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  • 2007 Archive

  • Vol. 9, No. 26
    Whole #328
    June 27, 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 Hampshire Families in 1790 Now Available from NHSOG
    * Planned Giving: Make a Bequest
    * New Books and Other Resources in NEHGS Library Catalog
    * Name Origins
    * Autographed copies of Genealogical Writing in the 21st Century
    * Research Recommendations: Internet Search Engines
    * Spotlight: North Texas Genealogical Association
    * From the Online Genealogist
    * Stories of Interest
    * Upcoming Education Programs
    * NEHGS Contact Information


    New Databases on New

    New York Wills, 1626-1836.
    Continuing our effort to help track westward migration from New England, we present New York Wills, 1636-1836. This database contains 24,215 names from 2,162 wills recorded in the State of New York between 1626 and 1836. It also contains images of the original book pages, which identify the date, location, will number, principal and other individuals named in the will. This material was originally compiled by Berthold Fernow, and published in 1896.

    The original volume is available in our Research Library, call number F118/F47/1896.

    Enhancements to Massachusetts Vital Records databases: Swansea and Raynham, Massachusetts

    Both of these databases have been revised to allow display of original page images. The Swansea vital records were transcribed by H.L. Peter Rounds and published in hardcover form by NEHGS in 1992. The Raynham vital records database was created from a handwritten manuscript titled First Book of Raynham (MA) Records, 1700-1835, donated to NEHGS in 1897.

    The original book and manuscript may be viewed at our Boston NEHGS Research Library:

    Vital Records of Swansea, Massachusetts to 1850 F74 S995 R68 1992 .
    First Book of Raynham (MA) Records, 1700-1835, SL RAY 2.
    To locate additional genealogy and local history resources, search our library catalog.

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    New Hampshire Families in 1790 Now Available from NHSOG

    The New Hampshire Society of Genealogists recently released their long-awaited tenth special publication, New Hampshire Families in 1790, Volume 1. Editors Diane Florence Gravel, CG, and David Watson Kruger compiled information on dozens of families residing in New Hampshire during the first census. The list of sources takes up more than sixty pages. At 472 pages, this work represents an enormous amount of work on the part of dozens of contributors.

    The book is available from the New Hampshire Society of Genealogists at $47.81 for members and $52.81 for non-members. More details are available on their website at

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    Planned Giving: Make a Bequest

    A bequest is a gift that shows you care about the future of the New England Historic Genealogical Society. Naming NEHGS in your will is just one of the many ways you can support the Society. A bequest can help ensure the preservation of your family legacy.

    The process is as simple as adding a line in your will. By making this commitment, you help to preserve the histories of American's families. Please contact Director of Development Claudia Allison Woods at (617) 226-1238 or if you are interested in obtaining further information about how you can help preserve family heritage.

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    New Books and Other Resources in NEHGS Library Catalog

    NEHGS has posted its most recent list of new titles added to the library collections. This includes titles on such topics as cemeteries of Gloucester, Mass., the vital records of Searsmont, Maine, the King’s Royal Regiment of New York, and early landowners of Pennsylvania. To see if there is something relevant to your research on this April-May 2007 list, go directly to the New Books page at You can also access the list by going to the catalog’s main search page,, and clicking the “New Books” link beneath the search box. To view more details about any title on the list, simply click the title, which is hyperlinked (underlined), and you will be taken to the full catalog record. The list is sorted in call number order. If you would like to use any of these new resources, you may do so by visiting our Research Library in Boston or by contacting our Research Services department to have a researcher consult the resource for you.

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    Name Origins
    by Julie Helen Otto

    JEMMY (m) – Nickname (often Scottish or northern English) for JAMES.

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    Autographed copies of Genealogical Writing in the 21st Century

    The NEHGS sales department is offering copies of Genealogical Writing in the 21st Century: A Guide to Using Register Style and More, Second Edition, signed by one of the book’s editors, Michael J. Leclerc.

    The completely revised and updated second edition of this popular NEHGS guidebook has chapters on how to write articles for popular magazines, journals and websites as well as complied genealogies, and how to use Microsoft Word’s built in numbering and book marking functions to help write genealogies. From novice researchers to experienced family historians, all those who want to start writing about genealogy will benefit from the advice in this book. Includes appendixes on common genealogical abbreviations and acronyms and a comprehensive subject index.

    Paperback, 130pp.

    Normally priced at $11.95. Special price for autographed copies: $9.95 (plus $2.50 for shipping).

    To place an order, please call 1-617-226-1212.

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    Research Recommendations

    Internet Search Engines
    by Michael J. Leclerc

    The crew at Google is mighty happy. In addition to being the world’s largest search engine, they have changed their name from a noun to a verb. The 11th edition of the Merriam-Webster Dictionary has included Google as a transitive verb. The online version of the dictionary now contains the following entry:

    Main Entry: goo•gle
    Pronunciation: 'gü-g&l
    Function: transitive verb
    Inflected Form(s): goo•gled; goo•gling /-g(&-) li[ng]/
    Usage: often capitalized
    Etymology: Google, trademark for a search engine
    : to use the Google search engine to obtain information about (as a person) on the World Wide Web

    The Google search engine is phenomenal, and I personally use it several times a day in the course of my work and my research. That said, it is important to remember that it is not the only search engine available.

    Google is by far the largest, with 49.2% of the market. Yahoo comes in next at a distant 23.8%. Microsoft is even further behind at 9.6%. All other search engines combined total 17.4% of the market. How does this affect you as a researcher?

    In their bids to increase market share, search engines use different algorithms to rank results on their pages. This means that the same search on different search engines will produce different results. For a project I am working on I recently searched for Arthur Tappan. Arthur was a prominent nineteenth-century businessman, co-founder with his brother Lewis of the company that today is known as Dun and Bradstreet. He was also a very active abolitionist.

    I searched Google, Yahoo, and and got the following results:

    Arthur Tappan
    Arthur Tappan was born in Northampton, Massachusetts, on 22nd May, 1786. Tappan moved to Boston at the age of 15 and by 1807 had established his own dry ... - 13k

    Arthur Tappan - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Arthur Tappan should not be confused with Arthur Tappan Pierson, an American pastor and biographer of George Müller. ... - 16k

    Arthur Tappan —
    Arthur Tappan allied himself with William Lloyd Garrison and co-founded the American Anti-Slavery Society (1833), which used Garrison's publication, ... 28k

    Arthur Tappan
    Arthur Tappan was born in Northampton, Massachusetts, on 22nd May, 1786. ... Arthur Tappan died on 23rd July, 1865 in New Haven, Connecticut. ...

    Arthur Tappan - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Arthur Tappan. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Jump to: navigation, search ... Arthur Tappan should not be confused with Arthur Tappan Pierson, an American ...

    Arthur Tappan -- Encyclopaedia Britannica
    American philanthropist who used much of his energy and his fortune in the struggle to end slavery. ... Commonly Asked Questions About Arthur Tappan. Close ...

    Arthur Tappan
    Arthur Tappan was born in Northampton, Massachusetts, on 22nd May, 1786. Tappan moved to Boston at the age of 15 and by 1807 had established ...

    Lewis Tappan
    Lewis Tappan and his brother Arthur were successful merchants who helped found the American Antislavery Society.

    Arthur Tappan - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Arthur Tappan should not be confused with Arthur Tappan Pierson, an American pastor and biographer of George Müller.

    As you can see, the results are different, and contain very different information. The first result is the same for all three. But the Wikipedia entry, while coming in second for Google and Yahoo, is third on Ask. The second Ask entry and the third for Google and Yahoo are unique to the top three results. They may appear lower in the results for the other search engines, but sometimes they do not appear at all. One of the results (the second on comes from a record on his brother Lewis. The results omit the paid advertising at the top of the page, which will change according to which search engine you are using and other variables). When researching your family on the internet, make sure you utilize several search engines. You will then maximize your potential results.

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    Spotlight: North Texas Genealogical Association
    by Valerie Beaudrault

    The North Texas Genealogical Society website serves as home to the websites for eight counties in northern Texas. Researchers can access the individual county websites by clicking on the county on the map. In addition, researchers can search for their ancestors in eight counties located in northern Texas from a search box on the homepage of the website of the North Texas Genealogical Association.

    On each county’s homepage researchers will find general information about the county such as date created, parent county or territory, and information on the types of records available from various offices such as county clerk, city secretary, and district clerk.

    There are census indexes on each county page. The years vary from county to county. For Wilbarger County you will find 1880, 1900, 1910, and 1920. For Montague County, you will find census indexes for 1860, 1870, and 1880.

    Wilbarger County
    In addition to census indexes, the records for Wilbarger County include transcribed records from the Underwood Funeral Home, in Vernon, Texas. They cover the years 1903– 14. In addition there in the Wilbarger County Marriage Book 1, which covers 1882–90; a list of early Wilbarger County officials, and publication information about Wilbarger County newspapers published from 1883 to 1967.

    Wichita County
    Of the eight, Wichita County has the largest collection of online resources. They include a ledger book from an Iowa Park Store (1896–1914), Wichita Falls and other school annuals, images of local scenes, reminiscences of a number of notable area residents, and cemetery and funeral home databases, as well as vital records related indexes and transcriptions. In the latter section researchers will find a list of members and officers of the Wichita Falls Country Emigration Association for fall 1889; an index to Wichita County Wills for the period 1896–1921; a membership list of the Pioneer Lodge No. 49 — Knights of Pythias — 1917; and transcriptions for the Henry S. Grace, Hatfield, Lynch, Ballard, and Dodd families.

    Clay County
    In addition to census indexes, Clay County databases include indexes to cemetery and funeral home records, reminiscences of W. S. Ikard (a Clay County pioneer), and a list of early Clay County officials for the period 1861–1901. The list of early Clay County officials includes the individual’s name, position held, and years held office.

    Montague County
    Montague County records include cemetery transcriptions, a County Voters list for 1867–69, a list of county schoolteachers for 1913–30, and Montague County births for 1903–04. In addition there are three databases showing ear marks and brands on cattle for the period 1873–75. The database gives the name of the cattle rancher, shows an image of the ear mark and the brand, the location where the brand appears (i.e. left side or right hip), and the date recorded.

    Baylor County
    Baylor County researchers will find a phone listing for Seymour, Texas, compiled in May 1945. The list gives full name and telephone number. The Seymour Weekly Cresset index for 1886–88 can also be found on the site. This indexes a book published by the genealogical society, which contains copies of stories appearing in the newspaper that mentioned a local name. The data fields in the index include the name of the person and number of the page on which the story appears in the book.

    Archer County
    The Archer County webpage includes transcriptions of a variety of books and school annuals, birth records for 1903–06, marriage records for March 1881 through December 1914, and veterans lists for the period from the Civil War through World War I to name a few. In addition there are photographs of historical markers in Archer County. The books include a phone book listing for Dundee and Holliday, Texas, for 1945, and a variety of publications from Holliday schools.

    Jack County
    Jack County census indexes cover the years from 1870 thorough 1920. Researchers will also find a Jack County Voters list for 1867–69. The data fields include voter’s name, date, precinct, how long the individual had lived in the state, how long lived in the county, and lived in the precinct, and place of nativity. Information is also included to note when an individual “removed” from the county.

    Young County
    Young County records on this website include a list of voters for 1867, Young County Survey Records – Book B, and a transcription of a ledger book from a story in Graham, Texas for the period 1889–1902. The Young County Voters list contains ten names that were originally part of the list for Jack County. The data fields are the same as those for the Jack County list.

    In addition there are links from each of the county sites to off-site web resources for the county.

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    From the Online Genealogist

    This question relates to divorce, separation, or whatever descriptor is appropriate, for broken marriages in New England before ca. 1832. Are there any sources, which can be searched for evidence, especially a date, of an ended marriage?

    The extant pre-1922 divorce records in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts are held by the Supreme Judicial Court. You can contact their archivist, Elizabeth Bouvier, at the below address. Be sure to indicate both parties, and try to be as specific to the date of the event as possible.

    Elizabeth Bouvier, Archivist
    Judicial Archives, 16th Floor
    High Rise Courthouse
    3 Pemberton Square
    Boston, MA 02108


    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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    Stories of Interest

    Noted Pennsylvania author and genealogist Jim Beidler recently wrote a piece in the Lebanon Daily News about how alliances are changing the face of genealogy. You can read the piece at

    Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness (RAOGK), a global volunteer organization in which volunteers perform various genealogy-related tasks for researchers who live far away, has recently partnered with Read the full story at

    Diversity Restoration Solutions and Slave Descendants Freedom Society announce they have partnered with Family Tree DNA, the largest DNA company in the field of genetic genealogy, to offer attendees of the Family Restoration Roundtable Educational Seminar series an opportunity to test their DNA for ancestral origins. The seminar series focuses on reconnecting families from the African Diaspora through the use of genealogy and history. Get the details at

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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 August–November 2007:

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

    English Family History Research Tour to London
    Sunday, September 9–Sunday, September 16, 2007
    Lodging: Holiday Inn Bloomsbury. Features Christopher C. Child and David Curtis Dearborn, F.A.S.G.

    Research Tour to Salt Lake City
    Sunday, October 28–Sunday, November 4, 2007
    Lodging: Salt Lake Plaza Hotel. Features Jerome E. Anderson, Christopher C. Child, Maryan Egan-Baker, David Allen Lambert, and Rhonda R. McClure.

    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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