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  • 2004 Archive

  • Vol. 6, No. 49
    Whole #195
    December 3, 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
    * Just in Time for the Holidays - New Books from NEHGS!
    * New Arrivals at the Library Listed on
    * Take Our New Online Survey!
    * Recent Additions to the R. Stanton Avery Collections
    * Featured Website: Odessa - A German-Russian Genealogical Library
    * Events in New England
    * Upcoming Genealogy in a Nutshell Lectures at the NEHGS Library
    * Introduction to at the NEHGS Library
    * Favorite - and Black Sheep - Ancestor Feedback
    * NEHGS Contact Information

    New Databases on

    Massachusetts Vital Records, 1841-1910

    Added this week: Records for 1861

    The latest installment in this ongoing database includes actual records from 1861 (vols. 141-149). The indexes, which were previously added to the database, include name of individual, town or village of event, year of event, and volume and page number of the original record. The records themselves include much more information.

    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." Here you will find a link to a chart displaying records currently available and those forthcoming.

    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

    Death Records of Lyme, Connecticut

    This database lists deaths in the first and second school districts in the town of Lyme between 1847 and 1855. Information in the database includes date of death, name of deceased, age at death, occupation, place of birth, residence, and cause of death. The original manuscript also includes transcriptions of birth records, which are available separately on this website, and marriage 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 Death Records of Lyme, Connecticut at

    Elder Phinehas Pillsbury's Journal: Nobleboro, Maine

    Rev. Phinehas Pillsbury was born in 1767 in Bradford, Massachusetts. He relocated to Blue Hill, Maine, in 1798, where he opened a tannery business. He became a member of the Congregational Church in Sedgewick in 1794, and soon after decided that he would begin preaching. He eventually became a deacon of the Church of Christ in Blue Hill, and in 1807 was ordained minister of the Church of Christ in Nobleboro, Maine, where he remained until 1836. As there was no meeting house until 1817, Rev. Pillsbury preached in a great number of homes in Nobleboro and neighboring towns, as well as schoolhouses.

    Rev. Pillsbury's entries include day-to-day descriptions of his activities, which included travels, visits, marriages, burials, births, and deaths. He also recorded the entire families of many individuals.

    The original transcription is part of the R. Stanton Avery Collections, call number ME NOB 1.

    Search Elder Phinehas Pillsbury's Journal: Nobleboro, Maine at




    New Research Article on

    Member Submission

    Records of the London Carpenters' Company
    by Peter Follansbee

    I spent some time in London in the winter of 2004 searching for the origins of a seventeenth-century joiner, Henry Messenger, who migrated to New England and settled in Boston, Massachusetts. While essentially a needle-in-a-haystack undertaking, the trip did introduce me to a fascinating period source. A footnote in The London Surveys of Ralph Treswell, a book of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century "surveys," or plots, of properties in London, led me to Records of the Worshipful Company of Carpenters. These are published transcriptions of the records of the London Carpenters' Company. It turns out, of course, that these volumes are included in the library of NEHGS as well.

    Six volumes of these books were published in the early twentieth century, with a seventh volume done in 1968. The original volumes of the Carpenters' Records are held at the Guildhall Library in London, but these transcriptions save a great deal of eye strain. The wealth of detail found in these records is astounding, and they provide matter of interest to social historians as well as genealogists.

    Read the full article at

    Just in Time for the Holidays - New Books from NEHGS!

    Three new titles are now available in the NEHGS store and ready to ship. Robert Charles Anderson’s The Pilgrim Migration: Immigrants to Plymouth Colony, 1620-1633, the Guide to the Library of the New England Historic Genealogical Society, and Ann Theopold Chaplin’s genealogy of the Descendants of William Ames of Braintree, Massachusetts. If you have already placed an order for any of these titles, your shipment is on its way. If you have not yet placed an order, now is the time.

    The Pilgrim Migration includes 215 biographical sketches with details for immigrants arriving to Plymouth prior to 1634. It also contains corrections and additions based on new research conducted in the nine years since the author's landmark study of the early settlers of New England, The Great Migration Begins, was published. This is the definitive source for information on early Plymouth ancestors. (Please note that the Fall 2004 catalog lists a price of $60 for this title. The correct price is only $49.95.)

    Order The Pilgrim Migration at

    The much-anticipated Guide to the Library of the New England Historic Genealogical Society will assist researchers in finding hidden treasures within the NEHGS library and making the most effective use of the library’s collections. Edited by Maureen A. Taylor and Henry B. Hoff, the guide is a collection of essays by expert researchers who know every nook and cranny of the library. Save time and identify the resources that are important to your work before you visit! Priced at $21.95 ($18.95 for NEHGS members), this is a book any genealogist on your holiday gift list will want to receive!

    Order the Guide to the Library of the New England Historic Genealogical Society at

    The latest offering from Newbury Street Press, Descendants of William Ames of Braintree, Massachusetts, by Ann Theopold Chaplin, CG, treats the descendants of William Ames (1605-1653/54) of Bruton, England. It is an important genealogy for anyone of Ames descent and includes the lines of Oliver Ames (1779-1863), of Ames Shovel fame; and Ira Ames (1804-1869), a Mormon Elder and close friend of Brigham Young.

    Order Descendants of William Ames of Braintree, Massachusetts at

    These brand new titles and more are described in more detail at the NEHGS Online Store. Orders can be placed online or by calling toll-free 1-888-296-3447, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m (Eastern time).

    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 “November 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:

    • The Avery family: the ancestors and descendants of Christopher Avery.
    • Ancestors and descendants of James Garcelon and Deliverance Annis: from Guernsey and Gloucester to Maine in the 18th century.
    • More English adventurers and emigrants, 1625-1777.
    • Vital records of Vassalboro, Maine.
    • Glover, Vermont, Westlook Cemetery gravestone inscriptions & other genealogical data.
    • Land records, Middle District, 1761-1925 [Berkshire County] [microform].
    • Voices of the New Republic: Connecticut towns, 1800-1832.
    • Full circle: Houle-Pasay memorial project: a directory of Native and African Americans in Windham County, CT, and vicinity, 1650-1900.
    • Marriage and death notices from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania newspapers, 1835-1845.
    • Ohio marriages recorded in county courts, 1 Jan 1821-31 Dec 1830: an index.

    Take Our New Online Survey!

    Help us make your Society better! This month's survey offers you a chance to make a genealogy wish list of services you'd like to see added to your membership and suggest ways to enhance our interactions with members. We hope you'll send us innovative ideas, special requests, and productive suggestions.

    Keep in mind that we cannot make all your wishes come true, but hearing from you presents us with a new perspective on what NEHGS members want most.

    Take the survey at

    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 regularly list new additions to the manuscript collections in NEHGS eNews. The following list shows new items and collections acquired from May to July 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

    • Bible record for the George Thomas Duffy family, 1879-1992 [Mss A 4373]
    • The Grossnickle family [Mss A 4375]
    • Monarchs and their families in the golden era of the western European dynasties [Mss A 4374]
    • Kimball genealogy [Mss A 5075]
    • Lovell collection [closed]
    • Daniel Clark Lewis' research on George1 Lewis of Brenchley, England and Scituate, MA [Mss A 5090]
    • Bible record for the Theophilis Sanborn family, 1728-1836 [Mss A 5293]
    • Bible record for the Eshelman, Brand, Ocock, and Countryman families, 1814-1961 [Mss A 5260]
    • Bible records for the Goodell and Pelton families, 1772-1944 [Mss A 4705]
    • Bible records for the Ezekiel, Zenas and Daniel W. Chapman families [Mss A 4623]
    • Isaac Williams family record [Mss A 4624]
    • Bible record for the Simonds, Nickerson and allied families, 1821-1983 [Mss A 5276]
    • Bible record for the Anderson and Burnham families, 1798-1876 [Mss A 5271]
    • Bible record for the Page and Lunt families, 1764-1879 [Mss A 5272]
    • Bible record for the Calvin Noyes family, 1808-1935 [Mss A 5273]
    • Bible record for the Moses Hall Poore family, 1783-1988 [Mss A 5274]
    • Bible records for the Eshelman, Brand, Ocock, and Countryman families, 1814-1961 [Mss A 5260]
    • Heard family papers [Mss 810]
    • Bible records for the John and Samuel Smith families, 1841-1955 [Mss A 4706]
    • Diaries of S.S. Wright of New Haven, VT [Mss A 4555]
    • Bible record for the Joseph Helyer family, 1729-1846 [Mss A 4621]
    • Bible record for the William H. Blackwell family, 1778-1929 [Mss A 4622]
    • Bible record for the Hans T. Steen family, 1723-1832 [closed]
    • Bible record for the Charles M. Shaffer family, 1817-1978 [closed]
    • Correspondence concerning the DuMaresq family of the Channel Islands [Mss A 5275]
    • Stone Family Association Archives [closed]
    • Diary of Edwin Swan Dahl, 1900-1977 [closed]
    • Elisha Alden, Jr. families of Stafford, Connecticut [Mss A 5099]
    • A few Pier births, marriages and deaths [Mss A 5257]
    • Bible record for the Joseph Alonzo Taylor family, 1799-1935 [Mss A 5076]
    • Bennett and allied family photographs [Mss 818]
    • U.S. military record 5th Mass. V.M. [closed]
    • Extracts relative to George H. Lamb's interest in the estate of the late Elizabeth May [closed]
    • Bible record for the Fuller and Putnam families, 1745-1945 [Mss A 5150]
    • Bible record for the Thomas Knolles family, 1843-1984 [Mss A 5077]
    • Bible record for the Floyd Lee Kintner family, 1862-1911 [Mss A 5078]
    • Epitaphs from Hope Cemetery, Waterbury, VT [closed]
    • Bible record for the Calvin Hunter Bucy family [Mss A 5079]
    • George McKenzie Roberts Papers [closed]
    • Journal of H.B. Metcalf, 1862 [Mss A 5089]
    • Bible record for the Perkins and Dunbar families, 1750-1883 [Mss A 5088]
    • Gerald James Parsons Papers [closed]
    • Bible record for the James Lawrence Harmstead family, 1843-1895 [Mss A 5106]
    • Bible record for the Franklin Alonzo Robblee family, 1834-1878 [Mss A 5100]
    • Photo albums of Frederick Charles Fletcher, 1896 [closed]
    • Winnifred and Roy Pierce Papers - research on the Richard More family [closed]

    Featured Website


    Odessa: A German-Russian Genealogical Library (

    Odessa is a digital library focused on the cultural and family history of Germans who emigrated to Russia during the nineteenth century and their descendants. These descendants are scattered throughout the world. The website's holdings contain digitized books and records, extractions and transcriptions of various records, and indexes of microfilm and research aids to assist the user in tracking the movements of these German-Russians. In the Essays and Commentary section of the Odessa website you will find scholarly articles on issues and events of historical importance to the German-Russian peoples.

    To browse through the Odessa library holdings, click on the Collections link on the home page. On the Collections main page there are links to a myriad of records including cemetery, church, census, land, immigration and ship records. There are also links to town histories, family histories, and GEDCOM files; transcriptions and extractions of obituaries, newspapers, religious materials, and war documents; as well as links to bibliographies, articles, and reference and resource materials. Geographically, you will find records of German-Russians in Eastern Europe and Russia, as well as those who emigrated to the United States (primarily Midwest states) and Canada.

    From the Collections main page, you can also access the site's full text search function. There are sixteen data categories with thirty-two searchable database groupings. To begin your search, enter a query in the search box and then choose a data category from the drop down list. You can also request contact information for Odessa authors or contributors from the search page. The copyright notice at the beginning of each document contains the name of its author or compiler. Enter the surname into the Author Surname box and click Submit to access the latest known contact information for the author.

    A selection of databases in the collections follows:

    In the cemetery database you will find transcriptions of the gravestones and cemetery records from twenty-nine cemeteries in the United States, as well as thirteen in Canada, and one in Russia. The church records database includes births, marriages, deaths, and confirmations from churches in the United States and Eastern Europe. Most of the church records databases are presented in the form of online indexes extracted from LDS microfilms and other microfilms available from sources such as local historical societies. Numerous obituaries of German-Russians have been extracted and transcribed from early to mid-twentieth century newspapers, including the Java Herald of Java, South Dakota.

    The census databases on this site provide information about German-Russians living in various locations in the United States. Most of the information found here is for the period from 1900 to 1925. The sources for these records are federal and state censuses. The data provided in the U.S. census extractions usually includes name, age, country, year immigrated, sheet number and name of township, and any comments. There are also census databases for earlier periods for localities in Russia and Prussia.

    You will find ship and immigration records databases in the collections, too. The indexes have been compiled from published accounts, state archives, and extracted from LDS microfilm. The database contents include declarations of intent to apply for U.S. citizenship and lists of émigrés from Germany to Poland, Poland to Russia, and other places in Eastern Europe. The ship lists include those of the Mennonites from 1872-1904, arrivals at various ports in United States and Quebec, and some St. Albans Vermont Passenger manifests.

    References and research resources on the site include place name indices, topical indices to the literature, and information about particular surnames. They can be accessed from the Collections main page.

    To learn more about the cultural and family history of German-Russians and their descendants, visit

    Events in New England

    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


    Middlesex Chapter of the Massachusetts Society of Genealogists Event

    The Middlesex Chapter of the Massachusetts Society of Genealogists will present a talk entitled "Researching American Civil War Participants," by Dennis Ahern, noted writer and lecturer.

    The lecture will take place at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, December 11, 2004, at the Acton Memorial Library, 486 Main Street (Route 27), Acton, Massachusetts.

    The program is open to all. Admission is free. For more information, call 508-485-3275 or 617-527-1312.

    Chelsea Chronicles Ninety-Five Years of History

    Gerard W. Brown, an amateur historian and educator, has been collecting postcards and stereoviews for more than twenty-five years. His new book, Chelsea, chronicles ninety-five years of the history of Chelsea, Massachusetts, as it became an important industrial center and home for thousands of European immigrants. The pages are filled with stereoview and postcard images of more than 180 historic views, documenting Chelsea's history from the post-Civil War era to the Vietnam decade.

    The Chelsea Public Library will present a book signing by the author, Gerard W. Brown, on Saturday, December 4, between 9 a.m. and noon at the Chelsea Public Library, 569 Broadway, in Chelsea.

    Upcoming Genealogy in a Nutshell Lectures at the NEHGS Library

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

    "From Pearl Harbor to the Middle East: Post World War I Military Research" with David A. Lambert on December 8 and 11.

    Many of us have heard stories of our relatives' exploits and tragedies in the more recent wars. We have parents or grandparents who fought in World War II or the Korean War, or siblings who fought in Vietnam. And now a new generation of soldiers have experienced war in the Middle East. NEHGS military expert, David Lambert, will discuss researching the military records of twentieth-century veterans.

    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.

    Introduction to at the NEHGS Library

    December 8, 6 p.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, December 8, at 6 p.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


    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 Sherry Atkinson-Mallory of Belmont, Massachusetts

    My favorite ancestor is my maternal great grandfather, John Sherrar Harris. Born in Ayrshire, Scotland, in 1836, he emigrated from Australia to California in the 1850s. In 1875, backed by a local banker, he set out to find and import cashmere goats and traveled to India and Nepal. With the help of many along the way and journeying under extreme conditions, he ascertained that cashmere goats would not flourish in the California climate. He went to Turkey and found angora goats in the mountains. He then made the arduous trip to lead them out, and eventually, onto a ship. They landed first in Liverpool, England, then in Baltimore, Maryland, before finally crossing the country by rail.|

    The California climate proved too warm for the goats so he took his new wife and six stepchildren to Oakely, Idaho, where his three children were born, among them my grandmother, Josephine, in 1888. They stayed for fourteen years and the herd flourished. He sold his herd in 1901 and went to Salem, Oregon, where he died in 1917. My great grandfather is considered the founder of the American mohair industry and he certainly was an industrious Scot!

    This summer I went to Oakely and met the eighty-three-year-old town historian, Kent Hale, who told me about the swimming hole at "the old goat ranch" where kids used to congregate each summer. No one knew why it was called the old goat ranch but in researching his History of Oakely, published in 2003, he came across a newspaper story about John and included it in his book. He took me to the old goat ranch and I saw the hills where Josephine rode bareback and the ruins of the stone goat sheds still standing after 116 years.

    NEHGS Contact Information

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