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  • 2003 Archive

  •  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
    • Last Day for Sale Prices on Great Migration Volumes is June 30!
    • Meet "Pilgrim Life" Columnist Jeremy Bangs at NEHGS on June 25
    • Summer Conference Announcements and Program Highlights
    • Special Rates for NEHGS Members at the Charlesmark Hotel
    • Coming Soon in the Summer 2003 Issue of New England Ancestors
    • Special Hours in the NEHGS Research Library
    • Demystifying The Circulating Library's Call Numbers
    • Upcoming "Genealogy in a Nutshell" Lectures at the NEHGS Library
    • Join NEHGS in London!
    • Favorite — and Black Sheep — Ancestor Feedback
    • NEHGS Contact Information

    New Databases on

    Vital Records of Augusta, Maine, to the Year 1892

    The area now known as Augusta was first incorporated as a part of Hallowell. It was set off from Hallowell and incorporated as Harrington in 1797, and named Augusta later the same year. It became the shire town of Kennebec County in 1798, and the capital of Maine in 1828. Augusta was incorporated as a city in 1849.

    These vital records were edited by Ethel Colby Conant and published by the Maine Historical Society in two volumes.

    Search the Vital Records of Augusta, Maine at

    Marriages and Deaths from The Springfield [MA] Republican — 1847

    The Springfield Republican was established in 1824 by Samuel Bowles. It originally began as a weekly, but became a daily in 1844, under the guidance of Bowles's son, Samuel Bowles II. The Republican soon became one of New England's most respected and popular newspapers, due in no small part to its political commentary. The feisty Bowles was regarded as one of the country's great editors, despite being described as tyrannical by his enemies, of whom there were many. On his deathbed, Bowles said: "I may die but The Republican will live," and upon his death in 1877, his son took over the paper and ran it until 1915. Although absorbed by the Springfield Union-News in 1987, the paper does indeed live on to this day.

    Search Marriages and Deaths from The Springfield Republican at

    John Hill of Dorchester, Mass., 1633, and Five Generations of His Descendants

    This family genealogy was compiled and edited by J. Gardner Bartlett and published in 1904. The full title is John Hill of Dorchester Mass., 1633, and five generations of his descendants, also ancestral lines of some families intermarried with his descendants and colonial and revolutionary records pertaining to them, also an account of the Hill family of Poundsford, Somersetshire, England.

    From the introduction:

    "In 1898, Mr. Lew C. Hill of Boston, a descendant of John(1) Hill of Dorchester, compiled . . . an account of his branch of the family, together with ancestral lines of various other families from which he is descended, and had typewritten a small edition of the same for private distribution. Mr. Hill being desirous of having published an accurate and complete account, derived from original records, of John (1) Hill and five generations of his descendants, engaged the writer to compile the genealogy which was edited and published by the New England Historic Genealogical Society in 1904, in the April and July numbers of the REGISTER. This genealogy has been reprinted and forms the first part of this volume. In addition, Mr. Hill desired to have traced the ancestral lines in the various other families from which he and his wife descend, and the results form the second and third parts of this work."

    Search the Hill Genealogy at

    Cemetery Transcriptions from the NEHGS Manuscript Collections

    This week we have added transcriptions from several cemeteries in the town of Saco, York County, Maine. These records are from a transcription done by J.E. Frost in 1970 titled "Saco, Maine, Record Book," which is kept in the R. Stanton Avery Collections Department at NEHGS. The following cemeteries and lots are included:

    Boothby Lot, North Side; Boothby Lot, Smutty Lane Road; Boothby Lot, South Side, Burnham Lot; Cleaves Lot; Collins Lot; Dearing Lot; Edgecomb Lot; Fogg Lot, East Side; Fogg Lot, West Side; Foss Lot, South Side; Foss Lot, West Side; Googins Lot; Grace Lot, East Side; Grace Lot, West Side; Haines Lot; Harmon Lot; Hearn Lot; Hill Lot #1; Hill Lot #2; Hopkinson Lot; Jose Lot; Knox Lot; Ladd Lot; Laurel Hill Cemetery; Libby Lot, East Side; Libby Lot, North Side; Libby Lot, West Side; Louden Road Burial Plot; Lowell Lot; McKenney Lot, East Side; McKenney Lot, South Side; Merrill Lot, North Side; Merrill Lot, West Side; Milliken Lot #1; Milliken Lot #2; Milliken Lot #3; Milliken Lot, West Side; Old Saco Cemetery #1; Old Saco Cemetery #2; Parcher Lot; Patterson Lot, South Side; Patterson Lot, West Side; Phillips Lot; Simpson Lot; Sinnott Lot; Sylley Lot; Tyler Lot; Webster Lot; and Whitten Lot.

    Search Cemetery Transcriptions from the NEHGS Manuscript Collections at

    Master Search

    Master search all databases at

    New Research Articles on

    New Hampshire
    Researching Court Records in New Hampshire
    By Sherry L. Gould

    "Court records can offer an abundance of information to assist the family historian. The type of court records you may expect to find are civil, criminal, or probate. Ancestors may appear in these records as defendants, plaintiffs, jurors, or witnesses. They may have been appointed by the court to take an inventory of an estate, or they may have had their own estate inventoried. They may have been involved in cases concerning divorce, adoption, guardianship, deed disputes, or have been appointed to public office. These records fill in details of an ancestor’s life that may not be available through any other source. They can tell the location of an individual or their occupation and sometimes help with their relationship to others. The absence of court records tells a story about an ancestor as well. Of course it takes a search to determine whether court records exist for an individual or not. How to go about that search is the purpose of this article. As with other genealogical pursuits, a brief history of New Hampshire courts will be helpful in knowing where to look for your ancestral stories."

    Read the full article at

    Computer Genealogist
    Genealogy and the Digital Age: A Few Things You Should Know
    By Maureen A. Taylor

    "Many genealogists are technologically savvy. They use microfilm and microfiche readers, search the Internet, and scan documents and pictures into their computers. Some researchers even use handheld scanning devices and digital cameras. There is an incredible diversity of gadgets and tools available for use by family historians. Here’s an overview of some new ways to join the digital age without emptying your bank account."

    Read the full article at


    Last Day for Sale Prices on Great Migration Volumes is June 30!

    One week remains! The special introductory price on The Great Migration: Immigrants to New England 1634–1635, Volume III, G-H is available only through Monday, June 30th. Don't miss this chance to save $5 off the list price. Special sale prices on the other Great Migration products also end after June 30. Order from or call our member services department toll-free at 1-888-296-3447 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Eastern time), Monday through Friday.

    The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England 1620–1633
    $125.00 sale price $99.00

    The Great Migration Begins on CD-ROM for Windows
    $59.95 sale price $54.95

    The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England 1634–1635 Volume I: A-B
    $59.95 sale price $54.95

    The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England 1634–1635 Volume II: C-F
    $59.95 sale price $54.95

    The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England 1634–1635 Volume III: G-H
    $59.95 sale price $54.95

    Meet "Pilgrim Life" Columnist Jeremy Bangs at NEHGS on June 25

    Pilgrim scholar and author Jeremy Bangs will present a special lecture on "Pilgrim Edward Winslow: New England's First International Diplomat" at NEHGS on Wednesday, June 25. A reception will be held at 5:30 and Dr. Bangs will speak at 6 p.m. The lecture is free and open to the public.

    From his home in the Netherlands, Dr. Bangs writes a regular column, "Pilgrim Life," for New England Ancestors magazine. Dr. Bangs is the author of Indian Deeds: Land Transactions in Plymouth Colony, 1620–1691 and a three-volume series, Seventeenth-Century Records of the Town of Scituate, Massachusetts.

    Summer Conference Announcements and Program Highlights


    The John Hancock Conference Center has reached its capacity for accommodating overnight guests for some of the summer conference dates. If you have not yet made a reservation and are coming in from out of town and need accommodations, the NEHGS website lists alternatives at

    The Boston Summer Conference will be held on Friday and Saturday, July 11 & 12. In the next few issues of the eNews we'll offer some highlights of the summer conference speakers and their topics. Watch for additional updates or visit our website at for full conference details.

    Program highlights

    Migration! It's a topic that intrigues genealogists because at least one person in your lineage migrated from one place to another — and probably many, many more! At the summer conference you will learn what motivated early settlers to move around New England as Ralph J. Crandall, executive director of NEHGS, presents "Geography, Religion, and Warfare: Why People Moved Within Colonial New England." Religious and economic factors influenced how people and even entire communities moved outward from original port cities and into new territories. Migration routes and destinations were affected by geographic features, hostile Indians, and the religious ideals of the period. Wars often halted or reversed migration trends. Why did your ancestors settle in a certain locale? Find out more at the opening session on Friday, July 11.

    If your ancestors moved outside of New England, you may want to hear David C. Dearborn discuss one of his specialties, "Migration out of New England." He deals primarily with the time period between the Revolution and the Civil War, when out-migration was at its peak, and traditionally, the time when most genealogists get stuck. Emphasis is placed on particular migration trails and patterns, linking specific towns and areas of New England with these trails and periods of movement.

    Next week: In which state is information on your ancestor difficult to find? We'll give highlights of several talks targeted at each New England state and New York.

    Special Rates for NEHGS Members at the Charlesmark Hotel

    We are pleased to announce a new agreement that will provide NEHGS members with discounted rates at the Charlesmark Hotel, located just three blocks from NEHGS. Originally built in 1892 as a private residence, the Charlesmark Hotel is situated in the heart of the Back Bay, directly across from the Boston Public Library and the Copley subway station. While the rooms are small, this newly-opened hotel offers a variety of amenities, including beautifully decorated rooms, complimentary use of a computer with printer and high speed Internet access, complimentary continental breakfast from 7 to 10:30 a.m., a mini-refrigerator with complimentary bottled water, free local phone calls, individual climate controls, and complimentary satellite television.

    As anyone who has visited Boston can attest, the hotel rates tend to be expensive. The agreement with the Charlesmark, which is effective immediately, provides NEHGS members with reasonable rates in an outstanding location. The hotel was selected as a 2003 Yankee Magazine "Editor's Pick" and it received three diamonds in the AAA Tour Book.

    The rates for NEHGS members are as follows:
    December, January, February $99
    March–August $119
    September, October, November $139
    Prices quoted are for a standard room with one double bed plus 12.45 % tax.

    To receive these special rates, identify yourself as a NEHGS member when contacting the Charlesmark for reservations, and expect to show your NEHGS membership card upon arrival.

    For more information about the Charlesmark Hotel, please call 617-247-1212 or visit

    Coming Soon in the Summer 2003 Issue of New England Ancestors

    Lynn Betlock discusses a variety of records and resources useful in researching New England seafaring ancestors.

    Also on a maritime theme, Thomas C. Hoffelder presents a case study that illustrates the discoveries made as a result of tracing the Kate Dyer, a Portland, Maine, ship owned by his wife's family.

    Richard H. Benson explores the differences between genealogical research in colonial New England and New York.

    Maureen A. Taylor describes the Avery family papers, a manuscript collection at NEHGS.

    Arthur and Sybil Kern highlight the genealogical value of a Cory family mourning picture.

    NEHGS collections maintenance assistant Deborah L. Rossi provides readers with a step-by-step demonstration of how a book in the library collections is repaired.

    Also in this issue . . .
    • New England Online: Searchable Databases on
    • The Computer Genealogist: Genealogy and the Digital Age
    • Computer Genealogist Spotlight: Late 19th Century Atlases of Massachusetts Counties
    • Genetics & Genealogy: Was "Woburn John" Comins Kin of Isaac (1) Cummings?
    • Manuscripts at NEHGS: A Glimpse at the Manuscript Collections Currently Being Prepared for Member Use
    • Pilgrim Life: Mayflower Compact — A Dissenting View, Part One

    And, as always, news of NEHGS and the world of genealogy, upcoming NEHGS programs and tours, new publications, and notices of family association events, genealogies in progress, genealogies and other books recently published, and member queries.

    Subscription to New England Ancestors is a benefit of NEHGS membership. If you are not a member, you may join online at, or call toll-free 1-888-296-3447, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, Eastern time.

    Special Hours in the NEHGS Research Library

    Please note that the NEHGS Research Library will be closed from 5 p.m. on Thursday, July 3 until Tuesday, July 8 in observance of Independence Day.

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

    If you have any questions about library hours, please email

    Demystifying The Circulating Library's Call Numbers
    By Alexander Woodle, Circulating Library Director

    Many members have written or called to ask about the Library of Congress (LOC) book classification scheme we employ to organize our shelves. This is a basic primer to help you make sense out of the alphanumeric soup.

    Generally the LOC system goes from A to Z with the addition of numerous subclasses. Subclass CS is genealogy. All of the family genealogies are CS71. The call number for the Stone family is CS71/S88. The "S" is for the first initial of the surname and the number "88" is the number assigned to the name Stone. The call number CS71/S88/1866 refers to a Stone genealogy first published in 1866. Similarly, the call number CS71/B847/1996 is a Brewer family genealogy published in 1996. Volume 1 of the Circulating Library catalog is arranged alphabetically for quick, easy look-ups.

    The other major classification genealogists use begins with the letter "F". The Library of Congress labels F1 through F957 as United States Local History. This is further broken down as follows:

    F1–F15 New England
    F16–F30 Maine
    F31–F45 New Hampshire
    F46–F60 Vermont
    F61–F75 Massachusetts
    F76–F90 Rhode Island
    F91–F105 Connecticut
    F116–130 New York
    F131–F145 New Jersey
    F146–F160 Pennsylvania

    Next week, we will take a more in-depth look at how U. S. Local History books are catalogued. If this is a subject you want to pursue on your own, try this website:

    As always, if you have any questions, please call toll-free 1-888-296-3447, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Eastern time) or email To learn more about the circulating library and borrow books online, please visit

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

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

    • "Searching Compiled Genealogies to Prevent Duplication" by Christopher Hartman on Saturday, June 21

    • "Gems of the NEHGS Manuscript Collection" by Timothy Salls on Wednesday, June 25 and Saturday, June 28

    • "The Archives of the Catholic Archdiocese of Boston" by Robert Johnson-Lally on Wednesday, July 2

    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 our member services department toll-free at 1-888-296-3447 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Eastern time), Monday through Friday.

    Join NEHGS in London!
    September–October 2003

    Do you have English ancestors you would like to research on site in London with the aid of several professional researchers? If the answer is "yes," please join NEHGS on our second London Genealogical Study Tour, to be held from September 23 through October 4, 2003. By all accounts we had a productive and highly enjoyable time on the tour last fall and look forward to another successful year. I am pleased to report that John Titford has put together a superb program to again explore "archival treasures second to none." Whether you have English lines you have not begun to trace or ancestors not treated in the Great Migration Study Project, I am sure you will have a wonderful experience on this tour. This year attendees will benefit from expanded tutorial assistance from our highly respected team of professional English researchers, including John Titford, Michael Gandy, Paul Blake, and Geoff Swinfield, as we peruse the collections of the Society of Genealogists, Public Record Office (now known as the National Archives), British Library, Institute of Historical Research, Family Records Centre, Guildhall Library, and more.

    And, incidentally, airfares to London have never been better! Take advantage of unprecedented travel savings now.

    Every morning we will start our day with an English breakfast followed by a group meeting or class. These sessions will be held at the Academy facilities conveniently located within our hotel. You will then have a choice of outstanding research repositories to visit. This year, we will have an extra research day as we have planned our sightseeing trip for a Sunday, rather than Saturday, so as to maximize your research time.

    A few of the highlights you won't want to miss will include:

    • A rare and exclusive option to visit the College of Arms with a guided tour by the Norroy and Ulster King of Arms.

    • A sure-to-be delicious luncheon on board the HQS Wellington moored upon the Thames.

    • A delightful motor trip through picturesque Kent to the exquisitely beautiful Leeds Castle (with high tea served in the afternoon at a charming English tea room en route).

    • A special NEHGS dinner at the famous Poon's Chinese restaurant near our hotel.

    • On Saturday night, September 27, you will be treated to dinner at our hotel followed by entertainment by "Strawhead," a popular trio who will acquaint us with a selection of English songs dating from the sixteenth to nineteenth centuries.

    A few other "extras" to note as you consider arriving in London before the tour officially begins:

    • On Saturday, September 20, the Public Record Office (National Archives) at Kew will feature a special open house and tour for the public. For more information, see

    • During the same weekend, the Chelsea Antiques Show will be held in London — the quintessential English antiques show, it is definitely worth a visit.

    • On Sunday, September 21, a small group of us, led by NEHGS councilor Sandi Hewlett, will attend morning services at the Chapel Royal of St. Peter ad Vincula at the Tower of London. (Sandi had many successes last year on the tour researching her ancestor, George Stacey, who was Chief Storekeeper, Ordnance, of the Tower of London from 1830 to 1858).

    Won't you join us? Your tuition for the study tour helps support NEHGS and its many activities.

    If I can answer any questions about the tour, please feel free to call (617-226-1203) or email ( me. Or, if you would like to reserve your space/s on the tour, please contact tours coordinator Amanda Batey at or at 617-226-1226.

    Hoping to see you in London in September!

    D. Brenton Simons, Tour Host

    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!

    My Black Sheep Ancestor
    by Corlyn Holbrook Adams of Fort Worth, Texas

    Are you afraid you will find a murderer? My answer is, I already have! My great grandmother's brother was about sixteen and living with his parents in Parawan, Utah, in 1867. Two teams of horses belonging to his father were stolen and Tom was quick to accuse an Indian and ready for revenge. He took his father's pistol to look for the first Indian he could find.

    Simeon, a friendly Piute, crossed Tom's path. Using his father's Navy Colt he shot Simeon in the head, feeling retaliation was complete. When the law found Simeon missing it seemed likely that Tom was at the bottom of this crime. Simeon was found in a shallow grave and his head removed to get the slug and it was from a Navy Colt.

    A trial soon started and Tom was in court. Unfortunately for him, Erastus Snow, Apostle of the Mormon Church was in town and gave two rousing oratories about indiscriminate killing of Indians. He said, "We generally condemn all Indians for the hostile acts of a few and this is not right or just. This case calls for some steps to be taken or the Indians, friendly or not, will be shot down like wolves on the prairie." The courts decided to make an example of the sixteen year old. His witnesses were not believed and his parents denied the right to testify.

    The judge admonished the jury to find him guilty and suggested a strong sentence to deter others from murdering Indians. He was found guilty but the jury paid little attention to the judge regarding the sentence. They gave him ten years in the Utah State Prison. After serving six months, the governor commuted his sentence. The publicity and trial served to curb the murder of Indians.

    NEHGS Contact Information

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