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  • 2003 Archive

  • Vol. 5, No. 46
    Whole #139
    November 7, 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


    • Give the Gift of Family this Holiday Season
    • 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
    More on Crashed Computers and Lost Ancestors
    Gretna Green Marriage Index Now Online
    • Favorite — and Black Sheep — Ancestor Feedback
    • NEHGS Contact Information

    Give the Gift of Family this Holiday Season

    If you are a member of NEHGS you already know the joy of finding family and making connections using the valuable resources available to you as a member. Share your experiences with friends and family this holiday season by giving gift memberships to NEHGS. They too can realize the excitement of discovery and thrill of success that membership in NEHGS brings to genealogists of all levels.

    Executive Director Ralph J. Crandall is challenging members to help NEHGS reach its membership goals this year by referring friends, and better yet, by giving gift memberships — a gift that keeps giving all year long! Dr. Crandall says, "I can think of no better way to find and engage prospective members than through your knowledge and recommendation of NEHGS to your family and circle of genealogical friends. This holiday season I hope you will consider giving a gift membership to NEHGS. Membership makes a lasting and thoughtful gift."

    Your gift recipient will become a Research Member of NEHGS, giving him or her full access to and our Boston library resources, a $10 coupon for NEHGS services, subscriptions to New England Ancestors magazine and the Register, as well as discounts on research services, consultations, tours, and selected titles in the NEHGS Book Store. (Institutional, student, and subscription memberships are also available.)

    Purchase your gift membership online at or call toll-free 1-888-296-3447 (Eastern time) Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

    New Databases on

    New Hampshire
    Records of the First Church of Christ, Nottingham West (Hudson), New Hampshire, 1737–1795

    These records were transcribed by Frank Storey Osgood in 1921. They include records of baptism, marriage, and membership, as well as reports of parish meetings. The town of Hudson, also known as Nottingham West, was established in 1746. The First Church was gathered on November 30, 1737.

    Search Records of the First Church of Christ, Nottingham West (Hudson), New Hampshire, 1737–1795 at

    New York
    The Settlers of the Beekman Patent, Volume 2
    New Family Sketches

    We continue with our ongoing series of family sketches featured in The Settlers of the Beekman Patent, Frank J. Doherty's multi-volume study of the settlers of the second largest patent in present-day Dutchess County, New York. The following families were added to the database this week: Baker, Baldwin/Balding, Ball, Bancker, Bangs, and Barber.

    View new family sketches from The Settlers of the Beekman Patent at or search the database and read introductory matter at

    Family Genealogy
    A Genealogical History of Robert Adams of Newbury, Mass., and His Descendants 1635–1900 [1900]

    This genealogy of the Robert Adams family was written by Andrew N. Adams and published in 1900. The introduction reads, in part:

    "Born in England in 1602, Robert Adams came first to Ipswich in Massachusetts Bay in A. D. 1635, bringing with him his wife Eleanor (Wilmot?) and his first two children. He was a tailor by trade, resided in Salem in 1638–9 and removed to Newbury in 1640, where he acquired a large farm and valuable property, and died October 12, 1682, aged 81 years.

    "He is believed by many to have come from Devonshire, and to have been a son of Robert and Elizabeth Sharlon or Sharland, connected with the Ap Adam pedigree, and through that connection to have been a cousin of Henry Adams of Braintree (afterward Quincy, Mass.), the ancestor of the presidents, John and John Quincy Adams."

    Search the Adams genealogy at

    Cemetery Transcriptions from the NEHGS Manuscript Collections

    This week we have added a transcription of the Oak Hill Cemetery in Bucksport, Hancock County, Maine.

    Search Cemetery Transcriptions from the NEHGS Manuscript Collections at

    Tax List of New Milford, Connecticut, 1756

    The New Milford tax list of 1756 was discovered amongst the papers of New Milford town clerk John S. Addis. 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 the Tax List of New Milford, Connecticut, at

    New Research Article on

    Free Non-Member Preview!

    Member Submission
    A Template and Suggestions for Writing in Register Style in Microsoft Word
    By Helen Schatvet Ullmann, CG, FASG

    Want to write up your family in what we call "Register style"? Helen Schatvet Ullmann, associate editor of the Register, has created a template which will enable you to utilize all of the styles used in The New England Historical and Genealogical Register using Microsoft Word. The article and template, now downloadable from, also offers suggestions for shortcuts, footnotes, and other useful tips for using Word to write your article in Register style.

    From the article:

    "Register style or format or variants of it are widely used for genealogical journals and full-scale books. An editor looking over an article submitted for possible publication will be favorably impressed and will follow your text more easily when the material is presented in Register format.

    "This document does not provide a full explanation of all the nuances of Register style. For that the NEHGS publication Genealogical Writing for the 21st Century is a good text. But many authors find it difficult to use the currently preferred program, Microsoft Word. In particular, the subtext (paragraphs for children and grandchildren) and footnotes seem to present difficulty.

    "This file, while not technically a template according to Microsoft Word, can serve as one. It contains all the 'styles' we are currently using in The New England Historical and Genealogical Register."

    Download this article and template by clicking this link

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

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

    • "Doughboys: Researching World War I Soldiers and Sailors" by David Allen Lambert on Wednesday, November 12 and Saturday, November 15.

    • "Overview of Massachusetts State and County Court Records" by Elizabeth Bouvier on Wednesday, November 19 and Saturday, November 22.

    • "Tracing Present Day Relatives" by David Dearborn on Wednesday, November 26 and Saturday, November 29.

    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

    November 12, 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 Wednesday, November 12 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

    More on Crashed Computers and Lost Ancestors

    NEHGS eNews readers continue to comment on the recent Ask a Librarian question about retrieving family data from corrupted genealogical software and member John Leith's response to it (eNews #136). The most recent responses are below. Please note that publishing these responses does not imply NEHGS endorsement of products or services mentioned by the writers.

    Ted Thaxter writes:

    Having lost 26,000 names and all the accompanying data (perhaps), I doubt that your member is in the mood for any moralizing. However, her situations proves the old adage, once again, to back up, back up, back up your data and files.

    John Wood writes:

    I have records of about 34,000 people in my database, and it is terrible to even think about losing it. I have had computer crashes but I've been lucky so far and have not lost important files. Some time ago, I bought a CD burner and use it from time to time to back up vital information including my genealogy database. This provides some protection against a disaster, and I recommend it.

    Philip Gross writes:

    There was a wonderful program in DOS-land called Peter Norton’s Commander III which displayed two directories and allowed easy compare (based on title, data and time) and copy facility. I would set the left side up as my working data directory and the right side as the backup directory. The backup directory could either be a floppy disk, another hard drive directory of the same or another hard drive (preferably another), a CD-RW, or a tape drive. You could then quickly and easily copy all the changed working files to the backup.

    This product will not work under Windows NT, 2000, or XP, or on files with “long names.” However we now have a new freeware program called “Beyond Compare” which does all the above and more in any version of Windows. I back up to another computer on my home network, an older unit dedicated only to backup of data for myself and my wife, and for the retention of all the downloaded files I gather. Using Beyond Compare is a snap. It can be found at

    Steve Burt writes:

    I received six CDs from the computer recovery service and the total bill was $1,344. The lessons are these:

    1. Don't panic, you may be able to recover your data.
    2. Get professional HELP — it's worth it.
    3. It can be expensive, so back up or print out whatever you don't want to lose.

    Ann Martin writes:

    I solved my problem before it occurred by uploading my GEDCOM to . I have control over what appears on their public database, and only I can download the whole thing. I also can update it when I get new information. Best of all, I can access it at any public library with an Internet connection. No more lugging of all those group sheets and charts when I go to do research.

    Barb Martin writes:

    In short, everyone who spends the time typing in genealogy data ought to export that data to a GEDCOM file once a month, as a matter of course. ALL commonly used genealogy software programs are able to import a GEDCOM file. This method would prevent all of these terrible problems.

    As an added measure I send this GEDCOM file to a relative who just keeps it on her hard drive for safe keeping and overwrites it with the new GEDCOM file I send each month.

    Heather W. Rojo writes:

    I have an Family Tree Maker file with over 35,000 souls on board. My computer suffered a terrible bout with a virus last year and I almost lost it all, but fortunately I had been doing monthly backups on CDs. I was still upset about all the week of work I might have lost, so I took my computer to the dealer and he retrieved not only all my FTM files, but all my Word files, picture files (all my scanned documents and photos of ancestors and their gravestones), and old email files. I didn't lose a thing, and it only cost me about $35 per disk. (I think he filled three disks for me.) We also contacted other computer data recovery companies and they were more expensive, but if you are willing to pay for recovery that is up to you. Since this episode I have purchased an external hard drive, so I not only copy to CDs monthly, but I also copy my FTM folders over to the external drive. I also back up the files after every family reunion, or whenever I find a lot of new information and input it into the computer. It sounds complicated, but it is a very simple procedure, and worth the trouble. If my computer ever crashed again, I will have plenty of backup copies!

    Gretna Green Marriage Index Now Online

    Family histories abound with stories of elopements. Often the destination of English couples who wished to marry without parental consent was Gretna Green, just over the border with Scotland in "debatable land." After 1753, when English law forbad irregular marriages, a number of people who objected to marrying in a church wed in border towns where the couple's own consent to marriage before witnesses was legal under Scottish law. Gretna is the most famous of these towns. Marriages were conducted by self-appointed ministers at the border toll booths along the few roads into Scotland. The "priests," as they called themselves, often had other jobs, giving rise to the stories of being "married over an anvil by the village blacksmith."

    Held at The Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies (, the original index covers entries between 1795 and 1895, with a few earlier references. In all, over 4,500 entries are recorded for those "lost" marriages. Achievements Ltd., an English non-profit company supporting the Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies, is now making these records available online. You can search the index at The searches are free but if entries of interest are located, you may choose to pay a fee to Achievements to supply you with full record details. In some cases images of the originals may be purchased.

    Achievements also offers additional databases that may be searched for free:

    • "Armigerous Ancestors" — a 26,000-name database of an extensive collection of pedigrees compiled in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries that includes heralds' records (

    • Archived Cases Index containing 6,000 family histories and millions of ancestors (

    • Crisp's London Marriage Licence Index containing 10,000 entries between the mid–1700s and the start of General Registration in 1837 (

    Achievements also expects to introduce more databases shortly, including Catholic marriages, Irish families, the Phillimore genealogical archive, Culleton's collection, and marriage licence bonds.

    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!

    Switching the Black Sheep!
    by Betty Boyd of San Jose, California

    In 1692 Salem society believed in witches and some Puritans viewed any relative accused of witchcraft as a "black sheep," whether found guilty and executed or acquitted and freed. Recognizing the mass hysteria of the infamous Salem witchcraft trials, others defended the accused and saw the accusers as the real black sheep for the unwarranted imprisonment, badgering, torture, execution, impoverishment, and victimization of innocent people and their families. The accusers became aware of their errant ways soon, but not before twenty-five people died and opposing views had torn families apart. Our family tree has branches with accusers, victims, and defenders among them and some who wavered back and forth between sides like fluttering fall leaves.

    Twelve-year-old Ann Putnam, Jr., (my second cousin eight times removed) spent the rest of her short life openly apologizing. Her father Thomas handwrote many trial records. Her uncles, Edward and Jonathan (my eighth great granduncles), and town constable John Putnam (my sixth great grandfather) faced Putnam relatives who opposed the trials. Among these were Joseph Putnam (my first cousin nine times removed — half-brother of Thomas and Edward), remembered for his outspoken opposition to the rigid Reverend Parris who fanned the trial flames.

    Mary Lovett-Tyler of Andover, Massachusetts (my seventh great grandmother — the wife of Hopestill), her daughters Hannah and Joanna, and Martha Tyler-Geer (my sixth great grandmother, the wife of Captain Robert Geer of New London, Connecticut) were all accused of witchcraft and imprisoned. While none were found guilty or executed, Reverend Increase Mather reported that Mary's poignant imprisonment tale was beyond any pen to describe. Mary has earned my admiration as a favorite ancestor, but the accusers — not so. I guess you could say some 1692 families seemed to have a whole flock of black sheep.

    Commentary on Favorite Ancestors
    by Betty Dean Holmes of Swampscott, Massachusetts

    I do enjoy all the [favorite ancestor and black sheep] stories. I loved the story of music talent and wildflower interest being part of the genes [Barbara M. Taylor's story from eNews138]. My uncle always told us, "You cannot escape your genes." We have animal lovers in the family that keep turning up through the generations. We have cousins who do dog rescue and my dad had a pet monkey for years, in addition to assorted dogs and cats. My niece Deb makes rescue videos in Bellingham, Washington, and just bought herself a Norwegian Fjord colt. She named him "Henry Fjord." My niece Jane volunteers at a vet's office, my daughter Nancy does Affenpinscher rescue, and most cousins in that generation have dogs or cats or both. Now I have a young granddaughter whose favorite toys are her animals. She cannot say much at a year and a half, but she is sure of "puppy" and "meow," and her animal interest is already apparent. So I especially appreciated the music and wildflower interest being genetic.


    NEHGS Contact Information

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    If you have questions, comments, or suggestions about the enewsletter, please contact Lynn Betlock at

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