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  • 2004 Archive

  • Vol. 6, No. 27
    Whole #173
    July 2, 2004
    Edited by Rod D. Moody and Valerie Beaudrault

    Greetings from the New England Historic Genealogical Society! This 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


    * NEHGS Library Holiday Closure
    * New Databases on
    * New Research Article on
    * NEHGS Used Book Auction on eBay, July 14-20
    * Coming Soon in the Summer 2004 Issue of New England Ancestors
    * New Arrivals at the Library Listed on
    * Download the June NEHGS Events Calendar
    * Upcoming "Genealogy in a Nutshell" Lectures at the NEHGS Library
    * Favorite - and Black Sheep - Ancestor Feedback
    * NEHGS Contact Information

    NEHGS Library Holiday Closure

    The NEHGS Library and offices will be closed Saturday, July 3 and Sunday, July 4, in observance of Independence Day. The Library is always closed on Mondays. Regular operating hours will resume at 9 a.m. Tuesday, July 5.

    We are currently experiencing difficulties with phone, voice mail, and fax services to our Framingham offices (Member Services, the Circulating Library, and Sales departments). If you have difficulties leaving a message over the holiday weekend, you may contact these departments by email. Visit our department directory online at to locate the correct email address.

     Please note that the NEHGS Library will also be closed on Tuesday, July 27, due to the traffic disruptions anticipated the Boston area during the Democratic National Convention.

    New Databases on

    Massachusetts Vital Records to 1850
    New Town Addition - Tewksbury

    At the turn of the twentieth century NEHGS was instrumental in the effort to purchase books of vital statistics to the year 1850 for the 351 cities and towns in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. By 1945 the vital records for over 200 of these municipalities had been published. Many of these volumes were added to in weekly installments during 2002. This marked the first time these records were made available online in their original context, including the original source citations.

    The newest addition to this database is the town of Tewksbury, in Middlesex County.

    The Vital Records to 1850 series is available at the Research Library, and most volumes are available to NEHGS members through the Circulating Library. The call number for the Tewksbury volume is REF F74/T3/T3/1903.

    Search Massachusetts Vital Records to 1850 at

    The Settlers of the Beekman Patent
    , Volume 2

    Eight 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:

    Brown, Brownell, Browning, Brundage, Bryant, Buck, Buffington, and Bull

    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.

    Members of the East India Marine Society, Salem, Massachusetts

    The Salem East India Marine Society was "composed of persons who navigated the seas beyond the Cape of Good Hope or Cape Horn, as masters or supercargoes of vessels belong to Salem. It was founded in October 1799, and obtained an act of incorporation in 1801."

    This booklet of members and by-laws of the Society was published in 1870, at which time there were 100 living members out of the 382 admitted to the Society since its formation. The introduction describes the "chief objects of the Institution ... is that of affording relief to disabled seamen, and to the indigent widows and families of deceased members and others, and of promoting a knowledge of navigation and trade to the East Indies."

    The list includes the names of all Society members up to 1870, as well as date of admission to the Society, and remarks, which mainly list dates and/or circumstances of death.

    The original text is part of the NEHGS Rare Books Collection, call number RB/F74/S1/E19/1870.

    View Members of the East India Marine Society, Salem, Massachusetts, at /research/database/ActEastIndia/default.asp

    Cemetery Transcriptions from the NEHGS Manuscript Collections

    New this week: Transcriptions of the following cemeteries in Weston, Fairfield County, Connecticut:

    Coleytown Yard, Osborn-Gregory Family Yard, Den Cemetery, and Lyon's Plain Yard

    Source: "Weston, Fairfield Co., Conn.: Inscriptions copied from the graveyards arranged with genealogical and historical notes and an index." Compiled by Francis F. Spies, 1934. Call number, MSS CT WES 40.

    Search Cemetery Transcriptions from the NEHGS Manuscript Collections at

    Vital Records of Surry, Maine, 1766-1823

    The town of Surry, located in Hancock County, was established in 1803. These transcriptions of vital statistics were taken from town records and compiled in two volumes by Grace M. Limeburner in 1941.

    This original text is part of the R. Stanton Avery Collections at NEHGS, call number MSS ME SUR 11.


    Master Search

    Master search all databases at

    New Research Article on

    Upstate New York

    The Erie Canal: "Mother of Cities"
    by Dr. Marian Henry


    The Erie Canal, begun in 1817 and completed in 1825, was then the longest canal in the world. It connected Albany, on the Hudson River, with Buffalo, on Lake Erie, and thus opened up the state to travel, immigration, and commerce. Some cities, like Rochester and Lockport, were created because of the canal, giving rise to its most flattering alias "Mother of Cities." Other established communities, like Geneva and Canandaigua, were eclipsed because the canal bypassed them. Canal construction required a great deal of manpower. Initial reliance on part-time labor by local farm workers proved to be inefficient. The shift to construction crews offered job opportunities that were snatched up by unskilled European immigrants, most notably the Irish. As each section of the canal was put into operation, travel and trade expanded, attracting more settlers into the region. Your ancestors may have been among these new arrivals. Or, if your ancestors were already living in New York State, they may have moved in response to the "Big Ditch." In this article we examine the effect of the canal on communities on and off its route.


    NEHGS members can read the full article at /articles/research/?page_id=659&attrib1=1&page_id=659&attrib1=1&seq_num=107.

    NEHGS Used Book Auction on eBay, July 14-20

    A variety of used books from the NEHGS Library collections will be up for auction on eBay in mid-July. You will find vital records, town histories, genealogies, and some surprises that cover many geographic areas. Condition varies from new to old, but all books are suitable reading copies for reference purposes.

     If you have never tried bidding on eBay, check out in advance. Click on Welcome New Users for help in getting started and learn how to register, search, bid, and buy.

    Beginning July 14 you may search eBay for the seller NewEnglandAncestors and browse our listings. Bid early and often using our link to eBay that will appear on from Wednesday, July 14 through Tuesday, July 20.

    Coming Soon in the Summer 2004 Issue of New England Ancestors

    Rod D. Moody provides the sixth installment of New Searchable Databases on

    Thomas Shawker, MD, discusses what can and cannot be discovered through DNA testing in Molecular Genealogy: The Birth of a New Discipline.

    Bennett Greenspan, founder of Family Tree DNA, relates his own experiences as a researcher and geneticist in An Insider’s Look at the Genealogy DNA Field.

    Laura G. Prescott details Cemetery Resources at NEHGS.

    Karen Wentworth Batignani introduces her new book in Discovering Maine’s Coastal Cemeteries.

    Michael J. Leclerc highlights the newest NEHGS CD-ROM publication in An Update to the Corbin Collection Project.

    Sheila Seamans Byrnes shares her NEHGS tour experience in Travels with NEHGS: My Journey to Ireland.

    Also in this issue . . .

    * The Computer Genealogist: A Look at Global Positioning Systems and Genealogy
    * Computer Genealogist Spotlight: Embla Family Treasures
    * Genetics & Genealogy: Desperately Seeking Sloans!
    * Manuscripts at NEHGS: The George Norman Albree Papers
    * Bible Records at NEHGS: The Archelaus and Elizabeth C. Godard Bible
    * Tales from the Courthouse: Offshore Antics
    * NEW! Genealogical Publishing: Word for Genealogy
    * Pilgrim Life: Moses Simons of Leiden

    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.

    New Arrivals at the Library Listed on

    The latest list of new titles added to the NEHGS Library has been posted on  To view the list, go to /libraries/main/?page_id=604&attrib1=1&page_id=659&attrib1=1&seq_num=101 and click on "June 2004."  Here are some of this month’s titles:

    * The Darlings of Mendon, Massachusetts.
    * Thomas Lucas of Plymouth, Massachusetts 1650-1678 and his descendants.

    * The Presbyterian witness and evangelical advocate, Halifax, N.S.: vital statistics, 1848-1887.
    * Czech immigration passenger lists.
    * Civil War prisons.

    * Vital records of St. George, Maine.
    * Beaver, Pennsylvania Argus genealogical gleanings, 1830-1858.
    * Register of the foreign Protestants of Nova Scotia (ca. 1749-1770).

    Download the July NEHGS Events Calendar

    You can now download and print the July NEHGS Events Calendar from Find out at a glance when Genealogy in Nutshell lectures, NEHGS seminars and events, Introduction to lectures, and other events are taking place!

    The calendar is in pdf format and you must have Adobe Reader on your computer to access it. You may download Adobe Reader for free at Once it is installed, you may download the calendar by clicking the following link: /events/main/JulyCal.pdf

     A new calendar will be available to download every month on the main Education page of the website at

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

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

    * "New England Town Records" by David Dearborn on July 7 and 10
    * "Death by Lightning - the Shocking Facts!" by Julie Helen Otto on July 14 and 17
    * "Comparing Internet Genealogical Databases" by Dick Eastman on July 21 and 24

    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.

    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!

    Please note that NEHGS does not verify responses.

    We are almost out of Favorite Ancestor stories! Submit yours today!

    Drummer Boy or Another Myth Gone?

    By Frank Bouley of Teaneck, New Jersey

    Both my mother and my aunt were members of the Mayflower Society. My aunt, having been Governor General of her chapter, tended to lord it over my mother who couldn't have cared less. All families have myths and one of my aunt’s favorites was the story she loved to tell about our ancestor, William Tandy, the dear little drummer boy, who had been killed in the American Revolution. My mother used to laugh at her with the comment, "How could he have been our ancestor if he had been killed as a 'dear little boy?'" It was a friendly feud but one that went on for years.

    It was easy for me to join the Mayflower Society. All I had to do was submit my mother’s lineage papers, have three existing members sign off on it, and I was in.

    Recently my son told me he would like to join and I submitted all of my papers for him but was told that the rules for membership had tightened up. Because, over the years, many had joined Mayflower in just this way there was a substantial number of members that could not prove their lines, especially since some lineal connections had been proven invalid. Those of us who were members would continue to be kept on the rolls but no new members would be taken without proving every generation with primary sources.

    It took me well over a year of research to verify each generation back to Richard Warren so that I could submit the proper credentials for my son. Of course, now I am very happy that I did because, not only did it prove my own line, it gave me a great deal of experience in primary research.

    Anyway, back to our myth.  I had found the records for William Tandy born August 6, 1725, in Gloucester, Massachusetts. He had married at age 20 on May 29, 1745, in Gloucester, and the couple had seven children between 1746 and 1762. William died on January 1, 1800 in Kingston, New Hampshire.

    According to the DAR Patriots Index, the DAR Lineage Books, and New Hampshire vital records, my ancestor: "Served as a drummer in the Revolution from New Hampshire in Col. Enoch Poor's militia regiment. Had rank of Private. Joined on 25 May 1775."

    Col. Poor’s statue stands before the courthouse in front of the cemetery in Hackensack, New Jersey, less than half a mile from my home.

    So much for myth. There almost always is a kernel of truth. William Tandy DID serve in the Revolution and WAS a drummer but was fifty years old at the time (not unusual) and he was definitely not killed in the action.

    Unfortunately both mother and my aunt had passed away before I did this research but sometimes in the evening when the house is quiet, I swear that I can hear my mother’s laughter in the distance.

    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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