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. 23
    Whole #274
    June 7, 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 Books, etc. in Library Catalog
    * New Family Tree Maker User Group to Meet at NEHGS
    * Nathaniel Hawthorne to be Reunited with Family
    * Name Origins
    * Florida Accountant Direct Descendant of Genghis Khan
    * International Speakers at FGS/NEHGS 2006 Conference
    * Upcoming Education Program
    * Spotlight: Newspaper Databases in the Penn State Digital Library
    * Upcoming Public Lecture Series
    * Stories of Interest
    * From the Online Genealogist
    * Research Recommendations: Free Online Genealogy Library
    * NEHGS Contact Information


    New On

    Vital Records of Shirley, Massachusetts to the Year 1850

    This addition to our “Massachusetts Vital Records to 1850” database contains 2,856 birth records; 1,594 marriage records; and 891 death records. The town of Shirley, Middlesex County, was established as a district January 5, 1753, from a part of Groton. On August 23, 1775, the district was made a town by general act.

    Published by the New England Historic Genealogical Society (Boston, Mass., 1918), the original volume is available in our Research library, call number: F74/S6/S5 1918.

    Social Security Death Index - Free Access
    Updated through April, 2006

    The SSDI, taken from the U.S. Social Security Administration's Death Master File, is one of the key resources available to genealogists today. It contains those individuals who were assigned Social Security numbers and whose death was reported to the SSA.

    Data is now current through April, 2006. Access to the SSDI is FREE to all who visit This database now contains the names of 76,410,375 million individuals, most of whose deaths were recorded after 1965.

    Return to Table of Contents


    New Books, etc. in Library Catalog

    The latest list of new titles added to the NEHGS library has been posted. To see if there is something relevant to your research on this list of wonderful new resources, go directly to the Featured Lists page at or go to the catalog’s main search page,, click the “New Books, etc.” link beneath the search box, and click “New Books, etc. – March to April 2006.” To view more details about any title on the list, simply click the title, which is hyperlinked (underlined), and you will be taken to the full catalog record. The list is sorted in call number order.

    Return to Table of Contents


    New Family Tree Maker User Group to Meet at NEHGS

    On Saturday, June 17, at 2:00 p.m., NEHGS will host a user group meeting for researchers who use Family Tree Maker in the Education Center at 101 Newbury Street in Boston. If you have any version of Family Tree Maker, and would like to meet other users and discuss how to use the genealogy program, how to get the most from its features, and generally gain support from your fellow genealogists, please come to our meeting. Experienced users are encouraged to attend and share their expertise with those getting started.

    The group will determine the frequency of future meetings at this first gathering. All participants will be able to view the software projected on a screen, and you are encouraged to bring your laptop along to deal with specific questions.

    The group is open to everyone. Bring a friend with you to share the day. If you have any questions about the user group contact Marie Daly at or Pauline Cusson at

    Return to Table of Contents


    Nathaniel Hawthorne to be Reunited with Family

    Nathaniel Hawthorne and Sophia Peabody were rarely apart trom their marriage in 1842 until his death in 1864. Nathaniel died May 19, 1864 in Plymouth, New Hampshire, and was buried in his family’s plot at Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Concord, Massachusetts. After his death, Sophia took their children to live in England. She and their daughter Una lived there until their deaths. They were buried at Kensal Green Cemetery in London in 1871 and 1877 respectively.

    After almost a century and a half apart, Nathaniel and Sophia will be reunited as the remains of Sophia and Una will be disinterred and shipped to Concord, where they will be laid to rest beside Nathaniel at Sleepy Hollow Cemetery.

    Read more about this fascinating story in the Boston Globe at

    Return to Table of Contents


    Name Origins
    by Julie Helen Otto

    Jeremiah (m) – From Hebrew …. ‘’. The prophet Jeremiah…. This Hebrew name’s Gaelic equivalent is Diarmuid/Dermot.

    Darby (m) – An Irish name often translated as Jeremiah. (With thanks to Marie E. Daly).

    Return to Table of Contents


    Florida Accountant Direct Descendant of Genghis Khan

    In another example of DNA testing demonstrating family ancestry, Brian Sykes and his Oxford Ancestors geneticists have recently discovered that 48-year-old Florida accountant Tom Robinson is a direct descendant of Genghis Khan. He is the first Caucasian to be linked to the 13th-century Mongol warlord.

    Read the full story in the Boston Globe at

    Return to Table of Contents


    International Speakers at FGS/NEHGS 2006 Conference

    The 2006 FGS/NEHGS Conference in Boston will provide the widest variety of genealogical education opportunities ever offered. Among the unique opportunities are speakers who are traveling from Canada, the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and England to teach us how to use records in those areas.

    Individuals from the following organizations will be speaking:

    Library and Archives Canada
    Public Records Office of Northern Ireland
    The National Archives of England and Wales
    The National Archives of Scotland
    The National Library of Ireland
    The Society of Genealogists [London]
    Nova Scotia Archives and Records Management
    Archives of Ontario
    and more…

    From English parish chest records to justice records in the province of Québec, opportunities abound to hear these researchers who work with these records on a day-to-day basis.

    Opportunities to hear speakers from other countries are rare for US genealogists. The opportunity to attend presentations by individuals from so many countries at a single conference is unheard of. Find out more about these presentations at

    Return to Table of Contents


    Upcoming Education Program

    NEHGS invites you to join its twenty-eighth annual research tour to Salt Lake City. Participants will receive assistance in their research from our experienced staff genealogists and other recognized experts in the field. In addition, there will be orientations to our tour and to the Family History Library and its computer system, personal one-on-one consultations and guided research in the library with NEHGS staff, and several group meals included in the weeklong program.

    NEHGS staff genealogists David Allen Lambert, online genealogist, and Ruth Quigley Wellner, research services coordinator, will serve as tour leaders. They will be joined by Christopher Child, NEHGS genealogist and Scott Steward, NEHGS director of scholarly programs. Guest consultants include former staff person Jerome E. Anderson and Maryan Egan-Baker. Staff will be stationed on each floor of the Family History Library for scheduled personal research consultations. Participants will be able to sign up for consultations early in the program and there will be plenty of time in the course of the week to confer with our staff about research questions and concerns.

    Lodging will be at the Salt Lake Plaza Hotel. Participants who desire accommodations before and/or after the Research Tour to Salt Lake City are responsible for making those arrangements on their own. NEHGS secures lodging for the program and cannot serve as an intermediary in securing extra lodging. The Plaza can be reached at 1-800-366-3684.

    Registration is $1,450 single and $1,150 double. If you are sharing a room with someone not participating in the program the fee is $1,850. Commuters can register for $750.

    For more information contact us at

    Return to Table of Contents


    Spotlight: Newspaper Databases in the Penn State Digital Library

    The Digitized Collections at Penn State include three searchable newspaper databases, which may be of interest to individuals researching their Pennsylvania ancestors. These collections may be accessed from links on the Digitized Collections homepage. In addition to these databases you may want to check out the digital maps collections or the Eighth Air Force Archive.

    Two of these databases use ActivePaper Reader software. You must choose the appropriate Internet connection speed before beginning your search with ActivePaper. You can search the newspapers by keyword or browse through the newspaper images page-by-page. There are links from the databases’ main pages to Search Tips and Archive Guide/Help pages should you need assistance.

    Historical Digital Collegian
    Pennsylvania State University’s student newspaper, The Daily Collegian, was known by different names during its nearly 120-year history—Free Lance, State Collegian, and Penn State Collegian. If your ancestor attended Penn State between April, 1887, and August 2, 1940, you might find mention of this individual in one of these papers. Issues published after 1940 have not yet been digitized.

    Pennsylvania Civil War Newspapers
    This collection contains 17 newspapers from the following Pennsylvania communities: Bellefonte, Chambersburg, Columbia, Erie, Gettysburg, Huntingdon, Philadelphia, Reading, Waynesboro, and Wellsboro. The dates of the newspapers in this digital collection cover the period from July 17, 1847, to December 31, 1874, with most falling between 1855 and 1871. You can view articles, photographs, and advertisements. As noted on the website, newspapers played an important role by mobilizing public opinion about the war, providing information to the public about battles, and documenting political life back home. In addition to military and political news there are standard types of articles like those on travel, the arts, sports and local events.

    Pennsylvania County Historic Newspapers
    The Historical Newspaper database is one of the resources found in the Pennsylvania Center for the Book at Penn State. This database contains newspapers published between 1700 and 1870. There are two ways in which to search this database. You can search by keyword or by selecting one or more of the following fields: county, category, and time period. The available categories include advertising; local, national, and international news; entertainment, and sports. Search results data fields include the newspaper name, article title, county, category, date and article word count, keywords, and a short summary of the article. Click on the View Article link to bring up an image of the article.

    A local news search for a specific period in Schuylkill County resulted in six articles. They included three articles about various types of accidents including mining accidents, one about an entire family that was bitten by a mad dog, and a description of the town of Falling Run City. A search for national news for the period between 1850 and 1870 in Cumberland County newspapers retrieved 141 records.

    Visit the Penn State Digital Library at to access the newspaper databases.

    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.

    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

    Return to Table of Contents


    Stories of Interest

    Project Gutenberg is hosting the world's largest free ebook download. As many as 300,000 books will be available for download at Boston Globe reporter David Mehegan gives the story on these stories at

    Having servants as ancestors can really pay off. Read the story of one public works department laborer in the London Times at,,3-2204344,00.html.

    Boston filmmaker Katrina Browne has created a documentary film to tell the story of her ancestors from New England, to spell out the legacy white Americans have inherited from the history of slavery. Discover more about this project in a report by Nan Cobbey of Episcopal Life at

    Return to Table of Contents


    From the Online Genealogist

    My 4th great grandmother is listed as buried at the Park Street Church in Boston. I have been there and the guard informed me they no longer have tombs in the church. Can you tell me where her remains would have been sent?

    Numerous families were faced with reburying their relatives during 1860’s when Park Street Church closed their tombs. Many chose to reinter their family members in private family plots. If family members did not come forward the remains were reburied at Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge. You can contact the cemetery at (617)-547-7105. There is also a section at Mt. Auburn set aside for tombs from the Trinity Church, which was destroyed during the great Boston fire in 1872.


    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

    Free Online Genealogy Library
    by Michael J. Leclerc

    Brigham Young University is spearheading a project to make the complete text of books available online for free to those researching their family’s history. Participating libraries include the Harold B. Lee Library at Brigham Young University, BYU Hawaii, BYU Idaho, LDS Business College, Family History Library, and the Church History Library of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

    Over 5,000 volumes have now been digitized and made available through the Family History Archive website. The volumes are fully searchable, with both basic and advanced searching options available. Images of the original pages of the books display on the screen in PDF form. Users can save images in a My Favorites folder or print out the pages on their home computer.

    Images from the books are also now linked to titles in the Family History Library Catalog of the Family History Library. Look in the Notes field of the entry for any book. If the book has been digitized and made available through BYU, there will be a link that says: To view a digital version of vol. 2 of this book click here. Visit the Family History Archive at

    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