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  • 2006 Archive

  • Vol. 8, No. 10
    Whole #261
    March 8, 2006
    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.

    * New Library Catalog Debuts
    * New On
    * Happy Tenth Birthday to Cyndi's List
    * Sale on Back Issues of the Register
    * Help Spread the Word About NEHGS
    * Archivist of the Unites States Stops Records Removal
    * Book Talk and Signing at NEHGS
    * Upcoming Education Program
    * Spotlight: Spotlight: Marriage Records — New York and Colorado
    * Upcoming "Genealogy in a Nutshell" Lectures
    * From the Online Genealogist
    * Research Recommendations: Searching Library Catalogs
    * NEHGS Contact Information


    New Library Catalog Debuts

    NEHGS is pleased to announce that our new online library catalog is now available. It replaces the catalog that we used for twenty years and brings a great many improvements and new features – searching that is both easier and more powerful (such as a simple keyword search locating results across multiple fields); a clearer display of search results; the ability to save, print, and email catalog records; and connections to related online resources.

    NEHGS members have added benefits such as saving preferred search strategies to run again later, being notified of new materials in the library that match your search interests, and rating titles that you have used. We hope you will find the new catalog to be a helpful research tool as you explore our rich collections of books, manuscripts, microfilm, online resources, and more.

    Try it out at!


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    New on

    East-Haven [CT] Register, Part 3: Deaths

    The East-Haven Register, published in 1824, consists of three parts in a single volume. Part 3 contains an account of over 1,900 deaths in the families named in Part 2 between the years 1647 and 1823. The entries are arranged chronologically, and the following information is provided for each individual: year, month and day of death, name, and age. In the age column, the abbreviation d. stands for days, w. for weeks, and m. for months. Childrens’ deaths list the father’s name, and deaths of married women usually name the husband. Starting in 1773, cause of death is included.

    The original text is part of the NEHGS Rare Book Collection, call number RareBook F104/E2/D6/1824.

    The first two parts are also available on

    Part 1: Town Records

    Part 2: Genealogies

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    Happy Tenth Birthday to Cyndi's List
    by Michael J. Leclerc

    On March 4, 1996 a young genealogist in Puyallup, Washington published a web page with 1,025 links to useful places on the internet for members of her local genealogical society to use in their research. During the course of the past decade, this site has grown into one of the backbones of genealogical research, and you would be hard-pressed to find a genealogist who doesn't use it.

    Through the years I have had the pleasure of knowing Cyndi, I have heard (and overheard) many things about her. I would like to share a few things with you:

    • First, and foremost, I can assure you that Cyndi Howells actually does indeed exist. She is not a "front name" for some corporate entity.
    • She maintains the list for free to all genealogists.
    • She works on the site for 50-75 hours a week, each week. She has one part-time person who assists her with about 20 hours a week of additional time. Together with periodic assistance from her husband Mark, they are the only ones maintaining the site.
    • She is the author of Netting Your Ancestors and Planting Your Family Tree Online, as well as numerous articles.
    • She puts in many additional hours each year lecturing around the country, writing, and giving volunteer times (such as her term as a member of the board of directors of the National Genealogical Society).

    Cyndi's explanation for why she does it:

    "I want to make it easy for all researchers to find the online resources that are currently available. I read somewhere that the Internet is like a library with its books strewn all over the floor. I guess I'd like my list to be the card catalog for the genealogy section of that library. And after all these years, I honestly believe that this is what I was meant to do."

    From its simple beginnings, the site now has over 250,000 pages of links, and over 2 million pages are viewed each month. It has helped innumerable researchers find information for their research, and should be a bookmark in every genealogist's browser. Congratulations to Cyndi on this amazing milestone.

    For more information about CyndisList see her message at

    Please note, is a published work, and as such is protected by copyright.
    If you wish to copy any links from Cyndi's website, you must get her permission

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    Sale on Back Issues of the Register

    Published quarterly since 1847, The New England Historical and Genealogical Register is the flagship journal of American genealogy and the oldest journal in the field. The Register has featured articles on a wide variety of topics since its inception, including vital records, church records, tax records, land and probate records, cemetery transcriptions, obituaries, and historical essays. Authoritative compiled genealogies have been the centerpiece of the Register for more than 150 years. Thousands of New England families have been treated in the pages of the journal and many more are referenced in incidental ways throughout. These articles may range from short pieces correcting errors in print or solving unusual problems to larger treatments that reveal family origins or present multiple generations of a family.

    Normally priced at $9.00 per issue ($36 per year), we are now offering single issues published between 1847 and 2000 for only $2.00 each (shipping included). Register issues from 2001 to the present are still $9.00 each.

    • We will need to know the Month (January/April/July/October) and the Year that you wish to purchase. If you wish to purchase an entire year, please indicate that you want the Whole year.
    • Not all issues of the Register are still available. We will fulfill as much of your order as possible.
    • We will send you the best copies available. Please note that the older Registers will reflect their age in terms of their condition.
    • Price includes standard shipping to US addresses. We will adjust the shipping cost for international orders.
    • Orders will be accepted through April 15th, 2006.

    To order, send a list of the Register issues you would like, including Month and Year, along with your name, address and telephone number to, with the word Register in the subject line. Once we have your order ready, we will call you for your credit card number. Please do Not include your credit card number in your email.

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    Help Spread the Word About NEHGS

    As eNews readers know, the New England Historic Genealogical Society has been helping family historians find their roots since 1845. Satisfied members are our best ambassadors for connecting others to the wealth of information and services we offer. Please share with your family and friends the benefits of NEHGS membership you are already experiencing:

    • Over 110,000,000 names, accessible from your own computer
    • Thousands of computerized databases, with more added each week
    • Our comfortable and extensive research library in Boston
    • Our staff of expert genealogists
    • Online Tutorials, introductory and advanced
    • Tours and Educational Programs
    • Books and searchable CD-ROMs
    • The Online Genealogist to help with your questions
    • Research Services
    • Telephone Tutorials
    • 5 issues of our magazine New England Ancestors
    • The New England Historical and Genealogical Register (the oldest genealogical publication in America) and so much more.

    Research Memberships begin at just $75. Complete membership details are available at,, or at our toll free number 1-888-296-3447.

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    Archivist of the Unites States Stops Records Removal

    Allen Weinstein, the Archivist of the United States, recently requested that intelligence agencies put a moratorium on the removal of records from public access until a review could be performed. Historians have recently discovered that many documents have been removed from public files through a program that has been conducted in secrecy since 1999. Records preservation and access is a high priority for the genealogical community, and removal of records in secrecy is obviously of great concern. Read more about this issue in The New York Times at

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    Book Talk and Signing at NEHGS

    On Saturday March 25th from 10-11 am Diane Rapaport, author of the recently published New England Court Records: A Research Guide for Genealogists and Historians, will talk about Finding Your Ancestors in New England Court Records. The lecture will be followed by a book signing. This event is free and open to the public, so come and bring a friend.

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    Upcoming Education Program

    Your Family History: Plan Before You Write
    April 8, 2006
    Many genealogists love the research but postpone — or don’t like — writing. Come and hear experienced genealogical writers talk about the benefits of writing up your research, the choices involved, and how to avoid mistakes. The goal of this seminar is to give participants the benefit of other writers’ hindsight! The suggestions and hints presented at this seminar will be helpful to those who wish to leave the results of their research to their families as well as for those who are serious about publishing their family history. Participants will be invited to submit their goals for attending the seminar so that the speakers can try to shape their presentations accordingly.

    Registration Fees: $95 for members, $115 for non-members.

    For more information on this program visit or email Amanda Batey at

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    Spotlight: Marriage Records — New York and Colorado

    City of Rochester Archives and Records Center (

    The Historic Marriage Records Research Site of the City of Rochester Archives and Records Center has a searchable index containing 170,000 marriage records on its web site. The index covers the period from 1876 through 1932. The database can be searched by bride’s or groom’s last name or the year of the marriage. There is a search field for first name, but it is optional. The data fields in the records include last name, first name, spouse’s last name, spouse’s first name and year married. The word ‘view’ located to the left of the record is a link to a transcription of the full record, plus the microfilm roll number and the page number on which the record is found. Copies of the microfilm record of the marriage license can be ordered from the Rochester City Archives for $11.00.

    Center of Southwest Studies, Fort Lewis College, Durango, Colorado (

    On The Center of Southwest Studies website you will find the La Plata County, Colorado, Marriages records inventory. The inventory contains nearly 6,300 marriage records covering the period from 19 June 1877 through 2 July 1959, plus one record for 1876. The entries in the inventory are arranged by date of the wedding, if so stated, or by the date of the marriage license application. The list has been separated into blocks of years. The data fields in the records include date, husband’s name (first and last) and wife’s name (first and maiden last), as well as the numbers of the box and folder in which the record may be found. As noted on the website, the list should not be considered comprehensive. It includes only two marriage records from 1919 and none for 1920. The original records are only available for use in the Delaney Southwest Research Library at the Center of Southwest Studies.

    Colorado Marriage Records
    Colorado Dissolution Records

    Colorado’s Department of Public Health and Environment maintains a searchable Marriage records index on its website, covering the period from 1975 to the present. This index can be searched by either bride’s name or groom’s name. The search can be limited by county and marriage date. Marriage records for the period from 1900 to 1939 have also been indexed. The index for the earlier years can be found at Colorado Vital Records, the Denver Public Library ( and the Colorado State Archives (

    The Colorado Divorce/Dissolution records index covers the period from 1851 through 1939 and 1968 to the present. The index for the later years is also available at many public libraries in Colorado. On this website the index can be searched by first and last name of the petitioner and first and last name of the respondent, county, decree date, docket number and decree type. There is a link to the right of the database name that can be used to toggle between the marriage and divorce/dissolution databases.

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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.

    March 18, 10 a.m., Marie E. Daly
    Getting Ready for Your Research Trip to Ireland
    So you are planning a visit to the Old Country, and you want to look up your Irish roots while you are there. NEHGS Irish expert Marie Daly will outline what you need to know before you leave, what Irish resources are available in the U.S., and where you should focus your research efforts in Ireland.

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    From the Online Genealogist

    “Recently I located a newspaper advertisement for my ancestor from 1806. It mentioned his occupation as a 'field driver'. I have never heard of this before, what did he do?”

    The job of the “field driver” was to gather all the loose animals and place them in a stockade or the town pound. This occupation is quite similar to the dog catcher or animal control officer of today. The job was usually an elected office such as town clerk, constable, or treasurer. You may consider examining the town records for the community in which your ancestor resided to get more details about his office. Many of these early fieldstone constructed town pounds still exist in New England communities. There is an online image of a “town pound” from Griswold, Connecticut at

    David Allen Lambert is the Society’s Online Genealogist. If you would like to ask him a question, contact him at or visit his blog at For more information about the Online Genealogist visit Please note that he will make every effort to reply to each message, but will respond on a first-come, first-served basis.

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    Research Recommendations

    Searching Library Catalogs
    by Jean Maguire

    NEHGS has just launched its new library catalog, taking advantage of up-to-date search technologies to provide greater access to its collections. Most libraries today offer online catalogs of their collections and they are improving them all the time. When searching a catalog for the first time, make sure you read the help section for how best to utilize the functionality of that particular catalog. The following tips, which highlight the abilities of the NEHGS catalog, may be applied to many other catalogs as well.

    The default search page opens to the keyword search. You may enter your terms in any order. If you enter multiple terms and do not enter any operators (AND, OR, AND NOT) or quotation marks, the catalog will automatically search for your terms first as a phrase. If it finds no records with that phrase, it will search for them using AND. If it still finds no records, it will search for them using OR.


    For more assistance with the new NEHGS library catalog 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

    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

    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 2006, New England Historic Genealogical Society
    101 Newbury Street, Boston, MA 02116

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