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  • 2006 Archive

  • Vol. 8, No. 35
    Whole #286
    September 6, 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.

    * A Message from the CEO
    * New on
    * New from NEHGS Books: Genealogical Writing in the 21st Century, Second Edition
    * Name Origins
    * Ordnance Survey Ireland Launches Irish Map Website
    * Upcoming Education Program
    * Spotlight: The State of Wisconsin Collection of the University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
    * Upcoming Public Lecture Series
    * Stories of Interest
    * From the Online Genealogist
    * Research Recommendations: State Census Records for New England
    * NEHGS Contact Information


    A Message from the CEO

    FGS-NEHGS Conference
    I would like to take a moment to thank everyone who attended the Federation of Genealogical Societies-New England Historic Genealogical Society Conference in Boston last week! The conference attracted almost 2,000 genealogists — making it one of the largest genealogical conferences ever held. In addition to dozens of excellent lectures, the conference featured a lively exhibition hall and a host of special events at the Hynes Convention Center and at 101 Newbury Street. I am especially grateful to our members, staff, board, council, and volunteers for their wonderful assistance in making this historic event a success. More details and photographs will be published in a future issue of New England Ancestors magazine.

    Annual Fund Update
    Please accept my deepest thanks to all who so generously helped us achieve our Annual Fund goal for fiscal year 2006. Our fiscal year ended on August 31st and I am delighted to report that we exceeded our Annual Fund goal of $750,000. Your generosity, and the generosity of members like you, is instrumental to the Society’s success and well-being. As we start a new fiscal year, the Society will once again turn to its loyal members to help support our worthy mission. With your continued assistance we will meet our goal of bringing you the best genealogical content and services in our field. Again, thank you.

    With all best wishes,

    D. Brenton Simons
    President and CEO

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    New on

    The Essex Antiquarian – Volume 2 (1898)

    This week we are releasing the second volume of The Essex Antiquarian, "An illustrated ... magazine devoted to the biography, genealogy, history, and antiquities of Essex County, Massachusetts," which was published and edited by Sidney Perley between 1897 and 1909. The journal was published monthly from January, 1897, to June, 1901, and then quarterly from July, 1901, to October, 1909. Each yearly volume contains 200-220 pages consisting of genealogical articles and a variety of photographs, maps, illustrations,nd gravestone inscriptions, all pertaining to Essex County. The thirteen original volumes of The Essex Antiquarian are available in our Research Library, call number F72/E7/E74 1897-1909.

    Vital Records of Roxbury, Massachusetts to the Year 1849

    This addition to our “Massachusetts Vital Records to 1850” database includes the records of 11,786 births, 11,664 marriages, and 6,063 deaths. It was published by the Essex Institute in 1925.

    From the Introduction:

    The Town of Roxbury (Suffolk County) was first mentioned in the list of plantations on Sept. 28, 1630. Mar. 4, 1633, bounds between Roxbury and Boston established. Apr. 7, 1635, bounds between Roxbury and Newe Towne established. May 25, 1636, and May 2, 1638, certain lands granted to Roxbury. May 16, 1638, bounds between Roxbury and Dedham established. Oct. 7, 1641, the bounds between Boston and Roxbury at Muddy River were established. Mar. 16, 1660, certain lands granted to Roxbury. May 12, 1675, bounds between Roxbury and Dedham established. Mar. 16, 1836, bounds between Boston and Roxbury were established. Apr. 19, 1837, bounds between Boston and Roxbury were established. Apr. 23, 1838, part of Newton was annexed to Roxbury. Feb. 24, 1844, part of Roxbury annexed to Brookline. Town of Roxbury incorporated as a city, Mar. 12, 1846. May 3, 1850, bounds between Roxbury and Boston established. May 24, 1851, part of Roxbury established as West Roxbury. Apr. 3, 1860, part of Roxbury annexed to Boston, which Act was accepted by Roxbury Apr. 16, 1860, and by Boston May 8, 1860. June 1, 1867, the City of Roxbury was annexed to Boston. Sept. 9, 1867, the Act was accepted by Boston and Roxbury. Jan. 5, 1868, the Act of June 1, 1867, took effect.


    The original two-volume set is available in our Research Library, call number F75/R9/R925 1925 v.1-2.

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    New From NEHGS Books: Genealogical Writing in the 21st Century, Second Edition

    In 2002 NEHGS published Genealogical Writing in the 21st Century: A Guide to Register Style and More, edited by Henry B. Hoff, FASG. This work was published to give potential authors some of the tools they would need to write articles for popular magazines, journals, and websites as well as how-to books and compiled genealogies.

    The completely revised and updated second edition of this highly popular NEHGS guidebook is now available. New chapters have been added, including a piece on using Microsoft Word® to write your genealogy. Get advice about writing and style, as well as general tips about writing for genealogical journals, magazines, and websites in addition to compiled genealogies.

    Learn from expert staff and contributors to The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, New England Ancestors magazine, and, includingSharon DeBartolo Carmack, CG; Patricia Law Hatcher, FASG; Henry B. Hoff, CG, FASG; Michael J. Leclerc; Alvy Ray Smith, PhD; and Helen Schatvet Ullmann, CG, FASG.

    From novice researchers to experienced family historians, all those wishing to start writing about genealogy will benefit from the advice in this new edition.

    To purchase Genealogical Writing in the 21st Century, Second Edition, visit

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    Name Origins
    by Julie Helen Otto

    BRIDE, BRIDIE (f) – Irish nickname for BRIDGET (Gaelic Bríd)
    BRIDGET (f) – (from Gaelic Bríd). St. Bridget. In Irish usage, interchangeable with DELIA. Medieval Scandinavia; the medieval mystic St. Brigitte of Sweden etc. The name was also much used in early modern England, and in certain New England families (such as those descended from Preston Capes, Northamptonshire native Bridget T[h]ompson [1622-1643], daughter of Roxbury, Mass. immigrant Alice (Freeman) (Thompson) Parke and first wife of [Capt.] George Denison of Stonington, Conn.) – so it is most unwise to assume that all colonial Bridgets were Irish.

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    Ordnance Survey Ireland Launches Irish Map Website

    The Ordnance Survey Office was established in 1824 to carry out a survey of the entire island to update land valuations for land taxation purposes. Today, Ordnance Survey Ireland produces urban, rural, and tourist and leisure mapping at a variety of scales, in both digital and print format.

    Last week, at the FGS/NEHGS 2006 conference, OSI launched Irish Historic Maps, a new website providing almost a century of extremely detailed maps that are invaluable to Irish genealogists. Users can purchase credits to use the site for one day, three days, one week, one month, or one year. Prices range from €5 (about $6.40 US) to €300 (about $384 US).

    The maps are incredibly detailed, offering views of land plots, cemeteries, hospitals, churches, businesses, etc. The site gives users the ability to zoom in to a significant level of detail.

    "These maps represent the world's first large-scale [historical] mapping of an entire country," said Malachy McVeigh, senior operations manager at Ordnance Survey Ireland.

    The images were created from original maps at Trinity College, the National Library of Ireland, and the Royal Irish Academy. These carefully scanned images cover the period 1824-1847 and 1888-1913, providing insight into nearly a century of Irish life.

    Visit for more details.

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    Upcoming Education Programs

    The Tradition of the Irish Pub
    Join us for a lecture and slide presentation by Eric Roth, the well-known photographer of interior spaces and the co-author (with Eileen McNamara, Pulitzer Prize-winning Boston Globe Columnist) of The Parting Glass: A Toast to the Traditional Pubs of Ireland. Roth's photos and McNamara's prose capture the charms of forty-three Irish pubs at a time when "pub culture" is under siege as never before.

    A reception will begin in the NEHGS Education Center at 6 p.m. and a slide presentation will follow. Please RSVP to Jesse Peterson at 617-226-1220 or  by September 6, 2006. Seating is limited. A $25 donation is requested.

    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: The State of Wisconsin Collection of the University of Wisconsin Digital Collections

    Twenty-seven individual collections have been brought together in digital format in the State of Wisconsin Collection. Both primary and secondary materials related to the history of the State of Wisconsin have been included. There are books, manuscripts, sound recordings, photographs, maps and other resources.

    Plat Map Books and Other Related Resources
    Genealogical research can be enriched through the use of land records. This State of Wisconsin Collection provides centralized access to a number of different resources of this type.

    Appleton Public Library Local History Collections
    This digital collection contains four Outagamie County plat books during the period from 1889 to 1942. Some of the books are indexed. A separate name index to the 1889 Outagamie plat book is available at the Appleton Public Library. Check the Library's website for additional related resources at

    Historical County Plat Maps from South Central Wisconsin and Early Madison City Directories
    This collection contains plat books and city directories for areas in South Central Wisconsin, specifically Columbia, Dane, Portage and Wood counties.

    Northeast Wisconsin Historical County Plat Maps and Atlases
    This collection ofplat books and atlases for areas in Northeastern Wisconsin, specifically Brown, Door, Kewaunee and Shawano counties.

    Oshkosh Atlases and Histories
    This collection, which has as its focus nineteenth-century Oshkosh and Winnebago counties, contains five volumes of histories and three volumes of atlases and plat maps. While most of the resources are searchable, the plat maps are not because the names of the landowners are hand written. Biographical information about early settlers and prominent citizens may be found in a number of the volumes in the collection.

    Walworth County Plat Map of 1857
    This digitized resource is an “interactive map [that] allows users to click a township within Walworth County and view the database results for all residents and properties within that township, as documented in 1857.” This map is useful to local historians and genealogists alike.

    Other Resources
    Early Fond du Lac County People and Places
    This digital collection consists of four books about Fond du Lac County. Texts include an 1857–1858 city directory, a county gazetteer, a local history and a book of photographs. Each volume can be browsed page by page or searched by keywords.

    Great Lakes Maritime History Project
    The images in this collection document Wisconsin’s maritime history through the years.

    Manitowoc Local History Collection
    This collection contains over 1,400 searchable images from the late-nineteenth century through 1995, with most from the period between 1890 and 1930.

    Waterford Area Local History
    The early settlement of this area is documented in this digital collection. The collection contains books, manuscripts, photographs, maps and newspapers.

    Wisconsin Goes to War: Our Civil War Experience
    This collection contains first-person accounts — letters, diaries, poems, and more — written by Wisconsin soldiers and citizens during the Civil War.

    Wisconsin Pioneer Experience
    The Wisconsin Pioneer Experience contains diaries, letters, reminiscences, speeches and other writings of Wisconsin’s settlers from the 19th century. Nearly 50 individual collections have been brought together here. Some of the items have been translated and/or transcribed. Other items have been scanned, digitized, and uploaded as images.


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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.

    W.E.B. Du Bois and the Enyclopedia Africana
    October 18, 2006, 6 p.m.
    NEHGS is proud to co-sponsor a lecture by Henry Louis Gates, Jr., W.E.B. Du Bois Professor of the Humanities at Harvard University, as part of the anniversary celebrations of Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Massachusetts, entitled "Facets of Mount Auburn Cemetery: Celebrating 175 Years of a Boston Jewel." The lecture "W.E.B. Du Bois and the Encylopedia Africana" will be offered at the Boston Public Library's main branch in Copley Square. Free and open to the public.

    For more information about lectures offered by New England Historic Genealogical Society please go to the Education homepage at or call 1-888-286-3447.

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    Stories of Interest

    Need to find information on British History? Check the BBC website for family history at

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    From the Online Genealogist

    In my ancestor’s notebook it mentions that he wrote to President Benjamin Harrison. Do you know if this correspondence still exists? If so, where can I find a copy of his letter and perhaps the reply sent back to him?

    The papers of twenty-three United States presidents are archived at the Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. This collection includes the papers of former President Benjamin Harrison. To find out more about these collections go to To learn more about accessing and visiting the Manuscript Division at the LOC go to:

    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

    State Census Records for New England
    by Michael J. Leclerc

    Only two New England states have surviving state censuses: Massachusetts and Rhode Island. The only surviving state census schedules for Massachusetts are 1855 and 1865. For Rhode Island, on the other hand, schedules survive for 1855, 1865, 1875, 1885, 1905, 1915, 1925, and 1936.

    Substitutes for state censuses for other New England states and time periods can often be located. There was a special Military Preparedness Survey taken by the state of Connecticut in 1917 that gives information on males over the age of 18, as well as nurses. All of these records are available on microfilm from the Family History Library. Check the Family History Library Catalog under the state name, then the Census subject category.

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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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