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  • 2005 Archive

  • Vol. 7, No. 17
    Whole #216
    April 27, 2005
    Edited by Daniel L. d'Heilly and Valerie Beaudrault
    enews@nehgs.org

    Greetings from the New England Historic Genealogical Society! This newsletter has been sent to people who asked to receive it. If you would like to unsubscribe or change your email address, please click here, and follow the instructions provided.

    Contents:

    * Coming Soon: A New Online Library Catalog
    * New Database on NewEnglandAncestors.Org
    * New Research Article for Members on NewEnglandAncestors.Org
    * Spotlight - Online Libraries and Archives: British Columbia, Canada
    * Online Genealogist: New Topic for May: Atlantic Canadian Provinces
    * Onsale Online Through May 5th
    * Research Opportunities
    * Upcoming "Genealogy in a Nutshell" Lectures
    * Favorite - and Black Sheep - Ancestors
    * A Final Word About the eNews Font Size
    * NEHGS Contact Information 

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    Coming Soon: A New Online Library Catalog
    NEHGS has had the same automated library system for twenty years - a very long time in computer-software years. There is a wealth of new technology available today that would bring us the improvements and enhancements our genealogical researchers require, such as: 

    - Ease of use
    - Personalization
    - Flexibility
    - Powerful searching
    - Access to more content
    - Improved display 

    To make this new technology a reality at NEHGS, we need help from all of you who care about the Society's reference library collections and the access you have to them.  

    Please help us bring this new tool to you through a tax-deductible donation to the Society's Library Catalog Project.

    Please call 617 226-1217 or 617 226 1238 for more information or to make a gift or pledge.  

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    New Database on NewEnglandAncestors.org

    Records of St. Paul's (P.E.) Church, Syracuse, New York, 1830-53
    The building that housed St. Paul's Church was home to the first Episcopal as well as the first Catholic church in the village of Syracuse. It held the St. Paul's Protestant Episcopalian Church from 1827 to 1842, when it was sold (minus the bell) to St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church for about $600. The original volume is part of the R. Stanton Avery Collections. To search this database, click here http://www.newenglandancestors.org/research/database/syracuseny/default.asp  

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    New Research Article on NewEnglandAncestors.org

    This article is the fourth in a series by Martin Hollick about how to find and use Passenger Ship Lists.

    Passenger Ship Lists for the Nineteenth Century

    By Martin E. Hollick

    In 1819, Congress passed the “Act Regulating Passenger Ships and Vessels,” a statute which required the customs officer at each port to create and save a list of passengers for every ship that came to the United States. These lists would contain information such as name, age, sex, occupation, country of origin, destination, and (if applicable) cause of death during the voyage. For the first time since the founding of Jamestown, Virginia, in 1607, this type of information was to be collected and preserved. The passage of this law is the turning point for research on passenger ship lists and immigration sources.

    Naturally, not all the lists for all the ships to all the ports since 1820 have survived, but certainly the majority have... Click http://www.newenglandancestors.org/education/articles/research/special_topics/passenger/Passenger-Ship_Lists_Nineteenth-Century.asp for the complete article.  

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    Spotlight - Online Libraries and Archives: British Columbia, Canada

    The British Columbia Archives (http://www.bcarchives.gov.bc.ca/textual/general.genealog.htm) has made some of its resources available online for genealogical research. These resources can be accessed from the site's main genealogy page. 

    Vital Events Indexes
    The Vital Events indexes are the featured online resource of the British Columbia (BC) Archives. Vital statistic registrations did not begin until 1872, when British Columbia became a province of Canada. Some vital events that took place before 1872 and were registered after that date do appear in the indexes. The Vital Events indexes include births from 1872 to 1903, marriages from 1872 to 1929, and deaths from 1872 to 1984. You will also find an index to Colonial Marriages for the period from 1859 to 1872.  

    The search results will provide you with summary information about the vital event. You can search one index at a time or all genealogy indexes together. With the Basic Search function you can search by surname, given names, place, and year. The Advanced Search function allows you to search by all text, surname, given names, gender, place, full date, year, month, day, and record type. You can specify sort order of the results by using the dropdown list on the search screen.

    The summary vital information resulting from a search of any of the indexes includes the full name(s), complete date, and location where the event took place. For the Colonial Marriage index the location information includes not only name of the city or town in which the marriage took place but also the name of the church. All results also include the event's registration number and microfilm reel number for records that have been filmed. Digital images of the records are available for purchase.

    Additional items that may be of interest to someone researching his or her family history in British Columbia are:

    Visual Records - Photographs, Paintings, Drawings, and Prints
    A number of unique collections are represented in the Visual Records holdings of the British Columbia Archives. Special subject collections include the Bordertown Collection of historic railway photographs and the F. V. Longstaff Collection, which documents military and social history of the province in the early twentieth century. The searchable database includes over 130,000 text descriptions of items in the documentary art collection, with more than 80,000 images available for viewing online. The index can be browsed by title, subject, photographer or artist, and by geographic region. You can also execute a basic search of the index by name, keyword or "phrase" or an advanced search by a combination of criteria. 

    Cartographic Records - Maps, Plans, Architectural Drawings and Charts
    The BC Archives Cartographic Records on-site collection contains over 63,000 maps, atlases, and architectural drawings related to the province of British Columbia. Seven hundred of these maps are found in the full-text searchable Cartographic Records Index. There are also approximately forty maps currently available online in digital format. These maps may only be access by clicking on the individual map links found on the Cartographic Records homepage. 

    Check out the British Columbia Archives at http://www.bcarchives.gov.bc.ca/textual/general.genealog.htm if you search for ancestors in western Canada.  

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    Online Genealogist: New Topic for May

    In May, David Lambert, our OnlineGenealogist, will be answering research questions relating to the Atlantic Canadian Provinces: Nova Scottia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, and Prince Edward Island. For guidelines, please visit http://www.newenglandancestors.org/research/main/online_genealogist.asp

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    Research Opportunities

    May 14 – Digging for Northern New England Ancestors

    "Digging for Your Roots in Northern New England" is part of our New England States Seminar Series which offers one-day seminars at the Research Library in Boston to assist beginners and seasoned researchers alike. This seminar will investigate many of the distinct genealogical challenges of northern New England by reviewing the history, migrations, records, and repositories of Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont. In addition to informative lectures, our panel of experts will present case studies illustrating research techniques and sources, and interactive opportunities for participants to ask questions about their own research. Click on http://www.newenglandancestors.org/education/main/northnewenglandroots.asp for more information and join us for this special event!  

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    Onsale Online

    Buy All Three Corbin Collection CDs and SAVE!

    Purchase the following three NEHGS CDs for only $150.00!

    The Corbin Collection Volume 1: Records of Hampshire County, Massachusetts
    The Corbin Collection Volume 2: Records of Hampden County, Massachusetts
    The Corbin Collection Volume 3: Records of Berkshire County and Franklin County, Massachusetts and Miscellaneous Towns

    That is a savings of almost $15.00!  

    To order the 3 Corbin CDs, use Item # SCDCCSET

    Offer is only good on orders for all three CDs. Individual Corbin CDs are priced at $54.99/each. Offer expires on 5/5/05.

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    Upcoming "Genealogy in a Nutshell" Lectures

    Our "Nutshell" lectures explore a wide range of research skills and sources and are free and open to the public. Offered in the Richardson-Sloane Education Center at 101 Newbury Street on Wednesdays and Saturdays at 10:15 A.M. unless otherwise stated. Advance registration is not necessary. 

    April 30 - Scanning 101 - Doug Sisko, NEHGS Staff
    Are you intimidated by your computer? Do you have many family photographs that you would like to include in your genealogy? NEHGS computer expert, Doug Sisko, will demystify the process of scanning your family documents into digitized files.

    May 4, 7 - Records from the Ivory Tower: Researching in Academic Institutions - Laura Prescott, NEHGS Staff
    New England is blessed with hundreds of colleges and universities that offer genealogically useful library collections. For those institutions that allow public access, their regular and special collections can be treasure troves of information for family historians. NEHGS Marketing Director, Laura Prescott, will discuss identifying these academic libraries, and will highlight the some of their materials of interest to genealogists.  

    May 11 - Oral History - Verify It! - Richard Hite, Rhode Island State Records Coordinator
    One of the first steps in compiling a family history is to interview your relatives. But frequently family historians have been lead down the wrong path by the exaggerations, misconceptions and outright lies in their Aunt Tillie's version of the family history. Please join Richard Hite, State Records Coordinator at the Rhode Island State Archives, as he discusses the value and drawbacks of using oral history, and the need to verify the information we receive from relatives.  

    May 18, 21 - Grandpa in Your Pocket: Using High-Tech Devices to Simplify Your Research - Dick Eastman, NEHGS Staff
    With the current explosion of portable computer devices, laptops, PDA's, Blackberries, and even cell phones, genealogists are finding that they can do much more than manage calendars. NEHGS computer expert, Dick Eastman, will discuss the use of these devices for genealogical research.  

    May 25 - Walking Tour of the Massachusetts Transportation Library - TBA
    Unknown to many researchers, a state library open to the public lies within walking distance of NEHGS' doors. Devoted to maintaining information about the region's transportation systems, the Transportation Library houses many records and books of use to family historians. Whether you are a train aficionado, a genealogist wondering where some ancestors lived, or just plain curious about this unusual library, please join us in the NEHGS lobby at 10:15. We will walk 4-5 blocks to the State Transportation Building in Park Square to visit and tour this nearby facility.  

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    Favorite - and Black Sheep - Ancestors

    If you would like to contribute a short story on an interesting ancestor, please draft a piece that is 300 words or less, and send it to enews@nehgs.org. If your story is selected, it may be revised for length and clarity. Thank you to all past and future contributors! 

    My Favorite (Black Sheep?) Ancestor: Amos Windship 1745-1813

    by Charles E. Archbald, Neptune, NJ 

    Amos Windship graduated from Harvard College in 1771 and became an apprentice to a local physician. After completing his apprenticeship, he joined the fledgling American Navy. The Register lists him as a Senior Naval Surgeon in the War of Independence. He served on the Frigate Alliance under command of Commodore John Paul Jones until 1783. He appears in the 1789 Boston City Directory as a physician-apothecary. After the War, he studied medicine at the Royal College of Surgeons in Edinburgh, Scotland. 

    Apparently, Amos met the family of a Royal Marine Major, John Pitcairn, while in Scotland. Major Pitcairn was killed in the Battle of Bunker Hill, and was buried in the cemetery of the Old North Church in Boston. An Internet posting claims Amos promised the family to repatriate the Major's remains when he returned to Boston, but apparently, these were not returned to Scotland. As a result, this website describes him as a crook, scoundrel, and would-be bigamist. An Internet biography of his great-grandson, George B. Windship, MD contains a footnote with these same allegations. In Amos defense, no substantiation is offered for these charges. 

    Amos' only authenticated misdeed is that he was dismissed from Harvard in his second year for cheating. He was readmitted upon the intercession of an unnamed influential alumnus. Amos graduated, and later returned to Harvard for a Medical degree which he received in 1811. 

    I also found him in the CD of the Thwing Collection from NEHGS. In his sister-in-law Eunice May's will, a bequest is made to his wife, Elizabeth May. However, the will states that the bequest is to be paid only after Amos' death. My theory is that Amos may have had debts that Ms. May did not want paid with her estate, or perhaps an outstanding obligation from the Pitcairn incident, but I can only speculate. 

    So the question remains: was my great-great-great-grandfather Amos Windship, a con-man, a patriot, or both?  

      

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    A Final Word About the eNews Font Size
    Thank you for all your comments concerning our efforts to assist the visually-impaired with a larger font size. As a result of your input, we found a better solution: we'll put the enlarged version on our website and put a link to it in the eNews each week. 

    Last week, we began publishing two versions of each eNews on our website: regular and super-sized. We will be putting links to the large format version in the eNews so that people who want the larger font can find it.
    - eNews 215, please visit http://www.newenglandancestors.org/education/articles/NEXUS_eNews/eNews_215_Large-Font.asp for the "Large-Font Edition."
    - eNews 216, please visit  http://www.newenglandancestors.org/education/articles/NEXUS_eNews/eNews_216_Large-Font.asp  

    Or individuals can make the print on their browsers display larger. For example, it is a 3-step process in Internet Explorer:
    1) Click on VIEW
    2) Click on TEXT SIZE
    3) Choose to make the text larger or smaller.

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    NEHGS Contact Information

    We encourage you to email this newsletter to others who might be interested. To subscribe or view back issues of eNews, please visit http://www.newenglandancestors.org/education/articles/NEXUS_eNews/enews_main.asp  

    To view the website of the New England Historic Genealogical Society, please visit http://www.newenglandancestors.org/

    To become a member of the New England Historic Genealogical Society, please visit http://www.newenglandancestors.org/membership/levels/default.asp

    Copyright 2005, New England Historic Genealogical Society
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