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  • 2004 Archive

  • Vol. 6, No. 40
    Whole #186
    October 1, 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
    * Register Now for Digging for Your Roots in Massachusetts Seminar at NEHGS
    * Fall Sale on Selected Genealogies in the NEHGS Online Store
    * Gary Boyd Roberts Connects the Candidates in the New York Times!
    * New Computers in the NEHGS Research Library
    * NEHGS Open House a Success!
    * Featured Website: The Maine Memory Network
    * Events in New England
    * 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

    Added this week: Records for 1858

    The latest installment in this ongoing database includes actual records from 1858 (vols. 114-122). The addition of indexes from 1841 to 1910 has been completed. The indexes include name of individual, town or village of event, year of event, and volume and page number of the original record. The records themselves typically include far more details.

    For detailed information about this database, please refer to the link found on the database search page (see link below) titled "Introduction to the Massachusetts Vital Records 1841-1910 Database." A link to a chart displaying records currently available and those forthcoming is also available on this page.

    The "Introduction" contains information that will contribute greatly to the success of your searches and answers common questions 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

    Family Genealogy: John Grow of Ipswich, John Groo (Grow) of Oxford

    This family genealogy tracing the descendants of John Grow of Ipswich, Massachusetts, was authored by George W. Davis and published in 1913. The introduction to the volume states, in part:

    "The first in New England of this name of whom a record has been found, and the first in America of whom a record appears to have been preserved, was John Grow, 'weaver,' of Ipswich, Essex County, Massachusetts, a 'commoner' there in the year 1664, a weaver by trade and a small land owner. Whether born in New England or an emigrant from the old country we know not."

    The reprinted volume is available at the NEHGS Library and through the NEHGS Circulating Library. The call number is CS71/G883/1913.

    Search the Grow genealogy at





    Marriage Records of Unity, Maine, 1837-1868

    These records were copied from the books of the Friends (Quakers) Monthly Meeting of Unity, Waldo County, Maine. They include full records of marriages from 1837 to 1868. 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 Marriage Records of Unity, Maine - 1883 at


    Cemetery Transcriptions from the NEHGS Manuscript Collections

    New this week: Transcriptions of the following cemeteries in Nova Scotia, Canada:

    Yarmouth County
    Port Maitland
    : New Cemetery on the Island, Calvin Baptist Cemetery, Baptist Cemetery, Free Baptist Cemetery
    Keptville: Free Baptist Church Cemetery

    Digby County
    Westport: Brier Island Cemetery
    Little River: Baptist Cemetery
    Sandy Cove: Baptist Cemetery, Church of England Cemetery, Methodist Church Cemetery
    Tiverton: Tiverton Cemetery
    Freeport: Old Cemetery, New Cemetery
    Centerville: Baptist & Methodist Cemetery

    Kings County
    Wolfville: Old Cemetery, Caledonia Cemetery

    Halifax County
    Musquodoboit Harbor: Church of England Cemetery, A Union Burying Ground
    Spry Bay: Presbyterian Church Cemetery
    Camp Hill: Camp Hill Cemetery
    Sheet Harbor: Burials at Sheet Harbor
    Salmon River: Burials in St James Episcopal Church

    Guysboro County
    Hazel Hill: Church of England Cemetery
    Liscomb: Burials in the Episcopal Church
    Sherbrooke: Presbyterian Church Cemetery
    Isaac's Harbour: The Old Burying Ground, Baptist Church Cemetery
    Canso: Methodist & Baptist Church Cemetery, Catholic Burying Ground at Canso, New Methodist & Baptist Cemetery

    The original manuscript is part of the R. Stanton Avery Collections. The call number is SL NOV 1b

    Search Cemetery Transcriptions from the NEHGS Manuscript Collections at

    Marriages of Woodbury, Connecticut, 1684-1784

    The town of Woodbury, in Litchfield County, was established in 1673. This handwritten manuscript, which contains marriages taken from town records and other sources, was compiled and donated to NEHGS by William Cothren of Woodbury in 1848.

    The original manuscript is part of the R. Stanton Avery Collections. The call number is SL WOO 10.

    Search Marriages of Woodbury, Connecticut, 1684-1784 at




    Master Search

    Master search all databases at


    New Research Article on

    Farm for Sale: Finding Family History in Early Nineteenth-Century Newspapers

    by John C. MacLean

    "A Farm for Sale" read the headline of an 1821 advertisement in the Middlesex Gazette. As readers looked through their weekly newspaper, they paused to see whose farm was up for sale. Was one of their neighbors moving? Was it the farm of someone who had died? As they read the ad, they soon discovered that it was the substantial farmstead of their recently deceased neighbor, Abner Wheeler, a local housewright who built many of the homes in the Concord, Massachusetts, area. Descended from some of the earliest families of Concord, Abner was born in 1745, the son of Benjamin and Rebekah (Lee) Wheeler. He had grown up on Concord's Virginia Road before establishing his own farmstead on the same road in neighboring Lincoln. Today, Abner's lands are no longer farmed, and his house and other buildings are no longer standing. Still, the 1821 advertisement continues to provide a descriptive, visual image of what his property was once like:

    "a FARM, lying in the north part of LINCOLN, containing 130 acres of good land, consisting of mowing, pasturing, tillage, and old and young orcharding, grafted fruit-a large two story house, seven rooms on a floor, all well finished, wood shed and shed leading to the two barns-together with a joiner's shop, two stories high, and other out buildings: good water for the house and barn; it being the Farm of ABNER WHEELER deceased."

    NEHGS members may access the entire article at

    About the author: John C. MacLean is a professional genealogist, preservation consultant, and editor. A former museum director and corporate historian, much of his historical work currently focuses on New England family and community history and material culture. A third-generation resident of Lincoln, Massachusetts, his writings include the book A Rich Harvest: The History, Buildings, and People of Lincoln, Massachusetts (1987), a comprehensive history of that town. His ancestors primarily settled in Massachusetts, Nova Scotia, and Rhode Island, and he is particularly interested in studying the ancestral Sherman family of Watertown and Sudbury/Wayland. While he has lines back to the Mayflower, to one of the "Salem witches," and to men who fought on April 19, 1775, his "favorite ancestor" may be Dr. Joseph Bossuet. Bossuet was described in the 1893 History of Hingham as a native of France who "made common cause with the United States, when he came to America as a surgeon and physician in the War of the Revolution. During the war he was not only captured by the British, but he also met with many other reverses and pecuniary losses." After living in Maine, Hingham, and Boston, his debts exceeded his assets when he died at Boston in 1827, but in his experiences and achievements he left a legacy of other riches for his descendants to rediscover.

    Register Now for Digging for Your Roots in Massachusetts Seminar at NEHGS

    Saturday, October 23, 2004

    Don't delay to register for the first of our New England States Seminars, Digging for Your Roots in Massachusetts! This new series is attracting much attention and the Massachusetts seminar in particular will likely fill up quickly! Digging for Your Roots in Massachusetts will take place Saturday, October 23, at the NEHGS Library in Boston. Featuring lectures by Great Migration director Robert Charles Anderson, Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court archivist Elizabeth Bouvier, Boston Public Library newspaper and microtext curator Henry Scannell, NEHGS reference librarian David Dearborn, and Corbin Collection editor Robert Dunkle, this seminar is sure to sharpen your research skills!

    This practical seminar will cover a host of topics: researching the families of Massachusetts from the earliest beginnings of Plymouth Colony; migration patterns within the Commonwealth and beyond; the extensive Corbin Collection of church, cemetery, vital records, and family records from seventy-six towns of western Massachusetts; an overview of the history and structure of the Massachusetts state court system and wills, naturalizations, and criminal and civil cases; and the extensive collection of newspapers dating from the 1700s at the Boston Public Library and how to use them. Join us for this very special event and advance your Massachusetts research goals!

    Lectures will include:

    The Pilgrim Migration: The Settlement of Plymouth Colony, 1620-1633
    Robert Charles Anderson, director of the Great Migration Study Project and co-editor of The American Genealogist.

    A discussion of the mix of Leiden Pilgrims and immigrants of other origins who made up the early population of Plymouth. Includes coverage of recent discoveries in the English origins of some of these immigrants and of the production of a new book on the subject.

    Massachusetts Migrations
    David Dearborn, NEHGS reference librarian.

    This talk focuses on migration trails and migration patterns, both within the state and to points beyond, including other areas of New England, New York, and the Canadian Maritimes. The majority of our ancestors adhered to fairly predictable migration patterns and understanding these allows us to make an educated guess as to a possible place of origin.

    Researching Western Massachusetts Using the Corbin Collection
    Robert J. Dunkle, co-author of many books on colonial Boston and editor of several NEHGS CD-ROMs.

    The Walter E. Corbin Papers comprise the most extensive compilation of church, cemetery, vital, and family records extant for seventy-six towns in western Massachusetts. Acquired by the Society from Mr. Corbin's estate, it occupies some sixty linear feet in the R. Stanton Avery Special Collections. It is unique in its breadth and by the fact that a major portion is available from no other source.

    An Overview of Massachusetts State and County Court Records
    Elizabeth Bouvier, head of archives at the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court.

    An overview of the history and structure of the Massachusetts state court system will be presented. This lecture will include basic information on the probating of wills and administration, naturalizations found in court records, and criminal and civil cases.

    Newspaper Research at the Boston Public Library
    Henry Scannell, curator of microtext and newspapers at the Boston Public Library.

    The lecture will include discussion of the newspaper collections of the Boston Public Library, tips for searching newspapers, and the information of genealogical value that can be found in them.

    To obtain more information or download a registration form for the conference, please visit

    Fall Sale on Selected Genealogies in the NEHGS Online Store

    To make room for new stock, the NEHGS Store is slashing prices fifty to eighty percent on selected photoduplicated genealogies. Each title is hardbound and reproduced from the original on acid-free paper. We have limited quantities of these titles, so first come, first served! You can place orders or view additional infomation about these genealogies (including full title, author, and book length) in our online store by clicking on the "Search Our Store" link ( and entering the item number listed below in the corresponding field.

    The sale is on now and will continue until October 15. Watch for announcements of future photoduplication clearance sales in NEHGS eNews.

    The following genealogies are currently on sale. The number in parentheses following the title indicates how many copies are available:

    ALDEN, 1867: Item # P30040000, Was $33.00, Now $13.20 (1)
    ALVORD, 1908: Item # P30100000, Was $125.00, Now $45.00 (2)
    BARBER-ENO, 1893: Item # P30252500, Was $8.00, Now $4.00 (1)
    BATES, 1907: Item # P30310000, Was $90.00, Now $30.00 (2)
    BAYNE, 1896: Item # P30350000, Was $99.00, Now $25.00 (2)
    BECKWITH NOTES, 1956: Item # P30375000, Was $50.00, Now $12.50 (1)
    BELLOWS, 1898: Item # P30390000, Was $94.00, Now $35.00 (3)
    BLISH, 1905: Item # P30470000, Was $20.00, Now $8.00 (2)
    BROWNE, 1888: Item # P30620000, Was $34.00, Now $11.90 (1)
    BRUBACHER, 1884: Item # P30630000, Was $17.50, Now $4.00 (6)
    BULLOCH, 1911: Item # P30655000, Was $24.00, Now $10.00 (1)
    BURGNER, 1890: Item # P30680000, Was $35.00, Now $12.25 ( 2)
    BURNHAM, 1869: Item # P30699900, Was $88.00, Now $30.80 (1)
    CANDEE, 1882: Item # P30750000, Was $43.00, Now $21.00 (1)
    CARNEY, 1904: Item # P30770000, Was $40.00, Now $16.00 (2)
    CARPENTER, 1901: Item # P30791000, Was $66.00, Now $26.00 (1)
    CHAPMAN, 1854: Item # P30870000, Was $68.00, Now $27.00 (4)
    CLAPP, 1876; Item # P30970000, Was $71.00, Now $28.00 (1)
    COBB, 1907: Item # P31050000, Was $50.00, Now $20.00 (2)
    COLLIN, 1872: Item # P31110000, Was $15.00, Now $7.00 (1)
    CORNWALL, 1901: Item # P31175000, Was $35.00, Now $15.00 (1)
    CROSBY, 1914: Item # P4-S07194, Was $26.50, Now $12.00 (1)
    DANFORTH, 1902: Item # P31310000, Was $79.00, Now $26.00 (1)
    DAVIS, 1884: Item # P31330000, Was $89.00, Now $19.00 (5)
    DAY, 1848: Item # P31350000, Was $29.00, Now $10.00 (1)
    DICKSON, 1889: Item # P31460000, Was $40.00, Now $12.00 (3)
    DUYCKINCK, 1908: Item # P31610000, Was $43.00, Now $18.00 (3)
    DWIGHT, 1874: Item # P4-H09123, Was $166.50, Now $66.50 (1)

    Search the NEHGS Online Store for these items at

    Gary Boyd Roberts Connects the Candidates in the New York Times!

    NEHGS senior research scholar Gary Boyd Roberts has made an effort over the past year to find some common ground between presidential candidate John Kerry and incumbent George W. Bush, and he has succeeded - through their lineage! As Hannah Fairfield reported in the September 19 issue of the New York Times, Gary found that Bush and Kerry have family ties through at least eight Massachusetts and English ancestors. Their closest relationship is that of ninth cousins twice removed, with the common ancestor being Edmund Reade (1563-1623) of Wickford, Essex Co., England. The article also charts the other ancestors that bring these two seemingly unrelated men closer together: Henry Herrick, of Salem, Massachusetts; Thomas Richards of Weymouth, Massachusetts; John Dwight of Dedham, Massachusetts; Rev. Edward Bulkeley of Odell, Bedfordshire; Richard Clapp of Sidbury, Devon; Henry Sherman of Dedham, Essex; and John Manning of Downe, Kent.

    Stay tuned for a future announcement in eNews regarding the launch of Gary's new website, which will contain the full charts of both candidates.

    The New York Times article is available to view for a fee at their website, To access the article, type Gary Boyd Roberts into the search box on the home page.

    New Computers in the NEHGS Research Library

    The Research Library is pleased to announce the arrival of three new computers for patron use in the Ruth C. Bishop Reading Room on the sixth floor at the Society's Boston headquarters. Replacing two older models, the new computers feature easy-to-read, flat screen monitors. They will facilitate member and visitor access to the Society's library catalog, the website, and a host of other online resources. In addition, a printer for the computers has been made more accessible for patron use. The Society's fifth floor local history computer area is also the beneficiary of another new computer, also equipped with a flat screen monitor. We hope members and guests will enjoy these significant computer upgrades and invite you to visit the library and use them.


    D. Brenton Simons
    Assistant Executive Director


    NEHGS Open House a Success!

    The NEHGS open house celebrating forty years on Newbury Street was a great success! Over eighty visitors enjoyed library tours, lectures by staff genealogists and librarians, and refreshments. The open house also served as an introduction to NEHGS to many non-member attendees. Handouts for some of the lectures and photos of the event are available at

    Our thanks to everyone who attended!

    Featured Website: The Maine Memory Network

    Maine Memory Network (

    The Maine Memory Network, an online museum, archive, and educational resource, is a project of the Maine Historical Society. In its collections you will find digital images of letters, journals, photographs, paintings, drawings, museum objects, broadsides, maps, and sound and video files, which have been contributed by institutions throughout the state. Each image relates in some way to Maine or New England. The Maine Memory Network has endeavored to create a collection that is representative of the entire state of Maine. There are also more than forty online exhibits on a variety of topics to explore.

    Click on the Search for Historical Items and Documents link on the home page to access the site's collections. Once on main search page, you can begin your exploration of the site by browsing through the list of topics or by using the keyword search function, located on the right side of the page, to access the database. The site can also be searched by town or by the many historical societies, libraries, and museums that participate as contributing partners. On the contributing partner search page you will find a clickable map, in addition to links to each partner's contributions. Click on the red dot on the map to view the items belonging a contributor. You can also run an advanced search, which allows you to limit your search by county, document type, specific year, or date range.

    Search results are returned in the form of thumbnail images of the relevant items plus the following information: the title, object type, media, date, name of the town with which the object is affiliated, and the name of the organization by which it was contributed. This information enables the user to contact the contributing organization directly for additional information about a particular document or item. There are four icons beneath each image. Clicking on the "info" icon will bring up a page with more detailed information about the object or document, including additional source information for the document and related links. The "zoom" icon will allow you to enlarge the image. The remaining icons allow you to add the image to an album (more about this feature follows) and send an e-card with a link to the image. You can also view full transcriptions of selected original documents in PDF format. If you need additional information on how to search the site effectively or if you have questions about any of its features, you can click on the Help tab in the navigation bar at the top of the page.

    A search on York, Maine, yielded twenty-four items, including photographs of gravestones, scenes around town, and historic objects; a video and sound recording of an oral history interview; a letter dated January 8, 1844; and a probate courts proceedings list from 1832.

    Using the website's Album function, you can save images for future viewing, view them as a slideshow, add captions, and email the album to family and friends. This feature seems to have a lot of possibilities. To create an album you must register for an account, which is free of charge. New users can click on the MyAlbum tab to access the Album Overview page and learn more about this function. Copies of some digital images are available for sale as prints or for publication through Be advised that Maine Memory Network's images can only be copied for classroom educational use.

    Genealogists, family historians, teachers and students, and the general public alike can explore Maine's history through the extensive digital archive at the Maine Memory Network. Visit


    Events in New England

    Slide Show on Andover, Maine

    Aslide show on the history of Andover, Maine, will be presented at the Bethel Historical Society, 14 Broad Street, Bethel, Maine, on Thursday, October 14, 2004 at 7:30 p.m. The slide show was created from old Andover photographs, maps, and documents from private collections, many of which have never been seen by the public. The event is free of charge. Refreshments will be served. For more information, call the Bethel Historical Society at 207-824-2908.

    "Scots for Sale" Lectures in October

    Diane Rapaport, local attorney and historian, will present two lectures during the month of October. 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.

    "Scots for Sale: William Munro and the Scottish War Prisoners"

    This lecture will be presented on Saturday, October 2, 2004, at 2 p.m. at the National Heritage Museum's Farr Conference Center, 33 Marrett Road, Rt. 2A, Lexington, Massachusetts. Bagpiper Brian Quirk of the Sutherland Pipe Band will perform at 1:45 p.m. The program is sponsored by the National Heritage Museum and the Lexington Historical Society.

    For more information, contact Dorothy Zaborowski at 781-861-7378.

    "Scots for Sale: The Fate of the Scottish War Prisoners in Seventeenth-Century New England"

    This lecture will take place on Saturday, October 16, 2004, at 1 p.m. at the Centre Congregational Church, 5 Summer Street, Lynnfield, Massachusetts (next to the Lynnfield Library). The program is presented by the Essex Society of Genealogists. For more information contact Barbara Staples at 781-598-1242.

    Diane Rapaport's column, "Tales from the Courthouse," appears in New England Ancestors magazine. 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 (it is accessible by clicking on Education Center/Articles and Publications/Hot Topics/Scots for Sale - or by clicking on this link).

    Upcoming Genealogy in a Nutshell Lectures at the NEHGS Library

    "Taking a Bite Out of the Big Apple: New York City Research" with David Dearborn on October 2.

    Due to its sheer size, New York City presents unique challenges to family historians. NEHGS genealogist and New York City expert, David Dearborn, will outline sources and strategies that will help researchers overcome the frustrating obstacles of finding ancestors in the Big Apple.


    "Family Treasures in Your Attic: Bring Your Books!" with Ken Gloss on October 6.

    Ken Gloss, proprietor of Boston's oldest bookstore, The Brattle Book Shop, will present a fascinating lecture on the field of antiquarian books, and on identifying and preserving valuable family books and printed materials. A nationally renowned expert on antiquarian books and ephemera, Mr. Gloss has appeared on the PBS series, Antiques Roadshow, on numerous occasions. At the end of the lecture, he will appraise the value of attendees' books.

    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 Susan Mason of Queensbury, New York


    My favorite ancestor was Samuel Richardson of Woburn, Massachusetts. In 1670, Samuel, about twenty-four years old, married a woman named Martha, who bore him twin sons, Thomas and Samuel, and a daughter Elizabeth. His wife died in childbirth in 1673 along with her newborn infant, Martha. Soon after, Samuel married Hannah Kingsley. Two years later, she, her two-week-old baby, and Thomas, now age six, were brutally slain by savage Indians while Samuel and Samuel, Jr. were working in the fields. Elizabeth somehow survived. The same year Samuel married Phoebe Baldwin, who died at the age of twenty-five, having had a son, Zachary, in 1677. By the time Samuel was thirty-two years old, he had lost three wives and three children. Sarah Howard became his wife the following year and lived another thirty-five years, dying at the age of sixty-eight and surviving Samuel by five years. They produced nine children between 1681 and 1700, of whom three sons died in infancy. Samuel was survived by only eight of his fifteen children. I so admire the courageous spirit of Samuel, who survived tragedy after tragedy, but never caved into the hardships which befell him.

    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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