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  • 2004 Archive

  • Vol. 6, No. 6
    Whole #152
    February 6, 2004
    Edited by Rod D. Moody and Valerie Beaudrault

    Greetings from the New England Historic Genealogical Society! This free 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
    • Now Available! Royal Descents of 600 Immigrants
    • Announcing the NEHGS Membership Rewards Program!
    • Winter 2004 Issue of New England Ancestors Magazine Now Online
    • Ordering from the Circulating Library Online
    • Upcoming "Genealogy in a Nutshell" Lectures at the NEHGS Library
    An Introduction to at the NEHGS Library
    A Member Responds to Ask a Librarian Question
    Lizzie Borden/Fall River Website
    • Favorite — and Black Sheep — Ancestor Feedback
    • NEHGS Contact Information

    New Databases on

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

    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 families were added to the database this week:

    Benedict, Bennett, Benson, Bentley, Berger, Berry, and Betts

    The original text is available at the NEHGS Research Library or NEHGS members may borrow it through the Circulating Library (call number F127/D8/D63/1990).

    View new family sketches from The Settlers of the Beekman Patent at or search the database and read introductory matter at

    The Cooley Genealogy: The Descendants of Ensign Benjamin Cooley

    This family genealogy was written by Mortimer Elwyn Cooley and published in 1941. It traces the descendants of the immigrant Benjamin Cooley (1617–1684), who settled in Springfield, Massachusetts, in the early 1640s.


    The original text is available at the NEHGS Research Library or through the Circulating Library, call number CS71/C7725/1941.


    Search the The Cooley Genealogy at

    Record of Baptisms in the Mission of "New Cambridge," Connecticut — 1747 to 1800

    "New Cambridge" was the ancient name of the present-day town of Bristol, Connecticut. This "mission" later became St. Matthew's Episcopal Parish and ended up within the boundaries of the neighboring town of Plymouth. Francis Atwater's History of Plymouth tells some of the story:

    "In 1790, when the new meeting house was built at Plymouth Hollow, some of the members of the parish, displeased because it was not built on Town Hill, seceded and helped to build St. Matthew's Church, in East Plymouth. Being situated in that part of Plymouth contiguous to the towns of Bristol, Harwintown, and Burlington, each of those places contributed to the birth and maintenance of St. Matthew's parish and church."

    K.A. Pritchard copied these records from the manuscript of Alanson Welton in August 1897. At Mr. Welton's request, the original manuscript, which he transcribed from the original records in 1868, was deposited in the Bristol Public Library.

    Special attention should be paid to the column headings in the result pages of this database. We have followed the column format of the Pritchard's transcription, which placed the last name of the minister next to the first name of the person baptized. The last name of the person baptized appears in the column titled Parent Name.

    The original manuscript is part of the R. Stanton Avery Collections. It can be viewed by NEHGS members at the our research library in Boston. The call number is MSS SL BRI 30/1.

    Search the Record of Baptisms in the Mission of "New Cambridge," Connecticut — 1747 to 1800 at

    Cemetery Transcriptions from the NEHGS Manuscript Collections

    This week we have added a transcription of the Andover Cemetery (Opposite Fairground), in Andover, Oxford County, Maine.

    The original manuscript is part of the R. Stanton Avery Collections. NEHGS members may view the original text at our research library in Boston. The call number is ME AND 20.

    Search Cemetery Transcriptions from the NEHGS Manuscript Collections at

    Master Search

    Master search all databases at


    New Research Article on
    The Computer Genealogist
    The Power is in You, Not the Tool — Using the Power of the Windows Clipboard in Genealogy

    By Patricia Law Hatcher

    What is the Windows Clipboard? It is a space that belongs to the operating system of your computer, not to any particular program. That space can hold something.

    What kinds of somethings can you put on the Clipboard? It’s very flexible. It can hold an entire file, a single word, or many pages; it can hold an entire photograph or just a small piece of it; it can hold a large spreadsheet or just one formula.

    How do you access the Clipboard? You’ve probably been doing it all along without realizing it. There are three commands that access the Clipboard: Cut (to the Clipboard), Copy (to the Clipboard), and Paste (from the Clipboard). Many people think that these commands belong to the individual software program they are using; however, they belong to the operating system’s Clipboard.

    Generally, a program offers three ways to access these commands: from the Edit menu, from a toolbar, and from the keyboard. In the early days of Windows, usability studies showed that most users found it confusing that there was more than one way to do things and were afraid that different methods did different things. Even today, many users learn to access a command one way and are hesitant to explore options. The power lies in expanding your computer horizons.


    Read the full article at

    Now Available! Royal Descents of 600 Immigrants

    The Royal Descents of 600 Immigrants to the American Colonies or the United States, the long awaited new compendium by NEHGS senior research scholar Gary Boyd Roberts, is now in stock!

    Most Americans with sizable New England Yankee, mid-Atlantic Quaker, or Southern "planter" ancestry are descended from medieval kings — kings of England, Scotland, and France especially. This book outlines the "best" — i.e. from the most recent king — royal descents of over 600 immigrants to the colonies or the United States who were themselves notable or left descendants who were notable in American history.

    By far the comprehensive treatment of the subject in print, this volume is a massive expansion on previous books on the topic, including the author's own 1993 volume, The Royal Descents of 500 Immigrants. To the 570 subjects of this last volume, this new work adds 95 new immigrants, changes or overhauls the lines of 90 more, and deletes another 15.

    Among the 387 colonial immigrants whose "best" lines are charted in this work, 180 left ten or more notable descendants each and are ancestors collectively of probably over 100 million living Americans. Some of these notable descendants include President George W. Bush (descent from 9 immigrants), First Lady Laura Bush (1), and Democratic presidential candidates John Kerry (11) and Howard Dean (3). Kerry's notable ancestors include Revolutionary statesman James Bowdoin; Massachusetts Bay Colony founder John Winthrop and his rival Thomas Dudley; and noted Salem-China trade merchant Israel Thorndike.

    For over 35 years, Mr. Roberts has researched virtually all printed sources that lead to these royal lines. The result is a book that thoroughly redefines this area of genealogical research and definitively outlines American genealogical links to medieval kings and their "dark age" and "ancient world" forbears.

    Mr. Roberts is well known for American Ancestors and Cousins of The Princess of Wales, Ancestors of American Presidents, Notable Kin, Volumes 1 and 2, his Internet column on the NEHGS website, his introduction to Torrey's New England Marriages Prior to 1700, and his selections and introductions for 15 volumes of journal articles reprinted by the Genealogical Publishing Company (GPC). His 1993 compendium, The Royal Descents of 500 Immigrants, was an "instant classic," and became the springboard for much further research.

    A list of names of the immigrants covered in this book, arranged by colony, may be viewed at

    The Royal Descents of 600 Immigrants to the American Colonies or the United States is available now at the NEHGS online book store. It is priced at $75, plus shipping and handling. To order, visit the NEHGS online book store ( or call toll-free 888-296-3447 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Eastern time), Monday through Friday.

    Announcing the NEHGS Membership Rewards Program

    Recognizing that our most effective marketing is often word-of-mouth and that those who can talk about us best are our members, NEHGS is launching a membership incentive program to encourage members to spread the word about the benefits of the Society.

    The New England Historic Genealogical Society is the oldest and largest genealogy society in the country, yet many people interested in family history are unaware of the resources and benefits we offer. A significant percentage of Americans can trace themselves to one or more New England families. The benefits and resources provided by membership in NEHGS can help them learn more about their New England roots. We ask you to help us increase our membership so that we can bring more databases, programs, benefits, and other important resources to both current and future members!

    Members receive credits for every new member referral. Credits are used to claim prizes that every genealogist can use: a CD holder or a briefcase, both with an attractive NEHGS insignia. If you introduce more than three new members to NEHGS, we’ll enter your name into a drawing for a one-hour consultation with one of our expert staff genealogists or one hour of research services provided by the NEHGS Research Services department.

    For more information about the the NEHGS Membership Rewards Program please visit /membership/main/?page_id=630&attrib1=1&seq_num=103.


    Winter 2004 issue of New England Ancestors Magazine Now Online

    The latest issue of New England Ancestors magazine is now available on NewEngland Read informative and entertaining articles such as Julie Helen Otto's study of deaths by lightning in New England, "Slain With the Thunder and Lightening"; Kevin Sweeney's "The 1704 French and Indian Raid on Deerfield"; previews of two upcoming NEHGS electronic publications, "New on CD-ROM: New Hampshire Military Records, 1623–1866" and "Massachusetts Vital Records, 1841–1910"; and much more!

    Read the latest New England Ancestors at

    Ordering from the Circulating Library Online

    The Circulating Library is one of the most unique genealogical libraries in the world. The holdings, which include over 30,000 books, cassettes, microfilms, and CDs, represent a significant subset of the New England Historic Genealogical Society's notable research library in Boston. What makes it unique is its purpose: to enable NEHGS members from around the world to borrow books and study them from the comfort of their own homes.

    Members can order books at, or by phone (888-296-3447), mail (PO Box 5089, Framingham, MA 01701), or fax (508-788-9500). The website's library catalog provides options to search on subject, call number, author, or title. You can also check to see if a title is currently available. The advanced search features permit you to narrow the scope of your search to limit results to the specific type of material you are looking for. The eNews has published a number of articles on how to perform such a search and there is a very good online help section available for the library catalog. In the next few weeks we will run similar tutorials for you, but for now let us review how to order Circulating Library books online.

    After reaching our home page, first make sure you log in, then simply click on the Libraries tab near the top of the page. After this page opens you will see a link that reads "Search the Library Catalog." Clicking on it will take you to the catalog, and from there you will be ready to start the ordering process. On the left side of the catalog page is the search menu, from which you may select the type of search you would like to make. From this same menu you can also access the help section to become familiar with the various search options.

    If you are looking for books only in the Circulating Library, click in the circle to the left below the search boxes. Select the type of search you wish to perform, then enter your search criteria and discover the rich holdings of this library.

    For example, let us do a subject search for the Circulating Library holdings of the Crandall family. Click on "Subject" in the menu to your left, then change the default choice of "All Libraries" to "Circulating Library," and click on "Search." You should come up with four records. Clicking on the number at the left of the record will take you to the full catalog record on this item. Here you can click on the "Copies" button to see if the book is available or click on the "Text" button to view additional information (when available), such as if the book is indexed. Clicking on the "Request" button brings you to another page where you may review your choice. After confirming the choice click on the "Reserve This Item" button. Your item will be placed into the shopping cart. You then may either click on the "View Shopping Cart" button or continue searching the Circulating Library. From the shopping cart page, you may proceed to check out, continue shopping in the Circulating Library, or delete/update your choice.


    Upon checking out, you will be asked to select shipping method and then fill out your credit card information and shipping address. After you submit the order, you will receive an email confirmation. Your order will be filled and shipped the next day.

    As always if you have any questions, please contact us on our toll-free line at 888-296-3447.


    Upcoming "Genealogy in a Nutshell" Lectures at the NEHGS Library

    The 2004 "Genealogy in a Nutshell" series continues with:

    • "Naturalization Records as Immigration Sources" by Marie Daly on Saturday, February 7

    • "From Sydney to Yarmouth: researching in Nova Scotia" by George Sanborn on Wednesday, February 11

    • "Urban Genealogy" by David Dearborn on Wednesday, February 18 and Saturday, February 21

    All lectures take place at 10 a.m. Advance registration is not necessary.

    For more details about NEHGS education events, please visit 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.

    An Introduction to at the NEHGS Library

    February 11, 6 p.m.

    Learn how to use the NEHGS website to advance your research! 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, February 11, 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


    A Member Responds to "Ask a Librarian" Question

    NEHGS librarian Colette Rasmussen's response to a recent "Ask a Librarian" question prompted NEHGS member Gene Zubrinsky to send a follow-up email, in which he described the relationship between Julian and Gregorian calendars in great detail. In his question to NEHGS, Greg Scotten hoped to find out (a) which Gregorian calendar year is used when a pre-1750 Julian dated record has "Mo.1" (March), and (b) whether all the days in the Julian calendar month of March came under the same Gregorian year. Ms. Rasmussen's answer, which space considerations keep us from reprinting here, can be viewed by NEHGS members at Below is Mr. Zubrinsky's response:

    "A few years ago, a knowledgeable acquaintance advised me that while the change from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar and the shift of New Year's Day from March 25 to January 1 both occurred in England and its colonies in 1752, they are nevertheless two separate matters. With a little deliberate reading, I soon found that he was correct.

    "The change from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar entailed two adjustments only: (1) the deletion of eleven days to correct the error that had accumulated over the previous seventeen centuries (September 2, 1752, was followed by September 14, 1752) and (2) the omission of Leap Year from future, even centuries, except those divisible by 400, to prevent a recurrence of error. The same 1751 Act of Parliament that accomplished these reforms also established that New Year's Day would from 1752 onward be January 1, rather than March 25. It is incorrect, however, to relate to a specific calendar the day on which the year had begun or would thenceforth begin. That these are discrete issues is illustrated by the early Romans' use of the Julian calendar while first making March 1 and then January 1 the beginning of the year. As Ms. Rasmussen herself points out, "Scotland recognized January 1 as the first day of the year as early as 1600, although they kept using the Julian calendar until the change in 1752." Clearly the date of New Year's Day is independent of the calendar in use.

    "In that March 25 was/is Annunciation (or Lady) Day, the approach that puts New Year's Day on that date is properly called Annunciation Style (but more frequently Old Style). Because seventh-century Romans fixed the date of Christ's circumcision as January 1, the use of that date as New Year's Day is accordingly called Circumcision Style (more frequently New Style). The conflation of calendars and styles stems in part from the fact that specific changes in both occurred during the same year and resulted from the same Act of Parliament. The problem is undoubtedly compounded by genealogists' use of the terms "Old Style" and "New Style" when referring both to a particular calendar and a specific dating style. But a careful reading of Donald Lines Jacobus's discussion of "Dates and the Calendar" will reveal that when addressing the twin issues of New Year's Day and dating styles, he uses the terms "Old Style" and "New Style" but never mentions the Julian or Gregorian calendar (see Genealogy as Pastime and Profession, 2d ed. [Baltimore, 1968], 109-113, at 112-113).

    "As to Mr. Scotten's first question — Which Gregorian calendar year is used when a pre-1750 Julian dated record has 'Mo.1' (March)? — there are several parts to the answer: First, he would presumably appreciate knowing that his question is inappropriately framed. As above, the matter of when the year began is unrelated to the Julian and Gregorian calendars. Second, most authorities would I think argue in favor of leaving "as is" pre-1752 dates between January 1 and March 24 that contain a single year, unless there is independent evidence of the specific year intended (in which case the year omitted from the original should be added in brackets). Jacobus recommends this but also says it's fairly safe to assume that, prior to 1700, single-year dates between January 1 and March 24 reflect Old (Annunciation) Style reckoning (ibid., 113). Third, based on this assumption, if one insists on double-dating a record that is single-dated in the original, the modification's tentativeness should be indicated by putting a question mark after the inserted year, and all supplemental characters (including the solidus inserted before an added New Style year) should be bracketed to indicate that the original is not double-dated. For example, 14 March 1655 would be modified as 14 March 1655[/6?] and 2 February 1599 would appear as 2 February 1599[/1600?]. Finally (this, I think, gets more directly to Mr. Scotten's question), when an original, pre-1752 record expresses the month of March as "mo. 1" or "1st mo.," this takes precedence over the fact that the first 24 days belonged to the preceding year. That is, all the days of the "first month" (March) were typically dated with the single year that technically began on the 25th of the month. It seems especially appropriate in such cases to leave the date essentially as is, modifying it only by putting the equivalent, named month in brackets (e.g., 12 first month [March] 1671). Although I would hesitate to do so, if the year were to be expressed in a form other than that of the original, it might be done something like this: 12 first month 1671 (i.e., 12 March 1670/1); better still would be 12 March 167[0/?]1. For the sake of transparency, the original expression of the date should never be omitted.

    "Mr. Scotten's second question — Do all the days in the Julian calendar month of March come under the same Gregorian year? — needs the same rewording as the first. If Old Style is substituted for Julian calendar and New Style for Gregorian (to correctly express the underlying concepts), then the answer to his question is yes. The second year expressed in the dates from 1 to 24 March 1649/50, for example, is New Style; the day following the last of these is 25 March 1650 (both Old and New Style)."

    We thank Mr. Zubrinsky for his comments!

    Lizzie Borden/Fall River Website

    By Valerie Beaudrault

    The Lizzie Borden/Fall River Case Study ( is a joint project of the History Department and the Center for Computer-Based Instructional Technology at the University of Massachusetts. The website was set up as an educational tool with the goal of enabling students to "learn history by practicing it as historians do" using primary source materials.

    If your family history research takes you to Fall River, Massachusetts, in the late nineteenth century, you might find the Lizzie Borden/Fall River site useful. You can explore the city through a series of 1883 city maps of Fall River, including ward maps, or view an 1877 map of the city, which has the buildings drawn on it as three-dimensional objects. Currently, there are transcribed poll tax lists for selected wards in the years 1888 and 1892. The site states that digitization is in process for the poll tax lists for the remainder of the city's wards in those years and for the 1871 Fall River City Directory. There are several documents that can give you a sense of how it was for your ancestors to live in a mill city in the late nineteenth century. Some of these documents may be found through the various Borden family related links located in the digital archive section and in the area titled Late 19th Century Fall River (also accessible via the digital archive). You will also find photographs, illustrations, and guides to the city of Fall River that have been transcribed in full. Currently under development is a virtual walking tour of late nineteenth century Fall River. Once it is functioning, the tour will combine photographs with census data and city maps.

    My great-great grandfather, a French Canadian immigrant, had arrived in Fall River by 1888. I was curious as to where he was living in relation to the Borden's house at the time the murders took place. By using the maps on this website and Fall River City Directories on microfiche at NEHGS, I was able to determine that my great-great grandfather lived only six blocks away at 18 Seventh Street in 1892. His office, as the Fall River agent for the French Department of the Equitable Life Assurance Society of New York, was located even closer.

    The site has quite a bit to offer to Lizzie Borden enthusiasts and anyone related to this Borden family. The digital archive contains documents, illustrations, and photographs on the case against Lizzie Borden, the Borden household, and Borden family history. Two books about the case against Lizzie Borden have been transcribed in their entirety and appear on the site. One of the books, The Fall River Tragedy: A History of the Borden Murders, was written by a police reporter named Edwin Porter and published in 1893. Lizzie Borden is said to have bought and destroyed nearly all copies of this book. Through the Borden family history section, one can trace family land purchases, read transcriptions of family members' wills (including Lizzie Borden's 1926 will), and even read the Dunn and Bradstreet credit ratings for the Borden family members.

    The Borden house, located at 92 Second Street, has operated as the Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast and Museum for the past several years. The house was recently offered for sale, with all its furnishings, for $699,920. And to think that, in 1917, Lizzie and Emma Borden sold the house for only $1.

    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!

    My Favorite Ancestor

    by Betty Malesky of Green Valley, Arizona

    One of my favorite ancestors is my great-great grandfather Ambrose Cornelius Gant. According to family tradition, Ambrose disappeared during the Civil War and his family in Aldie, Virginia, never knew what happened to him. Since he lived near the Virginia-Maryland border, I searched Civil War records for both the North and the South unsuccessfully. Not until I discovered the Confederate prisoner records at the National Archives was the truth of his disappearance revealed.

    On December 11, 1863, as he helped to load Confederate wagons, forty-seven-year old Ambrose was captured by General J. C. Sullivan's troops. Although he protested that he never enlisted and wasn't a member of the Confederate Army he was held and sent to Wheeling's Atheneum Prison.

    On December 18 he was removed to Camp Chase in Columbus, Ohio, where he was recorded as five foot seven inches tall, with dark complexion, blue or hazel eyes, and dark hair. During a bitter cold Ohio winter, the prisoners had few blankets, jackets, or shoes, and little food. Ambrose contracted pneumonia and died December 26, 1863. He was buried at Camp Chase in section 4, grave no. 88.

    The 1860 Virginia census indicates that Ambrose could neither read nor write hence he would have been unable to convey his misfortune to his family even if he had been given the opportunity. He left three sons and two daughters under twelve and a pair of twins born early in 1864 who died shortly after birth.

    A descendant of one of Ambrose's daughters, who still lives in Virginia, confirmed the same tradition of his disappearance in her family. She, too, had located his prisoner record. While Ambrose' wife and children never discovered what had happened to him we've finally solved the mystery and pray he can now rest in peace.


    NEHGS Contact Information

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