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  • 2002 Archive

  • Vol. 4, No. 6
    Whole #62
    March 22, 2002

    • Laurel Thatcher Ulrich to Speak at NEHGS Annual Meeting on April 22
    • A New Database Debuts: Legislators of the Massachusetts General Court, 1691–1780
    • New Research Articles on
    • Submit Your Article for Publication on!
    • Coming Soon in the Spring 2002 Issue of New England Ancestors
    • Upcoming "Genealogy in a Nutshell" Lectures
    • The NEHGS Online Education Calendar
    • A Night to Remember: The 1930 Census Arrives at Midnight, April 1!

    Laurel Thatcher Ulrich to Speak at NEHGS Annual Meeting on April 22

    Pulitzer-Prize winning author and historian Laurel Thatcher Ulrich will deliver the keynote lecture at the 2002 NEHGS annual meeting. The meeting will be held at the historic First and Second Unitarian Church on Marlborough Street in Boston, Monday, April 22, at 4 p.m. Ms. Ulrich will speak about her recent work, The Age of Homespun: Objects and Stories in the Creation of an American Myth. She is the James Duncan Phillips Professor of Early American History at Harvard University and the author of Good Wives: Image and Reality in the Lives of Women in Northern New England, 1650-1750 (1982) and A Midwife's Tale: The Life of Martha Ballard, Based on Her Diary, 1785-1812 (1990). She also contributed a chapter to the new NEHGS publication, The Art of Family. The NEHGS annual meeting is open to the public.

    The First and Second Unitarian Church is located at 66 Marlborough Street. The Church is located in Boston's Back Bay at the corners of Marlborough and Berkeley Streets. The Copley T stop is only 5 minutes away. From the T stop, walk along Dartmouth (three blocks) toward the Charles River, turn right on Marlborough (two blocks) to Church on right. If driving, exit Storrow Drive inbound at Copley Square (Clarendon) turn second left onto Marlborough (one block) or exit the Mass Turnpike inbound at Copley Square (Stuart), turn first left onto Dartmouth (five blocks), turn right onto Marlborough (two blocks) to Church on right.

    A New Database Debuts: Legislators of the Massachusetts General Court, 1691–1780

    In 1691 the Massachusetts Bay Colony was given its second charter by the English rulers William and Mary. This charter offered a large measure of self-government to colonial Massachusetts and Maine, and would remain in effect until the Convention of 1779 produced a constitution after the American Revolution. Between 1691 and 1780, 3,117 men served in the Massachusetts General Court. This work by historian John A. Schutz identifies each of them and provides short descriptions of their activities both in and out of the legislature.

    To search this new database or any of the other database on, visit /research/database/.

    New Research Articles on

    Vermont Military Records
    By Scott Andrew Bartley
    "The interest to settle in Vermont was created by the many soldiers traveling across the state during their service in the French and Indian War, 1754–1763. The records from this war, however, are of little use for genealogical research in Vermont. It is not until the Revolutionary War that the researcher begins to benefit from the records created by the military."

    Sources for Canadian Research on Microfilm at NEHGS
    By Michael J. Leclerc
    "Over the past few years, NEHGS has made a solid commitment to expanding its microfilm collection. The goal of the New England and Canada Microfilm Acquisitions Project is to acquire all available land, probate, and vital records for each New England state, as well as Québec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island. Since the project started the microfilm collection has expanded from 11,000 reels of film to over 40,000. The opportunities to document your research have been greatly enhanced with these records."

    Royal Descents, Notable Kin, and Printed Sources #56
    Notable Descendants of Rev. John Lathrop/Lothropp, Founder of Barnstable, Massachusetts
    By Gary Boyd Roberts
    "In the last column I treated notable descendants of Henry and Margaret (—) Howland of Fenstanton, Huntingdonshire, whose progeny includes just over 120 'major historical figures.' I now wish to consider another kindred set of roughly 120 'major historical figures,' those descended from Rev. John Lathrop (1584–1653), my only ancestor treated in both the Dictionary of National Biography and the Dictionary of American Biography (plus the new American National Biography). See these sources for details of Lathrop's life, theological disputes, and movement from Queen's College, Cambridge, to Egerton, Kent, Southwark (London), and Scituate and Barnstable in Massachusetts Bay. Lathrop's first wife, Hannah House, died in England."

    Special Topic: Researching in Boston
    Boston in Print, Part 2: Town Records and Annexed Lands
    By Ann S. Lainhart
    "Anyone researching their ancestors in Boston in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and early nineteenth centuries is familiar with the four volumes of the Record Commissioners' Reports containing the town's vital records, but it is unlikely that many have delved into the other 35 volumes. These have minutes of the town meetings, selectmen's meetings, tax lists, Aspinwall Notarial Records, and miscellaneous items. A few of these volumes also have records of Charlestown, Dorchester, and Roxbury, towns that are now part of Boston. The biggest drawback to using these other volumes is that they are mostly indexed by surname only. If you are dealing with one of the larger families in Boston, this can mean a lot of pages to check! But I encourage you to do so. With so many New England town records not in print, or only on microfilm in the old handwriting, or not even yet microfilmed, these published Boston records should not be overlooked by anyone with Boston ancestry."

    Upstate New York
    Earliest Records of Western New York State
    By Marian Henry, PhD
    "When conducting successful genealogical research it is important to know not only what sorts of records might prove useful for any given problem, but also where those records might be located. For records at the county level, this requires keeping track of the changes in local government over time. Many of us have faced the situation in which our pioneer ancestors settled in a location before formation of the modern county. Thus the earliest records for a location can be in a county seat quite far removed from the current one. A case in point is Ontario County in New York State. In its current form, Ontario County covers an area of 640 square miles in central New York State. However, when first formed in 1789, this venerable county encompassed an area of roughly 2500 square miles! It covered all of New York State west of the preemption line — very roughly, a north-south line from Lake Ontario to the Pennsylvania line passing through the northern end of Seneca Lake. The earliest records of this region, which currently consists of fourteen counties, are held in the Ontario County Records and Archives Center in Canandaigua. I toured this facility in November 2001 and describe here what I found."

    New Hampshire
    Cemetery Research in New Hampshire
    By Sherry L. Gould
    "Cemeteries can be a fundamental source for genealogical information on several levels. On the surface, the researcher gains important information about the dates of death and often the dates of birth of an ancestor. The inscription of the stone frequently contains additional family information such as the name of spouse(s), parents, or children. In rare circumstances, the place of birth or location of the parents may also be recorded on the stone. Beyond the basic data recorded on a headstone, a visit to the cemetery can provide important information to assist in putting family groups together. For instance, whom an ancestor is buried alongside can give the researcher information not easily obtained elsewhere. As well, the absence of an internment in the last known location of an ancestor gives additional information to add to the puzzle."

    Coming soon:

    Deaths and Funerals at Brooksville, Maine Recorded in the Nineteenth Century Diary of Margaret (Lord) Varnum
    By Russell C. Farnham, CG

    Rhode Island
    Civil War Books and Resources
    By Maureen A. Taylor

    Royal Descents, Notable Kin, and Printed Sources #57
    Notable Descendants of John Dwight of Dedham, Especially via Grandsons of Northampton and Hadley
    By Gary Boyd Roberts

    The English Poll Taxes 1377–81
    By George Redmonds

    Topic of the Month
    Access Denied: New Restrictions for Online Public Records Databases
    By Leigh Montgomery

    Submit Your Article for Publication on!

    We are always seeking new and interesting articles from our members to publish in our Member Submissions section. Have you solved a complex genealogical puzzle or discovered an error in a published genealogy? Do you have a famous or notorious ancestor? Would you like to share your compiled genealogy or information about your immigrant ancestor with other NEHGS members? We invite you to send your article to us for consideration. All submissions should be attached as a Word document or pasted into the body of an email. Please include a brief statement telling us about yourself and your research, your place of residence, and, if possible, a photo in tif format. Please send all submissions to the editor mailto:rodm@nehgs.orgfor consideration. Thank you for your contribution!

    Coming Soon in the Spring 2002 Issue of New England Ancestors

    • NEHGS reference librarian David Curtis Dearborn traces migrations out of New England in "Ancestors on the Move"

    • Gordon L. Remington offers a guide to using Family History Library resources for New York research

    • Lynn Betlock highlights NEHGS executive director Ralph J. Crandall's new publication Shaking Your Family Tree

    • Ruth Quigley Wellner explains how NEHGS Research Services can help you

    • In a special focus on material culture

    Historian John Demos, author of The Unredeemed Captive: A Family Story from Early America (Alfred A. Knopf, 1994), introduces the new NEHGS publication The Art of Family

    Katherine Scott Sturdevant, author of Bringing Your Family History to Life Through Social History (Betterway, 2000), discusses the importance of viewing heirlooms as family history artifacts

    Peter H. Judd, author of The Hatch and Brood of Time: Five Phelps Families in the Atlantic World, 1720-1880 (Newbury Street Press, 1999), shares his discovery of silhouette likenesses of members of the Phelps family

    Helen Schatvet Ullmann, associate editor of The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, explains how she made a genealogical connection using a nineteenth-century Norwegian sampler

    • Also in this issue:

    What's New: An Interview with Chris Andersen of
    The Computer Genealogist: The Salem Witchcraft Trials on the Internet
    New England Online: Research Articles on
    Product Spotlight: Scandinavian Vital Records Index
    Pilgrim Life: Pilgrims Buried in Leiden's Pieterskerk
    Manuscripts at NEHGS: The Haynes Cane

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

    Subscription to New England Ancestors is a benefit of NEHGS membership. If you are not a member, you may join online at, or call toll-free 1-888-296-3447.

    Upcoming "Genealogy in a Nutshell" Lectures

    This season's "Genealogy in a Nutshell" series continues with three new lectures:

    • "A Good Deed: Using Deeds in Your Research" by David Dearborn on Saturday, March 30
    • "Preserving Family Heirlooms and Photographs" by Timothy Salls on Wednesday, April 3
    • "Family History through CD-ROMs and the Internet" by David Allen Lambert on Saturday, April 6

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

    For more details about NEHGS education events, please visit

    The NEHGS Online Education Calendar

    Learn about all of our upcoming programs, including:

    • Genealogy 201, Boston, April 3, 10, 17, 24
    • Weekend Seminar in Philadelphia, April 12–13
    • Weekend Seminar in Cleveland, May 10–11
    • Genealogy 101 in Peabody, MA, May 11
    • Heritage Tour to England with Dr. George Redmonds, May 14–24
    • Genealogy 101 in Deerfield, MA, June 1
    • Je Me Souviens: A French-Canadian Genealogical Seminar, Boston, June 22
    • Come Home to New England, Boston, July 28–August 4
    • Irish Genealogical Conference, Braintree, MA, September 27–28
    • London Genealogical Study Tour, September 24–October 5
    • Research Trip to Salt Lake City, November 3–10

    For more information about any of these programs you may also contact the Education Department at or at 1-888-286-3447, ext. 202.

    A Night to Remember: The 1930 Census Arrives at Midnight, April 1!

    The National Archives-Northeast Region, located at 380 Trapelo Road in Waltham, Massachusetts, will release the 1930 Federal population census for the first time on April 1, 2002.

    In celebration of this decennial event, The National Archives-Northeast Region in Waltham will OPEN AT MIDNIGHT on April 1 and remain open for research through 4:30 p.m. Monday. National Archives staff and volunteers will be available to assist researchers.

    Microfilmed copies of the 1930 Federal population census will also be opened for research at the National Archives building in Washington, DC and at 12 other Regional Archives facilities across the nation.

    The 1930 census consists of 2,667 rolls of microfilm of population schedules and 1,587 rolls of Soundex indexes for 12 Southern states, totaling 4,254 rolls of microfilm. Even though the statistical summaries collected by enumerators are made public shortly after the census is taken, federal law restricts the release of information on individuals and families for 72 years for privacy reasons. The 1930 Census was conducted on April 1, 1930.

    The 1930 census is the 15th Federal census mandated by the U.S. Constitution, which states "The actual Enumeration shall be made within three Years after the first Meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent Term of ten Years, in such manner as they shall by law direct*"

    There is no index to the 1930 census except for 12 Southern states. A researcher must know the address at which a family resided in 1930 in order to locate a member of their family. The National Archives has provided a collection of city directories and other finding aids to assist in locating addresses.

    The NARA facility in Waltham has extensive microfilm holdings and some collections of original records for genealogy research. These collections include Federal population censuses, 1790–1930; Revolutionary War military and pension records; 19th century passenger records for most East Coast United States and Gulf of Mexico ports; some 20th century records for Boston, New York, and Canadian Border Crossings; World War I draft registration records (New England states only); and naturalization records (New England states only). Hours of operation are Monday, Tuesday, and Friday 8:00 a.m.–4:30 p.m., Wednesday and Thursday 8:00 a.m.–9:00 p.m., and the first and third Saturday of each month 8:00 a.m.–4:30 p.m., excluding all Federal holidays.

    The mission of the National Archives is to ensure, for the Citizen and the Public Servant, for the President and the Congress and the Courts, ready access to essential evidence.

    A very useful guide to using the 1930 census is available on the National Archives website at You may also visit the webpage of the National Archives Waltham branch at

    Please note: The New England Historic Genealogical Society ordered the 1930 census microfilm reels for all of the New England states last October. We do not have an expected arrival date for the microfilm but we will let readers of the NEHGS eNews know when it has been delivered and is available for patron use at 101 Newbury Street in Boston.

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

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