American Ancestors New England Historic Genealogical Society - Founded 1845 N.E. Historic Genealogical Society Seal View Your Shopping Cart Join NEHGS
  • 2007 Archive

  • Vol. 9, No. 11
    Whole #313
    March 14, 2007
     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
    * Special Invitation from NEHGS
    * Free Access to Irish Resources for St. Patrick's Day
    * Name Origins
    * Offer Extended - Autographed Copies of Witches, Rakes and Rogues
    * Research Recommendations:
    * Spotlight: The Clark County, WI American Local History Network – American History Genealogy Project (ALHN & AHGP Internet Library)
    * From the Online Genealogist
    * Stories of Interest
    * Upcoming Public Lecture Series
    * Upcoming Education Programs
    * NEHGS Contact Information


    New Databases on New

    Vital Records of Berlin, Massachusetts, to the end of the Year 1899

    This week, we are releasing the 380-page Vital Records of Berlin, Massachusetts, to the end of the year 1899. The data contained in this book were compiled and published by a committee of Concord residents in 1895. The volume contains records of 2,740 births, 2,337 marriages, 1,645 deaths, and 191 other records, consisting of church admissions and dismissals.

    From the introduction of the book:

    "The following records of births, marriages and deaths include all entries to be found in the books kept by the town clerks; in the church records; in the cemetery inscriptions; in private records found in family Bibles, etc.; in church admissions and dismissals; also those for the years prior to 1784 found in the Berlin town clerks' books, being copies of the records from that portion of Bolton now a part of Berlin. No record of marriages were kept from 1821 to 1824. The town records from 1854 to 1874 were badly faded on the original books and had been traced by the town clerk of a later period, presenting some difficulties to the compiler. These records are printed in a condensed form in which every essential particular has been preserved. All duplication of the town clerks' record has been eliminated, but differences in entry and other explanatory matter appear in brackets.”

    The data from this book are being added to those in our existing Massachusetts VR to 1850 database. The images of the original pages from this book may be viewed from the search results page of that database. The original volume is also available in our Boston research library, call number F74/B3/B34 1935.


    Social Security Death Index - Free Access
    Updated through February, 2007

    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 February, 2007. Access to the SSDI is FREE to all who visit This database now contains the names of over 77,000,000 individuals, most of whose deaths were recorded after 1965.

    Return to Table of Contents


    Special Invitation from NEHGS

    The New England Historic Genealogical Society requests the pleasure of your company for a reception and dinner with a presentation by David Hackett Fischer on The Tradition of Leadership in America, Sunday, April 22, 2007, at The Algonquin Club, 217 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts. The Society is proud to host David Hackett Fischer as its guest speaker. Professor Fischer, a longtime member of NEHGS, is one of our country's foremost historians, whose writing includes Paul Revere's Ride and the Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington's Crossing.

    For more information about this event, visit

    Return to Table of Contents


    Free Access to Irish Resources for St. Patrick's Day

    For a limited time only we are giving free access to our Irish databases on These include atlases, maps, reference materials, census, tax and voter lists, church records, newspapers and periodicals, and societies and organizations. These databases will be available through March 21, 2007. View the Irish databases now at

    Return to Table of Contents


    Name Origins
    by Julie Helen Otto

    BILLE (m) – A colonial nickname for WILLIAM.

    Return to Table of Contents


    Offer Extended - Autographed Copies of Witches, Rakes and Rogues

    The NEHGS Sales department is offering personally inscribed copies of the hugely popular work Witches, Rakes and Rogues by NEHGS President and CEO D. Brenton Simons!

    By scouring family records and public archives, Simons demonstrates convincingly that the narrow, twisting streets of colonial Boston were also crawling with murderers, con men, identity thieves, and other blackguards. Bostonians may have been prayerful, but they were also prurient—and violent. Added to his extraordinary rogues gallery are several misunderstood women who were tried and executed as witches. Simons even uncovers the truth about the first documented serial murder in Boston history.

    Here are just a few of Simons's tales of Witches, Rakes, and Rogues:

    • Jane Hawkins, Boston’s First Witchcraft Suspect
    • The Inheritance Scheme of Robert Palmer
    • The Kidnapping of the Misses Mackintosh
    • The Duel of Benjamin Woodbridge and Henry Phillips
    • Hanged for a Witch: The Turbulent Passions of Ann Hibbins
    • Murder by Arsenic
    • Bigamy in Boston

    Winner of the 2006 Award of Merit from the American Association for State and Local History.

    The cost of this soft cover book is $13.00 (plus $4.00 shipping). To order, please call 1-617-226-1212. Prices good through March 26th, 2007, while supplies last.

    Return to Table of Contents


    Research Recommendations
    by Michael J. Leclerc

    Disclaimer: reading this article could result in more money departing your wallet. Last week the Research Recommendation discussed recently took a large stake in has been around for more than a decade, and has become “the world’s largest online marketplace for books.” The site has listings for more than 100 million new, used, rare, and out-of-print books.

    Booksellers pay a monthly subscription rate to sell through the site, at a rate of $25 to $300 USD depending on the number of titles listed. There are currently in excess of 13,500 bookseller members of the site.

    The company is based in Victoria, British Columbia, and operates websites in several countries around the world, including France, Germany, Spain, and the United Kingdom. The site facilitates up to 25,000 book sale a day. In 2006 the site saw $17 million USD worth of books sold.

    For consumers, the site couldn’t be easier to use. I visited for the first time today, and quickly created an account and purchased books. I actually had no intention of buying anything, but when I saw some of the titles I could get, I was amazed and couldn’t resist. I searched for books on Quebec history to see what I could find. Within seconds I had a list of almost 100 titles. Many of them were duplicates from different booksellers. Prices were different depending on the seller and the condition of used books.

    The prices were more than fair. In most cases, they were amazingly low. Each book came with a satisfaction guarantee that if I didn’t like the quality of the book when I received it the book could be returned for a full refund.

    As I added books to my shopping cart the site automatically calculated shipping, and a dropdown box was included for each bookseller who offered different shipping options. Within ten minutes I had purchased nine titles with publication dates ranging from the late-nineteenth to the late-twentieth century. All were out-of-print titles. The grand total for these purchases was $40.45 USD. recently added BookHints to its offerings. BookHints are recommendations for books that might be related to the titles you are looking for. BookHints is powered by You can read more about this at

    There are special areas for rare books, collectors, and first editions. The site provides tips and hints for caring for books. And a list of book fairs and events for rare and used books can help you find a wonderful place to spend an afternoon. There is even a direct link from the homepage to a section on used Bibles.

    AbeBooks is definitely a useful place to locate those difficult-to-find titles that can help you in your research.

    Return to Table of Contents


    Spotlight: The Clark County, WI American Local History Network – American History Genealogy Project (ALHN & AHGP Internet Library)
    by Valerie Beaudrault

    The Clark County, WI, ALHN & AHGP Internet Library is sponsored by the Wisconsin Valley Library Service (WVLS). One of seventeen library systems in the state, WVLS covers the north central Wisconsin counties of Clark, Forest, Langlade, Lincoln, Marathon, Oneida, and Taylor.

    The ALHM & AHGP Internet Library web site contains a large number of resources useful to anyone whose ancestors lived in Clark County. Most of these resources have been extracted and compiled by volunteers. A sampling of the resources includes:

    The Biographical History of Clark County, Wisconsin, compiled by Franklyn Curtiss-Wedge (Chicago and Winona, H. C. Cooper Jr., & Co., 1918). The biographical sketches from this volume have been transcribed and made available. Photographs found in the History have also been included.

    Vital Statistics Indexes
    There are a number of vital statistics indexes on the web site. To learn about the history, scope and content, and problems with the state’s vital records, click on the Wisconsin's Birth, Marriage & Death Records History link under the Birth Index (Pre-October, 1907).

    Birth Index (Pre-October, 1907)
    This database is an alphabetical index to birth records for Clark County found on microfilm at the State Archives in Madison, Wisconsin. The data fields include surname, first name, date of birth and reel and image numbers. You can also access the Birth Index at the WI State Historical Society from this page.

    Marriage Indexes
    There are a number of marriage indexes on this website. They include the Pre-1907 Database of Clark County WI Marriages Index and Post-1907 Marriage Records for Clark Co., WI, as well as brides and grooms indexes for the period 1973–1984 and indexes to divorces for the period 1965–1984. The data fields for the Pre-1907 Index include bride surname and first name, groom surname and first name, marriage date, page and volume number. The Post-1907 Marriage Records database contains contributed transcribed newspaper marriage announcements.

    Death Indexes
    The Clark Co, WI Death Record Indexes (1873–1907) are alphabetical listings of deaths recorded in the county. The data fields include the name of the deceased, the date of death, and volume and page number on which the record can be found. The Obituary and Death Indexes for Clark, Co. WI page contains links to a number of external sites with death records, as well as links to alphabetical indexes of obituaries for Clark County residents.

    Index of Clark County, Wisconsin Probate Records
    This database is a simple alphabetical index to Clark County Probate Records. They include the name of the deceased, file number, and volume and page number.

    Military Records
    Military records include those related to the Civil War, World War I, and World War II. World War I resources include an Index of Biographies and Obituaries recorded on the Clark County Records Board, and Index of Clark County World War I Veterans (work in progress), newspaper articles, and the Clark County WW Gold Star Listing, as well as links to external sites. World War II resources include a roster of Clark County WWII veterans, newspaper items, WWII remembrances, and links to external sites.

    Clark County Civil War resources include an index of veterans who lived in Clark County, newspaper articles related to the GAR, biographical memoirs of Clark County Civil War Soldiers, news clips, photographs, and links to external sites, as well as the Civil War Veteran’s Master Burial Index. The data found in this index includes the surname and given name of the veteran, cemetery name/stone information, township, notes, birth and death date, and kin & informants information. The notes field might include birth and death year, dates of military service, where served and rank. If biographical information or and obituary is available online, there is a link to the item.

    Schools of Clark County, WI
    The Schools resources include a variety of information about schools in the townships of Clark County. The information provided about individual schools varies from school to school and may include photographs of the school buildings, class photographs, school histories, and remembrances. In addition, there is a Complete List of Teachers and Schools Clark County, Wisconsin (1929–30) and a Directory of Clark County Schools (1946–47).

    Property Owners
    Click on this links to access a list containing the names of Property Owners in Clark County. Each name is a link to detailed information about the property. In some cases there are photographs in addition to the narrative.

    Cheese Factories & Dairies of Clark Co., WI
    This database comprises a list of cheese factories and dairies found in Clark County. In some cases there are links to photographs, histories, and even recipes. The data fields include Business Name, Product & Notes, Owners/Managers, Location, and Time of Operation.

    Return to Table of Contents


    Stories of Interest

    An African-American woman in Harlem who runs a school for gospel singers recently had a y-chromosome DNA test done on her uncle to determine their ancestral heritage. The results were surprising to her. I was expecting Kunta Kinte,” Ms. Higginsen said, referring to the character in “Roots,” “but I got Lord De La Warr.” She recently united with a distant cousin, a white cattle rancher from Missouri, in her Harlem brownstone. Read this story at

    Return to Table of Contents


    From the Online Genealogist

    I understand there is a project going on regarding the diaries of Canadian World War I veterans? Can you tell me if you have heard about this project?

    The Archives of Canada maintains a wonderful collection of digital images of both veteran Attestation papers, and the War Diaries of particular regiments involved. These diaries were officially kept by each battalion, and detail day-to-day activities, from recruitment to the disbanding of the unit. You can find out more about the War Diaries at

    You can go directly to the search page at You can volunteer to help with the ongoing effort to transcribe the diaries at the Canadian Expeditionary Force Study Group at My great-grandfather John George Lea fought in the 124th Pioneer Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Forces, and I have transcribed part of it already from the clear online images.

    I hope that this will answer your question – and hopefully you will find a reference in the diary on your ancestor.


    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.

    Return to Table of Contents


    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.

    Researching Immigrant Documents: The Prendergast Letters
    Shelley Barber and Marie Daly, March 17 (Saturday at 10:00 am)
    Come celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day with an exciting lecture about the correspondence of an Irish family in the years leading up to the Great Famine. Written by James and Elizabeth Prendergast to their children in Boston, this noteworthy collection of letters offers a rare, first-hand, contemporary account of the Great Famine in Ireland. Boston College Burns Library staff member Shelley Barber and NEHGS Library Director Marie Daly will discuss the recently published book, The Prendergast Letters: Correspondence from Famine-Era Ireland, 1840–1850. Shelley Barber will discuss her significant work in transcribing and interpreting the letters, and will describe the Prendergast origins in County Kerry, Ireland. Marie Daly will present a fascinating account of the Prendergast family and their descendants in Boston. She will also review sources for descendant research in New England.

    New Englanders in the 1600s
    Martin Hollick, March 21
    Please join us in the NEHGS Sloan Education Center for a lecture and book signing by Martin Hollick, reference librarian at the Harvard Law School Library and associate editor for Mayflower Descendant. His articles on genealogy have been published several leading journals. Martin will discuss his purpose in writing his book New England Families in the 1600s, as well as how libraries index genealogical materials, the impact of the Internet on genealogical research, and the sources contained in New England Families.

    Future programs for the first quarter of 2007 include:
    March 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.

    Return to Table of Contents


    Upcoming Education Programs

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

    Writing Your Family History: Organizing Your Material and Getting Started
    Saturday, March 31, 2007 (Seminar in Boston)
    It is a constant refrain: genealogists love the ancestral search but often find the distillation of their hard work unappealing -- and so they end up missing out on what can be the enjoyable experience of writing up their results. Join expert NEHGS consultants for a one-day seminar addressing how to organize your material, plan what to write based on that newly-organized material, and then how to "build" your family history step by step. Henry B. Hoff, editor of The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, will speak on the progression from research notes to a written draft, and on what decisions must be made before starting to write. Rhonda R. McClure, NEHGS genealogist, will speak on organizing both paper and computer files. Helen Schatvet Ullmann, associate editor of the Register, will show how to use Microsoft Word to compose a family history, step by step.
    Registration fee: $95

    For more information, or to register, please visit

    Genetics and Genealogy Saturday, April 21, 2007
    Seminar in Boston
    Join us for this day-long seminar with noted genealogist Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak, who will give four lectures. Her topics will include tracing your roots with DNA, exploring genetic genealogy options, challenging cases, and the struggle to find the real Annie Moore (the first immigrant to the United States via Ellis Island).

    For more information, or to register, please visit


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

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

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

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

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

    For more information about NEHGS programs visit or email

    Return to Table of Contents


    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 2007, New England Historic Genealogical Society
    101 Newbury Street, Boston, MA 02116

    Return to Table of Contents

New England Historic Genealogical Society
99 - 101 Newbury Street
Boston, Massachusetts 02116, USA

© 2010 - 2014 New England Historic Genealogical Society