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  • 2003 Archive

  • Vol. 5, No. 7
    Whole #100
    February 7, 2003
    Edited by Lynn Betlock and Rod 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 Articles on
    eNews 100th Issue Anniversary Contest
    • Intensive Research Programs at NEHGS
    • "Ask a Librarian" Answers Your Research Questions
    • Tales from the Manuscript Collection: An 1860 Slave Auction Poster
    • Upcoming "Genealogy in a Nutshell" Lectures at the NEHGS Library
    • An Introduction to Using at NEHGS in Boston
    • Ralph J. Crandall to Speak at the Fiske Genealogical Library in Seattle — March 8, 2003
    • Careers at NEHGS
    • New Exhibition — Long Road to Justice: The African American Experience in the Massachusetts Courts
    • Favorite Ancestor Feedback
    • NEHGS Contact Information

    New Databases on

    Deaths Reported in the Boston Recorder and Telegraph, 1827 and 1828

    The Boston Recorder and Telegraph was a non-denominational religious weekly edited by Nathaniel Willis and Asa Rand. In 1948 Elizabeth Hayward of Ridgewood, New Jersey, copied all of the death notices — whether in a news item or an obituary column — that appeared in this newspaper in the years 1827 and 1828. The compiler notes in the introduction that "death dates were rarely given in the obituary notices, and from those scattered instances in which they were printed it appears that the interval between the event and its reporting varied from a few days to as much as three years. In general, the time interval varied directly in proportion to the distance from Boston. It should be noted that the date given at the close of each entry is the date of publication, not the date of death." Hayward also notes that "the large number of deaths reported outside of Boston may be due to the fact that the periodical's editors were in correspondence with clergymen all over the world. The list has no geographical limits, for deaths are chronicled in all 26 of the then-existing states, in Canada, at sea and abroad." Service in the Revolutionary War is indicated by an asterisk (*).

    Search Deaths Reported in the Boston Recorder and Telegraph, 1827 and 1828 at

    Marriages Reported in the Boston Recorder and Telegraph, 1827 and 1828

    As with the "Deaths Reported..." database listed above, these records were also transcribed by Elizabeth Hayward, but in 1944. In addition to the names of bride and groom, some entries also list their place of origin and the name of the bride's father.

    Search Marriages Reported in the Boston Recorder and Telegraph, 1827 and 1828 at

    Records of the Congregational Church of Rutland, Vermont (East Parish), 1788–1842

    In 1787 the town of Rutland was divided into two parishes. The First Congregational Church, established in 1773, was already within the boundaries of the west parish, and so the east parish established a new church in 1788. These records are drawn from the east parish. The Congregational Church of Rutland was incorporated October 5, 1788, with thirty-seven members and Reverend Samuel Williams at the pulpit. Williams was suceeded by Rev. Heman Ball in 1797, who served the church until his death in 1821. Rev. Charles Walker succeeded him as pastor in 1823 and continued until he was dismissed ten years later, after which Rev. William Mitchell served the congregation until 1846.

    These records include baptisms, marriages, deaths, admissions, and dismissions or excommunications.

    Search the Records of the Congregational Church of Rutland, Vermont (East Parish), 1788–1842 at

    Cemetery Transcriptions from the NEHGS Manuscript Collections

    This week we have added transcriptions from four cemeteries in the town of Dunbarton, New Hampshire.

    Search Cemetery Transcriptions from the NEHGS Manuscript Collections at

    Master Search

    Or master search all databases at

    New Research Articles on

    Loyalist Settlers in Atlantic Canada
    by Michael J. Leclerc

    Rhode Island
    Religious Records in Rhode Island
    by Maureen A. Taylor

    eNews 100th Issue Anniversary Contest

    Today we are pleased to offer you the 100th issue of the NEHGS enewsletter. The enewsletter began biweekly publication under the name HisGen Highlights on October 4, 1999. In the last three and a half years, the enewsletter has developed into an important NEHGS resource, providing information about Society news, family history sources, and the genealogical world. The enewsletter adopted a new name — NEHGS eNews — in November 2001 and moved to weekly publication in August 2002. The enewsletter is now received by nearly 15,000 subscribers, both NEHGS members and non-members.

    The enewsletter serves many purposes but one of the most important is to keep users in touch with the latest developments on the website. Each week, eNews lists the databases and articles that have most recently appeared online and describes their importance. Other sections of the sites are highlighted as well: the Circulating Library, Research Services, Planning a Trip to Boston, Membership, Education Programs and many more.

    The Contest

    As we note the 100th issue of NEHGS eNews, we would like to get your feedback on how has helped you in your research. We are asking you to be specific and relate in detail what knowledge you have gained from the website — perhaps how it helped you solve a research problem. Ten entries will be selected to receive a $10 gift certificate to NEHGS, which can be applied to the store, circulating library, membership, research services, Great Migration Newsletter subscription, or an education program.

    Please send your entries to Lynn Betlock at by Friday, February 28. Winners will be announced in the eNews in March.

    Intensive Research Programs at NEHGS

    For almost two decades, one of the most popular summer programs NEHGS has offered its members is the intensive research experience we named "Come Home to New England." The program features lectures, focused library tours, consultations, and in-depth research assistance by NEHGS librarians and noted genealogists. It is the Society's goal to help each participant advance his or her research to the next level, get beyond a troubling roadblock, or launch a new line of inquiry.

    In recent years, we have adapted this research program to a shorter, long-weekend format during the winter and early spring months when the library is less crowded and air fares less expensive. In the coming months, three of these research seminars are planned—one each in February, March, and April. Each program offers slightly different lectures or areas of focus but all provide the knowledgeable assistance and research support that NEHGS has become known for as well as full access to our 200,000 item library collection. Each seminar provides extended participant-only library hours, the option of arranged lodging, and the pleasures of collegial companionship with like-minded genealogists.

    Winter Research Getaways I and II specialize in New England research in a long-weekend format and include daily lectures, research consultations, three nights of lodging at the nearby John Hancock Center, breakfast, and an informal dinner. Those who live near Boston or choose to make their own independent lodging arrangements may opt for the lower-priced "commuter" rate for this program.

    Winter Research Getaway I — February 27 – March 1
    Winter Research Getaway II — March 13 – March 15

    Single $590; double $390; commuter $200

    For more information on this program, visit

    English and Scottish Family History for Americans brings noted English place name and surname specialist George Redmonds to the NEHGS Library in Boston. Dr. Redmonds is joined by The Great Migration author and respected early New England specialist, Robert Charles Anderson. Jerome Anderson, an authority on Scottish family research, old handwriting, and English source records, will also be available as a lecturer and research consultant, as will the full spectrum of NEHGS librarians.

    English and Scottish Family History
    April 9-12
    Four-day program: NEHGS member $495 ($520 non-member)

    The program fee includes two consultations and daily lectures with a librarian or lecturer. Lodging is available at the nearby John Hancock Conference Center but not included in the fee.

    One day special price reduction for NEHGS members only
    Our special one day rate of $150 for NEHGS members includes two lectures and a consultation with a librarian or lecturer.

    For more information about English and Scottish Family History for Americans, please visit

    Contact information:

    For further information or to register, call NEHGS Tours Department at 1-888-286-3447 or email

    Put Boston in your travel plans this winter or spring and benefit from the NEHGS research experience!

    "Ask a Librarian" Answers Your Research Questions

    A new set of member questions and answers by our expert library staff are available to NEHGS members on our "Ask a Librarian" page at Due to the many questions submitted, please allow two to three months for questions to be answered. You will be notified if your question has been selected. Please remember 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 these types of queries.

    Here are this month's questions:

    John Windhausen asks:
    What is the best way to discover the birth record of a person born in Saint John, New Brunswick, in the 1850s? Would a trip to the clerk's office of that city be helpful or is there an easier way to find this information? The same question could be asked for Saint Andrews, New Brunswick.

    Anonymous asks:
    Most of my ancestors are from Massachusetts, but my great grandmother was a Furnall. It is said that her grandfather was of French descent , an orphan who was adopted by English settlers in or around Hobart, Maine. Is there a Hobart, Maine? Was there a Hobart, Maine?

    Jane W. Smith asks:
    I am looking for a probated will and estate inventory for a man who died in Boston in April 1906. The vital records in Dorchester, Massachusetts, start in 1911. Those at the State Archives in Columbia Point end in 1894. The Family History Center in my town can order the microfiche from Salt Lake City for the appropriate docket books and the probate records themselves, but this takes 3-4 weeks.

    Does the NEHGS have these records available? I only see a reference to Probate Indexes, MAO-011, in your searchable databases.

    Richard I. Mather asks:

    Could you please give me a reference where I might find the original members list of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company? I wish to learn if the Reverend Richard Mather was among the early members.

    John Sinclair asks:

    Is the 1901 Irish census available? Where?

    Nancy Jeffery Harrison asks:

    I am researching family history for my father's biological parents. However, my father's actual birth certificate of 1928, which contained the name of his father, was sealed but is recorded in the City of Boston. The birth certificate we have in our possession states "father unknown" although my father did mention the name of his suspected father. Because he was given up for adoption after his birth, my father never knew his family, but we do have his mother's name and her father's name. Is there any way in which we might be able to request a copy of the sealed birth record if it has been released? Both of his biological parents are deceased, as is my father. Do you have any advice on where I can next proceed?

    Dorothy McNary asks:

    Our family has an original lieutenant's commission document of an ancestor who was a resident of Lanesborough, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts. This is dated 1 September 1800 for the 1st Regiment, 2nd Brigade, 9th Division and signed by Gov. Caleb Strong. Can you tell me where these Massachusetts militia records might be found or if there are histories of the various units? The National Archives and the Massachusetts Archives say they do not have militia records.

    Robert Sutherland asks:

    An ancestor came to Boston in 1839 at the age of twenty. He was born in Inishowen, Donegal, Ireland. He arrived in Boston from St. John, New Brunswick. What is the most likely route he followed to get to St. John? What can I read about typical passages? Are there any records in Ireland or St. John that I can research to get additional information?


    For answers to these questions and more, please visit our "Ask a Librarian" page at "Ask a Librarian" is a benefit of NEHGS membership - you must log in to before accessing the answer page.

    Tales from the Manuscript Collections: An 1860 Slave Auction Notice

    In honor of Black History Month, "Tales from the Manuscript Collections" presents an historic notice advertising the auction of sixty-eight slaves belonging to "the late Christopher J. Whaley" of Charlston, South Carolina. Included on the notice are the first names and ages of the slaves as well as pencil inscriptions of dollar amounts, possibly tied to the sale price.

    The International Genealogical Index shows that Christopher Jenkins Whaley, son of William Smith Whaley and Sarah Wilson, was born about 1828 in Charlston and died January 12, 1859. He married Mary Sarah Gibbes on January 16, 1855, and they had at least three children: Mary Sarah (died young), Christopher Jenkins, and William Smith Gibbs.

    This was among the many gifts donated to NEHGS by Robert W. Coggeshall in 1988 [MSS 241].

    To view this item please see "Tales from the Manuscript Collections" at

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

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

    • "Guidelines for Publishing Your Family History" by Christopher Hartman on Saturday, February 8.

    • "Researching Your Prince Edward Island Ancestors" by George F. Sanborn on Wednesday, February 12

    • "From Washington to Bush: Ancestors of American Presidents" by Gary Boyd Roberts on Wednesday, February 19 and Saturday, February 22.

    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
    February 12, 6:00 p.m.

    Learn how to use the NEHGS website to advance your research! In this free class, website administrator 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.

    The next program will be held on February 12 at 6:00 p.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

    Ralph J. Crandall to Speak at the Fiske Genealogical Library in Seattle - March 8, 2003

    On Saturday, March 8, from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., the Fiske Genealogical Library in Seattle will sponsor a symposium on the topic "Migration Patterns Out of New England." NEHGS Executive Director Dr. Ralph J. Crandall will give three lectures: "Migration from New England to the Upper Midwest," "Migration from New England to the West Coast," and "Using New England Historic Genealogical Society Resources at a Distance."

    The seminar is open to the public. There will be a $30 fee to attend the program, which includes a coupon for a day of free research at the Fiske Library, a $5 value. (The program fee is $20 for Fiske Library members.) The Fiske Genealogical Library is located at 1644 43rd Avenue E. in Seattle.

    For more information or to register, please visit If you have questions, you may email Carolyn Blount at or call the Fiske Library at 1-206-328-2716. The library is staffed on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursday afternoons, and Saturdays. At other times, you may leave a message and someone will return your call later.

    Careers at NEHGS

    Two positions are currently open at the NEHGS headquarters in Boston – director of development and administrative assistant to the director. For more information about these positions, please visit

    New Exhibition - Long Road to Justice: The African American Experience in the Massachusetts Courts

    The Justice George Lewis Ruffin Society and Suffolk University Law School are sponsoring an exhibition titled "Long Road to Justice: The African American Experience in the Massachusetts Courts," at the Adams Gallery at the Suffolk University Law School. The free exhibition is open to the public from January 17 to April 13, 2003.

    "Long Road to Justice" explores the experience of African Americans in the Massachusetts courts by focusing on slavery, education, and participation in the courts. The multimedia exhibition features free-standing panels that showcase historical artifacts, photographs, court records, and it is enhanced by a video containing interviews about personal experiences in the state legal system.

    The Adams Gallery at the Suffolk University Law School is located at 120 Tremont St. in Boston. For more information contact Beth Anne Bower at 617-305-6255 or

    Favorite Ancestor Feedback

    We continue with reader submissions to the questions "Who is your favorite ancestor? Why?" If you would like to contribute information on your favorite 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 Douglas I. Hodgkin of Lewiston, Maine

    My favorite ancestor is Captain Jonathan Hodgkin (1795–1876) of Lewiston, Maine, in part because he is the one about whom I know the most. His uncle Thomas Hodgkin's diary, kept over a fifty-year span, and the diary Jonathan kept for four years provide a rich window into nineteenth-century rural life in Maine. His small brick farmhouse, built in 1847, remains today. He was the son of Jonathan Hodgkin, who died before he was born. His mother, Anna (Welch), lived as a widow for fifty-nine years after her husband's death. Uncle Thomas Hodgkin became his guardian, and defended Jonathan's inherited property against encroachments by neighbors and the demands of his maternal grandfather. At one point, Jonathan ran away, but returned several months later and agreed to work for his uncle until the age of twenty-one. He served in the local militia, and saw active duty in 1814 during the War of 1812. Eventually he rose to the rank of captain, a cherished title that is recorded on his gravestone.

    Apparently he was a typical but somewhat prosperous Maine farmer, engaged in the annual round of crop and animal husbandry, haying, logging, and carpentry work. The diaries record an active exchange of goods and work with neighbors. He suffered an accident while helping to move a neighbor's barn, an injury that left an arm useless for at least four months. Jonathan often "went to meeting" on Sundays. He held a variety of positions in town government, including school district agent, hogreeve, surveyor of highways, fence viewer, field driver, surveyor of lumber, culler of staves, and surveyor of wood and bark. Finally, he was a member of an unsuccessful slate of candidates for the new city council when Lewiston was organized as a city in 1863. Jonathan married two sisters, Sally and Orpha Brooks, and had six children with each, all of whom married and for the most part had children, thereby ensuring a multitude of descendants. His journal rarely records much about his family life. He referred to the children when making them shoes or when they were sick. The birth of his sixth child, my great grandfather, is recorded tersely and indirectly, "sally was sick we had doct Gorham here she go to bed helpt mr. morse husk."

    "...his inventions made life interesting"
    By Susan Banton of Modesto, California

    An interesting ancestor is my third great grandfather, William Rufus Jackson, born October 1808, in Mecklenburg County, Virginia, and died August 22, 1892, in Chambers County, Alabama. He also lived in North Carolina and Georgia along the way. He was a staunch Primitive Baptist and a member of the Macedonia Church. About 1840 he moved to Chambers County, Alabama, where he operated a stone quarry. His ability to carve intricate designs into tombstones earned him the nickname "Rock." His work survives today in various cemeteries in Chambers County. He even designed his own tombstone.

    I believe his inventions made life interesting. Among them, a horseless carriage operated by hand cranks inside the buggy (there is a story about the lack of speed controls) and a swing bridge between two high hills to allow his children easier access to school. He also incorporated his well, woodshed, and buggy shed into his cellar, which allowed access from inside the house. His wives were relieved of the drudgery of going outdoors in winter for wood, water, or stored foodstuffs. No wonder he was married three times!

    The first wife, Martha Foster, bore him eleven children, a second, name unknown, bore him three more, and his third wife, Mattie Davis, bore him none. Although I am descended through his first wife, the family story about his third wife's marriage proposal needs to be shared. As Mattie told it, "One day, I heard someone hollering 'hello' out in the front of our house. When I came to the door, I saw Mr. Jackson sitting in his buggy. He called in a loud voice, 'Good morning. I'm looking for a wife. Does anyone here want to get married?' I couldn't help but laugh. I told him to get down and come in. We talked a while and both of us asked some questions. That's when I told him to go get a license and a preacher."

    NEHGS Contact Information

    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, comment or suggestions about the enewsletter, please contact Lynn Betlock at

    We strongly encourage you to email this newsletter to others who might be interested. To subscribe, please visit

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