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  • 2003 Archive

  • Vol. 5, No. 21
    Whole #114
    May 16, 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 Article on
    • Service Interruption
    • NEHGS at the NGS Conference in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
    • Upcoming "Genealogy in a Nutshell" Lectures at the NEHGS Library
    • Special Hours in the NEHGS Research Library
    • Come Home to New England
    • Cemetery Research in New Hampshire, Part 1
    • A New Hereditary Order Honoring Presidents and First Ladies
    • Favorite — and Black Sheep — Ancestor Feedback
    • NEHGS Contact Information

    New Databases on

    Marriage Notices from the New York Evening Post, 1801–1890

    Marriage Notices from the New York Evening Post, 1801–1890, contains thousands of marriage notices published in this newspaper for most of the nineteenth century. Transcriptionist Gertrude A. Barber compiled these records between 1933 and 1948. This typescript comprises twenty-three volumes, and we present them here in a fully searchable electronic format for the first time.

    Search Marriage Notices from the New York Evening Post, 1801–1890 at

    Massachusetts and Maine 1798 Direct Tax

    The newest addition to this ongoing database is Worcester County, Massachusetts (Division 7, Volumes XIV-XVI). Towns included in this update are:

    Harvard, Berlin, Bolton, Lancaster, Sterling, Fitchburg, Lunenburg, Leominster, Ashburnham, Westminster, Gardner, Templeton, Royalston, Winchendon, Petersham, Athol, Gerry, Hardwick, Oakham, New Braintree, Barre, Hubbardston, Rutland, Holden, Princeton, Western, Brookfield, Leicester, Paxton, Spencer, Worcester, Ward, Sutton, Oxford, Uxbridge, Northbridge, Douglass, Mendon, Milford, Upton, Grafton, Westborough, Southborough, Shrewsbury, Boylston, Northborough, Dudley, Charlton, and Sturbridge.

    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

    The Diaries of Rev. Thomas Cary of Newburyport, Massachusetts — 1774

    Rev. Thomas Cary (1745–1808) was one of the ministers along the Merrimack River who encouraged the patriotism of parishioners during the Revolutionary War. He started his diary in Weston, Massachusetts, in 1762 and continued writing until 1806. This installment includes his observations from the year 1774.

    Search the Diaries of the Rev. Thomas Cary at

    Cemetery Transcriptions from the NEHGS Manuscript Collections

    This week we have added transcriptions from the Mt. Pleasant Cemetery in Harwichport, Massachusetts, and cemeteries in Guysboro County, Nova Scotia — records taken from gravestones in Isaac's Harbour, North Isaac's Harbour, Port Hillford [formerly Indian Harbour], Cherry Hill, Port Hillford, Roods' Hill, Port Hillford, Sonora [St. Mary's], and various villages in the county of Guysboro.

    Search Cemetery Transcriptions from the NEHGS Manuscript Collections at

    Master Search

    Master search all databases at

    New Research Article on

    Ancestral History in Massachusetts
    By Maureen A. Taylor

    Genealogical research fills in the branches on your family tree, but does it help you understand your ancestors’ daily lives in Massachusetts? Probably not. Social history picks up where records research ends and enables you to learn about the times in which your ancestors lived. Re-creating their lives is an exciting pursuit and can actually uncover new avenues of research for you to add to your family tree. Social history is the study of everyday life and in order to learn more about your relatives you will want to look at photographs of people and places as well as study their hometowns, jobs, and what their home life was like. Here are some time-tested ways to do just that.

    View the full article at

    Service Interruption on

    As you may have noticed, was down on Tuesday, May 13, from approximately 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. As reported by the Associated Press, the outage was the direct result of a fiber cut caused by a work crew associated with the Boston's massive "Big Dig" construction project. The crew accidentally severed a conduit that contained fiber-optic cable, and resulted in lost or impaired local, long distance, and data service to many Boston-based customers. Other major websites, such as, the website of The Boston Globe, were also down.

    We apologize for the downtime, and want to assure members that maintaining is a top priority for the New England Historic Genealogical Society.

    NEHGS at the NGS Conference in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
    May 28–31, 2003

    The National Genealogical Society conference will be held at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, (1000 Ft. Duquesne Blvd.), in Pittsburgh from May 28 to 31. If you are attending the conference, you can hear several different lectures by two NEHGS staff members:

    Michael J. Leclerc, NEHGS electronic publications director, will speak on
    • "New England Online: Finding Your Ancestors at" on Wednesday, May 28.

    Henry B. Hoff, editor of the Register, will present
    • "Researching a 'Typical' Family in Colonial New York" on Thursday, May 29
    • "There Must be Something in Print: Effective Research in Secondary Sources" on Saturday, May 31
    • The NEHGS luncheon talk, "My Ten Worst Mistakes in Genealogy" on Wednesday, May 28.

    To highlight the wide variety of resources on our website,, we will be offering website demonstrations throughout the day. We'd also like to get your feedback on Please join us to share your thoughts about the website in the Washington Room on the second floor of the Westin Convention Center Hotel on Thursday, at 10:30 or 2:30; Friday, at 10:30 or 2:30; or Saturday at 10:30. For space planning purposes, we'd like to know if you will be attending a focus group; please email or call 1-617-226-1210 to RSVP. Focus group participants will receive a coupon good for 10% off in the NEHGS store.

    Whether or not you are registered for the conference, you are invited to visit the NEHGS booth (#303) in the exhibit hall at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. This is your chance to see the most recent NEHGS books, such as The Great Migration: Immigrants to New England, 1634–1635, Vol. III, as well as the latest NEHGS CDs: The Corbin Collection, Volume 1: Records of Hampshire County, Mass., and Records of the Colony and State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. You can also meet the following authors at the book signings at the NEHGS booth:

    Thursday, May 29th:

    10:30 – 11 a.m. Sharon DeBartolo Carmack
    author of Your Guide to Cemetery Research, My Wild Irish Rose: The Life of Rose (Norris) (O'Connor) Fitzhugh and her mother Delia (Gordon) Norris, Italians in Transition: The Vallarelli Family of Terlizzi, Italy, and Westchester County, New York, and the DeBartolo Family of Terlizzi, Italy, and New York, and San Francisco, California, and more.

    2 – 2:30 p.m. Patricia Law Hatcher
    author of Locating Your Roots: Discover Your Ancestors Using Land Records and Producing a Quality Family History

    Friday, May 30th:

    10:30 – 11 a.m. Henry B. Hoff
    editor of the Register and editor of Genealogical Writing in the 21st Century: A Guide to Register Style and More

    1:30 – 2:30 p.m. Robert Charles Anderson
    director of the Great Migration Study Project, and editor of six Great Migration volumes, including the most recent, The Great Migration: Immigrants to New England, 1634-1635, Vol. III, G–H

    3:30 – 4 p.m. Rhonda McClure,
    author of The Genealogist's Computer Companion and The Complete Idiot's Guide to Online Genealogy

    Saturday, May 31st:

    10:30 – 11 a.m. Tony Burroughs
    author of Black Roots: A Beginner's Guide to Tracing the African American Family Tree

    1:30 – 2:30 p.m. Maureen A. Taylor
    author of Uncovering Your Ancestry Through Family Photographs and Preserving Your Family Photographs

    Visit the exhibit hall during these hours:

    Wednesday, May 28, 10:00 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.
    Thursday, May 29, 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
    Friday, May 30, 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
    Saturday, May 31, 8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

    If you would like information about attending the conference, you can contact the National Genealogical Society at 1-703-525-0050 or visit If you would like to contact the New England Historic Genealogical Society about its participation in the NGS conference, please call 1-617-226-1210 or email

    We hope to see you in Pittsburgh!

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

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

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

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

    • "Researching Your Civil War Union Ancestor" by David Allen Lambert on Wednesday, May 28 and Saturday, May 31

    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.

    Special Hours in the NEHGS Research Library

    Please note that the NEHGS Research Library will be closed on Saturday, May 24, in observance of Memorial Day. NEHGS offices will also be closed on Memorial Day, Monday, May 26.

    Also, keep in mind that the research library will be open on Sundays from 12 to 5 p.m. from July 13 to August 24. NEHGS members may bring a guest for free on Sundays.

    Come Home to New England
    August 3–10, 2003

    Add this classic NEHGS program to your summer plans and “Come Home to New England,” from August 3–10, 2003. This intensive week-long program is a special opportunity for all serious genealogists to immerse themselves in their research. The instruction and guidance that participants receive from our staff during this program will widely extend the scope of research possibilities and offer many opportunities to mingle with fellow genealogists, making the week both fun-filled and highly productive!

    The program features:

    • A small group (around thirty-five people), which allows for plenty of individual attention
    • Thorough orientation of all four floors of the library
    • Daily morning lectures on genealogical research and methodology
    • Exclusive extended research hours in the library
    • Private consultations with NEHGS librarians
    • A chance to meet other genealogists
    • Quality accommodations at the John Hancock Conference Center, just a short distance from the NEHGS Library

    See what previous “Come Home” attendees have said:

    “The librarians had wonderful knowledge to draw on. They were so willing to share many good leads. I feel very comfortable [in the library] now and could walk in and feel right at home. You provided a positive and supportive atmosphere. Thank you for a wonderful, productive, “learning” week. I especially appreciated the extra time the staff spent with us.”

    “The preparation the librarians had done on our queries was great. They pointed me in the direction I would have had a hard time finding by myself. Every staff member and librarian seemed willing to go out of his or her way to help. I have never had such a friendly, helpful and productive experience. Better than the Newberry Library and Salt Lake. I had an absolutely marvelous week. To have access to so much material was fantastic. I am so glad I joined NEHGS.”

    Program fees: $1050 double; $1495 single; $600 commuter rate.

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


    Cemetery Research in New Hampshire, Part 1
    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.

    The first challenge is that of locating the grave for a given ancestor. The usual place to start is the location where your ancestor was last known to be, and certainly the location of residence at the time of death if known. Often the death certificate will list the place of interment, and published family genealogies and town histories are another source for burial information. Most early New Hampshire towns had a cemetery associated with the church. Burial records are available for some church cemeteries, and helpful in determining burial locations if the individual's church affiliation is known. The simplest procedure is to contact the church directly, but be aware that some early church records are housed in historical society collections, sometimes not known to church officials. Don't give up easily.

    Burial customs in the early days did not dictate burial in a cemetery, making family burial plots quite common. Sometimes these family plots are found in deplorable condition. An example, found on the web, is William Meacham's discovery and subsequent restoration of two family plots in Kentucky. Unfortunately, such conditions befall family plots in New Hampshire as well.

    Each town established other burial grounds as needed in the development of the town. The records of the establishment can be found in the early town record books. There is no index to assist in this type of research, but reading the records of a given town will give clues to what cemeteries were established at what time in that locale. Microfilmed copies of these sources are on file at the New Hampshire State Library, 20 Park St., Concord, NH, 03301, or through the numerous Family History Centers of the Church of Latter-day Saints. The index to the town records is available at the NEHGS Library located at 101 Newbury Street in Boston, MA, 02116, and the DAR Library located at 1776 D Street, NW, Washington, DC 20006-5303. (See "Early New Hampshire Town Records," by Edward F. Holden on Each town was responsible for any records, (or the absence thereof) regarding burials in a town cemetery, and there is a wide discrepancy in cemetery records from town to town.

    Obituaries frequently contain the name of the undertaker who handled arrangements for the family. Many old and most of the more recent newspapers have been microfilmed and are available through libraries and research centers across the country, while the early New Hampshire papers are available at the New Hampshire State Library. If the researcher is fortunate enough to have an ancestor who was interred by an undertaker that is still in business, there will likely be burial records available to assist in the search through that source. Refer to the American Blue Book of Funeral Directors, available in most public libraries' reference section for contact information. When a funeral home no longer exists, check with local historical societies and libraries to see if the location of their records may be determined. All of this adds to the complexity of finding any given ancestor's resting place!

    See Part 2 of this article in next week's eNews.

    This article, plus over a hundred other articles, are available to NEHGS members online at /articles/research/ .

    A New Hereditary Order Honoring Presidents and First Ladies

    NEHGS member Jim Raywalt sent us notification of a new hereditary society that he has helped to found:



    "Thirteen individuals met April 6, 2003, to launch a new society, entitled The Hereditary Order of the Families of the Presidents and First Ladies of America. The society seeks to honor presidents and first ladies of the United States and its constituent predecessors, including the Republics of Texas, California and West Florida, the CSA, and the US under the Articles of Confederation.

    "Meeting at the historic Woodrow Wilson House in Washington, DC, the founders adopted rules of admission that set the new order apart from many other heritage societies. 'We are trying to be inclusive and to encourage new genealogical research,' said the new society's president James Raywalt. 'We want to honor the first ladies and encourage research into their ancestries, which are not nearly as well documented as the presidents. We want to establish lines to the leaders of the republics that came together to form the US as we now know it. And we will accept cousinship — to any degree — as well as direct, lineal, or collateral descent, from a president or first lady.' As a result, Raywalt estimates that hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of Americans may qualify for membership in the new society. Raywalt himself has already established cousin relationships with an amazing eighteen presidents and first ladies.

    "The closest relationship established so far in the society is that of the order's vice president, Llewellyn Morgan Toulmin. He says, 'I am lucky to be the third great grand-nephew of President William Henry Harrison, and am a lineal descendant of William's father, Benjamin Harrison, a signer of the Declaration of Independence. But in the Order of Presidents and First Ladies, we hope to recruit even closer relations. For example, any descendant of any recent president or first lady is eligible, as are any living presidents or first ladies. Who knows whom we might be able to recruit?'"

    Individuals interested in the new society may contact Jim Raywalt at 301-352-2919, 7916 Quill Point Dr., Bowie, MD 20720-4391, or"

    Favorite — and Black Sheep — Ancestor Feedback

    Here is the latest reader submission to the questions "Who is your favorite ancestor? Who is your favorite black sheep ancestor? Why?" If you would like to contribute information on your favorite and/or black sheep ancestor, please send your story in 300 words or less to Lynn Betlock at Thank you to all past and future contributors!

    Ancestors, Descendants, and Other Relatives
    by Grace Morse Sargent of Hancock, New Hampshire

    I cannot count how many times I have been asked “Are you related to Samuel F.B. Morse?” Before I became involved in genealogical research, I really did not know how to answer the question. Now after thirty-eight years of studying my own family history and that of my children, I can answer the question with certainty. No, I am not a descendant of the artist and inventor, sometimes called “the American Leonardo,” nor am I related to him.

    I was born a Morse, a descendant of Samuel Morse who came on the ship Increase from Dedham, England, in 1639, and settled in Dedham, Massachusetts. Samuel F. B. Morse is a descendant of Anthony Morse who was born in Marlborough, Wiltshire, England, and came to America on the ship James in 1635. Samuel F.B. Morse is a second great-grandson of Anthony Morse, through his sons Peter, John, Jedediah(1), and Jedediah(2). It has been thought by some that Anthony Morse and Samuel Morse were brothers, but it has not been proven, so we must assume they were not related. This is why I know I am not related to Samuel F.B. Morse.

    Now here is where it gets interesting. I thought it was fun discovering my ancestors, but the fun is doubled in finding my children’s ancestors. My children are related to Samuel F.B. Morse. As a student of genealogy, I am compelled by my curiosity to search out my children’s ancestors, as much as (or more than) my own. I have learned that my children have, through their father’s ancestry, a seventh great grandmother whose name is Sarah Morse. Of course, I had to find out who Sarah Morse was. Now after all these years of being asked my relationship to Samuel F.B. Morse, I can answer, “No, I am not related to him, but my children are!” This is because their ancestor, Sarah Morse, is a granddaughter of Anthony, the daughter of Anthony’s son Benjamin, who is the brother of Samuel F.B. Morse’s great-grandfather Peter Morse. Well, of course this is pretty distant . . . but nevertheless, the truth is my children are related to, although not descendants of, Samuel Morse, the inventor of the telegraph!

    I happen to be one who enjoys putting puzzles of all kinds together. My interest in family history has me putting together genealogical charts, and then solving the obvious puzzles which show how parents, siblings, and cousins connect throughout the family tree. As I take great interest in finding each new surname in my family’s genealogy, I like to figure out just how various branches of the family tree connect. It seems that it is a chore, and one that many find futile — to correctly label a cousin as a first, second or third, etc., or to figure how many times “removed” these cousins are. When it comes to ancestors, or relatives (notable or not) I feel compelled once more, to set myself and everyone else straight on the technically correct relationships. So even though my family members may not be as interested as I am in these details at this point in time, I plan to “get it all down on paper” for future use by any who may become more interested when I am no longer here. I feel good about leaving genealogical research results for my descendants when I join the ranks of our ancestors.

    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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