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  • 2004 Archive

  • Vol. 6, No. 17
    Whole #163
    April 23, 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
    * New on CD-ROM: The Corbin Collection, Volume 2!
    * Coming Soon in the Spring 2004 Issue of New England Ancestors
    * NEHGS Library Closure
    * Circulating Library Favorites
    * NEHGS Event: Irish Genealogical Seminar
    * Careers at NEHGS
    * From the Volunteer Coordinator
    * Correction to Last Week's Family Associaton Article
    * New Hampshire Historical Society Events
    * J. Mark Lowe named Fellow of the Utah Genealogical Association
    * Upcoming "Genealogy in a Nutshell" Lectures at the NEHGS Library
    * Favorite - and Black Sheep - Ancestor Feedback
    * NEHGS Contact Information

    New Databases on


    Massachusetts Vital Records, 1841-1910

    New this week: Indexes from 1851 to 1855

    The latest installment in this ongoing database includes the indexes to all Massachusetts birth, death, and marriage records from 1851 to 1855. The indexes include name of individual, town or village of event, year of event, and volume and page number of the original record. Corresponding records will be added at a later date.

    For detailed information about this database, please refer to "Introduction to the Massachusetts Vital Records 1841-1910 Database" page 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

    Search Massachusetts Vital Records, 1841-1910 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: William Maynard, Hezekiah Ripley, Richard Brooke Roberts, Oliver Rouse, Crocker Sampson, William Satterlee, and Henry Savage.



    Search the Massachusetts Society of the Cincinnati Profiles at

    Index to the Probate Records of the County of Worcester, Massachusetts

    Worcester County was established in 1731 from the counties of Middlesex and Suffolk. The index to the probate records was published in five volumes between 1898 to 1920. The years covered in the complete series are 1731 to 1910.

    The latest - and final - addition to this series includes the years 1905 to 1910. The years 1731 to 1904 were previously added to this database. Information in the index includes year of record, name, residence, type (or nature) of probate, and case number.

    The NEHGS Research Library has the docket books from 1731 to 1881 on microfilm. To obtain photocopies by mail it is necessary to order an In-Depth Research request from our Research Services department. For more information please visit the NEHGS In-Depth Research page at

    The original indexes can be viewed at the NEHGS Research Library and borrowed by NEHGS members through the Circulating Library. The call number is F72/W9/M45/1898-1920.


    Search the Index to the Probate Records of the County of Worcester, Massachusetts at



    Cemetery Transcriptions from the NEHGS Manuscript Collections

    This week we have added the transcriptions of the following cemeteries in Franklin County, Maine.


    Avon:Mt. Blue Cemetery, Howland Graveyard, Unnamed - Valley Road, Will Graveyard
    Eustis: Eustis Cemetery, Flagstaff Cemetery, Stratton Cemetery
    Farmington: Sewall Graveyard
    Industry: Pike's Corner Cemetery
    Kingfield: Sunnyside Cemetery
    New Sharon: Bower Cemetery, New Sharon Town Cemetery, Sanders Graveyard, Swan Cemetery
    Phillips: Blodgett Graveyard, Pinkham Cemetery, Riverside Cemetery, Unnamed Cemetery - Off Rt 142
    Rangeley: Unnamed - Route 4, Dallas Plantation Cemetery, Ellis Farm Cemetery, Unnamed Cemetery - Mingo Spring Rd, Unnamed Cemetery - Pleasant Street
    Wilton: East Dixfield Cemetery

    Source: "Cemeteries of Franklin County, Maine, Volume IV," unpublished typescript, Dorothy Wirth, 1960. Call number MSS ME 84 15.


    Search Cemetery Transcriptions from the NEHGS Manuscript Collections at



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

    Published by the city in twenty-five volumes from 1879 to 1945, this series provides the name of individual, date of event, and the volume and page numbers of the statistic in the city records. We will continue to add volumes from this series to over time.

    The most recent addition to this database is Volume 6: Marriages from 1871 to 1890


    The entire series can be viewed at the NEHGS Research Library, call number F89/P9/P86/1879. Volumes 1 through 8, 10 through 14, 17, 18, and 20 through 22 may be loaned to NEHGS members through the Circulating Library.

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


    New Research Article on

    New York State Vital Records: The Legacy of Gertrude Audrey Barber

    by Dr. Marian S. Henry

    Trying to find nineteenth-century vital records in upstate New York can be a frustrating experience. Fortunately, we have an ally in Gertrude Audrey Barber who made it her life's work to transcribe vital records information from different sources in various counties of New York State. Beginning in the late 1920s and continuing for nearly 40 years, Barber painstakingly transcribed many kinds of nineteenth-century records useful to genealogists.

    The full article is available to NEHGS members at

    New on CD-ROM: The Corbin Collection, Volume 2: Records of Hampden County, Massachusetts

    The long-awaited Corbin Collection, Volume 2: Records of Hampden County, Massachusetts on CD-ROM has just arrived! The Corbin Collection is one of the most definitive sources for western Massachusetts anywhere. This CD-ROM includes a wealth of never-before-published information on the towns of Blandford, Brimfield, Chicopee, Hampden, Holland, Holyoke, Ludlow, Monson, Montgomery, Russell, Springfield, Wales, Westfield, West Springfield, and Wilbraham.

    Until now the records of Walter and Lottie Corbin have only been available in manuscript and microfilm form. This new, fully-searchable electronic publication allows unprecedented access to their transcriptions of vital records, cemeteries, town histories, town records, and other sources.

    The Corbin Collection, Volume 2, is priced at $54.99 plus shipping and handling. For more information on this product or to place an online order visit Phone orders will be taken on our toll-free member services line at 888-296-3447, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Eastern time).

    Coming Soon in the Spring 2004 Issue of New England Ancestors

    Frank J. Doherty describes the fascinating history and peoples of the Beekman Patent in Settlers of the Beekman Patent in Eighteenth-Century Dutchess County, New York.

    Richard H. Benson discusses the setbacks and triumphs of Upstate New York Research.

    Peter Haring Judd spins a tale of intrigue and drama in The Search for Thomas Herring.

    Rod D. Moody provides the eagerly awaited fifth installment of New Searchable Databases on

    John Titford reveals the many variations of a name, and the varied personalities behind it, in A Petticoat Surname Study.

    Also in this issue . . .

    * The Computer Genealogist: Getting the Most Out of NEHGS CD-ROMs

    * Computer Genealogist Spotlight: SeeGEDCOMX, a Genealogy Program for the Macintosh

    * Genetics & Genealogy: The Bassetts of New England

    * Manuscripts at NEHGS: Commonplace Books at NEHGS

    * Bible Records at NEHGS: The Record of the Gilbert Aspinwall family, 1708–1982, Part Two

    * Pilgrim Life: Moving from Amsterdam to Leiden, 1609

    * Tales from the Courthouse: The Case of the Wandering Wife

    And, as always, news of NEHGS and the world of genealogy, upcoming NEHGS programs and tours, new publications, notices of family association events, genealogies in progress, and member queries.

    Subscription to New England Ancestors is a benefit of NEHGS membership. If you are not a member, you may join online at, or call toll-free 1-888-296-3447, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday (Eastern time).

    NEHGS Library Closure

    The NEHGS Research Library in Boston will be closed this coming Sunday, April 25, for an administrative meeting. The library will reopen on Tuesday, April 27, at 9 a.m. For 2004 library hours and a complete holiday schedule, visit

    Circulating Library Favorites

    By Alexander Woodle, Circulating Library Director


    This week we turn our focus to Fairfield, Connecticut, as we continue our series on the most popular books borrowed from the Circulating Library. One of the most heavily borrowed books is The History and Genealogy of the families of Old Fairfield by Donald J. Jacobus (call number F104/F2/J17/1976). The Circulating Library also has the following books that may be useful to researchers interested in Fairfield:

    Abstract of probate records at Fairfield[microform]
    F104/F2/M4 Microfilm

    The old burying ground of Fairfield, Conn. A memorial of many of the early settlers in Fairfield, and an exhaustive and faithful transcript of the inscriptions and epitaphs on the 583 tombstones found in the oldest burying ground ...

    Fairfield, Fairfield Co., Conn. inscriptions from the graveyards arranged with notes and index.

    Easton, Fairfield Co., Conn. inscriptions from the graveyards with genealogical notes and index.

    There are also a few genealogies that focus on families from Fairfield County, Connecticut:

    Genealogy of the Ayres family of Fairfield County, Conn.

    The genealogy of the Dimond or Dimon family, of Fairfield, Conn. : together with records of the Dimon or Dymont family of East Hampton, Long Island, and of the Dimond family of New Hampshire.

    Descendants of William Hill, of Fairfield, Conn., who came from Exeter, England, June 5, 1632, in ship, William and Frances : with genealogical notes and biographical sketches of his descendants as far as can be obtained including notes on collateral branches.

    Register of the Middlebrook family, descendants of Joseph Middlebrook of Fairfield, Conn.

    As always, if you have any questions about using the Circulating Library, please call, toll-free, 1-888-296-3447, 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

    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. 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.



    Careers at NEHGS

    NEHGS is currently seeking to fill the positions of Executive Assistant and Director of Publications. Both positions are based in Boston, at our Research Library. For more information about these positions please visit our careers page at

    From the Volunteer Coordinator

    Last fall, NEHGS engaged in a pilot project with Plimoth Plantation which involved volunteers from both organizations. Volunteers spent a day at stations on the Plimoth grounds providing information about genealogy, the Plimoth project, and its website to visitors interested in the original Plymouth families and their descendants.

    This project is starting up again on April 24, 2004, at Plimoth Plantation. The volunteers who worked during the fall had a wonderful time, and a number are returning to take part again this year. If any NEHGS member, particularly those living near the south shore and Cape Cod area of Massachusetts, would like to volunteer one day a week (including weekends), please contact Plimoth Plantation volunteer coordinator Peggy Page at or 508-746-1622. For further details on the Plimoth Plantation project, visit the website at

    Thank you,

    Susan Rosefsky
    NEHGS Volunteer Coordinator

    Correction to Last Week's Family Association Article

    In last week's eNews article on the Steere Family Association, we gave the incorrect dates for the 2004 Steere Family Association Reunion. The reunion will be held on August 14 and 15 at Robert Steere, Jr.'s farm on Route 102 in Chepachet, Rhode Island.

    New Hampshire Historical Society Events

    On Saturday, May 1, a new exhibit, "From Dairy to Doorstep: Milk Delivery in New England, 1860-1960", organized by the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities, Boston, Massachusetts, in collaboration with the National Heritage Museum, will open at the Museum on New Hampshire History.

    Judith Moyer of the University of New Hampshire will lecture on the history of milk delivery in New England to help mark the opening of the exhibition. The lecture will take place at 1 p.m. at New Hampshire Historical Society, The Tuck Library, 30 Park Street, Concord, New Hampshire. Admission to the lecture is free.

    The exhibition is on view at the Museum of New Hampshire History, The Hamel Center, 6 Eagle Square, Concord. The museum hours are Tuesday-Saturday, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday 12 noon to 5 p.m., and Monday from July 1 - October 15 and in December. Museum admission is $5.50 for adults, $4.50 for seniors, $3.00 for children 6-18. Admission is free for members of the New Hampshire Historical Society. For more information about the lecture and the exhibit, call 603-228-6688.

    The New Hampshire Historical Society annual meeting will also be held on Saturday, May 1, from 9:30 a.m. to 12 noon at New Hampshire Historical Society, The Tuck Library, 30 Park Street, Concord. Architectural historian and author William N. Banks is the keynote speaker. Admission is free to members. Call 603-856-0621 for additional information or to register. Deadline for registration is April 28.

    And last, but certainly not least, is the first-ever used book sale held by the Society, to take place on Saturday, May 1, from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, May 2, from 12 noon to 5 p.m. The sale will be held at the Eagle Stable Atrium, which is adjacent to the museum in Eagle Square.

    J. Mark Lowe Named Fellow of the Utah Genealogical Association

    Association of Professional Genealogists (APG) president J. Mark Lowe was made a Fellow of the Utah Genealogical Association on April 9, 2004, at the UGA annual conference in Salt Lake City. UGA presents this award to individuals whose distinguished contributions to the field of genealogy are of national or international scope.

    2004 UGA "Building Bridges" Conference Chair Starr Hailey Campbell released this statement:

    "Mark Lowe has given of his time and talent to the field of genealogy for many years. He is a favorite lecturer and teacher all across the country. He is always willing to give back to the genealogy community by his many hours of volunteer service. Mark served as president of the Southern Kentucky Genealogical Society early in its formation. He received the FGS Delegate Award in 2000, and stepped forward in 2001 to serve as FGS secretary and later, vice president. While serving as vice president of FGS, Mark was concurrently vice president of the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG) and the Genealogical Speakers Guild. He is currently president of APG.

    "Mark has an ease about him that makes everyone feel very comfortable to be in his presence and we at UGA are proud to add him to our ever growing lists of FUGAs."

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


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

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

    * "African American Historical Sources in New England" by Beth Bower on Wednesday, May 5

    * "New England Colonial Wars Research" by David A. Lambert on Wednesday, May 12 and Saturday, May 15

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

    Download a pdf of the April NEHGS Events Calendar 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 Black Sheep Ancestor

    by William Heath of Oroville, California

    My grandfather was a person who marched to his own drummer. He left his home in Nebraska before he was eighteen. Of course, this was in the 1880s when males left home at a much earlier age. On his way West over the next several years, he discovered a liking for poker, and thought he had discovered how to deal the cards from the bottom of the deck.

    Later, he arrived in a coastal town in northern California, and was married after a short stay. The father of his bride was a well-to-do respected gentleman of the community. This did not impress my grandfather. The new bridegroom was unceremoniously "drummed" out of town when his card dealing left a lot to be desired. The father tried to get his daughter to leave her new husband, but my grandfather must have been better at talking than card dealing. They eventually went to his native Nebraska to introduce his new bride to his family. Along the way, they left a couple of towns just ahead of an irate citizenship.

    A year later they left his family in Nebraska and spent several years in Greeley, Colorado, with their new son, my father. Grandpa tried honest work at the urging of his wife, but it just didn't suit him. He kept trying to perfect his card dealing but somehow his hands couldn't - or wouldn't - do what his mind demanded. He left Greeley with the local sheriff at his side.

    They spent another several years in Leadville, Colorado, because the town was full of miners from the local silver mines. They liked to drink and gamble, but they were not stupid and had seen their share of con artists, some of whom were better than Grandpa. Again, Grandpa left town just ahead of them. He may have been awkward at card dealing but he was fleet of foot.

    Many years later he retired in northern California, with, to his credit, the same wife. He found some card playing buddies...the police chief and the captain of the fire department. Grandma said she often was forced to go to several well-known bars after Grandpa was gone for a few days. But he must have finally learned not to try his fancy card dealing because he remained friends with his card playing friends for many years.


    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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