American Ancestors New England Historic Genealogical Society - Founded 1845 N.E. Historic Genealogical Society Seal View Your Shopping Cart Join NEHGS
  • 2004 Archive

  • Vol. 6, No. 15
    Whole #161
    April 9, 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 Database: Massachusetts Vital Records, 1841-1910!
    *Recent Databases on
    * New Issue of the Great Migration Newsletter Online Available to Subscribers
    * New Research Article on
    * Website: Gateway to Vermont
    * Genealogy Events Around New England
    * New Acquisitions in the Circulating Library
    * NEHGS Event: Irish Genealogical Conference
    * From the Volunteer Coordinator
    * An Introduction to at the NEHGS Library
    * Upcoming "Genealogy in a Nutshell" Lectures at the NEHGS Library
    * Favorite - and Black Sheep - Ancestor Feedback
    * NEHGS Contact Information

    New Database: Massachusetts Vital Records, 1841-1910!

    NEHGS is proud to join the Massachusetts Archives in a program to bring its members the statewide registration of vital records for 1841 through 1910. For the first time in an online format, Massachusetts Vital Records from 1841 to 1850 are now available on The first installment in this ongoing database includes the index to all Massachusetts birth, death, and marriage records from 1841 to 1850, and images of the actual record pages from 1841 to 1843.

    The data recorded in the Massachusetts Vital Records varies depending on the year and the type of record. Birth records typically include the name of the child, date and place of birth, gender, and parents' names and places of birth. Marriage records include the names, ages, and residences of the bride and groom, their places of birth, and their parents' names, as well as the date and place of marriage. Death records include the name of the decedent, the date and place of death, place of birth, age at death, residence of decedent, and parents' names and places of birth. In later years the place of burial was also included.

    These records have been indexed by the name of the subject of the record (i.e. person born, bride and groom, the deceased). The indexes are linked to images of the original records (when available), which provide much additional data (date and place of the event, parents' names, etc.).

    The indexes allow records to be searched by subject, year, and town. A citation to volume and page number are also provided. When checking birth records it is critical to note that children were not necessarily named at birth. There are many entries for "(Male) Smith" and "(Female) Jones." Searching by town, year, and surname will help you find such "hidden" data. Additional records will be released regularly, over an extended period of time, on Indexes will be added more frequently than records.

    Important: Before you begin using this database, please take a moment to read the "Introduction to the Massachusetts Vital Records 1841-1910 Database" found at This contains information that will contribute greatly to the success of your searches and will also answer questions that you may have about these records and our database. If you have questions that our article does not address, or if you are having difficulty with this database, please email

    This database uses the MrSID Image Viewer, a plugin we first employed for our Massachusetts/Maine 1798 Direct Tax database. This free viewer allows you to view superior-quality images of the original record and to view, zoom, and otherwise manipulate the images, save them to your computer as JPEG or BMP format, and easily print them out. The images used in this database were either scanned directly from the volumes themselves or from the microfilms of the records.

    Those using a dialup Internet connection in conjunction with the MrSID viewer may experience download times of up to a minute per image. It is important to note that members can view and manipulate original images without employing MrSID, although the image quality will not be as crisp and viewing options are reduced. If you do not wish to use MrSID, simply do not download it - a default viewer is already provided. Those with dialup connections may find that download speed is improved when using the default viewer instead of MrSID.

    Important: The MrSID plugin is not compatible with Macintosh systems, Netscape browsers, AOL, and Compuserve.

    Search Massachusetts Vital Records, 1841-1910 at

    Recent Databases on


    Vital Records of Brattleboro, Vermont, to 1814

    This handwritten manuscript was compiled by John Elliot Bowman in 1914. It includes all births, marriages, and deaths recorded previous to June 8, 1814.

    The town of Brattleboro, in Windham County, was organized in 1753.

    The original manuscript is part of the R. Stanton Avery Collections. It can be viewed by NEHGS members at the our research library in Boston. The call number is MSS C 3008.


    Search Vital Records of Brattleboro, Vermont, to 1814, at

    Census of Vassalboro, Maine - 1908

    This census was extracted from the Town Register of Sidney, Vassalboro, China, and Albion (pp. 57-134). Information includes name, town of residence, occupation (sometimes with name of employer), and year of birth for head of household, spouse, and children. Maiden names, locations of children who have moved away from the residence, and names of deceased spouses are occasionally included as well.

    This original text is part of the R. Stanton Avery Collections at NEHGS, call number MSS ME VAS 25 .

    Search the Census of Vassalboro, Maine - 1908, at

    Cemetery Transcriptions from the NEHGS Manuscript Collections

    This week we have added a transcription of Riverside Cemetery, Farmington, Franklin County, Maine.

    This original text is part of the R. Stanton Avery Collections at NEHGS, call number MSS ME 84 15.


    Search Cemetery Transcriptions from the NEHGS Manuscript Collections at

    Death Records of Colrain, Massachusetts

    These records were originally in the form of notes and cards made by Mrs. Katherine Holton Cram. They were later compiled by Oscar Frank Stetson, of Barrington, Rhode Island. About forty years of Colrain vital records were destroyed by fire, and Mrs. Cram spent many years searching alternative sources in an effort to locate these statistics.

    Mrs. Cram compiled birth and marriage records of Colrain as well, which are also available on

    The town of Colrain was established in 1761. It is in Franklin County.

    The original manuscript is part of the R. Stanton Avery Collections. It can be viewed by NEHGS members at the our research library in Boston. The call number is MSS COL 14.


    Search Death Records of Colrain, Massachusetts, at


    Master Search

    Master search all databases at


    New Issue of the Great Migration Newsletter Online Available to Subscribers

    Great Migration Newsletter Online subscribers may now access the second issue of Volume 13 on

    Great Migration editor Robert Charles Anderson introduces the new issue in his editorial:

    "In our last issue we described a long-hidden source for early New Haven landholding. We now present an entire issue (and part of the next issue) devoted to that one source. This is in part because of the intrinsic interest and value of the information contained therein, and in part because of our excitement and pleasure at having a new document of this type to dissect and interpret.

    "A fascinating aspect of this record is that Donald Lines Jacobus, who knew more about New Haven families and records than anyone else ever has, seems to have been unaware of this source, or at least did not know of its value to problems and families he was studying.

    "Looking only at some of his published works from the last decade or so of his career, we find that Jacobus regularly cited the published 1640 Early List of Estates, but never mentioned the 1646 Book of Alienations, even when it would have added materially to the discussion. In 1958, in a discussion of the problem of the widow Potter and the widow Beecher, when the information in the Book of Alienations is exceedingly important, Jacobus does not mention this source [TAG 34:218-20].

    "In 1959, in The Ancestry of Rev. Nathan Grier Parke & His Wife Ann Elizabeth Gildersleeve, he treated the families of George Smith and John Astwood. The explicit information that Astwood had acquired the share of the widow Baldwin upon his marriage to her is a useful point. Finally, in 1964 in McArthur-Barnes Ancestral Lines, the 1646 list would have been helpful in the sketch of John Reeder.

    "Our analysis of the Book of Alienations in this issue does not exhaust the information which may be extracted from this document. The conclusions reached here may be used to look more closely into the way the list itself was constructed, and its exact date. Beyond the details of the original proprietary shares themselves, there are records of hundreds of individual land transactions."

    You must be a member of NEHGS and have an active subscription to the Great Migration Newsletter Online to access these volumes. Subscriptions to the Great Migration Newsletter Online are $10 per year.

    Subscribers to the Great Migration Newsletter Online may access the new issue by visiting

    To subscribe to the Great Migration Newsletter Online visit

    To subscribe to the print version of the Great Migration Newsletter, please visit

    New Research Article on


    The New England Ancestry of Actor Richard [Tiffany] Gere

    By Gary Boyd Roberts

    The actor Richard Gere has almost never appeared in a bad movie. I prefer the "edgy" early work - Looking for Mr. Goodbar (1977), Days of Heaven (1978), American Gigolo (1980), and the American remake of Breathless (1983). Others may prefer his more mellow roles in An Officer and a Gentleman (1982), The Cotton Club (1984), King David (1985), Pretty Woman (1990), And the Band Played On (1993), Runaway Bride (1999), Autumn in New York (2000), and Chicago (2002). A longtime fan, I was delighted when Society member Chris Robinson of Trenton, Florida, kindly sent me an outline of Gere's descent from Mayflower passengers Francis Cooke and Stephen Hopkins. After spending several "fun" evenings on Gere's ancestry, I am happy to report royal descents through Robert Abell and Oliver Manwaring (immigrant ancestors of possible royal descent include John Whitcomb and Josiah Winslow); Mayflower lines from Samuel Fuller, Francis Eaton, the murderer John Billington, George Soule, Richard Warren (twice), Degory Priest, William Brewster, and a sister of Isaac Allerton, as well as Hopkins and Francis Cooke (this last also twice over); a possible kinship to the late Diana, Princess of Wales, and Princes William and Harry through Thomas and Dorothy (Thompson) Parke; and presidential connections via Robert White and Bridget Allgar, Samuel or Joseph Morse, William Hyde, Thomas Lord and Dorothy Bird, the several Fiske immigrants, and the le Mahieu parents-in-law of Francis Cooke. I'm also delighted to report that I share (John) Andrews, Calkins, Gaylord, Hough, Hull, (William) Peck, and (Thomas) Scott lines with probably my favorite actor.

    The full article is available to NEHGS members at

    Website: Gateway to Vermont

    The Gateway to Vermont website has a wide range of useful resources for anyone doing Vermont research. The contents of the site include the following: Vermont history, Vermont counties, photographic images, cemeteries listings, business directories, and a variety of other records. The site’s search engine can also be utilized to find information on specific towns or records.

    Under Vermont History, you will find links to various topics that include accounts relating to the Battle of Bennington; the building of the Hazen Military Road; the Regimental History of the Vermont Seventeenth Regiment by the Honorable Joel H. Lucia, First Lieutenant; and a History of the Granite Industry of New England by Arthur W. Brayley, 1913, to name a few. In Vermont Counties, you will find selections describing the various counties and their respective towns, which have been compiled from transcriptions of gazetteers.

    The Hall of Records includes records of births, marriages, deaths, burials, and transcriptions of pensions and deeds, as well as poorhouse, court, and church records. Many of the vital records have been transcribed from town reports. The poorhouse records have been compiled from the reports of the Overseers of the Poor. The Burials section is still under construction.

    You can submit a general query to the Vermont-L Rootsweb mailing list, and, if you have a photograph of a “lost Vermonter,” you can post it and a related query on the In Search Of page.

    Other sections of the website include Vermont Lore and Biographies. Vermont Lore is a collection of stories that have been submitted by members of the mailing list about their ancestors. The Biographies section contains thirty-five biographical sketches of old-time Vermonters.

    Some portions of the website are still under construction. It is easy to check for new materials on the site. Just to go to the Gateway to Vermont homepage and click on the Latest Additions link to bring up a list of recently uploaded materials. New information is being uploaded nearly every day. Close to one hundred separate documents have been added since January 1, 2004.

    This overview just skims the surface what may be found on the Gateway to Vermont website. A wealth of information is just a click away. Enjoy!

    Open the Gateway to Vermont at


    Genealogy Events Around New England

    New Hampshire Society of Genealogists Spring Meeting

    The Spring Meeting of the New Hampshire Society of Genealogists will be held on Saturday, April 17, 2004, from 9:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The morning lecture is titled “Conquering Courthouse Jitters,” and will be given by Diane Gravel. In the afternoon, Sherry Gould will lecture on “Abenaki Indians in New Hampshire.”

    The meeting will be held at the Holiday Inn, 172 North Main St., Concord, New Hampshire, which is located at the intersection of Main and Centre Streets in downtown Concord. Parking is available in the front and rear of the building. Registration fees are $20 for members and $50 for non-members. Lunch is included. The registration form may be found on the NHSOG website:

    American-Canadian Genealogical Society Workshops

    The American-Canadian Genealogical Society is offering a series of workshops on Saturday, April 24, 2004, from 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. All aspects of genealogical research will be covered as will the history of Franco-American, Quebec, and Acadian peoples. These workshops are intended for both novice and advanced researchers. The program may be seen on the ACGS website at

    The ACGS workshops are free of charge for members and non-members. Lunch is on your own, although a luncheon wagon will be on site offering hot dogs, sausage sandwiches, and steak sandwiches. The American-Canadian Genealogical Society is located at 4 Elm Street, Manchester, New Hampshire. For additional information, please call the ACGS library at 603-622-1554.

    Are you planning a genealogical event in New England? Email us at and we will pass the word on to our readers!

    New Acquisitions in the Circulating Library

    Immigrants and Aliens: A Guide to Sources on UK Immigration and Citizenship by Roger Kershaw and Mark Pearsall.  CS415/K47/2000

    This small book is packed with information about records held in the Public Records Office (PRO) in the United Kingdom. The table of contents reads like a history of the movement of different peoples to the United Kingdom throughout its history. The different classes of records are explained so you can narrow your research.

    Harlow Family: Descendants of Sgt. William Harlow [1624/5-1691] of Plymouth, Massachusetts compiled by the genealogy committee of the Harlow Family Association. CS71/H286/1997

    This edition covers the first five generations of descendants through both male and female lines, complete with source list and fully alphabetized index.

    The History of Hopewell, Nova Scotia by Janet C. Bain. F1039.5/H67/B35/1977 

    This slim volume adds to our ever-growing Canadian holdings.  It traces Hopewell’s history and discusses many of the early settlers.

    Vital records of St. George, Maine compiled by Marlene A. Groves.  F29/S15/G76/2003 

    This recent publication includes all the vital records prior to 1892, including marriage intentions from 1828 to 1891; marriage records from 1803 to 1891; and tax lists from 1803 to 1824.  In addition, the births and deaths, dating back into the eighteenth century, are grouped by family. An every name index is included to facilitate look-ups.

    As always, if you have any questions about using the Circulating Library, please call, toll-free, 888-296-3447, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Eastern time) or email To learn more about the Circulating Library and borrow books online, please visit

    NEHGS Event: The Irish Genealogical Seminar

    Saturday, May 8, at the John Hancock Conference Center

    Do you know what county your Irish ancestors came from? How about what town? If you have ever wanted to find out more about your family's Irish history, now is the time to start. The New England Historic Genealogical Society is hosting an all-day Irish research seminar on Saturday, May 8, at the John Hancock Conference Center in Boston (previous editions of eNews erroneously stated the conference would be held at the NEHGS Library).

    Whether you are just starting to unearth your Irish roots or have been pulling them up for years, this in-depth crash course will help you get the most out of your Irish research.

    The following lectures will be given at the conference:

    * "Progress Report on Developments in Genealogy in Ireland" by Eileen O'Duill
    * "Getting Started on Your Irish Genealogy" by Marie Daly
    * "Griffith's Valuation of Ireland: Accessing and Using the Resource Effectively" by George Handran
    * "Dublin, 30 June 1922: Did Everything Blow up?" by Eileen O'Duill
    * "Irish Resources on the Internet" by Dennis J. Ahern
    * "Matchmaking and Marriage Customs in Nineteenth-Century Ireland" by Sean S. O'Duill

    The John Hancock Center is located at 40 Trinity Place in Boston.

    For more information on this seminar or to download a registration form, please visit, email, or phone toll-free 888-286-3447.

    From the Volunteer Coordinator

    Volunteers who come to our Framingham facility enjoyed a "brown bag" lunch last Friday. Gary Boyd Roberts joined the group and delivered an interesting and informative lecture and discussion on the material with which he is presently working. Everyone enjoyed having our senior scholar at our Framingham library. The volunteer work at Framingham is increasing and any member who can easily get to the facility might enjoy joining the active group of volunteers already there. I am in Framingham each week and usually am able to catch up with individual volunteers on an regular basis.

    The next volunteer "brown bag" lunch at 101 Newbury Street will be Wednesday, April 28, at 12:30 p.m. I invite volunteers who are not able to come in to the library regularly to think of these lunches when planning time in Boston. It would be a real pleasure to meet the people with whom we have been communicating, and I am sure you would enjoy meeting other volunteers.

    With thanks to all of you,

    Susan Rosefsky
    NEHGS Volunteer Coordinator.

    An Introduction to at the NEHGS Library

    April 14, 6:00 p.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, April 14, 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


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


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

    * Internet Genealogy" by Dick Eastman on Saturday, April 10

    * "Founders and Patriots: Researching Notable Early Americans" by Gary Boyd Roberts on Wednesday, April 14 and Saturday, April 17

    * "Cosmology to Cordage: A Synopsis of the Collections of the New Bedford Whaling Museum Library" by Michael Dyer on Wednesday, April 21

    * "Italian Genealogy" by David C. Dearborn on Wednesday, April 28 and Saturday, May 1

    All lectures take place at 10 a.m at the NEHGS Library in Boston. Advance registration is not necessary.

    New! You can now download a pdf of the NEHGS Events Calendar to print by clicking this link -

    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 Rod Moody at Thank you to all past and future contributors!

    My Favorite Ancestor

    by Rebecca Wright of Waukesha, Wisconsin

    My favorite ancestor is my great-great grandmother Mary Jane/Polly Trousdale Dolan Sullenger Patillo who was born July 6, 1793 to Alexander and Fannie (Clendennin) Trousdale in what is known today as Montgomery County, Tennessee. In 1796 Mary’s mother, Fannie, was killed by a falling tree limb while riding on horseback in a storm. Mary had three stepmothers and grew up in a large family of half-siblings. By age seventeen she had homespun a bedspread from flax grown by her future husband Patrick Dolan, a tailor. Today that bedspread is in Kingsport, Tennessee. In 1811/12 Patrick and Mary traveled in a wagon train to Missouri.

    After arriving in Missouri, Mary gave birth on October 18, 1812, to a daughter she named Icyvillah/Isavilla Dolin/Dolan. About that time, Patrick disappeared. Family stories say that he traveled to some eastern city or to Ireland to perfect his tailoring abilities. With infant Icyvillah on pillows on the bench beside her, nineteen-year-old Mary managed a four-span wagon in a train back to her home northwest of Nashville, Tennessee. There she found her father and family moving west to settle in White County, Illinois. Mary immediately married James Sullenger in Kentucky, and they moved to Gallatin County, Illinois, where James set up farming. James and Mary had a child January 15, 1814, and named him Alexander after her father. Shortly thereafter, James Sullenger died. On April 14, 1816, Mary/"Polley" married John S. Patillo and four years later, in 1820, the census finds them living close to Mary's father and other relatives in White County. By the time of the 1830 census, they were back in Gallatin County living next door to Jonathan and Icyvillah (Dolin) Combs, Mary's daughter and son-in-law.

    John and Mary Patillo had seven children. John died in 1832 in Trinity County, Texas, where he had gone to procure land in preparation for moving the family. Mary is listed as head of household on the 1840 census in Gallatin County. She then appears on the 1843-1844 area school records as mother of four near Crawford, Illinois. That is the last known record for Mary. She does not appear in cemetery records or on the 1850 census. So, either she died before age fifty-seven, or she married a fourth time, thus becoming invisible in the records. Evidence of a fourth marriage has not been found.

    Ponderous indeed was the life of Mary Jane/Polly Trousdale Dolan Sullenger Patillo.


    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 Rod Moody at

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

© 2010 - 2014 New England Historic Genealogical Society