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  • 2005 Archive

  • Vol. 7, No. 51
    Whole #250
    December 21, 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.

    * Happy Holidays from NEHGS
    * Year-end Charitable Giving
    * Irish Censuses to be Available Free Online
    * Free Audiobook for NEHGS Members
    * Upcoming Education Programs
    * Spotlight: Trenton (NJ) Historical Society
    * Upcoming "Genealogy in a Nutshell" Lectures
    * Research Recommendations
    * NEHGS Contact Information


    Happy Holidays from NEHGS

    Whether your tradition is Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Christmas, or simply celebrating the start of the New Year, NEHGS would like to wish all of its members and subscribers a happy holiday season, and the fulfillment of all of your wishes in the New Year.

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    Year-end Charitable Giving

    At a time when many of you are considering your year-end charitable gifts, we are asking for your special support of the Society's Annual Fund. If you have not already received our most recent Annual Appeal, it will soon be arriving in your mailbox. Your tax-deductible donations can be made either by returning the reply card included with the letter; or by using our online giving form. We really do appreciate your generosity and wish you the best in the coming months.

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    Irish Censuses to be Available Free Online

    Yahoo News reported recently that a cooperative venture between the national archives of two countries, Ireland and Canada, will index the 1901 and 1911 censuses of Ireland and make them available for free on the internet. The first phase will be released in December, 2006, with the records of Dublin. It is estimated that the project will take three years to complete. Information includes name, age, sex, marital status, occupation, country and county of birth, literacy level, ability to speak Irish, number of years married for women and the total number of children born.

    Visit for more details.

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    Free Audiobook for NEHGS Members

    Walking Tours of Boston is providing a free audiobook to NEHGS members for the holidays. Ben L. Edwards is the author of One April in Boston, which details his family's participation in the Sons of Liberty and their connection to Paul Revere. Ben is a member of NEHGS, and the Society's staff assisted with research for the book. This holiday season NEHGS members can download an audiobook copy of One April in Boston from Walking Tours of Boston.

    Just follow these simple directions:

    1) Go to the and click on the MP3 Download link.

    2) Type in first and last name. Put "NEHGS" in the School field and for the password use (all one word): spyglassbooks1775. Click "Submit."

    3) You will be taken to the Audio Download Center page where you will find the MP3 files as well as instructions for saving them, playing them on a computer, burning CDs or transferring them to an iPod.

    By clicking on the spyglass illustration at the bottom of the Audio Download Center page, you will be taken to a new page where you can access the illustrations and color photos from the book itself.

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    Updoming Education Programs

    Research Week in Washington, D.C.
    March 5 – 12, 2006
    The Library of Congress (LC) has been added to our upcoming tour to Washington D.C. Combined with the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) and the Library of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) in Washington, D.C., we will visit three of the major genealogical repositories in the United States. NEHGS staff will be available at each site for a week of intensive genealogical research and consultation, and the staffs of the three libraries will review the rich resources available for program participants. There will undoubtedly be new and interesting accessions to consult at each repository. The LC, NARA, and DAR libraries hold much unique content not available in Boston or Salt Lake City, and the trip to Washington, D.C., will offer participants a rewarding research experience.

    We will once again offer a limited number of rooms at the Hotel Washington plus a commuter rate which does not include lodging.

    For more information on this program, please email Amanda Batey at

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    Spotlight: Trenton (NJ) Historical Society

    The Trenton Historical Society has made several resources available online. Some can be used to search for your ancestors, while others can used to explore Trenton's history.

    Obituary Indexes
    The Trenton Historical Society has two sets of obituary indexes online. Created from the Death Columns of the Sunday Advertiser/Times Advertiser, the earlier group covers the period from 1901 through 1924. From 1901 through 1917, the newspaper listed deaths from the previous week by day. This ended in January, 1918. The death notices are incomplete; they do not include everyone who died in the city during that time. The data fields in the alphabetical indexes include surname; first name; maiden name, if known; death date; obituary date; and page number. The second set of indexes cover the period from January 1984 through June 1985. They are comprehensive and were created from the daily newspapers, primarily the Trenton Times. The data fields in this index include surname, maiden name, first name, location, obituary date, and page number.

    City Directories
    The first Trenton City Directory was published in 1844. It was strictly a business directory. Ten years passed until the next one. The 1854 directory included a listing of all households in Trenton. The directory was published sporadically from 1857 to 1865 and on an annual or biennial basis from then until its final edition in 1971. The website contains six complete searchable directories and a partial one for the period between 1844 and 1920.

    Cemetery Indexes
    Indexes to five Trenton cemeteries are on the website: First Baptist Church, Friends' Grave Yard, Mercer Cemetery (two databases from different sources), Riverside Cemetery and St. Michael’s Cemetery. The transcriptions come from a variety of sources, both published and unpublished. The indexes are presented as they were compiled. Some are in chronological order, while others are in alphabetical order. Some have no discernable order. If you would like to learn more about Trenton’s cemeteries you can consult New Jersey Graveyard and Gravestone Inscriptons Locators: Mercer County by Edward Raser. Information on where to purchase the book can be found on the website.

    High School Yearbooks
    Several databases have been compiled from the yearbooks of various Trenton high schools. The yearbooks themselves can be found in the Trentoniana Collection of the Trenton Public Library. Schools with yearbooks in the collection include Trenton Central High School, Cathedral High School, Trenton Catholic Boys’ High School, Junior High School #1 (now Martin Luther King Middle School), Junior High School #2 (now Carroll Robbins School), and Junior High School #4 (now Grace Dunn Middle School).

    Trenton History Resources
    An overview of some of the historical resources found on the Trenton Historical Society web site follows.

    A History of Trenton 1679 – 1929
    The two-volume history prepared and published under the auspices of the Trenton Historical Society entitled A History of Trenton 1679 – 1929 has been transcribed and uploaded to the website. The history’s illustrations and maps have been scanned and digitized.

    Edmund C. Hill’s Diaries
    Edmund C. Hill (1855 – 1936) was a businessman and civic leader in Trenton. He kept a diary for nearly 50 years in which he recorded his daily activities. The Trenton Historical Society has begun to transcribe the diaries and post them on its web site. There is a brief biography of Edmund Hill on the Diaries’ main page. Hill’s illustrations have been scanned and uploaded to the diary transcription pages. Currently the years 1870, 1871, 1873, 1876, and 1878 (European trip) are available online.

    Chronological Indexes
    Beginning in 1857 one of Trenton’s newspapers, The True American, offered a new feature on an annual basis. The first issue of the year included an index to the leading local stories from the previous year. This index provides us with valuable information about life in Trenton. From the beginning, deaths were included with the other entries, but they were separated out starting in 1865. Marriages were listed beginning in 1865. The indexes for 1856, 1857, 1858, 1863, 1870, and 1871 are currently on the site. The indexes are arranged by date. You will have to use your web browser’s “find” function to search the index.

    Visit the Trenton Historical Society web site at

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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.

    January 4, 10 a.m., Marie E. Daly
    Getting Started in Genealogy
    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.

    January 11, 10:00 a.m., David Allen Lambert
    Introduction to has grown to include access to over 110 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 Online Genealogist David Lambert will offer a step-by-step live demonstration of

    February 1, 10 a.m., Marie E.Daly
    New Visitor Welcome and Library Tour
    With the Getting Started in Genealogy program available on the NEHGS website, the on-site program will change. New visitors will be welcomed, given a chance to introduce themselves, meet other new visitors, describe their research and have knowledgeable staff advise them on how to proceed. The thirty-minute welcome will be followed by a tour of the library.

    February 8, 10 a.m., David AllenLambert
    Getting the Most from NEHGS Databases
    With over 110 million names in 2,200 databases, is the primary website for New England genealogy. This lecture will offer an exciting overview of the Society's online databases. A live demonstration of the website will offer you a chance to see how to best utilize the Society's resources from your home.

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    Research Recommendations

    Family Historyat the Holidays
    by Michael J. Leclerc

    With today’s hectic pace of life, the holidays are often the only times that large numbers of family members get together. Family holiday celebrations are a great time to find out more information about your ancestors.

    Ask lots of questions of older family members. Leading questions can be more effective than direct questions when jogging memories. For example, instead of asking “What year was your sister born?” you might ask “What are your memories of when your sister was born?” This might jogging the memory of what was occurring at that time might help you discover that year of birth. And make sure to ask questions when several family members are present. Their interaction can often jog individual memories. Be sure to have lots of paper and pencils ready for taking notes. Remember, it is never okay to record conversations without the permission of the participants, and you may get more information by taking notes than by recording (which can intimidate some individuals).

    Large family get-togethers are also the perfect time to share family photographs. Ask family members to bring their photo collections with them. Bring your portable computer and scanner to the gathering and ask permission to scan pictures for general distribution to family members. Passing pictures around can be a great way to identify those unidentified images.

    For more tips on oral history or photograph identification visit:
    The Oral History Association
    The Oral History Society (UK)
    Maureen Taylor

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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

    NEHGS eNews, like all of our programs, is made possible through the generous contributions of our members. For more information about giving to NEHGS visit Make your donation before the end of the calendar year and you could be eligible to take advantage of a special tax-break from the US government.

    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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