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  • 2006 Archive

  • Vol. 8, No. 41
    Whole #292
    October 18, 2006
    Edited by Michael J. Leclerc and Valerie Beaudrault
    enews@nehgs.org

    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.

    Contents:
    * New on NewEnglandAncestors.org
    * From the Volunteer Coordinator
    * Name Origins
    * CEO D. Brenton Simons Speaking at Waltham Public Library
    * Stephen Morse Speaking at NARA Pittsfield
    * Upcoming Education Programs
    * Spotlight: Austin History Center of the Austin Public Library, Texas
    * Upcoming Public Lecture Series
    * Stories of Interest
    * From the Online Genealogist
    * Research Recommendations: Genealogical Writing Tips: e.g. vs. i.e.
    * NEHGS Contact Information


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    New Databases on New EnglandAncestors.org

    Abstracts of Wills, Administrations and Guardianships in NY State, 1787 - 1835
    http://www.newenglandancestors.org/research/database/ny_probate/

     

    This week, an additional 27,810 records have been added to this database from the following counties: Herkimer, Monroe, Oneida, Onondaga, and St. Lawrence.

    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 3x5 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.

    This database currently contains the abstracts for Clinton, Cortland, Delaware, Erie-Niagara, Franklin, Herkimer, Lewis, Livingston, Madison, Monroe, Niagara, Oneida, Onondaga, St. Lawrence, 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.

    Social Security Death Index - Free Access
    Updated through September, 2006
    http://www.newenglandancestors.org/research/Database/ss/default.asp

    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 September, 2006. Access to the SSDI is FREE to all who visit NewEnglandAncestors.org. This database now contains the names of over 77,009,528 million individuals, most of whose deaths were recorded after 1965.

     

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    From the Volunteer Coordinator

    The Annual Volunteer Luncheon will be held on Wednesday, October 25th, at 12:00 noon at 101 Newbury Street, Boston. It will be a festive occasion, and we hope as many volunteers as possible can come. For the many volunteers who live at a distance from Boston, I will write up an account of activities for this last year and you will be able to see the scope of the volunteer program from the numbers of people involved.

    Volunteers working from home, reformatting or indexing or transcribing files on Excel spreadsheets are keeping very busy. This work enables NEHGS to increase website databases at a pace that benefits all our members. However, the work is quickly increasing as well.

    We need more volunteers to help us, and there are a few basic requirements:

    • A high-speed connection
    • A computer with Windows 2000 or XP
    • You should be somewhat familiar with Excel spreadsheets. This work entails either using macros (making the reformatting much easier), or "copy and paste."
    • You should be able to work 20-25 hours in a month.

    If you would like to help with the files that are being prepared for the website, please contact me:

    Susan Rosefsky
    NEHGS Volunteer Coordinator
    617-226-1276
    susanr@nehgs.org

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    Name Origins
    by Julie Helen Otto

    ANNIS (f) – A medieval (both English and Scottish) form of AGNES much used by some colonial families. Often misread by researchers as ‘Annie,’ a diminutive not used as a formal name much before the nineteenth century.

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    CEO D. Brenton Simons Speaking at Waltham Public Library

    NEHGS President and CEO D. Brenton Simons will be speaking about his book Witches, Rakes, and Rogues: True Stories of Scam, Scandal, Murder and Mayhem in Boston, 1630-1775 at the Waltham Public Library on Monday, October 30 at 7:30 pm. He will be taking questions at the end of his talk and signing copies of his book. The Waltham Public Library is located at 735 Main Street in Waltham.

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    Stephen Morse Speaking at NARA Pittsfield

    The Friends of the National Archives will host two lectures by nationally-known genealogist and computer guru Stephen Morse on Monday, October 23, 2006, at the National Archives facility, 10 Conte Drive in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.

    Mr. Morse is an amateur genealogist who has been researching his Russian-Jewish origins for the past few years. Several years ago, he developed some web-based searching aids which, much to his surprise, have attracted attention worldwide. He has received both the Outstanding Contribution Award and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies.

    In his other life, Morse is a computer professional with a doctorate in electrical engineering from New York University. He has spent his career alternately doing research, development, teaching, consulting, and writing. He is best known as the designer of the Intel 8086 microprocessor (the granddaddy of today’s Pentium processor), which sparked the PC revolution 25 years ago.

    He will present two lectures on Oct. 23, beginning at 6:30 p.m. The first, “White, Blue, Gray! What Color Ellis Island Search Form Should I Use?,” discusses his search engines for the Ellis Island database and how best to use them. The second lecture, “Deep Linking and Deeper Linking: How I got the most out of existing search applications,” provides a means of optimizing the information extracted from existing third-party websites in general, and from search applications in particular.

    The lectures are free but pre-registration is required. Seating is limited. Refreshments will be available. To register or for further information, contact the National Archives at 413-236-3600.

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    Upcoming Education Programs

    Witches, Sex, and Scandal in Colonial Boston Walking Tour
    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.

    Registration Fees: $10 adults/$8 children under 12.
    Fees double after October 21, 2006.

    Visit http://www.newenglandancestors.org/education/main/witches_tour2006.asp to register.

    For more information about NEHGS programs visit http://www.newenglandancestors.org/education/main/.

     

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    Spotlight:Austin History Center of the Austin Public Library, Texas
    (http://www.ci.austin.tx.us/library/ahc)
    by Valerie Beaudrault

    The Austin History Center houses the Austin Public Library’s local history collection. Its mission is to identify, acquire, preserve, publicize and provide access to information that documents Austin and Travis County, Texas, both past and present. The Center is the official repository for historical records of the City of Austin. If your ancestors lived in or passed through Austin, a visit to this web site could be enlightening and provide you with a sense of the city and its history. Click on the links on the homepage to access all of the resources discussed below.

    Oakwood Cemetery Database
    This database contains a list of burials in Austin’s oldest cemetery. The data was transcribed from the cemetery ledgers. The database covers the period from 1866 through 1902. Additional years will be added in the future. Click on the Search link to access the database. The database can be searched by first and last name. You can narrow your search by year. In addition you can browse through the records by last name and by year.

    By clicking on the Resources link on the cemetery search page you can download a PDF file containing the Oakwood Cemetery Finding Aid, which lists resources related to the cemetery. These resources include maps, clippings and photographs found in the Austin History Center’s collections.

    Austin Treasures: Online Exhibits
    Austin Treasures are online exhibits that have been drawn from images found in the Austin History Center’s collections. The exhibits contain a variety of materials and include manuscripts, photographs and maps. Topics covered include Austin Beginnings, Lost Victorian Austin, Jane McCallum/Suffrage Movement, and Austin Streets, to name a few. The online exhibits are based on exhibits originally shown at the History Center.

    African American Sources
    African American Sources include a resource guide organized by topic and record type and a PDF file that you can download containing an African American bibliography, which was updated in February 2006. In addition, you can play a series of one-minute vignettes depicting the stories of African Americans and the communities they built, titled Black in the Past. The vignettes “highlight the events, places and people that characterize Black Austin, using historic photographs and documents from the archival holdings at the Austin History Center.” Click on the links to hear the stories. If your web browser does not support the plug in for viewing these vignettes, as mine did not, you can still get a sense of what they are all about by clicking on and reading the Transcripts of Videos in "Black in the Past" Collection link at the end of the page.

    You will also find a Brief History of Austin and tips on preserving the materials that you have collected in the process of researching your family. There are resources on the web site, which will prove useful if you are planning a research trip to Austin. These include a guide to the Mexican American resources available at the History Center and a section describing the Austin History Center Photograph Collection, which contains more than one million prints.

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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.

    DNA and Me: Adventures in Genetic Genealogy
    Saturday, October 21, 2006, 10-11 a.m.
    You’ve read about it in magazines and seen it on television, but can DNA help a frustrated genealogist
    find the answers to brick wall questions? Can it help you? Discover what all the buzz is about. Join Maureen Taylor, former librarian at NEHGS and now a professional genealogist and author, on her personal excursion into the world of genetics and family history. 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 www.newenglandancestors.org/education/main or call 1-888-286-3447.

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    Stories of Interest

    Life expectancy has changed a great deal since our ancestors first came to America. Dr. Thomas Perls, MD, MPH, is the founder of the New England Centenarian Study at the Boston University School of Medicine. The study has done extensive research on centenarians and their families. One result of the study is the Living to 100 Life Expectancy Calculator, which can give you a good idea of how long you will live based on your current health and habits. Find out more at www.livingto100.com/.

    Helen Mirren's grandfather, Pyotr Miranov, came to England as an emmissary of Tsar Nicholas II and was trapped there after the Russian Revolution in 1917. The family lost touch with the sisters he left behind, and on a trip to Moscow Mirren was unable to locate any trace of her great-aunts. She assumed that the family was wiped out during the Stalinist purges in the 1930s. Fortunately Russian genealogists were able to trace the aunts and find living descendants. Read the story in the Daily Mail at http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/femail/article.html?
    in_article_id=410429&in_page_id=1879.

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    From the Online Genealogist

    Question:
    I am looking for a couple of families in Norridgewock, Maine. Can you tell me if you have any online or library resources for this area?

    Answer:
    One of the tax lists on http://www.newenglandancestors.org/ is “A School Tax for the Year A.D. 1803”. In our library we have History of the old towns, Norridgewock and Canaan : comprising Norridgewock, Canaan, Starks, Skowhegan, and Bloomfield, from their early settlement to the year 1849 by John Welsey Hanson (Boston, Mass. : J.W. Hanson, 1849), call number F29.N7 H2 1849. We also have Norridgewock, Maine town and vital records 1744-1891 available on microfilm, call number F29.N7 N67.

     

    David Allen Lambert is the Society’s Online Genealogist. If you would like to ask him a question, contact him at onlinegenealogist@nehgs.org or visit his blog at http://www.davidlambertblog.com/. For more information about the Online Genealogist visit www.newenglandancestors.org/research/main/online_genealogist.asp. 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: e.g. vs. i.e.
    by Michael J. Leclerc

    The rules of English grammar can be confusing, and some abbreviations often exacerbate the situation. Two abbreviations that are commonly confused are i.e. and e.g. Which is the appropriate term to use? Both are abbreviations for Latin terms, and their meanings are similar, making it even more difficult to determine which is the correct one to use.

    e.g. stands for the Latin words exempli gratia. The English equivalent of this term would be for example. Use this abbreviation to suggest a list of examples to clarify the preceding phrase:

    Probate packets contain a wide variety of papers (e.g. wills, inventories, guardianships, estate distributions) that can help to establish familial relationships.

    By definition e.g. indicates a partial list, so one should never use etc. at the end of the list of examples.

    i.e. stands for the Latin id est, literally translated into that is. This abbreviation should be used to clarify a phrase by expanding on the thought expressed:


    While probate papers commonly establish familial relationships, they will rarely give exact birthdates (i.e., the papers in the administration of an estate can establish parent-child, sibling, and other relationships but will rarely tell you when and where a child was born).


    When in doubt, substitute the English words for the Latin and see which reads better to you.

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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 http://www.newenglandancestors.org/education/articles/NEXUS_eNews/enews_main.asp.

    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 http://www.newenglandancestors.org/giving/.

    To view the website of the New England Historic Genealogical Society, please visit http://www.newenglandancestors.org/.

    To become a member of the New England Historic Genealogical Society, please visit http://www.newenglandancestors.org/membership/levels/default.asp.

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

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888-296-3447

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