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  • 2003 Archive

  • Vol. 5, No. 27
    Whole #120
    June 27, 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
    • Great Migration Sale Ends June 30!
    • Ask a Librarian Answers Your Questions!
    • Newbury Street Press Featured Product: The Nash Family of Weymouth, Massachusetts
    • Summer 2003 New England Ancestors Magazine Now on
    • Special Hours in the NEHGS Research Library
    • Summer Conference Announcements and Program Highlights
    • From the Volunteer Coordinator
    • Demystifying The Circulating Library's Call Numbers, Part II
    • Upcoming "Genealogy in a Nutshell" Lectures at the NEHGS Library
    • Come Home to New England — August 3–10, 2003
    • The Shapleigh Family Association & Annual Family Reunion
    • Favorite — and Black Sheep — Ancestor Feedback
    • NEHGS Contact Information

    New Databases on

    History and Church Records of East Kingston, New Hampshire

    These records were presented to NEHGS by by Mrs. James J. Gilligan, of Concord, New Hampshire in 1928. The original manuscript contains three types of data — early town history, epitaphs from the Old Cemetery in East Kingston, and lastly, church records of East Kingston. This database only contains the history and church records from the original text. The cemetery records have been placed in our cemetery transcriptions database.

    Search History and Church Records of East Kingston, New Hampshire at

    Family Genealogy: Thomas Boyden and His Descendants (1901)

    This family genealogy was compiled by Wallace C. Boyden, Merrill N. Boyden, and Amos J. Boyden. It was privately published in 1901.

    Thomas Boyden came to New England in the ship Francis, from Ipswich, Suffolk County, England, in April 1634. Although the Boyden name was long established in England, the authors could find no information regarding the parentage, birthplace, or history of Thomas previous to his arrival in New England. Additionally, no mention of that period of his life has appeared in any existing records of the several Massachusetts towns where he resided (Scituate, Watertown, Boston, Groton, and Medfield). He was married to Frances (___), and they had six children. Frances died in 1658, and later that same year Thomas married Hannah (Phillips) Morse, who died in 1676. In 1682 Thomas was chosen to be "tithing-man" in Medfield, after which there is no further record of him. However, the authors were able to compile extensive information on the descendants of Thomas Boyden, which are traced in this genealogy.

    Search the Boyden Genealogy at

    Cemetery Transcriptions from the NEHGS Manuscript Collections

    This week we have added transcriptions from the Tarrytown Dutch Town Cemetery in Tarrytown, Westchester County, New York and the Old Cemetery in East Kingston, New Hampshire.

    Search Cemetery Transcriptions from the NEHGS Manuscript Collections at

    Master Search

    Master search all databases at

    New Research Article on

    Vermont Research Facilities Profile Series
    Part 3: The Bennington Museum

    By Scott Andrew Bartley

    "The Bennington Museum opened in 1928, but traces its origins to 1876, when the Bennington Historical Society was chartered with aspirations to open a museum. It is located one mile west of the intersection of Routes 7 and 9 in downtown Bennington on West Main Street. Best known for the largest public collection of Grandma Moses paintings and memorabilia, it is much more than that. It is one of the finest regional art museums in New England and one of the largest genealogical and historical libraries in the state."

    Read the full article at

    Great Migration Sale Ends June 30!

    Monday is your last day to get big savings on Great Migration items! Save $5 on the brand new The Great Migration: Immigrants to New England 1634–1635, Volume III, G-H, and discounts on other Great Migration publications if you order before midnight (Eastern time), Monday, June 30th. These books won't be on sale again in the next year! 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
    List price $125
    Sale price $99
    Save $26!

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

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

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

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

    Ask a Librarian Answers Your Research Questions

    A new selection of "Ask a Librarian" questions and answers are now available to NEHGS members at "Ask a Librarian" is a monthly feature that enables NEHGS members to ask staff librarians questions about research methodology, localities, sources, NEHGS holdings, and much more! If you have a question for our experts, please take some time to read the guidelines below, then submit your question to!

    •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 assistance with these types of queries. You may also wish to post a query in the Discussion Forums at

    •Due to the high volume of questions submitted, please allow two to three months for questions to be answered. Because of their busy schedules, NEHGS librarians are only able to answer a certain percentage of questions. You will be notified if your question has been chosen for inclusion.

    •Answers to questions in the "Ask a Librarian" feature are available to NEHGS members only.

    Thank you for participating in "Ask a Librarian!"

    Here are the questions for this month:

    Marianne Gaertner asks:

    When I was in Boston visiting the library, I photocopied a page in the Essex County (Massachusetts) Probate Index. Now I would like to obtain copies of the probate records for several people listed. How do I go about requesting photocopies of the actual records that are on microfilm at NEHGS Library? It appears that the request form on the website is appropriate for book pages only.

    Lisa asks:

    I understand that many of the materials in the NEHGS manuscript collection are fragile and cannot be photocopied. Can one use a digital camera (no flash) to image pages from these materials?

    Jeffery Cooke asks:

    As a resident of the town of Orange, Massachusetts, I was recently talking to the town clerk. Her knowledge of my genealogy bug caused her to approach me in regard to preservation of the records. She had recently attended a seminar and at this event there was a booth set up by [company name deleted]. The town clerk obtained a quote from this company to preserve the town's vital and other records at [a cost of] approximately $25,000. As you must be aware, the local communities in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts are all in a fiscal crisis. I have taken on this project of finding funding for this project with the blessings of the town's administrator assistant. I have three questions for you:

    • Do you know of the company [name deleted] and how would you rate the company? We do not want to do harm to these irreplaceable records.
    • Do you have a list of other reputable companies that do record preservation?
    • Most important question — funding! I know that there must be grant money out there somewhere. Have you ever come across any grant money for this purpose? I need guidance as to where to start looking for any available grant money.

    I have never done any grant writing before. I am, however, willing to investigate and follow through on whatever is necessary for this project. Do you know how other towns are able to fund a preservation project? Any help in guidance and/or direction is greatly appreciated.

    Stuart Sherman asks:

    Was Bolton, Connecticut, a part of Hartford County during the years 1870 to 1890? If so, do you have any information as to which enumeration district (ED) it was listed under? If not, do you have information as to where it was listed?

    Lillian Dennis asks:

    Can someone please tell me if the city of Boston took any censuses during the period 1875–1899? If so, are they available? Where would I send for copies? What would be the charge?

    Robert A. Ferguson asks:

    Does the NEHGS have the "Genealogical Column of the Boston Transcript"? I do not see it in your Circulating Library catalog. Where may I find it?

    Anonymous asks:

    What are the best (most authoritative, detailed, easily accessible) sources for information on the families involved in the Salem Witch Trials?

    Find the answers at!


    Newbury Street Press Featured Product: The Nash Family of Weymouth, Massachusetts

    For the next few weeks we will be spotlighting selected books published by the Newbury Street Press. Featured NSP books will be available at discounted prices for a limited time.

    The Nash Family of Weymouth, Massachusetts, by Richard H. Benson

    An important addition to New England genealogical literature, this book presents an authoritative treatment of six generations of descendants of James and Alice (___) Nash of Boston and Weymouth, Massachusetts. Benson also discusses the immigrant couple's possible origins in Buckinghamshire. The book includes one map and an every-name/every-place index.

    The following review of The Nash Family of Weymouth, Massachusetts appeared in The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, 152 [1998]: 497:

    "This attractive genealogy treats the first six generations of the descendants of James and Alice (_____) Nash, who were in Weymouth by 1644. In the introduction, the author discusses the various theories identifying James Nash, culminating in his own 1997 Register article in which he tentatively identified them as James Nash and Alice Higgins, who were married in 1633/34 in Great Hampden, Buckinghamshire. The body of work gives the first three generations in all lines (including females) and the first six generations of Nashes. All seem to be quite completely accounted for in New England and New York, based on Mr. Benson's extensive research."

    Every statement is documented and the author shows his mettle by arguing that the wife of Joseph2 Nash probably was Grace2 Stoddard, thus challenging Donald Lines Jacobus's account of the Stoddard family. Understandably, sometimes the work of Cyrus Nash or Gilbert Nash, the two nineteenth-century family historians, is relied on heavily in the absence of other sources. The author discusses their work in the introduction, and notes that Cyrus Nash recorded "candid information" such as the mental derangement of Simeon3 Nash and Katherine4 Nash."

    Henry B. Hoff, C.G., F.A.S.G.,

    The Nash Family of Weymouth is on sale for $24 (regular price $32.50) until July 31.

    For more information, please visit

    Mr. Benson is also the author of The Barent Jacobsen Cool Family (NSP 2001) and The Benson Family of Colonial Massachusetts (NSP 2003), which are both also available for purchase from NEHGS.

    Summer 2003 New England Ancestors Magazine Now on

    The summer 2003 issue of New England Ancestors magazine has just been added to Don't miss featured articles on New England's seafaring ancestors, the differences between researching in New England and New York, a step-by-step demonstration of how a book in the library collections is repaired, a summary of databases on, and much more.

    While New England Ancestors magazine is a benefit of NEHGS membership, each issue posted online features select articles that are accessible to non-members as well. This week, non-members may preview

    •"Searchable Databases on A Complete Guide, Part One," by Rod D. Moody
    •"Now on CD-ROM: Records of the Colony and State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations," by Michael J. Leclerc

    NEHGS members may read this issue of New England Ancestors at


    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

    Summer Conference Announcements and Program Highlights II

    Is a particular state giving you trouble? Not sure where to turn next? If you're planning to attend this summer's conference in Boston, you'll see we've lined up a slate of speakers who specialize in researching specific states. These experts will introduce you to the resources and methods you need to conduct research in each state, tell you where to find available records and how to use them, discuss published and online sources, and much more. We're including a talk on research in every New England state and throwing in one about New York for good measure. The speakers and their topics include:

    "Genealogical Research in Colonial Connecticut"
    Barbara Jean Mathews, CG
    Friday at 11:30 a.m.

    "Make Boston the Hub for Your New England Research"
    Ruth Quigley Wellner
    Friday at 11:30 a.m.

    "Genealogical Research in the Granite State"
    George F. Sanborn Jr., FASG, FSA (Scot.)
    Friday at 2 p.m.

    "Researching Your Vermont Families"
    Scott Andrew Bartley
    Friday at 3:30 p.m.

    Connecting to Rhode Island
    Maureen A. Taylor
    Saturday at 9 a.m.

    Maine: Not as Difficult as You May Think
    David C. Dearborn, FASG
    Saturday at 2:00 p.m.

    Upstate New York Research
    Henry B. Hoff, CG, FASG
    Saturday at 10:15 a.m.

    Complete descriptions of many of these topics are available on the Summer Conference pages of at

    Reminder: 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 conference will take place at the John Hancock Conference Center in Boston's Back Bay on Friday and Saturday, July 11 & 12. Registrations will be accepted through Tuesday, July 8, or until the conference is filled. After that date, please phone 1-888-296-3447 for availability of walk-in status. An online registration form and more information can be found on the NEHGS website at

    From the Volunteer Coordinator

    Two weeks ago, I asked members who live in the Groton area or could easily get to Groton if they could help out with a project managed by our collections maintenance assistant, Deborah Rossi. This is being done at the Groton Town Hall on July 2 at 9:30 a.m., and we need a few more people! If you can spare two hours in the morning, please contact me at or 617-226-1276. This is a morning of compiling loose papers into chronological order, and is a hands-on experience.

    NEHGS also is in need of members who regularly visit the library at 101 Newbury Street to help staff with ongoing scanning projects. If you could spend two hours a week doing this work, please contact me at the email or phone number above. Basic computer skills are needed and training is provided.

    Demystifying The Circulating Library's Call Numbers, Part 2
    By Alexander Woodle, Circulating Library Director

    In last week's eNews ( we looked briefly at the Library of Congress (LOC) classification of United States Local History books headed by the class "F." Let's look at the remainder of the call number to help us understand the library's organization system.

    As an example, Vital Records of Topsfield, Massachusetts, has the call number F74/T6/T5/1903/v#. Part one of this article showed that classifications F61 to F75 designate Massachusetts, so F74 identifies the state. The T6 identifies Topsfield and the second T tells us the town of Topsfield compiled the records. The v# means that there is more than one volume in this set of records. Similarly, a book titled History of Topsfield, Massachusetts has the call number F74/T6/D68/1940. Everything is the same as the previous book, except that D68 is assigned to the author's name, which is Dow. The call number for the book Wills and Administrations of Northumberland County, Pennsylvania …, by Charles A. Fisher is F157/N8/F57/1950. The F157 denotes the state, N8 is Northumberland County, and F57 is the author.

    I hope this little tutorial will help you to better navigate the 30,000 plus volumes in the Circulating Library. 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:

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

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

    • "The Ins and Outs of City Directories" by David C. Dearborn on Wednesday, July 9

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

    Come Home to New England — August 3–10, 2003

    NEHGS invites you to participate in the classic week-long program “Come Home to New England," from August 3 to 10, 2003. Research your roots with our help at the extensive NEHGS Library — one of the country’s best facilities for genealogical research.

    Enjoy a week of guided research in our library, personal one-on-one research consultations, daily morning lectures designed specifically for “Come Home” participants, and special access to the library when it is normally closed to the public. The lectures will include a tour of NEHGS, which will introduce first-time researchers to the library and update long-time participants on the library’s latest resources. In addition, this year’s Come Homers can opt to take part in an afternoon at the Boston Public Library, where a lecture and guided tour will introduce you to its vast resources.

    For further information and complete itinerary, visit the Come Home page at,
    or contact the education department at 1-888-286-3447, ext. 226, or by email at


    The Shapleigh Family Association & Annual Family Reunion

    The Shapleigh Family Association is composed of descendants of Alexander Shapleigh the immigrant, who came from Kingsweare, England, and was a founder of Kittery, Maine.

    On July 5, 1909, a group of Oliver Shapleigh's descendants living within a "buggy ride" of each other, met at the home of John J. Shapleigh in East Rochester, New Hampshire, and formed the Oliver Shapleigh Family Association. They voted to dispense with regular by-laws, and agreed that "all persons descended from Oliver Shapleigh and those that have or may marry into the family should be eligible for membership."

    Eight days later, Nicholas B. Shapleigh, the oldest living son of Oliver Shapleigh, issued the call for the organization of an Oliver Shapleigh Family Association. He was elected president of the association. The first annual meeting of the association was held in 1910, at the home of Nicholas B. Shapleigh, President, at Centre Lebanon, Maine. Thirty-seven members plus children were present.

    At approximately the same time, at the request of several descendants of Alexander Shapleigh, the first Shapleigh to emigrate to America, Nicholas B. Shapleigh also called a meeting for the purpose of organizing a Shapleigh Family Association. At this meeting, held at Central Park in Somersworth (formerly Great Falls), New Hampshire, on July 20, 1909, by-laws were drawn up and adopted, and articles were written and signed by eighty-eight persons who were present and eligible for membership in the newly formed association.

    Following the 1941 meeting, the annual reunions were discontinued, due to World War II, with its accompanying restrictions on gasoline usage and the wartime activities of Association members. In the late 1950s Miss Mabelle Irene Shapleigh, of Concord, New Hampshire, treasurer, and Frederick E. Shapleigh, president of the association when its meetings were discontinued, often discussed the association's future and agreed that it should again become active. Not long after Miss Shapleigh's sudden death, the president and two other officers issued a call for a meeting of persons eligible for membership in the Shapleigh Family Association and interested in its revival. On September 21, 1963, forty-two interested Shapleigh descendants met at "Marshview," home of president Frederick E. Shapleigh, at Moody Beach, Maine. Most had attended the last meeting in 1941. They included forty-two residents of Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Florida. Among those present were members of the Oliver Shapleigh Family Association, also no longer active. By unanimous vote the Shapleigh Family Association was re-activated, and the Oliver Shapleigh Family Association was merged with it. The Shapleigh Family Association was incorporated as a non-profit educational organization in the State of Maine on September 23, 1968.

    This year's Shapleigh Family Reunion will be held on August 16 and 17, 2003, in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and Kittery, Maine. A scenic cruise on the Heritage around Portsmouth and Kittery Harbor will be followed by dinner in Portsmouth on Saturday, August 16. The annual business meeting will be held at 10 a.m. Sunday, August 17, preceded by a continental breakfast at 9 a.m. and followed by a box lunch social, at the Days Inn Conference Center, Rte. 1, Kittery.

    For more information contact S.F.A. Secretary Jane Shapleigh Edgecomb at 207-646-9480 or Visit the Shapleigh Family Association website at:

    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 Ann Noyes of Duxbury, Massachusetts

    In researching our roots my mother and I found a number of Mayflower passengers. A common comment in our house might have been, "Oh, did you realize we have a direct line to John Alden?" Or it may have been Mary Chilton, Sam Fuller, or some other Pilgrim. My dad took all these discoveries seriously but to the best of anyone's knowledge no Pilgrims grew on his family tree. One summer I decided my mission was to try to "Find Dad a Pilgrim." After much research, I succeeded. I remember the day I said, "Dad, I found you a Pilgrim but I'm not sure you will be pleased." He seemed interested, so I told him Francis Billington, the first man hung for murder in the Plimoth Colony, was his Pilgrim ancestor. Dad thanked me with a big beautiful smile and went on to join the Dedham Society of Horse Thieves.

    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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