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  • 2005 Archive

  • Vol. 7, No. 33
    Whole #232
    August 17, 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.

    * Latest Issue of the Great Migration Newsletter Now Available
    * New Databases on
    * Family Faces: A Remarkable New Feature
    * Upcoming Education Programs
    * Spotlight: University of Tennessee Libraries Digital Collection
    * Genealogies on Sale
    * Upcoming “Genealogy in a Nutshell” Lectures
    * Favorite – and Black Sheep – Ancestors
    * NEHGS Contact Information


    Latest Issue of the Great Migration Newsletter Now Available Online

    The third issue of Volume 14 is now available online to Great Migration Newsletter subscribers. The lead article, “Tracking Proprietary Rights,” uses two case studies to discuss proprietary shares and follow them as they passed from one immigrant to another in the earliest years of settlement. The issue also begins a two-part survey of all the New England towns which were settled by 1643, with citations to Great Migration Newsletter articles which discuss a particular town.

    If you are not currently a Great Migration Newsletter subscriber and wish to have access to Newsletter volumes 11 through 14, visit

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    New Databases on

    Several new databases have recently been updated or added to the website:

    Massachusetts Vital Records 1841–1910
    Vols. 259-267, 1874
    The latest installment in this ongoing database includes actual records from 1874 (Volumes 259-267). The indexes, which were previously added to the database, include the 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
    Search the Massachusetts Vital Records 1841-1910 at

    The Settlers of the Beekman Patent
    With this installment we start presenting family sketches featured in Volume 3 of 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 original text can be viewed at the NEHGS Library or borrowed by NEHGS members via the Circulating Library. The call number is F127/D8/D63.

    The following family sketches were added to the database this week: Burtis, Bush, Butler, and Button.

    Find out more about The Settlers of the Beekman Patent and view new family sketches at

    Social Security Death Index
    Current through July 1, 2005
    The Social Security Death Index database been updated to include the most recent additions and corrections. Search the database at

    The Diaries of the Rev. Thomas Cary of Newburyport, Massachusetts, 1762-1806
    Just Added: 1791
    The Rev. Thomas Cary (1745-1808) started his diary in Weston, Massachusetts, in 1762. He wrote his notes opposite the pages of An Astronomical diary: Or, Almanack for the Year of Our Lord CHRIST 1762 which he “bot at Mr. Philips.” His entries are sparse, but invaluable. He continued his diaries until 1806, two years before his death. The original diaries are kept in the R. Stanton Avery Collections at NEHGS, call number MSS 640.
    Search the database at

    The Massachusetts Society of the Cincinnati Profiles
    New Profiles: William Annin, Noyes Arnold, Thomas Bailey, Joseph Baker, William Bancroft, Seth Bannister, Samuel Bass, Timothy Bigelow, Joseph Blake, Joseph Bliss.

    The Society of the Cincinnati was established in 1783 by and for the officers in Continental Service. It was organized in 14 constituent societies, one of which is the Massachusetts Society. Eligibility was based on the officer’s length and terms of service.

    Membership in the Society of the Cincinnati was extended to the officers of the Continental Army — as well as Continental Navy and Marine officers — who had served until the end of the war, plus those who had been declared no longer needed by acts of Congress and those who had served honorably for three years during the war. Also eligible were the oldest male lineal descendants of officers who died in service. The officers of the French Navy and Army who served with the American Army were also entitled to join.

    This database contains information on those Massachusetts officers eligible for membership. Absence from this list does not conclusively exclude eligibility.
    Search the Society of the Cincinnati database at

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    Family Faces - A Remarkable New Online Feature

    Just as books hold family secrets, so can objects! Objects owned or made by our ancestors give us clues about who they were. The New England Historic Genealogical Society owns a large collection of objects - from portraits to samplers, from fine china to jewelry - that families donated to us to keep their ancestor's memory alive.


    To bring these objects to you, NEHGS will highlight a different portrait from our remarkable collection on our website each month in an exhibit we call “Family Faces.” Learn about the painting’s subject, the artist, their history and their genealogy - some of them might even be related to you! Remember to check back each month for a new Family Face!

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    Upcoming Education Programs

    Salt Lake City Tour
    October 30-November 6, 2005

    NEHGS invites you to join its twenty-seventh annual research tour to Salt Lake City. Participants will receive assistance in their research from our experienced staff genealogists and other recognized experts in the field. Included in the weeklong program are orientations to our tour and to the Family History Library and its computer system, personal one-on-one consultations and guided research in the library with NEHGS staff, and group meals. Lodging will be at the Best Western Salt Lake City Plaza Hotel.

    NEHGS staff genealogists Christopher Child, Henry Hoff, and Ruth Quigley Wellner as well as guest consultant and former staff person Jerome E. Anderson will be stationed on each floor of the Family History Library for scheduled personal research consultations. Participants will be able to sign up for consultations early in the program and there will be plenty of time during the course of the week to confer with our staff about research questions and concerns. An excellent way to prepare for a trip to Salt Lake City is to read Your Guide to the Family History Library by Paula Stuart Warren and James W. Warren. It is filled with tips for getting the most out of your trip, not only to the library, but to the city itself. There is also a companion video, The Video Guide to the Salt Lake City Family History Library. Registrants for the tour may purchase the book for $15.99 (normally $19.99) and the video for $12.95 (normally $15.95).

    For more information visit

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    Spotlight: University of Tennessee Libraries Digital Collections (

    The Tennessee Documentary History, 1796 - 1850, database focuses primarily on antebellum Tennessee. This collection, comprised of 2,000 documents and images, may be found on the website of the Digital Library Center of the University of Tennessee. This database was developed with funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). While its primary audience is elementary school teachers of Tennessee history, someone researching family history in the Volunteer State will undoubtedly also find the database useful.

    There are a wide variety of materials in the Tennessee Documentary History collection ranging from correspondence, deeds, speeches and addresses, a certificate of ordination, and a bill of sale for slaves to an 1827 Constitution of the Cherokee Nations, letters and speeches written by Andrew Jackson, and Tennessee governors' papers. Even if you do not have a particular interest in Tennessee-related historical events, there might be something in this collection for you. For example, there is one letter written to Moses Fisk of Hanover, New Hampshire, in 1799, and another to Reverend W. Elias Cornelius of Andover, Massachusetts in 1819.

    You can search by the name of a document's author or the document title or run a full text search of the database. The collection's Word Index, which consists of lists of all unique words in the texts, is completely browsable. You can also browse the database by sub-collection. The documents gathered here are located in the following institutions: Tennessee State Library and Archives; Special Collections of the University of Tennessee; the McClung Collection of the Knox County Public Library; the University of Memphis; the Memphis Public Library; and the Albert Gore Jr. Center of Middle Tennessee State University. Clicking on the Browse Subcollections link will bring you to a page that lists all of the contributions to the project by institution. From there you can access each individual collection directly by clicking on the collection title link. Each document has been transcribed, as well as scanned. There are links to the images at the end of each transcribed page.

    Another digital collection that can be accessed through this site is the Southeastern Native American Documents collection, which includes "some 2,000 letters, diaries, military orders, maps, legal documents, and other items, relating to the Native American population of the Southeastern United States from the period 1730 - 1842." You can access this collection from the University of Tennessee's digital collections main page.

    These materials are in the collections of the University of Georgia Libraries, the University of Tennessee at Knoxville Library, the Frank H. McClung Museum, the Tennessee State Library and Archives, the Tennessee State Museum and the Museum of the Cherokee Indian. Documents in this collection include letters, legal items, treaties, written copies of talks of both white and Native American leaders and officials, financial documents, journals, military documents and visual materials including maps and photographs. The journals are primarily notebooks compiled by land surveyors and frontier agents. The military documents include official orders, reports, muster rolls, and requests for arms and pay.

    You can search the database or browse through the collection. The collection titles are organized by date, by type, or by the collection from which the documents have come. Each document has been transcribed, as well as digitized. There are links to the images at the end of each transcribed page. The images can be viewed in djvu or jpeg image format.

    Visit the University of Tennessee Library Digital Collections at
    to explore Tennessee Documentary History, 1796 - 1850, and the Southeastern Native American Documents collections.

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    Genealogies on Sale

    Check out the new sale prices on some of the genealogies offered by NEHGS as we make room for new stock.

    ANGELL: The Ancestry of Emily Jane Angell, 1844-1910.
    Item S41001010. Was $40.00, Now $15.00!

    BREWER: Desc. of Thomas Brewer, Connecticut to Maine
    Item S30021000. Was $40.00, Now $15.00!

    CABOT: The George Cabots: Vermont Desc. of George Cabot of Salem & Boston
    Item S30035000. Was $30.00, Now $12.50!

    EPLING/EPLIN: Volume I: John Paul Epling of Giles County VA
    Item B33102000. Was $75.00, Now $29.95!

    KEMPTON: The Ancestry of Eva Belle Kempton:
    Part I: Warren Francis Kempton, 1817-1879
    Item S41802000, Was $40.00, Now $15.00!

    Part III: Henry Clay Bartlett
    Item S41803000. Was $35.00, Now $20.00!

    Part IV: Linda Anna Powers, 1839-1879
    Item S42005000. Was $45.00 Now $17.50!

    SPALDING: The Spalding Memorial
    Item B35201010. Was $100.00, Now $50.00!

    WATSON: Jonathan Watson of Dover, NH
    Item S47000000. Was $79.95, Now $19.95!

    Volume J: Desc. of John Wilson of Woburn, MA
    Item B36075300. Was $60.00, Now $30.00!

    Volume K: Scotch WIlsons from Central MA
    Item B36075310, Was $34.00 Now $17.00!

    Volume L: Scotch Wilsons from Western MA
    Item B36075410. Was $34.00, Now $17.00!

    Volume P: Henry Wilson of Dedham, MA
    Item B36075400. Was $35.00, Now $17.50!

    Volume R: Five Families from Hartford County, CT
    Item B36075200. Was $20.00, Now $12.50!

    Volume V: Desc. of Jacob Wilson of Braintree, MA
    Item B36075100. Was $20.00, Now $12.50!


    Prices good through August 31st, 2005 or while supplies last. To find further descriptions of these items or to make an order, please go to Orders can also be made by calling toll free at 1-888-296-3447.

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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. They are 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.

    September 7, 2005, Robert Charles Anderson – Boston in 1645, lecture and walking tour
    10:15 a.m., 2:00 p.m.
    From September 7 – 11, Boston will be celebrating its 375th birthday. NEHGS will be taking part in the festivities by sponsoring a lecture discussing the earliest inhabitants of Boston and their lives; and a walking tour pointing out the locations of their houses. Please join Great Migration series editor, Robert Charles Anderson for a special lecture and a walking tour of the oldest streets in Boston. The lecture will be held in the Richardson-Sloane Education Center, second floor at NEHGS, at 10:15 a.m. The walking tour will meet at 2:00 p.m. at the Samuel Adams statue in front of Faneuil Hall, Boston. For information about Boston Charter Day and other activities, please visit the website,

    September 7, 2005, Marie Daly – Getting Started in Genealogy
    12:00 noon, 6:00 p.m.
    Whether you are just starting out in researching your ancestors or would like to brush up on your research methods and sources, this lecture give you a good beginning approach. NEHGS Library Director Marie Daly will present an informative lecture on beginning genealogy, and will follow with a tour of the NEHGS library.

    September 14, 17, 2005, Marie Daly – The Irish in New England, 1645 – 1920
    10:15 a.m.
    NEHGS Library Director and Irish expert Marie Daly will present an overview of Irish immigration to New England from the colonial period to the twentieth century. She will focus on who the immigrants were, where in Ireland they originated, where they went in New England, and what sources are available for research at NEHGS.

    September 14, 2005, Darrin McGlinn and David Lambert – Introduction to the NEHGS Website
    11:30 a.m. has grown to include access to over 109 million names in 2,200 databases! Discover the depth of material available on this genealogy megasite. With a site this extensive, it is easy to concentrate on the most popular feature - databases - and overlook the many other valuable resources available elsewhere in the site. All will be revealed in this informative lecture! Learn how to use the new NEHGS website to advance your research! In this free monthly class, NEHGS content delivery specialist Darrin McGlinn and Online Genealogist David Lambert will offer a step-by-step live demonstration of

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    Favorite – and Black Sheep – Ancestors

    This feature is very popular with our readers, and NEHGS eNews is always looking for stories of interesting 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!

    The Life and Adventures of Seth Wyman, by John Fipphen

    My favorite uncle is Seth Wyman (1777-1843), the last of a string of five Seth Wymans, and the great-grandson of the Seth Wyman (1686-1725) who was the hero of the famous Lovewell’s Fight, which occurred at Saco Pond in Fryburg, Maine in 1725. His father Seth (1745-1825) took a musket ball through his thigh at the Battle of Bunker Hill and was a man very well thought of in Goffstown, New Hampshire. But that is where the extraordinarily good character in a line of men named Seth stopped. My great-great-great uncle Seth was a rascal, a scoundrel, a thief and a counterfeiter, spending time in many jails, even breaking out of one in Amherst, New Hampshire. The folks of Goffstown found it very difficult to get the goods on Seth, but when he stole another man’s wife, they got mad and had him put in jail. When the matter came to trial, Seth was able to beat the charge because the other man could not produce valid evidence that his stolen wife had ever married him.

    After a series of unfortunate events Seth gave up his life of thievery (but not quite) and spent his last years in Goffstown. He wrote his own autobiography, entitled The Life and Adventures of Seth Wyman Embodying the Principal Events of a Life Spent in Robbery, Theft, Gambling, Passing Counterfeit Money &c,&d., printed by J.H. Cate, Printer, of Manchester, New Hampshire in 1843. The book has the following account:

    His neighbors' grain fields, woods, and folds formed the limits of his exploits, and these he continued to visit until a short time before his death. To give an idea of the extent of his thefts there, we will cite an offer made to him by an Agent of the Amoskeag Manufacturing Company. This Company owned large tracts of woodland, which grew up near the house occupied by Mr. Wyman, who made frequent visits to it, as he found it the easiest and cheapest method of getting wood.


    The Agent, meeting him one day in a store, told him that he would give him fifty dollars, if he would not take any more wood from their land. Wyman told him that he would think of it and give him an answer in a day or two. He went home, figured up the pro and con of the offer, and then returned with his answer.

    "Well, Mr. —," said he to the Agent, “I have thought of your offer, and can't take it; for, to tell the truth about the matter, I can do better at stealing the wood." So it went, and Wyman continued to take the wood.

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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

    To view the website of the New England Historic Genealogical Society, please visit

    To become a member of the New England Historic Genealogical Society, please visit

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

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