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  • 2004 Archive

  • Vol. 6, No. 45
    Whole #191
    November 5, 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
    * New Arrivals at the Library Listed on
    * Recent Additions to the Manuscript Collections
    * Register Now for NEHGS Research Week in Washington D.C.!
    * Events in New England
    * Featured Website: Provincial Archives of New Brunswick
    * From the Volunteer Coordinator
    * Introduction to at the NEHGS Library
    * Upcoming "Genealogy in a Nutshell" Lectures at the NEHGS Library
    * Favorite - and Black Sheep - Ancestor Feedback
    * NEHGS Contact Information

    New Databases on

    Index to Maine Court Records 1696-1854

    The Maine State Archives created this Index to Maine Court Records. The database "indexes early cases from the York County Court of Common Pleas (1696-1760), the Kennebec County Supreme Court (1799-1854), and the Washington County District Court (1839-1846), including depositions and decisions." The database includes 27,525 cases, and names of 55,254 plaintiffs or defendants. Information in the database includes the following:

    Name: Plaintiff or defendant linked to cases
    Residence: Residence of plaintiff or defendant.
    PLTDEF: Plaintiff or defendant designation.
    Court: Court name.
    Session: Month and year of the session.
    Reference: Internal reference codes.
    Cause: Cause of action (debt, trespass, assault, etc.).
    Volume & Page: Reference to the filing location.

    For information on ordering copies of court records, visit the Archives' website at

    Search the Index to Maine Court Records at

    The Settlers of the Beekman Patent
    New Family Sketches from Volume 2

    We continue with our ongoing series of family sketches featured in The Settlers of the Beekman Patent, Frank J. Doherty's multi-volume study of the settlers of the second largest patent in present-day Dutchess County, New York. The following family sketches were added to the database this week:

    Bullock, Bump/Bumpas, Bundy, Bunker, Burdick, Burgess, Burhans, and Burlingham

    View new family sketches from The Settlers of the Beekman Patent at

    Search the database and read introductory matter at

    The original text can be viewed at the NEHGS Library or borrowed by NEHGS members via the Circulating Library. The call number is F127/D8/D63.

    Constitution and By-Laws of the Charitable Irish Society of Boston (With a List of Officers and Members)

    The Charitable Irish Society of Boston was founded in 1737. Its goals were to "cultivate a spirit of unity and harmony among resident Irishmen and their descendants in the Massachusetts Colony...[and] advance socially and morally the interests of the Irish people," and, "to alleviate suffering and to aid such of its members as by the vicissitudes of fortune might be deserving of its charity."

    In addition to the constitution and by-laws of the Society, this publication includes lists of officers and members from 1737 to 1876.

    The original text is part of the NEHGS Rare Books Collection, call number F73.1/C43/C66/1876.

    Search Constitution and By-Laws of the Charitable Irish Society of Boston at

    Cemetery Transcriptions from the NEHGS Manuscript Collections

    New this week: Transcription of the Old Church Yard in Castleton, Rutland County, Vermont

    Search Cemetery Transcriptions from the NEHGS Manuscript Collections at

    Taxable Valuation of the Residents of Dorchester, Massachusetts, 1850

    The records in this database are taken from a single volume compilation of all taxable valuations of Dorchester from 1850 to 1869. We are adding the remainder of this book in installments by year and in individual databases, due to the various differences in formatting.

    This 1850 valuation includes names of individuals taxed, inventory and value of real estate, value of personal possessions, and amount taxed.

    The original text is part of the NEHGS Rare Book Collection, call number F74/D5/D67/1850.

    Search Taxable Valuation of the Residents of Dorchester, Massachusetts, 1850, at

    Master Search

    Master search all databases at

    New Research Article on

    Royal Descents, Notable Kin, and Printed Sources #76
    by Gary Boyd Roberts

    On Finding Major Discoveries Late in Life

    On September 29, I celebrated my sixty-first birthday, and on October 7, thirty years of association with NEHGS. Recently Todd Johnson of Smithfield, North Carolina, former head of the Johnston County [N.C.] Heritage Center and a fourth cousin once removed, reported his findings that my long-elusive great-great-grandfather, Calvin H. Roberts, was the Henderson Roberts who married Mary Elizabeth Dodd in Johnston Co. in 1854. This Calvin H., who was non-taxed for insolvency in neighboring Wayne Co. in 1852, was very probably the Calvin Roberts who married Sarah Freshwater in New Hanover Co. in 1851, was sometime associated with Wilmington [N.C.], and was the son of a local Polly Roberts, probably the Polly Snipes who married John Roberts in Johnston Co. in 1816. I shall play with these possibilities (and my colleagues will no doubt enjoy doing so likewise) but the more defining recent discoveries, given my interests and published works, are the likelihood of descents from both Edward III, King of England (d. 1377), and the famed Spanish "gateway" ancestress Sancha de Ayala.

    NEHGS members can read the entire article at

    New Arrivals at the Library Listed on

    The latest list of new titles added to the NEHGS library has been posted on To view the list, go to and click on "October 2004." To navigate to New Arrivals from the home page: click on the Libraries tab, go to the Research Library page, and click on "New Titles Added to the Library." Here are some of this month's titles:

    * Irvins, Irvines, and Irvings of St. Stephen, New Brunswick: a genealogy of the descendants of Thomas Irvin and Margaret Jane Bell.
    * The ancestry of Joseph Fletcher Parker, 1880-1962, of Duluth, Minnesota.
    * The registers of St. Mary's, Oldham, 1558-1682.
    * A directory of Scots in Australasia, 1788-1900.
    * The Polish community of Worcester.
    * Will book E & F, 1864-1877, Franklin County, Ohio.
    * Irish immigrants in the naturalization records of Cuyahoga County, Ohio 1820-1900.
    * Colonial American doctresses: a genealogical and biographical account of women who practiced medicine and chirurgery in colonial America.

    Recent Additions to the R. Stanton Avery Collections

    The R. Stanton Avery Collections at NEHGS contain over two million items that have been acquired since the Society's founding in 1845. We will list new additions to the manuscript collections on a regular basis in NEHGS eNews. The following list shows new items and collections acquired from January to April of 2004. Patrons should note that collections that have not yet been processed are indicated by the word "closed." These collections cannot be accessed (no exceptions) until they are processed, at which time the access restriction is lifted and the collection gains "open" access status. Those interested in donating genealogical materials to NEHGS may contact archivist Timothy Salls at or 617-226-1232. For more information about the R. Stanton Avery Collections, please visit

    The Order of Exercises [for the 1881 Bicknell family Reunion]
    Bible record for the Albert Pierce family, 1813-1862 [Mss A 3632]
    Bible record for the Nathaniel Caverly family, 1763-1876 [Mss A 3592]
    Record of births [for the Stickney and Caverly families, 1760-1873] [Mss A 3593]
    1861 diary of William McLaughlin: an annotated transcription [Mss A 3568]
    Bible record for the Ball and Whitney families, 1745-1855 [Mss A 4303]
    Bible record for the Isaac Dean Bates family, 1803-1874 [Mss A 3625]
    Virginia Ellis Papers - research on Evans families [closed]
    Bible record for the Archelaus Godard family, 1766-1861 [Mss A 4104]
    Elisha Capron of Norton, MA, Chester, VT, Springwater, NY [Mss A 3761]
    Bible record for the Sylvanus Franklin Redfield family, 1755-2000 [Mss A 3760]
    [Maurine Brevoort Seely & John Robert Seely evidence files] [closed]
    Bible record for the George White family, 1820-1889 [Mss C 4312]
    Bible record for the Daniel Todd family, 1637-1826 [Mss A 3763]
    Bible record for the Alpheus Rude family, 1807-1854 [Mss A 3759]
    Bible record for the Samuel E. Dutton family, 1774-1920 [Mss A 4358]
    Record of the Sargeant and Allen families, 1754-1891 [Mss A 3835]
    Bible record for the Morrill and Batchelder families, 1764-1874 [Mss A 3836]
    Bible record for the Dr. William Cary family, 1770-1862 [Mss A 3762]
    Kaleen Beall Papers [closed]
    My maternal ancestors: ancestors of my mother Lillian Leland Burke [closed]
    Bible record for the Oliver C. Fish family, 1844-1953 [Mss C 5256]
    Barking up the family tree [Mss A 3755]
    Thomas Hastings and Coolidge family genealogy material [closed]
    Bible record for the William R. Preston family, 1814-1901 [Mss A 4103]
    Bible record for the Charles Arthur Winters family, 1865-1955 [Mss A 4102]
    Bible records for the Dame, Folsom, Knowles, Leavitt, Richmond, Stiles, and Tandy families, 1751-1993 [Mss A 5270]
    Bible record for the Fowler and Collins families, 1768-2002 [Mss A 4101]
    [Cooke genealogy and Lovering family records] [Mss C 5437]
    Bible record for the William Crofoot family, 1774-1915 [Mss A 4100]
    War journal of Col. Sabine Emery of the 9th Maine Volunteers [Mss A 4498]
    Bible record for the Nicholas Young family, 1828-1908 [Mss A 4099]
    Bible record for the Morgan and Waters families, 1773-1957 [Mss A 4098]
    Bible record for the Ludlum and Hasbrouck families, 1773-1909 [Mss A 4097]
    Bible record for the Alfred Woolley family, 1784-1863 [Mss A 4096]
    Walkden family bible [Mss A 4208]
    Wadsworth - Loomis Bible [closed]
    Bible record for the Samuel Blaisdell family, 1809-1849 [Mss A 5289]
    Bible record for the Farrington and St. Medard families, 1767-1832 [Mss A 5288]
    Bible record for the Andrews and St. Medard families, 1752-1875 [Mss C 5637]
    Bible record for the Zebulan Blood family, 1772-1863 [Mss A 5287]
    Charles Warren Spalding Papers [closed]
    Bible record for the Laing and Ludlow families, 1804-1903 [Mss A 4372]

    Register Now for NEHGS Research Week in Washington D.C.

    Join us for our popular trip to the nation’s capital, which offers a wealth of research opportunities for genealogists. Enjoy the benefits of working with our expert staff at the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) Library and at the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). NEHGS staff genealogists Henry Hoff and David Allen Lambert will be available at these two repositories to offer individual assistance as well as scheduled personal consultations each day of the program. Early in the week the staff of both the DAR Library and NARA will offer on-site orientations to review the rich resources at each repository. Those already familiar with these collections will receive helpful updates. Participants may walk between their lodging and the repositories, take advantage of public transportation, or use local taxis. Two group dinners will allow participants to socialize and make new friends; all other meals will be on your own. Join us during this exciting week and advance your research!

    Hotel Accommodations

    The rooms that NEHGS reserved at the Hotel Washington for this tour are no longer available. Participants may take advantage of the research week by registering at the reduced "commuter rate" and making lodging accommodations of their own choosing. Refer to the Washington D.C. Tourist Bureau website at for a list of hotel options.

    Repository Highlights

    The DAR Library (, is located on 17th at D Street. The library is open Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and closed Sunday.

    The DAR Library has major collections of printed genealogies, local record abstracts, and town and county histories. It also has over 18,000 typescript volumes with family, church, cemetery, and town records from all over the United States, with an online index as a finding aid. DAR membership applications and supporting files contain millions of genealogical sources. There is a published guide to research at the DAR and an analytic index for books, periodicals, and for special materials.

    The National Archives ( is located on Pennsylvania Avenue at 9th Street. It is open for research Monday and Wednesday, 8:45 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, 8:45 a.m. to 9 p.m.; and Saturday, 8:45 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. The National Archives holds the records of the Federal Government. Archives I holds records of genealogical interest including census records, passenger arrival records, public land records, and military records from the American Revolution through approximately 1912. Archives II, located in College Park, MD, holds photographs, maps, and nonpersonnel military records from World War I through Vietnam. Textual records are pulled at scheduled times.

    Repositories in Washington, D.C., require government-issued photo identification and all visitors are subject to a security screening. Program components are subject to change. For additional information contact or call toll-free 1-888-286-3447.

    Events in New England

    Irish Genealogy Lecture in Connecticut

    On Saturday, November 13, 2004, the Middlesex Genealogical Society (MGS) will present a lecture by Robert Law, Jr. titled "Irish Genealogy." The lecture is free of charge and open to the general public.

    The lecture will begin at 2 p.m. at the Darien Public Library, (Lower Level) 35 Leroy Avenue, Darien, Connecticut. The library is close to Exit 11 on Interstate 95 and also near to the Darien train station.

    Contact program chairman, Pete Kenyon at 203-655-0320 for further information or visit

    Family History Day at the American Genealogical Institute, Cranston, Rhode Island

    The American Genealogical Institute will present an all-day workshop on family history on Saturday, November 13, 2004, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The workshop will be held at St. David's On-the-Hill Episcopal Church, 200 Meschanticut Valley Parkway, in Cranston, Rhode Island. The fee for the full day workshop is $20.

    Jonathan Galli, a nationally known educator and author and proprietor of American Ancestral Associates, will offer four presentations as well as individual consultations with participants on their specific research interests.

    Participants will learn methods, sources, tips, and techniques from one of today's leading educators in the field. There will be a full day of presentations for all levels and areas of interest. Presentations include: Finding Your Family: Getting Started in Genealogy; Tracing Your Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century Immigrant Ancestor; Technology and Genealogy; and Writing Your Family Story. The program will also include individual consultations on research roadblocks. Pre-registration is required for consultations. A major genealogy vendor will be on site. Bring your own brown bag lunch.

    A detailed brochure and registration form is available from American Genealogical Institute, 780 Reservoir Ave., Suite 106, Cranston, RI 02910-4425, or email Additional information is available by contacting the Institute at the above addresses and from the event website at

    New England Court Records: Research Basics for Genealogists

    Diane Rapaport will share tips on finding and using court records in a lecture and slide show on Saturday, November 13, 2004, at the Falmouth Public Library, 123 Katherine Lee Bates Road, Falmouth, Massachusetts. The Falmouth Genealogical Society sponsors the lecture.

    Researching New England’s past is easier than ever before, yet a prime resource – the court records – remains underutilized. Why? Many people are unfamiliar with legal documents or don’t know where to find court records. They doubt that their own law-abiding ancestors ever appeared in court. Early New England, however, was a very litigious place, and many people had occasion to appear in court as parties or witnesses. Anyone who thinks that the "litigation explosion" is a modern phenomenon should read the old court records!

    Diane Rapaport, attorney and historian, writes the "Tales from the Courthouse" column in New England Ancestors magazine, bringing colonial New England to life with true stories from court records. She is also writing a book, New England Court Records: A Research Guide for Genealogists and Historians, to be published in 2005 by the New England Historic Genealogical Society.

    Contact Robert Rice at, or the Falmouth Public Library, 508-457-2555, for further information.

    Featured Website: Provincial Archives of New Brunswick

    The Provincial Archives of New Brunswick, located in Fredericton, New Brunswick, were established in 1967. Most of the archives holdings date from 1784, although some date from earlier exploration, as well as Acadian and pre-Loyalist periods. The collections include architectural drawings, government records, maps and plans, photographs, private sector records, and sound and film recordings.

    A visit to the Provincial Archives website is a must if your research takes you to New Brunswick. You can search for your ancestors online among the more than 1.2 million records contained in the databases. In addition, exhibits, historical images, and county guides are also available.

    The searchable databases on the site originate from both government and private sources. For each set of records, you will find a link to an introduction providing descriptive materials about the database, and links to the help and search pages. The introductory material includes not only a description of the collection, but also historical background on the records, information on how they are indexed, and much more. Information is also provided on how to gain access to the original or microfilm copies of the documents and on how to obtain copies of specific records.

    The databases are grouped into three categories: government records, private records, and cemeteries. A partial listing of databases in the government records category includes Records of Old Revolutionary Soldiers and Their Widows; Vital Statistics; and Index to the New Brunswick Land Grants, 1784-1997. The vital statistics databases contain indexes to more than 650,000 records of births from 1800 to 1908, marriages from 1847 to 1954, and deaths from 1815 to 1954. The Index to Provincial Registrations of Birth, 1898-1908 database contains digitized images of the original. The complete birth, marriage, and death records are only available on microfilm. See the introductory materials for more information on how to access the complete records.

    The Records of Old Revolutionary Soldiers and Their Widows database contains records of pension petitions and schedules of pension payments related to soldiers who fought as loyalists in the American Revolution. The petitions contain detailed information about the soldiers or their widows including length of time in New Brunswick, economic condition, military service, and, for the widows, when and where they married the soldier. These records have been digitized and you can view images of the documents related to each individual in the database.

    The Index to New Brunswick Land Grants contains information on more than 54,000 individuals and corporate entities that obtained Crown land between 1784 and 1997. The information found in this index includes the name of the grantee, the register's volume code and page number, land grant number and the date it was issued, location, and size of the grant. It should be noted that the county and parish or township names given in the records are the place names that existed at the time the grant was made, not the modern-day names.

    The private sector records databases include research guides and directories. Here you will find guides to the biographies and family histories in the Archives' collections, provincial directories from the latter half of the nineteenth century, and a database titled Irish Famine Migration to New Brunswick.

    The Irish Famine Migration to New Brunswick database contains 23,318 records for individuals who emigrated from Ireland to Saint John, New Brunswick, between 1845 and 1852. Each record contains fifteen pieces of information: 1) name, 2) age, 3) religion, 4) town - village - county of origin, 5) vessel, 6) port of origin, 7) port landed, 8) date landed in New Brunswick, 9) location in New Brunswick, 10) died / discharged / transferred (for alms house records), 11) date of death / discharge / transfer, 12) date of admittance (alms house), 13) condition (reason for admittance to alms house), 14) notes about the emigrant recorded by contemporary media and government agencies, and 15) reference for where the information is located. This comprehensive database was created from a number of separate databases covering four manuscript collections and record series in the Archives.

    There are also two New Brunswick cemetery databases on the website. The Canadian Forces Base Gagetown Cemeteries database includes digital photographs of nearly all the gravestones on land that was, according to the website, "expropriated by the federal government in 1953. Expropriation of the land forced between 2,000 and 3,000 people to leave their homes. Besides leaving their homes, these families left behind their deceased loved ones who lived and worked in the area." The land is off limits to everyone except military personnel and civilians who obtain a recreation pass from Range Control. The other cemetery database, New Brunswick Cemeteries, contains nearly 200,000 records from over 900 cemeteries.

    If you are planning a visit to New Brunswick in search of your ancestors, you should check out the resources of the Provincial Archives of New Brunswick website before going. They could prove to be a very useful planning tool.


    From the Volunteer Coordinator

    On October 28, NEHGS hosted a luncheon at the Framingham location for the very dedicated volunteer group there who help staff with clerical tasks, Circulating Library orders, and shelving books.

    Dick Eastman gave a very interesting presentation about NEHGS' plans for technology, covering the new and future websites, databases and cooperative partnerships. He also discussed the recent change in the Society's marketing efforts. Everyone had an enjoyable lunch.

    The Framingham volunteers are invaluable to the staff at the facility, and volunteers have developed a real rapport with each other and the staff. If a member who lives within commuting distance of Framingham would like to join our group, please do not hesitate to contact me.

    Susan Rosefsky
    NEHGS Volunteer Coordinator

    Introduction to at the NEHGS Library

    November 10, 11:30 a.m.

    Join us for an interactive tour of our new website! In this free class, NEHGS content delivery specialist Darrin McGlinn will offer a step-by-step live demonstration of the Society's website, This class gives participants the opportunity to explore the site in depth, ask questions, and become more comfortable using a constantly growing number of online databases and research tools.

    This program will be held on Wednesday, November 10, at 11:30 a.m. in the education center at 101 Newbury Street, Boston. Advance registration is not required.

    For more information, please call 617-226-1209 or email

    Upcoming Genealogy in a Nutshell Lectures at the NEHGS Library

    "Who Was Your Mother's Mother's Mother? Researching Matrilineal Lines" with Julie Helen Otto on November 10 and 13.

    Most genealogists start their family tree by researching their surname, i.e. their patrilineal lines. But what about the other half of our family tree? Researching our female ancestors can often be challenging since they were less likely to appear in records and publications. NEHGS staff genealogist, Julie H. Otto, will discuss non-DNA research strategies for finding our matrilineal ancestors.

    "Genealogy 102: The Next Step After Getting Started" with Christopher Child on November 17 and 20

    So you have been to the NEHGS Getting Started in Genealogy program, and have researched your ancestors in census records and vital records. What next? Come hear NEHGS staff genealogist, Chris Child, as he explores intermediate level records and strategies for finding your ancestors.

    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 Russ Clentimack of Kodiak, Alaska

    There is a statue in Concord, Massachusetts, of a Minuteman walking away from a plough left idle in the furrow. He has a musket in his hand. Stephen Messer could have been the model as he did leave his farm in Andover to respond to the call to arms on April 19, 1775. He also left his wife, Anna Barker, my favorite ancestor, with five children, one only a month old.

    The Barker family was prosperous and Anna was not accustomed to the poverty of a simple farmer but she survived as Stephen left her alone to serve at Bunker Hill, Dorchester Heights, and Ticonderoga. He was a better patriot than family provider and he never did prosper as a farmer in Andover so he left for Pigwacket (Conway, New Hampshire). He again left his wife at Pigwacket while he traveled to Gilead, Maine. In March of 1780, Stephen and Anna left Pigwacket for the cabin Stephen had built at Gilead. It was a three-day trip over frozen snow. Anna, on snowshoes and a baby in her arms, followed Stephen, who hauled a hand-sled piled with children.

    Evidently, Anna became accustomed to the frontier life for she became doctor, nurse, and midwife to the Androscoggin Valley population. She rode horseback throughout the valley and to her hometown of Andover. She appears to be an unusual woman for her time and challenged hardship and poverty with good cheer.

    NEHGS Contact Information

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    To view the website of the New England Historic Genealogical Society, please visit

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