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  • 2002 Archive

  • Vol. 4, No. 33
    Whole #89
    November 29, 2002

    • New Databases on
    • New Research Articles on
    • "Ask a Librarian" Answers Your Research Questions
    • A Holiday Gift-Giving Solution: NEHGS Gift Memberships and Gift Certificates
    • Where Has the Manuscript Card Catalog Gone?
    • New Additions to the Circulating Library
    • Upcoming "Genealogy in a Nutshell" Lectures at the NEHGS Library
    • The Winter Research Getaway to NEHGS
    • An American Time Capsule:Three Centuries of Broadsides and Other Printed Ephemera
    • Connecticut History Online
    • National Genealogical Society Announces New Editor Team
    • Favorite Ancestor Feedback
    • NEHGS Contact Information

    New Databases on

    Vital Records of Newtown, Connecticut - 1704–1850

    Newtown, Connecticut is located in Fairfield County in southwestern Connecticut not far from the New York border. The land was purchased from the natives in 1705 but not really settled until 1708. In 1711, the town was incorporated by the legislature. A part of the town was set off to form part of the town of Brookfield in 1780. These vital records are from a typescript in our manuscript department. They primarily cover events through 1850. Some events occurring prior to 1850 were not registered until as late as 1892 but are included here.

    Search Vital Records of Newtown, Connecticut at

    Records of the First and Second Churches of Milford, Connecticut - 1635–1829

    These records of the First and Second Churches of Milford are part of the Seymour Morris Collection, donated to NEHGS in 1932. The baptismal records of the First Church are from 1635–1760, while the records for the Second Church include baptisms and marriages from 1749–1829.

    Search the Records of the First Church of Milford at

    Search the Records of the Second Church of Milford at

    Vital Record of Rhode Island, 1636–1850, by James N. Arnold, Volumes 17 and 18

    We continue to add new volumes of Arnold's Vital Record of Rhode Island, 16361850 to our database.

    Volume 17 contains marriage notices (surnames A to R) from theProvidence Phenix, Providence Patriot, and Columbian Phenix newspapers (surnames A to R)

    Volume 18 contains marriage notices (surnames S to Z) and death notices (surnames A to M) from the Providence Phenix, Providence Patriot, and Columbian Phenix.

    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 Barrington, Shelburne County, Nova Scotia and Delaware, Middlesex County, Ontario.

    Search Cemetery Transcriptions from the NEHGS Manuscript Collections at

    New Research Articles on

    Ship Registers and Enrollments of the Custom District of Machias, Maine
    by Russell C. Farnham, CG

    New York
    The Union Preserved: A Guide to Civil War Records in the New York State Archives
    by Marian S. Henry

    "Ask a Librarian" Answers Your Research Questions

    We have posted a new set of member questions and answers by our expert NEHGS library staff on our "Ask a Librarian" page at

    Here are this month's questions:

    Judy Lindsey-Foster asks:
    My family has a late 1800s family Bible that has been sitting in a dark closet. At one time it appears the closet may have leaked some water. The pages are browned with age and some appear stained. The book is dry. When visiting my Aunt I noticed that it appears to need some type of preservation help, but I do not know where to start. What should I do and where do I get the required supplies?

    Karen Quintero asks:
    I am trying to research the existence of a newspaper which I believe was titled New England Farmer. It was referenced in an 1880 probate record from Middlesex County Courthouse. I was unsuccessful in finding it on the Internet, and was hoping you might be able to confirm that it was a newspaper, and if so, how I might obtain a copy of an article from it.

    Tom Doherty asks:
    Where are the repositories for early eighteenth-century Maine tax assessment records, especially 1730s–1740s? The Maine State Archives said these assessment records are in the hands of the town clerks. However, I have not been able to find them. Are they possibly at the Massachusetts State Archives (since Maine was really part of Massachusetts then), Maine Historical Society, NEHGS, or where?

    Christopher E. Cairns asks:


    I'm looking for proof/birth certificate of my great-grandfather. The only information I have is his name, date and place of birth, father's name, and mother's maiden name. I sent this information to the Pennsylvania Department of Health, and they told me all births occurring before 1906 could be located at the courthouse in the county where the individual was born, but I don't know what county he was born in! Do I have to contact every county seat in Pennsylvania to find this information?

    Tom Angers asks:
    I suspect a Caribbean to New England migration of my ancestor, Joseph Angier. What was the extent and frequency of migration through the Caribbean to New England? The Fanueil family, I understand, had contacts in Barbados. To what extent did Huguenots coming to New England come through the Caribbean, including through Barbados and Jamaica? Was there heavy traffic between the American colonies and the British Islands in the Caribbean?

    Dotty Dill asks:
    Do you have a copy of the eight muster rolls, covering the period 1774–1778, of the British Fifth Regiment of Foot (Northumberland Fusiliers) who landed in Boston in July of 1774? They sailed from Monkstown, Ireland. The muster rolls are located at the Public Record Office, London and are in volume 2289, labeled A through H. I am specifically interested in muster roll A prepared in Boston on January 16, 1775.

    Margaret H. Gunning asks:
    To whom can I write to obtain copies of non compos mentis papers in Boston in the 1770's?

    Rennie Roberts asks:
    Do you have ship rosters for the Hector and James, 1637, which carried Reverend Davenport and company to Boston? Under what listing would I find them? I cannot locate them in your electronic card catalog.

    Peter Judd asks:
    In the course of research on a New York City man, I discovered an 1804 letter from his brother, an attorney, that indicated he was seeking a divorce on his brother's behalf in the State of Vermont. (He had married his wife near Utica, New York, in 1799, and other correspondence shows that they separated within months). I have been in touch with the archivist of the Vermont State Supreme Court who told me there was no record of divorces from near that date in the archives for that court. Do you have suggestions?

    For answers to these questions and more, please visit our "Ask A Librarian" page at

    A Holiday Gift-Giving Solution: NEHGS Gift Memberships and Gift Certificates

    Have you hit a brick wall with your holiday gift ideas? Give the gift of NEHGS this year!

    Give an NEHGS gift membership for many happy returns throughout 2003. For $60 you will give your favorite genealogist access to the bounty of benefits the Society offers on, circulating library borrowing privileges, unlimited library visits, research service discounts, New England Ancestors magazine, the Register, and so much more. To give a gift membership, call our Member Services Department toll-free at 1-888-296-3447, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Eastern time), Monday through Friday, email, or sign up on the gift membership page at

    Or give a gift certificate to the NEHGS store. The gift certificates are available in denominations of $25, $50, and $100, and can be redeemed online, in person, or through the mail. The recipient will receive a personalized gift certificate plus the most recent sales catalog. Certificates are valid for two years after the date of issuance. To give a gift certificate, call member services toll-free at 1-888-296-3447, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Eastern time), Monday through Friday, email, or purchase a certificate online at From this page search using the term "gift certificate".

    Where Has the Manuscript Card Catalog Gone?

    Library patrons using the local history collection may have noticed that the manuscript card catalog is no longer on the fifth floor. Don't panic! We have just moved the catalog to the R. Stanton Avery Special Collections Department on floor 5A. The catalog was moved because manuscripts are now paged and viewed in the Special Collections Department Tuesdays through Fridays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Members who wish to view manuscripts on Saturdays or during our evening hours should go to the sixth floor reference desk.

    Of course, the Special Collections staff continues to add records to the Society's library computer database SydneyPLUS, and we hope that the card catalog will no longer be needed within a year or so. The security code previously required for the elevator to stop at 5A has been removed, providing all members with easy access to this floor. The Special Collections staff seeks to provide NEHGS members using the manuscript collection with more individualized attention so we can hopefully satisfy your information needs while promoting archival standards for preservation and security. I can be reached at tsalls@nehgs.orgto answer any questions, comments, suggestions, etc.

    Timothy Salls

    New Additions to the Circulating Library

    The following titles have recently been added to the NEHGS Circulating Library.

    Irish in Newfoundland,1600–1900. Their Trials, Tribulations & Triumphs by Mike McCarthy. F1125/I6/M38/1999.

    This small book of 210 pages gives a brief history of the Irish in Newfoundland. This book contains useful background information for the genealogist to understand the growth of the Irish community, the restrictions on their lifestyle, and their assimilation into Newfoundland society.

    Your Guide to the Family History Library. How to Access the World's Largest Genealogy Resource by Paula Stuart Warren and James W. Warren. Z733/C55/W37/2001.

    This book will help any genealogist navigate through the resources of the Family Hstory Library in Salt Lake City. Th guide is divided into five distinct parts: starting points and basic information; access to the library collection; records of the family history library; researching on-site; and planning a trip to Salt Lake. Within each section there are chapters which cover individual topics such as Internet access, the FHL catalog, records of the world, working in the library, group research trips, Salt Lake City A to Z, accommodations, and more. If you are planning a trip to Salt Lake City or need to become familiar with the Family History Library's resources, this is the book to have.

    Fitchburg Soldiers of the Revolution by James Garfield. F74/F5/G37/1908.

    This small book contains part of an address to the Fitchburg Historical Society delivered almost one hundred years ago as well as many thumbnail sketches of Fitchburg soldiers, with some genealogical information on each participant.

    George Gates of East Haddam Connecticut and Some of His Descendants by Robert Cady Gates. CS71/G259/2002.

    This is the author's third book about the Gates families of America. This volume follows the line of George Gates, born in England about 1634, who settled in Connecticut. Nine generations of this line are featured. The book has an extensive section in the back that includes maps, photographic images, a bibliography, and an index.

    To order these selections or any titles from the Circulating Library, please visit If you have any questions, please call our toll-free number 1-888-296-3447, extension 300, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Eastern time), Monday through Friday, or email

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

    The "Genealogy in a Nutshell" series continues with:

    • "Find Your French-Canadian Ancestors" by Michael J. Leclerc on Saturday, November 30

    • "A Good Deed: Important Documents for Your Research" by David C. Dearborn on Wednesday, December 4 and Saturday, December 7

    • "Genealogical Mining in the Granite State (New Hampshire)" by George F. Sanborn, Jr. on Wednesday, December 11 and Saturday, December 14

    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 Winter Research Getaway to NEHGS
    Offered twice this winter: February 27–March 1, 2003 and March 13–16, 2003

    NEHGS invites you to enjoy a research getaway at our library, one of the finest facilities for genealogical research in the country. Escape the winter doldrums by joining us for guided research, personal one-on-one consultations with our esteemed librarians, morning lectures and special access to the library when it is normally closed to the public. All serious genealogists should treat themselves to this special program and enjoy the opportunity to share discoveries and swap stories with other avid researchers from all over the country. Whether you are a first-time participant or have enjoyed this program in the past, you are sure to further your research by visiting our library in Boston. Don’t miss this opportunity to utilize the research expertise of our outstanding library staff and the exceptional resources we have available at our facility.

    Participants of this program will enjoy:
    • A thorough orientation of all four floors of the library
    • Daily lectures on new sources, research and methodology
    • One-on-one personal research consultations and guided research in the NEHGS library
    • A small group (35 people), which allows for plenty of individual attention
    • Quality accommodations just blocks away from the NEHGS library, in a quiet corner in the Copley Square area
    • A special farewell reception in the Richardson-Sloane Education Center

    Program Lectures
    Winter Research Getaway I:
    How to Avoid Mistakes in Genealogical Writing, Henry B. Hoff, CG
    Crossing the Line: The St. Albans INS Records, George F. Sanborn, Jr., FASG

    Winter Research Getaway II:
    Making the Most of Torrey’s New England Marriages, David C. Dearborn, FASG
    Using Cemetery Records for Genealogical Research, David Allen Lambert

    Hotel Accommodations
    The lodging for the Winter Research Getaway will be at the John Hancock Conference Center, near Copley Square, and just three short blocks from NEHGS. This hotel is located in the heart of Boston’s historic Back Bay district and provides comfortable and quiet rooms, morning coffee service, and guest laundry facilities. There are various restaurants, cafes, shops, and a supermarket nearby, as well as the Boston Public Library.

    If you would prefer to make your own lodging arrangements, you are welcome to join our program as a “commuter.” In doing so, you will still benefit from our program by enjoying the lectures, consultations with our staff, and research time in our library, but will pay a reduced registration fee that does not include lodging.

    Program Fees
    Double: $390
    Single: $590
    Commuter (no hotel provided): $200

    For more information, please contact tours@nehgs.orgor call 1-888-286-3447, ext. 226.

    An American Time Capsule:Three Centuries of Broadsides and Other Printed Ephemera

    The Printed Ephemera collection at the Library of Congress is a rich repository of Americana. In total, the collection comprises 28,000
    primary-source items dating from the seventeenth century to the present and encompasses key events and eras in American history. The first release of the digitized Printed Ephemera Collection presented more than 7,000 items. This release adds an additional 3,000 items to those already available online.

    While the broadside format represents the bulk of the collection, there are a significant number of leaflets and some pamphlets. Rich in variety, the collection includes proclamations, advertisements, blank forms, programs, election tickets, catalogs, clippings, timetables, and menus.

    Visit "An American Time Capsule:Three Centuries of Broadsides and Other Printed Ephemera" at

    For more information, go to

    Connecticut History Online

    Are you researching Connecticut ancestors? If so, a visit to Connecticut History Online ( is definitely in order. The website contains about 14,000 Connecticut-related photographs, drawings, and prints, which may be searched or browsed in a variety of ways, including by keyword, subject, creator, title, and date. Drawing on the rich graphic collections of the sponsoring institutions (the Connecticut Historical Society, the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center at the University of Connecticut, and Mystic Seaport), Connecticut History Online provides a comprehensive visual chronicle of the events, people, and places documenting Connecticut social, business, political, educational, cultural, and civic life.

    In exploring the site, I found numerous images that would gladden the heart of any genealogist: hundreds of town drawings by John Barber, photographs and drawings of cemeteries and churches throughout the state, as well as photographs of identified families, individuals, and their homes.

    The CHO website also features a number of "journeys" that are intended to introduce viewers to specific collection highlights. Each journey leads visitors through a series of images relating to a specific topic. (Since journeys are intended as brief introductions, they may not include every image relating to a topic.) The journeys presented on the website include:

    • We Are All Connecticut Yankees: Diversity in the Early 20th Century
    • The Textile Industry in Connecticut
    • Maritime Trades
    • Rural Life in Connecticut
    • The Connecticut River: Voyage Through Time
    • Connecticut Towns: Then and Now
    • War on the Homefront

    The Connecticut History Online site is truly a remarkable site, and a major research tool for those interested in researching their Connecticut ancestors. Happy hunting!

    Lynn Betlock

    National Genealogical Society Announces New Editor Team

    The National Genealogical Society has announced a new team of editors for its flagship publication, the National Genealogical Society Quarterly. Claire Mire Bettag, CGRS, CGL, and Thomas W. Jones, Ph.D., CG, CGL, will follow Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG, CG, FNGS, FASG, who announced her retirement after sixteen years of NGSQ editorship. Bettag and Jones have more than two decades of serious genealogical research experience embracing broad geographic, ethnic, and chronological expanses. Both are respected genealogical educators, certified as lecturers in the field, with a range of instructional presentations and articles. The address for the journal will be: NGSQ Editorial Offices; Gallaudet Research Institute, HMB S-439; Gallaudet University; 800 Florida Avenue, NE; Washington, DC 20002-3695 (email:

    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!

    "Grandmother's 'Darling Papa' "
    By Suzee SoldanEls Oberg of Overland Park, Kansas

    One of my favorite ancestors is my great grandfather, Charles "Charlie" Wood Daniels, 1846-1907. His New England-born parents and maternal grandparents, descendants of colonial immigrants, migrated to Illinois in 1836. His mother brought to the Western frontier a trunk filled with appropriate books to educate her children in the basics, as well as classical Greek and Latin. His vocally abolitionist father practiced medicine in Elgin, Illinois. Both teenaged Charlie and his older brother quickly enlisted for service when the Civil War began. That ended his formal education. After the war, he married and had a son. He was selling fire insurance in Elgin in the1870s when both his young wife and son died. He relocated to Chicago where he held a seat on the Chicago Board of Trade. (His uncle had been a founder and president.) He met my great grandmother, Mary Pardey, while shopping in the Marshall Field department store. In the 1880s the couple settled in Baxter Springs, Cherokee County, Kansas, near the Oklahoma Indian Territory. Charlie practiced law there, sold insurance, dabbled in real estate and financed mining ventures. He built business buildings, was elected mayor, appointed Indian commissioner and judge, was active in both civic and political causes, and played the violin. The home that he built for his family was also home to his handicapped bachelor younger brother. His wit, intelligence, humor, and charm are evidenced in his published speeches and the many treasured letters written to his wife and to his only child, my grandmother. Grandmother, as a young woman of only twenty-three years, lost her husband, her mother, and her "Darling Papa" all in the same year. Grandmother's many stories about her adored father have instilled in me a love and respect for this self-made man of many talents.

    "...he preached his own funeral....and soon after, he expired."
    By Robert L. Jennings of Weston, Florida

    I have a number of "favorite" ancestors, but certainly one of the more interesting is a grandfather several generations back named Ephraim
    . Elder Ephraim Ainsworth was a preacher and a farmer, and he and his family lived in Sturbridge, Massachusetts until about 1770, when they moved to Windsor, and later Woodbury, Vermont. Just before his death in 1811 he called his friends and kindred together and, when all were assembled, he preached his own funeral from Revelations XIV-13. Soon after the final "amen" was said, he expired. His son Thomas apparently had some of his father's traits as well, as it is said that, on his wedding day, he swam across the Connecticut River to be married in New Hampshire, and then swam back - with his bride. They ultimately had twenty children. Thank you for the opportunity to mention these fine people.

    My Favorite Ancestor
    By Hall Riediger of Port St. Lucie, Florida

    Simon Knowles is my favorite ancestor. He was born in 1760, the second child of that name to John Knowles and Lydia Philbrook of Hampton, New Hampshire. In May of 1775, at the age of fifteen, he enlisted in Col. John Stark's 1st New Hampshire Regiment at Cambridge, Massachusetts, and served until January 1784 -- a period of seven years and ten months. His service included the battles of Bunker Hill, White Plains, Saratoga, Trenton, Princeton, Monmouth and Yorktown. He also was at Valley Forge and served with Sullivan's campaign against the Indians in New York between 1778 and 1780. Simon's first child was Lydia Jane Knowles, mother unknown, but could be from a marriage at Newburyport, Massachusetts during the war, or from a Native American named Molly Molasses, at Ft. Western, Augusta, Maine, near the end of his enlistment. He married Lydia Fuller the great-great-granddaughter of Dr. Samuel Fuller, on January 4, 1781, at Ft. Western. They had thirteen children. When Simon and Lydia passed on they were survived by fourteen children, one hundred fourteen grandchildren and eight great grandchildren.

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