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  • 2003 Archive

  • Vol. 5, No. 20
    Whole #113
    May 9, 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


    • NEHGS Research Library to Open on Sundays Throughout the Summer!
    • New Databases on
    • New Research Articles on
    • "Ask a Librarian" Answers Your Research Questions
    • New Great Migration Newsletter Sketches on
    • Register Now For the Second Annual NEHGS London Genealogical Study Tour
    • An Introduction to Using at NEHGS in Boston
    • Upcoming "Genealogy in a Nutshell" Lectures at the NEHGS Library
    • A Valuable Online Resource for Researching Brooklyn, New York, Ancestors
    • A Note to Users
    • Favorite — and Black Sheep — Ancestor Feedback
    • NEHGS Contact Information

    NEHGS Research Library to Open on Sundays Throughout the Summer!

    Beginning on July 13, the New England Historic Genealogical Society Research Library will be open on Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. The Sunday hours will be in effect through August 24. In August, library visitation rates will be considered and the Sunday hours may be extended.

    NEHGS members are invited to bring a guest to the library; each guest accompanied by a member will be admitted free on Sundays only. (Normally, a non-member pays a $15 day fee to use the library.) This provides the perfect opportunity to introduce friends or family members to the lure of genealogy!

    Sunday visitors to Boston may encounter less traffic and less stress, as well as additional research time. In a period when many libraries have been forced to cut the hours they are open to the public, NEHGS is pleased to now offer its research facility to visitors six days a week.

    Members planning a summer visit to Boston should also note that the research library will be closed from 5 p.m., Thursday, July 3 through Monday, July 7 for Independence Day weekend and from 5 p.m., Friday, August 30 through Monday, September 1 for Labor Day weekend.

    If you have questions about the NEHGS Research Library, please visit or email

    New Databases on

    Massachusetts and Maine 1798 Direct Tax

    The newest additions to this ongoing database are the Massachusetts counties of Bristol, Plymouth, Barnstable, Dukes, and Nantucket (Division 6, Vol XI-XIII [3]). Towns included in this update are:

    Attleborough, Rehoboth, Norton, Mansfield, Easton, Taunton, Raynham, Dighton, Swansea, Somerset, Stoughton, Randolph, Canton, Berkley, Freetown, Westport, New Bedford, Fairhaven Village, Middleborough, Bridgewater, Abington, Pembroke, Hanover, Scituate, Kingston, Carver, Plympton, Halifax, Rochester, Wareham, Plymouth, Sandwich, Falmouth, Mashpee, Barnstable, Yarmouth, Dennis, Orleans, Chatham, Harwich, Truro, Provincetown, Wellfleet, Eastham, Edgartown, Chilmark, Tisbury, and Nantucket

    The Massachusetts and Maine 1798 Direct Tax may 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.

    We will be adding further geographical areas in the coming weeks until the entire tax list is complete.

    Search the Massachusetts and Maine 1798 Direct Tax at /research/database/mmt/Default.asp.

    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:

    Levi Holden, Zibeon Hooker, Elisha Horton, Michael Gabriel Houdin, Joseph House, Richard Surcomb Howe, William Hull, Abraham Hunt, Ephraim Hunt, Thomas Hunt, John Hurd Jr., George Ingersoll, Amasa Jackson, Charles Jackson, Daniel Jackson, Ebenezer Jackson, Ephraim Jackson, Henry Jackson, Michael Jackson, Michael Jackson Jr., Simon Jackson, Thomas Jackson, Samuel Jefferds, John Johnston, Joseph Killam

    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 Taunton, Massachusetts (the Neck O' Land Burying Ground), and Lebanon, Connecticut (Center, South (West), Liberty Hill, Scovell-Buckingham, Goshen, and Exeter cemeteries, and private yards).

    Search Cemetery Transcriptions from the NEHGS Manuscript Collections at /research/database/cemeteries.

    Master Search

    Master search all databases at

    New Research Articles on

    Genealogy and Technology
    The Internet: A Virtual Canvas for Your Ancestry
    By Rhonda R. McClure


    The Programme de Recherche en Démographie Historique (PDRH)
    By Michael J. Leclerc

    "Ask a Librarian" Answers Your Research Questions

    A new selection of "Ask a Librarian" questions and answers are now available to NEHGS members at 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 chosen for inclusion. Please note 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. Thank you for participating in "Ask a Librarian!"

    Here are this month's questions:

    Joseph Frechette asks:

    I have a question about a certain phenomenon I've noticed while doing my research. I've noticed that in my research of ancestors in Quebec that two lines sometimes end up leading to the same ancestor. I just think that this is pretty neat and it is a possibility that I had never thought of before. This must happen quite a lot in populations that stay on the same land for a long time or populations that don't have a lot of newcomers. If you have any related information, or know of any good articles to read, please let me know.

    Sandra Gardner asks:

    I would like to know where to find guardianship papers in Massachusetts/Maine for the year 1812. An ancestor's biography found on the Internet says he was a orphan at age four. He was born in 1808 in Kennebunk, Maine. His father died in Kennebunk in 1811 and his mother died there in 1808. He shows up in Wolfeborough, Strafford County, New Hampshire, in 1824 as a minor over fourteen years of age, and he was given to Joseph Varney. Where can I write to find out what happened to him after his father died in 1811? Do I use Maine or Massachusetts?

    Peter A. Yapp asks:

    I've been researching my family using the LDS website, church records, and census data in the Lientwardine area of Herefordshire, England. There were many children appearing in the census that had no record of birth or baptism. I assumed that the families probably didn't attend church or they didn't bother to have the children baptized. Recently, I found a person that was researching the same family (Yapp) and they had all their records in a family Bible that went back to about 1820.

    As it turned out, this family belonged to the Primitive Methodist Church and these records are not available in the normal way. This would also explain why many of my ancestors have no birth, death, or marriage records; they belong to churches other than the Anglican Church.

    My question is how do you get these records? They are not available on the LDS website or at the county seat (Hereford) as far as I know. Can anyone shed any light on this problem and how do we go about informing the LDS church about these missing records?

    David B. Springer asks:

    I am trying to locate the earliest record(s) showing my ancestor, such as a freeman's list, tax list, or anything that would list him. He died in 1704. I have searched Little Compton town records and the Bristol County probate records in Taunton, Massachusetts, and found no such records.

    This ancestor owned land in Seaconnet (now Sakonnet, a community in Little Compton, Massachusetts) which he bought from another individual. Tiverton and Little Compton did not become part of Rhode Island until 1745. Both towns were part of Bristol County, Massachusetts before then.

    Before 1700 would tax and Freemen's records, etc, be located in Plymouth Bay Colony? Bristol County? Just not sure which places to go to find this information.


    Betty Gean Hamlin asks:

    I am having difficulty finding my ancestors in Maine. Was Bangor, Maine, ever a part of Massachusetts? What would I look for to research that area?

    John Folsom asks:

    What I Know:

    My ancestor "of Mt. Wooleystone" was granted twenty acres of land there in February 1639. He sold two acres in Cambridge to another man about the same time. My ancestor was received as a Freeman in May of 1640, probably on a list of new members submitted by the church at Cambridge, given the proximity of the names of others known to have been of Cambridge. On February 24, 1642, he was received again, quite possibly by the town of Braintree (Pope says "he was of Dorchester or Braintree"). His son came to America on the 'Truelove,' age twenty, in 1635. His firstborn child was born in Dorchester in November 1642. His widow is believed to have died in Dorchester in July 1657. His youngest son was married in Dorchester in November 1657. A fire in 1657 destroyed all of the town's records.

    My Question:

    Was there a church at Mt. Wollaston (which became Braintree in 1640)? In Dorchester? Are church records extant? If so, in what form (manuscript? manuscript on microfilm? published?)? If so, name of publication. More to the point, is there any (other) source or reference document where I could find out his date of death, or other confirming documentation?

    Michael P. Conlin asks:

    Do you have records from Ireland?

    Find the answers at!


    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.

    George Giddings
    Benjamin Gillam
    John Glover
    Hugh Gunnison
    Samuel Haines
    Nathaniel Kirtland
    Philip Kirtland
    Anne Pankhurst
    William Purrier
    Michael Williamson

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

    To subscribe to the Great Migration Newsletter Online, visit


    Register Now For the Second Annual NEHGS London Genealogical Study Tour

    Following the great success of the 2002 London-based study tour, a similar tour is planned from September 23 to October 4, 2003. Once again the great strength of the 2003 tour will be the one-to-one tutorial support provided by a team of experienced British researchers — this year we have allotted even more tutorial time.

    Genealogical research in London is a must for all serious researchers, and records held in the nation’s capital feature families from all over the country. Because the challenge is a complex and fascinating one, the tour will begin with a short lecture on what "London" means in a genealogical context, followed by a series of short familiarization talks on the major London repositories and the records they hold.

    Initial in-depth tutorials based upon each person’s individual research needs will then be offered, after which tour members will be free to spend time at one or more record repositories, accompanied by tutors. The aim is to allow participants the flexibility to establish and to pursue their own research program with all the advice and support they may need.

    The tour organizers will arrange and pay for all participants to have access to the library of the University of London Institute of Historical Research, and for readers’ tickets for the Society of Genealogists’ Library, the British Library and the Public Record Office as required.


    Proposed itinerary


    Note for those who arrive in England early: On Friday, September 19 (noon to 7 p.m.) and Saturday, September 20 (10 a.m. to 5 p.m.) the Provincial Book Fairs Association holds its massive two-day book fair (one of the biggest in Europe) at the Barbican Centre, Paragon Street, York. Well worth a visit! Extended hotel reservations may be made by contacting the Holiday Inn, Coram Street, by telephone at (+44) 870 4009222.

    Tuesday, September 23

    Arrivals and introductions

    Tour members arrive from London airports on their own and meet at the Holiday Inn, Coram Street, for lunch, followed by a welcome and introduction session in the hotel’s Academy Suite. Geoff Swinfield will give a short talk on how to localize your ancestors within the British Isles and how to identify and access some basic British genealogical source material. There will then be a brief visit to the excellent library of the University of London Institute of Historical Research, a short walk across Russell Square. The library can be revisited later as required.

    Wednesday, September 24

    Orientation and personal tutorials

    After breakfast: a morning session of short introductory talks by the four principal tutors and others, to cover a brief history of London and a survey of records held at the Society of Genealogists, the Public Record Office, London Metropolitan Archives, the Family Records Centre, the Guildhall Library, the British Library, Friends’ Library, Dr. Williams’s Library, and elsewhere. Else Churchill, genealogy officer at the Society of Genealogists, will also explain the nature and importance of British probate and marriage license records.

    The afternoon will be devoted to one-to-one tutorials at which tutors will discuss with tour members their interests and objectives, helping them to devise a research strategy.

    Thursday through Saturday, September 25–27

    Research and personal tutorials

    There will be a short post-breakfast meeting in the hotel each of these mornings at 8:30 a.m. at which relevant information can be provided by the tutors, problems and successes aired and shared, and plans for the day’s activities finalized. Tour members will then be free to visit record repositories of their choosing; three tutors from the team will be on hand throughout each day, and registration and/or readers’ ticket arrangements can made as appropriate with tutors’ help. Some, but not all, repositories will be open on Saturday.

    Friday, September 26, 12:30 p.m.

    HQS Wellington luncheon

    All participants will gather for a curry lunch aboard HQS Wellington, a handsome ship moored on the Thames embankment which acts as a “Livery Hall” to the Worshipful Company of Scriveners and the Worshipful Company of Master Mariners. An excellent meal can be assured — ask anyone who was there in 2002!

    Saturday evening, September 27

    Private group dinner in the Academy Suite at the Holiday Inn, with entertainment by “Strawhead,” a highly-respected trio of singers and instrumentalists who offer stirring renditions of British music from the sixteenth to the nineteenth centuries, featuring words and tunes that they have resurrected from the archives. Hear the music that your British ancestors would have known and loved! A rare treat, not to be missed.

    Sunday, September 28

    Morning:Tour members will have a choice of activity after breakfast:

    •  A number of fine London churches hold morning services, including St. Paul’s Cathedral, Westminster Abbey, and Westminster Cathedral (Roman Catholic).

    •  John Titford and his wife, Heather, will be available to conduct a short walking tour of London churches, including St. Mary-le-Strand, St. Clement Danes, St. Dunstan-in-the-West and St. Bride’s Fleet Street, ending up at the spectacular church of St. Bartholomew-the-Great in Smithfields in time to attend the choral morning service. 

    •  An interesting Book and Printed Collectables Fair (up to sixty stands or so) will take place all day at the Royal National Hotel on Bedford Way, opposite the Holiday Inn, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

    Afternoon: A coach tour through Kent, the “Garden of England,” to visit Leeds Castle, built on two islands within a lake and surrounded by magnificent gardens. Used by King Edward I as a Royal Palace for his wife, Leeds has been described by Lord Conway as “the loveliest castle in the world.” Not to be confused with the famous town of Leeds in Yorkshire! In 2002 Leeds Castle was granted an award as the “tourist attraction of the year;” for a preview of its delights, visit its website.

    Monday, September 29, to Friday, October 3

    Research and personal tutorials

    As before, there will be a short post-breakfast meeting in the hotel each of these mornings at 8:30 a.m. for the sharing of relevant information and the finalizing of the day’s activities. Tour members will then be free to visit record repositories of their choosing, three tutors being on hand throughout each day.

    Tuesday, September 30, 6:15 p.m.

    Optional evening activity

    By special arrangement, an evening visit to the College of Arms in Queen Victoria Street will be offered to our tour participants. The College of Arms houses a unique and magnificent set of original heraldic and genealogical records and is usually closed to the public. It was established by King Richard III in the fifteenth century; our host for the evening will be Thomas Woodcock, Norroy and Ulster King of Arms. Light refreshments will be available.

    Thursday, October 2

    Final group dinner at Poon’s, the well-known Chinese restaurant situated opposite the hotel on Woburn Place.

    Saturday, October 4

    Final farewells. Departures by tour participants on their own.

    For more information, please visit, call 1-888-286-3447, or email



    An Introduction to Using at NEHGS in Boston

    May 14, 11:30 a.m.

    Learn how to use the NEHGS website to advance your research! In this free class, website administrator Darrin McGlinn will offer a step-by-step live demonstration of the Society's website, This class gives participants the opportunity to explore the site in depth, ask questions, and become more comfortable using a constantly growing number of online databases and research tools.

    This program will be held on May 14 at 11:30 a.m. in the education center at 101 Newbury Street, Boston. Advance registration is not required.

    For more information, please call 617-226-1209 or email

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

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

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

    • "Family Diaries and Letters as a Genealogical Resource" by Laura G. Prescott on Wednesday, May 14, and Saturday, May 17

    • "Making Optimum Use of the IGI" by Helen Schatvet Ullmann on Wednesday, May 21

    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.

    A Valuable Online Resource for Researching Brooklyn, New York, Ancestors

    NEHGS Reference Librarian Julie Helen Otto has this to say about the online database of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle newspaper:

    Just recently I discovered the Brooklyn Daily Eagle online for the years 1841–1902. It's searchable by keyword and date (even to the actual day of issue) and it features the original images of each paper. You can even browse through the entire paper page by page if you wish. If you click on any article, a separate window appears offering a zoomed-in view of your selection. I found 366 matches for "Blackman," including a mention of a c1888 school list for my maternal grandfather's school, and coverage of a c1900 wedding at which he was an usher. Wedding notices are very thorough and there is lots of coverage of the local National Guard and military units — so my great-uncle, his brother, gets lots of mentions there. The 1883 holiday plans of their brother who died at about eighteen merit a mention (though, oddly, I didn't find his 1885 death notice). And I didn't know their mother was interested in kindergarten-like activities, either! She attended a fundraiser or similar event for one in the late 1890s. The search also turned up death notices for three great-grandparents, including both Blackmans. The site is published by the Brooklyn Public Library but I generally get there through Rootsweb (, which has several other dynamite links. Brooklyn is a huge place and researchers need all the help they can get!

    A Note to Users

    We recently experienced technical difficulties on the website, which caused it to be unavailable for two days earlier this week. We believe the failure was due to the record high traffic we received over the weekend. As we discovered through a recent survey, members rate as their most important membership benefit. Clearly, members are using the website in record numbers, and we are striving to ensure that our systems will be able to meet demand in the future.

    The timing of the crash was particularly unfortunate, as it occurred when we were holding our Spring Warehouse Sale. If you attempted to place an order during this time and were unable to complete the transaction, please call our Member Services department at their toll-free number, 1-888-296-3447, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Eastern time), Monday through Friday. We apologize for this inconvenience and thank you for your patience.

    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

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