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  • 2006 Archive

  • Vol. 8, No. 22
    Whole #273
    May 31, 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 from NEHGS: Early Maine Wills & Deeds
    * New Column for NEHGS eNews: Name Origins
    * New Jersey Archives Launches Marriage Records Database
    * Connecticut Open House Day
    * Used Book Sale
    * Hotel Rooms Added for the FGS/NEHGS 2006 Conference
    * Upcoming Education Program
    * Spotlight: Maryland and New Jersey Resources
    * Upcoming Public Lecture Series
    * Stories of Interest
    * From the Online Genealogist
    * Research Recommendations: Nicknames
    * NEHGS Contact Information


    New On

    Free Negro Heads of Families in the United States in 1830

    Free Negro Heads of Families in the United States in 1830, (Online database:, New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2006), (Free Negro Heads of Families in the United States in 1830, Together with a Brief Treatment of the Free Negro, by Carter G. Woodson, originally pub. by The Association for the Study of Negro Life and History, Inc., Washington, DC, 1925).

    This 192-page list of free Negro heads of families was compiled from the 1830 census under the direction of Carter G. Woodson, Ph.D., and published in 1925. It contains the name, age range, family size, and county and state residence of 47,300 individuals in 27 states and one territory.

    The original volume is available for viewing at the NEHGS Research Library, call number E185/W877/1925.

    The Settlers of the Beekman Patent
    Just added: Chatterton, Chilson, Christian, Christy, Church, Churchill, and Clapp
    This installment continues the sketches featured in Volume 3 of The Settlers of the Beekman Patent, Frank J. Doherty's multi-volume study of the settlers of the second largest patent in present-day Dutchess County, New York.

    The original text can be viewed at the NEHGS Library. The call number is F127/D8/D63.

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    New from NEHGS: Early Maine Deeds & Wills

    Early Maine Deeds & Wills, edited by Jennifer P. Moss contains the contents of William M. Sargent’s Maine Wills 1640-1670, published in 1887, and York Deeds, published between 1887 and 1910. These two sources constitute a vast amount of primary genealogical and biographical data on Maine’s earliest settlers. York was the only county in Maine until 1760 when the counties of Cumberland and Lincoln were created. Thus these records cover all residents throughout the state in this early time period.

    Get more details or order a copy of Early Maine Deeds & Wills at You can also order a copy directly from our distributors, Picton Press, at 207-596-7766.

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    New Column for NEHGS eNews: Name Origins

    NEHGS staff genealogist Julie Helen Otto is our resident expert on onomastics and name origins. Starting with this issue of eNews, Julie will regularly report on the origins of given names. Many given names can carry hidden meanings that will assist researchers in tracing familial connections. We start this series with one of the most common first names in America.

    Mary (f) – From Hebrew mrm ‘____’ (sometimes transliterated as mara, Hebrew ‘bitter’). Regardless of what some say on the Internet, the use of Molly and Polly (q.q.v.) as nicknames for Mary (the name borne by the mother of Jesus) does not indicate the bearer’s virginity or lack thereof. Colonial New England, which teemed with Marys, Pollys, and Mollys, was almost universally Protestant, and the Protestant churches of those extremely unecumenical days heavily downplayed the Virgin Mary’s role due to suspicion of anything deemed Catholic. The name Mary was thus used in much of English North America more because it was a traditional English name than to honor the mother of Jesus.

    Mally (f) – Scottish/Northern English nickname for Mary.
    Molly (f) – Formed from Mary.
    Polly (f) – Nickname formed from Mary.

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    New Jersey Archives Launches Marriage Records Database

    Marriages in New Jersey were recorded at the county level starting in 1795. On May 1, 1848 the state started requiring the filing of marriage records. The New Jersey State Archives this week released a new database on their website that indexes marriage returns filed with the Secretary of State for the period May 1848 through 31 May 1867. Data entry from the 1848-1867 hardcopy indexes for most of the counties has been completed and verified against the original returns. Index data for the following counties is currently being checked and should be considered preliminary and possibly incomplete: Middlesex, Ocean, Salem, Somerset, Union and Warren. The index may be searched by the name of the groom and/or bride, county of registration, and/or the year of marriage. Please enter names as Surname, Given Name (e.g., Smith, John). Results are listed alphabetically by groom's name.

    This database joins two previously released databases: one that indexes the Secretary of State’s marriage bonds and licenses issued between 1711 and 1795 and one that indexes plaintiffs and defendants in New Jersey Supreme Court cases heard between 1704 and 1844. The archives plans to issue several more databases this year as well. All of these databases can be viewed at

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    Connecticut Open House Day

    The Connecticut State Library & Museum of Connecticut History will be open from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 10, 2006 as part of Connecticut Open House Day. Both admission and parking are free. Frisbees, a Connecticut invention whose original is housed in the Museum, will be given to the first 100 visitors

    Schedule of Events:

    10:00 a.m. - Find out about your family history on a tour of the Connecticut State Library's History & Genealogy department
    11:00 a.m. - See a unique live portrayal of William Webb, an African-American Civil War soldier from Connecticut
    1:00 p.m. - Take a "Hats-On History Tour" through Connecticut's past at the Museum of Connecticut History.
    2:00 p.m. - "Hats-On History Tour"

    The Connecticut State Library & Museum of Connecticut History is located at 231 Capitol Avenue in Hartford. For more information, call 860-757-6500. Directions and parking information are available at

    This event is part of the Connecticut Commission on Culture & Tourism's one-day statewide event to pay tribute to Connecticut's unique world of history, art, film and tourism. See a listing of the sites participating in Open House day at .

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    Used Book Sale

    The NEHGS Sales department has an overstock of certain used book titles that have been priced to move. Most of these titles have been used in the NEHGS research library and have recently been replaced with newer copies. Others have been donated by other local libraries and NEHGS patrons, and have been available only at the Family Treasures book store at our Boston facility.

    Prices have been cut by as much as 80% on over 150 separate titles. We have a very limited quantity of many of these titles and orders will be accepted on a first come, first served basis. The sale price is good only for the titles we already have in stock. For a full list of titles available during this Used Book Sale, along with information on how to order, please send an email with the words "USED BOOKS" in the subject line to

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    Hotel Rooms Added for the FGS/NEHGS 2006 Conference

    FGS has increased the room block at the conference hotel, the Sheraton Boston. If you haven’t made your reservations yet, you will want to do so quickly. The deadline for the early discount is July 1, and we may not increase the room block again. The conference rate is a discount of almost 60% off the regular room rate. You can get the details about the conference, including registration information and the contact information about the Sheraton Boston, at

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    Upcoming Education Program

    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.

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    Spotlight: Maryland and New Jersey Resources

    Baltimore City Church Register Transcriptions
    The Maryland Genealogical Society has made available on its website transcriptions from four churches in Baltimore. Tips for using these files are provided on the main database page.

    First German United Evangelical Church (Baltimore City, Maryland)
    The burial records of the First German United Evangelical Church for the period 1864-1884 have been transcribed and are currently available on the site. This large database with more than 100 pages of records takes some time to download. Database users are strongly advised to verify the information found in the index by viewing the original microfilm, which is available at the Maryland State Archives. The data fields in each record include name, relationship, birth date, death date, and page number. Marriage records for the periods 1850-1863 and 1880-1911 are being processed and will be uploaded to the site when completed.

    Saint Matthew’s Lutheran Cemetery
    This index lists the graves that were removed in 1971 from St Matthew’s Lutheran German Cemetery at 6104 O’Donnell Street in Baltimore to make way for the construction of the interstate highway I-95. The remains were moved to another section of the cemetery if relatives did not claim them. The graves were originally located in sections L, M, N, and O. The index was transcribed from a list that was published in The Baltimore Sun on May 21, 1971. The data fields in the index include surname, given name, date (month, day, year), lot number, section, and owner.

    Saint Paul’s Fifth German Reformed Church (Baltimore City, Maryland)
    Burials: A transcription of the burial records from the Saint Paul’s Fifth German Reformed Church for the period from 1889 to 1919 is available on the website. The data fields include name, relationship, date of birth or age of the deceased, and death date. Relationship appears to indicate the names of the closest relatives of the deceased, living or dead. After 1910 ‘relationship’ was changed to mourners.

    Marriage: There are three marriage indexes for this church on the website. The first covers the period 1857-1859. The data fields include groom’s surname and first name, bride’s surname and first name, groom’s birth date, bride’s birth date, and the marriage date. The second database covers the period 1864-1889. The third one covers the period 1889-1919. The data fields for both include groom’s surname and first name, bride’s surname and first name, and the marriage date. These files can be sorted by clicking on the grey header field. The original records are located in the Philip Schaff Library, Evangelical & Reformed Archive in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

    Trinity Lutheran Cemetery Removals
    This index lists the graves that were removed in 1972 from Trinity Lutheran Cemetery at 5500 O’Donnell Street in Baltimore to make way for the construction of the interstate highway I-95. If relatives did not claim them, remains were moved to another section of the cemetery. The index was transcribed from the 1972 Baltimore Sun list. The data fields in the index include surname, given name, date (month, day, year), lot number, section number, and owner.

    Belvidere Apollo/Intelligencer/Apollo-Journal Obituary Index, Belvidere, New Jersey (

    The Warren County Library System’s website is where you will find the Belvidere Apollo/Intelligencer/Apollo-Journal Obituary Index. Belvidere is a small town in the northern part of New Jersey. The weekly newspaper from Belvidere, New Jersey, was published from 1826 to 1953 A volunteer has extracted death notices, obituaries, and news accounts mentioning deaths from three volumes of the newspaper covering the period from 1826 through 1892. He is currently working on the fourth volume. You can access an introduction to the database with a great deal of useful information by clicking on the Introduction link on the Obituary Index main page. The files are large and may take a while to load. The data fields include last name, first name and middle initial; date the obituary appeared in the newspaper; and page number.

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    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.

    June 7, Wednesday, 10:00 a.m., Marie Daly
    New Visitor Welcome and Library Tour
    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.


    June 14, Wednesday, 10:00 a.m., David Lambert
    Getting the Most from NEHGS Databases
    With more than 110 million records in our databases, NEHGS is the place to search for your ancestors. Please join NEHGS Online Genealogist David Allen Lambert as he explores the tremendous breadth of the NEHGS databases that are available to members online at

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    Stories of Interest

    Genealogy can reunite families. Read one family's story of an orphan reunited with his relatives at

    Newsday advice columnist Amy Dickinson renders sage assistance to a girl wanting to hear her grandfather's stories at,0,2484712.column?coll=ny-rightrail-columnist.

    The Delaware County, Pennsylvania, Archives recently opened a new reading room for patrons. Todd Mason of the Philadelphia Inquirer interviews Robert Ploughman, the first person to serve as county archivist since the county's founding in 1789, at

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    From the Online Genealogist

    Some records say that my second-great-grandfather was born in Eastern Canada. How do I figure out which province they mean?

    First look again at the records. Do they say Eastern Canada or Canada East? Many Americans read Canada East and mistakenly think that their ancestor was born in the Maritime provinces on the Atlantic Coast. The province of Quebec was formerly known as Lower Canada and Canada East. Ontario was formerly known as Upper Canada and Canada West. The upper and lower in these names refer to the locations of provinces on the St. Lawrence River. Ontario is at the head of the river while Quebec follows the lower part of the river to the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

    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

    by David Allen Lambert

    For my entire early childhood I knew some relatives simply by their nicknames as “Sonny”, “Dicky”, “Jimbo” or “Buddy”. These fun nicknames are often tagged on as children, or during military service. My own father was George Richard Lambert, and because his father was called George my dad was nicknamed “Bud” – shortened from “Buddy”. My mom’s older brother was “Uncle Buddy” because John was his name as well as his father’s name. Because this maternal grandfather was the son of a John as well, he was commonly called “Jack”. Are you confused yet?

    It is important to record the traditions of why, when, and how certain nicknames were developed in your family. These stories will be especially important for future generations. I would suggest preserving them in the records of your genealogy. George Richard “Bud” Lambert will always be remembered in stone, as it was carved upon his gravestone per his own request.

    Since we had nicknames, perhaps our parents and grandparents did as well. How about an ancestor from a century or more ago? Is it possible we may then accidentally overlook an entry “Slim” Jeffries because our ancestor was Jonathan Jeffries? When recording your genealogical information, leave a space for a relative’s nickname. Doing this you are preserving a little piece of the past, and adding a bit more color to your family tree. Keep in mind there are nicknames that one may not want preserved!

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

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