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  • The Weekly Genealogist

  • Vol. 9, No. 2
    Whole #304
    January 10, 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
    * Subscribe to the Great Migration Newsletter
    * Name Origins
    * Used CD Sale
    * NEHGS Library Inventory
    * Research Recommendations: The International Genealogical Index
    * Spotlight: Library Resources: Obituary Databases
    * From the Online Genealogist
    * Stories of Interest
    * Upcoming Public Lecture Series
    * Upcoming Education Programs
    * NEHGS Contact Information


    New Databases on New

    The Essex Antiquarian – Just added: Volume 4 (1900)

    This week we are releasing the fourth volume of The Essex Antiquarian, "An illustrated ... magazine devoted to the biography, genealogy, history, and antiquities of Essex County, Massachusetts," which was published and edited by Sidney Perley between 1897 and 1909. The journal was published monthly from January 1897 to June 1901, and then quarterly from July 1901 to October 1909. Each yearly volume contains 200-220 pages consisting of genealogical articles and a variety of photographs, maps, illustrations, gravestone inscriptions, all pertaining to Essex County. The thirteen original volumes of The Essex Antiquarian are available in our Research Library, call number F72/E7/E74 1897-1909.

    Social Security Death Index - Free Access
    Updated through November, 2006

    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 November, 2006. Access to the SSDI is FREE to all who visit This database now contains the names of over 77,400,000 individuals, most of whose deaths were recorded after 1965.

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    Subscribe to the Great Migration Newsletter

    The Great Migration Study Project, directed by Robert Charles Anderson, publishes a series of books that aims to summarize all that is known about New England's earliest settlers. The widely acclaimed Great Migration books provide in-depth biographical sketches of individuals. The Great Migration Newsletter complements those individual Great Migration sketches, and addresses the broad issues that are essential to understanding the lives and times of New England's first immigrants, who arrived between 1620 and 1643.

    The Great Migration Newsletter is published quarterly. Print subscriptions to volume 16 (2007) are $20 and run on a calendar year basis.

    Online subscriptions to the Great Migration Newsletter are also available, at a cost of $10 for NEHGS members and $20 for non-members. Online subscriptions run for one year from the sign-up date. Subscribers can access a new copy of the Newsletter on the Great Migration website each quarter, plus view the Great Migration Newsletter Online Archive, which contains volumes 11 through 15, plus bonus sketches not yet available in print.

    To subscribe to either version, please visit

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    Name Origins
    by Julie Helen Otto

    HOB (m) – Medieval or rural nickname for ROBERT.

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    Used CD Sale

    The NEHGS Sales department has an overstock of certain used CD titles that have been priced to move. Many have been donated by local libraries and NEHGS patrons,while others are new CDs that have small cracks in their jewel cases and therefore cannot be sold in the Family Treasures book store at our Boston facility. Most of these CDs will work only on Windows-based systems and not on Macintosh systems.

    Prices have been cut by as much as 80% on over 75 separate titles, many of which have a limited quantity available. Orders will be accepted on a first come, first served basis. The sale price is good only for the titles we have in stock.

    For a full list of titles available during this sale, along with complete ordering information, please send an email with the words "NEHGS CD SALE" in the subject line to

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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

    The International Genealogical Index
    by Michael J. Leclerc

    Like other databases that contain user-submitted information, the International Genealogical Index (IGI) at does contain lot of misinformation. One can even find a record of Edward Winslow being born in 1571 in the King’s Chapel Burying Ground in Boston.

    It does, however, contain a great deal of highly valuable information as well. In addition to records submitted by patrons, the IGI has a large number of records the were extracted directly from original sources. These are particularly helpful if you are trying to trace your ancestors in the UK, as many English and Scottish parish registers have been abstracted.

    To determine if your search results are an abstraction, look on the detailed information page for one of your search results. Halfway down the page is a section called Messages. If it is an extraction you will see the following message: “Extracted birth or christening record for the locality listed in the record. The source records are usually arranged chronologically by the birth or christening date.”

    The next section contains source information. The first column contains a batch number, which for extractions usually starts with the letter C or M. The third column is the source. Clicking on that should give you a description of the microfilm the records were abstracted from. While there may be slight misinterpretations of names, the information in the extractions is highly accurate and reliable. One should always look at the original record on the microfilm from which the records were abstracted to confirm there were no transcription errors, and to get a citation to the original source.

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    Spotlight: Library Resources: Obituary Databases
    by Valerie Beaudrault

    Pine Bluff Obituary Index, Arkansas
    This resource can be found on the Pine Bluff/Jefferson County Library’s Genealogy and History Related Sites webpage. The City of Pine Bluff, where the main branch of the library is located, is the county seat of Jefferson County, Arkansas, and was incorporated in 1839. The library’s obituary database contains more than 236,000 records. This is a work in progress, which currently includes obituaries from two local newspapers for the following years:

    Pine Bluff Commercial — 1916 to 1919, 1922 to 1928, and 1930 to the present
    Pine Bluff Daily/Weekly Graphic — portions of each year from 1892 through 1895 and 1901 to 1902

    This database is searchable by name (surname, full name, or even nickname) or by name and year. Up to 500 records at one time will be displayed in the search results. Data fields in the initial search results include name, date of the obituary, and the source. Click on the name link to access the Obituary Information. The data fields here include name, obituary date, dates of death and burial, cemetery name, source, and page number. Copies of obituaries may be requested from the library for a fee.

    Lake County, Ohio Obituary Index
    The Lake County Obituary Index covers the period from 1822 to the present and contains obituaries and death notices of Lake County residents or individuals with a connection to Lake County. Lake County is located in northern Ohio on the shores of Lake Erie. Geographically, it is the smallest of Ohio's 88 counties. The obituary index is in the holdings of the Morley Library, which is located in Painesville, Ohio. The primary newspapers included in the index are the Painesville Telegraph (published under various titles) from July 16, 1822 to April 30, 1986, when it ceased publication, and the News-Herald from May 1, 1986 to the present. Additional newspapers include the Northern Ohio Journal from July 11, 1874 to June 26,1880, the Painesville Republican from 1898 to 1906, and the Willoughby Gazette from October 1, 1868 to September 25, 1869. The online version of the index is only partially complete. It currently contains obituaries for the period from January 1, 1998 to the present, as well as obituaries for individuals whose surnames begin with the letters A through M for the period from 1830 through 1997. The index can be searched by name. The results are displayed as a list of names with links to detailed obituary records. The data fields include birth date (if known); death date; name of the deceased; additional information such as last residence, place of death, age and gender; date(s) and page number(s) on which the obituary appears; and other names mentioned in the obituary.

    Lemont Public Library District, Illinois
    The village of Lemont is located in northeastern Illinois. The Lemont Public Library District has a searchable obituary database on its website. The database can be searched by the last name of the deceased (required) and the year of publication of the obituary (optional). The data fields in the search results include the last name and first name of the deceased, publication date, and publication title. Click on the “Find the microfilm . . .” link to see the list of newspapers and other resources on microfilm in the holdings of the Lemont Public Library District. The earliest newspapers in the collection are from 1894. Copies of obituaries may be requested from the library for a fee.

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    Stories of Interest

    Alfred Perryman met his biological father for the first time in a Missouri Wal-Mart. The meeting would have been at Shoney's, but father Andy Anderson had just gotten off work and didn't think he was dressed appropriately for the restaurant. Read the full story at

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    From the Online Genealogist

    I read a passage in a family genealogy that claimed my relatives got a “Frenchman’s Grant” in Ohio. What were these and when were they given out?

    From what I can learn you probably are referring to a “French Grant” instead of a “Frenchman’s Grant.” In 1795 and 1798 the United States government gave land in Scioto County, Ohio to French immigants. The combined territory consisted of over 25,000 acres. These grants were offered to settlers who were cheated out of their finances by a false land company deal. This “Scioto Company” had no authority to sell land in Scioto County, Ohio. There is an online article that briefly describes this event 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.

    Future programs for the first quarter of 2007 include (all programs at 10:00 am, Wednesday unless otherwise noted):

    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 (Saturday at 10:00 am), 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 (Saturdsy at 10:00 am), 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
    Saturday, 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

    Winter Weekend Research Getaway
    Thursday, February 8 - Saturday, February 10, 2007
    Winter Weekend Research Getaway at the New England Historic Genealogical SocietyNEHGS invites you to enjoy a research getaway at our library, one of the finest facilities for genealogical research in the country. Escape the winter doldrums by joining us for guided research, personal one-on-one consultations, morning lectures, and special access to the library, which will have extended hours just for you! Sign up now at

    Research Week in Washington, D.C.
    Sunday, February 25 - Sunday, March 4, 2007
    Join us for our popular trip to the nation’s capital which offers a wealth of research opportunities for genealogists. Enjoy the benefits of working with our expert staff at the Library of Congress (LC), the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) Library and at the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).
    Sign up now at

    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

    Genetics and Genealogy Saturday, April 21, 2007
    Seminar in Boston

    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: Bloomsbury Holiday Inn

    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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New England Historic Genealogical Society
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Boston, Massachusetts 02116, USA

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