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  • 2004 Archive

  • Vol. 6, No. 48
    Whole #194
    November 24, 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


    * Free Non-Member Access to the Register Online Over Thanksgiving Weekend!
    * No Friday eNews This Week
    * New Databases on
    * New Research Article on
    * NEHGS Library Hours Correction and Holiday Schedule
    * Coming Soon in the Winter 2004 Issue of New England Ancestors
    * New From NEHGS Books: The Best Genealogical Sources in Print: Essays by Gary Boyd Roberts
    * "Bundle" Up for the Holidays at the NEHGS Online Store!
    * Genealogy in a Nutshell Winter Schedule
    * Henry Hoff and Eric Grundset Speakers on Genealogy Cruise
    * NEHGS Research Week in Washington D.C.
    * Upcoming Genealogy in a Nutshell Lectures at the NEHGS Library
    * Favorite - and Black Sheep - Ancestor Feedback
    * NEHGS Contact Information

    Free Non-Member 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 all 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.

    To obtain free access to the Register, we only ask that you complete a short survey to help us better define future free offers. All information given in the survey is kept strictly confidential within NEHGS. After completing the survey, you will automatically be taken to the Register database.

    Search for your ancestors in the Register at!


    No Friday eNews This Week

    Due to the holiday, your regular Friday issue of eNews is being sent today. We will resume our usual schedule next week.

    Happy Thanksgiving from NEHGS!

    New Databases on

    Ship Registers and Enrollments of Machias, Maine - 1780-1930

    These records were transcribed from the original documents in the volumes stored in the customhouses throughout the state of Maine. The introduction to the volumes states: "The information in each entry includes name of vessel, rig or type, hailing port, place and date of building and name of builder, tonnage, dimensions, type of document, names of owners, shares owned, occupation and residence of owner, name and residence of master, and any changes in rig, tonnage, hailing port are noted. Finally, any available information regarding the final disposition of this vessel."

    The original text is available at the NEHGS Library, and it may be borrowed by members from the Circulating Library, call number F29/M1/N38/1942.

    Search Ship Registers and Enrollments of Machias, Maine - 1780-1930 at

    Birth Records of Lyme, Connecticut

    This database lists births in the town of Lyme between 1847 and 1856. Information in the database includes date of birth, name of child, gender, names, and occasionally, age of parents, occupation of father, and residence. The original manuscript also includes transcriptions of marriage records, which are available in a separate database, and death records, which will be added to our online collection at a later date.

    The original transcription is part of the R. Stanton Avery Collections, call number SL LYM 7-4.

    Search Birth Records of Lyme, Connecticut at


    Massachusetts Vital Records to 1850
    New Town: West Springfield

    At the turn of the twentieth century NEHGS was instrumental in the effort to purchase books of vital statistics to the year 1850 for the 351 cities and towns in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. By 1945 the vital records for over 200 of these municipalities had been published. Many of these volumes were added to in weekly installments during 2002. This marked the first time these records were made available online in their original context, including the original source citations.

    The newest addition to this database is the town of West Springfield in Hampden County.

    The Vital Records to 1850 series is available at the Research Library, and most volumes are available to NEHGS members through the Circulating Library. The call number for this volume is R.Rm. REF F74/W6/W56/1944.

    Search Massachusetts Vital Records to 1850 at

    Master Search

    Master search all databases at

    New Research Article on

    The Computer Genealogist

    Power Tools - The Power is in You, Not the Tool
    Organizing Your Desktop

    by Patricia Law Hatcher

    Genealogists never seem to have enough time. One way to "find" a little more time is to improve efficiency. Previously we talked about the Windows Clipboard and ways to use it to be more efficient. There are several other features in Windows of which we can take advantage. Mac users may be able to apply several of the concepts in this article, although the techniques would be different.

    A basic Windows concept is drag-and-drop - if something is selected, you can point the mouse cursor at it, hold down the left mouse button, drag it somewhere else, and drop it there when you release the mouse button. A variation of this practice is that if you hold down the Ctrl (control) key at the same time, it makes a copy and moves the copy instead. What most people don't realize is the wide variety of things that can be drag-and-dropped - or how to use those possibilities to advantage.

    NEHGS members can read the entire article at

    NEHGS Library Hours Correction and Holiday Schedule

    Please note that the winter library hours given in last week issue of NEHGS eNews were incorrect. During the winter season, which begins December 1, the library will continue to open at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday and at 9 a.m. on Saturday. Thursday evening hours are discontinued during this time. Effective December 1, the correct winter hours will be:

    Tuesday, Thursday, Friday - 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
    Wednesday - 10 a.m. - 9 p.m.
    Saturday - 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
    Sunday - Closed
    Monday - Closed

    The library will be closed Thursday, November 25, for the Thanksgiving holiday and will close at 3 p.m. on November 24.

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

    Coming Soon in the Winter 2004 Issue of New England Ancestors

    Rod D. Moody provides the eighth installment of New Searchable Databases on

    Paul Milner shares his extensive knowledge of online resources for those seeking Scottish ancestors in Online Scottish Research Using Original Records and Major Indexes.

    David C. Dearborn discusses the tracing of Scottish lines, and provides guidance through the identification of published research guides, family genealogies, and local histories, as well as databases and online resources in Resources for Scottish Genealogy at NEHGS.

    Diane Rapaport focuses on a group of Scottish war prisoners captured by the British in the 1600s and sent to the sawmills of Maine and New Hampshire in a sequel to her winter 2003 Scots for Sale.

    Lynn Betlock traces our move from the "headquarters for historical, patriotic, and kindred societies" of Ashburton Place to our current facilities in A Turning Point in the Life of the New England Historic Genealogical Society.

    Harold F. Worthley discusses research methods and sources for seventeenth-century Congregational Church and "church-related" records in Plimoth Colony, the Colony of Massachusetts Bay, and related settlements, in Congregational Church Records: Less and More than Meets the Eye.

    Michael J. Leclerc provides guidance for those hoping to locate and identify ancestral homes in Locating Your Ancestral Homes.

    Gary Boyd Roberts rounds out our features section with the second installment of The 2004 Election Year, Continued: Further Additions and (a few) Corrections to Ancestors of American Presidents.

    Also in this issue . . .

    * Computer Genealogist: Power Tools — The Power is in You, Not the Tool

    * Computer Genealogist Spotlight: National Burial Index for England and Wales

    * Genetics & Genealogy: Using Mitochondrial DNA in Genealogy

    * Manuscripts at NEHGS: The Gerald James Parsons Papers

    * Bible Records at NEHGS: The Fuller Bible

    * Tales from the Courthouse: The Case of the Scottish Rogue

    * Genealogical Publishing: Word for Genealogy, Part 3

    * Pilgrim Life: Did They Know They Were Pilgrims?

    * Index of persons

    * Index of advertisers

    And, as always, you will find news of NEHGS and the world of genealogy, upcoming NEHGS programs and tours, new publications, notices of family association events, genealogies in progress, and member queries.

    Subscription to New England Ancestors is a benefit of NEHGS membership. If you are not a member, you may join online at, or call toll-free 1-888-296-3447, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, Eastern time.

    New From NEHGS Books: The Best Genealogical Sources in Print: Essays by Gary Boyd Roberts


    This timely book of collected writings by NEHGS senior research scholar Gary Boyd Roberts brings together a wealth of valuable information on the best genealogical sources in print, particularly sources from the last quarter century. It covers the evolution of royalty and royal descents for English immigrant origins and seventeenth-century New England, for Mayflower families, Connecticut, Rhode Island, the South Shore, western Massachusetts, and early Middlesex County testators, for "the century of lost ancestors" (1750-1850), and for the ancestry of American presidents and many notables. This volume also includes bibliographies on the twenty-three Mayflower families, a hundred colonial families in Rhode Island, and the earliest families of Hartford, Connecticut, among others. As genealogy becomes increasingly computer-based, this work serves as an essential guide to the best non-Internet sources, those books that every beginning genealogist should consult and possibly buy, and that every advanced student of the field should master.

    The Best Genealogical Sources in Print: Essays by Gary Boyd Robertscan be pre-ordered now from the NEHGS Online Store. It is priced at $50, plus shipping and handling. Order now at

    "Bundle" Up for the Holidays at the NEHGS Online Store!

    It's holiday shopping time at NEHGS! Look in your mail for our special Holiday Flyer, chock full of bundles and bargains to make your holiday shopping a breeze. We are offering TWELVE sale bundles, combining some of our most popular books, CDs, videos, charts, and maps at bargain prices! Here's a sample of some of the bundles we have created just for the holidays:

    The Plymouth Bundle (Item HOL-PLY)

    This bundle includes two NEHGS CD-ROMs, Plymouth Church Records, 1620-1859 and Plymouth County Court Records, 1686-1859, plus Plymouth Colony Probate Guide: Where to Find Wills and Related Data for 800 People of Plymouth Colony 1620-1691, by the Plymouth Colony Research Group.

    Price: $70 (A combined savings of $10!)

    The Jewish Genealogy Bundle (Item HOL-JG)

    Includes Discovering Your Jewish Ancestors, by Barbara Krasner-Khait, and the NEHGS videotape Jewish Genealogy: A Common Sense Approach to Finding Your Ancestors, with Alexander Woodle.

    Price: $35 (A combined savings of $8!)

    The Watertown Bundle (Item HOL-WAT)

    Includes the NEHGS CD-ROM Genealogies and Families of the Early Settlers of Watertown, Massachusetts by Henry Bond, MD, and Watertown Records; Divided We Stand: Watertown, Massachusetts, 1630-1680, by Roger Thompson; and Henry Bond's map of original allotments of land and the ancient topography of Watertown (folded into quarters).

    Price: $80 (A combined savings of $15!)

    We will also gift wrap your items!See for details.

    Visit our holiday store at for even more bundles plus other holiday specials from NEHGS!

    Genealogy in a Nutshell Winter Schedule


    The NEHGS Library has just released its winter schedule of free "Genealogy in a Nutshell" lectures. Mark your calendar now to attend these informative and fun talks! Additional information on these lectures will be included in future issues of eNews. All dates and speakers are subject to change; visit for the latest information.

    All lectures take place at 10:15 a.m. at the NEHGS Library in Boston. Advance registration is not necessary.

    January 5, 8 - Bridging the Atlantic: Finding the English Origins of Your Ancestors - David C. Dearborn
    January 12, 15 - Writing Your Family History - Barbara Mathews
    January 19, 22 - African American Mariners in the Age of Sail - Dr. Julie Winch
    January 26, 29 - The Great Meadow: Husbandry in Colonial Concord - Dr. Brian Donahue
    February 2, 5 - Getting the Most from NEHGS: CD-ROMS - Michael J. Leclerc
    February 9, 12 - Having Fun with Family Photographs - Maureen A. Taylor
    February 16 - The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society - Peter Drummey
    February 23 - A Short History of Boston - Dr. Robert Allison
    March 2, 5 - Ancestors on the March: Researching Revolutionary War Soldiers - David A. Lambert
    March 9, 12 - Getting the Most from NEHGS: The Library - NEHGS Panel
    March 16, 19 - From Hovels to Castles: Finding Your Irish Ancestor's Dwelling Place - Marie E. Daly
    March 23, 26 - The Art and Antiques of NEHGS: a Connoisseurship Tour - Marieke Van Damme
    March 30, April 2 - Researching New Brunswick Ancestors - George F. Sanborn, Jr.
    April 6 - Genealogical Walking Tour of The Boston Public Library - Henry Scannell
    April 13, 16 - The Best Genealogical Sources in Print - Gary Boyd Roberts

    Henry Hoff and Eric Grundset Speakers on Genealogy Cruise

    NEHGS Register editor Henry Hoff and DAR library director Eric Grundset will be the featured speakers on an eleven-day genealogy cruise to the Southern Caribbean in May 2005.

    Sponsored by the California Genealogical Society, the trip will be led by Jane Knowles Lindsey, NEHGS Council Member. The cruise departs May 1 and is round trip from Norfolk Virginia. Eleven lectures will be presented to participants while the Holland America Cruise ship is at sea. This is a perfect time for genealogists to bring their spouses and friends who will be able to enjoy shipboard activities during the lectures. As a special early booking bonus, Eric and Henry will each offer fifteen half-hour consultations (one per cabin). For more information, visit the California Genealogical Society website:; or email Jane Lindsey at; or call All Cruise Travel at 800-227-8473.


    NEHGS Research Week in Washington D.C.

    March 13-20, 2005

    Join us for our popular trip to the nation's capital, which offers a wealth of research opportunities for genealogists. Enjoy a full week 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

    A limited number of rooms may still be available at the Hotel Washington at 515 15th Street, NW, which is also within walking distance of the two repositories. Please email to confirm availability. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Hotel Washington offers views of the monuments, the White House, and other landmarks of the capital city.

    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.


    Upcoming Genealogy in a Nutshell Lectures at the NEHGS Library

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

    "Finding and Evaluating Maps in Gaining Ground: A History of Landmaking in Boston" with Nancy Seasholes on December 1 and 4

    William M. Fowler of the Massachusetts Historical Society wrote of Nancy Seasholes' book, Gaining Ground, "Seasholes must have combed every archive and walked every inch of Boston to produce this monumental book...This is a book you will want to take with you as you walk the streets of Boston...It is simply a must for anyone interested in the history of this great city." Author of Gaining Ground: A History of Landmaking in Boston, Nancy Seasholes will describe her hunt for historic maps, and how she selected them for her book.

    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 Pamela Phillipps Swain, NEHGS Deputy Director

    Editor's Note: The author adapted the following story from a letter her grandfather wrote to a magazine editor in 1954 after he had read a story about the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.

    My maternal great grandfather, John Bernard McCarthy, was born on May 14, 1848, in a frame house located at what would now be 915-917 15th Street, NW, in Washington, D.C. He was sixteen years old at the time of the Lincoln assassination and was employed as a drug clerk in the drug store of "Doctor" Dooley on the west side of 9th Street between E and F streets, NW. Pharmacists, or drug clerks, as they were commonly called in those days, were store trained, pharmacy not having yet become a profession.

    Dooley’s Drug Store was located directly behind Ford's Theater. By a peculiar twist of fate, on the evening of April 14, 1865, my great grandfather was working at a different drug store, Thompson's Pharmacy. How he happened to be working there that night was due to the state of affairs that existed in Washington for several days following Gen. Robert E. Lee's surrender and I shall discuss this later.

    On the afternoon of April 14 my great grandfather was in contact with "Davey" Herold, who would soon play a co-conspirator role in the assassination plot. Herold was commonly acknowledged to be a "slow-witted" boy, and my great grandfather felt that he was hypnotized by the glamorous John Wilkes Booth. That such a prominent actor should take him into his confidence flattered Davey and made him eager to do Booth's bidding.

    History tells of two instances on April 14 where John Wilkes Booth went into Taltvul's Saloon for a drink. All of the conspirators appear to have fortified themselves with "Dutch courage" on the day the series of assassinations were to have taken place, even young Dave Herold. According to my great grandfather, on the afternoon of April 14 an unsteady Davey Herold came into Dooley's drug store with bloodshot eyes asking for something that would straighten him out. My ancestor gave him something to settle his stomach and put some drops in his eyes to sooth them. How was he to know that he was helping Herold get into shape to carry out his part of the plot Booth had planned!

    Most of Washington was drinking on April 14 and had been since word was received of Lee's surrender on April 9. The story is told that General Hooker, Provost Marshal of the District of Columbia, possibly "in his cups" himself at the time, issued an order to arrest all men found sober on the streets. It was his contention that northerners or northern sympathizers should be drinking to celebrate Gen. Ulysses Grant's victory, and that any man found sober would be a southern sympathizer and should be thrown into the guardhouse on general principles. This story may not stand up under investigation.

    The drug clerk at Thompson's drug store on 15th Street was among the thousands celebrating that evening. The proprietor of Thompson's, left short-handed by his clerk's absence, arranged with Dr. Dooley to borrow the services of my great grandfather, a lifelong teetotaler, for the evening.

    President Lincoln was going to the theatre that night. He had asked several senior members of his administration to accompany him but they shied off because it was Good Friday (although there is speculation that they declined because they had heard rumors of the plot to assassinate Lincoln). Major Henry R. Rathbone, however, joined the presidential party, and, as history relates, was slashed on the arm by Booth as he plunged through the presidential box after having shot Lincoln and jumped to the stage. On his way to the White House to make a personal report to Mrs. Lincoln, Major Rathbone stopped off at Thompson's drug store to have his arm bandaged. My great grandfather helped bandage his arm, which, coupled with his doctoring of Dave Herold from another drug store that afternoon, brought him close to the Lincoln assassination scene for the second time that day! The family later wondered how our ancestor escaped being called as a witness at the trial of Davey Herold. We suppose he kept mum about Herold's visit to Dooley's drug store.

    Several years after the Lincoln assassination my great grandfather gave up drug store work and became a newspaper reporter. He was a seasoned newspaperman some years later when President Garfield was assassinated. Having been close to the Lincoln assassination he was able to write about the two tragedies in relation to each other. He reported the trial of assassin Charles Guiteau and witnessed his execution. When former California governor Leland Stanford came to the Senate, my great grandfather, then Washington correspondent of the San Francisco Chronicle, became his private secretary. When Senator Stanford died he became secretary to Senator George W. Perkins, his successor. John Bernard McCarthy died May 28, 1926 at the age of seventy-eight.

    John McCarthy's oldest son, my grandfather, John Crosby McCarthy, wrote this story in 1954. He was a newspaper reporter in Washington, D.C. for many years. When he worked on the Washington Evening Star he passed the (reconstructed) Ford's Theater almost every day, being just three blocks away. When he still young the original theater building collapsed from the weight of the army records stored in it, killing a number of people. He remembers that his father held him on his shoulders to see the rescue squads digging in the debris in search of bodies. Ford's Theater certainly has been marked with tragedy.

    My cousin, my sister, and I are the sixth generation of our family to be born in Washington, D.C. Although I left that city at the age of three, my sister’s children were born there, marking the seventh generation of our family to be born there.

    NEHGS Contact Information

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