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  • 2007 Archive

  • Vol. 9, No. 28
    Whole #330
    July 11, 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
    * NEHGS Seeks Colonial Members of Old North Church
    * BCG Contest for Evidence Explained
    * New From Newbury Street Press: The Ancestry of Diana, Princess of Wales for Twelve Generations
    * Name Origins
    * Four Books by Carl Boyer, III
    * Research Recommendations: More Revolutionary War Lineage Societies
    * Spotlight: Chicago Area Resources
    * From the Online Genealogist
    * Stories of Interest
    * Upcoming Education Programs
    * Upcoming Public Lectures
    * NEHGS Contact Information


    New Databases on New

    The Essex Antiquarian – Volume 7 (1903)
    This week we are releasing the seventh 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 of genealogical articles and a variety of photographs, maps, illustrations, and 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.


    Enhancements to the Massachusetts Vital Records to 1850 database

    Our ongoing project to add page images and corrections to our ‘Massachusetts Vital Records to 1850’ database continues this week. 

    This week, we are re-releasing the enhanced and corrected vital records of Duxbury, Mendon, Uxbridge, and West Bridgewater.  We will continue to release enhanced records on a town-by-town basis as our volunteer team completes the work.  When searching records of these towns, you’ll find an ‘image’ link on the search results page that will display the image of the original VR page.

    Also, be sure to try the “Browse” feature for the VR page images that is accessed via the “Browse” button on the Mass. Vital Records to 1850 page. Page images may be browsed by selecting a town and record type, and optionally entering a surname or page number. For instance, to browse for births for the surname “Smith” in the Arlington vital records, select ‘Arlington’, ‘Birth’, and type ‘smith’ in the ‘Last name or Page #’ field. Click the ‘Go’ button and you’ll see the first page of ‘Smith’ births. The ‘Previous page’ and ‘Next page’ buttons will move one page at a time, and the ‘First page’ and ‘Last page’ buttons will jump to the beginning or end of the current record type.

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    NEHGS Seeks Colonial Members of Old North Church

    The NEHGS Research Services team is working with Boston's Old North Church Foundation to gather information on the families who were members of the Old North Church in 1775, when the two lanterns were displayed signifying the arrival of British soldiers at Boston. If you have an ancestor who was a member of the congregation between 1750 and 1800, please contact Joshua Taylor at

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    BCG Contest for Evidence Explained

    The Board for Certification of Genelaogists (BCG) is running a contest in conjunction with the release of Elizabeth Shown Mills’ eagerly-anticipated new book, Evidence Explained — Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace. This 885-page work is the result of years of research on the part of Ms. Mills to show you how to properly document and cite the sources of your research.

    Pre-orders for the book are now being taken through the BCG website at file:///N:/eNews/HTML%20Files/2007/ It is available for $49.95 plus shipping and handling. Autographed copies will be used to fill these online orders while supplies last.

    You also have an opportunity to win a free copy of the book. Just guess the number of copies of Evidence Explained that will be sold at the 2007 FGS/ACPL conference in Fort Wayne in August. The person who guesses closest to the number sold will receive a refund of the purchase price. For more information visit

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    New From Newbury Street Press: The Ancestry of Diana, Princess of Wales for Twelve Generations

    NEHGS is proud to be publishing a new book tracing twelve generations of the ancestry of Diana, Princess of Wales. The publication of the book has been timed for late August, to mark the tenth anniversary of Diana’s death.

    The Ancestry of Diana, Princess of Wales, by Atlanta-based genealogist Richard K. Evans, is an exhaustively researched account of the late Princess’s forebears, tracing her ancestors from the British Isles to northern and eastern Europe as well as to the United States and the Far East. This noteworthy book shows that she descends from kings and commoners, scholars and their patrons, murderers and their victims, prime ministers — and at least one court jester.

    Among her interesting ancestors:

    • One of Diana’s more prominent American ancestors was Joseph Strong, who served in the U.S. Army as a doctor and became a respected physician in Philadelphia. Among Strong’s first cousins was Revolutionary War hero Nathan Hale.
    • Queen Anne left no surviving children, but Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough, the Queen’s intimate friend, is one of the most prominent of Diana’s female forebears.
    • One of Diana’s maternal great-grandfathers was an Irish peer who married an American “Dollar Princess,” daughter of millionaire Wall Street broker Frank Work. This alliance was typical of many nineteenth-century transatlantic marriages, bringing infusions of American capital to the cash-starved European and British nobility. The marriage gives Diana more than one hundred American ancestors, some of whom were among the early settlers of New England.
    • A significant twelfth-generation ancestor was Queen Elizabeth I’s favorite, Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex, whose excessive ambition displeased his sovereign and ultimately led him to the chopping block.


    NEHGS members who order Ancestry of Diana, Princess of Wales before July 31 will get $5 off the retail price of $34.95. For more details visit

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    Name Origins
    by Julie Helen Otto

    MICHAEL (m) – from the Hebrew ‘Who is like God?’ In the Bible, the great Archangel who cast Satan into Hell, and who will help to weigh souls at the Day of Judgement.

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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. Item # B30030000
    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. Item # B26259500
    Normally $40.00, Now $27.50

    Ancestral Lines From Maine to Virginia
    Nine years of research culminates in this work, which covers fifty-seven families in The Netherlands, England, Ireland, France, Germany, Ohio, Missouri, California and the Eastern seaboard. Published in 2003, 247pp. Item # B30015000
    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, New York, and early New York City (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. Item # B30010000
    Normally $70.00, Now $50.00.

    To order online, please go to and click on the store tab. Once there, scroll down to the bottom of the second column and enter the item number of the book(s) you wish to order. Orders can also be placed by calling 617-226-1212. Prices do not include shipping. Prices good through July 31st, 2007.

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    Research Recommendations

    More Revolutionary War Lineage Societies
    by Michael J. Leclerc

    Last week's column on Revolutionary War lineage societies generated a number of comments. The list was not presented as exhaustive or even a complete description of membership qualifications for each of the societies presented. Dan Gamber pointed out that descendants of the French officers who assisted the Continental forces are also eligible for membership in the Society of the Cincinnati.

    Member William T. Erbes reminded us that men who are lineal descendants of a patriot ancestor who served in the Continental Army or state militia, a member of the Continental Congress or a state/colonial Congress are eligible for membership in the General Society Sons of the American Revolution (a separate organization from the National Society Sons of the American Revolution discussed last week). More details about that organization are available at file:///N:/eNews/HTML%20Files/2007/

    Any lineal descendant of a man who signed the Declaration of Independence is eligible for membership in the Descendants of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence. Junior memberships are available for children under the age of 21. For more information visit their website at

    The Hereditary Order of Descendants of Loyalists & Patriots of the American Revolution, founded in 1973, offers regular membership to those who can prove lineal or collateral descent from an ancestor who, during the American Revolution, was loyal to the crown of Great Britain and who are currently a member of an organization requiring proof of descent from a patriot of the American Revolution. Membership in this organization is by invitation only. You can find more details about them at

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    Spotlight: Chicago Area Resources
    by Valerie Beaudrault

    Wilmette Newspaper Index (Illinois)

    Wilmette, Illinois is located about sixteen miles north of downtown Chicago, near the shores of Lake Michigan. The Wilmette Public Library’s Local History department has made a newspaper index available on its website. This index contains over 210,000 records from the following newspapers: Wilmette Life (July 17, 1887– the present); Evanston Press (January 4, 1890 – February 10, 1894; The Local News (September 1, 1898–August 3, 1923); The Inter Ocean (November 26, 1902); Lake Shore News (May 8, 1912–August 17, 1923); Bulletin of Woman’s Club of Wilmette (June 1, 1929–September 15, 1929); Wilmette Bulletin (September 21, 1932–September 21, 1933); Chicago Tribune (August 6, 1982–February 3, 2006); and Wilmette Memorial (May 1995).

    Click on the link above to go directly to the Wilmette Newspaper Index search page. The index can be searched by keyword or phrase. You can narrow a search by date. You can narrow your search for keywords to the article titles or the subject list entries only. Search results can be sorted from most recent to oldest or from oldest to most recent. Researchers can also browse through the index by subject heading. Click on the Browse link on the main search page to access this function. Clicking on each letter of the alphabet will bring up a list of subjects. Click on the subject link to access article information.

    Search results will be returned with the article title, newspaper title, date of publication, and page number. Click on the title link of the article in which you are interested to bring up a more detailed record. This record will give the article title, newspaper information, personal names mentioned in the article, subject areas in which the article will be found in the index, and a link to a full text transcription of the article. To request a copy of an article you can click on the E-Mail Reference Form link on the main search page.

    Chicago History Museum Online Search Tools

    Family history researchers whose ancestors lived in Chicago may find the following online search tools of the Chicago History Museum of particular interest.

    Chicago Daily News Collection– Photographs
    This collection of photographs from the Chicago Daily News covers the years 1902–1933. There are over 55,000 images in the collection. Only about twenty percent of the photographs in this collection actually appeared in print in the newspaper. Photographers who were employed by the Chicago Daily News took the photos in and around the Chicago area. The database, which is part of the online American Memory collection of the Library of Congress, can be searched by keyword, including street and community names.

    Architectural Online Search Tools
    There are three files that are of use to researchers whose families lived in Chicago during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Two of these files contain digitized versions of published guides to street numbering changes that took place in Chicago in 1909 and 1911: 1909 Street Numbering Changes and 1911 Street Numbering Changes. These files are very large PDF files that will take some time to download. The third file is a guide to street name changes, which was compiled in 1948. It is a smaller PDF file, which will download much more quickly. If you do not have free Adobe Acrobat Reader you must download it to view the files. The Chicago History Museum has provided a link to the Adobe site for your convenience.

    Additional historical resources on this site include a searchable Electronic Encyclopedia of Chicago and the Haymarket Affair Digital Collection.

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    From the Online Genealogist

    My ancestor, Francis Gwellow (Geulo, Guillow) signed the formal petition to the Massachusetts Legislature dated June 1, 1793 to separate the northeastern part of the Town of Greenfield to form the new Town of Gill. Assuming that this petition still exists, where would it be? Is it possible to obtain a reproducible photo copy of his signature?


    The petition should be on file at the Massachusetts State Archives. All such petitions would be on file there, with the original papers for the Massachusetts Acts & Resolves for that particular year. You can order a print from the microfilm of the original. For more information, contact the Archives at:

    Secretary of the Commonwealth
    Massachusetts Archives
    220 Morrissey Blvd.
    Boston, MA 02125
    Telephone: (617) 727-2816
    Fax: (617) 288-8429

    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

    Reuters Africa reporter Erik Kirschbaum visited Hamburg, Germany recently and had an unexpected experience with his ancestors. Read his experience discovering his great-grandfather Gottlieb Hoersch at

    Egyptian scientists will be running DNA tests on an unidentified mummy to determine whether or not it is the pharaoh Tuthmosis I. Read the story at

    The wordsmiths at Merriam-Webster have added words like ginormous, sudoku, and Bollywood to the upcoming latest edition of their dictionary. Find out more 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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    Upcoming Public Lectures

    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.

    Research in New Hampshire: When the Trail Turns Cold, Diane Gravel
    Saturday, July 21, 10:00 AM
    Research in New Hampshire: When the Trail Turns Cold is designed to assist the researcher who has exhausted traditional sources, but has been unable to solve a problem. It will explore many New Hampshire and New England sources and repositories often overlooked in genealogical research. The lecture will discuss the methodology of expanding the search beyond the surname and the significance of understanding settlement patterns in directing the path of that search. Among the sources that will be examined are account books, church records, diaries and other manuscripts, court records, military records, town records, and the technique of using signatures to establish identity.


    Diane Florence Gravel is a Certified Genealogist, specializing in New Hampshire research. She is co-editor of New Hampshire Families in 1790 and serves as Vice President of the New Hampshire Society of Genealogists. She has lectured at state, regional and national conferences on topics including basic/intermediate methodology and courthouse research.

    The New Brunswick – New England Connection, David Lambert
    Wednesday, July 25, 10:00 AM

    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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    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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