American Ancestors New England Historic Genealogical Society - Founded 1845 N.E. Historic Genealogical Society Seal View Your Shopping Cart Join NEHGS
  • 2003 Archive

  • Vol. 5, No. 17
    Whole #110
    April 18, 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


    • Annual Meeting of NEHGS Members, April 28, 2003
    • New Databases on
    • New Research Article on
    • The Discussion Forums
    • A Preview of the April Register
    • Upcoming "Genealogy in a Nutshell" Lectures at the NEHGS Library
    • Second Annual NEHGS London Genealogical Study Tour
    • Cape Cod Gravestones Online
    • NGS Conference in the States in Pittsburgh
    • Favorite — and Black Sheep — Ancestor Feedback
    • NEHGS Contact Information

    Annual Meeting of NEHGS Members, April 28, 2003

    Dear NEHGS Members:

    You should have received information in the mail about the upcoming annual meeting of members, which will be held at the First and Second Church, 66 Marlborough Street, Boston, Massachusetts, Monday, April 28, 2003, at 4:30 p.m.

    An important item on the agenda for the Annual Meeting is a proposal to amend our by-laws to restructure our corporate governance. This is one of many amendments to the by-laws and changes to governance that the Society has adopted throughout its history. Among the changes in the proposed by-laws is the creation of a new "Council of the Corporation." If these by-laws are approved by the membership, beginning next year this new group of between forty-five and seventy-five councilors would be responsible for electing the trustees of the Society, rather than the existing group of some 21,000 members. This governance structure has a number of checks and balances built into it and the change would not otherwise affect the services available to our members, who will remain vital and important participants in the Society.

    The package you have received in the mail includes the full text of the proposed by-laws and an explanation of the reasons the Board recommends that they be adopted. We think you will agree when you read the materials that we have identified an impressive and committed group of genealogists to join the council. We would like as many members as possible to participate in this vote. We encourage you to read the materials you received carefully and return the proxy card, voting in favor of the new by-laws. The proxy card we have provided is postage paid if mailed in the United States.

    If you have not received the materials, or have any questions at all, please call or email either Pam Swain (617-226-1216, or Brenton Simons (617-226-1203, at the Society.

    Ralph J. Crandall
    Executive Director

    New Databases on

    Massachusetts and Maine 1798 Direct Tax

    This week we continue to add volumes of the Massachusetts and Maine 1798 Direct Tax. This important resource can be used as a companion to the 1800 U.S. Federal Census, and to track the movement of individuals between the 1790 and 1800 censuses. The Massachusetts counties of Suffolk and Norfolk (Division 4, Vols. VII–VIII [2]) have been added this week. Eight districts in all are included in this update; two additional districts originally recorded (Medway and Medfield) were destroyed by fire. Towns included in this update are Boston, Chelsea, Roxbury, Brookline, Milton, Dorchester, Quincy, Weymouth, Braintree, Cohasset, Hingham, Dedham, Needham, Dover, Walpole, Foxborough, Sharon, Wrentham, Franklin, and Bellingham.

    Search the Massachusetts and Maine 1798 Direct Tax at

    Historical Catalogue of the First Church in Hartford, Connecticut, 1633–1885

    The First Church of Hartford was originally gathered in Newtown (now Cambridge), Massachusetts. The first pastor of the church was Thomas Hooker, who was appointed October 11, 1633. On May 31, 1636, the church removed to Hartford, arriving there sometime in the second week in June. This church originally represented the entire area now included in the city and township of Hartford and the townships of East Hartford and West Hartford. In 1659-60, a large group of members seceded from the church and removed to Hadley, Massachusetts, founding the church there. Subsequent eighteenth-century secessions resulted in the formation of the Second Church of Hartford, and the churches of East Hartford and West Hartford.

    Although a large number of records of this church have disappeared, the compilers studied collateral sources such as the Hartford town records to determine life dates of individuals associated with the church. Records include births, baptisms, marriages, deaths, admissions, and dismissions of original members, pastors and deacons, members that removed to Hadley, and those that formed the Second Church.

    Search the Historical Catalogue of the First Church in Hartford, Connecticut, 1633–1885 at www.newenglandancestors.orgesearchdatabasehartfordfirstchurch.

    The Thomas Cary Diary — 1773

    The Rev. Thomas Cary (1745–1808) was one of the many ministers along the Merrimack River who encouraged the patriotism of his parishioners during the Revolutionary War. He started his diary in Weston, Massachusetts, in 1762 and continued writing until 1806. This installment includes his entries from the year 1773.

    Search the Thomas Cary diary at

    Cemetery Transcriptions From the NEHGS Manuscript Collections

    This week we have added transcriptions from cemeteries in Kennebec County, Maine (towns and villages include Belgrade, Fayette, Litchfield, Manchester, Monmouth, Mount Vernon, North Augusta, North Manchester, North Sidney, Randolph, Readfield, Rome, Route 201, Sidney, Sidney Center, Vienna, Wayne, West Gardiner, West Mount Vernon, and West Sidney), Dalton, Massachusetts, and East Providence, Rhode Island.

    Search Cemetery Transcriptions from the NEHGS Manuscript Collections at

    Master Search

    Master search all databases at

    New Research Article on

    Family Health and Genealogy
    Methods and Sources For Genealogists Compiling Family Health Histories, Part II
    By Norma Storrs Keating

    The Discussion Forums

    Have you posted your surnames and queries on the Discussion Forums? If you haven't yet done so, we invite you to take advantage of this opportunity! offers discussion forums on the following eighteen subject areas: Canada; Connecticut; Corrections to Genealogies in Print; England; Queries; German; Great Migration and Colonial Immigrant Origins; Ireland; Maine; Massachusetts; New Hampshire; New York; Rhode Island; Royal Descent and Notable Kin; Surname Forums; the Register Online; Torrey's New England Marriages Prior to 1700; and Vermont.

    All researchers are welcome to post their family names, research problems, or general queries. Users can also create new surname "folders" with the surnames of their choice. All discussion forum users are encouraged to add documentation or cite sources in their postings.

    We were prompted to put in a reminder about the discussion forums by Rev. David McDonald, a member from De Forest, Wisconsin. This week he wrote to say "It seems to me that our good members are NOT taking advantage of the wonderful message board system on the website. Since NEHGS is an organization of solid reputation, helping to underscore the importance of sound research methods, I am hopeful that our members are willing to engage in serious discussion and scholarship on our families, and are trying to hunt out resources and original records. The message boards are a wonderful place to cross-check information with other top-notch researchers. I encourage everyone to take advantage of the opportunity."

    Rev. McDonald has posted information in "Royal Descent and Notable Kin" about the wife of US Senator Paul Douglas, Emily Taft Douglas, daughter of Loredo Taft. He writes that "Gary Boyd Roberts had mentioned her in one of his columns, and since Emily Taft Douglas was a member of Congress from Illinois in her own right, before her husband was elected to the Senate, I thought that ought to be noted!" He also put up two folders in the surnames area, one for Putnam (Capt. Benjamin, b. 1664, is his wife's line), and one for Richardson, asking about the late Attorney General Elliott Richardson's connections to the clan of Thomas Richardson and Katherine Duxford.

    We hope to see your surnames and queries up on the Discussion Forums soon. To visit the Discussion Forums, please go to

    A Preview of the April Register

    The lead article in this issue shows the structure of the family of John Archer of Portsmouth, Rhode Island for the first time. Although New England records indicated he had two sons, it was only the 1718 will of Edward Archer of Bermuda [another son] that identified two daughters of John Archer. These were women who had previously been Hannah _____ and Mercy _____ in the accounts of their husbands' families of Manchester, Cranston, and Gibbs.

    The relationships among Native American leaders in seventeenth-century New England has not always been clear, even to contemporary English colonists. Dennis Walsh analyzes the extensive evidence on the question of whether King Philip (Metacom) was Massasoit's Son or Grandson, and concludes the evidence is overwhelming that they were father and son.

    We are always looking for articles on the origins of nineteenth century immigrants to New England, yet rarely do writers submit any. Here Sharon Carmack explains how she found the Irish origins of Delia (Gordon) Norris by identifying Delia's siblings.

    In the 1770s there were two Simeon Nuttings of Middlesex County, Massachusetts, with wives named Dorothy, and both with oldest sons named Simeon born in 1775. Not surprisingly, these two family groups had been terribly confused. However, as he studied them, Bill Ruddock realized that the two older Simeons had completely different histories: one stayed in Pepperell, the other moved to New Hampshire and then by 1790 to upstate New York where he and his children remained.

    Some early American colleges included non-graduates in their published alumni records, but some did not. Yale was one of those that did not, and Jim Dallett has identified 381 "lost" alumni of Yale College: the non-graduates of 1771–1805.

    Diane Delbridge points out that vital records in Connecticut in the early nineteenth century are "woefully incomplete." Thus, it was not easy identifying the parents of Eliza DeForest, wife of Hinman Atwood of Watertown, Connecticut. Hinman Atwood achieved a certain local notoriety by having four marriages within twelve years — but that fact did not help the search.

    David Dobson has sent us two unpublished letters written in connection with the Scottish settlement of Nova Scotia in the 1620s, a description of New England and the sea route to Nova Scotia, written by two Scottish seafarers in 1622. The settlement was short-lived as the French assumed control of Nova Scotia, and the last Scottish settlers left in 1632.

    Starting with a 1749 marriage, Kathryn Black began looking for the family of Elizabeth (Marsh) Ellithorpe of Killingly, Connecticut. Fortunately, this branch of the Marsh family of Salem, Massachusetts, left a good "paper trail" of deeds plus a crucial 1750 will.

    Part 2 of the Ross families of Ipswich treats the family of Killicress Ross. Most of his descendants stayed in Ipswich but, like the family in Part 1, some settled in Windham County, Connecticut.

    The records of the Suffolk Street Chapel, Boston, 1837–1845, conclude in this issue with marriages and baptisms.

    — Henry B. Hoff, editor of the Register

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

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

    • "Irish Presbyterians in Eighteenth-Century New England" by Jerome E. Anderson on Wednesday, April 23, and Saturday, April 26.

    •"Using New England Vital Records at NEHGS" by David Allen Lambert on Wednesday, April 30, and Saturday, May 3.

    • "Boston Scandals in the 17th and 18th Centuries" by D. Brenton Simons on Wednesday, May 7, and Saturday, May 10

    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.

    Second Annual NEHGS London Genealogical Study Tour, Sept. 23–Oct. 4, 2003

    NEHGS will sponsor its second annual London Study Tour from September 23 to October 4, 2003. The first tour, held in the fall of 2002, was a smashing success and the program is back by popular demand. The NEHGS group will stay in the Bloomsbury area of London and will visit a host of research repositories, including the Society of Genealogists' Library, the Public Record Office at Kew, the Institute of Historical Research, the Guildhall Library, and many more. Leading the group will be noted genealogical author John Titford, and from the NEHGS staff, assistant executive director D. Brenton Simons. Each member of the group will receive personal tutorial assistance from three English research experts: Michael Gandy, Paul Blake, and Geoff Swinfield.

    In order to provide highly personalized assistance to researchers, this tour is limited to twenty participants. Please register as soon as possible in order to reserve your space on the tour. Participants will be expected to make their own flight arrangements to and from London's Heathrow Airport, arriving before 9 a.m. on Tuesday, September 23, and departing after 11 a.m. on Saturday, October 4.

    For more information about this tour, please visit If you have questions, please email or call 1-888-286-3447 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Eastern time), Monday through Friday.

    Cape Cod Gravestones Online

    After Bob Carlson retired to Cape Cod in 1995, he began a Web-based project,, that has taken on a life of its own. The following story by Mr. Carlson reviews the history of the project and highlights what can be found on the site.

    "Initially I decided to post some photos of pre–1800 slate gravestones from Barnstable County to display the variety of carved images on the stones (which are disappearing due to old age deterioration) and to provide some information about local colonial stone carvers.

    "To my surprise the website attracted visitors and search engines began to list it. Feedback from site users made it clear there was great interest in Cape Cod gravestones since so many people traced their roots back to the Cape. Those old Cape Cod sea captains apparently established families far and wide.

    "It was clear I had to expand the site. I posted questions on the home page to ask visitors how the site should grow. The overall request was for more information about more gravestones, from more cemeteries on the Cape.

    "One thing led to another and the website became pretty much my full-time activity. The information on the website is based on my cemetery visits, photos, and my research into previous cemetery surveys held in various libraries in the fifteen towns on Cape Cod.

    "Today the website is a reasonably complete listing of gravestones on Cape Cod for the time period 1683–1860. (The oldest dated gravestones on the Cape date from 1683 — there are three existing today). The website has about 20,000 names with gravestone inscription details from about 130 Cape Cod cemeteries. The names are listed in chronological order by date of death for each cemetery.

    "The website does not provide a complete listing of deaths since many people of the time period did not have permanent gravestones, especially before 1800. Also, some of the gravestones listed on the website no longer exist today. For example, my research indicates that about twenty to twenty-five percent of the pre–1800 gravestones found on Cape Cod in 1900 no longer existed or were unreadable in 2000. I give slide presentations to emphasize the importance of preservation efforts.

    "The website also has information about forty-six early gravestone carvers represented on Cape Cod with many examples of their work. There are bibliographic references to the carvers and explanations of the possible meanings of the carved images. There are over 1200 color photographs of pre–1860 gravestones with an emphasis on pre–1800 gravestones. There is a separate area devoted to epitaphs and unusual inscriptions. There is also a section that provides extensive information about previous cemetery surveys."

    Mr. Carlson reports that he is currently adding more gravestone photographs. He is interested in feedback from eNews readers regarding his next steps. He wonders if he should expand the time period, to 1880, for example, or if he should instead add more photographs.

    Visit the Cape Cod Gravestones site at Contact Bob Carlson by emailing

    NGS Conference in the States in Pittsburgh
    May 28–31, 2003

    In cooperation with the Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society, the National Genealogical Society will present its annual conference in Pittsburgh, from May 28 to 31. The conference will feature four days of lectures, computer labs, and workshops — over 160 sessions in all!

    Two NEHGS staff members will be speaking at the conference:

    • Henry B. Hoff, editor of the Register, will present the New England Historic Genealogical Society Luncheon, entitled "My Ten Worst Mistakes in Genealogy." He will also speak on "Researching a ‘Typical’ Family in Colonial New York" and "There Must Be Something in Print: Effective Research in Secondary Sources."

    • Michael J. Leclerc, director of electronic publications, will present the NEHGS sponsored lecture on "New England Online: Finding Your Ancestors at

    NEHGS will also staff an exhibit booth at the conference. If you will be attending, please stop by and visit.

    Learn more about the conference and register at; select "Conference in the States."

    Favorite — and Black Sheep — Ancestor Feedback

    We are out of favorite and black sheep ancestor stories! Please consider submitting your ancestor story for eNews. Or if you have ideas for a new feedback topic, please offer your suggestions. If you would like to contribute, please send your story in 300 words or less to Lynn Betlock at Thank you to all past and future contributors!

    NEHGS Contact Information

    We strongly encourage you to email this newsletter to others who might be interested. To subscribe or view back issues of eNews, please visit

    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, comments, or suggestions about the enewsletter, please contact Lynn Betlock at

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

© 2010 - 2014 New England Historic Genealogical Society