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  • 2006 Archive

  • Vol. 8, No. 29
    Whole #280
    July 19, 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
    * NARA Archives I Reopens After Flood
    * $1,000 Reward for Ellis Island's Little Orphan Annie
    * NEHGS Members Invited to Bellevue House
    * Name Origins
    * FTM User Group Meets August 19
    * Members Receive Discount for 2006 FGS/NEHGS Conference
    * Upcoming Education Program
    * Spotlight: Lancaster County, Nebraska Resources
    * Upcoming Public Lecture Series
    * Stories of Interest
    * From the Online Genealogist
    * Research Recommendations: Using Maps in Genealogy
    * NEHGS Contact Information


    New On

    Vital Records of Groton, Massachusetts to the Year 1849

    From the Introduction:
    “The Plantation of Petapawag was incorporated as Groton on May 29, 1655. On June 14, 1715, the bounds between Groton and Nashoba were established. On June 29, 1732, a part was included in the new town of Harvard. On Jan. 5, 1753, a part was established as the district of Shirley. On Apr. 12, 1753, a part was established as the district of Pepperell. On Feb. 25, 1793, a part was annexed to Dunstable. On Jan. 26, 1796, a part was annexed to Dunstable. On Feb. 6, 1798, a part was annexed to Shirley. On Feb. 3, 1803, a part of Pepperell was annexed. On June 18, 1803, a part was annexed to Dunstable. On Feb. 15, 1820, the bounds between Groton and Dunstable were established. On May 18, 1857 a part was annexed to Pepperell. On Feb. 14, 1871, a part was included in the new town of Ayer.”

    This addition to our “Massachusetts Vital Records to 1850” database contains 8,973 birth records; 4,630 marriage records; and 2,544 death records.

    Published by the Essex Institute, Salem, Mass., 1926. The original volume is available in our Research library, call number: F74/G9/G92 1926.

    Social Security Death Index - Free Access
    Updated through June, 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 June, 2006. Access to the SSDI is FREE to all who visit This database now contains the names of 76,718,893 million individuals, most of whose deaths were recorded after 1965.

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    NARA Archives I Reopens After Flood

    Archivist of the United States Allen Weinstein announced the reopening of the Rotunda for the Charters of Freedom at the National Archives building on Saturday, July 15, 2006, after a three week closure due to flood damage. The National Archives building is located on Constitution Avenue between 7th and 9th Streets, NW, Washington, DC.

    The Rotunda for the Charters of Freedom (i.e., the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights), the Public Vaults exhibition, and the new exhibition Eyewitness: American Originals from the National Archives exhibition, reopened on Saturday, July 15. Exhibit hours are 10 a.m. until 9 p.m., daily.

    The building will reopen for research on Wednesday, July 19, 2006, in a limited capacity. Research hours are from 8:45 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., Monday-Friday; there will be no evening or Saturday research hours.

    Get more details at

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    $1,000 Reward for Ellis Island's Little Orphan Annie

    Noted genealogist Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak is offering a $1,000 reward for anyone who has documented evidence of what became of Annie Moore, Ellis Island’s first immigrant. Annie arrived at Ellis Island from Ireland with her brothers, Anthony and Philip, on January 1, 1892. She was greeted with much fanfare and given a $10 gold coin. Since then, she’s been commemorated in statues at both Ellis Island and the Cobh Heritage Centre in Ireland, and has crept into American national lore.

    Previous stories of what became of Annie have been disproven, and researchers are now wondering exactly what happened to her. For more information about Annie’s story, and the reward, visit

    Megan Smolenyak is the founder and sponsor of Honoring Our Ancestors which gives grants to genealogical organizations grants to pursue innovative and interesting projects that contribute to the field. Find out more at

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    NEHGS Members Invited to Bellevue House

    The Society invites interested members to meet D. Brenton Simons, President of the Society, at the home of Ronald Lee Fleming, “Bellevue House,” at 304 Bellevue Avenue in Newport, Rhode Island, on Sunday, July 23, 2006, at 11:30 am. The day will consist of a luncheon, tour of the house, and a presentation by Mr. Simons on “The Genealogy of Houses.”

    The February 16, 2006 edition of The New York Times carried an article about Bellevue House entitled “The House of Worth” by Christopher Mason. Mr. Fleming, an urban planner based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and the author of six books on historic preservation, has spent seven years restoring Bellevue to the glory days of its original construction in 1910.

    Tickets are $100 per person. Seating is limited. Please contact Claudia Woods at or 617-226-1238 if you are interested in attending.

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    Name Origins
    by Julie Helen Otto

    PHILIP (m), PHILIPPA (f) – Greek (… ‘lover of horses’). PHILIP was much used among the Kings of Macedonia, the most famous of these monarchs being PHILIP II (murdered 336 B.C.), father of Alexander the Great. PHILIP the APOSTLE appears in the New Testament.

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    FTM User Group Meets August 19

    NEHGS will host a user group meeting for Family Tree Maker on Saturday, August 19, at 2:00 p.m. in the Education Center at 101 Newbury Street. If you have any version of FTM 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 and beginning users welcome.

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    ********************************** Members Receive Discount for 2006 FGS/NEHGS Conference

    Planning to visit the Birthplace of American Genealogy and attend the FGS/NEHGS Conference 30 August-2 September? If you are subscriber to, you are also eligible for a $30 discount on the price of a full registration. Go to the conference's main page at to learn more about the conference and to register. At the end of the registration process you will be asked to apply any discount codes. Enter the word Ancestry and the price of registration automatically will be reduced by $30.

    This conference, presented by the Federation of Genealogical Societies and the New England Historic Genealogical Society, promises to be the largest genealogical event ever held in the United States. It features more than 350 educational opportunities in classes, workshops, and luncheon presentations and a chance to hear outstanding speakers from five countries -- England, Scotland, Ireland, Canada and the U.S. Take one of the advanced workshops or attend the specialized Librarians Day or Professional Management Conference sessions.

    Visit,, and many of the volunteers from the USGenWeb project and other genealogical organizations. Download the grid brochure and personal scheduler at to see what is available and when.

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    Upcoming Education Program

    Salt Lake City Research Tour
    October 29 - November 5, 2006

    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 visit

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    Spotlight: Lancaster County, Nebraska Resources

    Lancaster County, Nebraska, County Clerk’s Office Marriage License Search (

    The County Clerk’s Office of Lancaster County, Nebraska, has a searchable marriage license application database for the period from 1964 to the present. The database can be searched by groom’s name, bride’s name or marriage date.

    Denton Community Historical Society, Denton, Nebraska

    The purpose of the Denton Community Historical Society is to “collect, preserve, research and interpret objects, artifacts, documents and published materials relative to the heritage and cultural environment of people and events in the Village of Denton and the surrounding areas of Denton, Berks, Cheese Creek, Rokeby, Yankee Hill, Burnham, Cobb Junction, Centerville and Emerald.” All of these communities are located in Lancaster County, which is in the southeastern part of the state. The resources include, but are not limited to the following:

    The biographies of 68 prominent local men were published in Lincoln The Capitol City and Lancaster County, Nebraska (Chicago, Illinois: S.J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1916). The biographies have been transcribed and uploaded to the web site. Click on the name link to view them.

    Under the Churches link you will find information about a number of churches in the Denton area. This will open a new page. Click on the Churches link to view an annotated list of churches in southwest Lancaster County. Most entries provide the date that the church was established and a bit of history. Via the Denton, Centerville, and Emerald Churches links you can access narratives giving brief histories of the churches in those locations.

    Photos of the Past
    Individuals have contributed old photographs to the Denton Community Historical Society. The photos have been digitized and uploaded to the web site. Many have extensive captions and descriptive information.

    Under the Records link you will find censuses, a land contract, marriages, atlases, a business directory, and tax rolls. For example, you will find transcribed family records from the 1880 Census and digitized images of a 1902 School census. There are two marriage databases covering the years from about 1904 through 1938. A land contract of Henry Buhrmann has also been digitized and uploaded to the site.

    You will find a number of photographs related to area schools on the web site. They are from as early as 1888 and as late as 1940 and include an image of the 5 members of the 1932 Denton High School basketball team. You will also find Denton School Records, which include a list of the students in Denton Schools during the academic year 1896 – 1897 and a 1905 School Census.

    1925 Rural Directory of Lancaster County
    This directory has been digitized and uploaded to the web site. Click on the page link to view an image. They note on the web page that the images are large and may take some time to download.

    Railroad Land Contracts
    As the Burlington and Missouri River Railroad Company was being built across Nebraska, the odd numbered lots on either side of the tracks in Lancaster County were opened up for settlement. The contracts for purchases of these lands have been microfilmed and may be found at the Nebraska State Historical Society. The database on this web site contains data from some of these railroad land contracts. The data fields include record number, date, purchaser’s name, section, legal description of the land and the number of acres purchased.

    Clicking on this link will bring you to a page with more than 20 links to events, images, and items related to Denton area history. You will find stories about misfortunes such as the Yankee Hill Brickyard Fire, Denton disasters, and the Cortland and Pleasantdale robberies; a list of the Early Post Offices in the area; and lists of the newspapers published in Denton, Crete, and southwest Lancaster County, which include their dates of publication and information about availability.

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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.

    Migrations within New England
    Saturday, July 22
    David C. Dearborn, FASG
    As late 1800, there were areas of New England that had not been settled, and New England inhabitants migrated from one place to the other in search of new land. Their migrations tended to follow predictable patterns, and understanding these patterns may provide clues about your ancestor’s origins. NEHGS early New England expert David C. Dearborn will provide an informative lecture on the migration patterns within New England, 1630 – 1850.

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    Stories of Interest

    A cemetery at the former St. Joseph's Catholic parish in Roxbury, Massachusetts, was recently relocated and the remains of hundreds of individuals are being disinterred for reburial in another Catholic cemetery. It is believed that most of those buried here were Irish immigrants arriving during and shortly after the great famine. Read more about this story at

    The matriarch of the Lincoln family of Taunton, who proudly claim President Abraham Lincoln as one of their members, is alive and well at 90 in Taunton. Born in 1916, Annah Silsby Lincoln was raised in a home that has always been owned by members of the family. Read more about Annah Lincoln at

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    From the Online Genealogist

    Can you tell me if there is an organization for whaling ship descendants? I was told by a genealogist that there was once a group in New England. Is it connected with NEHGS?

    The organization I believe you are looking for is “Descendants of Whaling Masters, Inc.” This organization, founded in 1974, is open for membership for descendants of whaling masters or whaling ship crew members. They can be reached at:

    Robert Furtado, Chairman
    DWM Membership Committee
    P. O. Box 824
    Mattapoisett, MA 02739

    Their website is

    Their membership dues are $10 per year. They are not affiliated with NEHGS.



    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

    Using Maps in Genealogy, Part II
    by Michael J. Leclerc

    Last week's Research Recommendation discussed maps in genealogy. Below are additional websites that will assist you with cartography in your research.

    United States Geological Survey
    The mission of this government agency is to provide reliable information to describe and understand the Earth. The USGS library provides access to over 300,000 items, many of which can be borrowed. There are many tools available on the USGS website for your research:

    • IS National Map
    • National Atlas of the United States
    • Geographic Names Information System
    • Links to USGS topographical maps
    • Online ordering of paper topographical maps

    National Geographic Society

    Founded in 1888 for the purpose of increasing and distributing geographical knowledge, the National Geographic Society is the largest nonprofit scientific and educational institution in the world. National Geographic magazine has been published since October of that year. In the maps section of their website you will find:


    • MapMachine
    • Topo! Software
    • Custom maps by mail
    • Historic maps

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    NEHGS Contact Information

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    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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