American Ancestors New England Historic Genealogical Society - Founded 1845 N.E. Historic Genealogical Society Seal View Your Shopping Cart Join NEHGS
  • 2006 Archive

  • Vol. 8, No. 21
    Whole #272
    May 24, 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 On
    * New Website for Ulster Scots
    * Patricia Law Hatcher named Editor of NYGB Record
    * Godspeed Replica Starts 400th Anniversary Celebration of Jamestown
    * Visit NEHGS in Chicago
    * Discount on Special Order Titles
    * Workshops at the FGS/NEHGS 2006 Conference
    * Upcoming Education Programs
    * Spotlight: Institute for Regional Studies at North Dakota State University
    * Upcoming Public Lecture Series
    * Stories of Interest
    * From the Online Genealogist
    * Research Recommendations:Civil War National Graves Registration Project
    * NEHGS Contact Information


    New On

    Vital Records of Rockport, Massachusetts to the end of the Year 1849

    Published by the Essex Institute, Salem, Mass., 1924. The original volume is available in our Research library, call number: F74/R68/R64 1924

    Rockport was originally part of Gloucester, Mass., and was set off as a separate town and incorporated on Feb. 27, 1840. This addition to our “Massachusetts Vital Records to 1850” database contains 888 birth records, 566 marriage records, and 760 death records.

    Return to Table of Contents


    New Website for Ulster Scots

    The Ulster-Scots Agency, in association with the Ulster Historical Foundation, the Centre for Migration Studies, and the Institute of Ulster-Scots Studies, has created a new website for individuals interested in the Irish-born Presbyterians who left northern Ireland in 1718 for North America.

    This website,, has information on both the genealogy and history of these people. Contributors include Dr. James McConnel of the Institute of Ulster-Scots Studies, Dr. Linde Lunney of the Royal Irish Academy, and Dr. William Roulston and Colin Brooks. Anyone with roots among the Ulster Scots should visit this informative new website.

    Return to Table of Contents


    Patricia Law Hatcher Named Editor of NYGB Record

    The New York Genealogical and Biographical Society announced last week the appointment of Patricia Law Hatcher, FASG, to the position of editor of their quarterly journal, The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record. She succeeds Harry Macy, Jr., FASG, who is retiring after a tenure of 20 years with the Record.

    Pat Hatcher has a long history with NEHGS. She has served a consulting editor for The New England Historical and Genealogical Register and for several years has been a consulting editor for Newbury Street Press. She has been a popular speaker at many NEHGS events, and has authored many articles for New England Ancestors magazine,, and the Register.

    In 2000 she was elected one of the fifty Fellows of the American Society of Genealogists (FASG). A professional genealogist specializing in problem solving, she has spoken at many national conferences and institutes. Her articles have appeared in over a dozen publications. She is the author of Finding Your Colonial New England Ancestor (forthcoming), Locating Your Roots—Discover Your Ancestors Using Land Records, and Producing a Quality Family History. She is the editor of The Pennsylvania Genealogical Magazine, which she will continue to edit in conjunction with the Record. She was formerly the indexer for The National Genealogical Society Quarterly, and is a past trustee of the Association of Professional Genealogists.

    Return to Table of Contents


    Godspeed Replica Starts 400th Anniversary Celebration of Jamestown

    A new re-creation of one of the three ships that brought America’s first permanent English settlers to Virginia has been constructed at Rockport Marine, Inc., in Rockport, Maine. The Godspeed will be commissioned at Jamestown Settlement and sail along the Eastern seaboard during the summer of 2006 to start the commemoration of the 400th anniversary of the founding of Jamestown.

    Accompanied by a unique "Landing Party" featuring live performances, historical exhibits and cultural displays, the ship will visit Alexandria, Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York, Boston, and Newport from late May through July, 2006.

    The new Godspeed replaces an existing ship at Jamestown Settlement, where replicas of the Susan Constant and Discovery also are docked. Construction is under way on a new replica of the Discovery at Boothbay Harbor Shipyard in Boothbay Harbor, Maine, whoch will be delivered to Jamestown Settlement in early 2007.

    Extensive research commissioned by the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation on 17th-century ships and historically documented tonnages (cargo capacities) of the original ships were used to design the new Godspeed and Discovery re-creations.

    For more information visit

    Return to Table of Contents


    Visit NEHGS in Chicago

    The New England Historic Genealogical Society will be exhibiting at the National Genealogical Society's 2006 Conference in the States in Chicago from June 7 through June 10.

    NEHGS staff genealogist Christopher Child and director of special projects Michael J. Leclerc will be making presentations at the conference. Chris will be the speaker at the NEHGS luncheon, presenting “Sifting Through the Advantages and Limitations of Online Research.” Michael will present“Resources for French-Canadian Research” and “Online Sources for New England Research.” He will also discuss “Making Your Local Society a Success in the Twenty-First Century” as the speaker for the Federation of Genealogical Societies luncheon.

    NEHGS director of marketing Karen Larsen will also be at the conference, staffing our booth in the exhibit hall. We will have examples of books and CD-ROMs published by the Society in the booth, as well as membership information, member pins, and magazines. We will also have information about the Society’s website,

    If you plan to attend the conference and would like to volunteer some of your time at the exhibit booth, please contact Karen at or swing by the booth to let us know when you’re available. Please tell us your preferred days and time periods. One to two hours of your time can make an important difference as we juggle the obligations and schedules of the NEHGS staff members in attendance.

    Even if you are not planning to attend the conference, the exhibit hall is open to the public, free of charge. We hope you will stop by our booth (#509 and 511) to say hello. Exhibit hall hours are:

    Wednesday, June 7: 9:30 – 5:00
    Thursday, June 8: 8:30 – 5:00
    Friday, June 9: 8:30 – 5:00
    Saturday, June 10: 8:00 – 4:30

    The conference, “They Passed This Way,” is being hosted by the Chicagoland Consortium at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare in Rosemont, Illinois. More information is available at

    Return to Table of Contents


    Discount on Special Order Titles

    Did you know that NEHGS offers almost 10,000 order titles, including high-quality reprints of books that have long been out of print or are hard-to-find? Genealogies, local histories, vital records--these are all available through our website at All special order books are printed on acid-free paper in hardback bindings, and many are also available in softcover.

    Any special order photoduplicated title* ordered between May 23rd and June 30th, 2006 will receive a 10% discount. Whether you order just one title or a dozen, we will take 10% off of each book you purchase. You can search for these titles online at or you can order our Special Orders Catalog, which contains a listing of all the special order photoduplicated titles we offer for sale.**

    To receive your 10% discount:

    Order online at
    In the comment field of your online order, please enter the code SPECORD. When the Member Services team processes your order, they will take the 10% discount off the qualified titles and your credit card will be charged for the price of the qualified titles minus 10%. A confirmation notice showing the adjusted price will then be sent to you through the USPS.

    Telephone us at 1-888-296-3447
    Simply mention to the Member Services Representative that you are ordering a photoduplicated book and give them the code SPECORD. The 10% discount will be adjusted on your order. A confirmation notice showing the adjusted price will then be sent to you through the USPS.

    Send an order mail to our PO Box
    On the order blank you send in, please write the special code SPECORD next to the photduplicated title(s). A confirmation notice showing the adjusted price will then be sent to you through the USPS. Please send your mail order to us at: NEHGS Sales, PO BOX 5089, Framingham, MA 01701.

    Please note that as special orders, these titles require 8-12 weeks to be produced by our binderies. This does not include shipping time.

    * Any title with an item number beginning with the letter "P", as in P21234567, P31234567, P4-123456-H, P5-S12345. 10% Discount does NOT apply to any other type of item.

    ** The Special Orders Catalog (item L40101000) is $9.99 plus shipping. Each catalog contains a coupon for $10.00 off your first order. This coupon can be used in conjunction with the 10% off promotion.

    Return to Table of Contents


    Workshops at the FGS/NEHGS 2006 Conference

    The FGS/NEHGS 2006 Conference offers hundreds of sessions for all levels of genealogical experience. In addition to the regular presentations, there are a number of “hands-on” workshops that provide a more experiential learning environment.

    Land Platting (Sessions W-15, S-200)
    Patricia Law Hatcher, FASG, will be giving a hands-on introduction to platting those "beginning at a chestnut oak" deeds and to finding that land on a map. A take-home toolkit is provided to all participants.

    Using Griffith's Valuation and the Cancellation Books for Irish Family and Local History Research (Sessions W-65, F-168, S262)
    Noted Irish genealogy experts George B. Handran and John Grenham will lead these workshops covering information collected as the basis for Griffith’s Valuation such as Field Books, House (Rent) Books, Perambulation Books, and Griffith's Maps; Griffith’s Valuation Original Volumes and Amended or Corrected Volumes; Instructions to the Valuators; and Cancellation Books. The tutors will discuss the various methods to access the data in Griffith’s and how to use material within the documents to generate genealogical and historical information. They are even prepared to divulge the answer to the age-old question: What’s a perch?

    Identifying and Preserving Family Photographs (Session T-140)
    Maureen A. Taylor and David Mishkin will help participants learn to identify family photographs by researching photographers, dating costume clues and comparing facial characteristics. Preserving your family photographs is easy and inexpensive when you understand the terminology and how to purchase supplies. Participants are invited to bring family photographs with them.

    Using Oral History to Enhance Your Genealogy (F-210)
    Wendy Bebout Elliott, PhD and Sheila Benedict, BG will provide hands-on instruction in oral history techniques. The workshop includes an actual practice session to learn about and help develop oral history skills and techniques.

    There are additional materials fees for each workshop. Details are available on the FGS website at

    Return to Table of Contents


    Upcoming Education Programs

    Come Home to New England
    June 19-24, 2006
    NEHGS invites you to participate in our classic intensive weeklong program Come Home to New England. Research your roots with our help at the extensive NEHGS library, one of the finest facilities for genealogical research in the country. Whether you are a first-time participant or have enjoyed this program in the past, you are sure to benefit from a visit to our library. We hope you will come spend this time with our genealogists and staff as they welcome you “home” to New England.

    Enjoy a week of guided research in our library, personal one-on-one research consultations, morning lectures, and special access to the library when it is normally closed to the public. The lectures will include a tour of NEHGS which introduces first-time researchers to the library and updates long-time participants on the latest resources. This year’s Come Homers can opt to take part in an optional tour of The Bostonian Society’s Old State House museum.

    Registration fee, $920; non-participating spouse, $300.

    Visit for more details.

    Return to Table of Contents


    Spotlight: Institute for Regional Studies at North Dakota State University

    The Institute for Regional Studies at North Dakota State University offers a number of searchable databases on its website.

    Cass County, N.D. Divorce Cases Database
    Over 3,300 divorce cases handled in the Cass County District Court covering the period from the 1870s through 1942 are available in this database. Of particular interest are the cases heard before July 1, 1899. Prior to that date, the residency requirement to initiate divorce proceedings was only ninety days and many individuals from other locales traveled to Fargo to obtain a divorce. You can search the database by name of the plaintiff, defendant, and attorney, and limit it by date range. The data fields include plaintiff, plaintiff attorney, defendant, defendant attorney, dates, case number and case notes.

    Cass County, N.D. Probate Database
    This database indexes more than 5,100 probate cases handled by the Cass County Probate Court between 1876 and 1944. The index can be searched by first name and last name. Search results can be returned in first name or last name order. The data returned in each search includes the name of the individual, date and place of death, and case number.

    Cass County, N.D. Marriage License Database
    Institute staff developed this database from the original marriage license index ledgers for Cass County for the period between the 1870s and July 1944. There are more than 15,000 marriages in the database. The index can be searched by first name and last name and results can returned by groom’s name, bride’s name, or date order. The data includes the couples’ names, date of the marriage, and license number.

    North Dakota Biography Index (NDBI) Database
    This database indexes more than 192,000 biographical sketches about North Dakotans both living and dead. The NDBI indexes only biographical sketches found in nearly 700 volumes, not isolated mentions of individuals in the text. You can search the database by first name and last name or browse by publication title. Search results include last name, first name, year born, publication information, Institute call number, and page number.

    Fargo Forum Obituary Database
    This index currently contains nearly 68,000 names from obituaries published in The Fargo Forum from October 1892 to 1904 and from November 1982 through 1995. The obituaries are generally for individuals who lived in or had an affiliation with eastern North Dakota or northwestern Minnesota. The data fields in this index include last name, first name, age (may contain date of birth instead), city, state, publication date, page number, newspaper edition, and comments. The date of death is not given. You can search the database by last name, first name, city and publication date.

    Dakota Territory 1885 Census Database
    This index contains more than 151,000 names of individuals who lived in fifty of the fifty-six counties in the northern half of the Dakota Territory in 1885. The data fields in each record include name, age relationship, occupation, nativity, address city, enumeration district, and county name. The index can be searched by name, nativity, or county. Copies of the census images can be purchased from the Institute for $5.00 per family group.

    North Dakota Naturalization Records Database
    This searchable database contains over 212,000 name entries. It is complete for all counties in the state. The data in the index includes name of the immigrant, country of emigration, dates of “First Papers” (declaration of intention) and “Second Papers” (naturalization), county district court, volume and page number, and comments. The database can be searched by name, country of origin, and North Dakota county name.

    North Dakota Death Index (via the North Dakota Department of Health)
    There is a link from the Institute website to the North Dakota Department of Public Health’s Public Death Index. The index covers the period from January 1, 1881, to the present. You can search this index by last name, first name, date of death, and county of death. You can use a date range of up to ten years when running a search. You can request the search results in order of the deceased’s name, birth date, date of death or county. The data fields include name (last, first, middle), date of death, county of death, gender, age, date of birth, state of residence, and county of residence.

    For more information visit the website of the Institute for Regional Studies at North Dakota State University at

    Return to Table of Contents


    Upcoming Public Lecture Series

    Our 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.

    May 31, Wednesday, 10:00 a.m.
    Walking Tour of Mount Auburn Cemetery
    Janet Heywood
    Founded in 1831, Mount Auburn Cemetery is America’s first garden cemetery, and is a National Historic Landmark. Among the 80,000 people buried in the 174 acre cemetery are many of Boston’s elite. Please join Janet Heywood as she leads a walking tour of this famous cemetery. Although the tour is free and open to the public, attendance is limited, and advanced registration is required. Please call 617-226-1226 or email to register for the tour.

    Return to Table of Contents


    Stories of Interest

    Reporter Guy Gugliotta of the Washington Post discusses a new concept in saving your words for posterity. Read about Earth Capsule and their idea of saying something new and letting it get old at

    Lorna Colquhoun talks about "one place in the Granite State where the Old Man still reigns over Franconia Notch and where Daniel Webster speaks and a creaking boat takes visitors to the New World." Read about the closing of the White Mountains' venerable Heritage New Hampshire at

    Return to Table of Contents


    From the Online Genealogist

    At a recent genealogical meeting I heard that small immigration forms were recorded after World War I at Canadian border crossings. I understand that these were different than the records the U.S. kept as part of the St. Albans border crossings.

    The records you speak of were kept on small cards between 1919 and 1924 by the Canadian Department of Immigration and Colonization. The actual cards are referred to as Form 30, RG 76 C5b. These cards were used until 1925, at which time they started using a larger sheet. The cards contained the following information: the port and date of entry; name; age; occupation; birthplace; race; citizenship; religion; last permanent address; and destination of the individual.

    To find out more about the collection go to: An alphabetical list of microfilms from this series is available 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.

    Return to Table of Contents


    Research Recommendations

    Using PDF Files for Your Genealogy
    by Michael J. Leclerc

    Adobe’s Portable Document Format (PDF) format is an excellent tool for sending family stories, reports, and other documents electronically. PDF files can be created out of many programs, including Microsoft Word, Excel, and Powerpoint. There is even an Acrobat Reader version for Pocket PC systems.The benefit of PDF files is that they maintain the original formatting of your documents. Sending a Word document, for example, can create problems on the receiving end. If the recipient does not have the same fonts installed on their computer that you have used in the document they will not see the document as you intended. Their computer will substitute another font, which can throw off alignment, spacing, images, etc.

    PDF files eliminate the need for this kind of compatability. All of the fonts, graphics, formatting, etc. are maintained within the PDF document, and the recipient will almost always see exactly what you see when they open the document. Save time and money by sending client reports via email instead of paper. Share documents with family members and fellow researchers.

    Warning: There are exceptions to every rule. Not every PDF document displays correctly. The occasional problem will always occur, but in most instances the document should display exactly as you see it on your own computer.

    Most computers now come with Acrobat Reader installed. This is a free program that allows you to view PDF files. There is a full version of Acrobat available from Adobe for $449.00 (or $159 to upgrade to version 7.0 Standard from previous versions). The full version of the Acrobat software offers many more features. One of the most beneficial is the ability to create digital signatures for documents that prevent people from changing the text of your document. This software is downloadable from You can also order a cd sent to you to install yourself.

    Adobe also offers a new service to create PDF files online. Subscriptions are available for $9.99/month or $99.99/year. For more information visit

    Return to Table of Contents


    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

    Return to Table of Contents


New England Historic Genealogical Society
99 - 101 Newbury Street
Boston, Massachusetts 02116, USA

© 2010 - 2014 New England Historic Genealogical Society