American Ancestors New England Historic Genealogical Society - Founded 1845 N.E. Historic Genealogical Society Seal View Your Shopping Cart Join NEHGS
  • 2002 Archive

  • Vol. 4, No. 35
    Whole #91
    December 13, 2002

    • Holiday Sale in the Family Treasures Bookshop, December 13–14, 2003!
    • New Databases on
    • New Research Articles on
    • New Great Migration Newsletter Sketches on
    • Now in Stock! Indian Deeds: Land Transactions in Plymouth Colony, 1620-1691
    • Sign Up for the NEHGS Research Tour to Nova Scotia, June 17–27, 2003
    • Holiday Hours at the NEHGS Research Library
    • New 2003 "Genealogy in a Nutshell" Schedule Announced
    • NEHGS Gift Ideas for the Holidays
    • Call for Papers - NGS Gentech Conference 2004
    • Favorite Ancestor Feedback
    • NEHGS Contact Information

    Holiday Sale in the Family Treasures Bookshop!
    December 13–14, 2003

    Entire stock of new and used items 10% off for NEHGS members!

    Do your holiday shopping at NEHGS! Starting today, Friday, December 13, and continuing on Saturday, December 14, 2002, our entire stock of new and used books, charts, and CD-ROMs in the Family Treasures Bookshop at 101 Newbury Street, Boston, will be 10% off for NEHGS members – and your purchases will be gift wrapped free of charge! We will also offer extra savings on selected books. Supplies will be limited, so shop early for the best selection.

    Don’t live near Boston? Watch for information in the next issue of New England Ancestors about our one-day winter websale, with great markdowns on merchandise for telephone and website orders only!

    If you have any questions, please email, or call Member Services at 1-888-296-3447 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Eastern time), Monday through Friday

    New Databases on

    Bristol County, Rhode Island, Divorces, 1819–1893

    The Bristol County Courthouse records in this database were transcribed by Oscar Frank Stetson and donated to the NEHGS Manuscript Collection.

    Vital Record of Rhode Island, 16361850, by James N. Arnold, Vol. 21

    We complete our online database of Arnold's Vital Record of Rhode Island, 16361850 with Volume 21, which contains death notices from the Rhode Island American newspaper (surnames C-S).


    Cemetery Transcriptions from the NEHGS Manuscript Collections

    This week we have added transcriptions from cemeteries in the towns of Hampton Falls and Hillsborough, New Hampshire; Marlborough, Danbury, and New Fairfield, Connecticut; and West Falmouth, Massachusetts.


    Master Search

    Or master search all databases at

    Family Genealogies Databases Temporarily Unavailable

    Due to technical difficulties related to the development of the Family Genealogies databases, we have removed the current compiled family genealogies from our website. We will return them to our site as soon as we have resolved this issue. We apologize for the inconvenience.

    New Research Articles on

    Family Health and Genealogy
    Compiling a Family Health History: A Primer for Genealogists
    by Norma Storrs Keating

    Vermont Research Facilities, Part 1: The Vermont History Center
    by Scott Andrew Bartley

    New Great Migration Newsletter Sketches on

    We have added the following ten new Great Migration biographical sketches to the Great Migration Newsletter Online page on this week.

    John Gatchell
    Henry Glover
    John Godfrey
    Jasper Gunn
    Thomas Gunn
    John Hassell
    William Hatch
    Robert Hawkins
    Thomas Hawksworth
    George Hepburn

    Subscribers to the newsletter may view these sketches and many more 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. There are currently over fifty such sketches currently available, with new sketches being added regularly.

    Now in Stock! Indian Deeds: Land Transactions in Plymouth Colony, 16201691

    In this new book published by NEHGS, Dr. Jeremy Bangs presents over four hundred transcripts of early deeds that will be of interest to Mayflower, Plymouth Colony, and Native American researchers. In addition, the work provides a much-needed re-evaluation of land ownership in early seventeenth-century Plymouth.

    The Boston Globe featured an article on Dr. Bangs in its November 28, 2002, edition, which told of his efforts to prevent developers' plans to tear down historic Pilgrim sites in the old section of Leiden, in the Netherlands. The Pilgrims, who were Calvinists, separated from the Church of England fled the country to avoid religious persecution. They found refuge in Leiden in 1609 and began their journeys to Plymouth, Massachusetts, on the Mayflower in 1620. The rest, as they say, is history. Bangs moved to Leiden in the early 1990s, and has since opened the Leiden American Pilgrim Museum ( there.

    Indian Deeds: Land Transactions in Plymouth Colony, 16201691 provides at least two brand-new important discoveries within its covers. One is a previously unpublished (and heretofore practically unknown) 1670 ink and watercolor map of New England drawn by Dutch artist Johannes Vingboons and kept in the Vatican Library in Rome. The other is the identification of a Native American reservation still existing in Massachusetts that, Dr. Bangs argues, should rightfully be returned to those Native Americans, as they had never sold their land.

    Indian Deeds: Land Transactions in Plymouth Colony, 1620–1691 is fully indexed, and available now from our book store for $50.00 plus shipping. Order online at /marketplace/store/browse/product.asp?sku=212407049 or call 1-888-296-3447 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Eastern time), Monday through Friday.


    Read the Boston Globe article on Jeremy Bangs by visiting

    Sign Up for the NEHGS Research Tour to Nova Scotia, June 17–27, 2003

    The NEHGS Research Tour to Nova Scotia is specially designed to give you maximum research time at the Nova Scotia Archives and Records Management (formerly PANS) and other excellent Nova Scotia repositories, with individual help and attention from our expert staff and local specialists. Experience ten days of intensive research, lectures by leading genealogists and experts in the field, and hands-on assistance by tour leaders George F. Sanborn Jr., FASG, and David Allen Lambert. In addition to Halifax, we shall visit Shelburne, Truro, Pictou, Sherbrooke, and Cape Breton. This tour will appeal to those tracing urban or rural Planter, Loyalist, Acadian, Foreign Protestant, Irish, or Highland Scots ancestry, among others. Outstanding cultural and educational opportunities, breathtaking scenery, comfortable accommodations, and Atlantic Canada's fine food are sure to make this an unforgettable experience.

    Tour leader George F. Sanborn Jr., FASG, FSA (Scot.), is a longtime reference librarian at NEHGS and oversees the NEHGS Research Library's international collection. His areas of expertise and interest include northern New England, the Canadian Maritimes, and families from the Isle of Benbecula and the Outer Hebrides. An authority on Highland Scots surnames, he is a frequent lecturer and author of numerous articles and books on a variety of genealogical topics and source records. George co-edited the second edition of Genealogist's Handbook for Atlantic Canada Research (1997) with Terrence Punch, and is preparing for publication a genealogical history of all the old families of Lot 8, Prince Edward Island.

    David Allen Lambert is the microtext library manager and reference librarian at NEHGS. His areas of expertise and interest include New England, the Canadian Maritimes, and English and Scottish research. He is a leading authority on military research, cemetery research, and the deciphering of old handwriting. He authored the best-selling NEHGS publication A Guide to Cemeteries in Massachusetts (2002), and a history of Stoughton, Massachusetts, entitled Images of America: Stoughton (2001, Arcadia Publishing). David has contributed to works by numerous authors, and has written several articles for leading genealogical periodicals. As well as being a regular speaker at genealogical seminars nationwide, he is a columnist for the New England Ancestors magazine. His paternal ancestors were from New Brunswick, Newfoundland, and Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.

    Proposed Itinerary

    Tuesday, June 17
    Arrive independently in Halifax and check in to Dalhousie University dormitories.
    Introduction and Welcome Dinner.

    Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, June 1820:
    Research at the Nova Scotia Archives and Records Management.
    Lunch will be provided at NSARM in the audio-visual room each day.

    Lectures offered on these days include:

    "Names and Oral Tradition in Highland Scots Research" by George F. Sanborn Jr., FASG, FSA (Scot.)

    "New England Soldiers in Nova Scotia: Records from Back Home" by David Allen Lambert.

    Dinners on these days are on your own.

    Saturday, June 21
    Depart for Cape Breton Island by motorcoach via Sherbrooke Village.
    Check into the Ceilidh Lodge at the Inverary Resort (
    Dinner provided at our hotel (with evening entertainment in the Thistledown Pub).

    Sunday, June 22
    Guided tour of the Fortress Louisbourg ( A special traditional dinner banquet (with period food and costumed staff) and evening entertainment will be provided.

    Monday, June 23
    We will split the participants into two groups. Group A will research at Fortress Louisbourg Archives (, and Group B will be at the Beaton Institute ( Orientations to both repositories will be offered at each location. Tour participants may then switch locations at lunchtime. Dinner will be provided back at the Inverary Resort.

    Tuesday, June 24
    The group will tour the Cabot Trail ( by motorcoach, making frequent stops for photo opportunities. On the way, we will stop at Morrison's Restaurant for lunch (out-of-pocket) and visit the North Highlands Museum ( before heading back to the Inverary Resort. Dinner will be on your own. Evening entertainment will be provided.

    Wednesday, June 25
    Depart for Halifax by motorcoach via Truro and Pictou. The group will have the opportunity to research at the Pictou County Genealogical Society in the morning. Lunch will be provided at the Braeside Inn. In the afternoon, we will make a stop at the Colchester Historical Museum ( Upon returning to Halifax, we will check into the Holiday Inn Harbourview in Dartmouth. Dinner will be on your own.

    Thursday, June 26
    Group will depart for Shelburne, a Loyalist town founded in 1783. There, tour participants may tour the Ross-Thomson House (, the Dory Shop (, the Shelburne County Genealogical Society (, the county courthouse, and the Shelburne County Museum ( Lunch is on your own. A special farewell reception and dinner banquet will take place back at the Holiday Inn Harbourview. Entertainment in the evening will include a performance by The Elastic Millennium Choir.

    Friday, June 27
    Check out of Holiday Inn Harbourview; have a safe trip home!

    Program Fees:
    Double room, shared with another participant: $1600 per person
    Single room: $1900

    For more information or to register for this program, please contact us at 1-888-286-3447 or email

    Holiday Hours at the NEHGS Research Library

    Note the special holiday hours in the NEHGS Research Library:

    • 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

    New 2003 "Genealogy in a Nutshell" Lectures Announced

    The 2003 "Genealogy in a Nutshell" lecture schedule has just been announced and it promises to be another exciting and informative series! Our short “Nutshell” lectures explore a wide range of research skills and sources and are free to all. They are offered in the Richardson-Sloane Education Center of NEHGS on Wednesdays and Saturdays at 10 a.m. Advance registration is not necessary.

    The remaining "Genealogy in a Nutshell" lecture for 2002 is:

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

    The 2003 series begins on Wednesday, January 8; the schedule through July 2003 is listed below.

    January 8 and 11
    "The Mill English of the Nineteenth Century" by David C. Dearborn

    January 15 and 18
    "Establishing Genealogical Proof: When Is Enough?" by Marshall Kirk

    January 22 and 25
    "Masonic and Fraternal Organization Records" by David A. Lambert

    January 29 and February 1

    "Photograph Identification Workshop (Bring Your Photos!)" by Maureen A. Taylor and Julie Helen Otto

    February 5 and 8
    "Guidelines for Publishing Your Family History" by Christopher Hartman

    February 12
    "Researching Your Prince Edward Island Ancestors" by George F. Sanborn, Jr.

    February 19 and 22
    "From Washington to Bush: Ancestors of American Presidents" by Gary Boyd Roberts

    March 5 and 8
    "Preparing for Your Research Trip to Ireland" by Marie E. Daly

    March 19 and 22
    "Massachusetts Institutional Records: Almshouses, Mental Hospitals and Prisons" by Elizabeth Marzuoli

    March 26 and 29
    "Researching Your Ancestors on the Internet" by Laura Prescott

    April 2 and 5
    "The Massachuset-Punkapoag Indians of Southeastern Massachusetts" by David Allen Lambert

    April 16
    "Canadian Census Records - Seventeenth Century to 1921" by George F. Sanborn, Jr.

    April 23 and 26
    "Irish Presbyterians in Eighteenth Century New England" by Jerome E. Anderson

    April 30 and May 3
    "Using New England Vital Records at NEHGS" by David Allen Lambert

    May 7 and 10
    "Boston Scandals in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries" by D. Brenton Simons

    May 14 and 17
    "Family Diaries and Letters as a Genealogical Resource" by Laura Prescott

    May 21
    "Making Optimum Use of the IGI" by Helen Schatvet Ullman

    May 28 and 31
    "From Antietam to The Wilderness: Researching Your Civil War Union Ancestor" by David Allen Lambert

    June 4 and 7
    "Maine Lines: Finding Your Downeast Ancestors" by David C. Dearborn

    June 11 and 14
    "Best Sources for Mayflower Research" by Gary Boyd Roberts

    June 18 and 21
    "Searching Compiled Genealogies to Prevent Duplication" by Christopher Hartman

    June 25 and 28
    "Gems of the NEHGS Manuscript Collection" by Timothy Salls

    July 2
    "The Archives of the Catholic Archdiocese of Boston" by Robert Johnson-Lally

    July 9 and 12
    "The Ins and Outs of City Directories" by David C. Dearborn

    July 16 and 19
    "The Great Migration" by Robert Charles Anderson

    July 23 and 26
    "Researching Quebec Ancestors" by Michael J. Leclerc


    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 Gift Ideas for the Holidays

    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."

    Last but certainly not least is our holiday CD-ROM sale! From now until December 31, 2002, enjoy a 10% discount on all NEHGS CD-ROMs! From the newest releases such as Bond's Early Settlers of Watertown, Massachusetts and Plymouth Court Records 1686–1859 to classic titles such as The Search for Missing Friends and Records of Barnstable, Massachusetts, you may now save on any of the ten NEHGS CD-ROMs currently available.

    For more information on all NEHGS CD-ROMs, visit our Electronic Publications area at

    Call for Papers - NGS Gentech Conference 2004

    The 2004 GENTECH conference will be held in St. Louis, Missouri, on January 22–24, 2004, with lecture proposals for the conference due on or before February 15, 2003. The organizers of GENTECH are encouraging proposals on topics which address the intersection of genealogy and technology, and especially on the following specific topics:

    •genealogical software
    •companion software
    •data management
    •Internet subjects
    •fundamentals for the novice
    •tools for the advanced
    •pushing the envelope
    •librarian workshop

    More information on each of these topics can be found at the GENTECH website at

    One-hour lectures should include a brief question and answer period. Camera-ready handout material will be due in August 2003. This material will be included in the syllabus that will be distributed to all conference registrants.

    Speakers may submit an unlimited number of proposals. Lecturers will receive compensation, travel expenses, per diem, and hotel accommodations based on the number of lectures given. Complimentary conference registration and conference publications are also included. NGS members will be given first consideration as speakers.

    Proposals should include:

    •title of the presentation
    •brief outline including a short summary (forty words or less)
    •brief speaker biography for the program
    •audio/visual requirements for each lecture
    •speaker name, address, telephone, fax, and email address
    •list of previous lecture experience

    New speakers are encouraged to submit an audiotape of a lecture.

    Proposals may be submitted in Word, WordPerfect, or AppleWorks electronically to Questions may be submitted to the same address or by mail to:

    NGS GENTECH 2004 Program Chair
    St. Louis Genealogical Society
    P.O. Box 43010
    St. Louis, MO 63143-0010

    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!

    "He knew most everyone in town and they all knew him."
    By Larry M. Wilson

    Edwin James "E.J." Searls (1850–1917), a telegraph operator, moved west through Iowa and the Dakota Territory as the Chicago, St. Paul and Milwaukee Railroad extended its rails westward. He was on the western edge of U.S. civilization for many years. General George Custer came to E.J.'s office on many occasions to send messages to his superiors in Chicago or Washington. E.J. did not care for Custer, calling him "the longest-winded person I ever met," and added that Custer was "an arrogant actor who liked to throw his weight around."

    E.J. also knew the famous Sioux chief Sitting Bull. E.J. received several gifts from the chief, including belts, necklaces, and vests. Some of these items are in the possession of E.J.'s descendants. E.J. and his wife Mary Louise Douglass (1858–1945) learned to speak the Sioux language. They used it whenever they wanted to say something to each other while other people, usually family members, were around.

    E.J.'s telegraph was basically the Internet of his day. It was the medium that quickly carried information to and from faraway places.

    E.J. and Mary finally settled in Akron, Plymouth County, Iowa in 1881, where E.J. continued to be a telegrapher. He knew most everyone in town and they all knew him. E.J. also was familiar with much of the townspeople's personal business since they often used his telegraph to send messages to family members in other towns. When E.J. died after thirty-five years as Akron's telegrapher, the town basically closed shop for the day to attend his funeral.

    Whenever anyone learns that I research my family history one of the first questions they ask is "anybody famous?" I always respond with a "no" but quickly add that my favorite ancestor knew some famous people.

    "...a very mysterious little smile..."
    By Helen S. Ullmann of Acton, Massachusetts

    My favorite ancestor used to be a monk in Trondheim, Norway, at the time of the Black Death, about 1350. But the line didn’t hold up, and now he’s my former ancestor.

    Now my favorite is my grandma’s grandmother, Henrietta Esther (Mills) Walcott. Although she lived in Natick, Massachusetts, not far from where I live now, I had to go to Hawaii to find her family’s Bible record. But the reason she’s my favorite is that I have a wonderful photograph of her. It’s not your usual nineteenth-century grim visage, though it must have been taken before 1850! Though she’s not a handsome woman, and her hairstyle is grim, she has an interesting face. She’s leaning alluringly against a table with a very mysterious little smile at the corners of her mouth.

    "I am proud of his patriotic deeds"
    By Joan Burgess Brown of Zephyrhill, Florida

    Probably my favorite, and certainly my most elusive ancestor, is John Mitchell. John was the son of Noah Mitchell of North Yarmouth in the province of Maine.

    About 1762, John and Noah disappeared from North Yarmouth. There had been terrible droughts and subsequent fires devastating that part of Maine west of the Kennebec River. They next appeared in the coastal area of Columbia Falls where they could better provide for their families.

    John was part of the group of patriots who captured, in 1775, the British ships the Margareta and the Unity in Machias harbor. Because the country was still under British rule at the time, the participants could have suffered the death penalty without trial. Their names were kept quiet and many of the patriots fled to the wilderness of interior Maine about 1776 or 1777.

    In 1782, John appears in records, and was probably the second settler of Twenty-Five-Mile Pond Town (now Unity). He built the first mill on the shores of the pond. His son, Jeremiah, was later a signer of a petition to name a town New Columbia; it became Monroe, Maine. Jeremiah was born in 1779, so it may be possible that John dwelt at Monroe for a time before appearing in Unity. He was certainly hard to track in doing my Mitchell line, but I am proud of his patriotic deeds.

New England Historic Genealogical Society
99 - 101 Newbury Street
Boston, Massachusetts 02116, USA

© 2010 - 2014 New England Historic Genealogical Society