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  • 2002 Archive

  • Vol. 4, No. 30
    Whole #86
    November 8, 2002

    • New Databases on
    • New Research Articles on
    • New Great Migration Newsletter Sketches on
    • Upcoming NEHGS Library Dates to Note
    • Coming Soon in the Holiday 2002 Issue of New England Ancestors
    • NEHGS Special Order Sales Catalog Out Now
    • Upcoming "Genealogy in a Nutshell" Lectures at the NEHGS Library
    • The Circulating Library Wants Your Success Stories!
    • An Introduction to Using at NEHGS in Boston
    • Boston to Québec Fall Foliage/Genealogy Cruise, October 1–11, 2003
    • Obituary: P. William Filby, 1911–2002
    • Favorite Ancestor Feedback
    • NEHGS Contact Information

    New Databases on

    Census of the East Ward, Framingham, Massachusetts — 1837

    In 1837, a census was taken of the town of Framingham, Massachusetts. At that time there were 1,138 residents of the east ward, 890 residents of the southwest ward, and 853 residents of the northwest ward. The census of the east ward is kept in our manuscript collections [MSS C 2]; the whereabouts of the censuses of the other two wards is unknown. The census of the east ward lists the head of family and the number of persons in each household. It was donated to the Society by Truman S. Safford, of Riverside, California, in 1974.

    Search the database at

    Family Genealogies

    This week we have added Arthur T. Benson's Jacob Benson, Pioneer, And His Descendants; In the Towns of Dover and Amenia, Dutchess County, New York and Elsewhere to our family genealogies database.

    Search Family Genealogies at

    Vital Record of Rhode Island, 1636–1850, by James N. Arnold, Volume 12

    We continue to add new volumes of Arnold's Vital Record of Rhode Island, 1636–1850 to our database. Volume 12 contains the following records:

    Newspaper Records

    Pre-1800 Marriages and Deaths from the Newport Mercury
    Pre-1800 Marriages and Deaths from the Newport Herald
    Deaths from January 3, 1820 to December 31, 1829, surnames A to R, from the Providence Journal

    Revolutionary War Rolls and Records

    List of Revolutionary soldiers in Judge Benjamin Cowell's book, Spirit of '76
    Rhode Island Officers of the Revolution - Killed, Wounded, or Pensioned
    Rhode Island pensioners from the census of 1820
    Rhode Island pensioners from the census of 1835
    Rhode Island pensioners from the census of 1840

    Search Vital Record of Rhode Island 1636–1850 at

    Cemetery Transcriptions from the NEHGS Manuscript Collections

    This week we have added transcriptions from cemeteries in the towns of Swansea and East Harwich, Massachusetts; Eastford, Connecticut; Norwich, Vermont; and the towns of Pompey, Onondaga, Otisco, Jamesville, Dewitt, Camillus, Manlius, Marcellus, La Fayette and Skaneateles, all in Onondaga County, New York.

    Search Cemetery Transcriptions from the NEHGS Manuscript Collections at


    New Research Articles on

    Genealogies in Vermont Town Histories, Part Five
    by Scott Andrew Bartley

    Genetics and Genealogy
    American Mythology
    by Edwin M. Knights, Jr., MD

    New Great Migration Newsletter Sketches on

    Ten new Great Migration biographical sketches have been added to the Great Migration Newsletter Online. Subscribers to the newsletter may view them at

    To subscribe, visit
    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 Great Migration Newsletter Online are able to 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.

    Upcoming NEHGS Library Dates to Note

    The end of the year is fast approaching and this means that the NEHGS Research Library will revert back to winter operating hours beginning on December 1. Listed below are the new hours as well as holiday closings for the remainder of the year and New Year's Day.

    Thursday, November 21- Last 9 p.m. Thursday closing until April. Winter hours are as follows:

    Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday - 9 a.m. – 5 p.m
    Wednesday - 9 a.m – 9 p.m.
    Sunday and Monday - Closed

    Wednesday, November 27 - Early closing at 3 p.m.

    Thursday, November 28 - Closed for Thanksgiving

    Tuesday, December 24 - Early closing at 12 noon

    Wednesday, December 25 - Closed for Christmas

    Tuesday, December 31 - Early closing at 3 p.m.

    Wednesday, January 1 - Closed for New Year’s Day

    To see a full listing of operating hours and holiday closings go to

    Coming Soon in the Holiday 2002 Issue of New England Ancestors

    Marie E. Dalyexplores mortality in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries in "Disease and our Ancestors."

    Sally Ann Neale traces the hereditary blood disease hemophilia back through her family to an ancestor born in Canada 250 years ago.

    Henry B. Hoff introduces a new NEHGS publication - Genealogical Writing in the 21st Century: A Guide to Register Style and More

    Patricia Law Hatcher explains how to create genealogical gift books for your family and how the process can help your research.

    Clifford L. Stott and Michael J. Leclerc highlight two new NEHGS CD-ROMs: Springfield, Massachusetts Vital Records to 1850 and Henry Bond's Genealogies of the Families and Descendants of the Early Settlers of Watertown, Massachusetts.

    Gary Boyd Roberts concludes his genealogical tribute to the Golden Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II.

    Also in this issue . . .
    • New England Online: New Database Collections on
    • The Computer Genealogist: Photo Sharing: What Genealogists Need to Know
    • Computer Genealogist Spotlight: Twentieth-Century Canada Your Questions are Answered!
    • Genetics & Genealogy: The Ancestry of Jason Howell of Islip, New York
    • Around New England: Town Clerks . . . Building a Legacy
    • Manuscripts at NEHGS: Uncovering a Lost Vaughan Connection
    • Pilgrim Life: What's in a Name?

    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 and other books 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 online at, or call toll-free 1-888-296-3447, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, Eastern time.

    NEHGS Special Order Sales Catalog Available Now

    Now available for the first time in print! The New England Historic Genealogical Society has just issued a print catalog for the nearly 10,000 high-quality reprints of genealogies and town histories that have long been out of print or are hard-to-find. These are "special order" books, meaning that each book is printed and custom bound to order, and many are new to the NEHGS book store this year. All special order books are printed on acid-free paper and available in hardback bindings, with many also available in softcover.

    The price of the catalog is $9.99, including shipping. We are so sure you will love this catalog that with its purchase we are offering a coupon towards $10 off your first order from it. Order one book and the price of the catalog is reimbursed!

    NEHGS Special Order Sales Catalogs are available for purchase through our online book store at /marketplace/store/browse/product.asp?sku=260699734, or by calling us toll free at 1-888-296-3447, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Eastern time.

    Each book in the catalog is custom bound and takes four to ten weeks to print, so now is the time to start thinking about holiday ordering!

    Find your family now in our new massive 531-page catalog!

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

    The "Genealogy in a Nutshell" series continues with:

    • "Book, CD, or Web? Which Medium Fits Which Publication" by D. Brenton Simons on Saturday, November 9

    • "The 1930 Census: Ins and Outs" by Walter Hickey from the National Archives Northeast Branch in Waltham, Massachusetts, on Wednesday, November 13 and Saturday, November 16

    • "Newspaper Sources at the Boston Public Library" by Henry Scannell, curator of microtext and newspapers at the Boston Public Library, Wednesday, November 20 and Saturday, November 23

    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.

    The Circulating Library Wants Your Success Stories!

    The Circulating Library would like to hear about your research successes achieved by utilizing this library's resources. Please submit your genealogical breakthroughs to Each month we will select one story for publication in NEHGS eNews and award the member who submits the winning entry a free Circulating Library order. Please limit your story to 100 words or less.

    Alex Woodle, Circulating Library Director

    An Introduction to Using at NEHGS in Boston
    November 13, 11:30 a.m.

    Learn how to use the NEHGS website to advance your research! In this free class, website administrator Darrin McGlinn will offer a step-by-step live demonstration of the Society's website, This class gives participants the opportunity to explore the site in depth, ask questions, and become more comfortable using a constantly growing number of online databases and research tools.

    The next program will be held on November 13 at 11:30 a.m. in the education center at 101 Newbury Street, Boston. Advance registration is not required.

    For more information, please call 617-226-1209 or email

    Boston to Québec Fall Foliage/Genealogy Cruise, October 1–11, 2003

    Join the California Genealogical Society for a spectacular New England/Canada fall foliage cruise with genealogical lectures presented by NEHGS librarians George F. Sanborn Jr. and David Allen Lambert. The ten-day cruise on Royal Caribbean International's Grandeur of the Sea sails round trip from Boston and will make stops in Maine, Nova Scotia, Québec, and New Brunswick. Prices start at $1399 double occupancy. There will be eight lectures and most will be of interest to all genealogists. Additionally, you will have the opportunity to meet with the speakers informally during the cruise.


    This sailing is very popular and fills up fast. If your reservation is made BEFORE December 15th All Cruise Travel will provide each participant with a $50 shipboard credit (max. $100/cabin).


    For specific cruise information please visit and click on "Hosted Tours" or call Bill Knight at All Cruise Travel (800) 227-8473. For genealogy questions you may email Jane Lindsey at

    About the speakers

    George F. Sanborn Jr., FASG, has been on the staff of the New England Historic Genealogical Society for twenty years. His areas of expertise are the northern New England states, the Canadian Maritime provinces and the Hebridean islands of Scotland. He is a frequent lecturer at regional, national, and international conferences. In addition to many published articles, he is the co-compiler of Vital Records of Hampton, NH to the end of the Year 1900 and editor of the second edition of the Genealogical Handbook for Atlantic Canada.


    David Allen Lambert has been on the staff of the New England Historic Genealogical Society since 1993 and has been a genealogical researcher for over twenty years. His areas of expertise are New England records, New Brunswick, computer genealogy, and military records. He is the author of A Guide to Cemeteries in Massachusetts (2002, NEHGS) and has published articles in many genealogical journals. He is a frequent speaker at local and national conferences.


    Obituary: P. William Filby, 1911–2002

    Genealogical and historical author, rare book and calligraphy expert, and former director of the Maryland Historical Society, P. William ("Bill") Filby, died on November 2, 2002, in Laurel, Maryland.

    Born in Cambridge, England, in 1911, Mr. Filby served in the British Intelligence Corps as a member of the cryptographic team at Bletchley during World War II. Following the war, he joined the Foreign Office. In 1957 he married Vera Ruth Weakliem, an American. He settled in Maryland where he became librarian and assistant director at the Peabody Institute Library in Baltimore. He became librarian at the Maryland Historical Society in 1965, and in 1972 he became director of that society.

    Mr. Filby was author or co-author of over a hundred books, including a major work on the Star-Spangled Banner. Among his notable genealogical works was American & British Genealogy & Heraldry: A Selected List of Books, of which the third edition was published by NEHGS in 1983 with a Supplement in 1987. Other major multivolume genealogical works were his Passenger and Immigrations Lists Index series, the Germans to America series, and the Italians to America series. He also authored or co-authored six definitive exhibition catalogs and more than a hundred articles.

    He was a member of many genealogical, calligraphic, typophile, and bibliographical societies. He was a Fellow of the Maryland Genealogical Society, National Genealogical Society, Manuscript Society, Utah Genealogical Association, and the Society of Genealogists in London.

    In 2000 the American Society of Genealogists awarded its Certificate of Appreciation to Mr. Filby for his lifetime work.


    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!

    A Real Globetrotter
    By Richard Morey Sherman of Port of Spain, Trinidad, West Indies.

    My favorite ancestor was my great-great grandfather, William Morey. Born in 1837, his father and Hannibal Hamlin were neighbors in town. The wanderlust bug bit William hard and by 1849 at age twelve, he had already shipped out as a cabin boy on his brother-in-law's ship. A few years later he headed around Cape Horn to try his luck in the gold fields of California. Not finding success, he spent a year or so in Marin County helping build and operate the first paper mill west of the Mississippi. Thereafter he headed south to the silver mines in Peru and finally across the isthmus of Panama for a ship to take him back to Maine. He settled down briefly but by 1860 he was off again, as second mate on a clipper ship, the Grey Feather, which made the run around the Cape of Good Hope to Sydney in eighty-nine days, a new record for small clippers at that time. On the return voyage, the ship called in at Colombo, Ceylon. Stories vary as to why, but when the ship sailed in early June 1861, William remained behind in Colombo. He quickly settled in as manager of the company providing lighter services for cargo vessels. He married a Ceylonese native and had four children, and adopted his wife's first daughter. He later set himself up as an auctioneer and commission agent and was very successful for some years on the race tracks in British colonies around the Indian Ocean. Finally, his family connection with then-Senator Hannibal Hamlin paid dividends and in 1877 he was appointed U.S. Consul to Ceylon, a position he held for thirty years, the longest period of service at a single post in the U.S. Foreign Service after 1850. He retired in 1907 and died in Colombo where he is buried. The wanderlust bug did not miss me, and I am also in the Foreign Service, and even had the opportunity to serve as Consul in Colombo for three years, one hundred years after my great-great grandfather did so.

    "Her wish at 100 was an airplane flight!"
    By Karen Nilsen of Doylestown, Pennsylvania

    Hannah (Twitchell) Snedeker (1825–1928) was a strong woman! She taught school, worked in a Connecticut rubber mill, married a man ten years younger than herself, and had children. She went west to Illinois, back home to upstate New York while her husband was in the Civil War, then to California in 1906, where she was keeping the family store at the time of the great San Francisco earthquake. She was widowed and outlived her children. Her wish at 100 was an airplane flight!

    My Favorite Ancestor
    By Joe Betz of Stony Brook, New York

    Daniel Williams Harmon (1778–1843) is by far my favorite and most interesting ancestor. A native of Bennington, Vermont, he was a partner in the North West Company (NWC) and became the leading expert in NWC western Indian relations in the Athabasca district. Upon his retirement, his diary depicting his experience in the wilderness as a fur trader was published. The work was titled A journal of voyages and travels in the interiour of North America between the 47th and 58th degrees of north latitude, extending from Montreal nearly to the Pacific Ocean including an account of the principal occurrences, during a residence of nineteen years, in different parts of the country to which are added a concise description of the face of the country, its inhabitants, their manners, customs, laws, etc. in 1820. The book has since been reprinted a half dozen times. This work is notable largely as a record of the encounter of lingering Puritan morality with the sexual customs of the fur trade frontier. Harmon opposed the traders' practice of abandoning Indian wives. He instead returned with his common-law Metis (mixed blood) wife to Vermont for formal marriage. Harmon is also the subject of The Grand Portage (1951), a novel by Walter O'Meara, and Two Bennington-born explorers and makers of modern Canada (1950) by John Spargo. Artemas C. Harmon documents his ancestry in the Harmon Genealogy (1920) and a portrait of him commissioned by the NWC is in the Bennington Museum along with other family artifacts.

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