American Ancestors New England Historic Genealogical Society - Founded 1845 N.E. Historic Genealogical Society Seal View Your Shopping Cart Join NEHGS
  • 2004 Archive

  • Vol. 6, No. 44
    Whole #190
    October 29, 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
    * Red Sox Parade, DNC Rally, and NEHGS
    * Register Now for Digging for Your Roots in Connecticut Seminar!
    * NEHGS Online Book Store Sale Continues
    * Take Our New Online Survey!
    * Research Article from the Archives
    * NEHGS Library Winter Hours Begin December 1
    * Special Event at NEHGS: Tracing Your Irish Ancestors
    * Events in New England
    * Featured Website: University of Connecticut Libraries
    * FGS/NEHGS Call for Papers
    * Scholar Visits NEHGS
    * From the Volunteer Coordinator
    * Upcoming "Genealogy in a Nutshell" Lectures at the NEHGS Library
    * Favorite - and Black Sheep - Ancestor Feedback
    * NEHGS Contact Information

    New Databases on



    The Diaries of the Rev. Thomas Cary of Newburyport, Massachusetts, 1762-1806
    Added this week: 1786 diary entries

    The Rev. Thomas Cary (1745-1808) was one of the many ministers along the Merrimack River who encouraged the patriotism of their parishioners during the Revolutionary War. He started his diary in Weston, Massachusetts, in 1762 and continued writing entries until 1806, two years before his death. This installment covers the year 1786.

    The original diaries are part of the R. Stanton Avery Collections. The call number is MSS 640.

    Search the the Diaries of Rev. Thomas Cary at

    Massachusetts Vital Records, 1841-1910

    Added this week: Records for 1860

    The latest installment in this ongoing database includes actual records from 1860 (vols. 132-140). The indexes, which were added previously, 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


    Cemetery Transcriptions from the NEHGS Manuscript Collections

    New this week: Transcriptions of Friends Cemetery in Unity, Waldo County, Maine.

    Source: Unpublished typescript donated by Mrs. Warren Scott Johnson. "Unity, ME - Vital Records 1810-1896," 1937.

    Search Cemetery Transcriptions from the NEHGS Manuscript Collections at







    "Ye Old Folks of Connecticut"

    The book from which this database was derived lists all residents of eighty years of age and over that were living in the state of Connecticut as of 1884. Detailed biographical sketches of twenty centenarians are also included.

    The original text is part of the R. Stanton Avery Collections, call number CT/50/17.

    Search "Ye Old Folks of Connecticut" at

    Master Search

    Master search all databases at

    Red Sox Parade, DNC Rally, and NEHGS

    If you are planning to visit the NEHGS Library in the next few days, you will undoubtedly notice more activity in the surrounding area than usual. The Boston Red Sox victory parade will commence Saturday, October 30, at 10 a.m. and is scheduled to last until 1:30 p.m. The parade route goes along Boylston Street, one block north of NEHGS, and up to four million people are expected to attend.

    Despite the crowds, you may find this to be a good opportunity for a day of research at NEHGS - especially if you are a Red Sox fan! You can come early to the library, take in a lecture or two, walk a block over to see the Red Sox parade, and return to the library for more researching. Two lectures are scheduled to be given at NEHGS on Saturday - our regular Nutshell lecture at 10:15 a.m. (on Boston witches) and a special Tracing Your Irish Ancestors lecture at 11:30 a.m. (details for both lectures are given below). The $15 day fee normally charged to non-members who visit the library will be waived for those arriving between 9 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. There is a $5 fee to attend the Irish lecture.

    We strongly encourage using public transportation during this time - visit the MBTA website at for the latest information on detours and route changes. To reach NEHGS via the "T," take the Green Line to the Copley Square stop, When you exit the station, you will be at the intersection of Boylston and Dartmouth Streets. Make a left on Boylston Street and walk one block to Clarendon Street (Trinity Church will be on your right). Cross Clarendon, then make another left and walk one block to Newbury Street. Cross Newbury; NEHGS is three doors past Clarendon at #99-101 Newbury St (entrance at 99). The MBTA Commuter Rail (and the Orange Line) stops within four blocks of NEHGS - depart the train at the Back Bay Station and walk south until you reach Newbury Street.

    The Democratic National Committee event will take place Tuesday, November 2, from 8 p.m. to 12 a.m. in Copley Plaza. Although the event is in the evening, Dartmouth Street, one block west of NEHGS, is currently fully closed and will not reopen until 6 a.m. on Thursday, November 4. "Tow Zone/No Stopping" signs have been or will be added throughout the area, and they will be strictly enforced. Again, public transportation is strongly advised if you wish to visit NEHGS between now and November 4.

    Register Now to Attend 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

    NEHGS Online Book Store Sale Continues

    In the Online Book Store this week, we're getting a jump on the holidays by offering sale prices on several appealing titles by Maureen Taylor. Taylor's books and videos promote an interest in family history through photographs, mementos, and projects that bring the whole family together. Even young children will be interested when they can explore their heritage through ideas presented in these books and videos. Also, one of the titles, Through the Eyes of Your Ancestors, is an engaging guide to help children become family historians. Consider sharing these special offerings with friends and family over the Thanksgiving holiday. Sale prices are in effect until November 15, 2004. Further details about the books, video, and DVD, are available by clicking on the related link below.

    Scrapbooking Your Family History: Item # B26294750, Was $24.99, Now $21.99

    Preserving Your Family Photographs: Item # B26294500, Was $19.99, Now $16.99

    Uncovering Your Ancestry Through Family Photographs: Item # B26294400, Was $18.99, Now $15.99

    Through the Eyes of Your Ancestors, (hardcover): Item # B26242300, Was $16.00, Now $14.00

    Through the Eyes of Your Ancestors, (softcover): Item # B26242400, Was $8.95, Now $7.50

    Heritage Album Tips and Techniques, Video: Item # VID-HATT, Was $19.95, Now $17.95

    Identifying and Dating Your Family Photographs, Video: Item # VID-IDP, Was $19.95, Now $17.95

    Identifying and Dating Your Family Photographs, DVD: Item # DVDIDP, Was $19.95, Now $17.95

    Maureen Taylor's articles appear frequently in New England Ancestors, Ancestry, and Family Tree magazines and she is a regular columnist for the website. She is co-editor (with Henry Hoff) of the new Guide to the Library of the New England Historic Genealogical Society, (Item #L50101000) due in December 2004, and available for preorder for $21.95, with a special price for NEHGS members of $18.95.

    Take Our New England Ancestors Magazine Survey!

    We invite readers of New England Ancestors to comment on articles and columns published in the magazine within the last year. You can access the survey by visiting where you will have a chance to rate your favorite features and weigh in with ideas for future issues.

    Research Article from the Archives

    Hunting for Salem "Witches" in Your Family Tree

    by Maureen A. Taylor

    Family history is full of surprises. Almost every family tree contains an ancestor so colorful or tragic that you become obsessed with discovering more about them. If you have early Essex County, Massachusetts, ancestry then you might uncover a link to the Salem Witch Trials of 1692. There were other witch trials in the colonies, but none as noteworthy as those that occurred in Salem. If you find a connection on your family tree you'll end up pleasantly surprised at the amount of material you can look at for evidence. Rhonda McClure's 2002 Computer Genealogist column, "17th-Century History with a 21st-Century Twist: The Salem Witchcraft Trials on the Internet" explored web resources on the topic. Her new book, Finding Your Famous and Infamous Ancestors: Uncover the Rogues, Renegades, and Royals in Your Family Tree (Betterway, 2003), is a wonderful resource for anyone with colorful roots.

    If your ancestor lived in the Salem area at the time of trials you might find them mentioned in the plethora of manuscripts, books, and articles on the topic. From primary source documents to interpretations by famous historians to the websites covered in Rhonda's earlier article, there is no shortage on materials to study.

    The full article is available to all at


    NEHGS Library Winter Hours Begin December 1

    Winter hours at the NEHGS Research Library in Boston will begin on December 1. During this time the library will be open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday and 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Wednesday The library will be closed on Sundays and Mondays. Winter hours will stay in effect until April 1, 2004.

    For a complete list of library hours and holiday schedules, visit


    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.

    Events in New England

    National Archives Workshop in Pittsfield, Massachusetts

    National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) will offer a workshop, presented by Linda Blaser, titled "Preserving Your Family Papers" on Friday, November 5, at 4 p.m. Participants will learn about proper storage of family documents, photographs, home movies, digital images, and other treasures so that they will survive poor environmental conditions. Samples of bad practices will be shown so that the audience will gain a full understanding of what can go wrong and why. Attendees are welcome to bring one item for conservation advice, which will be given in an open forum at the end of the lecture. If a document or photograph is in need of repair, information will be included about how to obtain reliable conservation assistance.

    This workshop is free of charge and will be held in the NARA building located at 10 Conte Drive in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. For additional information call 413-236-3604 or visit

    Beginner's Workshop in Genealogy

    A "Beginner’s Workshop in Genealogy" will be presented by Nancy Levin Arbeiter, on Sunday, November 7, 2004, from 1 to 5 p.m. The workshop, sponsored by the Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Boston and Lasell Village, will be held at Lasell Village (2nd floor ballroom in "Town Hall" Building), 120 Seminary Ave., Auburndale, MA.

    The registration fee of $25 includes light refreshments and extensive handouts. A pdf of the registration form may be downloaded at Mail the form, with a check made payable to "JGSGB," to JGSGB, PO Box 610366, Newton Highlands, MA 02461-0366. Registrations must be postmarked no later than November 1, 2004. For additional information call 617-796-8522.

    Featured Website: The University of Connecticut Libraries

    The University of Connecticut Libraries have two digital collections that may be of interest to genealogists researching Connecticut ancestors.

    Colonial Connecticut Records (

    The University of Connecticut Libraries created this digital collection with the support of the Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center and the Connecticut State Library. One of the project's stated goals is to make the colonial history of Connecticut more accessible to users by making the Public Records of the Colony of Connecticut, from April 1636 to October 1776 available online. The original colonial records for this period were transcribed and published as a result of a resolution by the Connecticut General Assembly during the late nineteenth century. All fifteen volumes of this work have been digitized to create the collection.

    The collection can be viewed by browsing through the A - Z Subject Index or through performing a search of the collection by date or volume. Full-text and keyword search capabilities are not currently available, which precludes surname searches. Implementation of expanded search capabilities is planned for some time in the future. In the meantime, you can browse "Colonial Pathways," which allows you to search by document category. Click on the "Colonial Pathways" link on the homepage, and then select a category. If you do not limit your search further, a list of all documents within the category will be generated. The document titles and descriptions, in many cases, include the names of individuals associated with a particular document. Click on the "View Page" link to access the image you would like to see.

    The original source materials for the Colonial Connecticut Records collection are housed in the State Archives at the Connecticut State Library. Researchers who are interested in viewing the primary source documents may do so by visiting the State Archives at the Connecticut State Library (

    Historical Map Collection of the MAGIC: Map and Geographic Information Center (

    Another of the University of Connecticut Libraries digital collections is the Historical Map Collection of the MAGIC: Map and Geographic Information Center. This collection includes maps from the seventeenth century to early twentieth century. While the majority of the maps in this collection are of Connecticut, you will also find early maps of other parts of the country. To access a list of historical maps click on the Historical Maps Collection link from the MAGIC home page. Clicking on the metadata link in the left column will take you to a new page with a thumbnail image and description of the map. The maps may be viewed in a few different formats -- JPEG, SID, or JAVA -- and you can download them as SID files. To select a viewer just click on the viewer name, which will bring up an enlarged image of the map. If you have an interest in historical maps, whether you have Connecticut ancestry or not, you should take a look at this website.

    FGS/NEHGS Call for Papers

    Lecture proposals are now being accepted for the FGS/NEHGS conference, "Boston: Birthplace of American Family History: Celebrating the 30th Anniversary of the Federation of Genealogical Societies," which will take place at the Hines Convention Center in Boston, August 30 to September 2, 2006.

    A wide variety of lectures will be presented at this conference. Genealogical society management is an important component and lectures on this topic are encouraged. Presentations pertinent to the many immigrant groups that arrived and settled through out the northeast from colonial years through the twentieth century and those offering insight into the specialty holdings of the many archives and repositories in the area are also encouraged. Presentations on methodology, sources, writing, publishing, use of computers, Internet resources, professional topics, and skill building are also requested. Proposals for workshops and sponsored presentations are being considered as well.

    Deadline for submissions is January 7, 2005. Deadline for submission of syllabus materials is April 30, 2006.

    For details on proposal specifics and submission requirements, visit the FGS website at

    Scholar Visits NEHGS

    Heather Miyano Kopelson, 2004 recipient of a fellowship grant from the New England Regional Fellowship Consortium, recently visited NEHGS. Ms. Kopelson is a Doctoral Candidate in the Department of History of the University of Iowa. She came to NEHGS to research for her dissertation, "Performing Faith: Religious Practice and Identity in the Puritan Atlantic, 1660-1720." Geographic areas of emphasis are Southern New England and Bermuda.


    During her stay at NEHGS, Ms. Kopelson consulted several of the Society's manuscript collections, including religious material from the Company for the Propagation of the Gospel in New England and Parts Adjacent; the notebooks of Michael Wigglesworth (1631-1705), Puritan minister and poet who removed to Bermuda to restore his health; and several other collections.


    Ms. Kopelson, who received her undergraduate degree from Harvard, has most recently been the recipient of Short-Term Fellowships from the John Nicholas Brown Center for the Study of American Civilization at Brown University and the Massachusetts Historical Society, as well as two Presidential Fellowships from the University of Iowa.


    NEHGS is a founding member of the New England Regional Fellowship Consortium, a collaboration of sixteen major New England cultural agencies. Fellowships are awarded in grant cycles, the next being for 2005-2006. For application requirements and additional information please see NERFC's website:

    From the Volunteer Coordinator

    The Volunteer Annual Luncheon at 101 Newbury Street was held on Wednesday, October 6, 2004, as an expression of thanks to all our volunteers. Executive Director Ralph Crandall addressed a large and lively group, and I was able to relate the volunteer activities and figures for this last year.

    The total number of volunteer hours for fiscal year 2003 was 10,591. That is an increase from last year's 9,961 and it shows a dedicated support for NEHGS.

    The growth in the volunteer program this year is related to the increase in "special projects." Among them:

    * The mailing of new NEHGS brochures to a large number of libraries, genealogical societies and other related organizations.

    * The recent NEHGS Open House where volunteers introduced visitors to the library and made them feel welcome. By greeting visitors, conducting library tours, helping with refreshments, and assisting on the library floors, our volunteers helped make this a successful event.

    * Earlier this year, NEHGS was involved with a pilot project with Plimoth Plantation. NEHGS volunteers contributed 528 hours to this special collaboration this last spring, and we are very grateful for their ongoing help.

    * This fall, NEHGS operated a booth at the Eastern States Exposition ("the Big E") in West Springfield, Massachusetts. Fifty-four volunteers put in over two hundred volunteer hours assisting NEHGS staff during the seventeen-day event. Everyone who worked at the booth was very knowledgeable and made the event successful.

    An increasing number of NEHGS members from many states are helping with transcribing and proofreading materials for use in CD-ROMs and on the website. We could not have produced the Corbin collection CDs without volunteer help. Beta testing is another new area of volunteer work. Many members tested CDs prior to production, and others volunteered to test the new website before it launched. We are thankful for all the time and work spent on this.

    Volunteers have provided invaluable support for the Society. Thank you from all of us at NEHGS.

    Susan Rosefsky
    NEHGS Volunteer Coordinator

    Upcoming Genealogy in a Nutshell Lectures at the NEHGS Library

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

    There are no favorite ancestor stories this week. Please send your story in 300 words or less to Rod Moody at Thank you to all past and future contributors!

    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

New England Historic Genealogical Society
99 - 101 Newbury Street
Boston, Massachusetts 02116, USA

© 2010 - 2014 New England Historic Genealogical Society