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  • 2002 Archive

  • Vol. 4, No. 11
    Whole #67
    May 31, 2002

    • New Research Articles on
    • News from the Circulating Library
    • Coming Soon in the Summer 2002 Issue of New England Ancestors
    • Upcoming "Genealogy in a Nutshell" Lectures
    • New "Genealogy in a Nutshell" Schedule: June-December, 2002
    • Genealogy in the News
    • German Catholics in Boston
    • News From the National Archives, Pittsfield and Waltham Branches

    New Research Articles on

    The 1790 Connecticut Census
    By Joyce S. Pendery, CG
    "The recent release of the 1930 U.S. census provides an appropriate opportunity to reexamine the first U.S. census of 1790 for Connecticut. Have you found that census frustrating to use? If so, chances are you were looking for an ancestor who lived in one of the Connecticut towns with heads of households listed alphabetically. Or perhaps your ancestor lived in a town enumerated together with other towns in the same county. Genealogists are encouraged to study the neighbors of their ancestors on the theory that family members often lived near one another. When names are listed alphabetically, determining who neighbors were is impossible. When several towns are enumerated together, it may not be possible to determine in which town a specific head of household lived."

    New York
    An Easier Way to Obtain New York State Vital Records
    By Marian S. Henry
    "Obtaining vital record information in upstate New York is difficult. There is no kinder way to state it. You will not find them published in books to be found on shelves of public libraries and they are not available on the Internet. Using form DOH-1562, one may submit a request to the vital records section of New York State Department of Health for an uncertified copy of a birth, marriage, or death record. If an exact date for the event is not known, a search may be performed, but the researcher could pay dearly for this service. The minimum fee of $11 covers a search of 1–3 years. The maximum fee listed is $81 for 61–70 years. The fee is retained whether or not the record is found. In Albany, a single person processes all requests for certificates. I am told that this person is currently about two years behind."

    Boston In Print, Part 3: Probate Records, Land Records, Cemeteries, and Other Sources
    By Ann S. Lainhart
    "For almost 400 years, a vast number of people have passed through Boston. Some have stayed only a few days or a few years, while others have lived in Boston for generations. Even those who stayed only a short time may have left records and these columns will help you find the records on your ancestors. This is the final installment of a three-part series of columns on researching people who lived in Boston. The first part covered vital records, town histories and guides, and church records, while the second part focused on town records and annexed lands. This column will cover cemeteries, probate records, land records, Irish immigrants, and other sources."

    Topic of the Month
    Every Picture Tells a Story
    By Maureen A. Taylor
    "Most family photograph albums include double portraits of male and female adults. You may find that some are marked with names and dates that help you place them in your family history. Whether the subjects are identified or not, each image can tell a story or provide clues. In addition to identifying the subjects in the pictures, researchers will also want to find out when and where the photograph was taken and uncover details about the events surrounding the image. Becoming your family photo "Sherlock Holmes" is easy if you know what questions to ask and where to look for clues."

    News from the Circulating Library

    The Circulating Library's online catalog now offers a helpful new feature that shows the availability of all circulating library books. The "copies" button (visible below each title's detailed item view) reports which books are out on loan and which books are available on shelf. This feature allows members to choose only books that are immediately available for loan. The reserve feature will continue to be an option for members who want to place orders for books that are not immediately available. We hope this new feature will facilitate members' use of the Circulating Library.


    Alex Woodle, Circulating Library Director

    Coming Soon in the Summer 2002 Issue of New England Ancestors

    Joyce S. Pendery offers an in-depth guide to genealogical research in Connecticut, outlining the records available and where to find them, and identifying special resources and services for genealogists.

    Priscilla Noyes Chatfield shares her search for the father of Captain Benjamin Frank Noyes (ca. 1828–1879) of Mystic River, Connecticut, in "A Connecticut Case Study."

    Michael J. Leclerc explores the newly-released 1930 United States Census and offers tips for successful searching.

    Rod Moody and Michael J. Leclerc highlight two new NEHGS CD-ROMs: Records of Barnstable, Massachusetts and Boston Church Records.

    Marsha Hoffman Rising introduces David Allen Lambert's new NEHGS publication, A Guide to Massachusetts Cemeteries, and Sharon DeBartolo Carmack previews her new book, Your Guide to Cemetery Research.

    Lynn Betlock focuses on four of the best-known hereditary societies: the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company, the Daughters of the American Revolution, the Sons of the American Revolution, and the General Society of Mayflower Descendants.

    Also in this issue:
    • The Computer Genealogist: Finding Manuscripts Online
    • Product Spotlight: Antiques and Collectibles Inventory
    • New England Online: Gary Boyd Roberts on Royal Descents, Notable Kin, and Printed Sources
    • Around New England: A Potpourri of Ethnic Resources at NEHGS
    • Pilgrim Life: Begat . . . Begat . . . Begat . . . Begat . . .
    • Manuscripts at NEHGS: Dorchester Antiquarian and Historical Society Records

    And, as always, news of NEHGS and the world of genealogy, upcoming NEHGS programs and tours, new publications, and notices of family association events, genealogies in progress, genealogies recently published, and member queries.

    Subscription to New England Ancestors is a benefit of NEHGS membership. If you are not a member, you may join by calling toll-free 1-888-296-3447, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Eastern Time, Monday–Friday.

    Upcoming "Genealogy in a Nutshell" Lectures

    The "Genealogy in a Nutshell" series continues with four lectures:

    • "The New England Genealogical Experience" (which looks at the recent NEHGS publication The Art of Family: Genealogical Artifact in New England) by D. Brenton Simons, on Wednesday, June 5

    • "Hot Off the Press: Using Newspapers as Genealogical Sources" by Marie Daly, on Saturday, June 8

    • "Find Your German Ancestors" by Bonnie Mitten, on Wednesday, June 12

    • " Making Sense of Passenger and Naturalization Lists" by Marie Daly and David Lambert, on Saturday, June 15

    All lectures take place at 10 a.m. Advance registration is not necessary.

    For more details about NEHGS education events, please visit

     New "Genealogy in a Nutshell" Schedule: June–December, 2002 

    Mark your calendar now! Our popular "Nutshell" lecture series has been booked through the end of 2002. Please join us for a new set of lectures as well as many new speakers. All lectures will be held at 10 a.m. on Wednesdays and Saturdays. The lectures are free and open to the public. Advance registration is not necessary.

    June 19, 22
    Ralph Crandall
    Colonial Migrations within New England

    June 26, 29
    David Lambert
    Sons of Liberty: Researching Your Revolutionary War Ancestor

    July 3, 6
    Gary Roberts
    New Sources for the "Century of Lost Ancestors:" 1750-1850

    July 10, 13
    Marc Choquet
    Case Studies in New England Native American Research

    July 17, 20
    Christopher Child
    The Maternal Ancestry of Abraham Lincoln

    July 24, 27
    David Dearborn
    Find Your Italian Ancestors

    September 4,7
    Marshall Kirk
    Researching Vermont Ancestors

    September 11, 14
    Jerome Anderson
    Deciphering Old Handwriting

    September 18, 21
    Chris Hartman
    Preparing Your Family Genealogy for Publication

    September 25
    George Sanborn
    A Varied Mosaic: Researching Ancestors in Nova Scotia

    October 2, 5
    David Lambert
    Beyond the Grave: Using Cemetery Records

    October 9, 12
    Gary Boyd Roberts
    Introduction to Royal Descents for Americans

    October 16, 19
    Marie Daly
    The Health of Our Ancestors: Mortality in the 18th and 19th Centuries

    October 23, 26
    Maureen Taylor
    Finding Your Rhode Island Roots

    October 30, November 2
    Dr. Harold Worthley
    Congregational Church Records: Less Than Meets the Eye

    November 6,9
    Brenton Simons
    Book, CD, or Web? Which Medium Fits Which Publication

    November 13, 16
    Walter Hickey
    The 1930 Census: Ins and Outs

    November 20, 23
    Henry Scannell
    Newspaper Sources at the Boston Public Library

    November 27, 30
    Michael Leclerc
    Find Your French-Canadian Ancestors

    December 4, 7
    David Dearborn
    A Good Deed: Important Documents for Your Research

    December 11, 14
    George Sanborn
    Genealogical Mining in the Granite State (New Hampshire)

     NEHGS in the News: Martha Stewart Living and Maine Antiques Digest

    The New England Historic Genealogical Society was mentioned in a two-article feature on "Heritage Road Trips" in the June 2002 issue of Martha Stewart Living. The articles, entitled "Tracing Your Family Roots" and "Family Reunions," emphasize the importance — and fun — of making connections with ancestral places and distant kin.

    You can read an abbreviated version of the feature online at:;jsessionid=KXKHMC3TAMZOBWCKUUXCHPWYJKSS0JO0?type=content&id=channel175843.

    Also, a new NEHGS book, The Art of Family: Genealogical Artifacts in New England was featured in an article in the June issue of Maine Antiques Digest. The article, entitled "Elle Shushan in Philadelphia Helps Introduce New Book," can be found on page 9A. The article is not available online.

    German Catholics in Boston

    German Catholics began emigrating to Boston in the 1820s. When they first arrived, there was only one Catholic church — the Cathedral on Franklin Street. Eventually the German community decided to build a church so they would be able to conduct their own services. A small church was constructed in 1844 and named The Church of the Holy Trinity.

    With an influx of German Catholics in the 1850s and 1860s, this church was soon too small to accommodate the congregation, and in 1874 John H. Keely of Brooklyn, New York, was commissioned to design a larger church. The new Holy Trinity Church was dedicated in 1877. The statuary and stained glass windows were imported from Germany, and installed by the men of the community. The church was considered to be one of Boston's artistic achievements. During its long history, Holy Trinity Church met almost all needs of the community — spiritual, musical, social, educational, and personal.

    The German Catholics settled in South Boston and the section of Boston now known as the South End. The original settlers practiced a variety of trades, reflected in an 1859 list of thirteen men which contained the following occupations: laborer, vinegar manufacturer, grocers, in hats and caps, watchman, confectioner, wheelwright, machinists, shoemaker, brass finishers, bootmaker, and cabinetmaker. This is just a sampling: among the German community there were bakers, musicians, bookkeepers, brewers, and a wide range of other occupations.

    In the late 1870s, the Germans began to move outward, into Dorchester, West Roxbury, Dedham, and Norwood, as well as Charlestown and Chelsea. They still, however, kept their roots in Holy Trinity Church. Many of their descendants stayed close to the church until the 1950s and 60s when the area around the church was razed and a housing development built. The Jesuits' long association with the church, begun in 1848, lasted until 1961. The church is now an Archdiocesan church but still offers a German mass on Sunday mornings. Many of the attendees are descendants of the original immigrants. The congregation's newspaper, the Monatsbote, is still published today, but now in English rather than German.

    Records for these immigrants are fairly accessible. Many became naturalized citizens. To find naturalization papers, you can use the Index to Naturalizations at NEHGS (on the fourth floor) or at the National Archives in Waltham, Massachusetts. The naturalization papers themselves are located at the National Archives branch in Waltham,

    The church records, from the formation of the congregation to 1961, are located at the archives of the Archdiocese of Boston. Back issues of the Monatsbote can also be found at the Archdiocesan archives. The archives, located in Brighton, Massachusetts, are open by appointment only, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information on location, hours, and collections, visit their website at

    For more information about the German Catholics of Holy Trinity Church, you can visit an informative website compiled by Marge Reid, Another useful website by Marge Reid is the Germans in Boston Resource Center, located at

    —Bonnie Mitten, Reference Librarian

    News From the National Archives, Pittsfield and Waltham Branches

    NARA, Pittsfield, MA

    The National Archives and Records Administration, Northeast Region, Pittsfield office, located at 10 Conte Drive in Pittsfield, is now open on the first Saturday of each month.

    The facility will be open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays. These dates include June 1, July 6, August 3, September 7, October 5, November 2, and December 7, 2002.

    The National Archives facility in Pittsfield has extensive microfilm holdings for genealogical research. These collections include Federal population census, 1790 to 1930; Revolutionary War military and pension records; passenger arrival records for most Atlantic ports beginning in 1820; World War I draft registrations for New England and New York; and naturalization indexes for New England and Federal District Courts in New York. Regular hours of operation are Monday–Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Wednesdays 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. and now the first Saturday of each month from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

    For more information about the National Archives in Pittsfield, please visit

    NARA, Waltham, MA

    The National Archives in Waltham is offering genealogical workshops on the second Thursday of each month from June through September.

    The workshops, titled "Genealogical Treasures in Federal Records: Resources at the National Archives", will be presented by Mr. Walter V. Hickey, Archives Specialist, at the National Archives-Northeast Region.

    The workshops will be offered at the Regional Archives building, located at 380 Trapelo Road in Waltham, from 6:30 p.m.–8 p.m. on June 13, July 11, August 8, and September 12. Workshop space is limited to twenty participants. Please register in person or call 781-647-8100 to register. There is no fee.

    For the experienced genealogist as well as the novice, these workshops will be an overview of the records available at the Regional Archives in Waltham. These records include Federal census, naturalizations, passenger arrival lists (including Canadian border crossing records), military draft registrations, and more. Participants will learn what they need to know in order to locate a record as well as what one might expect to find in the record.

    The NARA facility in Waltham has extensive microfilm holdings and some collections of original records for genealogy research. These collections include Federal population censuses, 1790–1930; Revolutionary War military and pension records; nineteenth century passenger records for most East Coast United States and Gulf of Mexico ports; some 20th century records for Boston, New York, and Canadian border crossings; World War I draft registration records (New England states only); and naturalization records (New England states only). Hours of operation are Monday, Tuesday, and Friday 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m., Wednesday and Thursday 8 a.m.–9 p.m., and the first and third Saturday of each month 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m., excluding all Federal holidays.

    For more information about the National Archives in Waltham, please visit

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