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  • 2002 Archive

  • Vol. 4, No. 27
    Whole #83
    October 4, 2002

    • New Databases on
    • New Research Articles on
    • New Issue of the Great Migration Newsletter Online Now Available
    • Upcoming "Genealogy in a Nutshell" Lectures at the NEHGS Library
    • NEHGS London Study Tour 2002: a great success!
    • Experience the "Best of Germany" with NEHGS
    • Articles in the October 2002 Register
    • From the Volunteer Coordinator
    • The New England Regional Fellowship Consortium
    • Prince Edward Island Online Resources
    • Vermont French-Canadian Genealogical Society Fall Conference, October 26
    • Favorite Ancestor Feedback

    New Databases on

    Vital Record of Rhode Island, 1636–1850, by James N. Arnold, Volume 9

    We continue to add new volumes of Arnold's Vital Record of Rhode Island, 1636–1850, to our database. This week we have added records from three towns.

    Now available:

    Marriages, intentions, births, and deaths for Seekonk (including East Providence), marriages, intentions, births and deaths for Pawtucket, and memberships, baptisms, and marriages for Newman Congregational Church (in East Providence). [Seekonk was formed from Rehoboth in 1812 and East Providence was formed from Seekonk in 1862. In 1862, the border between Massachusetts and Rhode Island was established as we know it today, placing Seekonk in Massachusetts and East Providence and Pawtucket in Rhode Island.]

    Search Vital Record of Rhode Island 1636–1850 at

    New Cemetery Transcriptions from the NEHGS Collection

    Since its founding NEHGS has actively collected cemetery transcriptions from a wide geographic area. We are now converting thousands of cemetery transcriptions in our manuscript collections into electronic format for our members. This week we have added new cemeteries from sixty New Hampshire towns, as well as cemeteries from the towns of Brooksville, Maine, and New London, Connecticut.

    Search cemetery transcriptions from the NEHGS collection at .

    Records of Provincetown, Massachusetts 1698–1859

    Provincetown, Massachusetts, has been a popular destination since 1620, when the Mayflower first arrived in the New World at Provincetown Harbor. The "Province Lands" were first settled in the seventeenth century. Originally called Cape Cod Precinct, the town of Provincetown was officially formed June 14, 1727, by an act of the Massachusetts legislature.

    The latest installment of this database contains the following records:

    • Intentions of Marriage, 1796–1807; February 6, 1841 to December 30, 1859
    • Marriages, February 5, 1841 to April 7, 1844; 1844–1850


    Search Records of Provincetown, Massachusetts at .

    The Massachusetts Society of the Cincinnati Database

    The Massachusetts Society of the Cincinnati was founded in 1783 by veteran officers of the Revolutionary War. Original membership was open to officers who served for a minimum of three years. Eligibility was also extended to officers who were “deranged” (mustered out), having been honorably discharged after said term of service. Original members of the Massachusetts Society of the Cincinnati and eligible officers are listed in the database with details about their genealogical and military history. The names of the parents and spouse(s) are also supplied. All known children of the officer are listed with their dates and places of birth.

    Twenty-five new sketches have been added to this database this week.

    Search the Massachusetts Society of the Cincinnati database at

    Master Search

    Or master search all databases at

    New Research Articles on

    The Ira Farnham Papers
    by Russell C. Farnham

    The Origin of Jessop and its Variants
    by George Redmonds

    New Issue of the Great Migration Newsletter Online Now Available

    Subscribers to the Great Migration Newsletter Online will be pleased to know that issue 11.4 of the newsletter is now available on This issue features an extensive article titled "What Makes a Good Compiled Genealogy?" which details "four features which should be present in any good compiled genealogy" — documentation, citation, format, and index. The article also features a discussion of selected model genealogies.

    Subscribers may view the latest issue at

    Not a subscriber? Subscribe today to the Great Migration Newsletter Online at

    NEHGS members can sign up for an electronic subscription to the Great Migration Newsletter Online for only $10 per year. Beginning with Volume 11, subscribers to the Newsletter can access an exclusive, subscribers-only section of, where the newsletter will be posted on a quarterly basis. Subscribers will also receive the added bonus of biographical sketches not yet available in print. New sketches will be added regularly.

    If you have questions about the Great Migration Newsletter Online, please email

    Upcoming "Genealogy in a Nutshell" Lectures at the NEHGS Library

    The "Genealogy in a Nutshell" series continues with:

    • "Introduction to Royal Descents for Americans" by Gary Boyd Roberts on Saturday, October 19

    • "Finding Your Rhode Island Roots" by Maureen Taylor on Wednesday, October 23 and Saturday, October 26

    • "Congregational Church Records: Less Than Meets the Eye" by Dr. Harold Worthley on Wednesday, October 30 and Saturday, November 2

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

    For more details about NEHGS education events, please visit If you have questions, please call member services at 1-888-296-3447 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Eastern time), Monday through Friday.

    NEHGS London Study Tour 2002: a great success!

    Twenty-one NEHGS members attended the Society's first London Study Tour, September 24-October 5. Leading the tour was noted English genealogical author John Titford, and accompanying it from the Society were NEHGS executives Ralph J. Crandall and D. Brenton Simons. The tour, which featured in-depth tutorials by such well-known genealogical scholars as John Titford, Paul Blake, Michael Gandy, and Geoff Swinfield, featured guided research visits to a host of London area repositories, including the Society of Genealogists, the Public Record Office at Kew, the University of London Institute of Historical Research, the Guildhall Library and Corporation of London Records Office, the Friends' Library, and the British Library. Participants included Helen and Dick Anderson, Marianne Arnold, James and Barbara Barker, Helen Beall, Mildred Boyd, John Cabot, Mary Chapman, Harlow Dunton, Allis Ferguson Edelman, Judith Freeman, Priscilla Greenlees, Madge Griswold, Marcia and Sam Henderson, Sandra Hewlett, Joan Leavitt, Jean Newbegin, Carol Preece, and Meriwether Schmid. A more detailed article on the London Study Tour by D. Brenton Simons will be featured in an upcoming issue of New England Ancestors magazine.

    By popular demand, NEHGS plans to offer another London Study Tour in September-October 2003. For more information, please contact NEHGS tours supervisor Alena Tan at 1-888-286-3447.

    Experience the "Best of Germany" with NEHGS
    May 13–23, 2003

    NEHGS members who want to experience the best of Germany in an intimate, personal way will love what we've put together for 2003. The all-new "President's Tour" will visit some of the marquee attractions of Deutschland, plus some out of the way but equally delightful towns that the big tours leave out of their busy itineraries.

    Guides Jim and Jenean Derheim, owners of "European Focus," believe in taking the back roads and avoiding the autobahn whenever possible. This adds a tremendous dimension to your trip. You'll be able to enjoy the countryside and the villages close up, and not from a distance from a fast-moving bus, like on larger tours.

    Guests on this luxury tour will enjoy a relaxed schedule that has been carefully designed as the exact opposite of the rush-rush-rush and the hustle required to keep up with bigger group tours. We're inviting just ten people on the tour. With a small group, we'll be able to go slow and soak in the sights of the Bavarian Alps including the areas around Schwangau and King Ludwig Country where we'll spend three nights. The time in this region will include visits to Oberammergau, the Wies Kirche, and alpine majesty across the border in Austria.

    We'll spend four nights in Franconia, using the historic town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber as our base while we explore nearby sites related to the famous woodcarver Tilman Riemenschneider, including the churches of Rothenburg, Creglingen, and Detwang where his early sixteenth century works are displayed. We'll see an outdoor living history museum in Bad Windsheim and guests will have plenty of time for exploration of Rothenburg, with its famous medieval crime and punishment museum, one of the best in Europe. And, a tour in Rothenburg with the "night watchman" will certainly be a highlight for all on this tour.

    We'll travel overland and along ancient river roads to the old university city of Heidelberg, where we'll have a short tour of the castle area before continuing on to the town of Worms, where we'll show you the site where Martin Luther was put on trial in 1521 for his part in starting the Protestant Reformation.

    The last three nights will be spent in the Rhein River Valley, using the little walled village of Bacharach as our base. A Rhein cruise and a visit to a castle will help you remember this exceptionally beautiful area of Germany.

    Guests will experience the true magic of Germany with careful attention to exceptionally comfortable rooms in luxury inns, all meals, drinks, and sightseeing included.

    Those interested in personal genealogy research can arrange for assistance with European Focus after the group tour has concluded.

    Come join us in 2003 for the ultimate in private travel in Germany! For more information on the tour, visit or contact Alena Tan, tours supervisor, at 1-888-286-3447 or

    Articles in the October 2002 Register

    The first two articles in this issue are related: The Middlebrook Sisters: Mother and Mother-in-Law of Michael Wigglesworth and More on the Reyners. Author Maxine Stansell has investigated the claim that the Rev. Michael Wigglesworth (1631–1705) married his first cousin, Mary Reyner, and in the process she has come up with new information on the Middlebrook, Wigglesworth, and Reyner familes. Interestingly, the Rev. John (1) Reyner was provided for separately by his family, and so was not mentioned in the wills of his father or grandfather.

    Bob Anderson noticed entries in the IGI in Warwickshire that seemed to give the English origin of Edward Garfield of Watertown, Massachusetts. This resulting article gives a definitive account of Edward Garfield and his children.

    By going to original court records, Justine Harwood Laquer was able to prove the identity of Martha Ellsworth, second wife of John Osborn of Windsor, Connecticut. There was a "not so veiled accusation by Martha's stepson of collusion to conceal assets of [John Osborn's] estate," and Martha's brothers were called on to testify.

    The article on Joshua Culver, Revolutionary War Soldier of Wallingford, Connecticut; Wells, Vermont; and Springfield, Ohio, is a classic situation of one branch of a family that the genealogies and town histories missed. Fortunately, a granddaughter of Joshua Culver joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and their records, based on her statements, provided much of the evidence and clues that Faye Thompson needed to compile this family.

    The final installment of Walter and Mary (Fry) Harris of New London covers the two youngest sons of Gabriel (2) Harris and their numerous descendants in southeastern Connecticut and elsewhere. Since this article treats the children of Harris women, many other Connecticut families are covered in part.

    Part 2 of Descendants of "King" David Chesebrough of Newport, Rhode Island, With Clues to the Identity of His Son-in-Law, Hon. Alexander Grant, Esq., of Scotland, Newport, Nova Scotia, Jamaica, and London, is about David's only surviving child Abigail and her husband, Alexander Grant. Portraits of the couple are reproduced with the article. Michael Boonstra has unearthed tantalizing clues as to Alexander's relationships to other men named Grant (including Sir Alexander Grant, 5th Baronet).

    In each October issue we publish Additions and Corrections to Register articles, sent in by readers or by the authors themselves.

    — Henry B. Hoff, editor of the Register

    From the Volunteer Coordinator:

    This is the time of year when I assess the volunteer program and let all of you know what has been happening. On Wednesday, October 9, 2002, NEHGS hosted the annual volunteer luncheon as an expression of thanks for the work that volunteers have done throughout this last year. We had over thirty volunteers and some of the staff attending, and the conversation was lively and interesting on a range of topics. I have paraphrased the comments and figures that were reported at the lunch here.

    • The total number of volunteer hours given to NEHGS from September 1, 2001 to August 31, 2002 was 6086 — an increase of 23 percent over the previous year.
    • The total number of active volunteers during the year was 78.
    • There are 11 volunteers at our Framingham site.
    • There are 10 volunteers working from home, either online or by mail.

    First, and most importantly, the staff is very appreciative of all the support and willing help that volunteers are giving. Volunteer work enables the Society to produce the services and resources that our members enjoy in a timely and efficient manner. Volunteers are a measure of broad support for an institution, and volunteers at NEHGS most certainly are providing that broad support.

    There are two departments that have increased volunteer hours substantially this year; the Research Services department, and the Publications department. Volunteers gave 1642 hours of service to the Research Services department, and 1046 hours to the Publications department, and volunteers are also involved with every other area of the Society. This illustrates the real dedication of our volunteers in areas that would not be as productive in as timely a fashion without this help.

    A whole new area of volunteer work is evolving at our Framingham facility. We have volunteers who are helping with the processing of book loans and sales orders, and we recently had our first group helping to compile packets for a seminar. It was fun, and volunteers were able to get together and visit.

    We have started "brown bag lunches" with the volunteer group. These are a regular event every two months at 101 Newbury Street, and are a good way for volunteers to meet and discuss experiences and ideas.

    An increasing number of volunteers are working from home. Some of this work is done completely online, and staff members also mail out materials for volunteers to work on from home. We now have volunteers in California, Florida, Georgia, and New Jersey as well as New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut and Western Massachusetts. Communication is by email and telephone, and work is sent Fedex. These volunteers are also providing invaluable support.

    We would like to pay tribute to John Carney, who died recently. Some volunteers knew John well. He started the volunteer program in 1978 with Jean Trask, and he did a great deal of genealogical research for the Society. He published articles in the Register, processed manuscripts and spent several hours each month compiling the figures from the volunteer register for the Society. We will miss him.

    All NEHGS volunteers have a contribution to make. Some volunteers are able to come in to the library at 101 Newbury Street, or to Framingham, while others work from home. Some volunteers are able to spend a great deal of time volunteering while others come in to do specific tasks. NEHGS has come to depend on its volunteers. All are dedicated and all are valuable to the Society. We thank you for your work, your time and your dedication.

    —Susan Rosefsky, Volunteer Coordinator

    If you would like to learn more about volunteering at NEHGS, please contact

    The New England Regional Fellowship Consortium

    The New England Regional Fellowship Consortium, a collaboration of sixteen major cultural agencies, will offer at least nine awards in 2003–2004. Each grant will provide a stipend of $5,000 for eight weeks of research at participating institutions. Applications are welcome from anyone with a serious need to use the collections and facilities of the organizations. The Consortium's grants are designed to encourage projects that draw on the resources of several agencies. Each award will be for research at a minimum of three different institutions. Fellows must work at each of these organizations for at least two weeks. Grants in this cycle are for the year June 1, 2003–May 31, 2004.

    Application Process. Candidates must visit or contact Melissa Pino at the Massachusetts Historical Society to receive an application form. For the next fellowship cycle, the postmark deadline will be February 1, 2003. Send applications to: Regional Fellowships, Massachusetts Historical Society, 1154 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02215. Candidates will be notified of the outcome of the competition approximately eight weeks after the application deadline.

    Questions. If you have any questions, visit or contact Melissa Pino at the Massachusetts Historical Society,, 617-646-0513.

    Participating Institutions:

    Baker Library, Harvard Business School

    Boston Athenæum

    Colonial Society of Massachusetts

    Connecticut Historical Society

    Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine

    Harvard Law School, Special Collections

    Historic Deerfield

    • John Nicholas Brown Center for the Study of American Civilization

    Maine Historical Society

    Massachusetts Historical Society

    Mystic Seaport

    New England Historical Genealogical Society

    New Hampshire Historical Society

    Rhode Island Historical Society

    Schlesinger Library

    Vermont Historical Society

    The New England Regional Fellowship Consortium includes fourteen repositories, a scholarly publisher, and a major university-based research center. Collections at the participating institutions are broadly representative of the New England region and span the period from pre-contact to the present day. They include personal papers, organizational records, and printed works (both primary and secondary) as well as paintings, engravings, furniture, maps, photographs, architectural drawings, and materials in many other areas of collecting.

    Prince Edward Island Online Resources

    After reading George F. Sanborn's article on Prince Edward Island vital records (NEHGS eNews #80, September 27, 2002), NEHGS member Fred Krech wrote to suggest two PEI websites that researchers might find useful.

    The official website of the province of Prince Edward Island,, offers a number of genealogical resources for the province. Click on "P.E.I. Census Documents Data Search" and you will discover four searchable census documents for the years 1841, 1881, 1891, and 1901.

    The website of the PEI Genealogical Society, , is also extremely helpful.

    If you have a website you'd like to share with other eNews readers, please send your suggestion to Lynn Betlock at

    Vermont French-Canadian Genealogical Society Fall Conference, October 26
    Colchester, Vermont

    The Vermont French-Canadian Genealogical Society fall conference will take place on October 26, at the Alliot Student Center, St. Michael's College, Colchester, Vermont.

    The program will feature three lectures:

    • "English Captives of the Indians" by Roger Lawrence

    • "Leading by Example, Partisan Fighters and Leaders of New France" by Bob Bearor

    • "Acadian Reunion 2004" by Paul Landry

    Registration will begin at 9:30 a.m., and lunch will be available for purchase at the St. Michael's cafeteria.

    If you have questions about the conference, contact Paul Landry at 802-864-6037 or at Visit the website of the Vermont French-Canadian Genealogical Society at

    Favorite Ancestor Feedback

    We continue with reader submissions to the questions "Who is your favorite ancestor? Why?" If you would like to contribute information on your favorite ancestor, please send your story in 300 words or less to Lynn Betlock at Thank you to all past and future contributors!

    "I do admire his . . . independent beliefs"
    by David F. Robinson of Worthington, Ohio

    One of my favorite ancestors is Roger Williams, but since so much is known about him, let me discuss another Rhode Island ancestor, Thomas Painter, who, in his messy way, also got into religious trouble in Massachusetts and later found relief by settling in Rhode Island.

    Thomas, according to the Winthrop history cited in a 1914 Donald Jacobus article on the Painter family, was "scandalous and burdensome by his idle and troublesome behaviour," and refused to allow his child to be baptized, for which he was tried, saying that this "baptism was antichristian; and in the open court he affirmed the same." For this he was whipped, and "endured his punishment with much obstinacy, and when he was loosed, he said boastingly, that God had marvelously assisted him."

    He must have mellowed a bit later on, because in 1655 he became a freeman of Newport, R. I. Now I don't know how much fun Thomas Painter would have been to have for dinner, especially if he retained his "idle and troublesome behaviour," but I do admire his willingness to get whupped for his independent beliefs—a small but painful gesture of resistance to intolerance.

    "They called him the 'dude of Scranton'"
    by William C. Orr of Fountain Hills, Arizona

    My favorite ancestor, or at least my most unusual ancestor, would be my great-grandfather, Luke Orr. Luke was born on a farm outside of Armagh in Northern Ireland in 1845. He was one of nine children, five boys and four girls. Life, at best, was hard and the year Luke was born there was a potato famine that compelled a high percentage of Ireland's population to go to America. It must have been the reason for sending Luke, at the age of nine, to America to stay with his mother's brother in New York. He embarked alone on a sailing vessel that took three months to reach this country.

    He stayed in New York for some time learning the dry goods business from his uncle. At the age of eighteen he was in business for himself in Pittston, Pennsylvania. He came in contact with the Sharps family through buying woolens for his store. When twenty-six years old, he married Elizabeth Sharps, a daughter of one of the prominent local families.

    After some time they moved to New York, and he and his brothers went into business together. They had a very nice dry goods store, but separated for some reason and Luke started all over again in Brooklyn. This new start was after his son, James Clinton, was born. But luck was against him. James Clinton (my grandfather) was playing with matches one day and set fire to two apartments and the store, which was only partly insured. Luke was very discouraged, so he took what was left and moved to Buffalo, New York. Things did not go so well there either and they finally moved to Chicago.

    In 1889, after being married for nineteen years, he and his wife, Elizabeth, went back to Ireland for a visit. In 1893 he was a reporter for some Irish papers at the World's Fair in Chicago. In 1898, when his youngest child was fourteen, he left home. Apparently he had never been able to succeed in business in Chicago. The last that was heard of him was that he had gone to live in Seattle, Washington. He wanted his daughters to come and live with him, but they refused.

    He was apparently a very likable, pleasant person. A good mixer and a bit of a "Beau Brummel" type. His morals were above reproach with regard to drinking, etc., but his weakness for a woman was no doubt the influencing factor in his life.

    He earned plenty of money but spent it just as fast. He had beautiful clothes, white vests, silk hats, etc. He was so stylish that, according to his daughter, they called him the "dude of Scranton." "No doubt he was too big for his shoes," she says. This was probably in his younger days although there are several instances later on, in which he showed himself almost too generous for the good of the family. He was careless about money and very happy-go-lucky. No one has been able to find any further information on him and the last years of his life are a mystery.

    "She buried two husbands, only to be killed by a no-good third"
    by Pamela Crow Baughman of Lawrence, Kansas

    Nancy Voyles Barnett Monroe is the ancestor who led my sister and me into genealogy. Her story began with our father's version of her death. At that time, we knew her as Nancy Voyles Barnett, mother of our great-grandmother, Louisa Barnett Crow. Our father told us that Louisa, as a small child, had been out in a Kentucky field with her little brother when they heard screams echoing from their cabin. They knew their stepfather was murdering their mother — and they ran for the neighbors. Even though a posse was mounted immediately, the stepfather was never found. After many years, our search for Louisa's stepfather turned up the name James G. Monroe, who had a rather checkered matrimonial history, but the trail ran cold there. We're still looking for James G., but we're also still looking for Nancy, her grave, and her long-lost children and their descendants. After a long day perusing criminal court records in rural Kentucky counties, one court official said to me, "Honey, it weren't no crime for a man to kill his wife until just a few years back." Poor Nancy — she buried two husbands, only to be killed by a no-good third.

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