American Ancestors New England Historic Genealogical Society - Founded 1845 N.E. Historic Genealogical Society Seal View Your Shopping Cart Join NEHGS
  • 2003 Archive

  • Vol. 5, No. 45
    Whole #138
    October 31, 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
    • Volume VI of Best of NEHGS Nexus Now on
    • Upcoming "Genealogy in a Nutshell" Lectures at the NEHGS Library
    • Deadline Extended for the 2004 NEHGS Technology Excellence Award
    • Special Event: Dr. John Durand of Derby, Connecticut, and His Family Book-Signing
    • QuicKeys for Genealogy
    • Lecture on Scottish War Prisoners in 17th-Century New England
    • Favorite — and Black Sheep — Ancestor Feedback
    • NEHGS Contact Information

    New Databases on

    List of Deaths in New Milford, Connecticut — 1812

    This interesting document was discovered amongst the papers of New Milford town clerk John S. Addis. The description on the document identifies it as

    "A list of the unfortunate persons who have died with a disorder which carrys then off from 3 to 8 days after taken named by the Doctors the Peripnumony an inflammation of the lungs fom January is the year of LORD 1812."

    It was transcribed by Thomas T. Sherman and acquired by NEHGS in 1942. The town of New Milford, located in Litchfield County, was established in 1719.

    Search List of Deaths in New Milford, Connecticut, at

    Marriages Perfomed by Eleazer Coburn, Justice of the Peace, Skowhegan, Maine

    These records were abstracted from the record book of Skowhegan Justice of the Peace Eleazer Coburn. The town of Skowhegan, in Somerset County, was originally part of Old Canaan before incorporation as the town of Milburn in 1823. The name was changed back to the original name given to it by Native Americans in 1836. Skowhegan now includes the former town of Bloomfield, another place name frequently found in this transcription. These records cover the years 1810 to 1844, and include a few marriages from the docket of a second justice, Joseph Locke.

    Search Marriages Performed by Eleazer Coburn, of Skowhegan, Maine, at

    Family Genealogy
    Simon Lobdell 1646, of Milford, Conn. And His Descendants

    This genealogy was written by Julia Harrison Lobdell in 1907.

    From the genealogy:

    "My supposition — after much study — is, that Simon came as a young lad with one of a party from Hereford, England (a shire in West of England, bordering on Wales) in 1645, at which time history tells us the second party came — that his sisters Ann and Elizabeth came at same time but remained in Boston.

    "From public records at Milford it appears that Simon Lobdell, in 1646, had given him by the 'first planters' of the town, for a house lot, a triangular shaped half-acre of ground. In 1655 we find his name given as a resident of Milford. He took the freeman's oath at Hartford, Conn. May 21, 1657. He went to Springfield, Mass., there he was prison-keeper from 1666 to 1674 and accumulated considerable property. In 1681 Simon purchased 60 acres (but was not a settler) at Stony River, between Springfield and Windsor, and had interests in Hull, Mass., in 1682. No proof of his marriage nor birth of Mary, his first child, has been found, but I assume without proof that he married Persis Pierce. Simon returned to Milford, Conn., where his wife Persis was admitted to the First Church of Milford, 7 January, 1677. At Milford, his children married and there Simon died, previous to 4 Oct., 1717."


    Search the Lobdell genealogy at

    Cemetery Transcriptions from the NEHGS Manuscript Collections

    Frank Haviland transcribed the following cemeteries in Hempstead, Nassau County, Long Island, New York, in 1904. The comments below were extracted from Mr. Haviland's introduction to the transcriptions.

    "Inscriptions on grave stones in Methodist Churchyard at Hempstead, L. I., complete, November 15, 1904."

    "Inscriptions from the Cemetery back of the Presbyterian Church at Hempstead, Long Island. The property is not owned by the Church. Copied by Mr. Frank Haviland, November 15, 1904, for the Long Island Historical Society."

    "Inscriptions in private burying ground, Hempstead, east of the Park on Fulton Street and next to the residence of Presbyterian Minister. The grounds are in bad order, overrun with briers and young trees and many stones fallen and covered with weeds and rubbish. I uncovered and took all I could find but a number must be lost. 30 November, 1904."

    "The Town Cemetery at Hempstead was on ground belonging to the township of Hempstead and was very much neglected. The grounds were finally given into the charge of the Village trustees, They had the ground carefully surveyed so as to locate each grave, by Thomas V. Smith, a copy of each inscription filed with the town clerk, the stones put under ground and a park made of the space. This park lies next east of the Presbyterian Church. The stones were covered July 1897. This copy can be verified by reference to the original now in the hands of Mr. M. D. Hedges, editor of 'The Hempstead Inquirer.' Completed copy made 15 November, 1904."


    Search Cemetery Transcriptions from the NEHGS Manuscript Collections at

    List of School Children in Deer Isle, Maine — 1883

    This database contains the names and ages of "seventy-six children of school age in School District No. 15, Deer Isle, Maine," in the year 1883. The information was originally reported by school agent Avery Fifield. The list was donated to NEHGS by George W. Chamberlain of Malden, Massachusetts.

    Search List of School Children in Deer Isle, Maine, at

    New Research Article on

    Hunting for Salem "Witches" in Your Family Tree
    By Maureen A. Taylor

    Family history is full of surprises. Almost every family tree contains an ancestor so colorful or tragic that you become obsessed with discovering more about them. If you have early Essex County, Massachusetts, ancestry then you might uncover a link to the Salem Witch Trials of 1692. There were other witch trials in the colonies, but none as noteworthy as those that occurred in Salem. If you find a connection on your family tree you'll end up pleasantly surprised at the amount of material you can look at for evidence. Rhonda McClure's 2002 Computer Genealogist column, "17th-Century History with a 21st-Century Twist: The Salem Witchcraft Trials on the Internet," explored web resources on the topic ( Her new book, Finding Your Famous and Infamous Ancestors: Uncover the Rogues, Renegades, and Royals in Your Family Tree (Betterway, 2003), is a wonderful resource for anyone with colorful roots.

    Read the full article at

    Volume VI of Best of NEHGS NEXUS Now on

    From 1983 to 1999, the NEHGS NEXUS newsletter presented a variety of research articles from genealogists and staff librarians, as well as Society events, genealogy news, queries, and reviews. We continue to add selected articles from past issues to our website on a regular basis. This week we have added selected articles from the six issues that comprise Volume VI, published in 1989.

    Read the NEXUS at


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

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

    • "Finding Jewish Ancestors in Europe: A Case Study from Bohemia" by Alexander Woodle on Saturday, November 1.

    • "From Albany to Youngstown: Genealogical Research in Upstate New York" by Henry B. Hoff on Wednesday, November 5.

    • "Doughboys: Researching WWI Soldiers and Sailors" by David A. Lambert on Wednesday, November 12 and Saturday, November 15.

    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.

    Deadline Extended for the 2004 NEHGS Technology Excellence Award

    The New England Historic Genealogical Society, in an effort to encourage and foster the development of rigorous genealogical research techniques in computerized or electronic formats, is now accepting nominations for the fifth annual NEHGS Technology Excellence Award. This award is granted annually during the Federation of Genealogical Societies Annual Conference. The award will be presented at the 2004 FGS conference, which will take place in Austin, Texas, from September 8 to 11.

    The award may be granted to an individual or organization and will carry with it:

    • A one-year membership to NEHGS
    • Notice on the NEHGS website,
    • Travel expenses for the recipient (or recipient's representative) to the award ceremony
    • Recipient's choice of products from the NEHGS online store ($500 value)

    The award will be determined by a committee appointed by NEHGS. Nominations are welcome and may be submitted, but the committee will also consider initiatives that fit its criteria but have received no nomination. To be eligible for consideration, a project must demonstrate or enable the highest standards of genealogical research in electronic form, and do so in an innovative and replicable manner. The award is intended to recognize appropriate use of technology to achieve genealogical results; eligible projects must therefore present a worthwhile genealogical result obtained through technological tools. Displays of technological "wizardry" devoid of genealogical merit will not be considered, nor will pure genealogical content outweigh technological shortcomings.

    Examples of projects which might fit these criteria are:

    • Electronic representation of original source documents
    • Electronic publication of genealogical research, including full source documentation
    • Cataloging of repository materials for electronic access
    • Collaborative efforts among societies, family history associations, or commercial ventures to increase the electronic accessibility of genealogical resources

    Employees of NEHGS and their immediate families are not eligible for consideration for this award. Nominations may be sent to The deadline for submissions for the 2004 award is May 1, 2004.

    To view past winners of the award, visit

    Special Event: Dr. John Durand of Derby, Connecticut, and His Family Book-Signing

    On Sunday, November 16, Dr. Alvy Ray Smith will speak on his new book, Dr. John Durand of Derby, Connecticut, and His Family, and sign copies of his work from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Durand-Hedden House and Garden in Maplewood, New Jersey. All are welcome to attend. The Durand-Hedden House and Garden features the home and artifacts of John, Cyrus, and Asher Brown Durand and is located at 523 Ridgewood Road, in Maplewood, New Jersey. For more information, call 973-763-7712.

    Published by NEHGS in 2003, Dr. John Durand of Derby, Connecticut, and His Family 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.

    This work, based largely on unpublished research, is the result of Dr. Smith's comprehensive study of his Durand family through four generations, with an elaborately portrayed collection of Durand family heirlooms. The branch of Dr. John Durand’s youngest son, Ebenezer Durand, is taken through ten generations to the year 2003. Meticulously researched, this book contains 1,900 footnotes. Beautifully illustrated with over one hundred images, this work is a significant contribution not only to the realm of scholarly genealogy, but to American history, American art history, and material culture study as well.

    You may order Dr. John Durand of Derby, Connecticut, and His Family through the NEHGS book store at The NEHGS member price is $45.00 (list price $50).

    QuicKeys for Genealogy

    Among the letters that we received in response to John Leith's advice on retrieving data from corrupted genealogy software programs, was the following plea from Paula Stewart: "Please, ask John D. Leith to expand on his comment 'I also use QuicKeys (CE Software) to run macros in FTM that make data entry much faster.'" We asked John to do just that, and here is what he wrote:

    Documentation of genealogical claims has become increasingly important over the past twenty years. Books on the proper application and style of source citation should be on the shelf of any genealogist, whether they are family, hobby, or professional types. Even if you are just compiling a genealogy for family members, you should still follow the Golden Rule in this matter, which is to make the source data as easy to find for your descendants as you wished it had been for you! Those of us who have been doing our family trees for several years have some duty to advise the newcomers that they need to document everything, or regret their omissions later. There can hardly be a more important lesson to pass on to the next generation of genealogists than that of documenting every claim.

    However, entry of source citations into genealogy programs can be a very tedious, time-consuming task. Without some kind of computer help, documenting each data field on one screen for a single person would take longer than entering the data themselves into their fields. Some genealogy programs have "ditto keys" that can paste items from the Windows clipboard into a source document field from the last entry of that source citation. This can speed the documentation process considerably, and all genealogy programs should have at least this capability.

    However, there are situations where a more versatile copy-paste function can be useful. For instance, after a day in a National Archives branch collecting census data, or a day in a library collecting data from many different sources — and writing down those sources — one arrives at the computer needing to cite several different sources as each person's record is being worked on. A single "ditto key" is not suited to this situation. But there is a program that can help — QuicKeys ( Developed by CE Software, QuicKeys creates macros (a set of keystrokes and instructions that are recorded, saved, and assigned to a short key code) for Windows and MacIntosh environments. I've been using the Windows version with Family Tree Maker ("FTM" hereafter) intensively for about six months now, since I finally switched over from my old DOS genealogy program.

    QuicKeys has proved to be a significant time saver for adding source citations to the "claims made" fields in FTM. In my opinion, anyone doing computer genealogy, or any work requiring repetitive entry of the same or similar data, should try QuicKeys. In FTM, I have set up a separate macro for each census year citation from 1790 to 1920, plus the New York state censuses of 1825, 1835, 1855, 1892, 1915, and 1925. They are accessed by keys like CTL-0 for 1800, CTL-1 for 1810, CTL-2 for 1820, ALT-2 for 1825, CTL-ALT-2 for 1920, and CTL-SHIFT-2 for 1925. I keep a chart of these taped on the computer for quick reference. There are other macros for frequently used citations, and if we receive a lengthy descendancy chart from a friend, I will set up a macro for it, as it potentially could be cited hundreds of times. In this review, I will describe its use for census data documentation.

    We will use as an example a family of four in the 1920 US census. They will all appear in FTM on one "Family View" screen. For each person, the census citation should include basic information such as civil district, town, county, state, National Archives film series and roll number, ED, sheet, and family number or page and line number. This citation should be attached to each claim made in the data file: name, birth date & place, address, occupation, marital status, citzenship, year of immigration, marriage date, and property listing (owns farm or house with or without a mortgage) — all the headings of that census for which data is entered into FTM. That typically adds up to about eighteen or twenty claims to support, all with the same census reference.

    Using QuicKeys with my set of macros already set up for the census year, I enter the 1920 census citation once manually, and while I'm at it, I copy (from the Page field of the Sources screen) the source details (district, town, county, state, NARA film ID, ED #, sheet #, and family #) of the census reference to the Windows clipboard. Then for the other seventeen or nineteen citations, I set the cursor on each claim field on the Family View or More About screen (such as the person's name or occupation) and simply type CTL-ALT-2. QuicKeys accesses the Sources screen, calls up the 1920 census title, pastes in the details from the clipboard, and returns me to the claim field again. I then set the cursor on the next claim and type CTL-ALT-2, and so on until each field with a census datum is properly documented. It might take about two minutes to write in the facts for the first citation and two minutes to document all the rest, instead of taking ten minutes or so if I did it manually by using the copy-paste function. Small variations or additions to the citation for a given person can be added manually after the macro has finished, such as adding that the person claimed an age of fifty-five when the main screen shows a more reliable age of sixty (documented, of course, from another source).

    QuicKeys also has a different multiple-clipboard capability that lets me keep about fifteen frequently used phrases handy for quick pasting. I use it for data types that we use often, such as "Kingston, Ulster, NY" or "NARA film T625-" or "Surrogate Clerk, Ulster County, Kingston, NY."

    Since we often are entering multiple families living close to each other, the details copied to the clipboard are changed manually. For instance, the family number might change slightly, while the rest of the citation stays the same. After entering the new family number, I copy the changed census details line to the clipboard, and use QuicKeys to add the changed citation to each claim for the new family. What a time and effort saver this is!"

    Many thanks to Mr. Leith for sharing his valuable tips with eNews! For more information on QuicKeys, visit

    Lecture on Scottish War Prisoners in 17th-Century New England

    Historian, author, and attorney Diane Rapaport will deliver a lecture titled "Scots for Sale: The Fate of the Scottish War Prisoners in Seventeenth-Century New England" at the First Parish Unitarian Church in Wayland, Massachusetts. The lecture, sponsored by the Sudbury and Wayland Historical Societies, will take place on Sunday, November 16 at 3 p.m.

    In 1651 and 1652, two shiploads of Scottish war prisoners arrived in Boston, on the Unity and the John and Sara, destined for indentured labor. Sold for terms averaging five to eight years, these captive Scots worked for proprietors of the Massachusetts ironworks, sawmill owners in New Hampshire and Maine, and merchants and farmers in towns throughout New England. Their unwilling exile is a little-known chapter in colonial history.

    Ms. Rapaport has spent years tracing the fate of these prisoners and her articles have appeared in New England Ancestors magazine,, and other publications. She will share stories of these Scotsmen in this lecture, which will include a slideshow and Scottish music. Tartan dress is encouraged but optional.

    The First Parish Church is located in Wayland Center at the intersection of routes 20, 27, and 126. For more information, contact Lee Ford Swanson at 978-443-3747.

    View Ms. Rapaport's article "Scots for Sale: The Fate of the Scottish War Prisoners in Seventeenth-Century New England," which appeared in the winter 2003 issue of New England Ancestors magazine (with an expanded version on at

    Favorite — and Black Sheep — Ancestor Feedback

    Each week we ask 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!

    "Not only do I share his genes, but also his hobbies!"
    by Barbara M. Taylor of Amesbury, Massachusetts

    My favorite ancestor is Nathaniel Lincoln Mower, born August 16, 1860, in Temple, Maine, and died October 25, 1917, in Auburn, Maine. His mother, Louisa Sophia Fuller (Jenkins) Mower brought up Nathaniel and Josephine, who were just toddlers when their father, Benjamin, died at Gettysburg. As Nathaniel grew into a tall, dark-haired, brown-eyed, gentleman, it appeared that he was very musically talented. He wanted to go to Boston to study at the New England Conservatory of Music. The neighbors thought he ought to stay home and help his mother farm, but Louisa encouraged her son, whom she called "Link," to go to school. Once he had gone to the Conservatory, the townspeople became very proud of him, publishing his activities in the paper: "N. L. Mower has returned from Boston. We are anxious to hear him sing and play."

    After graduation, Nathaniel L. Mower married Grace H. Wilder of Temple, and they moved to Auburn, Maine. Nathaniel was the first public school music teacher in Auburn. He also sang tenor in a church quartet, led "singing schools" in the country towns nearby, and was the father of six children, the youngest of these being my mother, Beatrice.

    Because a lot of us in the family seem to have inherited some of the musical talents of my grandfather (mine only at the "hobby" level) I always was very fond of him, although I never knew him. He died when Mother was seven. But what really endears him to me is that I found out, when an aunt sent me a box of pressed wild flowers Nathaniel had collected, that he had been a lover of wild flowers. My major hobby is the study of wild flowers (genealogy is a close second). Each of my grandfather's flowers is carefully pressed and labeled, in beautiful handwriting, with its name and the location where he picked it. The date of this collection, which I treasure, is 1883.

    My grandfather is my favorite ancestor because not only do I share his genes, but also his hobbies!

    (The quote is from: The Franklin Chronicle, Farmington, Maine, November 27, 1884.)


    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

New England Historic Genealogical Society
99 - 101 Newbury Street
Boston, Massachusetts 02116, USA

© 2010 - 2014 New England Historic Genealogical Society