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  • 2005 Archive

  • Vol. 7, No. 7
    Whole #206
    February 16, 2005
    Edited by Rod D. Moody and Valerie Beaudrault
    Greetings from the New England Historic Genealogical Society! This newsletter has been sent to NEHGS members and friends who have subscribed to it, or submitted their email addresses on various membership and sales department forms and website notices. NEHGS recognizes the importance of its members' privacy, and will not give away, sell or lease personal information. If you would like to unsubscribe or change your email address, please click on the link at the bottom of the page and follow the instructions provided.

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


    * Introducing!
    * New Research Article on
    * Bundle Bargains: Save Up to 50% on NEHGS CD-ROMs!
    * NEHGS Library Holiday Closure
    * Tales from the Manuscript Collections
    * Spotlight on Library Websites, Part Two
    * Register Now for NEHGS Research Getaways!
    * Call for Papers for the National Genealogical Society (NGS) 2006 Conference
    * Brenton Simons Elected a Fellow of Massachusetts Historical Society
    * History and Genealogy Lectures at the Boston Public Library
    * Careers at NEHGS
    * Free Back Issues of the Register!
    * Upcoming Genealogy in a Nutshell Lectures
    * Favorite - and Black Sheep - Ancestor Feedback
    * NEHGS Contact Information



    NEHGS is pleased to announce the launch of a new website dedicated to the Great Migration Study Project! The website can be accessed at or through the Great Migration links on features a history of the Project written by GMSP Director Robert Charles Anderson as well as a complete backlist of all available Great Migration titles.

    Subscribers to the Great Migration Newsletter can view current and archived (2002 to the present) issues of the Newsletter, as well as bonus biographical sketches. And, membership with NEHGS is no longer required to subscribe to the online version of the Newsletter!

    The latest issue of the Newsletter (volume 14, number 1), which features articles on finding English origins and on Scituate, Massachusetts, is now available on the site.

    The Great Migration Newsletter features articles on a variety of topics, including the settlement of early New England towns, migration patterns, seventeenth-century passenger lists, church records, land records, and much more. Subscriptions to either the print or online version of the Newsletter can be purchased at The print version is $20 per year, and the online version is $10 for NEHGS members and $20 for non-members.

    If you have any questions about the Great Migration Study Project, please visit We hope you enjoy!


    New Research Article on

    The Computer Genealogist

    Improve Legibility of Online Records with Image Processing Software

    by Eben W. Graves

    The Vital Records of Massachusetts 1841 to 1910 database on is an important resource for all genealogists with Massachusetts roots. The index is complete and easy to use. The records themselves are produced as images of the handwritten originals and are being added to the database over time. The images include data elements that most members will value, such as precise dates, parents’ names and birthplaces, and occupations.

    Viewing the online records can be frustrating, however, because the quality of the images ranges from very clear to almost illegible. One problem frequently encountered is that of low contrast, due either to over or under exposure of the image itself. Such defects probably originated when the document was photographed and would therefore also be encountered when the records are viewed on microfilm at the Massachusetts Archives (the original state returns are also kept at the Massachusetts Archives).

    Members who have a photographic image processing application already have the means to improve the legibility of documents that suffer from low contrast. I use Adobe® Photoshop Elements 2.0[1] and have achieved similar results with the software that came with my digital camera. The steps used to improve the legibility of a database image are the same as those used to improve the quality of a photograph. The images on the database are, after all, nothing more than digitized photographs. Although Photoshop is widely viewed as the industry standard in image processing, Microsoft’s® Digital Image Pro and Paint Shop® Pro are two other examples of digital imaging software.[2] The following information is specific to Photoshop, although the end result can be achieved using other brands.

    NEHGS members can read the entire article at


    Bundle Bargains: Save Up to 50% on NEHGS CD-ROMs!

    Choose any three of these five NEHGS CDs and pay only $75.00 plus shipping! Limited time offer so act now!

    Here's how it works:

    Choose any three of the following NEHGS CDs:

    1. Records of the Colony and State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations (Rhode Island)
    2. Genealogies of the Families of Braintree, Massachusetts 1640-1850 (Braintree)
    3. Plymouth Church Records, 1620-1859 (Plymouth)
    4. Bible Records from the Manuscript Collections of the New England Historic Genealogical Society (Bible)
    5. The Search For Missing Friends: Irish Immigrant Advertisements Placed in the Boston Pilot 1831-1920 (Friends)

    Enter the item number (SPEC1, SPEC2, etc.) in the Item Number field in the NEHGS Online Store that corresponds with the bundle you want to buy.

    SPEC1: Rhode Island, Braintree, Plymouth
    SPEC2: Rhode Island, Braintree, Bible
    SPEC3: Rhode Island, Braintree, Friends
    SPEC4: Rhode Island, Plymouth, Bible
    SPEC5: Rhode Island, Plymouth, Friends
    SPEC6: Rhode Island, Bible, Friends
    SPEC7: Braintree, Plymouth, Bible
    SPEC8: Braintree, Plymouth, Friends
    SPEC9: Braintree, Bible, Friends
    SPEC10: Plymouth, Bible, Friends

    Order your CD bundles now at


    NEHGS Libary Holiday Closure

    In observance of the President's Day holiday, the research library will be closed on Saturday, February 19. As the library is always closed on Mondays, it will reopen on Tuesday, February 22, at 10 a.m.

    For a complete list of 2005 library hours and holiday schedules, visit


    Tales from the Manuscript Collections

    The latest installment in our ongoing "Tales from the Manuscript Collections" exhibit is an open letter to the citizens of Great Britain and America written by "A field labourer," estimated to be written circa 1775. The first ninteen lines of the letter, titled "To the English Nation," attacks the taking of African children as slaves. The remaning forty-eight lines, however, concerns the "ruined state" of Great Britain and the colonies due to debt as well as the corruption caused by pride and luxury.

    Read "To the English Nation" at

    Visit the Tales from the Manuscript Collections Archives at


    Spotlight on Library Websites, Part Two

    St. Louis County Library (SLCL) Local History and Genealogy Collection

    The St. Louis County Library's Local History and Genealogy Collection contains not only the genealogical and local history materials, but also the library holdings of the St. Louis Genealogical Society and the National Genealogical Society.

    Some of the databases found on the library's website are:

    Index to Register of Births, St. Louis County, Missouri 1883-1895
    Index to Stillbirths, St. Louis County, Missouri 1883-1908

    Missouri first passed legislation requiring the recording of births and deaths in 1883. But it wasn't mandatory and, therefore, the records are incomplete. St. Louis County, however, continued to record these statistics until 1910, even though the 1883 legislation was repealed in 1893. New legislation enacted in 1910 made recording births and deaths compulsory.

    The current birth index covers the period from 1883 until 1895 and includes more than 3,300 births recorded for St. Louis County. Indexing of St. Louis County births for the years 1896 to 1909 is ongoing by the Missouri State Archives. The stillbirth index covers the period from 1883 until 1908 and includes more than 200 stillbirths.

    The information provided in the birth index includes father's name, mother's maiden name, child's name (when listed), birth date and order of birth within the register. The information provided in the stillborn index is just a bit different. It includes father's name, mother's name, birth date, and order of stillbirth within the register. The index for this volume may be searched by surname.

    St. Louis Enlistees Extracted from Registers of Enlistments in the U.S. Army, 1798-1914 (Regular Army) - 1855

    The extracted names in this database were taken from the National Archives microfilm set, Registers of Enlistments in the United States Army, 1798-1914. Using this name index you can search for enlistees with a St. Louis connection in the 1855 records found in these registers. There are more than 700 entries in the index, listed alphabetically by surname and then given name. The names contained here include only enlistees who were either born in St. Louis, Missouri, or who enlisted at St. Louis or at Jefferson Barracks, which is located in St. Louis County.

    There are a significant number of immigrants in the Register of Enlistees. And often, when an immigrant gave his place of birth, he also named the town or village in his home country where he was born - very useful information for a genealogist.

    St. Louis, Missouri Naturalization Index

    More than 46,000 names appear in this alphabetical index. It is organized into two sections by date:

    Before 27 Sept 1906
    27 Sept 1906 and After

    Links to the sections may be found on the Naturalization Index main page. The databases in the naturalization index include the following:

    U.S. District Court Declarations of Intention - Eastern Division of the Eastern Judicial District of Missouri Index Listings. (2 Apr 1890 - 26 Sept 1906) and (1 Oct 1906 - 10 Apr 1926)

    U.S. Circuit Court Declarations of Intention - District of Missouri Index Listings (26 Sept 1853 - 26 July 1904) and (4 Mar 1907 - 29 Dec 1911)

    Proofs of Declarations of Intentions (Filed with Final Papers for Naturalization)

    Stubs from Naturalization Certificates (1907-1929)

    The information in the indexes varies from database to database. You will find surname, given name, country of birth, age, date intention was filed and arrival information as well as LDS and SLCL microfilm numbers in the indexes for the earlier period. The indexes for the later years provide you with surname, given name, declaration number page and volume number, and court (Circuit or U.S. District) in addition to as LDS and SLCL microfilm numbers. This is an ongoing project and indexes for new volumes are uploaded as they are completed.

    You can browse through the index by clicking the links to any of the databases noted above. This may be the most practical way to search for someone who was naturalized in St. Louis County, as many surnames were spelled in a variety of ways in the records. You can also search the naturalization index using the search engine for the Special Collection website. However, it is important to note your search is not limited to one particular collection when you use this search engine. It searches all of the Special Collections web pages. The primary link to the Special Collections search engine is on the Local History and Genealogy homepage.

    Visit the St. Louis County Library Local History and Genealogy collection at


    Register Now for NEHGS Research Getaways!

    Winter Getaway: February 24-26, 2005

    Spring Getaway: April 7-9, 2005

    Time is running out to register for our winter and spring Weekend Research Getaways!

    There is no better time than the cold winter season to hunker down and make progress with your genealogical research. And there is no better place to make real breakthroughs with your research than at the NEHGS Library during our annual Weekend Research Getaways!

    You will have full access to over 200,000 books, periodicals, and microtext items, plus over one million manuscript items, plus free access to Heritage Quest, Ancestry, and our comprehensive CD-ROM collection. Explore genealogies, town, county, and state histories, vital records, census records, land records, probate records, city directories, immigration records, unpublished manuscripts, every essential reference, and much more - for three full days! Better still, you will receive personal consultations and lectures from some of the most knowledgeable and respected genealogists in the field today.

    View a list of staff specialties at

    Do not delay any longer! Register for one of our Research Getaways today, formulate a research plan by searching for resources in our online Library Catalog, and decide which librarian's specialties match your needs. Then come to Boston and let us help you knock down the brick wall!

    Download a registration form at
    Note: You must have Adobe Acrobat Reader on your computer to download the form. Download it for free at

    For additional information visit or email Amanda Batey at


    Call for Papers for the National Genealogical Society (NGS) 2006 Conference

    Lecture proposals are now being accepted for the NGS Conference in the States which will be held in Chicago, Illinois, June 7-10, 2006. Possible presentation topics include ethnic oriented subjects, immigration, migration, and regional records. NGS also encourages proposals on methodology and skill building, use of technology, and Internet resources. The committee will consider proposals on records generated by all groups, both civil and religious, as well as information on regional libraries and repositories. Sponsored lecture proposals are welcome.

    The deadline for proposal submissions for the conference is April 1, 2005. For details on proposal specifics, submission requirements, and online submission form visit their website at


    Brenton Simons Elected a Fellow of Massachusetts Historical Society

    On February 10, 2005, D. Brenton Simons, the chief operating officer of NEHGS, was elected a Fellow of the Massachusetts Historical Society (MHS). In 2004, Mr. Simons spent three months on sabbatical at MHS, where he worked on his forthcoming book, Witches, Rakes, and Rogues. Founded in 1791, MHS ( is located at 1154 Boylston Street in Boston. NEHGS and MHS have collaborated on several projects in recent years, including the CD-ROM publication Inhabitants and Estates of the Town of Boston, 1630-1800.


    History and Genealogy Lectures at the Boston Public Library

    On Wednesday, February 23, at 6:30 p.m., Michael Quinlin, author of Guide to the Boston Irish and Guide to the New England Irish, will present a lecture titled "Irish Servants and Ulster Presbyterians in 18th Century Boston" at the Boston Public Library. He will speak on the indentured servants who arrived here in the first half of the eighteenth century as well as the arrival of the Ulster Presbyterians.

    The lecture is part of the library's Local History and Genealogy Lecture Series. Lectures are usually held the last Wednesday of each month at 6:30 p.m. Upcoming lectures include:

    "Urban Tracings - Family History Via Public Records" with local researcher Alice Kane, March 30

    "Genealogy and Family History at the Boston Public Library" with BPL microtext curator, Henry Scannell, and curator of Social Sciences, Marta Pardee-King, April 27

    "Heritage Quest: an Electronic Resource for Genealogists" with BPL Social Sciences reference librarian, Mary Devine, May 25.

    The lectures are held in the Mezzanine Conference Room of the main branch library located in Copley Square at 700 Boylston Street. For additional information call 617-536-5400 or visit


    Careers at NEHGS

    NEHGS seeks an Electronic Publications Editor for the NEHGS website,, and NEHGS eNews. Please visit our Careers page at for additional information.


    Free Back Issues of the Register!

    Need to fill the gaps in your Register collection? NEHGS member Allan Abrahamse may be able to help! He writes:

    "Free (except for shipping) to a good home: thirty-two issues of The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, whole number 601 (January 1997) through whole number 632 (October 2004), all in very good condition, to any reader of eNews who can use them (not for resale). I'll ship within the US via media mail for at most $7.00, payable upon receipt. Contact"


    Upcoming Genealogy in a Nutshell Lectures

    "A Short History of Boston" with Dr. Robert Allison, Wednesday, February 23

    Commonwealth Editions writes of Dr. Robert Allison's recent book, A Short History of Boston, "With economy and style, Dr. Robert Alllison brings Boston history alive, from the Puritan theocracy of the seventeenth century to the Big Dig of the twenty-first." Dr. Allison is an assistant professor of history at Suffolk University and teaches at Harvard University Extension School.

    "Ancestors on the March: Researching Revolutionary War Soldiers" with David Allen Lambert, March 2 and 5

    Have you ever sought the details of the battles in which your ancestors participated? In his lecture, NEHGS military expert, David Lambert, will teach you the steps to discover where and when your ancestors served, even if a company history does not exist. He will also discuss a variety of resources from manuscripts to published sources, and provide an overview of online sources that are currently available to aide you in your search.

    All lectures take place at 10:15 a.m. at the NEHGS Library in Boston. Advance registration is not necessary.

    For more details about NEHGS education events, please visit our online Education Center at If you have questions, please call Member Services at 1-888-296-3447 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Eastern time), Monday through Friday.


    Favorite - and Black Sheep - Ancestor Feedback

    Each week we ask the questions "Who is your favorite ancestor? Who is your favorite black sheep ancestor? Why?" If you would like to contribute information on your favorite and/or black sheep ancestor, please send your story in 300 words or less to Rod Moody at Thank you to all past and future contributors!

    My Favorite Ancestor
    by William Kuehnling of East Amherst, New York

    The following is from a badly damaged, fragmented newspaper clipping found in the personal effects of my grandmother, Mildred Clark Mosher, about her husband, Clarence Wilbert Mosher. At the time Clarence was living in Montgomery Co., New York, with a sibling of his mother, Jennie Maria Darling, and is referred to as Clarence Darling in the story. My special thanks to my wife, Susan Lori Silverstein Kuehnling, for the painstaking work of piecing together and transcribing the story and to my mother, Beatrice Elizabeth Mosher Kuehnling, for validation of the details. The name and date of the publication are unknown, but the event took place circa 1908.


    A Harrowing Experience

    Dolgeville Boys Hung from 100 Foot Trestle to Escape Train

    Dolgeville, Feb. 4 - "Otto Kany and Clarence Darling two young men from Dolgeville, about 18 years of age had a harrowing experience near here Sunday afternoon. The two youths were walking down the Little Falls and Dolgeville Railroad track on snow shoes. They came to the Ransom creek trestle which is about 100 feet high at its highest point and started to walk across. When they were directly in the center they looked down and discovered that the engine attached to a snow plow was bearing down upon them. The lads saw with a glance that the engineer would be unable to stop his train and they also saw the futility of trying to get to safety by retracing their steps. With commendable presence of mind the boys stepped to the side of the trestle, let themselves down and hung from the ties by their hands, dangling in the air 100 feet from the earth while the train passed above them. They had no time to remove their snow shoes.

    After the train had passed Darling was the first to pull himself up to safety. Young Kany's snowshoes had become entangled in some manner with a wire running at the side of the trestle and his strength was so far gone that he was unable to get back to the track. When he saw the plight of his companion, young Darling dropped to his knees and seizing Kany by the coat and arms, tugged with all his might. Then ensued a struggle for life and death that lasted several minutes. At the end the combined efforts of Kany and his rescuer were successful and both boys reached a point of safety. Kany's coat was torn in a dozen places from the force of Darling's grip and both lads were so unnerved from their terrible experience that they dropped exhausted at the side of the track as soon as they had retraced their steps to the point at which they had walked out on the bridge. Beyond a general lameness of arms and shoulders and a lasting horror of railroad bridges the boys were no worse today for their adventure."


    NEHGS Contact Information

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