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  • 2005 Archive

  • Vol. 7, No. 9
    Whole #208
    March 2, 2005
    Edited by Michael J. Leclerc 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



    * New Database on
    * New Research Article on
    * Register Now for NEHGS Spring Research Getaway
    * New CD-ROM Special! Save Up to 50% on titles
    * Borrow or Buy Resources from NEHGS for Women's History Month
    * Spotlight on Library Websites, Part Four
    * Upcoming Genealogy Events
    * Upcoming Genealogy in a Nutshell Lectures
    * Favorite - and Black Sheep - Ancestor Feedback
    * NEHGS Contact Information

    New Database on

    Taxable Valuation of the Residents of Dorchester, Massachusetts 1865!

    The records in this database are taken from a single volume that includes taxable valuations of Dorchester from 1850 to 1869. We are adding the remainder of this book in installments by year and in individual databases, due to the various differences in formatting.


    The original text is part of the NEHGS Rare Books Collection, call number F74/D5/D67/1850.

    Search the Taxable Valuation of the Residents of Dorchester, Massachusetts, 1865 at



    New Research Article on

    Researching in Washington, DC
    by Paula Stuart-Warren, CGRSSM

    Our nation’s capital is a fantastic place to do historical and genealogical research. There is an abundance of research treasures to be found at the Library of Congress, the National Archives, the Daughters of the American Revolution Library, and many other places. This article focuses on two of those repositories, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) and the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) Library.

    I like visiting NARA and DAR in the District of Columbia for several reasons, including the old classical style buildings and the wealth of information they each hold. Stand outside NARA and look down Pennsylvania Avenue to see the Capitol. It is impressive anytime, but even more so at night. From the DAR block I can see the Ellipse in front of the White House and the Washington Monument.


    NEHGS members can read the entire article at

    Register Now for NEHGS Spring Research Getaway!

    Weekend Getaway April 7-9, 2005

    Time is running out to register for our Spring Research Getaway!

    This past week we hosted our Winter Research Getaway, and the response was overwhelming. Participants were thrilled with the amount of information they found. One said that it would take her months to process and digest all of the materials. A first-time participant from the South marvelled at the enormous volume of information, not only for New England, but for other states as well.

    As a participant, you will have full access to over 200,000 books, periodicals, and microtext items, plus over one million manuscript items, 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 our Research Getaway 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

    New CD-ROM Special! Save Up to 50% on NEHGS Titles

    Choose any three of these five NEHGS CDs and pay only $75.00 plus shipping! This offer ends on February 28, so act now!

    Here's how it works:

    Choose any three of the following NEHGS CDs:

    1. Vital Records of Springfield, Massachusetts to 1850 (Springfield)
    2. Genealogies of the Families of the Early Settlers of Watertown, Massachusetts by Henry Bond, MD, and Watertown Records (Watertown)
    3. Plymouth County Court Records, 1686-1859 (Plymouth)
    4. Inhabitants and Estates of the Town of Boston, 1630-1800 and the Crooked and Narrow Streets of Boston, 1630-1822 (Boston)
    5. Records of Barnstable, Massachusetts (Barnstable)

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

    SPECA: Springfield, Watertown, Plymouth
    SPECB: Springfield, Watertown, Boston
    SPECC: Springfield, Watertown, Barnstable
    SPECD: Springfield, Plymouth, Boston
    SPECE: Springfield, Plymouth, Barnstable
    SPECF: Springfield, Boston, Barnstable
    SPECG: Watertown, Plymouth, Boston
    SPECH: Watertown, Plymouth, Barnstable
    SPECJ: Watertown. Boston, Barnstable
    SPECK: Plymouth, Boston, Barnstable

    Order your CD bundles now at

    Borrow or Buy Resources from NEHGS for Women's History Month

    Identifying female ancestors can be one of the most challenging aspects of family history. A number of resources are available to help you in this search. In recognition of Women's History Month, NEHGS has compiled this list of resources from the circulating library and sales department to assist you.

    From A Genealogist’s Guide to Discovering Your Female Ancestors
    by Sharon DeBartolo Carmack. CS14/A73/1998

    Carmack talks about the special rewards and challenges in doing women’s genealogy and the special perspectives needed for this research.

    “Ordinary, everyday women - the ones who are our ancestors - led fascinating lives……(p.1) However,
    in researching females, we have to deal with name changes when they marry, multiple marriages resulting in multiple names, or different cultures whose women retained their maiden names in legal documents. In addition, many of our women ancestors did not leave much of a record of themselves….the vast majority of women were silent partners.” (p.2)

    “An important and crucial source in your genealogical research on your female ancestors is women’s social history…social history will augment and supplement what you find in the historical documents on women.” (p.3)

    The history of women cannot be written without attention to women’s relations with men in general and with ‘their’ men in particular, nor without attention to the other women of their society.” Elizabeth Fox Genovese quoted on p.17


    A Genealogist’s Guide to Discovering Your Female Ancestors. CS14/A73/1998

    A Midwife’s Tale: the life of Martha Ballard, based on her diary F29/H15/U47/1990

    American Jezebel: the Uncommon Life of Anne Hutchinson
    Royal Families: Americans of Royal and Noble Ancestry, Vol 2: Reverend Francis Marbury and Five Generations of the Descendants through Anne (Marbury) Hutchinson and Katherine (Marbury) Scott

    My Wild Irish Rose: The Life of Rose (Norris)(O’Connor) Fitzhugh and her mother Delia (Gordon) Norris: A study in the lives of Irish Immigrant Women in America with a Summary of Matrilineal Generations

    Notable Kin: Vol 1 by Gary Boyd Roberts: [chapters on 19th century heroines and on notables such as Eleanor Roosevelt]


    The Belles of New England: The Women of the Textile Mills and the Families Whose Wealth They Wove.

    Women of Courage: Jewish and Italian Immigrants in New York.

    The Captor’s Narrative: Catholic Women and their Puritan Men on the Early American Frontier

    The Women of the American Revolution

    Murdered by his Wife

    Killed Strangely: The Death of Rebecca Cornell

    Spotlight on Library Websites, Part Four

    Schenectady County Public Library - Schenectady Digital History Archive

    The Schenectady County Public Library has made a number of online resources available to anyone researching Schenectady County, New York, ancestry via its Schenectady Digital History Archive.

    A series of Quick Links located on the homepage provide access to a number of resources. Click on these links to learn about new resources on the site; search the site; or read about people, places and industries around Schenectady County. The Search Our Site link provides a robust search engine to locate resources. Further down the homepage, in the Resources section is a Records link providing access to a number of online indexes as well as transcriptions and abstractions of records. A description of some of the databases follows:

    Schenectady County, New York Census Records
    Transcriptions found here include the 1697 census listing the heads of families of the City and County of Albany and the 1720 census listing the freeholders of the City and County of Albany, in addition to those of later U.S. censuses. One unique database, extracted from the 1880 U.S. Census, is a list of residents of Schenectady living in the 3rd Ward who gave Roscommon, Ireland as their birthplace.

    Schenectady County, New York Church Histories and Records
    This section contains a multitude of church histories as well as records of baptisms, marriages and burials from more than a dozen churches in Schenectady County. For example, you will find the marriages of the Dutch churches of Helderbergh, Jerusalem, New Salem and Princetown from 1794 to 1829; lists of Brides and Grooms (1771 - 1850) from St. George's Episcopal Church; and infant baptisms (1835 - 1881) and marriages (1835 - 1899) of the First Reformed Church of Scotia.

    Indexes to Vital Records in Schenectady County, New York Newspapers
    The Schenectady County Public Library has begun to make some of its newspaper obituary indexes available online. Currently, you will find the Schenectady Cabinet and others (1812 - 1820, 1822 - 1834), the Schenectady Reflector (Nov. 21, 1867 - 1868, 1881 - May 7, 1885), and the Schenectady Gazette (1902). The library is also in the process of preparing marriage and birth indexes for the website.

    Schenectady County, New York Wills
    Nearly twenty wills have been transcribed and placed on the site. In addition, there are links from this page to other websites containing Schenectady County wills and probate records.

    Schenectady County, New York Cemeteries
    This section contains cemetery transcriptions, links to other cemetery websites, a directory of cemeteries in Schenectady County, and cemetery location information, including maps.

    Other databases include Schenectady County, New York Coroner's Reports for 1860 and a list of Schenectady County Pensioners on the Roll 1883. The latter database includes pensioner's name, city or town of residence, pension number, date issued, and amount as well as the reason that the pension was issued.

    There are a number of other research resources on the Schenectady Digital History Archive site. They include contact information for county, city and town clerks, historians and historical societies; places in the area where one can do historical and genealogical research; and links to history and genealogy resources in neighboring counties as well as New York state and general resources. There are also links to discussion groups and forums where one can post queries and share records.

    The Schenectady County Public Library's Schenectady Digital History Archive provides access to a number of useful resources for those researching their Schenectady County roots.

    Visit for more information.

    Upcoming Genealogy Events

    Connecticut Historical Society Workshop - Preserving Photographs

    The Connecticut Historical Society (CHS) will present its workshop on Preserving Photographs on Tuesday, March 8 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Nancy Finlay, CHS Museum Curator of Graphics, will present a program on the proper care and handling of every type of photographic process, from early daguerreotypes through digital photos. Participants are invited to bring up to ten examples of family photos for identification and discussion. Reservations are required. The workshop is limited to 20 participants ages 15 and up. Admission: $3 to $6. To reserve your space, call (860) 236-5621, x238.

    The Connecticut Historical Society is located at One Elizabeth Street at Asylum Avenue, Hartford, Connecticut. Visit the Society's website at for directions. Telephone: (860) 236-5621 Email:

    Maine Historical Society - Saturday Program -Hard Work: An Afternoon with the Filmmakers

    Jim Sharkey, an award-winning filmmaker, and Carol Toner, Associate Professor of History at the University of Maine, will show and discuss their new documentary film, Hard Work. The film explores the experiences of women who worked in Maine’s shops and factories in the late 19th century.

    In 1888 Flora Haines of Bangor was commissioned by the Bureau of Industrial and Labor Statistics to travel throughout Maine to interview women about their work. She asked women about workplace health and safety issues, work hours and wages, and living conditions in local boarding houses. Their responses provide a rare look at the lives of these working women.

    The program will be presented at 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 19. It is free of charge. The Maine Historical Society is located at 489 Congress Street, Portland, Maine. Visit the Society's website at for directions. For additional information, call (207) 774-1822 or email

    Upcoming Genealogy in a Nutshell Lectures

    March 5 – Ancestors on the March: Researching Revolutionary War Soldiers – David Allen Lambert Have you ever sought the details of the battles your ancestors were in? In his lecture, NEHGS military expert, David Lambert will teach you the steps to discover the "where and when" your ancestors served, allowing you to create a mini company history when one does not exist. He will also assist you in discovering your ancestors who fought in the American Revolutionary War, and will discuss a variety of resources from manuscripts to published sources, and will provide an overview of online sources that are currently available to aide you in your search.

    March 9, 12 – Getting the Most from NEHGS: The Library – Tim Salls, Marie Daly, Jean Maguire – Are you just starting out researching your ancestors? Do you want to make better use of the NEHGS library? NEHGS library staff, Marie Daly, Tim Salls and Jean Maguire give you a virtual tour of the NEHGS library, identify some of the major collections, introduce you to our expert genealogists, and describe the computer catalog. Jean Maguire will let us in on the exciting changes for the catalog in the upcoming year.

    March 16, 19 – From Hovels to Castles: Finding Your Irish Ancestor’s Dwelling Place – Marie Daly – Although many Irish records were destroyed in 1922, Ireland still has many sources for tracing our ancestors. Certain records unique to Ireland allow us to pinpoint even the poorest peoples’ houses on a map, and trace the ownership to present day. For Irish genealogists, these records allow them to find their ancestor’s houses, and to walk on the same land, savor the smell of a peat fire and get a glimpse of their forebears’ lives long ago. Please join NEHGS Library Director, Marie Daly, for this special Saint Patrick’s Day celebration.

    March 23, 26 – Women's Art at NEHGS – Marieke Van Damme – From 17th century portraits and 18th century highboys to 19th century samplers, NEHGS has a significant collection of historical artifacts in addition to its library collections. In celebration of Women’s History Month, please join Marieke Van Damme as she highlights the Society’s varied collections, especially artwork crafted by female artists.

    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 Thank you to all past and future contributors!

    My Favorite Black Sheep Ancestor
    by Persis R. Shook

    I would like to nominate my bigamous great-grandmother Elizabeth WOODARD as my favorite black sheep ancestor. Elizabeth was daughter of John and Lucy (DAVIS) WOODARD, b. Gates, Genesee, N.Y., 14 Feb 1810. She married John GOBLE/GOBEL ca. 1826 in NYS. After the birth of four daughters, husband John deserted his wife and family. My ancestor Patrick REYNOLDS, an Irish immigrant of 1827 came along, perhaps working on railroad being built across New York state. Their first son's Civil War papers state that Elizabeth and Patrick were married at Chapinville, Ontario, N.Y. 1 Feb 1840. Evidently, Elizabeth thought a bird in the hand worth far more than none in the bush.

    Elizabeth and Patrick's first three children, two sons and a daughter, were born Waterloo, Seneca, NY. The family then removed to Vernon, Waukesha, Wisc. where Patrick's parents were living. There, three more sons were born to them, and Patrick's parents died. At that point, the family moved back to Branch County, Michigan, to be closer to Elizabeth's widowed father who was living in Steuben County, Indiana. Elizabeth died 23 Jan 1884 at Steuben Co., more than 20 years after her husband Patrick's death.

    I found John GOBLE/GOBEL's intestate probate of 1857, in Monroe County, NY more than 20 years ago. The court-appointed administrator evidently thought Elizabeth and John were still married, for he stated "He [John] left surviving him a widow whose Christian name is unknown to your petitioner . . . he also left two daughters [only two would have still been underage at that date], his only heirs at law." What a tangled web some of our more colorful ancestors wove in their lifetimes!


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