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  • 2003 Archive

  • Vol. 5, No. 10
    Whole #103
    February 28, 2003
    Edited by Lynn Betlock and Rod D. Moody

    Greetings from the New England Historic Genealogical Society! This free newsletter has been sent to NEHGS members and friends who have subscribed to it, or submitted their email addresses on various membership and sales department forms and website notices. NEHGS recognizes the importance of its members' privacy, and will not give away, sell or lease personal information. If you would like to unsubscribe, please click on the link at the bottom of the page and follow the instructions provided.

    © Copyright 2003, New England Historic Genealogical Society


    • New Databases on
    • New Research Articles on
    • Volume 2 of NEHGS Nexus Online Now!
    • We Want to Hear About Your (Not So Nice) Ancestors!
    • NEHGS Research Tour to Dublin, Ireland, July 13–20, 2003
    • Upcoming "Genealogy in a Nutshell" Lectures at the NEHGS Library
    • Automatic NEHGS Membership Renewals Available
    • Careers at NEHGS
    • Massachusetts Genealogical Council Annual Program, March 29, 2003
    • "Problem Solving with Griffiths Valuation" Lecture in Waltham, Massachusetts
    • In Memoriam: Mary Ann Lippincott Nicholson
    • Favorite Ancestor Feedback
    • NEHGS Contact Information

    New Databases on

    Vital Records of Bolton, Connecticut, 1704–1859

    In May 1718 and October 1719, the General Assembly passed acts "for regulating and settling a plantation on the mountain east of Hartford" which was "a tract of land, westward of Coventry and Tolland." In October 1720, it was given town privileges and named Bolton. These town records were abstracted by the Connecticut Historical Society in 1909.

    Search the Vital Records of Bolton, Connecticut, 1704–1859 at

    Transcript Of The Parish Registers of Orford, Suffolk Burials, 1538–1630

    Orford, a small but important coastal town in Suffolk County, is best known for its castle, built in 1165 by order of King Henry II to protect the coast and the country against invasion by the Flemings. With its construction the village became one of the most active boroughs in the county. In 1173 the Flemings failed in their attempt to capture the castle, an event which contributed to their eventual defeat. This typescript and several others were acquired by NEHGS from Alexander S. Gooding in 1954.

    Search the Transcript Of The Parish Registers of Orford, Suffolk — Burials, 1538–1630, at

    Family Genealogy: History of the Wanton Family, Newport, Rhode Island, by John Russell Bartlett

    The Wanton Family were among the most prominent families in Rhode Island in the eighteenth century. Four individuals bearing the name were elected governor of the colony at different times, others were leading merchants of the area for several generations, and the family was well-known for their efforts to advance the communities in which they resided. As the author states in the introduction, "they were always found among the leaders." This genealogy was published in 1878.

    Search the Genealogy of the Wanton Family at

    The Massachusetts Society of the Cincinnati Database

    The Society of the Cincinnati was established in 1783 by and for the officers in Continental Service. It was organized in fourteen constituent societies, one of which is the Massachusetts Society. Membership in the Society of the Cincinnati was extended to the officers of the Continental Army — as well as Continental Navy and Marine officers — who had served until the end of the war, plus those who had been declared no longer needed by acts of Congress and those who had served honorably for three years during the war. Also eligible were the oldest male lineal descendants of officers who died in service. The officers of the French Navy and Army who served with the American Army were also entitled to join. This database contains information on those Massachusetts officers eligible for membership. Absence from this list does not conclusively exclude eligibility.

    New sketches are now available for the following individuals:

    Samuel Gatchell
    Benjamin Gardiner
    James Gardiner
    Andrew Garret
    John George
    Caleb Gibbs
    Benjamin Gilbert
    Jacob Goldthwaite
    Nathan Goodale
    Francis LeBaron Goodwin
    Benjamin Gould
    Isaac Gilbert Graham
    John Greaton
    John Wheelwright Greaton
    Richard Humphrey Greaton
    Francis Green
    James Green
    Moses Greenleaf
    William Greenleaf
    John Gridley
    Samuel Frost
    Benjamin Frothingam
    Frederick Frye
    Joseph Frye
    John Fuller

    Search the Massachusetts Society of the Cincinnati database at:

    Cemetery Transcriptions from the NEHGS Manuscript Collections

    This week we have added transcriptions from cemeteries in Colchester, Connecticut and Colrain, Massachusetts.

    Search Cemetery Transcriptions from the NEHGS Manuscript Collections at

    Master Search

    Master search all databases at

    New Research Articles on

    New Hampshire
    New Hampshire Town and County Development
    by Sherry L. Gould

    Royal Descents, Notable Kin, and Printed Sources
    Notable Descendants of Robert Livingston the Elder and/or Robert Livingston the
    Younger of New York

    by Gary Boyd Roberts

    Volume II of NEHGS Nexus Online Now!

    From 1983 to 1999, the NEHGS Nexus newsletter presented a variety of research articles from genealogists and staff librarians, as well as announcements of Society events, genealogy news, queries, and reviews. We are pleased to announce the addition of selected articles from past issues to our website. This week we have added articles from the six issues that comprise Volume II, published in 1985. We will continue to add volumes in chronological order on a regular basis.

    Read Volume II of the Nexus at

    We Want to Hear About Your (Not So Nice) Ancestors!

    The response to our "My Favorite Ancestor" stories featured every week in eNews has been very enthusiastic and we thank all of you who have participated! After publishing nearly one hundred stories by NEHGS members and non-members over the course of a year, we have finally run out of submissions. So, we have decided to try something new. While we will continue to welcome your "favorite ancestor" submissions, we also invite you to share your stories about the "black sheep" in your family — the notorious, the closet skeletons, the scoundrels, the ones spoken of in hushed whispers. If you would like to contribute a story on your favorite or black sheep ancestor, please send it to Lynn Betlock at If you'd like to view some of the "my favorite ancestor" stories that have run in past issues of the eNews, visit our enewsletter archive at

    We do ask that the subject matter is appropriate for all ages and that submissions are 300 words or less.

    NEHGS Research Tour to Dublin, Ireland
    July 13–20, 2003

    Experience Dublin with the New England Historic Genealogical Society in this one-week research program. The tour features guided research at various repositories in central Dublin, including the General Register Office, National Library, National Archives, and Registry of Deeds, among others. In addition, you will benefit from genealogical lectures and personalized consultations throughout the week.

    If you live in the Boston area and have registered for this tour (or are considering doing so), don't miss Marie Daly's "Genealogy in a Nutshell" lecture this week on "Preparing for Your Research Trip to Ireland" (see schedule below for more information).

    For more information on this tour, visit, call 1-888-286-3447, or email

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

    The 2003 "Genealogy in a Nutshell" series continues with:

    • "Preparing For Your Research Trip to Ireland" by Marie Daly on Wednesday, March 5, and Saturday, March 8.

    • "Massachusetts Institutional Records: Almshouses, Mental Hospitals, and Prisons" by Elizabeth Marzuoli on Wednesday, March 19, and Saturday, March 22.

    • Researching Your Ancestors on the Internet by Laura Prescott on Wednesday, March 26, and Saturday, March 29.

    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.

    Automatic NEHGS Membership Renewals Now Available

    NEHGS now offers new and renewing members the convenience of automatic renewal of their membership. Select this optional program when you join the Society or when you renew your membership using your credit card, and we will retain your payment information in a secure environment. Your membership will automatically renew on its anniversary and your credit card will be billed accordingly. When the automatic renewal has been completed, you will be notified and provided with a receipt for your records. Once enrolled in this program, you may cancel at any time.

    Here some of the benefits of Automatic Renewals:

    • Ensures the full range of membership benefits without a break in service
    • Easy to implement
    • No up-front costs
    • Convenient
    • Offers secure electronic transactions
    • Transaction receipts and new membership cards automatically mailed to participants

    To take advantage of this offer, click "yes" to the question "Renew membership automatically each year with this credit card?" when you join online via our secure web server; check “Automatic Renewal” when mailing or faxing your membership application; or let your member services representative know that you want to join the Automatic Renewal program when you call to join or renew your membership.

    For further information, call Thomas McKenna, director of member services, toll-free at 1-888-296-3447, ext. 305, or email

    Careers at NEHGS

    We are currently accepting resumes for the following positions — Director of Development, Administrative Assistant to the Director, and Accountant. For more information about these positions, please visit

    Massachusetts Genealogical Council Annual Program, March 29, 2003

    The Massachusetts Genealogical Council's (MGC) annual program will be held at Alumnae Hall, Regis College (235 Wellesley St., Weston, MA), on Saturday, March 29, 2003, from 8 a.m to 4 p.m. Lectures will be given by NEHGS reference librarian David Allen Lambert on researching newspapers; retired Waltham, Massachusetts city clerk Peter Koutoujian on the records and issues city clerks deal with on the job; Ruth Thomasian on the value of photographs when records are lost; and Sharon Howland on the influence of grass roots organizations in preserving records. The council will also give an update on legislators' efforts in 2002 to close vital records to researchers.

    Continental breakfast, lunch, and dues are all included in the $27.50 fee. Registration forms are available on the council's website at, by emailing or, or phoning 781-209-8861. The council asks that those interested in attending register by March 20, 2003.

    "Problem Solving with Griffiths Valuation" Lecture in Waltham, Massachusetts

    On Saturday, March 8, 2003, the Middlesex Chapter of the Massachusetts Society of Genealogists is presenting a lecture by noted author, lecturer, and genealogist Linda Merle titled "Problem Solving with Griffiths Valuation: Who is in it; Who is not!" This free lecture begins at 1:30 p.m. and will be held at the Waltham Public Library, 753 Main St, in Waltham, Massachusetts. For more information, call (508) 485-3275 or (617) 527-1312.

    In Memoriam: Mary Ann Lippincott Nicholson

    In this issue of eNews we'd like to pay tribute to NEHGS member and volunteer Mary Ann Nicholson. Mary Ann played a pivotal role at the Society during the 1980s and early 1990s developing our Friends of the Library group and assisting the staff in a variety of ways, especially in helping us answer member inquiries and requests. She was an able scholar who cared deeply about genealogy, had a broad knowledge of the literature of our field and understood its methodology. She could easily have made her living as a professional genealogist. But above all, we at NEHGS remember Mary Ann as a bright and lovely person whose gentle and thoughtful demeanor reflected her Quaker beliefs and heritage. An extraordinary person herself, Mary Ann was also a special friend to genealogy and and to all of us at NEHGS. We will miss her. In honor of Mary Ann, we are reprinting a biographical sketch that summarizes her life and her commitment to genealogy.

    Ralph Crandall
    NEHGS Executive Director

    Mary Ann Lippincott Nicholson was born in Philadelphia on November 16, 1926, and grew up on a farm in Marlton, New Jersey. Mary Ann graduated from George School in 1944 and from Earlham College in 1948. She married James "Tim" Nicholson in 1950 and they briefly resided in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Richmond, Virginia, before settling in the Boston area, where they resided for nearly four decades. After graduating from college, Mary Ann began teaching, first in New Jersey, then later in Pittsburgh and Belmont, Massachusetts.

    While expecting the birth of her first child, Mary Ann began to wonder about the coming child's ancestry. Thus began an avid interest in genealogy that prevailed for the rest of her life. Her research produced extensive accounts of both her family's history and that of her husband's, tracing lines back as much as four centuries. Mary Ann was frequently consulted by others for her expertise in Quaker records and she wrote numerous articles for genealogical publications. Her base of operations became the New England Historic Genealogical Society where she was a volunteer for many years. At NEHGS her primary attention was centered in book repair and preservation, and in responding to genealogical inquiries. NEHGS published a book that she edited and revised on the family of Daniel Shays of Shay's Rebellion fame (The Family of Daniel Shays From Descendents of Daniel Shays, NEHGS, 1987), and when Mary Ann and her husband left Boston for Pennsylvania, NEHGS awarded her with lifetime membership in recognition of her service. Mary Ann passed away at her home in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, on February 3, 2003, at the age of 76.

    Favorite Ancestor Feedback

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

    "My Favorite Ancestor"
    by Rick Craig of Ogden, Utah

    My favorite ancestor? I think that all dedicated family history researchers could relate to the reverse of that question. Who are your ancestors' favorite descendants? Why, that would be us!

    In my case, my direct line ancestor was Thomas Craige, who came from Scotland to Massachusetts in 1778. He served two uneventful enlistments in the Revolutionary Army while stationed in Rhode Island. He was unknown until genealogical research "dug him up," so to speak.

    Sometimes we are able to tie into the historical events that helped define the history of our country. I came across a connection to the family line that, while not involving a direct descendant, tells an interesting story.

    Thomas married the widow Martha Hosley, whose first husband was Jonas Parker, Jr. Parker and his father were among the Lexington minutemen who responded to the alarm spread by Paul Revere. They were on the green on that faithful morning of April 19, 1775 to meet the British, who had come out from Boston.

    His father, "was often heard to say, that be the consequences what they might, and let others do what they pleased, he would never run from the enemy. He was as good as his word; better. Having loaded his musket, he placed his hat, containing his ammunition, on the ground between his feet, in readiness for a second charge. At the second fire he was wounded and sunk upon his knees; and in this condition discharged his gun. While loading it again upon his knees, and striving in the agonies of death to redeem his pledge, he was transfixed by a bayonet, and thus died on the spot where he first stood and fell." So today, Jonas Parker, is interred on that sacred ground, and a plaque in part says, "peace, liberty and independence of the United States of America was their glorious reward."

    Other Craige ancestors were among the early settlers of Vermont. Some Craigs became steamboat captains on the Hudson River after the opening of the Erie Canal. The events of their lives have been researched and history has provided the background and given understanding to the times in which they lived.

    Without us, little or anything would be known of most of our ancestors. Through our efforts they have come alive again. Indeed, we are their favorite descendants!

    My Favorite Ancestor
    by Joan Day Raymont of Louisville, Kentucky

    My favorite ancestor was Laura Spencer Chase on my mother's side of the family. I don't know the names of her parents or where she was born, although I'm sure that I will find her in Otsego County, New York. Since I don't know that much about Laura's past, I will write about her life after she married my great-grandfather Russell C. Chase.

    Russell was the son of Buffum and Jemima Bord Chase and the grandson of Asa and Hannah Buffum Chase. The Chase line started on American soil in Yarmouth, Massachusetts, with William Chase II living there in 1645. Our Chase branch moved to Rhode Island and then to Pittsfield, Otsego County, New York.

    Russell C. Chase had four wives. I will mention the two who bore his children. Russell married Louisa Prudence Crandall, daughter of Henry Dennison and Prudence Clark Crandall, on February 21, 1846. Five sons were born from January 1847 through December 1854. Louisa Prudence Crandall Chase died February 24, 1861.

    About 1864, Russell C. Chase married Laura Spencer. She set up housekeeping in Edmeston, Otsego County, and took over the raising of Russell's five boys from his previous marriage. On December 28, 1865, my grandfather, Ernest Devern Chase was born. Hattie Chase was born in January 1868, followed by George Albert Chase in January 1873.

    On June 5, 1874, Laura Spencer Chase walked a few miles from her home and hung herself from a tree. I think she was worn out and I admire her for living through all that she endured for as long as she did. I don't think I would have done as well.

    NEHGS Contact Information

    To view the website of the New England Historic Genealogical Society, please visit

    To become a member of the New England Historic Genealogical Society, please visit

    If you have questions, comment or suggestions about the enewsletter, please contact Lynn Betlock at

    We strongly encourage you to email this newsletter to others who might be interested. To subscribe, please visit

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