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  • 2004 Archive

  • Vol. 6, No. 10
    Whole #156
    March 5, 2004
    Edited by Rod D. Moody and Valerie Beaudrault

    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 2004, New England Historic Genealogical Society
    101 Newbury Street, Boston, MA 02116


    New Databases on
    New Research Article on
    NEHGS and Family Associations
    Wireless Access Now Available at the NEHGS Library
    Recent Research Library Microfilm Acquisitions
    New From Newbury Street Press: The Avery Family
    Website: Connecticut History Online
    Call for Papers for FGS and NERGC Conferences
    From the Volunteer Coordinator
    NEHGS Event: Winter Research Getaway II
    Upcoming "Genealogy in a Nutshell" Lectures at the NEHGS Library
    An Introduction to at the NEHGS Library
    Careers at NEHGS
    Favorite — and Black Sheep — Ancestor Feedback
    NEHGS Contact Information

    New Databases on

    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 family sketches were added to the database this week:

    Billings, Bird, Birdsall, Bishop, Bloodgood, Blount, Blowers, Bodger, Bogardus, Bogart, Bolt, Bolton, and Bond.

    View new family sketches from The Settlers of the Beekman Patent at

    Search the database and read introductory matter at

    The original text can be viewed at the NEHGS Library or borrowed by NEHGS members via the Circulating Library. The call number is F127/D8/D63.

    Catalogue of the Second Congregational Church of Berlin, Connecticut

    The Second Congregational Church of Berlin was organized in the county of Hartford, February 9, 1775, at which time thirty-eight male members signed a Confession of Faith and Covenant, and were thereby "constituted, formed and embodied a particular and distinct Church."

    The original text is available to NEHGS members at the R. Stanton Avery Collections room at the NEHGS Library, call number MF59_6B45.

    Search the Catalogue of the Second Congregational Church of Berlin, Connecticut at


    Cemetery Transcriptions from the NEHGS Manuscript Collections

    This week we have added transcriptions of several cemeteries in the towns of Humphrey, Willoughby, and Yorkshire, in Cattaraugus County, New York. The cemeteries are as follows:

    County Line Cemetery
    Humphrey Center Cemetery
    Humphrey Cemetery
    Humphrey Catholic Cemetery

    Flint/Willoughby Cemetery

    McKinster Cemetery

    The original transcription is part of the R. Stanton Avery Collections. NEHGS members may view it at our research library in Boston. The call number is MSS NY 84 12.

    Search Cemetery Transcriptions from the NEHGS Manuscript Collections at


    Master Search

    Master search all databases at


    New Research Article on

    New Hampshire
    New Hampshire Town Histories, Part Three
    By Sherry L. Gould

    The first installment of this four-part series on New Hampshire town histories gave an overview of resources and repositories. The remainder of the series provides detailed information on the published histories of each New Hampshire town. The previous, or second, installment included all town names that start with A to F, while this article includes all towns from G to M. The series will conclude with the remainder of New Hampshire towns.


    Read the full article at

    NEHGS and Family Associations

    The following is the second in a series of articles highlighting family groups with New England roots. Through this endeavor we look forward to creating a partnership between NEHGS and the large community of New England family associations. Please visit the "Links" pages of the website ( to view links to various family associations. If your organization is not yet listed, please read the instructions at the top of that page and send us your link. We hope, in return, you will place a link to NEHGS on your website. Thank you!

    The Nickerson Family Association, Inc.

    The Nickerson Family Association is dedicated to the research and preservation of genealogical information related to the Nickerson family name and to the descendants of William and Anne (Busby) Nickerson, in particular. The association currently has over twelve hundred members. It is not necessary to be a descendant of William Nickerson and Anne Busby to become a member.

    The Nickerson Family Association's Genealogical Research Center is located in Chathamport, Massachusetts, near William Nickerson's original home site. The Center's collection includes numerous volumes of records, manuscripts of family trees, photographs, and other memorabilia involving Nickersons and related families, particularly those of Cape Cod and Nova Scotia. Complete information about the Nickerson Family Association is available on its website at There you will find information about the campaign to rescue the 1772 Caleb Nickerson House from demolition, an upcoming reunion (September 10-12, 2004, in Chatham, Massachusetts), and information on purchasing books, pamphlets, and other items.

    There are more than four thousand hits on the surname "Nickerson" in the NEHGS online databases including more than eight hundred in the Register, over twenty four hundred in Massachusetts Vital Records to 1850, and nearly four hundred in our cemeteries databases. The NEHGS manuscript collections contain six items with Nickerson as a subject. And, there are two Circulating Library books available for loan including The Nickerson Family; the descendants of William Nickerson, 1604–1689, first settler of Chatham, Massachusetts (Publisher: Nickerson Family Association), and six titles relating to Nickerson in the Research Library stacks at 101 Newbury Street.

    The association's website notes that a wealthy philanthropist named William Emery Nickerson began researching his family tree in the 1890s, and discovered, with the assistance of a genealogist, that nearly all individuals bearing that surname descend from the immigrant William Nickerson and his wife, Anne. For the first Nickerson Family Reunion, in 1897, Mr. Nickerson chartered a train to bring descendants from Chatham to the reunion site in Boston. Mr. Nickerson was an annual member of NEHGS from 1899 until 1928, when he became a life member. His memoir in Register 82 (1931, p.31) tells of his many inventions, which made improvements to elevators, vacuum pumps, and incandescent lamps. He also invented machines for the automatic weighing and packing of coffee, tea, cereals, and flour. In 1902 he began developing products for the Gillette Safety Razor Company. The memoir states that "he perfected the razor and devised the processes and invented the automatic machinery used in making the article."

    William Emery Nickerson had intended to publish a genealogy, but it was never completed. The forty-one boxes of research materials that Mr. Nickerson had compiled for it are in the NEHGS manuscript collections, call number MSS SG NIC 40.

    Visit the Nickerson Family Association at


    Wireless Access Now Available at NEHGS Library

    NEHGS members and visitors who use the sixth-floor library at 101 Newbury Street in Boston now have more communications capabilities than ever before. Wireless Internet access, with speeds much faster than the typical cable modem or DSL connection, is now available to all sixth-floor patrons.You may bring your own wireless-equipped computer to the sixth floor to check your email, look for genealogy information on other websites, or to perform any other Internet activity.

    No special user IDs or passwords are required to access the new wireless service. All you need is any Windows, Macintosh, Palm or PocketPC computer that is equipped with an industry-standard 802.11b or 802.11g wireless card. The newer Centrino laptops already have built-in wireless capabilities and will also work well with the Society's new access point.

    Wireless Internet access is available only on the sixth floor and without technical support. Please remember that the staff librarians are genealogy experts, not technical support professionals. The librarians are not prepared to answer technical questions about wireless Internet access. Printed information sheets listing the required connection parameters are available on the sixth floor.

    Recent Research Library Microfilm Acquisitions

    The following new microfilmed resources are now available at the fourth-floor microtext room of NEHGS Library :

    Suffolk County, Massachusetts, Supreme Judicial Court Records.

    The records of the Superior Court of Judicature (1686–1781) and the Supreme Judicial Court (1781–1799) on sixty-one rolls of microfilm. Each volume has an index to names. The NEHGS call number for this series is F72/S9/S838.

    Nova Scotia Marriage Licenses, 1849–1918 (for select counties).

    These microfilm were acquired through the generosity of NEHGS trustee Robert F. Hendrickson. These licenses, also known as marriage slips, are actual handwritten documents relating to specific marriages as returned by the officiating clergyman or justice of the peace. The licenses typically contain more information than the actual marriage records themselves, such as parents' names, witnesses, and places of birth. The signatures of the couple and the witnesses are often included as well. Before using these records one should first consult the microfilm of the indexed county marriage registers for Nova Scotia at NEHGS [CS88/N644/N64]. You will find a record number and a page number for each marriage entry, and these entries are arranged by county and year. The record number is used to search the new marriage licenses films by the given year, except for pre-1864 marriages, which need to be searched by year.

    Marriage licenses for the following counties are currently available: Cape Breton, 1851–1912; Digby, 1849–1909; Guysborough, 1850–1906; Halifax, 1853–1916; Inverness, 1862–1908; Kings, 1862–1908; Richmond, 1849–1909; Shelburne, 1849–1918; Victoria, 1850–1909; and Yarmouth: 1864–1918.

    There are also some partial counties included, due to the arrangement of the microfilming.

    The NEHGS call number for this series of microfilm is CS88/N64443/N68.

    To obtain photocopies of microfilmed materials, please fill out the form for In-Depth Research available on our website at



    New from Newbury Street Press: The Avery Family

    The Avery Family: Ancestors and Descendants of Christopher Avery tells the story of Christopher and his son James' arrival in New England in the 1640s, settling first in Massachusetts, and their subsequent removal to Connecticut. Edited by Maureen A. Taylor, this new interpretation of the first generations of this family is rich with genealogical data and historical detail. The social history of the "Hive" — the house built by James Avery and inhabited by Avery descendants until its destruction by fire in the late 1800s — intertwines architectural history, oral tradition, and historical fact.

    The Avery Family: Ancestors and Descendants of Christopher Avery is available from the NEHGS Online Store at It is priced at $40 plus shipping and handling.

    Website: Connecticut History Online

    Connecticut History Online (CHO) is an online database comprised of Connecticut images. The CHO website currently contains approximately 14,000 photographs, drawings, and prints, which offer the user a picture of life in Connecticut from the beginning of the nineteenth century to the middle of the twentieth century. The project is supported by a National Leadership grant from the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS). Its collaborators are the Connecticut Historical Society, the Connecticut State Library, the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center at the University of Connecticut, Mystic Seaport, and the New Haven Colony Historical Society.

    The site can be explored in a number of ways. You can run a basic or refined search by keyword, subject, date, creator, or title. You can search all collections or search a single collection at a specific location, such as Mystic Seaport or the Connecticut Historical Society, Hartford. Another way to navigate through the Connecticut History Online site is by browsing alphabetical lists organized by subject, by title, or by creator. Or, you can browse through individual collections in the database. Detailed descriptions of the images are provided in catalog records.

    Alternatively, you can explore the site through "Journeys," an area featuring collections of photo essays that highlight specific topics. The journeys fall into five thematic categories, which include Discover Diversity, Learn about Livelihoods, Look into Lifestyles, Explore Environments and Investigate Infrastructure. With each journey, you are introduced to a group of images on a specific aspect of the theme. For example, the specific topics found under Learn about Livelihoods include the state's textile industry and its maritime activities.

    You can also search the site by using the geographic locator, which allows you to view a map of Connecticut and retrieve materials relating to a particular location. The "Geolocator" feature is still being designed and tested. There is currently a test version on the site, which allows you to zoom and view images by clicking on a dot on the map. When it is completed, you will be able to search for images by specific geographic locations.

    This project has now entered its second phase, in which a variety of materials will be added to the database and a new search interface will be developed. Its release is expected in the summer of 2004. The materials on the site will eventually cover the period from 1760 to 2000. Through the Connecticut History Online website genealogists, scholars, teachers and students, and the general public alike can explore Connecticut history through its images.

    Visit Connecticut History online at

    Call for Papers for FGS and NERGC Conferences

    Lecture proposals are now being accepted for two major genealogical conferences to be held in 2005.

    The Federation of Genealogical Societies and the Utah Genealogical Association invite lecture proposal submissions for the FGS/UGA Conference to be held September 7–10, 2005, in Salt Lake City, Utah. The program committee is accepting a wide range of lecture proposals from interested scholars and researchers for potential presentations at the conference. A broad variety of topics will be considered including: genealogical society management, basic genealogical instruction, methodology and problem solving techniques, ethnic research, international research, military records, immigration and associated records and research, writing and publishing family history, computers and genealogy, Internet resources, genetics and family medical history, alternate record types, and researching at the Family History Library. Proposals for workshops will also be considered.

    The deadline for proposal submissions for the FGS/UGA Conference is May 1, 2004. For details on proposal specifics and submission requirements, visit their website at

    The deadline for lecture proposals for the New England Regional Genealogical Conference (NERGC) is March 15, 2004. The conference will take place at the Holiday Inn By the Bay in Portland, Maine, March 31 to April 3, 2005. The conference coordinators are interested in receiving proposals from individuals and societies within the New England region covering a variety of topics. Further information about submitting proposals and topics to be covered can be found at

    From the Volunteer Coordinator

    Thanks to all who respond to my requests for volunteer help. It is gratifying to know that NEHGS has such support.

    This is a new request for volunteers to assist in our Research Services department, and of course, it is directed to those members who live in the Boston area and are able to visit the library at 101 Newbury Street. Members are needed who are familiar with the library, have spent time doing their own family research, and have the time to help the Research Services staff. This position also provides an excellent opportunity to improve one's own research skills. Training is provided and the ability to type up a report is very useful. It is important to note that a regular time commitment is necessary.

    Our staff at Framingham needs clerical assistance. Clerical tasks include filling envelopes, data entry, and mailing, with either a staff member or other volunteers. For members who live within driving distance of One Watson Place, Framingham, there is adequate parking all week.

    Susan Rosefsky
    NEHGS Volunteer Coordinator

    NEHGS Event: Winter Research Getaway #2
    March 25–27, 2004, at the NEHGS Library

    Time is running out to register for the NEHGS Winter Research Getaway #2, being held March 25–27 at the NEHGS Library in Boston. The first Getaway, held in February of this year, was a huge success, so do not delay! This special program will provide all the benefits of our popular week-long Come Home to New England program condensed into three days. Don’t miss this opportunity to work with our outstanding library staff and take advantage of the exceptional resources available at our research library. Participants will receive a thorough orientation to the library, daily genealogical lectures given by our expert staff, personal consultations and guided research, and special access to the library when it is closed to the public. This program is limited to thirty-five individuals, which ensures that each will be given plenty of individual attention!

    For more information or to download a registration brochure, visit


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

    The 2004 "Genealogy in a Nutshell" series continues with:

    • "Manuscripts: No Longer a Last Resort" by Timothy Salls on Saturday, March 6

    • "Getting the Most from Federal Census Records" by Walter Hickey on Wednesday, March 10 and Saturday, March 13

    • Genealogical Armchair Travel to Ireland by Marie Daly on Wednesday, March 17 and Saturday, March 20

    All lectures take place at 10 a.m at the NEHGS Library in Boston. 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 at the NEHGS Library

    March 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 Wednesday, March 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

    Careers at NEHGS

    NEHGS is currently seeking to fill the position of Member Services Assistant in our Framingham office. For more information about this opportunity please visit our careers page 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 Rod Moody at Thank you to all past and future contributors!

    My Favorite Ancestors

    by Dori Wegehaupt
    of New Baltimore, Michigan

    Fred Horace Wallace and his wife, Veva Agusta Clark, are my favorite ancestors. Fred and Veva were married in Ada Township, Kent County, Michigan in 1890. By 1910 they had two sons and a daughter and had been living in another small Kent County town, Saranac. Fred was actively engaged in the business affairs of the community and ran a dry goods and cleaning business. Veva "was president of the Ladies Literary Club, secretary of the O.E.S., a most enthusiastic worker in the W.C.T.U. and the Mite Society of the Congregational Church."

    In 1910, Fred decided to move the family to Peru, Indiana. He was uncertain as to what business he would open but had a couple of prospects in the works. An uncited newspaper article that I found among my mother's possessions read, "The entire family will be missed in musical circles — Mr. and Mrs. Wallace from the Congregational choir and their voices were heard at nearly every entertainment; their daughter, Miss Lucia also for her singing and fine work at the piano; the sons, Farrand and Lee from the Saranac Concert Band, the former playing cornet and the latter, the slide trombone."

    The family left Saranac by train and stopped in Ada for one last night of visiting with family. They left all of their possessions at the train depot as they would be departing early the following morning. During the night, a fire raged through the train station and all of their worldly goods, including "Farrand's fine new cornet," were destroyed. This did not deter Fred and Veva, however, and the family completed their move to Peru where Fred opened a meat and grocery business. In March 1913 there was a huge uprising of the Ohio and Wabash Rivers, causing "the great flood" of Indiana. Peru was one of the hardest hit areas. Fred lost his business, as well as his home with all the family's possessions, to the furious waters. The family was financially devastated. Following this second catastrophe, Fred and Veva moved their family back to Michigan and Fred evidently decided to cut his future losses by going to work in a factory. Eventually, he and Veva moved to California where both died.

    To me, Fred and Veva Wallace exemplify true optimism and the pioneering spirit in the face of adversity and a fierce devotion to each other that kept them strong through fifty-six years of marriage despite the hardships they endured.


    NEHGS Contact Information

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    If you have questions, comments, or suggestions about the enewsletter, please contact Rod Moody at

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