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  • 2006 Archive

  • Vol. 8, No. 51
    Whole #302
    December 27, 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
    * New Online Seminar: Library Resources at the New England Historic Genealogical Society
    * Name Origins
    * NEHGS Sales Flyer Now Available Online
    * NEHGS Library Inventory
    * Research Recommendations: Local Histories
    * Spotlight: Online Resources of the Oxford County Library, Oxford County, Ontario
    * From the Online Genealogist
    * Stories of Interest
    * Upcoming Public Lecture Series
    * Upcoming Education Programs
    * NEHGS Contact Information


    New Databases on New

    Vital Records of New Salem Massachusetts To The End Of The Year 1849

    The township of New Salem, MA was established on June 15, 1753 and made into a district on Aug. 23, 1775. New Salem became a town on Jan. 28, 1822.

    The introduction to the published vital records notes that: “From the fact that in 1855 all the records of births, marriages and deaths of New Salem were destroyed by fire, none of such records are available, save the period of 1843 to 1850, copies of which years are on file at the State House in Boston. These have been considered in this work as original records. The church records have fortunately been preserved and have been incorporated, as well as considerable material from the records of Franklin and Hampshire Counties, and from other public and private sources bearing on the vital statistics of this community.”

    This database contains records of 1,790 births, 1,680 marriages, 648 deaths, and 4,829 ‘Public Records’ from Franklin County deeds and Probate, the 1798 direct tax, and the1790 census.

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    New Online Seminar: Library Resources at the New England Historic Genealogical Society

    Marie Daly, Director of the Library at NEHGS has created an online lecture outlining the history of NEHGS and the many resources at the research library at 101 Newbury Street. View the presentation at

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    Name Origins
    by Julie Helen Otto

    COLIN (m) – Nickname for NICHOLAS.

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    NEHGS Sales Flyer Now Available Online

    Just in time for holiday shopping, the latest NEHGS Sales Flyer, mailed to members in November, is now available for viewing online at

    Please note that except for the Special Orders Catalog and all books in the Great Migration series, NEHGS books are distributed through Picton Press. To order any book online, go to More ordering options are available on the last page of the flyer.

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    NEHGS Library Inventory

    NEHGS is planning inventory the library holdings during the week of January 29, 2007. The library will remain open during the inventory, but each library floor will be closed for a day or two while the collections are inventoried. On the day a floor is closed there will be no access to its materials. The schedule for floor closings is: Sixth floor, Jan. 30; Fifth floor, Jan. 31 and Feb. 1; Fourth floor Feb 2; and First floor Feb. 3. Library closures due to snow emergencies may change the closing schedule.

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    Research Recommendations

    Local Histories
    by Michael J. Leclerc


    Local histories are too often overlooked in conducting genealogical research. Many researchers do not realize the value of the information contained in them. They may quickly look for a section on compiled genealogies and move on if there isn’t such a section or if the book is not indexed. These books are worth working through, even if it takes a little longer. In addition to giving you a greater understanding of the area in which your ancestor lived, they can give you other information and major clues that will assist you in your search.

    For example, in researching the Gibbs family I discovered a number of individuals of this surname living in the town of Blandford in western Massachusetts. The vital records of Blandford were not published as part of the official series of Massachusetts vital records, although some records were published by NEHGS on the Corbin Collection, Volume II CD-ROM.

    In 1928 Sumner Gilbert Wood published Ulster Scots and Blandford Scouts. The title would lead one to believe that it only contains information on a migration of Scots-Irish to the Blandford area. A review of the table of contents, however, shows that after discussing this topic in the first half of the book, the remainder contains a general history of the town, including migrations from the town of Hopkinton.

    Searching for mentions of the Gibbs family revealed numerous references. Israel Gibbs “was thirty and Mary was twenty-eight at the time of their emigration from Hopkinton, and their son Israel was the first Male child born in the new settlement. A family tradition has it that Israel and his wife spent a night at Brookfield with the Glasgow company.” [p. 127]. In addition to the age information and the year of emigration from Hopkinton, the Brookfield tradition is an interesting story. The author includes a source citation, observing that he obtained the information from The Gibbs Family Bulletin, Number Two. NEHGS has only the fifth issue of this publication, but a quick check of WorldCat revealed that the New York Public Library has a full set and a friend is now checking the original publication for me.

    The section on Hopkinton reveals a major controversy among the members of the Congregational church there who were Irish Presbyterians. The controversy culminated in the excommunication of many members, including Israel Gibbs and his wife Mary. Most of the excommunicants ended up migrating to Blandford. Now we have a reason for people moving from one town to another.

    The book also contains lists of holders of pews in the church, original land grantees, and lists of those giving military service. All of these records are starting points for other research. The book also contains drawings of farming tools that belonged to Israel Gibbs, as well as facsimiles of town documents from 1759 that include the signatures of Israel Gibbs and his sons John and Israel. At the end of the book are genealogical tables, vital records extracts, and a bibliography of the sources consulted in compiling the town history.

    The next time you are researching your family at the library, take the time to examine the local histories. Even if the title doesn’t seem appropriate to you at first, a thorough canvassing of all of the books may provide a goldmine of information and clues that you would miss entirely.

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    Spotlight: Online Resources of the Oxford County Library, Oxford County, Ontario
    by Valerie Beaudrault

    Oxford County is located in southwestern Ontario, just east of the city of London. The Oxford County Library has a collection of genealogy and local history related databases and indexes on its website. Researchers can consult the following databases to learn more about the county and its environs.

    Historic Hamlets in Oxford County
    This database contains place names of historic rural communities. You can search by name of hamlet, current municipality, “former” township, or concession. The database can also be browsed. The Historic Photos database can be searched by keyword or you can choose to view the entire collection.

    Indexes to Local Histories
    The Oxford County Library staff has created indexes to four local histories. These indexes have been uploaded to the website. Excerpts from these texts can be ordered from the library via email. These requests are limited to one page look up per email per week.

    Locale Specific Databases
    Ingersoll Newspaper Databases
    There are two separate Ingersoll newspaper databases on the website. One is a searchable index to birth, marriage, and death notices found in the Ingersoll Chronicle for the period 1854–1919. The second is a searchable index to birth, marriage, and death notices found in the Ingersoll Tribune for the period 1897–1970. The indexes can be searched by surname and given name and can be limited in a number of ways. The search results include source newspaper information (title, date, page and column numbers), date of event, name, associated name and notes. In some records the text of the notice has been included, while in other records the text may be requested from the library.

    Ingersoll and Area Cemetery Index
    This database indexes the Ingersoll Rural Cemetery to 1986, the Harris Street Cemetery to 1983, and the Sacred Heart Cemetery to 1981. These cemeteries are located in the Ingersoll area. The data fields include the cemetery identification, full name of the deceased, section, row, age, stone, death date, and epitaph. Cemetery maps have also been included.

    Town of Ingersoll Historical Census
    This database is an index to the census records of the Town of Ingersoll for the years 1851, 1861, 1871, 1881, 1891, and 1901. The information is indexed by surname. The data fields include surname, Christian name, occupation, birthplace, age, sex, marital status, page number and comments.

    1894–1895 Town of Ingersoll Directory
    This database contains listing of “private citizens and professional men” found in the Directory for the Town of Ingersoll. Researchers can browse through the alphabetical list letter by letter. The data fields include full name, occupation and address.

    Ingersoll Vital Statistics — Births, Marriages and Deaths
    There are three separate searchable databases of the official vital records for Ingersoll. These databases can be searched by name. The birth records cover the period from June 8, 1869 to December 31, 1909. The data fields for these records include name, sex, date of birth, name of father, maiden name of mother, occupation of father, birthplace, parents place of marriage, date of marriage, name of person making return, address and date of registration. The marriage records cover the period July 15, 1896 to December 31, 1924. There are more than 20 data fields in each of these records. The death records cover the period from July 15, 1896 to December 31, 1934. The data fields for these records include name of the deceased, date of death, place of death, sex, age, marital status, birthplace, occupation, father, mother, informant, cause of death, and length of illness and date of registration. These indexes can also be browsed through by first letter of the last name of the subject of the record.

    1861 Census for North Oxford Township
    The database, which is an index to the 1861 Census for North Oxford Township, can be searched by family name or browsed through alphabetically by first letter of the last name. The data fields include full name, sex, profession, place of birth, age next birthday, religion, marital status, page number, and enumeration district.

    Directory of Oxford 1857–1858
    This is a searchable database of “citizens, merchants and business throughout the County of Oxford” for the period 1857–1858. The data contained in this index was compiled from a variety of sources. The data fields include surname, given names, address, town/township and notes/occupation.

    Oxford County Genealogy Records 1793–1858
    This database contains an index to genealogical records from a variety of sources. The sources include parish registers, local history books, marriage bonds, and wills. The data fields include source for the record, name, associated name, date, place of origin, witness, and note. The source field contains a link to information on where the original record can be found.

    Oxford County Land Patents
    This database of land patent records was created by the Ontario Provincial Secretary’s Office. They were transcribed from microfilm of the Archives of Ontario. The records for the townships of East Nissouri, West Nissouri, North Oxford, and West Oxford can be browsed. The data fields include surname, Christian name, concession, lot, township, date of the patent and the number of acres.

    In addition there are a number of links from the Genealogy and Local History page to Oxford County Historical sites and to genealogy sites.

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    Stories of Interest

    As genealogists we know the value of census records, not only for finding individuals but for placing them in context. The U.S. Census Bureau recently released the 2007 Statistical Abstracts of the United States. The report provides all kinds of information about our citizens. For example, Americans drank more than 23 gallons of bottled water per person in 2004 — about 10 times as much as in 1980. We consumed more than twice as much high fructose corn syrup per person as in 1980 and remained the fattest inhabitants of the planet. Read a story about the report in The New York Times at
    15census.html?ex=1167282000& en=51c98a69f0030a67&ei=5070.

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    From the Online Genealogist

    In one of my ancestors’ memorandums I find that she sat for a photograph in 1859 in New York for a Mr. Hagar or Hager. How I can find out about who this photographer was?

    Searching the 1860 Census will help you locate the photographer’s family. You can also examine New York city directories. I would advise you also to search the free database of known American photographers from of the early 19th century titled Craig's Daguerreian Registry - The Acknowledged Resource on American Photographers 1839-1860 at A quick search of this database reveals a photographer named Henry Hager was operating in New York City from 1858 to 1860. You may also find contacting the Daguerrian Society may aid your search. They can be contacted 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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    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.

    Getting Started in Genealogy

    January 6, 2006, 10:00 AM
    New visitors will be welcomed, given a chance to introduce themselves, meet other new visitors, describe their research and have knowledgeable staff advise them on how to proceed. The thirty-minute welcome will be followed by a tour of the library.

    Future programs for the first quarter of 2007 include (all programs at 10:00 am):

    Jan 10, David Lambert, Getting the Most from NEHGS Databases
    Feb 7, Marie Daly, New Visitor Welcome and Library Tour
    Feb 14, David Dearborn, A Cornucopia of Records: Researching Essex County [MA] Ancestors
    Feb 21, Tom Wilcox, Down to the Sea: Steamboats to Maine
    Mar 3, Marie Daly, New Visitor Welcome and Library Tour
    Mar 7, Joshua Taylor, Creating Your Personal Genealogical Website
    Mar 14, David Lambert, Getting the Most from NEHGS Databases
    Mar 17, Shelley Barber & Marie Daly, Researching Immigrant Documents: The Prendergast Letters
    Mar 21, Martin Hollick, New Englanders in the 1600s
    Mar 28, Rhonda McClure, Using Your Computer for Genealogical Analysis


    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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    Upcoming Education Programs

    African American Genealogical Research Seminar, February 10, 2007
    This day-long seminar begins with tips on getting started on African American genealogical research, then progresses to lectures on southern slave ancestors and African Americans in pre-Civil War New England. There will also be an overview of pertinent manuscripts in the NEHGS Archives. Presenters include Kenyatta D. Berry, independent scholar; David Allen Lambert, NEHGS online genealogist; Judy Lucey, NEHGS assistant archivist; and Timothy Salls, NEHGS archivist. This program is co-sponsored by the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society, New England Chapter.

    Registration fee: $75
    For additional information and to register please visit

    Each year the Society presents a large number of lectures, seminars, and tours for genealogists. The following major programs will be held in 2007:

    Winter Weekend Research Getaway February 8 – 10, 2007
    Tutorial program with research consultations in Boston

    African American Genealogical Research February 10, 2007
    Seminar in Boston (February is Black History Month)

    Research Week in Washington, D.C. February 25 – March 4, 2007
    Lodging: Hotel Washington

    Writing Your Family History: Organizing Your Material and Getting Started March 31, 2007
    Seminar in Boston

    DNA and Genealogy April 21, 2007
    Seminar in Boston

    Research Day at NARA Northeast Region May 16, 2007
    Location: Waltham, MA

    Come Home to New England #1 June 18 – 23, 2007
    Tutorial program with consultations in Boston

    Come Home to New England #2 August 6 – 11, 2007
    Tutorial program with consultations in Boston

    English Family History Research Tour to London September 9 – 16, 2007
    Lodging: Bloomsbury Holiday Inn

    Research Tour to Salt Lake City October 28 – November 4, 2007
    Lodging: Salt Lake Plaza Hotel

    For more information about NEHGS programs visit or email


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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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New England Historic Genealogical Society
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Boston, Massachusetts 02116, USA

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