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  • 2005 Archive

  • Vol. 7, No. 25
    Whole #224
    June 22, 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.

    * From the Volunteer Coordinator
    * New Database
    * Make a Commitment to Research
    * New Arrivals at the Library Listed on
    * Upcoming Education Programs
    * Spotlight: More Online Genealogy Resources for Western Canada
    * Sale on Reprints at the NEHGS Online Store
    * Upcoming “Genealogy in a Nutshell” Lectures
    * Favorite – and Black Sheep – Ancestors
    * NEHGS Contact Information


    From the Volunteer Coordinator

    I would like to highlight the efforts of a large group of volunteers who work at home. The transcribing and proofreading for three volumes of Corbin collection CD-ROMs was completed late last year. About 25 volunteers worked with editor Robert Dunkle to make these materials available to people who are unable to come in to the research library at 101 Newbury Street to visit the manuscripts department. Many "at home" volunteers are now working on a new project.

    These CD-ROMs would have taken much longer to produce without the hard work of these volunteers. Most live at a distance from Boston, and were unable to attend the Annual Volunteer Luncheon last October. I have met very few in person, although our contact has been ongoing with phone calls and email. I hope that all of you can visit the research library at some point. I would love to meet each one of you.

    Thank you,
    Susan Rosefsky.


    New Database
    Massachusetts Vital Records, 1841–1910

    New this week: Records from Volumes 223-231, 1870

    The latest installment in this ongoing database includes actual records from 1870, (Volumes 223-231). 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.

    The Introduction contains information that will contribute greatly to the success of your searches. It answers common questions about these records and about our database. If you have questions that this article does not address, or if you are having difficulty, please email


    Make a Commitment to Research

    Please remember NEHGS in your gift-giving this year with a donation to the Annual Giving Campaign 2005, which ends on August 31. Making a gift to the Annual Fund is easy, it’s tax-deductible, and it’s the most important thing you can do to ensure that we continue to serve you and your research needs.

    One example is the website, We are committed to offering you this wonderful research tool, although it costs us millions of dollars to maintain and requires the largest revenue stream by far in the history of our non-profit organization. In order to offer our full range of services – research facility, circulating library, research services, educational programs, publications, and website - we must convince far more of our members who enjoy NEHGS to become donors to the Society.

    For your convenience, we now offer secure online giving on our website at We very much appreciate your help.


    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 “May 2005.” 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:

  • Burcham and allied families: Boxley, Cole, Gaylor, Messer, Pillow, Rogers, Shelton.
  • The Dutch family: pioneers of New England, descendants of Osmund Dutch of Gloucester, Massachusetts: a history and genealogy.
  • McKendree: the life of McKendree Petty (1827-1887), professor at the University of Vermont and minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church, with biographical sketches of his ancestors, descendants, and other kinfolk in New England, New York, and beyond.
  • Spinney family genealogy: genealogy of Thomas Spinney and Margery Randall.
  • Descendants of Richard Thayer, immigrant to America, 1641: through his grandson, Richard3-2-1 Thayer
  • Tracing your Scottish ancestry
  • Tithe defaulters, Ireland, 1831 [microform]
  • Cemetery inscriptions, Milbridge, Washington County, Maine
  • Gravestone inscriptions at Zion's Hill Cemetery, Suffield, CT
  • To the latest posterity: Pennsylvania-German family registers in the Fraktur tradition


    Upcoming Education Programs
    Come Home to New England

    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: More Online Genealogy Resources for Western Canada

    If you have family in the western provinces of Canada, the websites below may help you in your research.

    Consumer and Corporate Affairs Division of Manitoba Finance
    If your family history research takes you to Manitoba, you can find vital statistics information on the Consumer and Corporate Affairs division of Manitoba Finance web site ( The Vital Statistics Act (2003) has allowed unrestricted access to the following vital records: births more than 100 years old, marriages performed more than 80 years ago and deaths occurring more than 70 years ago. You can search the database by surname, given name, location where the event took place, and date. You can specify sort order by using the dropdown list on the search screen. Certified copies of the original record may be purchased from the Consumer and Corporate Affairs division.

    Archives of the City of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan (
    There is a Genealogical Resources Page on the Archives of the City of Saskatoon web site. From this page you can access a number of resources. The city's resources include the following:

    Cemeteries in Saskatoon
    Woodlawn Cemetery
    Approximately 55,000 burials have taken place in Woodlawn Cemetery since it was first opened in 1906. One of two municipal cemeteries in Saskatoon, Woodlawn keeps two sets of records: manual records, considered to be the cemetery's official records; and computer records, which have been transcribed from those official records. The computer records are now available on the website. A few records from the early twentieth century are missing from the database, primarily burials that took place in the Catholic section of the cemetery between 1905 and 1918. Archives staff is working on locating and identifying those burials in order to add them to the database.

    Click on the alphabetical links to browse through the records. Available information includes the deceased's name, date of death, date of burial, grave number and burial plot location. Clicking on the cemetery map link brings up a map where you can find the burial block in which the grave will be found. The map only goes to the block level, not to the lot or section level. Click on the map block to enlarge it. You can also access information about the other municipal cemetery in Saskatoon, the Nutana Cemetery, from the Woodlawn Cemetery page.

    Nutana Cemetery
    With 162 burials from 1884 to 1948, Nutana Cemetery was the first cemetery established in Saskatoon. 144 of the graves have been identified. Click on the links to find out information about burial locations and layout of the cemetery as well as an alphabetical listing of the individuals buried there.

    History of Saskatoon
    If you are interested in learning about Saskatoon's history, click on Other Resources link on the main genealogy page. Then click on the City History Link. This will bring you to a page where you will find a brief history, significant dates, lists of local politicians and links to other historical resources.

    From the Genealogical Resources main page you can also access resources outside of Saskatoon such as the Archives of the City of Regina ( where you will find a photographic exhibit on the history of Regina.

    Visit these web sites if you family history research takes you to the western provinces of Canada.


    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.


    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 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 Favorite Black Sheep Ancestor by Karen Kanning, Powell, Ohio
    My favorite black sheep is my great-great-grandfather, Michael Bair. He began as a blacksmith in Armstrong County, Pennsylvania. He and his wife Sarah had 11 children, five of whom survived to adulthood. During the Civil War he served two short tours of about nine months each, mustering out at the age of 36.

    Soon after the war, he moved his family to seek his fortune in the oil business near Titusville, Pennsylvania and the surrounding area. Through the constant relocations and conditions of living in oil towns, Sarah and Michael continued to have children, although they had to watch some die.

    In 1879, Michael went to Colorado to seek his fortune in silver mining, leaving his wife and three children under the age of 10 behind. Sarah stopped hearing from him after a few years and assumed that he had been killed by Indians.

    In fact, he lived with another woman for 10 years. According to his "companion" he made many enemies, and was often drunk for a week at a time. In the 1880s he applied for a Civil War pension, receiving a small amount. He sought an increase in the 1890s claimed new health problems, leading to a decade of interviews with those he served with.

    An investigation was started on his original claim, which some investigators believed was fraudulent although they never discovered who was lying. During this investigation, a curious examiner decided to interview Sarah, now living in Ohio. Imagine her surprise when she opened the door to a pension agent who told her that her husband was alive. She promptly petitioned to receive half his pension, and received it after a couple of years. Michael was furious and said an affair led to his leaving her.

    He eventually died in an insane asylum in Colorado at 83 with senile dementia. Sarah died at age 81 in Ohio. Michael's pension file contains 325 pages and was a gold mine of information. Among the letters was one from a son who was my great-grandfather, who also abandoned his family when his children were young.

    My grandmother was always told that Michael Bair left for Colorado and Sarah assumed he was killed by Indians. This occurred during the years Sarah was collecting half of his pension. In spite of all this, the headline of Sarah's obit says "Sarah Bair wife of Michael Bair dies."


    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
99 - 101 Newbury Street
Boston, Massachusetts 02116, USA

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