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  • 2006 Archive

  • Vol. 8, No. 32
    Whole #283
    August 9, 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
    * Register to Research at NEHGS During the FGS Conference
    * Guide to the New England Historic Genealogical Society Library
    * Name Origins
    * OCLC Announces Public Access Site for WorldCat
    * Volunteers Needed for FGS/NEHGS 2006 Conference
    * Upcoming Education Program
    * Spotlight: Special Collections of the Jacksonville Public Library, Florida
    * Upcoming Public Lecture Series
    * Stories of Interest
    * From the Online Genealogist
    * Research Recommendations: Genealogical Writing Tips: Punctuation
    * NEHGS Contact Information


    New On

    The New England Historical and Genealogical Register - Just added 1997

    The New England Historical and Genealogical Register database is one of the most frequently used databases on We are working to bring the database up to date to include the most current issues of the Register. This week, we add the four issues of Volume 151, published in 1997.

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    Register to Research at NEHGS During the FGS Conference

    With more than 1,400 people already set to descend on Boston for the FGS/NEHGS 2006 Conference, preparations are well under way to welcome the expected influx of individuals wanting to utilize the NEHGS research facilities at 101 Newbury Street. To allow all of those visiting equal opportunity to use the collections, we are requesting all those wishing to research on Tuesday, August 29 to register in advance with the Society.

    Researchers will be asked to sign up for a single one hour and forty-five minute time slot:

    9:00 am – 10:45 am
    11:00 am – 12:45 pm
    1:00 pm – 2:45 pm
    3:00 pm – 4:45 pm
    5:00 pm – 6:45 pm
    7:00 pm – 8:45 pm

    Researchers will receive a confirmation of their reservation via email. As the day progresses, researchers will be able to sign up for additional time slots if there are any openings remaining.

    Reserve your time slot now at

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    Guide to the New England Historic Genealogical Society Library

    Are you coming to Boston for the FGS/NEHGS Conference? Planning on doing some research at the New England Historic Genealogical Library? Then you're sure to want a copy of the Guide to the New England Historic Genealogical Society Library

    The library of the New England Historic Genealogical Society, founded in 1845, is one of the finest and most extensive genealogical facilities in the country. To help visitors get the most from the library’s exceptional collection and offerings, Maureen Taylor and Henry Hoff have prepared and edited this informative library guide, which brings together essays by over twenty noted librarians and expert researchers. The Guide allows readers and visitors to save time, better identify resources that could help to solve particular family history questions, and learn techniques to overcome research “brick walls.” The four main sections of the Guide are entitled “New England,” “Beyond the Northeast,” “Canada,” and “The British Isles and Ireland.” For each state, region, or country, the Guide provides information on the NEHGS library’s finding aids; periodicals; censuses; maps; atlases; town and county histories; and vital, church, cemetery, probate, land, town, tax, court, and military records. Other chapters contain valuable information on using photographs, manuscripts, rare books, and compiled genealogies; interpreting numbering systems; “finding foremothers”; and locating civil war ancestors at NEHGS.

    “This Guide provides a convenient and most helpful window into the rich resources of [NEHGS’s] library holdings. The book makes it easy for genealogists living near Boston — or elsewhere — to consider the published works that can assist in New England and New York family history research.”–National Genealogical Society Quarterly

    The price of the NEHGS Library Guide is $21.95 plus shipping and can be ordered at

    So get a jumpstart on your upcoming visit to NEHGS and order the Library Guide today!

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    Name Origins
    by Julie Helen Otto

    THEODATE (f) – A female name, part Greek [theo- ‘God’] and part Latin [datum ‘given’], associated in New England with descendants of Rev. Stephen Bachelder of Hampton, N.H.

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    OCLC Announces Public Access Site for WorldCat

    The Online Computer Library Center (OCLC) is a nonprofit, membership, computer library service and research organization dedicated to the public purposes of furthering access to the world's information and reducing information costs. More than 55,000 libraries in 110 countries and territories around the world use OCLC services to locate, acquire, catalog, lend and preserve library materials.

    OCLC has just announced that they are now allowing public access to their WorldCat catalog. Previously available only at libraries, WorldCat allows you to search the catalogs of their member libraries in a single step. Users can then locate materials in a library close to them. Many articles and books are online and available for download directly from these libraries. Others may provide access to materials through Interlibrary Loan. WorldCat results often include a link to Ask a Librarian and other features at member libraries.

    The new public-access interface also includes downloadable browser tools for Google and Yahoo toolbars. The new site for public access is currently in a beta test version and can be accessed at To find out more about OCLC, visit

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    Volunteers Needed for FGS/NEHGS 2006 Conference

    No annual conference can occur with the assistance of volunteers, and we need your help to make this event a success. Volunteers will be needed to stuff bags, staff the registration booth and hospitality table provide directions, and myriad other tasks. You can even volunteer while attending sessions as a room monitor!

    Volunteers are sought for the following shifts:

    Tuesday, August 29
    3:00-7:00 p.m., Registration Booth

    Wednesday, August 30 - Saturday, September 2
    Registration Booth, and Corridor Desk, Exhibition Hall Entrance
    7:00-8:45 a.m.
    8:45-10:00 a.m.
    10:00-1:45 p.m.
    1:30-3:15 p.m.
    3:15-6:00 p.m.

    Room monitors are necessary for every lecture throughout the conference. Volunteers may register for a single shift or a block of time. They may choose to work in the same location for the duration, or in several different areas.

    For more information or to volunteer, please contact NEHGS/FGS volunteer coordinator Susan Rosefsky at or 617-226-1276.

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    Upcoming Education Programs

    Witches, Sex, and Scandal in Colonial Boston Walking Tour
    September 23 and October 28, 2006
    This walking tour, led by Maureen Regan and based on Witches, Rakes, and Rogues:True Stories of Scam, Scandal, Murder, and Mayhem in Boston, 1630–1775, by NEHGS president and CEO D. Brenton Simons, begins at Faneuil Hall at 10:30 a.m. and lasts for about ninety minutes. Walk in the footsteps of wayward colonial Bostonians — bigamists, accused witches, and assorted black sheep — whose exploits made the city streets tremble. Meet the author for a brief book talk and signing. (Rain date: November 11, 2006.) Pre-register to guarantee your participation. Registration is limited and will be available on the day of the walking tour on a space-available basis only. Please pay with exact change. Fees double after September 15, 2006, for the September 23 walking tour, and after October 21, 2006, for the October 28 walking tour.

    Registration Fee: $10 adults/$8 children under 12

    Research Day at the Massachusetts Archives
    Tuesday, September 26, 2006, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
    The day will start with an “Introduction to the Genealogical Resources” by Janis P. Duffy, Massachusetts Archives reference supervisor. Spend the rest of the day on personal research with assistance of NEHGS genealogists David Allen Lambert, online genealogist; Scott C. Steward, director of Scholarly Programs; and Ruth Wellner, coordinator of Research Services. Each participant will be entitled to at least one twenty-minute consultation with an NEHGS staff genealogist, as well as assistance throughout the day. Parking is free and the Archives is accessible by public transportation on the Red Line. The Massachusetts State Archives is located in Columbia Point in Boston at 220 Morrissey Boulevard. Bring your own lunch, or visit the nearby JFK Library Café or the cafeteria on the University of Massachusetts campus.

    Pre-registration is required as this program is limited to twenty-five participants. Walk-ins will not be accepted.

    For more information visit

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    Spotlight: Special Collections of the Jacksonville Public Library, Florida

    The Special Collections department of the Jacksonville Public Library has many genealogy and local history resources in its holdings. A number of these resources are available online.

    Florida Collection
    The Florida Collection contains reference materials on Florida with an emphasis on Northeast Florida and Jacksonville. The collection includes books, pamphlets, manuscripts, photographs, postcards, periodicals, microfilm and documents. The library is currently scanning and digitizing the postcards, photographs, rare books, manuscripts and Bible records in this collection. Click on the Florida Collection link in the collection description to access the resources. Links to the following online resources can be found on the left side of the page in the Florida Collection Contents box.

    This collection contains postcards under two geographical headings – Jacksonville Postcards and Florida Postcards. Click on the geographical links to access an index of subject headings. Click on the subject link to view an image. On the main postcard page you will find an overview of the deltiology or postcard collection, which, according to the website, is the third most popular collectable hobby in the world.

    The Photograph Collection contains approximately 1,200 photographs. Most of the photographs, which date from the late nineteenth century to the present, are of Jacksonville and Florida, including a number of St. Augustine. The majority of those of Jacksonville are from the early twentieth century. Click on the index link to access the photograph collections index. Next, click on the collection title to access the photographs. The collection titles include the Jacksonville Public Library, Jacksonville Photographs, Non-Jacksonville Photographs, Photograph Collections, and the Stereograph Page. The Photograph Collections include two unidentified albums, one of a steamboat excursion down the St. Johns River circa 1916 and the other of various scenes in Palatka and other parts of Florida circa 1895. There are more than 30 subject headings on the Index to the Stereographic Page with multiple images under each heading.

    Rare Books and Manuscripts
    The Rare Book Collection contains books from the sixteenth through the early twentieth century. The collection focuses on materials related to Florida’s history, and Jacksonville and Northeast Florida in particular. Currently, three rare books have been scanned, digitized and uploaded to the website. First click on the Index link to access the volumes and then click on the Call Number to view each book. It should be noted that these books, written in the sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, are not in English.

    The Family Bible Records Collection
    This collection is under construction. The records have not yet been scanned and uploaded to the website. Researchers are invited to check back periodically to monitor the library’s progress.

    Genealogy Collection
    The Genealogy Collection provides a wide variety of resources and information, which can be of great help to family history researchers in planning to visit the Jacksonville Public Library in pursuit of their ancestors. While most of the online resources are limited to library cardholders, the Jacksonville City Directories may be viewed by everyone.

    Jacksonville City Directories
    To access the city directories, click on the Genealogy Collection link. Under Online Resources you will find the Jacksonville City Directories. Currently there are 22 directories on the website. They cover the years 1876–1882, 1887–1897, 1899, 1904–1905, and 1916–1925. Each page has been scanned and uploaded as a JPEG image. When the project has been completed the city directory collection will cover the entire period from 1876 through 1925. This collection can also be accessed from a link on the Rare Books and Manuscripts page.

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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.

    There are no public lectures scheduled for the month of August. The Public Lecture Series will begin again in September.

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    Stories of Interest

    Recorded in the 11th century, the Domesday Book is a valuable resource for medieval genealogy. This ancient book has now been brought into the 21st century as The National Archives in London has made it available online. AP writer Jill Lawless tells the tale at

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    From the Online Genealogist

    I am new to Boston genealogy - can you tell me where I can look up Boston marriage records from 1813?

    A marriage from this date will generally include the name of the bride and the groom; date of the marriage; and who performed the ceremony. If the bride or groom was from another town it will indicate it. If the bride or the groom was an Indian or African American it will also be indicated. At NEHGS we have these marriage records on microfiche. These records are the typed version of the originals.

    If you desire a certified copy of this record you will can contact Boston City Hall at:

    Boston City Hall
    Registry Division
    Room 213
    1 City Hall Square
    Boston MA 02201

    The fees to obtain a pre-1870 marriage record are $15.00 (if ordered through the mail) with an additional $10.00 research fee per record. Please wait 3-4 weeks for a response to mail requests. A PDF certificate request form can downloaded 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

    Genealogical Writing Tips: Punctuation
    by Michael J. Leclerc

    One question I often receive from authors and potential authors is “What is the difference between a hyphen, an en dash, and an em dash? And why does it matter?” The latter question is easy to answer: punctuation marks are used to make the written word easier for the reader to understand. Proper use of punctuation marks will make your words more enjoyable for the reader as well as make them more easily understood.

    A hyphen is the shortest of these three punctuation marks. It is used to join two words into a single one, such as twenty-five. When used as a descriptor, two or more words that are usually used individually should often be joined by a hyphen:

    Automobiles came into common use during the early twentieth century.
    Early twentieth-century automobiles were often noisy.

    An en dash is slightly longer than a hyphen, half the width of an em dash. En dashes are used to express a range of numbers or years:

    Pages 26–32
    Abraham Lincoln, 1809–1865

    An em dash is the longest of the punctuation marks and is equivalent to the square of the point of type (e.g., in 9-point type an em dash is 9 points wide). Em dashes are used to signify a major break in thought. Em dashes should be used with a space on either side:

    But he wasn’t altogether a difficult person — at least no more than most of us are.

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    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

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