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  • 2004 Archive

  • Vol. 6, No. 37
    Whole #183
    September 10, 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


    * New Databases on
    * New Research Article on
    * NEHGS to Celebrate Forty Years on Newbury Street With Open House
    * NEHGS Librarian David Lambert to Appear on PBS' History Detectives
    * Featured Website: Northeast Kingdom Genealogy
    * Visit NEHGS in Western Massachusetts at the Big E
    * Events in New England
    * The First Owners of the World Trade Center Site
    * Upcoming "Genealogy in a Nutshell" Lectures at the NEHGS Library
    * Favorite - and Black Sheep - Ancestor Feedback
    * NEHGS Contact Information

    New Databases on

    The Great Migration Newsletter Online
    New Family Sketches for GMNL Subscribers

    Subscribers to the Great Migration Newsletter Online may now access ten new unpublished Great Migration sketches by Robert Charles Anderson. The newest sketches are listed in bold on the master list of sketches, which may be accessed by subscribers by clicking the first link below, then again on the Bonus Online Biographical Sketches link on the page that opens.

    The following new sketches were added this week:

    Thomas Bassett, Anthony Bessey, Thomas Carter, Nicholas Davis, Richard Ibrook, Richard Jacob, Robert Jeffreys, Edward Jenkins, Thomas Jewell, and Thomas Johnson

    Note: You must be logged in to and be an active subscriber to the Great Migration Newsletter Online to access these sketches.

    Subscribers to the Great Migration Newsletter Online may view the new sketches at

    Subscribe to the Great Migration Newsletter Online at




    Members of the Friends (Quakers) Monthly Meeting, Unity, Maine - 1883

    These records were copied from the books of the Friends (Quakers) Monthly Meeting of Unity, Waldo County, Maine. They include the names, places of residence, and ages of the members of the Unity Monthly Meeting of April 1863. The original books are in the possession of the Maine Historical Society in Portland, Maine. The town of Unity was established in 1804.

    The original text is part of the R. Stanton Avery Collections, call number MSS ME UNI 306.


    Search the Members of the Friends (Quakers) Monthly Meeting, Unity, Maine - 1883 at


    Cemetery Transcriptions from the NEHGS Manuscript Collections

    New this week: Transcription of Old North Pembroke Cemetery in North Pembroke, New Hampshire.

    Source: This transcription was generously donated by Michael Pachomski, an amateur genealogist living in the southern New Hampshire area.

    Search Cemetery Transcriptions from the NEHGS Manuscript Collections at



    Master Search

    Master search all databases at


    New Research Article on

    New Topic!

    Passenger Ship Lists for the Seventeenth Century

    by Martin E. Hollick

    Finding the ship on which your emigrant ancestor made the passage to these shores is a much sought after piece of information for genealogists. It is a plum fact to add to any family history. There is also a practical reason for finding this information, because it can greatly aid in finding the European origins of your ancestor. It is well known that people from the same village or surrounding villages traveled together and very often settled in the same communities in the New World. Knowing which ship one's ancestor arrived on and seeing the origins of other passengers can readily narrow down the area that should be searched for your ancestor's origins. Just narrowing down to a county can be a great time saver, and immensely important when dealing with a common surname.

    NEHGS members may access the entire article at

    About the author: Martin E. Hollick holds a M.S. from Simmons College in Library and Information Science, in Boston, Massachusetts. His articles on genealogy have been published in the NEHGS Nexus, New England Ancestors, and The American Genealogist. His current work "A Chronological Framework for the Yeaton Family of Newcastle, N.H." is being published in the New Hampshire Genealogical Record starting with the January 2004 issue. Martin is also the associate editor for the Mayflower Descendant. He lives in San Francisco, California.

    NEHGS to Celebrate Forty Years on Newbury Street With Open House

    NEHGS will hold an open house for the public at 101 Newbury Street in Boston on Thursday, September 23, 2004, from 2 to 6 p.m.

    The theme is "Celebrating Forty Years on Newbury Street," in recognition of the Society's move to its present location in the fall of 1964.
    A series of small events is being planned, including tours, remarks by staff representatives, light refreshments, and a 15% discount on books.
    A series of special mini-seminars will also take place beginning at 3 p.m. They include the following:

    Remarks by Ralph Crandall, NEHGS Executive Director
    "An Introduction to the new" with Michael J. Leclerc
    "Getting Started" with David C. Dearborn
    "Researching Immigrant Ancestors" with Marie Daly
    "Probing Probate Records" with Ruth Wellner
    "Gems of the NEHGS Manuscript Collection" with Timothy Salls

    For more information call 617-536-5740.

    NEHGS Librarian David Lambert to Appear on PBS' History Detectives

    Tune into your local PBS station Monday, September 13, to catch NEHGS staff librarian, David Lambert, on the popular show History Detectives. In chasing down the answers to his latest mystery, Dr. Tufuku Zuberi of History Detectives sought Lambert's advice in establishing the identity of a man listed by the name of Paul Cuffee on an original Falmouth, Massachusetts, muster roll. Was this the famous African American businessman and whaling captain? Or, was it someone else? Tune into History Detectives on September 13 to find out! (Check your local listings for times). The episode is expected to be broadcast again later in the season. Visit for more information.

    Featured Website: Northeast Kingdom Genealogy

    Northeast Kingdom Genealogy (

    If your family history research brings you to the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont, take some time to explore the Northeast Kingdom Genealogy website. This site consists of various records for residents of the Northeast Kingdom, which consists of Caledonia, Essex, and Orleans counties. The sources from which this information was gathered include newspapers, town reports, churches, cemeteries, and a variety of miscellaneous sources such as rosters of the administration, teachers, and students from schools in the area.

    The links to the records have been indexed by town and by source type. The locales found in the towns index are Barton, Danville, Irasburg, Saint Johnsbury, Glover and Orleans, Vermont. The records from a number of other towns in the area may be found in the source type indexes. Most of the information on this site was extracted and transcribed from the original documents. Records from both the nineteenth and twentieth centuries are included. Among the types of records you will find are death notices, marriage notices, census transcriptions, and church memberships including admissions and dismissions.

    One transcript, in particular, is of interest. The Orange and Black Magazine of the Barton Academy - 1926 listed graduates of Barton Academy from 1886 to 1925. The data for the period from 1886 to 1925 includes not only the student's name and address, but also the graduate's married name, whether the person was deceased as of 1926, and the current job, if known, which is certainly useful information for someone researching family history. This file also includes a list of graduates and students in the lower classes from the 1928 issue of the magazine.

    The site also contains some vital records from towns located "Outside the Northeast Kingdom." Toward the bottom of the home page (below the town and source index links), there is a link to old Vermont telephone books. Click on this link to go to the Old Telephone Directories main page. From there you can access digital images of the pages from the 1928 telephone directories for the following towns: Brookfield, Cabot, Chelsea, East Calais, East Randolph, Marshfield, Montpelier, Northfield, Plainfield, Randolph, Tunbridge, Waitsfield, Washington, Waterbury, West Corinth, Williamstown, and Worcester, Vermont. Many of these directories consist of a single page! Things certainly have changed.

    You can browse through the lists to locate possible family members or use the site's surname search feature. Your search results will include links to all of the databases in which the name you searched on appears.

    The website's host has provided notations for the user indicating which files are extremely large and have a long projected loading time. It is important to note that each page opens in a new window, therefore, you may need to temporarily disable your pop-up "blocker," if you use one.

    This website has a lot to offer anyone researching family in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. Visit

    Visit NEHGS in Western Massachusetts at the Big E

    NEHGS will be exhibiting at the Big E, September 17 through October 3, 2004. Formally known as the Eastern States Exposition, the Big E takes place in West Springfield, Massachusetts. It is the largest fair in the northeast, serving as a combined "state fair" for all six New England states.

    NEHGS staff members will be available to demonstrate the newly redesigned website and answer questions about NEHGS, New England research, and family history in general. We will have several books and other references available to browse through. More than one million visitors are expected at this year’s Big E event. We encourage members and non-members alike to stop by the NEHGS booth and meet our staff and volunteers.

    The NEHGS booth will be open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. in the New England Center on the Big E fairgrounds, adjacent to Storrowton Village. This location is near the center of the fairgrounds. The village is an authentic restoration of a nineteenth-century New England town complete with meeting house, tavern, and historic homes. Directions and information about the fair are online at or by calling the Big E Info Line at 413-205-5115.

    New England Events

    Massachusetts Society of Genealogists Lecture

    On Saturday, September 11, 2004, the Middlesex chapter of the Massachusetts Society of Genealogists, Inc. will present "Are You Researching Your Family History? Beginning a Family History Search," a lecture by Robert Ayres, noted genealogist, teacher, and lecturer. The program will begin at 1:30 p.m. at the Marlboro Public Library, 35 West Main Street, Marlboro, Massachusetts. Admission is free. Parking is available behind the library.

    Polish Genealogy Conference in New Britain, Connecticut

    The 2004 Polish Genealogy Conference will be held September 17 and 18, 2004, in the Student Center at Central Connecticut State University, 1615 Stanley Street, New Britain, Connecticut. This conference is being sponsored by The Polish Genealogical Society of Connecticut and the Northeast, Inc. (PGS-CT/NE) and The Endowed Chair of Polish and Polish American Studies of Central Connecticut State University. This year marks the twentieth anniversary of the PGS-CT/NE conference.

    Registration is $40 per person for the entire conference. Registration for Friday only is $10 and $35 for Saturday only. Included in the registration fee for those in attendance on Saturday is a Polish-American buffet lunch. Coffee and pastry will be available Saturday morning.

    Friday evening's program begins with registration at 5:30 p.m. followed by the Beginner's Workshop: "Getting Started: Finding the Missing Pieces of Your Polish-American Family History." For Saturday's full-day program, registration begins 8:30 a.m. Lectures include "Getting the Most Out of Online and CD Databases," "Boundaries and Ethnicity in Polish History," and "Nineteenth and Twentieth Century Immigrant Strategies."

    There is still time to register! Call Diane Szepanski, 860-832-2690 or email or to register and for additional information.

    "Scots for Sale" Lecture and Slide Presentation

    "Scots for Sale: The Fate of the Scottish War Prisoners in Seventeenth-Century New England," a lecture and slide presentation by Diane Rapaport, will take place on Sunday, September 26, 2004, at 1:30 p.m. at Gore Place Carriage House, 52 Gore Street, Waltham, Massachusetts. Diane Rapaport is a local attorney and historian whose column, "Tales from the Courthouse," appears in New England Ancestors magazine. She will be speaking about the fate of the seventeenth century Scottish war prisoners who were shipped to Boston, against their will, in 1651 and 1652. Her "Scots for Sale" article appeared in the winter 2003 issue of New England Ancestors, and an
    expanded version
    was published on the NEHGS website.

    The Waltham Historical Society and the Historical Society of Watertown are joint sponsors of this event. For additional information, contact Sheila FitzPatrick at 781-894-0062.

    The First Owners of the World Trade Center Site

    To mark the third anniversary of the tragic events that occurred on September 11, 2001, NEHGS member Don Parrish of Downers Grove, Illinois, contributed this interesting history of the original owners of the site of the World Trade Center.

    On April 25, 1644, Jan Jansen Damen, a prominent leader of the Dutch colony, received a land grant in lower Manhattan from Wall Street north to Fulton Street and from the Hudson River to almost the East River. In today's terms it is more than twenty square blocks. Jan owned about seventy percent of the World Trade Center site above the water (Greenwich was the shoreline then) and the West India Company owned the rest. This is documented in Iconography of Manhattan Island (vol. 6, pp. 86, 64i [map]). See a map of the site and additional references online at

    My eleven times great grandparents, Ariaentje Cuvilje and Guleyn Vigne, were Walloons who fled religious persecution in Valenciennes, which was then in the Spanish Netherlands and today is a city in France. They arrived in Leiden in 1618 when this tolerant Dutch city was also giving refuge to the Pilgrims. The Vignes sailed to New Amsterdam in the spring of 1624 on the Eendracht or Nieuw Nederland, the first two ships with colonists. Their son, Jan Vigne, was the first male child born in Manhattan. Their descendants include Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Thomas Edison.

    After Guleyn died in 1632, Ariaentje married Jan Jansen Damen, who was about twenty years her junior. This marriage consolidated their adjacent land holdings that are worth billions today. Ariaentje was called the "Matriarch of New Amsterdam." An article by that title appeared in the National Genealogical Society Quarterly ( 35:65-69 [1947]). It even describes an infamous incident after a preemptive battle against the Indians when she "amused herself in kicking about the heads of the dead" [Indians]. When Jan died childless in 1651, Ariaentje, as his heir, became the second owner of Ground Zero. She died in 1655.

    Now three years after the terrible attack of September 11, 2001, construction has begun anew on this hallowed ground. Many surprising and amazing things have occurred on the Twin Towers site since the Damen land grant. A June 2004 article by Eric Lipton, a New York Times reporter, surveying three and a half centuries of Ground Zero history is online at: (registration and fee to view required).

    Upcoming Genealogy in a Nutshell Lectures at the NEHGS Library

    Please note that due to new Research Library hours, all Nutshell lectures will now begin at 10:15 a.m.

    "Getting the Most from the Family History Library Resources" with David A. Lambert on September 11.

    Many NEHGS patrons are familiar with the large collection of genealogical materials at the Society. But a lesser-known NEHGS service to members and visitors is the ability to borrow microfilms from the vast collections of the LDS Family History Library. Please join David Lambert as he describes how to borrow films and use the powerful online databases on the LDS website.

    "Cape Cod Genealogy" with Timothy Salls on September 15 and 18.

    Please join NEHGS manuscripts curator, Timothy Salls, as he discusses Cape Cod genealogy. His highly informative lecture will focus on sources in the NEHGS library and manuscripts collections for researching seventeenth and eighteenth century Cape Cod families.

    All lectures take place at 10:15 a.m. at the NEHGS Library in Boston. Advance registration is not necessary.

    For more details about NEHGS education events, please visit our online Education Center at 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.

    My Favorite Ancestor
    by Dave Trimble of Centerville, Massachusetts


    My favorite ancestor story concerns my ggggg grandfather. This story is taken from the Record of the Descendants of Charles Bowler, compiled by N. P. Bowler and C. A. Malone and published in 1905, pp 17-18.

    Charles Bowler was the second son of Charles Bowler, the immigrant. Charles was born in 1754 in Newport, Rhode Island. When he was fourteen, his father died intestate leaving him penniless and alone in England. After returning to the colonies, he was able to make his way back to Newport where he become known for his ability with horses.

    When the colonies declared war, he joined the army and was taken prisoner when the British took possession of Newport. The British commandant in Newport, General Prescott, having learned of Charles' wide reputation as an expert horseman, gave him the oversight of his own horses.

    One day, when he had official guests from New York, General Prescott ordered Charles to put on the best trappings in the stable and show the merits of one of the fine horses that he had recently procured. The story continues that, while riding around the General and his party, Charles kept increasing the circle until he reached a point towards Fall River. He then put spurs to the horse, crossed the river on the ice, and reached his friends and safety. He apparently had no trouble in passing the British soldiers, as they all knew him to be General Prescott's servant.

    Supposedly this horse lived many years and, when he died, had a public funeral. The spot where the horse was buried was marked and known long afterward.


    NEHGS Contact Information

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