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  • 2003 Archive

  • Vol. 5, No. 53
    Whole #146
    December 26, 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 or change your email address, 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
    • Holiday Hours at the NEHGS Library
    • NEHGS CD-ROM Beta Testers Wanted
    • NEHGS Lecture Videos — Now Available and On Sale!
    • New From Newbury Street Press: Colonial American Doctresses
    • A Research Article from the Archive — Now Free to Non-Members
    • New Titles in the NEHGS Book Store!
    Upcoming "Genealogy in a Nutshell" Lectures at the NEHGS Library
    • Favorite — and Black Sheep — Ancestor Feedback
    • NEHGS Contact Information

    New Databases on

    Alphabetical Index of the Births, Marriages and Deaths Recorded in Providence, Rhode Island [Volume 1]

    Published by the city in twenty-five volumes from 1879 to 1945, this series provides names, dates of events, and the volume and page numbers of the statistic in the city records. This week we have added Volume 1 of this series, which includes the years 1636 to 1850. We will continue to add volumes from this series to over time.

    Search Alphabetical Index of the Births, Marriages and Deaths Recorded in Providence, Rhode Island, at

    Historical Catalogue of the Members of the First Baptist Church in Providence, Rhode Island

    The First Baptist Church of Providence is the oldest Baptist church in America, founded by Roger Williams in 1638.

    In 1636 six persons settled what was to be called Providence. It was named by Roger Williams, who had been banished from Massachusetts because of his religious and political beliefs. Other individuals from Salem and Boston who sought freedom from Puritan intolerance soon joined the group, and in 1638 they organized the first Baptist church. Roger Williams was appointed first pastor but soon withdrew from the church, believing the rites of the church had become invalid due to corruption.

    The First Baptist Church of Providence that stands today was erected in 1774-5 It is the third meeting house of the church.

    The records of the church are divided into four areas: names, when and how received, when and how connection to the church ceased, and remarks (which often state relationships). This volume was compiled by Pastor Henry Melville King and Charles Field Wilcox, and published in 1908.


    Search the Historical Catalogue of the Members of the First Baptist Church in Providence, Rhode Island at

    Massachusetts Society of the Cincinnati Profiles

    The Society of the Cincinnati was established in 1783 by and for the officers in Continental Service. It was organized in fourteen constituent societies, one of which is the Massachusetts Society. Membership in the Society of the Cincinnati was extended to the officers of the Continental Army — as well as Continental Navy and Marine officers — who had served until the end of the war, plus those who had been declared no longer needed by acts of Congress and those who had served honorably for three years during the war. Also eligible were the oldest male lineal descendants of officers who died in service. The officers of the French Navy and Army who served with the American Army were also entitled to join. This database contains information on those Massachusetts officers eligible for membership. Absence from this list does not conclusively exclude eligibility.

    New sketches are now available for the following individuals:

    Joseph Noyes, Elias Parker, Phineas Parker, John Paterson, Ebenezer Peabody, William Perkins, Jonathan Stone, Nathaniel Stone, Ebenezer Storer, William Storey, John Story, Jonathan Turner, and Marlbry Turner.

    Search the Massachusetts Society of the Cincinnati Profiles at

    Cemetery Transcriptions from the NEHGS Manuscript Collections

    This week we have added transcriptions of Chandler Hill Cemetery, Branch Cemetery, and the Farley Burial Yard, all in Colrain, Franklin County, Massachusetts.

    Search Cemetery Transcriptions from the NEHGS Manuscript Collections at

    Roster of Vermont Soldiers in World War I

    This database contains the names of the men and women of Vermont who served in the armed forces of the United States during World War I. Information in these records typically includes name, serial number, residence, place of birth, age or date of birth, organizations served in (with dates of assignments and transfers), grades (with date of appointment), engagements, wounds or other injuries received in action (and, if death occurred while in service, date of death and place of burial), service overseas, discharge notations, and general remarks.

    These records were prepared (with very few exceptions) from records furnished from the office of the Adjutant General at Washington, D.C. They were compiled by Herbert T. Johnson and published in 1927 under the full title Roster of Vermont Men and Women in the Military and Naval Service of the United States and Allies in the World War 1917–1919.

    Search Roster of Vermont Soldiers in World War I at



    Holiday Hours in the NEHGS Library

    In observance of the Christmas and New Year's holidays, the research library will be closed or will close early on the following days:

    Friday, December 26: closed
    Saturday, December 27: closed

    (The library is closed on Sundays in December and on all Mondays, so the library will also be closed on Sunday, December 28, and Monday, December 29.)

    Wednesday, December 31: 3 p.m. closing
    Thursday, January 1: closed

    For a complete list of 2003 and 2004 library hours and holiday schedules, visit

    Happy holidays from the staff of the New England Historic Genealogical Society!

    NEHGS CD-ROM Beta Testers Wanted

    The New England Historic Genealogical Society is starting a new Quality Assurance (Q.A.) process for all newly-developed CD-ROMs produced by the Society. As part of this process we are asking NEHGS members to volunteer to be "beta testers" to help us ensure that the disks are functional across a wide variety of operating systems, are properly formatted, and arrive with clear and accurate instructions.

    Each beta tester will receive a pre-release copy of a new CD-ROM disk, along with minimal instructions on its installation and use. The tester will be asked to install the disk and use it for several hours during the following seven days. He or she will be given a list of specific tasks to accomplish and also will be asked to experiment freely to find unexpected problems. All beta testers are expected to seek out — and find — software bugs, typographical errors in the instructions, formatting problems with the data, or other quality issues with the proposed new release. We ask that an email report detailing the problems be sent back to NEHGS no later than the seventh day after receipt of the test CD-ROM.

    Once the beta testers have completed their tasks, the CD-ROM becomes a candidate for release. If the beta testers identify significant problems, the release of the new disk will be held until required changes are made.

    Ideally, the beta testers will represent a cross-section of our members' technical skills and computer systems. All levels of genealogical experience are welcome; we need both computer novices as well as technical experts. Finally, we would like to utilize volunteers using older Windows 95 and Windows 98 computers as well as those with the latest Windows XP systems. Macintosh users are especially encouraged to volunteer to be beta testers. We also hope that some of these beta testers will have two or more computers that can be used for testing. We hope to utilize a different group of Q.A. beta testers for each CD-ROM release. You will not know the topic of the CD-ROM to be tested until it arrives in the mail.

    If you would like to volunteer to be a beta tester for the New England Historic Genealogical Society, please send an email to Please state your name and mailing address and write a sentence or two describing your level of computer and genealogical knowledge. (We do not need a lengthy resume.) Finally, please describe your computer(s) to be used: CPU speed, operating system, amount of memory and approximate age of the computer (feel free to let us know if you don't know all of the technical information and we will try to help).

    We will notify each beta tester that is selected a few days in advance of shipment of the test disks. We want to verify that you will be available for testing during the scheduled timeframe. If you are temporarily unavailable, we will place your name on a waiting list for future testing efforts.

    Your efforts will help NEHGS produce higher-quality CD-ROM products for all of our members. Thank you for your consideration.

    - Dick Eastman, Assistant Executive Director for Technology

    NEHGS Lecture Videos — Now Available and On Sale!

    NEHGS is pleased to announce the release of three new videotapes of research lectures by NEHGS staff. Each video is now available in our online store for a limited time sale price of $15.95, plus shipping and handling.

    In Genealogical Research in Upstate New York, well-respected New York expert and Register editor Henry Hoff discusses major sources for upstate New York research, including those of "feeder" areas, particularly New England. He also discusses methods for research, such as locating articles on the specific New York county in question and identifying what makes a family unique for research purposes.

    In Genealogical Writing: Style Guidelines and Practical Advice, Mr. Hoff talks about the choices you must make for your publication-to-be, and outlines thoughts about structure, style, organization, and presentation. As editor of the Register, he also gives tips on what editors look for in a book or article.

    Irish genealogical research is truly a challenge. In Getting Started in Irish Genealogy, noted Irish expert Marie Daly arms you with advice on how to start your research in Irish-American records and successfully move your search to the Old Country to unlock the secrets of your Irish ancestry. The lecture focuses on nineteenth-century North American sources for locating birthplaces in Ireland using a case study of an Irish Catholic immigrant to New England.

    Outlines and syllabi for Genealogical Research in Upstate New York and Genealogical Writing: Style Guidelines and Practical Advice in pdf format can now be downloaded on at . The materials for the Getting Started in Irish Genealogy video will be added to the website shortly.

    New From Newbury St. Press: Colonial American Doctresses: A Genealogical and Biographical Account of Women who Practiced Chirurgery and other Aspects of Medical Science in Colonial America

    This compelling new book, written by former NEHGS trustee Ethel Farrington Smith, CG, examines the pioneer women of the medical community in colonial America. Containing thirty-four fascinating biographical and genealogical profiles, including such notable women as Ann (Mountford) Eliot, the wife of John Eliot, "Apostle to the Indians"; Elizabeth Hubbard Stiles, the wife of the influential Yale minister Ezra Stiles; and Martha Ballard of A Midwife's Tale, this groundbreaking study of these often-overlooked women of medicine is fully indexed and includes illustrations.

    Colonial American Doctresses: A Genealogical and Biographical Account of Women who Practiced Chirurgery and other Aspects of Medical Science in Colonial America is available through the NEHGS Online Store. It is priced at $25, plus shipping and handling.

    A Research Article from the Archive — Now Free to Non-Members

    Researching Online: Separating Fact from Fiction

    By Rhonda R. McClure

    Genealogy, like most other interests, has certain guidelines which should be followed. The recording of females is done using the maiden name. Dates are recorded in a set manner. Likewise, researchers are expected to cite the sources used in compiling their family history information.

    All too often in the research phase, new information is discovered in a published volume. When the researcher tries to determine where the compiler found the information, frustration mounts as the researcher discovers that no sources were cited. Such a volume is automatically considered suspect and the job of recreating the research begins.

    Similar scenarios take place every day as researchers surf the Internet in search of family history pages. For some reason, online researchers often do not apply the same rule of thumb to published family history web pages as they would to a published book. It is just as important, nay, more important, to see the sources used in compiling a family history web page. If sources are not provided, one should try to determine where the data came from and how it was digitized for inclusion on the Internet.


    Read the full article at

    New Titles in the NEHGS Book Store!

    The Le Roy Family in America, 1753–2003
    By Scott Campbell Steward and Newbold Le Roy, III
    Item # B33301000 Hardcover, 782 pp. $69.50

    NEHGS members Scott Campbell Steward and Newbold Le Roy, III, have written an account of ten generations of the descendants of Jacob1 Le Roy (1727–1793) by his two wives, Cornelia (1736–1765) and her sister, Catherine Rutgers (1738–1801). The Le Roy Family in America traces all lines down to the present day and includes an account of the Le Roys in France and Holland, as well as appendixes on the European ancestry of the Rutgers family and the Dutch descendants of Hendrik Le Roy, uncle of the American immigrant.

    The Wampanoag Genealogical History of Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts
    By Dr. Jerome D. Segel and R. Andrew Pierce
    Item # B26475050 Soft cover, 679 pp. $55.00

    This important work was first released earlier this year in hardcover (also available from NEHGS for $85.00). We have just received a limited-edition soft cover printing. The Wampanoag Indians were the original settlers of Martha's Vineyard. Prior to the publication of this book, no serious effort was made to present the history of the Wampanoags. This book explores the rich, documented heritage of the Vineyard Wampanoags within the context of family genealogies. Sources used include land records and deeds; leases and wills; and court, vital, military, maritime, religious, and census records. The main portion of this book is a compendium listing every Native American with Island connections found in these various records of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

    Norden: A Guide to Scandinavian Genealogical Research in a Digital World
    By Art Jura
    Item #B27695010 Soft cover 115 pp. $14.95

    The new edition of this guidebook has been expanded to include all Nordic nations, peoples, and autonomous regions including Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Norway, Iceland, Greenland, the Faroe Islands, Aland, and the Lappish peoples of Sapmi. Its coverage of history and genealogy includes such topics as causes and dates of emigration, locations and census figures, evolution of surnames, farm names, soldiers' names, trades, and the ethnic minorities within each nation. Full of helpful sources, this guide identifies related Internet websites and includes an appendix that translates over 100 words useful to researchers into a number of Nordic languages.

    An Introduction to Irish Ancestry, Third Edition
    By Sean E. Quinn
    Item #B26250100 Soft cover 76 pp. $12.95

    This book focuses on the records and repositories useful to genealogists for Irish research. Specifically, the book covers five basic records and the repositories that hold them. Learn more about census returns, civil registrations, parish registers, primary valuations of tenements, and tithe composition and applotment books. This book was published in Ireland by the author of the website

    Clans and Families of Ireland: The Heritage and Heraldry of Irish Clans and Families
    By John Grenham
    Item # B26253200 Hard cover with full color dust jacket, 188 pp $22.95

    This beautiful book might belong with your serious reference books on the shelf, but begs to be displayed on your coffee table instead. Full color illustrations and photographs throughout the book brings the history of Ireland to life, from the early inhabitants through the famine, and illustrates the effects of emigration on modern day Ireland. The author, a well-respected expert in Irish surnames, investigates the clans and families of Ireland, and provides heraldic information about them. A great book for the lover of anything Irish.

    The 1848 Boston Cultivator Marriages, Deaths, and Miscellaneous Readings
    Compiled by Elaine Morrison Fitch
    Item #B27670100 Soft cover 541 pp. $43.00

    As much fun to read as it is genealogically valuable, this book provides glimpses into the world of Boston in the mid-nineteenth century as told through the Boston Cultivator weekly newspaper. Covering everything from social occasions to fires, crime, and scandals, the abstracts from this newspaper include interesting details about everyday life as well as vital records that were published in the paper. Abstracts are arranged chronologically with a full index.

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

    The 2004 "Genealogy in a Nutshell" series resumes on January 7 with:

    • "Beyond the Death Record: Linking Related Records" by David Lambert on Wednesday, January 7 and Saturday, January 10

    • "Using DNA to Unravel Genealogical Mysteries" by Christopher Child on Wednesday, January 14 and Saturday, January 17

    • "Clues and Context: What Social History Can Tell You about Your Family History" by Jean Maguire on Wednesday, January 21 and Saturday, January 24

    All lectures take place at 10 a.m. Advance registration is not necessary.

    Audio tapes of the nutshell lectures may be borrowed through the NEHGS Circulating Library. Lecture tapes are usually available for loan about one month after the lecture date. For more information, please email or call 1-888-296-3447 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Eastern time), Monday through Friday.

    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.

    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!

    My Favorite Ancestor
    by Deborah Anne Autry of Calhoun, Georgia

    My favorite ancestor is Joseph Middlebrook. I don't know much about him except that he left his home in England in 1635 to settle in New England. He first resided in the Massachusetts Bay Colony and then in Fairfield, Connecticut. He married, had a family, and owned land. Everything I know about him is from the book The Register of the Middlebrook Family, published in 1909.

    How could someone I know nothing about be my favorite ancestor? Simply because of the fact that he left his home (and family?), sailed across the Atlantic, and started a new life in a new land. What made him come? What did he leave behind? What courage he must have had!!

    Although he came several years after the Mayflower, I think about him every year as I teach the Pilgrim story to my first grade class. I wonder if his ship looked like the Mayflower, if he dressed "like a Pilgrim," if his religion and motivations for coming were the same as theirs?

    I wonder what he would think of his huge extended family. This man has descendants scattered all over the United States (of course the only ones I know are the "Southern branch" of the Middlebrook family).

    I wonder if he would be proud of his large American family. The ones I know are teachers, lawyers, professors, nurses, ministers, farmers, business people, graduate students, sailors, soldiers, faithful Christians loyal to their families, their churches and their communities. The kind of people who built our great nation.

    I think of my ancestor Joseph Middlebrook and thank him for leaving his home and coming to this "new world." I am proud to be his descendant!!

    My favorite black sheep ancestor
    by Reverend Frederick S. Baldwin of Mendham, New Jersey

    My great grandmother, Harriet Carpenter of Jordan, New York, was a Sanders and she let everybody know it. The immigrant family landed in Salem in 1630 and were the first white settlers north of Kennebunkport, Maine. She would go on and on about her family's accomplishments. I was named after her son, Fred (my grandfather), who was born in Macgraw, New York, about 1879-80. He went on and on about how wonderful his mother was, and how he started out a poor boy before rising to great prominence in central New York business and politics. But they are not my favorite black sheep. It was Stephen L. Baldwin, father of Fred and supposed husband of Harriet.

    We have no idea where Stephen came from or, after a few years putting up with Harriet, where he went. He is the stuff of legend. He might have been the son of Silas and Nancy, and first married to Amy Cantley of Tully. But then if that is true, he abandoned Amy, hooked up with Harriet (although there are no marriage records), had Fred, and then disappeared. From what I recall of my grandfather and what I have heard about my "great" great grandmother, I don't blame him!


    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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