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  • 2003 Archive

  • Vol. 5, No. 37
    Whole #130
    September 5, 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.


    • New Databases on
    • New Research Article on
    • Upcoming "Genealogy in a Nutshell" Lectures at the NEHGS Library
    An Introduction to Using at NEHGS in Boston
    Designing and Printing Your Family History
    Donating Cemetery Transcriptions to NEHGS
    Recent Circulating Library Acquisitions
    Reward Offered for Sloan Family Bible
    Upcoming Newbury Street Press Title Excerpted in The Hoosier Genealogist
    Free Genealogical Workshops at the National Archives in Waltham
    • Favorite — and Black Sheep — Ancestor Feedback
    • NEHGS Contact Information

    New Databases on

    Records of the Congregational Church of Weybridge, Vermont, 1794–1894

    These records were donated to NEHGS by Benjamin M. Hayward in 1942. They include baptisms, marriages, deaths, and admissions and dismissions. The Congregational Church of Christ in Weybridge was formed June 20, 1794. The town of Weybridge, in Addison County, was organized in 1789.

    Search Records of the Congregational Church of Weybridge, Vermont, 1794–1894, at

    Westfield [MA.] Birth and Death Records

    These abstracts of birth and death records of the town of Westfield, Massachusetts, were donated to NEHGS by Harold T. Dougherty in 1937. The town of Westfield, in Hampden County, was established in 1669. A record of births, marriages, and deaths prior to 1700 may be found in Volume VI of the New England Historical & Genealogical Register, pages 265-271. You may search these records from the Register database on

    Search Westfield [MA.] Birth and Death Records at

    Family Genealogy: The West Family Register: Important Lines Traced, 1326–1928

    This genealogy was written by Letta Brock Stone in 1928. It traces the West family to the fourteenth century, and tells of its origins as the De La Warr family, of whom the author writes: "Among the families of noble descent who were represented in this country in its early days, none was of more distinguished lineage than that of the De La Warrs." The De La Warr tree was traced from Alfred the Great "through thirteen generations, to Edmund, Earl of Lancaster, the son of Henry the Third. Henry Plantagenet, the son of the Earl of Lancaster, had a daughter, Joan, who married Lord Mowbray; and their son, John, Lord Mowbray, had a daughter, Eleanor, who married Roger La Warr."

    The daughter of Roger LaWarr married Sir Thomas West, who was knighted in 1328, and served under Edward III, for which he was created a baron. His son, Thomas, who succeeded his father upon his death, had a son, Thomas, who was knighted in 1399. He married Joan, half-sister and heiress of Thomas 5th Baron De La Warr, and daughter of Roger 3d Baron De La Warr. From this point the two lines are merged into one, the West family, taking the title Baron De La Warr.

    Thomas West, 3rd Lord De La Warr and first Governor of Virginia, was born July 9, 1577. He had several children who remained in England, but it is not unlikely that some of their descendants came to the Colonies at a later date. From 1608 to his death, Lord De La Warr was active in promoting settlements in the New World. Capt. Francis West was born October 28, 1586, and came to Virginia about 1608. Capt. Nathaniel West, also connected with the early history of our colonies, was born in 1592 and came to America about 1620.

    Search the West Genealogy at

    Cemetery Transcriptions from the NEHGS Manuscript Collections

    This week we have added transcriptions from Ridgewood Cemetery in the town of North Andover, Massachusetts.

    Search Cemetery Transcriptions from the NEHGS Manuscript Collections at

    New Research Article on

    The British 19th Century Surname Atlas
    By George Redmonds

    This is the title of a CD-ROM just published by Archer Software that includes distribution maps for all of the surnames (over 400,000) that feature in the census of 1881 for England, Scotland, and Wales. No Irish data is available. The user can enter any of these surnames and the map displayed on the screen will immediately demonstrate its distribution in Great Britain. Even as late as 1881 most surnames had distinctive patterns of distribution and many still predominated in just a single region. The maps clearly illustrate these patterns. The information can be presented in two different ways, using either the counties or the Poor Law union districts to define the regions. The names of the districts and the totals can be added to the maps and you can choose to have the data shown in the accompanying tables as actual numbers or as densities; each method has its advantages. Maps can then be printed at any scale and copied to the clipboard for pasting into printed documents or the creation of web graphics.

    Read the full article at

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

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

    • "18th- and 19th-Century Migrations Out of New England" by David Dearborn on Saturday, September 6

    • "Loyalist and Pre-Loyalist Migrations to Atlantic Canada" by George F. Sanborn, Jr. on Wednesday, September 10 and Saturday, September 13

    • "Reginae Bonarum: Researching 19th-Century Irish Women" by Marie Daly on Wednesday, September 17 and Saturday, September 20

    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.

    An Introduction to Using at NEHGS in Boston

    September 10, 11:30 a.m.

    Learn how to use the NEHGS website to advance your research! In this free class, NEHGS content delivery specialist 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 September 10 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


    Designing and Printing Your Family History
    by Christopher Hartman, NEHGS Director of Book Acquisitions

    So you've finally completed your research, written the text, selected appropriate illustrations, and are now ready to consider printing. Good! But there remains one major consideration to be addressed: book design and binding. The overall design or "look" of your book introduces the world to your family history and will hopefully encourage the reader to peer more closely at the book's contents.

    If you are publishing the genealogy yourself, first determine the best way to display your work. Select a printer who can give you the proper guidance. They can help you work within your budget, and explain what they will need from you to print your materials. Other issues to think about when printing include:

    •Should you have decorative or plain end sheets?
    •What type and color of paper should be used for the text and the illustrations?
    •Should the edges of the pages be gilded?
    •Should the binding be perfect-bound paperback, comb, or hardcover (book cloth)? The binding can be fancy and gilded, or relatively plain.
    •How should photos be placed in your book? Photos can be inserted in a section with glossy photo paper, or placed throughout the text. They can be in color or black and white.

    A good printer will explain the costs associated with these choices, as well as what you need to do to assist the printer with your printing and binding choices.

    If your book is professionally published, the publishing house will oversee the design and printing for you. Publishers often work with book designers, who create a layout or "blueprint" for every aspect of a book's text including chapter opening pages, title pages, headings, text, footnotes, citations, etc. Fonts are selected by a designer, as well as other design elements to highlight your text. You and the publisher will decide together what kind of binding would be best for your book.

    Of course, design is of less importance than producing worthwhile research. However, design and binding are not just incidental, they are an integral part of the publishing process and should be considered by any prospective author.

    Additional information on compiling and publishing family genealogies may be found in the NEHGS publication Genealogical Writing in the 21st Century: A Guide to Register Style and More.


    Donating Cemetery Transcriptions to NEHGS
    by David Lambert, NEHGS Reference Librarian and Microtext Manager

    Among the most valuable resources available to genealogists in the NEHGS manuscript collections are the volumes of gravestone transcriptions for New England. These collections range from index cards to handsome leather bound volumes containing the epitaphs of the monuments erected to our ancestors. Over time many gravestones in New England have been damaged by the elements of our frequently harsh weather. Often this damage does not even compare to the manmade damage caused by pollutants, vandalism, and theft. For these reasons, gravestone transcriptions become even more important to the genealogist and historian. This was evident to me when I compared the early twentieth-century handwritten notebooks of Bradford Kingman containing inscriptions for the Evergreen Cemetery in Stoughton, Massachusetts [NEHGS MSS 266], with the stones themselves. Kingman, like many of his contemporaries, transcribed the often ignored poetic or biblical verses found carved in script at the bottom of many eighteenth and nineteenth-century gravestones. These are now nothing more than mere indentations on many of the marble and limestone markers at the cemetery. Kingman also sketched the physical silhouette of each gravestone. Stoughton, like many New England towns, relied on factories to sustain itself. The acid rain generated from these factories has resulted in the decline of many stones, as is the case at Evergreen Cemetery. Due to Kingman's century-old transcriptions at NEHGS, I am able to determine the identity of nearly eighty percent of the individuals beneath these now faded gravestones.

    NEHGS continues to collect transcriptions for New England cemeteries and new volumes of these transcriptions are added each week to the Cemetery Transcriptions from the NEHGS Manuscript Collections database area of the website. We were delighted to receive many transcriptions and collections of gravestone photographs after my book, A Guide to Massachusetts Cemeteries [F63/L36/2002/also Loan], was published in 2002 by NEHGS. A portion of the description of each cemetery in my book indicated if there were transcriptions available at NEHGS and the D.A.R. Library in Washington, D.C. I would like to encourage all readers to take the time to adopt a small cemetery in your community that has not been transcribed and do so. You are not only helping preserve your community history, but you are aiding the descendants of those interred there. Many genealogists have asked me how to accurately transcribe a gravestone; the most popular format is to do a verbatim transcription. An example follows for the eighteenth-century gravestone of Mr. Jonathan Smith:

    In Memory
    Mr. Jonathan Smith
    who departed this life
    February ye 18th 1766.
    In ye 90th year
    of his Age

    As you will want to copy the inscription word for word, indicating where the end of the line is with a slash [/] will save you space. Indicate any italicized or superscripting of words and dates. So after completing this process the stone inscription should now read:

    In Memory / of / Mr. Jonathan Smith / who departed this life / February ye 18th 1766. / In ye 90th year / of his Age.

    There may be inscriptions on more than one side of the stone, or perhaps a footstone for the main marker — you should indicate these as well. Often times mapping out the positioning of cemetery stones on graph paper is useful. You can assign row and gravestone numbers to reference your transcription. If you are extremely detail oriented you may even include GPS (Global Positioning Systems) coordinates to indicate the location of the cemetery, or even the gravestone. This comes in handy when a cemetery may be located in the woods off the main road. Besides the transcription, the stone type and condition are also important to record in your work. With the aide of digital photography an entire cemetery can be photographed and transcribed at home. However, you need to make an extra effort to be accurate when transcribing from a photograph. You may wish to do another walk through the cemetery with your finished transcription.

    There are many published transcription projects in the collections of NEHGS. A work of detailed scholarship in this field can be found in Marie E. Daly's book Gravestone Inscriptions from Mount Auburn Catholic Cemetery Watertown, Massachusetts (Waltham, MA: Marie E. Daly, 1983) [F74/W33/D35/1983/also Loan]. In addition to the inscription, you will find vital records, place names in Ireland, and other resources cited in her book for each gravestone. Examples of two recent NEHGS publications for gravestone scholarship are Richard Andrew Pierce, The Stones Speak: Irish place names from inscriptions in Boston's Mount Calvary Cemetery (Boston, MA: NEHGS, 2000) [F73.61/P54/2000/also Loan]; and Beverly E. Hurney, St. Mary's Cemetery, Newton, Massachusetts: Epitaphs (Boston, MA: NEHGS, 2000) [F74/N56/H87/2000/also Loan].

    Your own project will be a welcome addition to the manuscript collections of NEHGS, and will help preserve the data of these genealogical treasures located in our New England cemeteries.

    If I can be of any assistance with your transcription project, or if you have a question regarding please feel free to contact me at If you have any questions about submitting your own cemetery transcriptions please contact NEHGS archivist Tim Salls at

    Search over one thousand New England cemeteries for your ancestor in's Cemetery Transcriptions from the NEHGS Manuscript Collections database at

    Recent Circulating Library Acquisitions
    by Alexander Woodle, Circulating Library Director

    Some Descendants of Rev. Leonard Metcalf of Tatterford Parish, Norfolk, England. Mostly those of his son Michael, the emigrant to Dedham, Massachusetts, in 1637 by Howard Hurtig Metcalfe. CS71/M588/2002.

    The author has compiled an extensive genealogy of Michael Metcalf, who arrived in America in 1637. Nine generations are covered with descendants up into the twentieth century. The most common surnames involved in this research include: Carpenter, Metcalf, Sweet, Walker, Ware, Webster and Wheeler. This massive book is well documented and uses the "Register System" of descendancy numbering. The index and bibliography total well over 100 pages.

    The Guilford Family in America by Nathan Guilford. CS71/G957/1898.

    This is an important resource for those who have ancestors in the Guilford line as well as the following allied families: Norton, Whitney, Hobbs, Warren, Livermore, Danforth, Farnsworth, Hastings, Hammond, Fiske, Mumford, Sherman, Wilson, Maylem, Wallace, and Cook.

    A History of Chapman and Alexander Families by Sigismunda Mary Frances Chapman. CS71/C466/1946.

    The Chapman line begins with English immigrant Jonathan Chapman who died in Virginia in 1749. Allied families to Chapmans are Territt and Hunter. There is brief coverage of the Townshend line as well. The bulk of the book deals with the family of John Alexander of Northampton (later Accomac) County around the mid-1600s. The book has many photographs and illustrations throughout.

    Early Medicine and Medical Men in Connecticut by Gurdon W. Russell, M.D. F91/R87/1892.

    This interesting book evolved from a paper presented at Connecticut's Medical Society meeting over a century ago. It profiles a number of early practioners from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and contains valuable genealogical and medical information on the colonial period.

    The Parsons Family. Volume 1, The English Ancestry and descendants to the Sixth Generation of Cornet Joseph Parsons (1620-1683); Springfield, Massachusetts, 1636 & Northampton, Massachusetts, 1654 compiled by Gerald James Parsons. CS71/P269/2002.

    This substantial genealogy incorporates newly discovered information on the English ancestors of the Parsons who settled in New England during the Colonial period. The author spent ten years researching and compiling this work using original records almost exclusively. Recently awarded the Grand Prize for New England Genealogy in the Connecticut Society of Genealogists Literary Awards Contest, The Parsons Family is an invaluable addition for those searching the descendants of Cornet Joseph Parsons.

    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

    Reward Offered for Sloan Family Bible

    NEHGS trustee and genealogist Susan Sloan has for many years researched the family of William Sloan, an Irish immigrant who served in the Revolutionary War. William Sloan's pension application, filed in Norwich, New York, reveals that he was born in County Armagh, Ireland, in 1752. The application also makes reference to a family Bible that was left with his son in Indiana, with whom he had lived between 1812 and 1830. Mr. Sloan then returned to Chenango County, New York, where he may have spent the rest of his life. Exactly when, how, and where he died is a mystery. The identity of his children with their dates and places of birth, remains a speculation.

    Mrs. Sloan writes:

    "What is known about William Sloan is that he was a Scotch Irish immigrant who entered the country with his parents in 1754-55. He married Sarah Cornish in Becket, Berkshire County, Massachusetts, in 1774. It appears that he may have moved further north in Massachusetts and then in and around Chenango County, New York, until 1812, when he went to southern [?] Indiana, with his son. In 1830, he moved back to Norwich, Chenango County, New York. The son may have moved back and forth between southern Indiana and the countryside around Cincinnati.

    As family Bibles are often considered cherished family possessions, passed along in wills, I believe this very old Sloan family Bible may still exist. I am offering a $1,000 reward to any individual or institution who can deliver the family Bible of William Sloan and Sarah Cornish, recording the names and birthdates of their children, to me in Boston. In order to qualify for the reward, I will need to inspect the original Bible and determine that it is authentic based on my own research and that of another independent genealogist, who has been working on this family for over forty years. Neither copies, photographs, fiche, nor digital images will be accepted in lieu of the original Bible."

    Anyone with any questions about this reward or with information regarding this Bible should contact:

    Susan Sloan
    388 Beacon Street
    Boston, MA 02116
    Fax: 617-424-0265

    Upcoming Newbury Street Press Title Excerpted in The Hoosier Genealogist

    NEHGS trustee Alvy Ray Smith, PhD, also has Indiana-related news this week. An excerpt of his upcoming book, Dr. John Durand of Derby, Connecticut, and His Family, soon to be published by Newbury Street Press, is featured in the spring 2003 issue of The Hoosier Genealogist, a quarterly publication of the Indiana Historical Society. Dr. Smith's book treats the descendants of Dr. John Durand, a Huguenot born in France in 1664, who was forced to flee to America due to King Louis XIV's revocation of religious freedom for Protestants. He and his wife eventually settled in Derby, Connecticut, and had ten children.

    The Hoosier Genealogist article focuses on Samuel Durand, an early settler of Miami County, Indiana, and his son Orson Durand, the mayor of Peru, Indiana. Among the interesting tidbits of information published in the article is that the 1870 census shows Orson Durand, his wife, their five children, and a housekeeper and her daughter sharing a house with thirteen additional individuals, all of whom were grouped under the label "County Poor House." Over half are listed as "Idiot" and one is noted as "Insane."

    Smith began researching the Durand family after examining a collection of photocopied letters written at the end of the nineteenth century by Frederick Duran Beach, an early Durand family researcher. These letters were accompanied by notes written by Dr. Smith's aunt, and passed down to him through his mother. Dr. Smith later consulted with genealogist and associate editor of the Register, Helen Schatvet Ullmann, CG, FASG, who introduced him to Register style and gave him valuable advice about publishing his research. In Dr. John Durand of Derby, Connecticut, and His Family, Dr. Smith follows Dr. John Durand's family through four generations, before turning to the descendants of Dr. Durand's youngest son, Ebenezer, which he traces through ten generations to the present year.

    Dr. John Durand of Derby, Connecticut, and His Family will be available for purchase October 1st from the book store.


    Free Genealogical Workshops at the National Archives in Waltham

    The National Archives-Northeast Region in Waltham, Massachusetts, is offering free genealogical workshops this fall. Most of the workshops are aimed at beginners, although some are appropriate for all levels, and one is intermediate.

    The workshops will be offered at the Regional Archives building, located at 380 Trapelo Road in Waltham. Workshops marked with an asterisk (*) are followed by an optional behind-the-scenes tour of the archives.

    The schedule is as follows

    September 11, 6:30 p.m. Census, Naturalization, & Passenger Lists
    September 16, 2:00 p.m.* The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly in Electronic Resources
    September 25, 6:30 p.m. Boston Passenger Lists
    October 7, 2:00 p.m.* The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly in Electronic Resources
    October 16, 6:30 p.m. Census Tool Kit
    October 21, 2:00 p.m.* Clues in US Census Records
    October 30, 6:30 p.m. Clues in US Census Records
    November 4, 2:00 p.m.* Census Tool Kit
    November 13, 6:30 p.m. Canadian Border Crossings: The "St. Albans" Records
    November 18, 2:00 p.m.* Records Relating to African-American Research

    Workshop and tours are limited to twenty participants. Call (866) 406-2379 to register and for more details. There is no fee.

    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!

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