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  • 2007 Archive

  • Vol. 9, No. 17
    Whole #319
    April 25, 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
    * New Trustees and Councilors
    * Coming Soon in the April 2007 Issue of New England Ancestors
    * Name Origins
    * Coming Soon in the April 2007 Issue of The Register
    * Sales
    * Research Recommendations: Geographical Abbreviations
    * Spotlight: Virginia Military Institute Archives
    * From the Online Genealogist
    * Stories of Interest
    * Upcoming Public Lecture Series
    * Upcoming Education Programs
    * NEHGS Contact Information


    New Databases on New

    Boston Births, Baptisms, Marriages, and Deaths, 1630-1699

    In 1883, the Record Commissioners of the City of Boston published the vital records of Boston for the years 1630 to 1699. These records consist of 11,979 births and baptisms, 1,988 marriages, and 1,498 deaths.

    The introduction to the volume states: “It was intended and is believed to contain every entry of birth, death, and marriage recorded as happening in the town of Boston in the first seventy years of its existence, and now found in the office of the City Registrar and every entry of baptism on the records of the First Church for the same period.” However, this record is far from complete, according to this later statement: “For most of the years before 1700 the record of births seems to be quite full and complete; but sometimes, as in 1675, nearly all was lost by some chance. The years 1647-50 are also evidently imperfect. The deaths and marriages are less regularly recorded, and there is a long break in each. No deaths were recorded 1665-88, and no marriages 1663-79.”

    Images of the original pages from this book may be viewed from the search results page of that database.

    The original volume is available in our Boston Research Library, call number F73.1 / B74 / V.9.

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    New Trustees and Councillors

    The following individuals were elected as officers, trustees, and councilors at the annual meeting, held April 23, 2007, in Boston. The annual report of the Society for fiscal year 2006 will appear in the Summer 2007 issue of New England Ancestors.

    One year term, expiring April 2008
    David Watson Kruger, Exeter, NH, Chairman
    Kathleen A. Van Demark, M.D., Rockport, MA, Vice Chairman
    Eric B. Schultz, Boxford, MA, Treasurer
    Joyce S. Pendery, C.G., Falmouth, MA, Secretary

    Three year term, expiring April 2010
    Judith Avery, San Francisco, CA*
    William M. Crozier, Wellesley, MA
    Randall A. Hammond, Westport, CT
    John C. MacKeen, Maynard, MA*
    M. David Sherrill, New York, NY*
    Alvy Ray Smith, Ph.D., Seattle, WA*

    Two year term, expiring April 2009
    Robert N. Farquhar, Dayton, OH*
    L. Ted Sloane, Davenport, IA

    Three year term, expiring April 2010
    Kenyatta D. Berry, Esq., Cambridge, MA
    Ruth Chauncey Bishop, Portland, OR*
    John G.L. Cabot, Manchester, MA*
    Mary Seiberling Chapman, Akron, OH*
    Abbott Lowell Cummings, South Deerfield, MA*
    Anne C. Drummond, Fernandina Beach, FL*
    Gregg W. Hawes, Towson, MD*
    Sandra M. Hewlett, Wayne, PA*
    R. Bruce Johnson, Scottsdale, AZ*
    Peter Haring Judd, Ph.D., New York, NY*
    Nancy Carter Meikle, Yarmouth, ME*
    Maralen T. O’Neil, Potomac, MD
    George Putnam, Boston, MA*
    Bonnie Reilly, Indianapolis, IN
    Meriwether C. Schmid, Riverside, CT
    Ellen C.L. Simmons, Houston, TX
    Delano A. Wilkes, St. Augustine, FL

    *Second Term

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    Coming Soon in the Spring 2007 Issue of New England Ancestors

    Massachusetts’s German Mercenaries in the Civil War, by Michael E. Hager

    Boston Becomes Home to Prussian-Born Civil War Veteran, by Edwin M. Knights, M.D.

    Germans in New England, by Leslie Albrecht Huber and Lynn Betlock

    The Americanization of a Prussian Family: The Krugers of Exeter, New Hampshire, by David W. Kruger

    In British Genealogy, One Door Closes and Another Opens Wide, by Jim Boulden

    John Nason’s Civil War Pension Paper Trail, by Douglas W. Chase and Mark Chaplin

    The Mayflower Chiltons in Canterbury, 1556–1600, by Michael R. Paulick

    Volunteer Corner: Making a Difference for, by Susan Rosefsky

    A Correction and Ending to the Adventures of Capt. Job Bradford, by Frederick Sherman

    Also in this issue . . .

    • Computer Genealogist: Thinking Outside the Box: The Strength of Computer Searches for Genealogists
    • Computer Genealogist Spotlight: Online Sources for African American Research
    • Genetics & Genealogy: Rev. Thomas Carter: DNA Project
    • Manuscripts at NEHGS: New and Old, Large and Small: An Overview of Manuscript Collections Currently Being Prepared for Patron Use
    • Bible Records at NEHGS: The Wright and Ames Bibles
    • Tales from the Courthouse: The Case of the Irish Rebels

    And, as always, news of NEHGS and the world of genealogy, upcoming NEHGS programs and tours, new publications, notices of family association events, genealogies in progress, and DNA studies in progress. Subscription to New England Ancestors is a benefit of NEHGS membership. If you are not a member, you may join online at, or call toll-free 1-888-296-3447, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, Eastern time.

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    Name Origins
    by Julie Helen Otto

    LIFFE (m) – Nickname for ELIPHALET [Hebrew].

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    Coming Soon in the April 2007 Issue of The Register


    Ancestry of Bennet Eliot of Nazeing, Essex, Father of Seven Great Migration Immigrants to Massachusetts, William Wyman Fiske

    Abraham Toppan Was Not a Yorkshire Man, Brandon Fradd

    The English Origins of Jeffrey Staple of Weymouth, Massachusetts, Gail Staples

    The English Ancestry of Thomas Burton of Portsmouth, Rhode Island, Signer of the Remonstrance of 1646, Peter Ray

    Abiah Coye (ca. 1720–ca. 1783) of Preston, Connecticut, and Hallowell, Maine, Judith Waite Freeman

    A Small Window of Opportunity: The Norris Family Returns to Tamlaghtmore, Co. Tyrone, Ireland, Sharon DeBartolo Carmack

    Abigail (Lothrop) Huntington’s Second Husband, Samuel Baker, of Windsor, Conn., Don Blauvelt

    Genealogy of Samuel Peirce, First Settler of Zoar, Massachusetts, Jon Wardlow

    The Nathaniel and Anna (Balch) (Rich) Wallis Family of Beverly, Massachusetts, Michael Boyer O’Leary and John Bradley Arthaud

    Genealogist John Farmer Discovers His Ancestry: The Warwickshire Family of Edward1 Farmer, Isabel1 (Farmer) (Wyman) (Blood) Green, and Thomas1 Pollard, Nathaniel Lane Taylor (continued from 161:72)

    Review Essay: Major Works for New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Missouri

    NEHGS members can download a PDF version of the current issue of The Register at

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    Four Books by Carl Boyer III

    The NEHGS Sales Department is pleased to offer four titles by author Carl Boyer III at discounted prices, for a limited time.

    Medieval English Ancestors of Certain Americans
    Mr. Boyer treats the baronial ancestry, roughly 1050 to 1300, that is shared by most Americans of royal descent. The accounts of wars, captures, castles ransacked, offices held, and abbeys founded introduces the reader to the wide panorama of Norman/English history from the Conqueror until the reign of Edward I. Published in 2001, 327pp.
    Normally $35.00, Now $25.00

    Medieval Welsh Ancestors of Certain Americans
    This pioneering work responds to a tremendous need. So many genealogists trace lines to medieval England but give up on their Welsh lines. Unfamiliarity with the language, the naming system, the geography and history of Wales causes many to abandon the search. In addition to biographies and history, this book has a list of more than 95 key figures in Welsh history. Data cross references to the Medieval English Ancestors books. Published in 2004, 431pp.
    Normally $40.00, Now $27.50

    Ancestral Lines From Maine to Virginia
    Nine years of research culminates in this work, whichcovers fifty seven families in The Netherlands, England, Ireland, France, Germany, Ohio, Missouri, California and the Eastern seaboard. Published in 2003, 247pp.
    Normally $25.00, Now $17.50

    Ancestral Lines, Third Edition, 206 Families in England, Wales, the Netherlands, Germany, New England, New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania
    This massive work deals primarily with families centered on Rehoboth, Massachusetts (50); Portsmouth and Block Island, Rhode Island (31); Albany and early New York City, New York (26); and Chester Co., Pennsylvania (19). Some of the covered families have been the subject of much new research. It includes extensive citations, a bibliography, and name and place indexes. Published in 1998, 960pp.
    Normally $70.00, Now $50.00.

    To order, please call 617-226-1212. Shipping is not included

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    Research Recommendations

    Geographical Abbreviations
    by Michael J. Leclerc

    Genealogical writing often takes advantage of abbreviations. They can help make your writing clearer and easier for the reader to understand. When abbreviating localities it is best not to use the modern, two-letter abbreviation used by the U.S. Postal Service. Proper genealogical form is to use the old-style longer abbreviations for the states.

    For example, one should use Fla. instead of FL; Mass. instead of MA; and Pa., Penn. or Penna. instead of PA. While the two-letter abbreviation works well for mailing letters, it can be harsh, and it will stick out of the text. The longer abbreviations are easier to read within text, and make it flow better. This same rule applies for other locations in other countries as well, utilizing abbreviations such as Nfld. for Newfoundland, for example.

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    Spotlight: Virginia Military Institute Archives
    by Valerie Beaudrault

    The Virginia Military Institute (VMI) Archives has an online research center, which features full-text documents, photographs, and online exhibits. The following is an overview of a few of the many resources available on this website.

    Click on the Manuscripts link in the menu bar to access the Letters, Diaries & Other Manuscripts page. The Archives contains more than 450 manuscript collections, many of which are available online in full-text format. The materials found here include “the papers of Stonewall Jackson and Matthew Fontaine Maury; correspondence of soldiers who served in the Civil War; modern military history collections, including the Cold War Oral History Project; letters, diaries, and scrapbooks documenting cadet life and Institute history; and documents relating to the history of the Shenandoah Valley.”

    There is an online guide to the manuscripts in the collection. Click on the individual links to the sections of the guide to access the items in each collection. This will open up a page with descriptions of the items in the collections and links to full or selected text documents when they exist. If an item for which you are looking is not yet online in full-text format, you can contact the VMI Archives to request photocopies.

    The Census Records
    Click on the Lexington and Rockbridge County, Virginia; Shenandoah Valley; Miscellaneous other manuscripts link on the Letters, Diaries & Other Manuscripts introduction page to access transcriptions of the census records. You will find transcriptions of the 1860 and the 1870 federal census for Lexington, Virginia. While the 1860 census gives one a sense of life in Lexington, as it was just before the beginning of the Civil War, the 1870 census provides a contrasting picture of life in Lexington after the Civil War. Endnotes have been included in both censuses, which makes these records even more useful to genealogists and historians. They provide information such as the birth and death dates of many of the individuals found in the census records. Slave schedules have also been included in the endnotes to the 1860 census. This information was gathered from independent sources. A key to the sources can also be found in the endnotes section. The census documents are in PDF format. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to access them.

    Photographs & Portraits
    Virginia Military Institute has more than 7,000 images in its archives, a small percentage of which are in the online collection. Many of the photographs are from the nineteenth century. Subjects of the photographs include cadets, alumni, faculty, buildings on Institute grounds, and cadet life. Images in the online collection include Stonewall Jackson Images, Buildings, Cadet Life and Early Cadet and Alumni Images, which are pre-Civil War era images.

    Genealogical Resources: Alumni Biographical Records & Online Class Rosters
    The historical rosters database is a useful genealogical resource that includes early cadet rosters and biographical files. The database currently includes the names of all students enrolled at VMI from its opening in 1839 through the class of 1935. The list contains the names of both graduates and non-graduates for this period. Some of these records include detailed biographical and genealogical information. This database is a work in progress.

    The database can be searched by alumnus last name, first name, middle name, Biography & Genealogy keyword(s), and VMI class. Multiple keywords connected by AND, OR, or AND NOT can be entered into the “Biography & Genealogy” field. The search results may contain detailed biographical information or the name of the individual and instructions to contact the Archives to learn more about the alumnus. The Historical Rosters Database list can also be viewed alphabetically.

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    Stories of Interest

    Descendants of four Danvers minutemen — Samuel Cook Jr., Benjamin Deland Jr., Ebenezer Goldthwaite and George Southwick Jr. — were present recently when a new memorial to them was placed in the Old South Burying Ground in Peabody. Read the full story at

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    From the Online Genealogist

    I would like to know if NEHGS will ever have any information on the people who fought in the Mexican War. My great-great-grandfather of Augusta, Maine was a paymaster general under Zachary Taylor according to his son (my great-grandfather), but I am having trouble finding any information on his service.

    NEHGS does not presently have the National Archives microfilm Index to Compiled Service Records of Volunteers Soldiers Who Served During the Mexican War (NARA microfilm series M616). This set of twenty-two microfilms can also be rented from NEHGS via the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. You may also wish to contact the Maine State Archives. They have some miscellaneous descriptive rolls, and records of the 1st Maine Regiment from the Mexican War. You can visit for more information.

    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 at 10:00 A.M. unless otherwise stated. Advance registration is not necessary.

    New Visitor Welcome and Library Tour, Marie Daly
    May 5, 10:00 AM (Saturday)
    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.

    Getting the Most from NEHGS Databases, David Allen Lambert
    May 9, 10:00 AM

    A Cornucopia of Records: Researching Essex County [MA] Ancestors, David C. Dearborn
    May 23, 10:00 AM

    Mystic River and the Boston Jewish Community, Prof. Ellen Smith
    May 31, 5:00 PM (Thursday)

    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

    Each year the Society presents a large number of lectures, seminars, and tours for genealogists.

    The following major programs will be held May-November 2007:

    Research Day at NARA Northeast Region Wednesday, May 16, 2007
    Location: Waltham, MA
    Join NEHGS staff members Marie Daly and David Curtis Dearborn for a day at the National Archives in Waltham. Participants will receive a special introduciton to the collections of the archives, as well as hands-on assistance from NEHGS staff.

    Come Home to New England #1 Monday, June 18–Saturday, June 23, 2007
    Tutorial program with consultations in Boston. Speakers include Marie E. Daly, David Curtis Dearborn, F.A.S.G., and Michael J. Leclerc.

    Come Home to New England #2 Monday, August 6–Saturday, August 11, 2007
    Tutorial program with consultations in Boston. Speakers include Marie E. Daly, David Curtis Dearborn, F.A.S.G., and Henry B. Hoff, C.G., F.A.S.G.

    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

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

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