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  • 2006 Archive

  • Vol. 8, No. 2
    Whole #253
    January 11, 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.

    * Latest Additions to Early American Newspapers Database
    * Announcing Our Newest Online "Nutshell"
    * Introducing the NEHGS Staff Genealogists
    * Executive Director D. Brenton Simons Books Reading and Signing
    * Upcoming Education Program
    * Spotlight: Glenbow Museum
    * From the Online Genealogist
    * Research Recommendations
    * Upcoming "Genealogy in a Nutshell" Lectures
    * NEHGS Contact Information


    Latest Additions to Early American Newspapers Database

    Early American Newspapers, 1690-1876 has proven to be very popular with our members for their research. Readex recently added 107,000 pages and 73 new titles to the database. It now contains almost 305,000 issues of 617 newspapers – over 1.3 million pages of fully-searchable information.

    Search the database now at


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    Announcing Our Newest Online "Nutshell"

    One of the most popular lectures at our Boston library is Library Director Marie Daly’s introduction to genealogy, and now this tremendous resource for beginning genealogists will be available to those far from Boston via the internet. Marie has divided this important class into three parts, and “Getting Started in Genealogy- First Steps” is available now at

    Look for “Next Steps” and “More Steps” to be announced in the next several weeks. If you’re finding these on-line tutorials helpful, please let us know at We’ll pass your comments along to the genealogists and technical staff who have created them.

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    Introducing the NEHGS Staff Genealogists

    As the oldest genealogical organization in America, NEHGS has many strengths. Perhaps the most important one is the quality of the genealogists on our staff. Whether they work directly with patrons in the library, answer your membership questions on the phone, or edit the publications we send you, the expertise of these hardworking and highly respected genealogists makes your exploration of family history more efficient, more fruitful, and more pleasant. Following is the current list of our staff genealogists along with their areas of expertise.

    These genealogists staff our research library:

    Christopher Child (Genealogist)
    Southern New England research, nineteenth- and twentieth-century research, genetics and genealogy, Lineage society applications, and difficult problem analysis

    Marie Daly (Director of the Library)
    Irish genealogy, immigration and naturalization records, nineteenth- and twentieth-century immigrants, Prince Edward Island, land research in early Watertown, some Italian research.

    David Curtis Dearborn (Genealogist)
    English & Scottish records, Maine and New Hampshire, Northeastern Massachusetts, urban and twentieth-century research, general New England research, Essex County, Mass., twentieth-century genealogy (i.e., tracking “lost” modern-day people), westward migrations, some Italian, Swedish and Norwegian genealogy.

    Judy Lucey (Assistant Archivist)
    Irish genealogy, Newfoundland, nineteenth- and twentieth-century research, beginning genealogy

    Julie Helen Otto (Genealogist)
    Given names, Connecticut, female lines, general New England

    Timothy G.X. Salls (Senior Archivist)
    Manuscripts and archives, western Massachusetts, preservation techniques, Cape Cod research

    Ruth Quigley Wellner (Research Services Coordinator)
    Massachusetts; beginning genealogy and general New England research, Worcester County, probate records

    The following genealogists work in other capacities for NEHGS, and are sometimes called on for special consultations:

    Henry B. Hoff (Editor of the Register)
    New York, New Jersey, southwestern Connecticut (Fairfield County), West Indies research, general research questions

    David Allen Lambert (Online Genealogist)
    Civil War research, northern New England, probate and deed research, English and Scottish, Nova Scotia, Native American, military records, and computer/internet/software information

    Michael J. Leclerc (Director of Special Projects)
    French Canadian, eastern Canada, New England research, advanced methodology and analysis

    Gary Boyd Roberts (Senior Research Scholar Emeritus)
    English origins, Royal and Mayflower descents, New England printed sources, the South and pedigree chart analysis

    D. Brenton Simons (Executive Director)
    Colonial Boston, Boston area witchcraft, colonial Philadelphia and Bucks County, Pennsylvania, material culture, genealogical writing and editing

    Scott C. Steward (Director of Scholarly Programs)
    Colonial New England, Dutch New York, European royalty and nobility, genealogical writing and editing

    These staff members have genealogical experience or expertise, but are not generally available for consultation:

    Valerie Beaudrault (Visitor Services Representative, Special Projects)
    Eastern townships ofQuebec

    Lynn Betlock (Editorial Manager)
    genealogical interests include Norwegian, Danish, Bohemian, Polish and German research

    Esther Coke (Researcher)
    Colonial New England, colonial New York State, Virginia and Kentucky

    Ralph J. Crandall (Executive Director Emeritus)
    Charlestown (MA), and colonial migrations within New England, colonial history, Tudor-Stuart English genealogy, beginning genealogy, community studies

    Pauline Cusson (Director of Member Services)
    French Canadian research

    Jerry Dupree (Researcher)
    French Canadian research, twentieth-century, African American New England

    Jean Maguire (Technical Services, Serials Librarian)
    interests include Italian genealogy (especially northwest Tuscany), Irish (particularly Northern Ireland; also Kilkenny and the Irish who emigrated at the time of the 1798 Rebellion), and New England history (especially Framingham, Massachusetts, and the village of Saxonville).

    Catherine A. Moore (interim Chief Operating Officer)
    interests focus on Maine

    Christine Ridenour (Researcher)
    genealogical research generalist, New England, colonial history

    Robert Shaw (Archives Assistant, NEA Assistant Editor)
    Shaw and Wellington families

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    Executive Director D. Brenton Simons Book Reading and Signing in Hingham

    NEHGS Executive Director D. Brenton Simons will be reading from and signing copies of his book Witches, Rakes, and Rogues: True Stories of Scam, Scandal, Murder, and Mayhem in Boston, 1630-1775 at the Hingham Public Library January 25, 2006 from 7 to 8 pm. The program is being presented in cooperation with Buttonwood Books of Cohasset. For more information visit and

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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 speakers talk about the benefits of writing 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! Speakers will include NEHGS staff Henry B.Hoff, CG, FASG, editor of the Register, and Scott C. Steward, Director of Scholarly Programs, who will share their personal experiences as writers and editors. 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, members/$115 non-members.

    For more information on this program please email Amanda Batey at

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    Spotlight: Glenbow Museum

    The Glenbow Museum, located in Calgary, Alberta, has an extensive collection of art, artifacts, archival materials, and published works that document the history and culture of western Canada. The museum has recently begun the process of digitizing some of its holdings and there are plans to continue to add to the online collection.

    Finding Aids/Scanned Documents
    Click on this link to learn about the Museum’s archival collections. This will open a page with links to detailed descriptions of 300 of the most popular and frequently used holdings in the archives. Over 20,000 pages of archival documents on a variety of topics related to the history and culture of western Canada have been digitized. Icons next to the document title indicate whether the item is a finding aid or a scanned document. Click on the link to access a description of the item. From this page, you can click on the blue dot or thumbnail image to the left of the record title for more detailed information. There are links to the scanned or transcribed pages on the detailed information page.

    The following are examples of the kinds of documents in the Finding Aids/Scanned Documents section. You will find a transcription of a diary kept by Fred Bagley, who joined the North-West Mounted Police as a trumpeter in 1874 at age 15. You will also find the Mounted Police Waltzes, a book of sheet music, Dedicated to Lieut. Colonel MacLeod C.M.C. Commissioner, Commanding The North West Mounted Police, By His Brother Officers, Music by St. George B. Crozier, Mus. Doc. In the Moodie Family collection you will find the Rosedale Mine Detective reports. One folder covers the period April 17 – August 31, 1918, and “consists of daily reports of “Operative #3”, a spy from the Pinkerton Detective Agency who was hired by mine owner Frank Moodie to work undercover at the Rosedale Mine in Drumheller. Includes reports on subversive actions of miners, tensions between the English and “foreign” element, strike threats, and unions activities. The miners knew him by the name Schofield.”

    Archives Photographs
    This collection contains 80,000 historical photographs, illustrations, cartoons, and posters that document the people, landscape and development of western Canada over a 100-year period from the 1870s to the 1970s. The database can be searched by keyword/phrase, year(s), people, photographer/illustrator, and subject. There are Browse buttons next to some of the search boxes. Use them if you want to select your search terms from existing lists. Copies of the photographs can be purchased from the museum.

    CPR Land Sales Catalogue
    The CPR (Canadian Pacific Railway) Land Sales Catalogue is an index that contains records of the railway’s sales of agricultural land to settlers in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta from 1881 to 1927. The data fields include the name of the purchaser, a legal description of the land, the number of acres purchased, and the cost per acre. You can search the catalogue by entering the purchaser's name in the search box or by using the Browse button to select a name from a list. You can also use the dropdown boxes to select terms that describe the land. The search results include the call number, date of purchase, purchaser(s), land description, number of acres, price per acre, and status of purchase.

    Newspaper Clippings Catalogue
    The Newspaper Clippings Catalogue contains 15,000 descriptions of newspaper clipping files about people, places, and subjects related to the history of western Canada, with a particular emphasis on Calgary and southern Alberta. Most of the clippings in the collection are from the past fifty years, but some date back to the 1880s. This database is a work in progress. You can either enter search terms in the search boxes or use the Browse buttons to select specific people, places, or subjects. The search results only provide information about where the clippings are located in the library files, not the newspaper source itself. You will have to contact the library to find out how to acquire a copy of the clipping.

    Visit the Glenbow Museum’s web site at to explore all of the museum’s online research resources.

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    From the Online Genealogist

    I am researching a German ancestor who immigrated in 1923 to New York and I have two questions:

    1. I have a birth date and probable place of Hamburg in 1900. Are there birth records available in Germany for that era?

    2. Since he would have been 18 in 1918, I wonder if he served in World War I. Are there military records of that era available?

    Since the Germans are noted for careful records, I assume there may be records if not destroyed in World War II. If you can steer me in the right direction, I would appreciate it.

    Civil registration in Germany begins in some areas in 1809, but is not universal until 1875. To order a birth record from Hamburg Germany I would suggest following the instructions on the following consulate website:

    For German records of WWI I would recommend the Germany chapter in Christina K. Schaefer, The Great War, A Guide to the Service Records of the World's Fighting Men and Volunteers (Baltimore, Genealogical Publishing Co., 1998), p. 52-63. As you may know, a large number of WWI German military records were destroyed during WWII. This chapter will allow you to understand what records are located at a variety of repositories. The Great War is available at the NEHGS Research Library [REF CS14/S33/1998].

    You may also wish to take a look at "Captured German and Related Records on Microform in the National Archives" 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

    Tricks For Searching the Massachusetts Vital Records 1841-1910 Database
    by Michael J. Leclerc

    Massachusetts Vital Records 1841-1910 is one of the most popular databases on While the index for the entire period is online, records have only been uploaded through 1888. New records are added to the database regularly. Here are a couple of tricks to use when searching the database that might help you in searching for your ancestors.

    Married females are indexed according to their surname at death, but their maiden name is often included, especially in later years. Searching by maiden name can cut down greatly on the number of hits, especially for more common names. When running a search for a married woman in death records, leave out the first name: search with her maiden name in the first name field and her married surname in the last name field. This will make it easier to find the record. Remember, though, that maiden names were not always included on a woman’s death record.

    This same technique can also be applied when looking for a woman’s second marriage. Starting in the latter part of the nineteenth century, a woman’s maiden name would often (but not always) be recorded when she married a second time. The above technique should locate these records.

    Sometimes it is possible to determine which marriage record in the index is the individual you are looking for, even if the record has not yet been made available online. First, search on the name of one spouse and make a note of the location, year, volume, and page number for the most likely possibilities. Then do a second search, this time on the name of the other spouse. If you find an identical location, year, volume, and page number you have a likely match. This trick is not foolproof, however. It only indicates that the two names appear on the same volume and page number. It is possible that they are records of two different marriages.

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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.

    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 from the director 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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    NEHGS Contact Information

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

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