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

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