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  • 2004 Archive

  • Vol. 6, No. 43
    Whole #189
    October 22, 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 Issue of The Great Migration Newsletter Now Available to Subscribers
    * New Member Article Submission on
    * Fall Clearance Sale at the NEHGS Online Store
    * Order Genealogy Reprints in Time for the Holidays!
    * Images from the Manuscript Collections
    * Special Event at NEHGS: Tracing Your Irish Ancestors
    * Featured Website: The Sudbury Archives
    * Digging for Your Roots in Connecticut Seminar
    * New National Calendar of Events on
    * Upcoming "Genealogy in a Nutshell" Lectures at the NEHGS Library
    * Favorite - and Black Sheep - Ancestor Feedback
    * NEHGS Contact Information

    New Databases on




    Family Genealogy: History of Charles Dixon, One of the Early English Settlers of Sackville, N.B.

    The following is excerpted from the genealogy :

    "Charles Dixon came from Yorkshire, England, to Nova Scotia in the year 1772, and settled at Sackville, New Brunswick. Mr. Dixon was among the first of the English immigrants to what was then called Cumberland, Nova Scotia, (which included not only the present County of Cumberland, but also a large portion of the Province of New Brunswick, notably the counties of Westmoreland and Albert) who settled at Sackville, and believing that he had done wisely himself, he encouraged others of his Yorkshire acquaintance to follow his example.

    "The family record of Charles Dixon as kept by himself here follows:
    Charles Dixon and Susannah Coates were married June 24th, 1763.
    Mary Dixon, born Friday, July 5, 1764.
    Charles Dixon, born Friday, January 10, 1766.
    Susannah Dixon, born Friday, July 24, 1 767.
    Elizabeth Dixon, born Sunday, August 25, 1770.
    Ruth Dixon, born Wednesday, September 16, 1772.
    Martha Dixon, born Thursday, June 3, 1774.
    Edward Dixon, born Friday, September 20, 1776.
    William Coates Dixon, born Tuesday, February 23, 1779."

    A reprint of this genealogy is available at the NEHGS Library, and may be borrowed by members from the Circulating Library, call number CS90/D63/1891.


    Search the Dixon genealogy at






    Cemetery Transcriptions from the NEHGS Manuscript Collections

    New this week: Transcriptions of the Center Burial Grounds and West Burial Grounds in Auburn, Worcester County, Massachusetts.

    Search Cemetery Transcriptions from the NEHGS Manuscript Collections 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 fourth and final issue of Volume 13 on The issue includes "The General Amnesty of 1638" and "Focus on the Trainband" as well as the usual roundup of recent literature.

    Great Migration editor Robert Charles Anderson shares the latest in Great Migration Project news in the Newsletter's editorial:

    "As we complete the preparation of this issue of the Great Migration Newsletter, we are also nearing the completion of another volume of Great Migration sketches. This volume nearing completion is not the next in the regular series (although that volume, covering the letters I, J, K and L for the years 1634 and 1635, is also in the works, and will be completed about the middle of next year).

    "The New England Historic Genealogical Society is joining Plimoth Plantation to issue a Great Migration volume devoted to the earliest settlers of Plymouth Colony. This has been accomplished by taking from the three volumes of The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England, 1620-1633, those 215 sketches of men or women who had resided in Plymouth Colony at some point between 1620 and 1633, and then revising and upgrading those sketches. The title will be The Pilgrim Migration: Immigrants to Plymouth Colony, 1620-1633.

    "Almost ten years have passed since these sketches were originally composed, and much new research has appeared in that time. Most importantly, origins have been found or proposed for a number of the Mayflower passengers: Peter Brown, Francis Eaton, Stephen Hopkins and Richard Warren. Also, Jeremy D. Bangs has published much new information on the immigrants from Leiden, in the pages of the Register and New England Ancestors.

    "The preparation of this new volume also allows us to attend to a couple of more mundane matters. First, we have the opportunity to correct some errors made in the original volumes of The Great Migration Begins. Fortunately, most of these were minor mistakes.

    "Second, we discovered in the revision process that the earliest sketches did not adhere as consistently as we wished to a regular format. This was especially apparent in the case of the treatment of officeholding. This section in each sketch has been adjusted to reflect the current arrangement, with separate sections for civil and military service, and, within civil service, separate sections for colony, county and town offices."

    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 Member Article Submission on

    The Fathers of George Albert Ayer

    by Les Olsen, Acton Massachusetts

    George Albert Ayer was one of the leading Massachusetts cotton textile manufacturers at the turn of the last century. He assisted in the building of the Globe Yarn (later Sanford) Mill in Fall River and was superintendent of mills in New Bedford and Easthampton. He perfected a twisting machine for the cord used in lining automobile tires and conceived the automatic threading shuttle. His 1929 death was front-page news in New Bedford, and he was noted in a New York Times obituary for having been "fifty years active in the cotton industry in New England."

    His background, however, was a mystery. His obituary told the story of a twelve-year-old boy left "...alone in the world. Undaunted he started work as a bobbin boy... [He was] a self-made man. No school other than the school of experience can be credited for his success.” A different story emerges, however, after examining George's life from the perspective suggested by the above epigram.

    Read "The Fathers of George Albert Ayer" at

    Fall Clearance Sale at the NEHGS Online Store

    To make room for new stock, the NEHGS Store is slashing prices fifty to eighty percent on the selected photoduplicated titles below. 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 information 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 31. Watch for announcements of more sale items in future issues of NEHGS eNews.

    Be sure to check out all the latest sales items in our Online Store! Simply click on the Marketplace tab, and then "Browse Our Store" -- the New Items link is first on the list. Looking for a bargain? Check out the Damaged Book and Clearance section as well!

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


    Ancient Burial Place, New London, CT, 1899: Item # P26520400, Was $37.00, Now $15.00 (3)
    CT Soldiers in the Pequot War, 1913: Item # P26477500, Was $36.00, Now $15.00 (1)
    Index to the History of Goshen, CT, 1989: Item # P264797550, Was $35.00, Now $15.00 (1)
    List & Returns of CT Men in the Revolution, 1775-1783, 1909: Item # P26474700, Was $78.00 Now $30.00 (1)
    (Vital) Records of Mansfield, CT, 1703-1850, 1898: Item # P26516000, Was $77.00, Now $30.00 (1)
    The Town & City of Waterbury, CT, VOLUME 2, 1896: Item # P5-CT0409-2H, Was $77.50, Now $28.50 (1)
    The Town & City of Waterbury, CT, VOLUME 3, 1896: Item # P5-CT0409-3H, Was $77.50, Now $28.50 (1)
    History of Windham County, CT, 1760-1880, VOLUME 2, 1880: Item # P26544100, Was $96.00, Now $31.00 (1)


    Records of Pepperellborough, Saco, ME 1896: Item # P2662500, Was $52.00, Now $22.00 (1)
    History of Durham, ME, 1899: Item # P5-ME0005H, Was $39.50, Now $20.00 (1)
    New Gloucester Centennial, 1875: Item # P26619300, Was $35.00, Now $16.00 (3)
    Annals of Warren, ME, 1877: Item # P5-ME0237H, Was $69.50, Now $25.00 (2)


    Abington, MA VRs to 1850, 1912: Item # P26740000, Was $88.00, Now $30.00 (2)
    Records of Boston Marriages, 1752-1809, 1903: Item # P5-MA0016H, Was $71.00, Now $29.00 (1)
    Bridgewater, MA VRs to 1850, VOLUME 2 ONLY, Marriages & Deaths, 1916: Item # P26840000B, Was $88.00, Now $30.00 (1)
    Records of Dedham, MA, 1886: Item # P27760000, Was $59.00, Now $28.00 (1)
    Hardwick, MA VRs to 1850, 1917: Item # P27070000, Was $54.00, Now $24.00 (1)
    Milton, MA VRs to 1843, 1900: Item # P27250000, Was $45.00, Now $20.00 (1)
    New Braintree, MA VRs to 1850, 1904: Item # P27300000, Was $33.00, Now $16.00 (1)
    Taunton, MA VRs to 1850, VOLUME 1 ONLY, Births, 1929: Item # P27930200, Was $77.00, Now $29.00 (1)
    Essex County, MA History, 1888: Item # P26677400, Was $154.00, Now $68.00 (1)
    Hist. & Gene. Register of Essex County, MA, 1895: Item # P26677500, Was $52.00, Now $29.00 (1)
    Suffolk County, MA Probate Index 1923-1935, Volume 1: Item # P26716060, Was $90.00, Now $36.00 (1)
    History of Hubbardston, MA, 1686-1881, 1881: Item # P27796500, Was $64.00, Now $29.00 (1)
    Record of the Commissioner, Boston Births, 1894: Item # P26826000, Was $63.00, Now $27.00 (1)
    Records of Watertown, MA, 1738-1822: Item # P27592100, Was $48.00, Now $19.00 (1)


    NH State Papers, Vol. 32, Pt. 2, Probate Records 1718-1740: Item # P28013200, Was $137.00, Now $40.00 (1)
    NH State Papers, Vol. 33, Pt 3, Probate Records 1741-1749: Item # P28013300, Was $128.00, Now $40.00 (1)
    NH State Papers, Vol. 37, Pt. 7, Probate Records 1760-1763: Item # P28013700, Was $84.00, Now $25.00 (1)
    NH State Papers, Vol. 38, Pt. 8, Probate Records 1764-1767: Item # P28013800, Was $79.00, Now $25.00 (1)
    History of Antrim, NH, 1880: Item # P28045500A, Was $75.00, Now $30.00 (1)
    History of Bedford, NH, 1851: Item # P5-NH0119H, Was $39.50, Now $16.00 (1)
    History of Windham, NH, 1883: Item # P5-NH0028H, Was $88.00, Now $30.00 (2)


    Biographical Sketches of Distinguished Men of Columbia County, NY SOFTCOVER, 1851: Item # P5-NY0072S, Was $17.00, Now $7.00 (1)
    Gravestones of Dutchess County, NY, 1924 Item # P28150000, Was $65.00, Now $28.00 (1)
    Ontario County, NY, Volume 1, 1911: Item # P28200000, Was $81.00, Now $31.00 (1)


    History of Barrington, RI, 1898: Item # P5-RI0025H, Was $64.50, Now $29.50 (1)


    Vermont Historical Gazetteer, Vol. 1, Pt. 1, Addison, Bennington & Caledonia Counties, 1867: Item # P5-VT0038H, Was $107.00, Now $40.00 (1)
    Brattleboro, Windham County, VT, 1880: Item # P5-VT0047H, Was $29.50, Now $13.00 (1)
    History of Chittenden County, VT, 1886: Item # P5-VT0031H, Was $89.00, Now $32.00 (1)
    Rutland County, VT Business Directory & Gazetteer, 1881: Item # P28417500, Was $75.00, Now $30.00 (1)
    Gravestone Inscriptions of Rupert, VT, 1913: Item # P28415000A, Was $32.00, Now $12.00 (1)

    Order Genealogy Reprints in Time for the Holidays!

    It is never too early to make a genealogy wishlist for the holidays but if you’re planning to order from the NEHGS Special Orders Catalog we urge you to place your order soon since reprints of out-of-print titles usually take six to ten weeks to produce and deliver.

    NEHGS offers high-quality photoduplicated editions of over 10,000 special order titles that have long been out of print or are hard to find. All special order books are printed on acid-free paper in hardback bindings and many are available in softcover. The selection of titles may surprise you and receiving a favorite title will certainly surprise the recipient.

    To find out if a favorite genealogy or other title is available through NEHGS as a reprint, visit the NEHGS Online Store and search on the surname or location. The description will indicate if it is a reprint available through special order. The earlier you order, the better your chances are of pleasing that special genealogist in your life in time for the holidays.

    Visit the NEHGS Online Store today at

    Images from the Manuscript Collections

    The newest additions to our online gallery of images from the R. Stanton Avery Collections is a set of nine mug shots of criminals arrested by the Boston Inspector's Office between 1895 and 1897. The following information was included on the back of each image: name, alias, crime, age. comp. (race), height, weight, color of hair, color of eyes, nose, face, born (place of birth), married, trade, date of arrest, officer's name, and remarks. NEHGS members may view the original images kept in the R. Stanton Avery Collections, call number MSS A 764.

    View the exhibit at

    Special Event at NEHGS: Tracing Your Irish Ancestors

    Saturday, October 30, 2004, at NEHGS
    Program starts at 11:30 a.m

    Registration: $5 at the door

    The New England Historic Genealogical Society and the Boston Chapter of the Irish American Cultural Institute will co-host a special program at 101 Newbury Street, Boston.

    Many people may have heard the myth that Irish genealogy is difficult if not impossible. Nothing could be further from the truth. Ireland has some superb historical records, in some instances, records that are unique in Western Europe. Irish history is woven fabric made up of historical documentation, oral tradition, sense of place and of identity, of belonging, and of loss. This heady mix combines to make Irish family history research one of the most enjoyable, rewarding and fulfilling experiences for genealogists. It may not always be straight forward, but with a practical approach and a sound foundation, the experience can be a life-enhancing journey of discovery.

    This presentation, which will benefit beginners and seasoned genealogists alike, is practical, wide-ranging, factual and informative. Using attractive visual aids, the lecture will talk about the basics, about land divisions, the records themselves and how to access them, and how they fit within the periods of Irish history.

    Of particular interest will be extensive references to sources and what's new in electronic records, databases and websites, etc. that are making it easier for family historians to unlock their genealogy. If you have thought about starting down your ancestral trail, why not take part and learn how to find the missing pieces of your Irish family puzzle.

    Featured Website: The Sudbury Archives

    The Sudbury Archives Project began in 1991. Its goal was to create a complete index and database of their collection of pre-1850 documents of the town of Sudbury, Massachusetts. The database brings together records from the town clerk's office in Sudbury, town meeting records from 1639 to the present, plus documents from the archival collections of the Goodnow Library, Longfellow's Wayside Inn, the Sudbury Historical Society, and the Wayland Historical Society. These materials include personal papers such as letters, diaries, and account books, among others. This database makes previously inaccessible documents available to researchers and the general public.

    The database was installed at the Goodnow Library in 1995. In September 2000 the project partners began to scan and transcribe many of the documents in the database. They also placed the entire database on the World Wide Web. Currently the database includes about 15,000 records, which date from 1639 to 1850. Each record may be searched by title, date, subject, personal name, location of the original document, document category, and record number.

    Click on the "Browse Document Categories" link to access an overview of the types of documents found in the archives. The document categories include Town Records, Legal Records, Proprietors' Records, Personal Papers, Church Records, Vital Records, Military Records, Tax and Assessors' Records, Poor Assistance Records, and many more.

    Click on the "Search Archive Database" link to go to the basic search screen. You can search the database by entering a name in one field and a keyword in another or you may browse by subject or name. Click on any record from your results to find more detailed information about a particular document. This will include such information as the document title, date, category, and original location. You will also find a list that includes all subjects and personal names found in the document and, sometimes, notes related to the document. If the database includes a transcription and/or a scanned image of the original document, it can be accessed by clicking the buttons on the screen. The "Using the Archives" section and the search tips are helpful, and you can email the library Archives at for additional assistance. if necessary. While the easiest way to find an ancestor is to use the search functions, you should remember to check out the "Sudbury Biographies" found on the "Sudbury History" page.

    If the original image is not in the database and you'd like to get a copy, contact the Sudbury Archives at and let them know which document you need. The Goodnow Library has photocopies of nearly all of the documents in the database, which you can view at the library or ask that a copy be sent to you. If you want to find and view the original document, you can get information from the database record about where the document may be found. You can find then contact information for the participating organizations on the "About the Archives" page.

    If you have ancestors who lived in the Sudbury area prior to 1850, you should definitely visit the Sudbury Archives Project website. There is a wealth of information to be explored. Visit

    Digging for Your Roots in Connecticut Seminar

    Saturday, November 6, 2004, at NEHGS

    Digging for Your Roots in Connecticut is the second seminar in our New England States Seminar Series of one-day programs at the New England Historic Genealogical Society in Boston. The series is designed to assist beginners and seasoned researchers alike. This intensive seminar will address basic genealogical research as well as printed sources relevant to the geographical core of the state, probate records, and the resources of the Connecticut State Library. It will conclude with several interesting case studies. Join us to enhance your Connecticut research skills!

    Lectures will include:

    An Overview of Genealogical Research in Connecticut
    Joyce S. Pendery, certified genealogist, NEHGS trustee, and contributor to the Connecticut research area of

    This talk will provide a brief overview of genealogical resources in Connecticut from the 1630s to today with an emphasis on information that can be found in Connecticut town halls, libraries, and historical societies, as well as on the Internet and at major libraries outside the state, including at NEHGS.

    The Connecticut Core In Print - Updated
    Gary Boyd Roberts, senior research scholar at NEHGS.

    The "Connecticut Core" is the area bounded roughly by New London, New Haven, Hartford, and Woodstock, within which area sources are superb and a majority of genealogical problems can probably be solved through printed sources. Outside this geographic core are western or “pioneer” Litchfield County (“on its way to Duchess County, New York”) and Fairfield County in the south, now largely suburban New York City.

    Negotiating the Maze of Connecticut Probate Records
    Barbara Mathews, certified genealogist specializing in colonial Connecticut research, contributor to the Connecticut research area of

    This lecture reviews the types of estates and documents found in Connecticut probate records, including testate, intestate, and insolvent estates, as well as documents such as wills, inventories, bonds, guardianships, and distributions.The presentation identifies where probate was recorded at different periods in Connecticut history and closes with examples of how to locate the records on microfilm.

    Resources of the Connecticut State Library
    Richard C. Roberts, head of the history and genealogy department of the Connecticut State Library.

    The Connecticut State Library maintains and provides access to comprehensive collections of materials on the history of Connecticut and its people. Learn more about its services and genealogical resources such as the Barbour Collection of Vital Records, the Hale Collection of Cemetery Inscriptions, and the Church Records Index.

    Some Connecticut Case Studies: Thinking Out of the Box
    Helen Schatvet Ullmann, CG, FASG, associate editor for the Register, author of Descendants of Peter Mills of Windsor, Connecticut (1998); Congregational Church Records Of Naugatuck,Connecticut (1987); A Mills and Kendall Family History and compiler of an index to The Connecticut Nutmegger.

    Compiled genealogies and vital, church, cemetery, newspaper, and probate records are usually consulted first when starting genealogical research.In Connecticut many ancestors have fallen through the cracks of the box of what is typical. This lecture will review several case studies which venture outside the box of expected research tools to explore other options and solutions.

    For more information or to download a registration form, please visit

    New National Calendar of Events on

    Be sure to check out the new national events calendar on! Featuring events from Oklahoma to Tacoma and points between and beyond, this calendar is a must for all genealogical eventgoers. Of course we will still continue to provide details of New England events here in eNews, but the rest of the country deserves some attention too!

    See the new national calendar of events at There is also a link to the calendar from the main education page on

    Upcoming Genealogy in a Nutshell Lectures at the NEHGS Library

    "Witch's Brew: Researching Boston Witchcraft" with D. Brenton Simons on October 27 and 30.

    While many people think of Salem as the town that persecuted colonial women as witches, Boston also had its share of witchcraft trials and punishments. NEHGS Assistant Director Brenton Simons will focus on researching records of Boston women accused of witchcraft.


    "American Jezebel: The Uncommon Life of Ann Hutchinson" with Eve LaPlante on November 3.

    Publishers Weekly writes "LaPlante, an 11th-generation granddaughter of Hutchinson, provides a fast-paced and elegant account of Hutchinson's life and work, including the reasons that Hutchinson's teachings threatened the fabric of Puritan theology." Come hear author Eve LaPlante as she discusses her research on this "proto-feminist pioneer" of the seventeenth century. Book signing will follow.

    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.

    We're almost out of stories! Please send yours in today!

    My "Black Sheep" Ancestor
    by Duncan Morrill of Merrimack, New Hampshire


    My great grandfather, John Henry Morrill, was born in Marysville, near Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada, in 1845 to John B. and Charlotte Morrill. John B. was one of the last of twenty or so children of Levi and Mary Bagley Morrill and was born in Salisbury, New Hampshire, in 1823. In April 1864 young John Henry, attracted by Mr. Lincoln's sign-up bonus, travelled down to Augusta, Maine, and enlisted in the 31st Maine Infantry. The 31st was shipped promptly down to General Grant just in time for the Peninsula Campaign. John Henry did earn his bonus; in a few short months the 31st became distinguished for having one of the highest casualty rates of any Yankee regiment.

    On June 25, 1864, as the Yankee army continued hesitating at certain victory at Petersburg, the 31st was south of that city in the area of the famous Plank Road when John Henry got a rebel mini ball in the head. He was evacuated in stages up to an army hospital in Augusta, Maine. Recuperation was slow but by March 1865 he was well enough for a leave to his home in nearby New Brunswick. Well, the war was about over, he was a Canadian after all, and better things beckoned, so he neglected to return.

    A dozen or so years later John Henry, his wife, Olive, and their nine kids settled in Newburyport, Massachusetts, where most of his descendants still live. Guess he didn't want to be too near the Yankee authorities who might still be looking for him and their money. He became a U.S. citizen in 1892. A general amnesty for deserters was announced about 1900, but John Henry's application was disapproved. He died in 1911 and is buried in the West Newbury Rural Cemetery.

    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

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