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  • 2005 Archive

  • Vol. 7, No. 44
    Whole #243
    November 2, 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.

    * News from the NEHGS Salt Lake City Tour
    * NEHGS Recognizes Volunteer Achievements
    * Upcoming Education Programs
    * Spotlight: Center for Archival Collections, Bowling Green State University (Ohio)
    * Prices Slashed on US Federal Census CD-ROMs
    * Upcoming "Genealogy in a Nutshell” Lectures
    * Research Recommendations
    * NEHGS Contact Information


    News from the NEHGS Salt Lake City Tour

    Staff members David Allen Lambert, Henry Hoff, Christopher Child, and Michael J. Leclerc are currently in Salt Lake City on the Society's annual tour to the Family History Library. Together with consultants Jerome Anderson and Maryan Egan-Baker they are providing over 150 hours of assistance to tour participants this week. The NEHGS Online Genealogist will be reporting about their success stories on his blog. Visit for information about what is happening on this year's tour.

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    NEHGS Recognizes Volunteer Achievements

    The weather cleared and the sun peeked out of the clouds on Wednesday, October 26, just in time for the Society’s annual Volunteer Appreciation luncheon in Boston. Approximately 30 of the Society’s loyal cadre of volunteers attended, and were treated to a buffet lunch. NEHGS Online Genealogist David Allen Lambert entertained the crowd with tales of the wide-ranging genealogical questions he receives from members and non-members across the globe. Dr. Judith H. Halseth, NEHGS Trustee and honorary chair of the Ambassador program, spoke to the group about other volunteer roles within the organization, such as those of trustee, councilor and ambassador. Assistant Executive Director Catherine Moore stood in for Volunteer Coordinator Susan Rosefsky to express the thanks of an extremely grateful staff and congratulate the volunteers on their considerable accomplishments during the past year. Each volunteer was presented with a parchment scroll and a tote bag.

    During fiscal year 2005 187 volunteers contributed over 11,000 hours of valuable assistance to the Society. The work done by volunteers ranges from assembling new member packets, checking in circulating library books, scanning manuscripts and greeting visitors at the front desk, to proofreading transcriptions of records and staffing the Plymouth Ancestors project at Plimoth Plantation. Volunteers work in both our Boston and Framingham locations, at local conferences and meetings across the country, as well as from their homes. They contribute greatly to the success of our programs and operations, and make it possible for the Society to accomplish far more than we could ever hope to do without their generous and thoughtful assistance.

    If you would like to join the volunteers, please visit for more information about the opportunities available. If you are already a volunteer and were unable to attend the luncheon, please contact Susan Rosefsky at to get your scroll and tote bag!

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    Upcoming Education Programs for 2006

    A number of exciting programs are being planned for 2006, ranging from weeks in Boston and Washington, D.C., to a variety of day seminars. We hope that you will join us for one or more of these programs:

    Research Week in Washington, D.C.
    March 5-12, 2006

    Spring Weekend Research Getaway

    Demystifying Documents from the Seventeenth, Eighteenth, and Nineteenth Centuries: A Hands-On Experience
    March 23-25, 2006

    Your Family History: Plan Before You Write
    April 8, 2006

    English Family History for Americans
    April 22, 2006

    New England Heritage Series

    Three Centuries in Salem at the Peabody Essex Museum
    May 20, 2006

    Come Home to New England
    June 18-25, 2006

    For more information on these programs, please visit or email Amanda Batey at

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    Spotlight: Center for Archival Collections, Bowling Green State University (Ohio)
    Valerie Beaudrault

    The Center for Archival Collections of Bowling Green State University Libraries is an archives and manuscript repository. The Center's primary mission is to "actively acquire, preserve, and make accessible to researchers historical materials" from a number of different collections. Some of these resources have been made available online.

    Clicking on the Northwest Ohio link on the Center's homepage will bring you to the Research Aids and Indexes page. Among the items you will find are links to newspaper indexes and the Civil War Manuscript Collections. The newspaper indexes include the Woods County, Ohio Obituary Index and the Civil War Newspaper Corespondence Index.

    Wood County, Ohio Obituary Index
    This searchable index was compiled from a several Wood County newspapers and covers the period from 1870 to the present. Currently, there are 80,000 records in the index.

    Civil War Newspaper Correspondence Index
    As noted on the web site, newspapers frequently printed letters written by local soldiers, as a means of providing their readers with more complete information about the war. There were no wire services and news bureaus. These databases index letters written by soldiers what were printed in northwestern Ohio newspapers during the Civil War. The counties represented in these indexes include Defiance, Henry, Ottawa, Paulding, Putnam, Williams and Wood. Three Toledo newspapers are also indexed. The indexes can be viewed by the name of the correspondent or by the date that the letter appeared in the newspaper. The writer's military unit is recorded where known.

    Civil War Manuscript Collections
    The link to the Civil War Manuscript Collections may be found by scrolling down on the Research Aids and Indexes web page. Click on the link to view the Bibliography. A number of the documents in the "Civil War Manuscripts Relating to the 21st Ohio Volunteer Infantry" have been transcribed and are available on the website. The transcriptions are primarily of letters and diaries, but correspondence related to the 21st Ohio Volunteer Infantry has also been transcribed. For bibliography items that have been transcribed, you will find a link to the transcription at then end of the entry. Clicking on this link will bring you to a page with a description of the collection. Links to the transcriptions are generally found in the collection's inventory lists.

    Great Lakes Online Databases
    Click on the Historical Collections of the Great Lakes (HCGL) link to access the Great Lakes Online Databases. The first database contains images of Great Lakes vessels, which were created from vessel data sheets and from the approximately 90,000 images of vessels in the HCGL collection. Search fields include vessel name, official number, registry, rig, builder, place built, and hull material. Searches may be limited by year built, length, width, depth, gross tons, and masts. The Port images database contains about 700 photographs of Lake Erie ports and a searchable database of descriptive information about the ports in the image collection. Search fields include port name, lake, state / province and description.

    The third database is the Great Lakes Maritime Personnel Online Database, which has been compiled from a number of resources in the HCGL's collection of membership lists and directories listing maritime personnel, as well as from data in personal collections. Among the sources used for this database include membership directories of the International Ship Masters' Association, 1896-2003; Crew Members Who Served Aboard Commercial Sailing Vessels on the Great Lakes, 1838 through 1925; The Names of Masters, First and Second Mates, Cooks and Stewards, Seamen and Cabin Boys Appearing in Available First and Near-first Records, by Edward S. Warner; and Pittsburgh Steamship Company Appointments, 1915 - 1940. Search fields in this database include name, city, state/province, pennant number, lodge number, lodge name, and vessel name. Making full use of the database's capabilities for viewing records will allow you to track an individual's status and location from year to year.

    Visit Bowling Green State University's Center for Archival Collections web site at

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    Prices Slashed on 1910 US Federal Census Index CDs
    Limited Quantities

    Connecticut, Item CDH5036
    Was $29.95, Now $19.95

    Maine, Item CDH5063
    Was $29.95, Now $19.95

    Massachusetts, Item CDH5054
    Was $39.95, Now $24.95

    New Hampshire, Rhode Island & Vermont, Item CDH5062
    Was $29.95, Now $19.95

    New York, Item CDH5039
    Was $49.95, Now $34.95

    Prices good through November 13, 2005, 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 10:00 A.M. unless otherwise stated. Advance registration is not necessary.

    November 9, 10 a.m., David Lambert
    Introduction to
    Learn how to use the NEHGS website to advance your research! In this free monthly class, NEHGS Online Genealogist David Lambert will offer a step-by-step live demonstration of

    November 19, 10 a.m., Nancy Levin Arbeiter, C.G.
    Immigration Through the Port of New York
    Many immigrants first entered the United States through the port of New York. Some then settled right in New York City while others – possibly including yours – moved immediately on to other cities and states. Contrary to popular belief, not all immigrants who entered through the port of New York were processed through Ellis Island. Depending on their date of arrival, many were "welcomed in" through Castle Garden and the Barge Office. Others were freely released right on Manhattan’s piers. Come learn more about these immigrants as Nancy Levin Arbeiter, a professional genealogist, seasoned lecturer, and published author, describes what happened to immigrants who entered the country through the port of New York in the 19th and 20th centuries. [Note: this lecture will not discuss how to locate specific manifests.]

    November 30, 10 a.m., Michael J. Leclerc and Tim Salls
    Copyright Issues for Genealogists - Many genealogists get involved in publishing records and local histories as well as their family histories. The amount and type of information available to researchers has increased immensely along with the growth of the Internet, yet there is a great deal of misunderstanding about what can be used again by other writers. Join NEHGS Director of Special Projects Michael J. Leclerc and Manuscripts Curator Tim Salls for a discussion of copyright and trademark issues involved in publishing works of interest to the genealogical community.

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    Research Recommendations

    Twentieth-Century Vital Records in Connecticut
    Christopher Challender Child

    For as long I have been doing genealogy in Connecticut, the more recent vital records (1897-present) sent from all the towns to Hartford were being microfilmed and were unavailable to researchers; thus, the only way to get twentieth-century vital records in Connecticut was to go the various town halls. This is no longer the case. The vital records microfilming is complete and the records are searchable through a computer database that is very easy to use. Here are a few tips if you decide to make a trip to Hartford to explore these records.


    Access to birth records less than one hundred years old for genealogical purposes is limited by Connecticut General Statutes Section 7-51 ( to members of genealogical societies incorporated or authorized by the Secretary of the State of Connecticut. At this time there are only twelve such qualified societies:

    1) Connecticut Ancestry Society, Inc. (Stamford,
    2) Connecticut Society of Genealogists, Inc. (Glastonbury,
    3) Descendants of the Founders of Ancient Windsor, Inc. (Windsor,
    4) French-Canadian Genealogical Society of Connecticut, Inc. (Tolland,
    5) Gaelic-American Club, Inc. (Fairfield,
    6) Friends of Godfrey Memorial Library, Inc. (Middletown,
    7) Indian and Colonial Research Center (Old Mystic,
    8) Jewish Genealogical Society of Connecticut (Eaton)
    9) Killingly Historical and Genealogical Society, Inc. (Danielson,
    10) Middlesex Genealogical Society, Inc. (Darien,
    11) Polish Genealogical Society of Connecticut, Inc. (New Britain,
    12) Southington Genealogical Society, Inc. (Plantsville)

    Information on membership in these societies is available from their websites or at

    Currently the Vital Records office only has only one computer and one microfilm machine available for genealogists, so appointments are required (usually two weeks in advance) for a three hour time slot (either 10-1 or 1-4) on a Tuesday or Thursday. Visitors go through a brief orientation.

    Although you have a three hour limit you can accomplish a great deal due to the way the records are organized. It's a good idea to come in with a list of records you hope to find and start at the computer first. The computer database has all births, marriages, and deaths from 1897 to 1999. You can enter a last name and a period of years then organize your search results by a variety of ways. Once you find the record you want, you are given a roll and frame number.

    For example, I was searching for the death of Robert Shaw in the early 1900s. My search results revealed Robert Shaw who died 1/16/1910 at Hartford on roll number D42, frame number 1902. From this information, I got the film from the vault. After loading the film into the machine, I type the frame number "1902F" into the machine and it automatically goes to the record so I can abstract it. I had a list of records and would grab several microfilms at a time and was able to abstract a large amount of records this way.

    Records after 1999 are available in hard copy. There are paper indexes, arranged year by year. has a death index (1949-2001) and marriage index (1959-2001) which helps with 2000-2001.

    If you do your homework in advance, the Connecticut Vital Records office is a valuable research venue. The staff is very friendly and helpful and this can be more convenient than having to drive to town halls all over the state. For more information visit

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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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