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  • 2001 Archive

  • Vol. 3, No. 20
    Whole #55
    December 14, 2008

    Need a Last Minute Gift Idea?
    Holiday Hours at the NEHGS Research Library
    New Research Articles on!
    Visit the Massachusetts Historical Society during GENTECH 2002
    Online Exhibit at the Massachusetts Historical Society
    New Books
    Amtrak Begins New Service Between Portland, Maine, and Boston
    2002 Education Programs

    Need a Last Minute Gift Idea?

    Have you hit a brick wall with your holiday gift giving? Give an NEHGS gift membership for many happy returns throughout the year. For every gift membership you purchase in December, you will receive the added bonus of a complimentary day pass to the NEHGS Research Library in Boston - a $15 value! Use it as a "stocking stuffer," mail it to a cousin, or bring a friend with you on your next visit. For $60 you will give your favorite genealogist access to the bounty of benefits NEHGS offers, including online use of the Register via the new and expanded website, circulating library borrowing privileges, unlimited library visits, research service discounts, New England Ancestors magazine, and so much more.

    To give a gift membership, call member services today at 1-888-296-3447, email

    Holiday Hours at the NEHGS Research Library

    With the holiday season just around the corner, we would like to publicize the holiday hours for the NEHGS Research Library.

    As always, the library is closed on Sundays and Mondays. For the holiday season we will also be closed on the following days:

    Saturday, December 22
    Tuesday, December 25
    Tuesday, January 1
    Wednesday - Saturday, January 2-5 (closed for inventory)

    New Research Articles on!

    Visit the NEHGS website for the latest additions to the NEHGS online research columns.

    Topic of the Month
    NEHGS Archivist Tim G. X. Salls describes the goldmine of treasures that await researchers in the NEHGS manuscript collection! Manuscripts are often-overlooked resources but after reading this informative article, you will want to dive (carefully) right into the wonderful world of manuscripts. Tim explains what to look for when searching through family registers, bible records, account books, church and town records, and much more. An added bonus — if you have ever had the urge to snoop through the diaries or letters of complete strangers you may do so with no fear of reprisal! Tim also tells you about all the different types of correspondence we acquire and the hidden value they hold — from business letterhead to notes exchanged between archivists and genealogists.

    Massachusetts Research
    Maureen A. Taylor is on a mission to make every Massachusetts researcher aware of the vast resources available on the county level. Did you know that the deed registries of at least six Massachusetts counties offer online access to land records? Maureen will give you the web addresses and tell you just what to expect from each site. Also provided are links to genealogical and historical societies, information on county histories and biographical encyclopedias, and an abundance of online resources.

    Read an except of "County Resources in Massachusetts": "'Few areas in this country or the British Isles equal the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for the quantity and quality of its historical records,' stated Edward W. Hanson and Homer Vincent Ruther in their 1984 book, Genealogical Research in New England. What they said almost twenty years ago remains true today. In fact, the access to these records has only increased with time due to the Internet. Rather than focus on specific town records that are useful only if you know the name of the town, let's survey county level materials. Researchers in Massachusetts are fortunate in that there is an amazing amount of genealogical and historical information available for the state's counties. Listed below are five different avenues to explore to discover more about your family…"

    English Research
    George Redmonds relates the interesting tale of the prearranged marriage of Nicholas Kaye and Elizabeth Wentworth. Kaye's premature death made his cousin Arthur not only recipient of the family's fortune, but the new husband of Nicholas Kaye's widow, as provided in the agreement between the two families. Redmonds also discusses the history of the given name "Arthur" and why its popularity rose and then fell in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. So, pour yourself a spot of tea and peruse "The Kayes of Woodsome"!

    "The Kayes of Woodsome were a Yorkshire gentry family whose main seat was a fine Elizabethan residence known as Woodsome Hall. It lay in its own extensive grounds just below the village of Farnley Tyas and it is little changed today. The family had moved there from Bury in Lancashire in the 1370s and were taxed at Farnley in 1379. John and Margaret Kay paid a 3s. 4d. "poll tax." John was described as "Frankeleyn" in the roll, and the title and the money he paid were sure signs of his status locally. His servants, John and Agnes, neither of them given a surname, were at the end of the township list, paying 4 pence each."

    A preview of upcoming research columns:
    • "Jemima Wilkenson, The First American-born Woman to Organize a Religious Group" by Marian Henry, PhD
    • "Vermont Warnings Out" by Scott Andrew Bartley
    • A New Notable Kin column - "Harvard, Its Presidents, and Kings" - by Gary Boyd Roberts

    Visit the Massachusetts Historical Society during GENTECH 2002

    One of the added bonuses of visiting Boston for GENTECH 2002 (January 25-26) is the opportunity to explore the NEHGS library as well as other local repositories. Over the next several issues of the enewsletter, we will be highlighting some of these institutions. This issue will feature the Massachusetts Historical Society, located just a few blocks from the Hynes Convention Center where the GENTECH conference will be held.

    The Massachusetts Historical Society (MHS), founded in 1791, is a major research library and manuscript repository. Its holdings encompass millions of rare and unique documents and artifacts vital to the study of American history, many of them irreplaceable national treasures.

    The MHS website has a Beginner's Guide to Massachusetts Historical Research —— that can help you determine whether you would benefit from a trip to their library. It includes information on how to ask the MHS reference librarians a question, a list of Massachusetts History FAQs, and a guide to other Massachusetts repositories.

    If you are planning to research at the Massachusetts Historical Society, visit This page offers information on policies and procedures for visitors, suggestions on what to bring into the library, and the availability of photocopy services.

    The Massachusetts Historical Society library is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. until 4:45 p.m. The reading room is also open on Thursdays until 8 p.m.

    Please address inquiries about the Massachusetts Historical Society to:
    1154 Boylston Street
    Boston, MA 02215
    Phone: 617-536-1608

    For information about GENTECH 2002, please visit

    Online Exhibit at the Massachusetts Historical Society

    Even if you are not able to visit Boston for GENTECH 2002, you can still see some of the riches of the Massachusetts Historical Society's collection. Visitors to their website ( can view an interesting exhibit, "Maps of the French and Indian War from the collection of the Massachusetts Historical Society."

    The exhibition features fourteen maps and engravings of North America from the period, with the corresponding facts about the pivotal battles of the French and Indian War.

    The first map is in the series is labeled "North America, from the French of Mr. D'Anville. Based on map by Jean Baptiste Bourguignon d'Anville, with revisions. London: Published by Thomas Jefferys. 1755." The following commentary about the map is included, "Published in 1755, the same year that a French and Indian force defeated a British army under Gen. Edward Braddock near Fort Duquesne, Thomas Jefferys's map attempted to justify English claims in North America. Jefferys based his on the work of a French cartographer but transformed it into British propaganda, identifying French settlements as "incroachments" on English territory. The map later became a part of William Douglass's widely read Summary, Historical and Political ...of the British Settlements in North-America (1755). Encyclopedic in its coverage, the Summary remains an important source of information concerning British North America." While the title and commentary can provide some sense of the material, of course you must view the maps themselves to get to the heart of the exhibit.

    The exhibit also features images from a book of thirty plans of forts in North America, A Set of Plans of Forts in America, published by Mary Ann Rocque in 1765. The explanatory text provides an interesting historical context for this book. "Published after the English victory over the French, Rocque's plans were drawn from previously published maps. In many ways, this small book was intended as a paean to British victory and a celebration of the enlarged empire."

    Additionally, the online exhibit includes a brief history of the French and Indian War, highlighting the importance of maps in period warfare, and background on maps and mapmaking in the eighteenth century. Support for this exhibition was provided by the Massachusetts Society of Colonial Wars.

    To view the online exhibit, visit

    New Books

    Patrick Cottar of Pictou County, Nova Scotia, and His Descendants,
    By John H. Fullerton

    Patrick Cottar was born in Nova Scotia about 1772, a few years after his parents arrived there. They probably emigrated during one of several waves of Protestant Irish settlement under the leadership of Colonel Alexander McNutt of Londonderry, Ireland. Patrick Cottar was a farmer, and his descendants have lived in Pictou County for two centuries.

    The author, John Fullerton, had three objectives in writing this book: to describe his search for Patrick's birthplace and the names of his parents; to provide some perspective on the history and physical characteristics of the Scotsburn area; and to record the family genealogy of those born with the Cottar/Cotter surname and their children and grandchildren. The book contains a comprehensive description of the organized immigration to Nova Scotia from Northern Ireland during the period 1749 to 1772, and background on the early settlement of the town of Scotsburn, with a focus on the Rogers Hill area.

    Newbury Street Press. 2001. Hardcover. 81 plus xiv pages. Maps, illustrations, and name index. $30 plus $4 shipping and handling. Item number S4-9020081.

    Epling/Eplin 1787-2001, Volume I,
    By Robert Louis Massard and Debra Kay Cyprych

    This is the first comprehensive published treatment of all of the descendants of John Paul Epling, who died in 1809 in Giles County, Virginia. He used the alias John Miller for his Virginia land grants, though the reason is unknown. John Miller/Paul Epling possibly was born sometime between1730 and1750, probably to a family of Dutch or German extraction. We know he was literate. Extensive research has not located his parents nor his origins.

    The surname is spelled in numerous ways. Since 1800, the Giles County, Virginia Eplings almost always begin with "Ep" such as Eplin, Epling; others including Pennsylvania Eblings begin with "Eb" such as Eblin, Ebeling; and John Paul Eplings' name before 1800 was also spelled a variety of ways including Ablen, Aveling, and Ebling. A majority of Epling descendants are also Harless descendants as two of John Paul Eplings' sons, Paul and Philip, married Harlesses. In fact, both wives of Philip were Harless descendants.

    The book examines six generations of the family with only one line describing each member of the seventh generation. A second volume, currently being prepared for publication, continues with the seventh generation.

    Robert Massard. 2001. Hardcover. 1080 pages. Index. $75 plus $5.50 shipping and handling. Item number B3-31020.

    Researching in Germany: A Handbook for Your Visit to the Homeland of Your Ancestors,
    By Roger P. Minert and Shirley J. Riemer

    This is a one-stop guide to everything you need to know about your on-site research in Germanic locations. It is both a genealogy research aid and a travel guide wrapped up in one. The book covers trip preparation, maneuvering in the land of your ancestors, Germanic research repositories, and post-trip tips. Switzerland, Austria, Liechtenstein, France, The Czech Republic, Slovenia, Poland, Luxembourg and, of course, Germany are included. Handy topical mini-glossaries and sidebars are sprinkled throughout the book, supplemented by appendixes covering travel vocabulary, research vocabulary, tips on reading German handwriting, standard form headings, and boilerplate letters in German for a variety of situations. Whether you've got tickets in hand, or just dream of visiting your ancestral homeland, you'll benefit from this handy book.

    Lorelei Press. 2001. Softcover. 254 pages. $18.95 plus $4 shipping and handling. Item number B2-62737.

    To order:
    Please call the sales department at 1-888-296-3447 from 9 a.m. - 5 a.m. Eastern time, Monday through Friday. Or mail your order to: NEHGS Sales, One Watson Place, Building 4, P.O. Box 5089, Framingham MA 01701. [Please order by phone or mail. In a couple of weeks, you may order these books from our online store as well.] If you have questions, please email

    Amtrak Begins New Service Between Portland, Maine, and Boston

    Railroad fans can rejoice - on Saturday, December 15, Amtrak will begin service between Portland, Maine, and Boston's North Station. (Passenger train service on this route ceased 36 years ago, in 1965.) The new Downeaster service will make four daily round-trips and stop at the following stations:

    • Portland, Maine
    • Old Orchard Beach, Maine (seasonal service only)
    • Saco-Biddeford, Maine ("service to commence on a date to be announced")
    • Wells, Maine
    • Dover, New Hampshire
    • Durham, New Hampshire (service only on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday)
    • Exeter, New Hampshire
    • Haverhill, Massachusetts
    • Boston (North Station), Massachusetts

    For further information about the Downeaster, including schedules and fares, please visit

    Genealogists who live north of Boston in New Hampshire and Maine should consider using the new train service to travel to the NEHGS Research Library.

    To get from Boston's North Station to NEHGS, take a green line subway car inbound to Copley station. (The fare will be $1.) When you exit Copley station, you will be at the intersection of Boylston and Dartmouth Streets. Make a left on Boylston Street and walk one block to Clarendon Street (Trinity Church will be on your right). Cross Clarendon, then make another left and walk one block to Newbury Street. Cross Newbury; NEHGS is three doors past Clarendon at 101 Newbury Street.

    2002 Education Programs
    Winter Come Home to New England and Research Trip to Washington, D.C.

    Winter Come Home to New England
    February 24 - March 3, 2002
    Haven't you always wanted to spend a week at the NEHGS library in Boston? Then enjoy a week of personal consultations, guided research in our spectacular library, special lectures designed for "Come Home" participants and much more. Our lodging for the "Winter Come Home" will be at the John Hancock Conference Center, which is near Copley Square and just three blocks from NEHGS. This hotel is located in the heart of Boston's historic Back Bay district and provides comfortable rooms, morning coffee service, and guest laundry facilities. The Boston Public Library and a variety of cafes, shops, and galleries are all in close proximity. Conclude the week and share your breakthroughs at a dinner banquet.

    Research Trip to Washington, D.C.
    March 17 - 24, 2002

    Join NEHGS as we take on our nation's capital city! Our expert staff will guide you through your research and help you utilize the vast resources available at the Daughters of the American Revolution Library, the National Archives, and the Library of Congress.
    Washington, D.C. offers every genealogist a wealth of opportunities to further his or her research. NEHGS staff librarians will be available at three important sites for individual assistance and scheduled personal research consultations. Enjoy the benefit of working with experts at the National Archives, with its wealth of census, military, and immigration records; the Daughters of the American Revolution Library, with its major collection of printed genealogies and town and county records from all over the country; and the Library of Congress, with its impressive U.S. Local History and Genealogy Reading Room. Transportation will be provided to and from all three repositories. Hotel accommodations will be at the elegant Hotel Washington, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Register early to guarantee a place in our program.

    Look for more detailed itineraries and registration information for these popular education programs in the holiday issue of New England Ancestors magazine. For further information, please contact the education department at 1-888-286-3447, ext. 226, or email

New England Historic Genealogical Society
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Boston, Massachusetts 02116, USA

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