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  • 2003 Archive

  • Vol. 5, No. 2
    Whole #95
    January 10, 2003
    Edited by Lynn Betlock and Rod 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


    Great Migration Newsletter Online — It's Time to Subscribe or Renew!
    • New Databases on
    • New Research Articles on
    • New Great Migration Newsletter Sketches on
    • "Ask a Librarian" Answers Your Research Questions!
    • Changes to Upcoming Genealogy in a Nutshell Lectures
    • Sign Up for the NEHGS Research Tour to Nova Scotia, June 17–27, 2003
    • New From Newbury Street Press
    • Automatic NEHGS Membership Renewals Available
    • Accessing Twentieth-Century Immigrant Files via the Immigration and Naturalization Service
    • Correction to Last Week's eNews
    • Favorite Ancestor Feedback
    • NEHGS Contact Information

    Great Migration Newsletter Online — It's Time to Subscribe or Renew!

    If you are one of the many NEHGS members that subscribed to the first online volume of the Great Migration Newsletter (Volume 11), we thank you! The online newsletter has proven to be a tremendous success, and we are very pleased to be able to provide it to our members.

    Subscriptions to Volume 11 expired on December 31, 2002, and we encourage all Volume 11 subscribers to renew their subscriptions now! Subscribers will receive the four issues of Volume 12 posted on a quarterly basis, bonus biographical sketches available only to online subscribers, and access to the Great Migration Newsletter Online archive. The archive contains all of the issues of Volume 11 plus all of the bonus sketches from 2002.

    All of this can be yours for only $10 per year! The first sketches of the new year are up now and the first issue will be posted soon, so act now!

    If you prefer to receive a printed version of the Great Migration Newsletter, you can receive a professionally printed and perfectly formatted copy of the newsletter delivered directly to your home on a quarterly basis. Subscriptions to the printed version are $20 per year.

    To subscribe, visit

    New Databases on

    Record Book of New Castle, New Hampshire

    Compiled by John Eldridge Frost in 1955, this book contains records that he transcribed from the gravestones at New Castle Cemetery, and it is supplemented with records from A.H. Locke's Portsmouth and New Castle Cemetery Inscriptions (1907). The dates in this database range from 1742 to 1956.

    New Castle, the smallest town in the state of New Hampshire, is actually a one-square-mile island on the tip of the seacoast. A part of Rockingham County, New Castle was incorporated in 1693, though settled at a much earlier date, and the graves of the pioneer settlers have never been found.

    Search the Record Book of New Castle, New Hampshire at

    Letter of Marriages of Bath, Maine, 1805–1817

    Dated October 29, 1846, this letter lists marriages performed by Rev. William Jenks in Bath, Maine, from 1805 to 1817. The letter was written by David Shaw, town clerk of Bath, and sent to Reverend Jenks, a Bostonian who was a congregational minister in Bath. Rev. Jenks was also a well-known scholar and an honorary member of NEHGS until his death on November 13, 1866.

    For more information about Reverend William Jenks, please see his obituary, published in Volume 28 of the Register in 1874, at

    Search Marriages of Bath, Maine, 1805–1817 at

    Cemetery Transcriptions from the NEHGS Manuscript Collections

    This week we have added transcriptions from cemeteries in Egremont, Massachusetts and New Canaan, Connecticut.

    Search Cemetery Transcriptions from the NEHGS Manuscript Collections at

    Master Search

    Or master search all databases at

    New Research Articles on

    Free Non-Member Preview Article!

    New Hampshire
    New Hampshire Church Records
    by Sherry L. Gould

    Royal Descents, Notable Kin and Printed Sources
    Two Remarkable Descendants of the Bordens of Rhode Island
    by Gary Boyd Roberts

    Genealogy and Technology
    Information at Your Fingertips
    by Rhonda R. McClure

    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.

    Lyon Gardiner
    Edmund Garner
    John Greene
    Thomas Greene
    Parnell Harris
    Samuel Hayward
    John Herbert
    William Hibbens
    William Hilliard
    Samuel Hinckley

    Subscribers to Volume 12 of the newsletter may view these sketches plus many more at

    To subscribe, visit

    "Ask a Librarian" Answers Your Research Questions

    We continue to be surprised and pleased at the terrific response we have received to the new "Ask a Librarian" feature and we thank you for your participation! Due to the many questions submitted, please allow two to three months for questions to be answered. You will be notified if your question has been selected. Please remember that we do not accept questions about specific families and individuals in this forum, nor do we perform "look-ups" — please visit our Research Services department page at for these types of queries. The newest round of member questions and answers by our expert NEHGS library staff are now available on our "Ask a Librarian" page at

    Here are this month's questions:

    Brian Keith asks:
    I have the name of a Protestant minister, located in Boston, who conducted a marriage in Boston in 1864. I want to find the name of the church in Boston with which he was affiliated. Can you tell me the best source to use to find this information?

    Barbara Safford asks:
    I would like to know whether NEHGS has microfilm of the Norfolk County, Massachusetts, probate records for the years 1917–1918. I would like to look at the probate papers for an ancestor who died in Milton in 1917. Unfortunately the Family History Library has microfilmed the probate records of Norfolk County only through the year 1916. If you do have records for these later years, what would it cost to have someone copy a probate file?

    Judy Wester asks:
    I am researching an ancestor in the colonial period. One source said he came on a ship named Bevis. Complete Book of Emigrants by Peter Wilson Coldham has several entries of persons bonded to him in "Nevis." Is "Nevis" a place?

    Susan Conners asks:
    I'm looking for death notices from the Cherryfield, Maine, area (probably via Machias, Maine) from 1800 on. Any ideas?

    Mary Klier asks:
    What birth information is available for 1822 in Maine?

    Sue Crawford asks:
    Do you have newspapers on file for Bradford or Fisherfield, New Hampshire, in the early 1800s or any records for the churches in Bradford?

    Anonymous asks:
    How can I find passenger lists from 1633 to 1636?

    Ila Manwaring Morrill asks:
    I have just viewed the records of the Muddy Brook Cemetery records in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, and have found some of my ancestors. The question: How do I request a copy of those cemetery records? Do I write to the town clerk in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, or what is the procedure?

    Rev. Bayard Collier Carmiencke asks:
    According to his son's death certificate, my great grandfather was born in New Haven, Connecticut, circa 1855. How can I find information on his birth date and the names of his parents?

    Scott Hayes asks:
    Does your collection include genealogical information for Virginia in the 1700s? Specifically, I'm looking for Lunenburg County,
    Virginia, from about 1730 to 1800.

    For answers to these questions and more, please visit our "Ask a Librarian" page at "Ask a Librarian" is a benefit of NEHGS membership - you must log in to before accessing the answer page.

    Changes to Upcoming Genealogy in a Nutshell Lectures

    The scheduled Genealogy in a Nutshell lecture for Saturday, January 11, "Masonic and Fraternal Organization Records" by David Lambert has been postponed until January 22 and 25. Replacing it on the 11th will be David Dearborn's "The Mill English of the Nineteenth Century."

    Also please note that the lecture scheduled for July 16 and 19, "Finding Your Jewish Ancestors," by Alexander Woodle will be replaced by "The Great Migration" by Robert Charles Anderson.

    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, as well as hands-on assistance from tour leaders and NEHGS staff librarians George F. Sanborn Jr., FASG, FSA (Scot.) and David Allen Lambert. In addition to Halifax, we will 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.

    For more information on this tour, including full itinerary, visit or contact Alena Tan, tours supervisor, at 1-888-286-3447 or

    New From Newbury Street Press:

    La Famille Vadenay: A Genealogical Journey from France to Québec to the United States
    by Betty Vadner Haas

    La Famille Vadenay is the product of a lifetime of research by Betty Vadner Haas, NEHGS member and genealogist. It is at once a comprehensive discussion of French-Canadian history and genealogy, a narrative about her own family migration from the town of Vadenay (east of Paris), to the Canadian province of Québec, and eventually to New England and beyond in the United States. The book also includes a genealogy of the Vadenays, which is chronicled on an accompanying CD-ROM in GEDCOM format.

    69 pp. Newbury Street Press, 2002. Item number S49050000. $25.00, no tax.

    To purchase La Famille Vadenay, please visit the product page in the NEHGS book store at, or call, toll-free, 1-888-296-3447 from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Eastern time, Monday through Friday. If you have questions, email the sales department at

    Automatic NEHGS Membership Renewals Now Available

    Did you know that we now offer new and renewing NEHGS members the convenience of automatic renewal of their membership? Select this optional program when you join the Society or when renewing 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 full range of membership benefits without a break in service
    • Easy to implement
    • No up-front costs
    • Convenient
    • Offers secure electronic transactions
    • Transaction receipt 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 calling 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


    Accessing Twentieth-Century Immigrant Files via the Immigration and Naturalization Service
    by David Allen Lambert

    In 1940, the Alien Registration Act, known also as the Smith Act, came into effect. This act called for the fingerprinting and registering of nearly five million aliens. Both of my grandfathers and paternal grandmother had to comply with this registration. In the case of my paternal grandmother I was able to use numbers from her certificate of naturalization to find her file, and I also had my maternal grandfather's alien registration identification card.

    My maternal grandfather, John Samuel Lea, was born in England in 1901, and immigrated to Toronto, Canada, with his parents in 1907. My paternal grandfather, James Albert George Lambert, was born on the island of St. Pierre, a French territory in Atlantic Canada located just south of Newfoundland. Both grandparents arrived at the port of Boston in the 1920s. Lea arrived in 1924 after moving from Toronto while Lambert immigrated from Moncton, New Brunswick, with my grandmother, Margaret Jane Clark, and their older children in 1923.

    In the case of each individual I simply supplied a copy of the death record and requested the INS files from the Boston Office of Immigration and Naturalization. The form I used to request the files is called the Freedom of Information Act/Privacy Act Request (Form G-639), and it can be downloaded as a PDF file from (Note: You must have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your computer in order to access the PDF file. You may download it free from their website at

    Be sure to indicate you wish to have the file copied, unless you wish to make an appointment to review the documents in person. After you have completed the form and returned it to your local INS office, you should receive a response with three to four weeks that the request has been received. You will also be given a tracking number. The first one hundred pages and copying time will be supplied at no charge. However, you will need to pay ten cents per copy beyond the initial hundred pages. My maternal grandfather's file was 287 pages long, and well worth the expense.

    Using the smaller of the cases received I will discuss the documents enclosed in my maternal grandmother's forty-two page file:

    1. Alien Registration Form - 1940 [Form AR-2].
    The following questions are asked on this form.
    - Name
    - I entered the U.S. under the name of :
    - I have also been known by the following names (including maiden name, nicknames, or aliases).
    - I live at:
    - My post-office address is:
    - I was born on :
    - I was born in (or near):
    - I am a citizen or subject of:
    - Sex and Marital Condition:
    - Height, weight, hair and eye color
    - I last arrived in the United States at: (port or place of entry).
    - I came in by (name of vessel steamship company, or other means of transportation).
    - I came as a (passenger, crew member, stowaway, or other).
    - I entered the United States as a (permanent resident, visitor, student, treaty merchant, seaman, official of a foreign government, employee or a foreign government official, or other).
    - I first arrived in the United States a total of ___ years ago.
    - I expect to remain in the United States: (permanently, or duration expected to stay).
    - My usual occupation is:
    - My present occupation is:
    - My employer (or registering parent or guardian) is:
    - I am, or have been within the past five years, or intend to be engaged in the following activities: In addition to other information, list memberships or activities in clubs, organizations, or societies.
    - My military or naval service has been: (country, branch of services, dates).
    - I (have/have not) applied for first citizenship papers in the United States.
    - I have the following specified relatives in the United States: Parents, spouse, number of children.
    - I (have/have not) been arrested or indicted for, or convicted of any offense (or offenses).
    - Within the past five years I (have/have not) been affiliated with or active in (a member of, official of, a worker for) organizations, devoted in whole or in part to the influencing or furthering the political activities, public relations, or public policy of a foreign government.

    2. Alien Registration Postal Cards. These postal cards were mailed in by the registered alien for reporting his or her current address, and address for previous year.
    3. Application to Replace Alien Registration Receipts Documents [Form I-90]
    4. Application to File Petition for Naturalization [Form N-400]
    5. Statement of Facts for Preparation of Petition
    6. Form sent to the FBI regarding Name Check Section, Domestic Intelligence Division. [Form G-135b] - 1960
    7. Letter requesting her to report to the INS office in Boston
    8. Passport size photograph, signed by my grandmother

    9. Form filed out by petitioner for naturalization, asking the following questions:
    - Has your marital status changed in any way?
    - Have you been absent from the United States?
    - Have you committed any crime or offense, or been arrested, fined, or charged with the violation of any law whatsoever?
    - Have you joined any organization?
    - Have you become a member of the Communist Party?
    - Have you claimed exemption from military service?
    - Has there been any change in your willingness to bear arms on behalf of the United States, to perform non-combatant service in the armed forces of the United States, and to perform work of national importance under civilian direction, if the law requires it?
    - Have you committed adultery?
    - Have you been a prostitute at any time or connected with prostitution in any way?
    - Have you been at any time a narcotic drug addict or dealt in narcotic drugs in any way?

    10. Petition for Naturalization [Form N-405]
    11. Copy of her Certificate of Naturalization

    Of course each file will contain different documents pertaining to the specific alien's situation. If you have someone who fits into the classification of not being naturalized by 1940 and a resident of the United States, a file may be available for your request. You can send your request to your local INS office. For a listing of local INS field offices go to

    Correction to Last Week's eNews

    In last week's eNews, George F. Sanborn's article, "Sources in the NEHGS Library for New England Families in Stanstead County, Québec, Part II," included an incorrect email address for the Stanstead Historical Society in Québec. The correct address is We regret the error.

    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 must have had wonderful stories to tell..."
    By Joyce Bockemuehl of Bloomfield Hills, Michigan

    This ancestor is not only my favorite, but also elusive! After much expense and effort his parentage remains a mystery. George Weightman was born in England on March 23, 1819. According to his military record, he was from Studley in Warwickshire and came to the U.S. at the age of seventeen. He joined the army in New York State giving his occupation as a chairmaker.

    He was a career military man, fought in the Florida or Seminole Wars, went with Zachary Taylor into Corpus Christi in the occupation force, fought at many battles in the Mexican War and was a captain in the Confederacy from Louisiana.

    He married Joanna Ruggles Coates while on a recruiting mission in Portland Harbor, Maine, at Fort Preble on December 4, 1839. Joanna gave birth to my great grandmother, Gertrude Weightman, while she joined him at Carmargo, Mexico. He established the hospital there and also at Meir.

    In searching at the National Archives I discovered a wife I had not known of. He was married three times, with no issue from the second wife. I descend from the first wife and he is buried in Mandeville, Louisiana (St. Tammany Parish), with the third wife. He must have had wonderful stories to tell of his many travels before his death on December 19, 1892.

    One thing I noticed was his beautiful handwriting in his letters requesting his Mexican War pension. I assume this came from being well educated in England. I sure wish he could tell me who his parents were. He is my Daughters of the Republic of Texas and United Daughters of the Confederacy ancestor as well as my qualifier for membership in the The Continental Society Daughters of Indian Wars.

    "My grandfather saved every letter!"
    by Janet Wershow of Corvallis, Oregon

    My favorite ancestor is my grandmother, Margaret (Dupee) Macpherson. Born in 1879, she grew up in a mansion in the Hyde Park area of Chicago, and graduated from Kenwood Institute, a finishing school for young ladies. In her early twenties, she decided that marriage was not for her, and she enrolled in the University of Chicago to pursue a degree in botany. Her father was not in favor of this decision, so they played a charade when she needed tuition: She kept an old pair of shoes to show him each time she needed money, and told him she needed to buy new shoes.

    Her first job was as an instructor at Michigan Agricultural College. As fate would have it, my grandfather, Hector Macpherson, also joined that faculty at the same time. It took him a year of persistent courting before she agreed to marry him. During the year of their engagement, they were separated for long periods. Margaret was back home, helping her parents, and Hector was teaching in Urbana, Illinois. At Hector’s insistence, they wrote almost daily during these periods, and my grandfather saved every letter! To fill up the pages, Margaret wrote about everyday things, giving a wonderful picture of her life in the early twentieth century.

    It is not just her writings that make her my favorite ancestor; it is also her adaptability. She went from pampered young lady, to student, to instructor, to faculty wife and mother, and finally to farm wife. My grandfather decided that he wanted to enter politics, and could not do so while on the Oregon Agricultural College faculty. He moved his family to a dairy farm, then left them to fend for themselves while he served in the state legislature and traveled on various political junkets.

    NEHGS Contact Information

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    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

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