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  • 2005 Archive

  • Vol. 7, No. 22
    Whole #221
    June 1, 2005
    Edited by Michael J. Leclerc and Valerie Beaudrault

    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 on the link at the bottom of the email and follow the instructions provided.

    * Important Irish Database Now Online at
    * Progress Towards A New Online Library Catalog
    * Upcoming Education Programs
    * Spotlight: Carnegie Public Library, Washington Court House, Ohio
    * Sale on Reprints at the NEHGS Online Store!
    * Visit NEHGS in Nashville
    * What's Your Favorite Website for Researching Your New England Ancestors?
    * Favorite – and Black Sheep – Ancestors
    * NEHGS Contact Information


    Important Irish Database Now Online at

    A significant new collection has been added to the online databases at, the website for the New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS). The Search for Missing Friends: Irish Immigrant Advertisements Placed in The Boston Pilot 1831-1920, previously offered only in book and CD-ROM form, is now available to members of NEHGS online.

    Starting in 1831 and continuing for nine decades, the nationally distributed, Boston Pilot newspaper printed over 45,000 “Missing Friends” advertisements placed by friends and relatives looking for loved ones with whom they had lost touch. No one knows how many of these families found each other as a result of the ads, but these nineteenth- and early twentieth-century notices continue to help families today find their ancestors.

    The Missing Friends collection is an exceptional resource for anyone researching immigrant Irish families. In the following example of an advertisement published under “Information Wanted” on July 21, 1866, a number of family details are provided:

    OF MICHAEL DOLAN and wife (maiden name Mary Grady), both natives of Boughane, parish of Ballantobber, county Mayo. They emigrated from Ireland about 23 years ago, and when last heard of he was talking to Thomas Horan, at the High Falls, State of New York; it is supposed he went to Wisconsin, or some other Western State, about eighteen years ago. Any information of his whereabouts will be thankfully received by his brother-in-law, James Grady, care of John McCann, Hyde Park Post-office, Luzerne county, Pennsylvania.

    Unlike the Boston College online database (, where details are selected from the advertisements, the NEHGS database provides the entire ad as originally published, and later republished in the popular multi-volume book series. In addition to family and location information, many of the listings provide poignant insights of family members in search of one another. This database adds over 100,000 names to the NEHGS online offerings.

    The flexibility of searching the Missing Friends database makes it particularly useful to genealogists and historians. The names of all of the subjects of the ads have been indexed, and are searchable by first and last name. The names of other individuals can be found by using the keyword search. This same type of search can also be used for finding place names, occupations, and for checking the entire text of the entries.

    The Search for Missing Friends: Irish Immigrant Advertisements Placed in The Boston Pilot 1831-1920, edited by Ruth-Ann M. Harris and B. Emer O'Keeffe, was originally published by NEHGS as an eight-volume series beginning in 1989. A CD-ROM followed in 2002. By making the database available to researchers on the NEHGS website,, many more people will be able to access the valuable information contained in these advertisements. The database is available for NEHGS Research Members and above at


    Progress Towards A New Online Library Catalog

    We have raised one-third of the funding we need to acquire and implement a new catalog and now we are asking for your help to reach our goal.

    The current system was implemented two decades ago - a very long time in computer software years. Our staff is working on implementing a new system to make researching the Society’s collections even easier. The new system will utilize modern technology to provide more powerful searches of our holdings, thus increasing access to the vast research materials held in the collections. With an improved, easy-to-use display and the ability for members to personalize their searches, the new catalog is sure to pave the way for researchers to find the information they need to tear down their brick walls.

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

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


    Upcoming Education Programs
    Come Home to New England
    June 19-26, 2005
    July 31-August 7, 2005

    NEHGS invites you to participate in our classic intensive weeklong program “Come Home to New England.” Research your roots with our help at the extensive NEHGS library, one of the finest facilities for genealogical research in the country. Whether you are a first-time participant or have enjoyed this program in the past, you are sure to benefit from a visit to our library. We hope you will come spend this time with our staff and librarians as they welcome you “home” to New England.

    Enjoy a week of guided research in our library, personal one-on-one research consultations, morning lectures, and special access to the library when it is normally closed to the public. The lectures will include a tour of NEHGS which introduces first-time researchers to the library and updates long-time participants on the latest resources. This year’s Come Homers can opt to take part in an optional tour and lecture at the Boston Public Library to learn about its vast genealogical resources.

    For more information visit


    Spotlight: Carnegie Public Library, Washington Court House, Ohio

    The Carnegie Public Library in Washington Court House, Fayette County, Ohio, has made a number of indexes available to the public via its web site. Many of the indexes are county-wide in nature. A great deal of information is provided on this site, including those items mentioned below.

    Fayette County Archive 1867 - 1908 Death Index
    Created by the staff of the Carnegie Public Library, this is an index to the Fayette County archive of death records for four decades. The information found in the search results includes the decedent's first and last name, the record book number and page number in the book.

    Fayette County Births 1909 - 1999
    Births were recorded by the Fayette County Health Department beginning in 1908. Taken from the original index, this database begins with 1909 and goes through 1999. The data in each record includes the child's last name, first/middle name, sex, and year born, as well as the father's full name and mother's first and maiden name.

    Obituary Index from the Record Herald
    These obituaries were taken from the town’s local newspaper, the Record Herald. It covers three separate periods: 1911 - 1930, 1945 - 1959, and 1960 - 1975. The data includes last and first name of the decedent, date of death, date the obituary appeared in the paper and burial date, when known.

    St. Colman Church Death Records
    This index to the death records of St. Colman Church in Washington Court House, Ohio, was donated to the library by a patron. The individual records may include any or all of the following: the decedent's name, age, address, date of death, date buried, cemetery name, section, lot number, grave location within the lot and the minister's name.

    U.S. Colored Civil War Soldiers Index
    This is an alphabetical list of names of U.S. Colored Civil War Soldiers who were buried in the Washington Court House Cemetery and includes the location where the soldier was buried and the regiment, if known.

    The Local City and County Resources also include a document titled Fayette County Church Histories. This is 164-page PDF file, which contains the histories of over 20 churches from a variety of denominations.

    You will also find a variety of off-site genealogy and local history-related links on the Carnegie Public Library Genealogy page. Some of these resources are available to all, others are restricted to library cardholders.

    Visit the Carnegie Public Library web site at for help in your family history research.


    Sale on Reprints at the NEHGS Online Store!

    Did you know that NEHGS offers almost 10,000 special-order titles, including high-quality reprints of books that have long been out of print or are hard-to-find? Genealogies, local histories, vital records--these are all available through our website at! All special order books are printed on acid-free paper in hardback bindings (and many are also available in softcover!).

    Now NEHGS is offering these titles at a 10% discount! Any special order title* ordered between March 30th and June 30th, 2005 will receive a 10% discount! That's right--10% off the listed sale price on all of our special order photoduplicated titles! Whether you order just one title or a dozen, we will take 10% off every special order photoduplicated title* you order! You can search our special order titles at our online store at or you can order our Special Orders Catalog, which contains a listing of all the special order photoduplicated titles we offer for sale!**

    To receive your 10% discount:
    - Order online at
    In the comment field of your online order, please enter the code SPECORD. When the Member Services team processes your order, they will take the 10% discount off the qualified titles and your credit card will be charged for the price of the qualified titles minus 10%. A confirmation notice showing the adjusted price will then be sent to you through the USPS.

    - By phone:
    Simply mention to the Member Services Representative that you are ordering a photoduplicated book and give them the code SPECORD. The 10% discount will be adjusted on your order. A confirmation notice showing the adjusted price will then be sent to you through the USPS.

    - By mail:
    On the order blank you send in, please write the special code SPECORD next to the photoduplicated title(s). A confirmation notice showing the adjusted price will then be sent to you through the USPS. Please send your mail order to us at: NEHGS Sales, PO BOX 5089, Framingham, MA 01701.

    Please note that as special orders, these titles require 6-10 weeks to be produced by our binderies. This time line of 6-10 weeks does not include shipping time.

    * The sale includes any title having an item number beginning with the letter "P", as in P21234567, P31234567, P4-123456-H, P5-S12345. 10% Discount does NOT apply to any other type of item.

    ** The Special Orders Catalog (item L40101000) is $9.99 plus shipping. Each catalog contains a coupon for $10.00 off your first order. This coupon can be used in conjunction with the 10% off promotion.


    Visit NEHGS in Nashville

    The New England Historic Genealogical Society will be exhibiting at the National Genealogical Society Conference in the States and NGS GENTECH 2005 in Nashville, Tennessee, June 1 – 4.

    Dick Eastman, Michael J. Leclerc, and Laura Prescott will be attending the conference on behalf of NEHGS. On Wednesday, Laura is presenting “Diaries & Journals: Finding and Using These Valuable Resources” followed by “Quality Research in a Pop Genealogy World” at the NEHGS luncheon. On Saturday, Michael is presenting an overview of in “New England Online.”

    We will have a selection of books and CDs from our bookstore on sale at the booth. Some of the titles can be picked up right at the conference. In addition to the materials there, anything in the NEHGS Book Store can be ordered at the conference and will be shipped free of charge. Sales tax is applied to all orders, however. We will be distributing membership information, member pins, and magazines, in addition to giving hands-on demonstrations of the Society’s website,

    If you plan to attend the conference and want to volunteer a couple hours of your time at the exhibit booth, please swing by the booth to let us know when you’re available. Please list preferred days and time periods. One to two hours of your time can make an important difference as we juggle the obligations and schedules of the NEHGS staff members in attendance.

    Even if you are not planning to attend the conference, the exhibit hall is open to the public, free of charge. We hope you’ll stop by our booth (#205) to say hello.

    Exhibit hall hours are:
    Wednesday, June 1: 9:30 – 5:30
    Thursday, June 2: 8:30 – 5:30
    Friday, June 3: 8:30 – 5:30
    Saturday, June 4: 8:00 – 4:00

    The NGS 2004 conference, “Tennessee Crossroads,” is co-hosted with the Middle Tennessee Genealogical Society. It takes place at the Nashville Convention Center, 601 Commerce Street, June 1-4. More information is available at


    What's Your Favorite Website for Researching Your New England Ancestors?

    The staff of New England Ancestors magazine would like your opinion for an upcoming article on the best websites for researching New England ancestors. You may list more than one website, and they can be either commercials sites or non-profit sites. Although you can simply email the URLs of your favorites, we'd also be interested in learning why you consider those websites the best. And if you have a story about a discovery you made online, we'd like to hear about it.

    Please send your submissions to by June 6. Thank you for sharing your opinions!


    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.

    June 4, Ruth Wellner
    Away from the Internet: Genealogical Research in Massachusetts Repositories
    Although the world of genealogy is rapidly changing and a lot of data is now available on the Internet, an enormous amount of information about our ancestors remains offline. Please join NEHGS Research Services Coordinator, Ruth Wellner, as she explores the wealth of information that can be found in various repositories in Massachusetts.

    June 8, 11, Diane Rapaport
    New England Court Records
    Researching New England’s past is easier than ever before, yet a prime resource – court records – remains underutilized. Why? Many people are unfamiliar with legal documents. Or they don’t know where to look. No comprehensive guide to New England court records has ever been available – until now. Diane Rapaport (attorney and historian, who writes the "Tales from the Courthouse" column in New England Ancestors magazine) presents this illustrated lecture previewing her forthcoming book New England Court Records: A Research Guide for Genealogists and Historians. Learn where to find New England court records – in courthouses, archives, books, microfilm, CDs and online databases – and how to read and use court records for your research.

    June 15, 18, Robert Charles Anderson
    The Pilgrim Migration - Mayflower and Plymouth
    Please join Robert Charles Anderson, highly respected author of "The Great Migration: Immigrants to New England" series, as he discusses his latest book, The Pilgrim Migration - Mayflower and Plymouth. The 215 updated biographical sketches in this book provide details for immigrants to Plymouth arriving prior to 1634, and contain corrections and additions based on new research conducted in the nine years since "The Great Migration Begins" was published. Mr. Anderson will be available following the lecture to sign copies of his book.

    June 29, Patrick Leehy
    Huguenot Refugees in New England: The Faneuils, Bowdoins and Reveres
    In the eighteenth century, a significant number of French Protestants fleeing persecution in Europe arrived on the shores of New England. These refugees and their descendants have contributed substantially to the economic and political life of their adopted country. Please join Research Director of the Paul Revere House Patrick Leehy, as he highlights some of the better-known Huguenot families in Boston.


    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 If your story is selected, it may be revised for length and clarity. Thank you to all past and future contributors!

    My Colorful Great-Grandfather, by Dawn Roy, Fitchburg, Massachusetts

    My favorite ancestor is my great-grandfather, James E. Clancy (sometimes spelled Clancey), born in1844 at Gloucester, Massachusetts. He was a soldier in the Civil War, serving in the 3rd Massachusetts Cavalry. In going through the old Civil War records at the Gloucester Archives, I learned that he was at Winchester, Fisher’s Hill, Cedar Creek, and sixteen other engagements. He was slightly wounded at Port Hudson where his horse was killed. He was promoted to Sergeant and then to Company Sergeant. I found out that he lied about his age to get into the service when I received a copy of his Civil War pension file. He enlisted at the age of 17 on November 18, 1861 and mustered out September 28, 1865.

    Just weeks before his enlistment he married Frances E. Wonson on September 25, 1861. She was 15 at that time. They were the parents of fifteen children. James lived until age 85. When my father, who is now 87, was a young boy, he can remember his grandfather Clancy sitting in his rocking chair and, as my father says, uttering every imaginable swear word he could think of. I think of James Clancy as quite a character and have enjoyed researching him.


    NEHGS Contact Information

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    Copyright 2005, New England Historic Genealogical Society
    101 Newbury Street, Boston, MA 02116

New England Historic Genealogical Society
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Boston, Massachusetts 02116, USA

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