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  • 2004 Archive

  • Vol. 6, No. 47
    Whole #193
    November 19, 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


    * A Feast of Ancestors! Enjoy Free Access to the Register Online Over Thanksgiving Weekend!
    * New From NEHGS Books: The Pilgrim Migration: Immigrants to Plymouth Colony, 1620-1633
    * The NEHGS Holiday Store is Open!
    * Special Hours at the NEHGS Library
    * Give the Gift of Family this Holiday Season
    * New Databases on
    * New Research Article on
    * Peter Haring Judd Lecture at the Boston Public Library
    * New Periodicals Corner in NEHGS Library
    * Featured Website: Virtual Jamestown
    * Corrections to Last Week's eNews
    * Upcoming "Genealogy in a Nutshell" Lectures at the NEHGS Library
    * Favorite - and Black Sheep - Ancestor Feedback
    * NEHGS Contact Information

    A Feast of Ancestors! Enjoy Free Access to the Register Online Over Thanksgiving Weekend!

    NEHGS is pleased to offer free access to its New England Historical and Genealogical Register database on over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend! Normally only available to NEHGS members, the Register database will be accessible to everyone from Thursday, November 25 through Sunday, November 28, 2004. We encourage all NEHGS members to spread the word about this offering, and we hope that those of you who are not members find a veritable feast of ancestors in the Register database!

    Published quarterly since 1847, The New England Historical and Genealogical Register is the flagship journal of American genealogy and the oldest journal in the field. The online database includes issues from 1847 to 1994.

    The Register has featured articles on a wide variety of topics since its inception, including vital records, church records, tax records, land and probate records, cemetery transcriptions, obituaries, and historical essays. Authoritative compiled genealogies have been the centerpiece of the Register for more than 150 years. Thousands of New England families have been treated in the pages of the journal and many more are referenced in incidental ways throughout. The articles in the Register range from short pieces correcting errors in print or solving unusual problems to larger treatments that reveal family origins or present multiple generations of a family.

    Look for details on how to obtain free access to the Register in a special eNews bulletin to be sent out Wednesday, November 24. A link will also be available on that date on the home page of our website,


    New From NEHGS Books: The Pilgrim Migration: Immigrants to Plymouth Colony, 1620-1633

    Great Migration Project Director Robert Charles Anderson's new book The Pilgrim Migration collects in one place what is known about every family or individual known to have resided in Plymouth Colony from the arrival of the Mayflower in 1620 until 1633. For this work, all the Pilgrim sketches from The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England, 1620-1633 have been revised and updated to include the most recent scholarship. Each of the more than two hundred sketches provides information on the early histories of these immigrants as well as their New World experiences. This material is followed by complete genealogical accounts, including all marriages and children of the immigrants.

    The Pilgrim Migration is priced at $49.95 plus shipping and handling ($6.50 for standard service of 1-8 days; $4 for economy service of 1-4 weeks). Order online at or call toll-free 888-296-3447 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Eastern time, Monday through Friday. If you have questions, please contact

    The NEHGS Holiday Store is Open!

    The NEHGS Online Store is stocked with gift suggestions to make your holiday shopping easier. Check out what's "in store" including bundles, bargains, new titles, and special offers designed to please any genealogist. You know you've been good all year, so be sure to get exactly what you want! Browse the online store ( or visit the the unique Holiday Store shopping pages for the latest sale items at

    The Fall 2004 store catalog, mailed earlier this month, is also a helpful place to find gifts for anyone who enjoys history, genealogy, and interesting non-fiction. It offers sixty-two pages of CDs, videos, books, forms, and gifts relating to family history. And, coming soon to a mailbox near you, is a special NEHGS holiday flyer. Be sure to look it over, complete your wish list, and pass it on to the gift givers in your life. If you can't wait for your mail to arrive, you may download a PDF version of the flyer at

    Forget the mall this year! Enjoy shopping at the NEHGS Holiday Store from the comfort of your own home or office. If you prefer to order by phone, our staff is ready to take your order and answer your questions at 888-296-3447 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Eastern time, Monday through Friday (please note that offices are closed November 25 for Thanksgiving). Order early to be sure your selections arrive in time for the holidays.

    Special Hours at the NEHGS Library

    To mark the Thanksgiving holiday, the NEHGS Research Library and offices will close at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, November 24, and both will be closed on Thursday, November 25.

    Winter hours at the library will begin on December 1. During this time the library will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday;10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Wednesday; and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday. The library is closed on Sundays and Mondays. Winter hours will stay in effect until April 1, 2005.

    During the Christmas and New Year's holidays, the library and offices will be closed Friday, December 24, Saturday, December 25, Friday, December 31, and Saturday, January 1.

    Happy Thanksgiving from NEHGS!

    Give the Gift of Family This Holiday Season

    If you are a member of NEHGS you already know the joy of finding family and making connections using the valuable resources available to you as a member. Share your experiences with friends and family this holiday season by giving gift memberships to NEHGS. They too can realize the excitement of discovery and thrill of success that membership in NEHGS brings to genealogists of all levels.

    Your gift recipient will become a Research Member of NEHGS, giving him or her full access to and our Boston library resources, subscriptions to New England Ancestors magazine and the Register, as well as discounts on research services, consultations, tours, and selected titles in the NEHGS Online Store. (Institutional, student, upper level, and subscription memberships are also available.)

    When you give a gift membership you also earn a credit toward incentive prizes offered in the NEHGS Membership Rewards Program. More information is available at

    Purchase your gift membership online at or call toll-free 888-296-3447 (Eastern time) Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

    New Databases on


    The Massachusetts Society of the Cincinnati Profiles - Free Database!

    The Society of the Cincinnati was established in 1783 by and for the officers in Continental Service. It was organized in 14 constituent societies, one of which is the Massachusetts Society. Eligibility was based on the officer's length and terms of service.

    Membership in the Society of the Cincinnati was extended to the officers of the Continental Army - as well as Continental Navy and Marine officers - who had served until the end of the war, plus those who had been declared no longer needed by acts of Congress and those who had served honorably for three years during the war. Also eligible were the oldest male lineal descendants of officers who died in service. The officers of the French Navy and Army who served with the American Army were also entitled to join.

    This database contains information on those Massachusetts officers eligible for membership. Absence from this list does not conclusively exclude eligibility.

    The following member profiles were added to the database this week:

    Daniel Barnes, Daniel Bartlett, Ebenezer Beaumont/Bement, Elisha Brewer, Andrew Brown, David Bryant, Abraham Childs, Asa Coburn, Dudley Coleman, and Abel Cooley.

    Search the Massachusetts Society of the Cincinnati Profiles at

    The Great Migration Newsletter Online
    New Family Sketches for GMNL Subscribers

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

    The following new sketches were added this week:

    Barnabas Davis, Dolor Davis, James Davis, Philemon Dalton, Nicholas Danforth, Francis Jordan, Stephen Jordan, Thomas Josselyn, Thomas King, and Robert Long

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

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

    Subscribe to the Great Migration Newsletter Online at



    Taxable Valuation of the Residents of Dorchester, Massachusetts, 1853

    The records in this database are taken from a single volume that includes all of the 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.

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


    Search Taxable Valuation of the Residents of Dorchester, Massachusetts, 1853 at

    Master Search

    Master search all databases at

    New Research Article on

    Upstate New York
    by Dr. Marian Henry

    Early Nineteenth-Century Welsh Immigrants in Upper New York State

    Many groups participated in early nineteenth-century immigration into upper New York State. In this article we take a look at a quiet, unassuming group - the Welsh. Welsh immigration did not begin in the nineteenth century, of course. Fourteen generals of the Revolutionary army were Welshmen. Eighteen of the signers of the Declaration of Independence were of Welsh descent. Both Thomas Jefferson and John Adams claimed Welsh lineage. However, waves of Welsh immigrants came to America between 1800 and 1850. There was some degree of social unrest in Wales with low farm prices, high rents, and a shift to industrialization. Farmers' children had to leave the land to work in the mines. In America they saw the promise of cheap land, religious freedom, and a chance for advancement. Although they came to America in groups and settled together, they did not cling to their ethnic background like the Palatines or the Irish. Within two or three generations they were assimilated. Thus, their "Welshness" can be hard to spot. You may have Welsh ancestors and not even know it. In this article we look at ways of identifying these elusive Welshmen.

    NEHGS members can read the entire article at

    Peter Haring Judd Lecture at the Boston Public Library

    Newbury Street Press and Northeastern University Press have recently co-published Peter Haring Judd's More Lasting than Brass: a Thread of Family from Revolutionary New York to Industrial Connecticut. A follow-up to his 1999 award winning Hatch and Brood of Time, this new volume examines the lives of the Haring, Herring, Clark, Denton, Phelps, White, Griggs, and Judd families during the Revolutionary War period. It is a genealogical, cultural, and social history that vividly describes how this accomplished family worked, lived, and reacted to historical events, including the Industrial Revolution.

    Mr. Judd will present a lecture on the subjects of his new book Tuesday, December 7, at 6 p.m., in conference rooms 5 and 6 of the Boston Public Library. In this lecture Mr. Judd will utilize photographs, maps, and genealogical records to recreate the lives and times of family members, placing emphasis on the various social and historical factors that shaped their lives.

    This lecture is free and open to the public. Copies of the book will be available for purchase, and for Mr. Judd to sign. The Boston Public Library is located at 700 Boylston St. in Boston's Copley Square. For more information call 617-536-5400.


    Copies of More Lasting Than Brass can be purchased at the lecture or from the NEHGS Online Store at

    New Periodicals Corner in NEHGS Library

    A new feature has been added for patrons of the NEHGS Research Library - a current periodicals corner. Located in the sixth floor reading room, the corner has a couch and chairs for patrons to relax in while they peruse the latest genealogical articles. The new issues of periodicals will be centralized in special racks on the sixth floor. Once the issues are no longer new, they will be shelved on the proper floors (floor one for international; floor five for state and local history; and floor six for reference and genealogy). Patrons should feel free to quietly chat and relax in the corner, but no food, drinks, or cell phones are allowed.

    Featured Website: Virtual Jamestown (

    The Virtual Jamestown Archive, described as "a digital research, teaching and learning project that explores the legacies of the Jamestown settlement and the 'Virginia experiment'" on the website's home page, focuses not only on Jamestown during the period from its founding in 1607 to 1699, but also on creating a better understanding of Jamestown's legacies, including slavery and indentured servitude.

    The site contains a number of searchable databases and records. Click on the map on the homepage to access them. Here is what you will find on Virtual Jamestown:

    Labor Contracts: Thousands of immigrants came to the New World as indentured servants during the seventeenth century. A number ended up in Virginia while others went to the West Indies. The largest numbers went through Bristol, England, and about 10,000 of them may be found in the Bristol registers. The majority of the records in the Labor Contracts database pertain to these individuals. Other databases have been created for those departing from London and Middlesex. A simple search can be performed on each database individually or on all of them at once. You can access the advanced search links from the main search page. Advanced searches can only be performed on one database at a time. The records in the databases cover the period from 1654 to 1759. Data fields vary by database but include such information as servant's name and length of indenture, name of servant's parents and owner, home province and city, occupation, destination and ship of embarkation. Two original contract documents have been digitized. To access them, click on the Contracts link on the section's main page.

    Public Records: Several different types of public records may be found on the site. Among the databases are transcriptions of censuses, comprising records of Jamestown residents compiled from a variety of sources from 1607 to 1699; state papers, which include official letters, oaths, charters, patents, pardons, commissions, and other correspondence; and legal documents, which may be found under the Laws link. One particularly interesting database and project is that of the Records of Christ's Hospital in London. Henry VIII established Christ's Hospital for the education of poor and orphan children in 1552. Once the children had completed their training they were apprenticed to various merchants, ship captains, plantation owners, and businessmen throughout the British Empire. The Christ's Hospital project is focused on tracking apprentices who went to the North American colonies in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and early nineteenth centuries where some became prominent members of society and others simply disappeared into obscurity.

    First Hand Accounts & Letters: This section includes letters, journals, and the like. You can either browse the documents by date or by subject or you can run a search. The database is full-text searchable, which allows you to look for particular topics and ideas in the documents.

    Newspapers: The Virginia Gazette was the earliest newspaper in this area. It began publication in the eighteenth century. The newspaper covered not only the news of the day but also served as the primary means for owners of indentured servants and slaves to advertise runaways. The Geography of Slavery, 18th Century Runaway Slave and Indentured Servants Advertisements pages include searchable databases of advertisements, documents, explanatory essays, and personal profiles, in addition to resources and teaching materials on the subject. The advertisements have been digitized and transcriptions are also provided.

    Maps and Images: This section contains original maps from 1607 to 1651; portraits, documents, and pages from publications; and images of Jamestown artifacts. The original maps provide a record of the area from an historical perspective and include explorer's maps like those of John Smith.

    In addition to the databases and maps, the site's resources include The Reference Center, where you will find a variety of reference materials on Jamestown including timelines, bibliographies, and other resources. You can also explore Jamestown via two virtual panoramas. The Virtual Jamestown website plans to soon add court records databases with deeds, wills, and court order books.

    As the 400th anniversary of the founding of the Jamestown colony nears, a visit to the Virtual Jamestown website is in order. Visit

    Corrections to Last Week's eNews

    Erroneous information was given in the introduction to last week's Tales From the Manuscript Collection item, a 1675 letter from John Easton to Josiah Winslow. The following corrections are based on information taken from Robert Charles Anderson's The Great Migration: Immigrants to New England 1634-1635, volume II;The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England, 1620-1633, volume III; and Jane Fletcher Fiske, "The English Background of Nicholas Easton of Newport, Rhode Island," Register 154 (2000). We are grateful to Jane Fiske and Henry Hoff for assisting with the following corrections.

    John Easton's birth date was given as ca. 1625. It should have read ca. 1624.
    Josiah Winslow's birth date was given as 1629. It should have read after 1627.
    Easton's place of birth was given as Wales. It should have read parish of St. Ethelfriede, Romsey, Hampshire.
    Constant Southworth's birth date was given as 1615. It should have read 1612.
    Southworth's place of birth was given as Leyden, Holland. It should have read unknown.
    Southworth was treasurer of Plymouth Colony from 1659 to 1668, not 1659 to 1678, as was given.

    Upcoming Genealogy in a Nutshell Lectures at the NEHGS Library

    "Genealogy 102: The Next Step After Getting Started" with Christopher Child on November 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.

    "Great Dividends: Researching Land in Your Community" with Marie E. Daly on November 24 and 27

    Most Americans live in houses and on land that was not occupied by their ancestors. Nevertheless, we wonder about the previous generations who walked the earth, erected those venerable stonewalls in the woods, and inhabited our houses before us. NEHGS director of library user services, Marie Daly, will discuss researching the land and houses in our communities, using a case study of Waltham and Watertown, Massachusetts.

    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 Barbara Phyfe Young Bodden, of Seattle, Washington

    I always wondered why I was nomadic until I "met" my great-great-grandfather, William Middleton Phyfe, while studying my genealogy. He was the nephew of Duncan Phyfe, the cabinetmaker. William Phyfe, according to his Civil War pension papers, was born on February 12, 1810, in Washington, D.C., although several censuses have him born in Philadelphia where his mother, Ann Middleton, married his father, Michael. William's family moved to New York City when he was eight years old. His death certificate says he lived in the city about seventy-five years. Family rumor had it that William and his brother Duncan were orphaned and raised by their Uncle Duncan; however, the 1828 Manhattan New York City Directory shows: "Michael Phyfe, mahogany yard."


    The Phyfes were artisans - Duncan built furniture, but others were ivory turners, pianoforte makers, upholsterers, and interior decorators. They seem to have worked with each other. William is shown in 1826, at age sixteen, living in Boston and working as a silversmith. There, in 1834, he married Elizabeth Crooker of Bath, Maine, who died after my great-grandfather was born in 1837. William married Elizabeth's sister, Rachel, the following year, and in 1839, they moved to New York City.


    In New York, by 1844, he had formed a partnership with Garrett Eoff, son of the famous silversmith, Edgar Eoff. The partnership ended in 1848. I have a beautiful ladle made by them and a silver spoon made for Rachel.


    Eureka! On August 19, 1848, gold was found at Sutter's Mill in California, and by January of the following year, William was on the brig Cordelia bound for San Francisco and the gold fields. It must have been an exciting time. The ships crossed the Atlantic to Africa and back to Brazil due to ocean currents and winds. Then around the Horn and up the coast. He probably took a steamer up to Sacramento, hiked to Hangtown (now Placerville, CA) and started to dig. Unfortunately, William, like many others, returned to New York around 1852, but according to family legend, "...didn't come home rich."


    On April 19, 1861, at the age of fifty-one, William enlisted to fight in the Civil War, and was enrolled as a private in the 82nd Regiment, New York Volunteers, Co. A. He appears to have fought in many of the famous Civil War battles, including Fairfax Courthouse, Bull Run, Goose Creek, Woodstock, Yorktown, Garnett's Farm, the Peach Orchard, and Fredericksburg. He was honorably discharged in 1864 and mustered out as a corporal.


    After the war, William resumed silversmithing in New York. His Civil War records show that he stopped working in 1884. William died on July 3, 1893, and is buried in Green-Wood Cemetery, in Brooklyn. Many other Phyfes, including Duncan, are also buried there.


    I think that William led a peripatetic and adventurous life. How exciting for me to discover that I am a "daughter" of a California Pioneer! I recently went to Placerville where William mined and tried my hand at panning gold. Like my ancestor, I didn't come home rich! This exercise is not for the weak, and so, I am his loyal admirer and proud to have his nomadic genes.

    NEHGS Contact Information

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