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  • 2006 Archive

  • Vol. 8, No. 36
    Whole #287
    September 13, 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
    * 2006 Ruth C. Bishop Volunteer Hall of Honor Award Presented to Lolita Guthrie
    * Connor-Bishop Historical Resource Center
    * Name Origins
    * From the Volunteer Coordinator
    * New Research Articles on
    * Upcoming Education Programs
    * Spotlight: Middletown Thrall Library, Middletown New York
    * Upcoming Public Lecture Series
    * Stories of Interest
    * From the Online Genealogist
    * Research Recommendations: Finding Corrections to Published Genealogies
    * NEHGS Contact Information


    New Database on New

    Abstracts of Wills, Administrations and Guardianships in NY State, 1787 - 1835

    This compilation of Abstracts of New York Wills, Administrations and Guardianships was created by William Applebie Daniel Eardeley. The original materials are part of the Brooklyn Historical Society's manuscript collection. Eardeley abstracted original estate proceedings in the counties of this state. In addition he indexed on 3 x 5 cards all the names in his abstracts, i.e. those of the decedents, executors, administrators, petitioners, guardians, witnesses, named beneficiaries and minor children. The original abstracts were written in pencil on yellow legal pad paper. Although the original title of the collection refers to the years 1691 to 1860, the bulk of the material concerns the period 1787 to 1835. Also, while the abstracts generally end at 1835, it appears that in a few cases the dates were extended to fill a county's file folder. For estate proceedings of counties formed after 1835, the researcher should look under the names of the parent county.

    Currently, this database contains the abstracts for Clinton, Cortland, Delaware, Erie-Niagara, Franklin, Lewis, Livingston, Madison, Niagara, Sullivan, Tompkins, Warren, and Yates counties. The remaining counties in the collection are in the process of being indexed by our volunteer team and will be released in the future as they become available.

    The New England Historic Genealogical Society wishes to thank both the Brooklyn Historical Society and Mr. Frank J. Doherty, whose support made this information available.

    The Diaries of the Rev. Thomas Cary of Newburyport, Massachusetts, 1762-1806
    Just Added: 1798

    The Rev. Thomas Cary (1745-1808) started his diary in Weston, Massachusetts, in 1762. He wrote his notes opposite the pages of An Astronomical diary: Or, Almanack for the Year of Our Lord CHRIST 1762 which he “bot at Mr. Philips.” His entries are sparse, but invaluable. He continued his diaries until 1806, two years before his death.

    The original diaries are kept in the R. Stanton Avery Collections at NEHGS, call number MSS 640.

    The database contains transcriptions of Cary's notes, done by Marsha Hoffman Rising, CG, CGL, FASG, as well as images of the diaries.

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    2006 Ruth C. Bishop Volunteer Hall of Honor Award Presented to Lolita Guthrie

    Each year the Federation of Genealogical Societies presents the Ruth C. Bishop Volunteer Hall of Honor Award. The award is given in recognition of outstanding lifetime contribution to the field of genealogy through volunteerism. The award is named for Ruth C. Bishop, who has made many outstanding contributions to genealogy through her own volunteer efforts and support of organizations, such as the New England Historic Genealogical Society, that are major sources of research information and assistance to family historians. This year’s award was presented at the FGS/NEHGS 2006 Conference to Lolita Guthrie of Ohio.

    Lolita is one of the most active septuagenarians known to the Ohio Genealogical Society. Her interest in genealogical research and cemetery preservation has occupied most of her adult life. She volunteers thirty to forty hours of her time every week to the local Wood County OGS chapter. She originated many projects and remains the force behind them to encourage members and non-members of the society to become involved.

    Under her leadership, the OGS Cemetery Committee completely overhauled the information in two previous OGS cemetery books and in 2003 published Ohio Cemeteries: 1803-2003, with information on over 14,600 cemeteries and burial sites throughout the state. In 1993, she served her first term on the OGS Board of Trustees, and has continued to serve on the board since that time.

    Lolita is currently president of the Wood County OGS Chapter as well as Projects Coordinator, working closely with the newsletter editor and proofreading every edition. Among her contributions to the Guthrie family history are: The First Annual Guthrie Scrapbook, 1988, Highlighting Allied Families: Cline, Kitterman and Guthrie Genealogy, with Index from the Clan Guthrie News, a publication she produced for twenty-three years.

    For more information about the Ruth C. Bishop Volunteer Hall of Honor visit

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    Connor-Bishop Historical Resource Center

    Ruth C. Bishop is also establishing a major new research center in Portland, Oregon. The Connor-Bishop Historical Resource Center, honoring the memory of Eloise Connor Bishop and Charles Kay Bishop, focuses on materials to assist family history researchers and to flesh out their family histories. In addition to the main reading room there will be rooms devoted to rare books, maps, and microforms, as well as a darkroom. While not yet open to the public, the Center is actively acquiring materials for its collections.

    Thanks to the generosity of Ruth Bishop and several others, the new Connor-Bishop Historical Resource Center already has been able to obtain more than 70,000 books for family history research. Starting with a large collection of Civil War and Americana books donated by Ruth, the Center’s collections have grown to include:

    • Richardson Dougall's collection of European History and the National Genealogical Society Hall of Fame Collection, both formerly housed at the National Genealogical Society library in Arlington, Virginia;
    • A large collection of Automotive History, Biography, Entertainment, and Medieval books, plus the Beall Family Library collections from William R. and Kaleen E. Beall;
    • British, Oregon, and general collections from Stanley R. Clarke;
    • The Dean H. Byrd and Janice M. Healy Oregon Burial Site Guide Collection, including all photos and maps used for producing the book;
    • 30,000 volumes from the former circulating library of the New England Historic Genealogical Society in Boston;
    • And bound newspapers from Portland, Oregon.

    The board of directors is currently purchasing even more materials to add to the research materials. Many individuals have also left collections to the center through their wills and trusts.

    Even with these extensive resources already obtained, the Connor-Bishop Historical Resource Center needs many more books. Donations of books and of funds to purchase books are always welcome. The new Resource Center has applied for status as a 501(c)3 educational organization and expects to be accepted soon. Once the status is established, all donations will be tax-deductible.

    Donations and pledges can be sent to:
    Connor-Bishop Historical Resource Center
    c/o Janice M. Healy
    PO Box 5414
    Aloha, OR 97006-0414

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    Name Origins
    by Julie Helen Otto

    CATALINA (f) – Spanish form of CATHERINE. Note the intervocalic R to L shift.
    CATHERINE, CATHARINE, KATHERINE, KATHARINE (f) – formed from Greek katharos, ‘pure.’

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    From the Volunteer Coordinator

    I want to express my heartfelt thanks to everyone who volunteered to work at the FGS conference in Boston — including preparations the week before. To those who spent far more time than they originally planned; those who stayed all day; those who worked at the registration booths answering questions, solving the myriad problems and being polite and helpful to the participants; those who signed up to be room monitors and were willing to be available to the speakers; those who spent time - sometimes all day, every day - at the tables in the corridors answering questions and providing directions; and those who kept a watchful eye on the Exhibit Halls before they were opened to the public I am very. The volunteer room was supervised by a volunteer the entire four days, providing direction to the army of individuals assisting with the conference.

    Your industriousness, flexibility, willingness to help, and congeniality to attendees all helped in the smooth running of the conference. The major success of the conference would not have occurred without you, and I am very grateful to you.

    Susan Rosefsky

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    New Research Articles on

    DNA Banking for Medical Information
    Dr. Edwin Knights, Jr.

    Inventive and Independent: Researching Patents
    by Maureen Taylor

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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.

    The Society's twenty-eighth annual research trip to Salt Lake City will be held October 29-November 5, 2006. For more information visit

    For more information about NEHGS programs visit

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    Spotlight: Middletown Thrall Library, Middletown New York

    The resources in the Local History Room of the Middletown Thrall Library include books on Orange County, New York, history, other New York county histories, city directories from 1871, church and cemetery records, newspapers dating from 1851, and genealogies, as well as volumes on railroads, canals and the Catskills. The mission of the Middletown Thrall Library’s Digital History Initiative is to make local history material accessible online.

    Images of Local History: An Online Photographic Exhibit Showcasing Images from the Historical Society of Middletown and the Wallkill Precinct, Inc.
    This exhibit contains approximately 250 photographs of schools, buildings, businesses, churches, streets, trains and railroad stations, celebrations, portraits, class pictures and modes of transportation. You can search through the photographic exhibit by entering one or more keywords in the search box. The photographs can be viewed at three magnification levels - small, large, and full view. Any text associated with the photograph is also provided on the search results page. These images can also be accessed directly from the Local History Room web page via the Photographs from the Historical Society link.

    The Middletown Directory for 1857–1858 has been scanned and uploaded to the website, as has the Premium Book for the Orange County Agricultural Society’s 70th Annual Exhibition that took place in 1910. The Premium Book lists rules and regulations for the exhibitions and advertisements for local businesses.

    A number of the resources in the Digital History Initiative provide website visitors with an overview of the growth and development of Middletown through the years. The Historic Postcards collection captures the growth of Middletown from a small town to what it has become today. The postcards are available for viewing in the Library’s Local History Room. “Middletown Firsts” is a publication with a chronological history of “firsts” in Middletown–events, people and places, which has been digitized and uploaded to the website. “Middletown: A Retrospect of the Years,” is an illustrated introduction to the history of Middletown. In addition a history of the library titled “Middletown Thrall Library, 1901–1996: A Historical Study of a Small City Public Library” can also be found on the site.

    There is a new search feature in the Digital History Initiative. You can now use the image search engine to find photographs from among all of the online collections, rather than searching through the collections one at a time.

    Obituary Database
    The Obituary Database is a work in progress. The obituaries contained in the database are for individuals living in or having an affiliation with the Middletown, New York area. Currently the database covers the period from January 1983 through March 1988. The Middletown area newspaper is the Times Herald-Record. The database can be searched by keywords. The data fields in the search results include name, date of birth, date of death, veteran status, town/city lived in, town/city died in, profession, newspaper in which the obituary appeared, section/page number, date of the obituary, maiden name, and married name 2 and 3, if applicable.

    Local History Links
    The Library has provided a number of local history and genealogy links for family history researchers. The local history links focus on Orange County, the Hudson Valley, New York State, Historical Societies, and area museums/historic sites.

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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

    Have you ever wondered what life was like for your late-nineteenth- or early-twentieth-century immigrant ancestor? The Lower East Side Tenement Museum in New York City can shed some light for you. Visit them online at

    With the passing of Maria Esther de Capovilla of Quito, Ecuador on August 28 at the age of 116, the mantle of oldest living person in the world has passed to Elizabeth Bolden of Memphis, Tennessee, who has 562 living descendants. Among these are 75 sixth-generation descendants (that's great-great-great-great grandchildren). Read about Elizabeth at

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    From the Online Genealogist

    Is there a twentieth-century census that would indicate whether or not my ancestor from Massachusetts fought in the Civil War? I have seen the 1930 Census but he died in 1927.

    If you are simply trying to confirm whether or not he was a Civil War soldier you can do so by looking at his military or service records. A free website to confirm his service is offered by the National Park Service at The 1910 U.S. Census has a column enumerating whether an individual was a Union or Confederate Veteran. Massachusetts also had a 1915 State Census which listed veterans by town. This schedule was published as A List of The Soldiers, Sailors, and Marines of The Civil War. Surviving Residents in Massachusetts on April 1, 1915. Prepared for the Department of Massachusetts, Grand Army of the Republic, by the Director of the Bureau of Statistics. In Accordance with the Provisions of Chapter 25 of the Resolves of 1915. (Boston, Wright & Potter, 1916). We do not have this title at NEHGS; however you should find it at the Massachusetts State Library in Boston.

    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

    Finding Corrections to Published Genealogies
    by Michael J. Leclerc

    Published family histories contain a snapshot of information known at the time of publication by a specific researcher. Additions and corrections are always necessary to any published work. Where can researchers find information that corrects older published works?

    Scholarly journals (e.g. The American Genealogist, The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, National Genealogical Society Quarterly) have been correcting these problems for decades. Use the Periodical Source Index (PERSI) and individual indexes to find articles on your family.

    NEHGS has a multivolume Book of Corrections started in 1896 to correct mistakes and misinformation in family genealogies. Look for citations to it in many older compiled genealogies.

    Look for newer, revised editions of family genealogies that correct misinformation. Beware that just because one volume was published later than another one does not make the information in that one more correct!

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    NEHGS Contact Information

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


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