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  • 2007 Archive

  • Vol. 9, No. 30
    Whole #332
    July 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
    * Early Church Records of Rowley, Massachusetts Found
    * Coming Soon in the July 2007 Issue of the Register
    * French vs. English on Lake Champlain
    * Name Origins
    * Pre-Publication Orders for Great Migration Books
    * Research Recommendations: The Boston Public Library
    * Spotlight: Halton Information Network (HALINET ) Historical and Newspaper Records
    * From the Online Genealogist
    * Stories of Interest
    * Upcoming Public Lectures
    * NEHGS Contact Information


    New Databases on New

    Vital Records of Franklin, MA, 1778-1872

    The vital records of Franklin were compiled by Orestes T. Doe, the Franklin town clerk, in 1898. These records are based upon copies of original town records that were created from original books around 1863. The compiler points out that Franklin was part of Wrentham until 1778. Franklin events prior to that date should also be searched in the vital records of that town. This work contains 3,321 births, 2,318 marriages and 1,964 deaths.
    The original volume is available in our Boston Research Library, call number F74 / F9 / F9 1898.

    Social Security Death Index - Free Access
    Updated through June, 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 June, 2007. Access to the SSDI is FREE to all who visit This database now contains the names of 78,549,607 individuals, most of whose deaths were recorded after 1965.

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    Early Church Records of Rowley, Massachusetts Found

    Rowley was one of the second generation of settlements in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, founded in 1639. For decades the records of the First Congregational Church of Rowley have been missing and presumed lost. The First National Bank of Ipswich recently closed a branch office in Rowley. When cleaning out the building, staff members found a canvas money bag dated 1966. While the stamp indicated that the bag contained $1,000 in dimes, the bag actually contained a fragile leather-bound book containing the missing early church records.

    James Cooper, professor of history at Oklahoma State University, and Kenneth Minkema, executive director of the Jonathan Edwards Center at Yale University, traveled to Rowley to authenticate the find. The pair, coeditors of The Colonial Church Records of the First Church of Reading (Wakefield) and the First Church of Rumney Marsh (Revere), published last year by the Colonial Society of Massachusetts, were quickly able to confirm that the book did indeed contain the missing records. More details, including the theory behind what happened to the records when they were lost, are available in The Boston Globe at


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    Coming Soon in the July 2007 Issue of the Register

    The following editorial appears in the July issue of the Register, coming soon to NEHGS members.

    Among the red flags that genealogists may encounter are unexpected places of marriage for ancestors. Finding and interpreting these unexpected places may be a challenge. Stop and ask yourself why the couple may have chosen that place or that church. Here are some possible reasons when neither bride nor groom appears to have a connection there:

    • The bride or groom had relatives in that place.
    • The bride’s parents had been married in that church.
    • The church at which they would normally be married had no minister then.
    • The bride and groom were from different religious backgrounds and the church was a compromise.
    • The bride and groom had eloped.
    • The groom was about to leave for war.
    • The place of marriage was a popular place to be married, such as Thompson, Connecticut, or Vernon, Vermont (see Register 155 [2001]:296; 158 [2004]:105), or a place where few questions were asked.
    • The bride and/or groom was underage.
    • The marriage was against parental wishes.
    • The bride was pregnant.
    • The marriage was illegal or subject to a penalty (e.g., a pre-existing family relationship; interracial marriage).
    • The bride and/or groom was not free to marry (e.g., still married to someone else or divorced without permission to remarry).

    Finding that a couple married in an unexpected place could be the clue that leads you to new information on the family.


    This issue begins with an article that could lead the way for other English origins articles. The English Origins of Edward1 Jenkins of Scituate, Massachusetts, by Allis Ferguson Edelman and Daniel G. Jenkins, shows that no one could find the baptism of Edward Jenkins in Kent because he was baptized in a parish whose registers were not made available until 2001. Thus, authors working on English origins articles should consider whether specific parish registers no longer exist or are merely unavailable.

    Many published genealogies have confused men of the same name. In The Children of Ward Swift (1735–1821) of Sandwich, Massachusetts, Ellen O’Flaherty clarifies one branch of the Swift family. None of the births of Ward Swift’s children was recorded in the Sandwich vital records, but a careful study of various records, particularly gravestones and tax records, allowed the author to identify fully the children and grandchildren mentioned in Ward Swift’s will.

    There are several towns in Connecticut for which the Barbour Collection of Connecticut Vital records is not complete. Marriages by Elihu Marvin, J.P., of Hebron, Connecticut, 1785–1812, by Linda MacLachlan, shows that the Town of Hebron is one of these. Of the seventy-two marriages in this article, only three appear in the Barbour Collection for Hebron. Elihu Marvin thoughtfully included place of residence for both bride and groom.

    Jemima Preston, Wife of John Younglove of Killingly, Connecticut, treats a couple who had five children born between 1726 and 1736. Both Jemima and John have been consistently misidentified in print and online. Author Helga Andrews places both of them in their extended families.

    In Part 2 of the Ancestry of Bennet Eliot of Nazeing, Essex, Father of Seven Great Migration Immigrants to Massachusetts, William Wyman Fiske analyzes the evidence for the Eliot ancestry in Hertfordshire and the problems with published visitations. He then considers the fact that visitations show the Eliot arms as identical to those born by Eliot families in Devonshire and Surrey, as well as by an earlier Eliot family of Pembrokeshire, Wales.

    Jon Wardlow completes his account of the children and grandchildren of Samuel5 Peirce in Part 2 of Genealogy of Samuel Peirce, First Settler of Zoar, Massachusetts. The married names of Samuel’s daughters were Garfield, Lynde, Birge, Leonard, Nichols, Rice, and Nelson — and the author presents new information on all of these families.

    Genealogist John Farmer Discovers His Ancestry: The Warwickshire Family of Edward1 Farmer, Isabel1 (Farmer) (Wyman) (Blood) Green, and Thomas1 Pollard, of Billerica, Massachusetts, Part Four, contains a genealogical summary of the Farmer and Pollard families, based on the research presented in the previous parts by author Nathaniel Lane Taylor.

    And New England Articles in Genealogical Journals in 2005 indexes articles in seventeen journals by surname, place, and some subjects.

    – Henry B. Hoff

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    French vs. English on Lake Champlain

    The only visible evidence of early French and English settlement along the shores of Lake Champlain are old cellar holes. Archaeologists from Vermont and the University of Maine at Farmington, have been working under a grant from the Institute for Museum and Library Science to find more answers.

    Working with volunteers, the archaeologists have already unearthed a treasure trove of items. The evidence so far uncovered has changed their thinking about the French who lived there between 1730 and 1759. The question has become “Were the cellar holes built by the French or the English?”

    The study is covered in more detail by Lisa Rathke of the Associated Press in an article published in The Boston Globe on July 22. You can read the full article .


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    Name Origins
    by Julie Helen Otto

    HIEL (m) – Shortened form of JEHIEL.

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    Pre-Publication Orders for New Great Migration Books

    The NEHGS Sales department is now taking pre-publication orders for The Great Migration, Immigrants to New England, 1634-1635, Volume V: M-P, due out in September 2007. All of these orders will be held until the book is ready for shipment. Normally priced at $59.95, we are offering a special pre-publication sale price of $54.95 until October 31, 2007.

    In addition, NEHGS is offering special discounted prices on all previous volumes of The Great Migration, Immigrants to New England, 1634-1635 (normally priced at $59.95, now priced at $49.95).

    Pre-publication orders will also be taken for The Complete Great Migration Newsletter, Volumes 1-15 ($24.95) and for The Great Migration Newsletter, Volumes 11-15 ($11.95). These titles are also due out in September 2007.

    More information on these new volumes can be found at Orders can also be made at our website or by calling 1-617-226-1212. Prices do not include shipping.

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    Research Recommendations

    The Boston Public Library
    by Michael J. Leclerc

    The Boston Public Library (BPL) was founded in 1848 as the first large free municipal library in the United States. Within six years the collection grew to 16,000 volumes. In 1895 the famed architect Charles Follen McKim completed work on his “palace for the people” in Copley Square, and the McKim building remains the home of the central branch of the library today. The BPL currently has 25 additional branches throughout the system.

    The McKim building itself is a tourist attraction in the city. The architecture and murals make it one of the most beautiful buildings in Boston. Bates Hall, with its barrel-arched and half-domed ceiling and oak bookshelves lining the walls holds more than 100 researchers. Famed French artist Pierre Puvis de Chavannes painted the murals in the grand staircase and gallery. And John Singer Sargent considered his own murals in the Sargent Gallery to be his most significant work.

    The library has extensive holdings for genealogical research. Only a small sampling can be presented here. Most of the materials of significance to genealogists are located in the Research Library in the McKim Building. Among the materials of interest are Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps, City of Boston Residents Lists from 1861 to the present, American Loyalist Claims, Griffith’s Valuation of Rateable Land, 1846–1864, Records of the Diocese of Louisiana and the Floridas, 1576–1803, Wesleyan Methodist Missionary Society Archives, and Holbrook’s microfiche of early Massachusetts vital records.

    Their collections also include numerous local history materials, especially for the New England states. The library has an extensive newspaper collection, focused primarily on Massachusetts and other New England states, but it does include a great deal of other localities as well. They have an amazingly comprehensive collection of city directories from throughout the U.S. The Leventhal Map collection was discussed in an earlier column.

    The Rare Books and Manuscripts Department is a treasure trove of information for family historians. Many early Boston records can be found here, including tax assessors' records 1780–1821 and Boston Selectmen Meeting minutes from 1701 to 1822. Early manuscript records for the towns of Brighton, Charlestown, Dorchester, Hyde Park, and West Roxbury (all now part of the city) can also be found here. Boston School Committee records from 1792 to 1905 are in the collection.

    The department also has many materials with a larger scope. William Lloyd Garrison and other abolitionists presented the library with a large collection of anti-slavery manuscripts. The Modern Irish History Collection contains more than 1,500 published works, broadsides, documents, and letters covering the Fenian period to the early days of the Irish Free State. An extensive collection of Civil War materials was purchased in 1896 with funds from the 20th Regiment, Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry. They also have a large West Indies collection.

    Unfortunately their online catalog contains only those items acquired since 1974. Materials acquired before that time must be searched manually, but they do offer free catalog searches by email and over the telephone.

    The BPL offers remote access to hundreds of electronic resources through its website. Among the most significant are American Historical Newspapers (1690–1922); American Broadsides and Ephemera, Series I; American State Papaers (1789–1838) Biography and Genealogy Master Index; The Boston Globe (1872–1923, 1980–present); Early American Imprints, Series I and II; Encyclopaedia Britannica Online; Gale virtual Reference Library; HeritageQuest Online; Historical Abstracts; History Resource Center:U.S.; Index to Early American Periodicals (1700–1935); Infotrac OneFile; JSTOR; Marquis Who’s Who Online; The New York Times (1841–2003); Obituary Database for the Boston Globe and the Boston Herald; the Oxford African American Studies Center; and the U.S. Congressional Serial Set (1817–1980).

    Any resident of Massachusetts can get a free BPL library card. Any individual who lives, works, attends school, or owns property in the Commonwealth can obtain a free temporary (6 month) eCard online. Library users from outside of Massachusetts may apply for a courtesy card to use materials in the research library. Cards are available from any branch library and at the central library in Copley Square. To find out more information about the library visit


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    Spotlight: Halton Information Network (HALINET ) Historical and Newspaper Records
    by Valerie Beaudrault

    The Regional Municipality of Halton, formerly Halton County, is located in Ontario, Canada. It is on the western shores of Lake Ontario in the southwest part of the greater Toronto area. The city of Burlington and the towns of Oakville, Milton, and Halton Hills are located within the Regional Municipality. The region's headquarters (county seat equivalent) are located in Oakville.

    HALINET is a partnership of Halton Region Information providers and educators. Partners include many area historical and genealogical societies. A general search of the HALINET databases can be performed from the main search page by entering a keyword or phrase. You can narrow your search by selecting specific databases. Access to each partner’s collections via a dropdown list on the Member page ( The databases include:

    Halton Newspaper Indexes
    You can access the search page for these indexes by clicking on their links on the main search page. Here you can perform a search of the Newspaper Articles index by keyword or phrase, as well as a search of the Birth, Marriage and Death index by name. In both cases the search can be limited by location and date. The Birth, Marriage and Death search results can be sorted by name or from most recent to oldest and vice versa. The Newspaper Articles search results can be sorted by most recent first or oldest first. Researcher can also browse through individual newspapers.

    Birth, Marriage, and Death Notices: The birth, marriage, and death records in this database are from thirty-five newspapers and cover years from 1780 to 2007. There are nearly 450,000 records in the database. The information includes names in the event record, newspaper title, date on which the event was announced in the newspaper, and page and column numbers.

    Newspaper Articles: The Newspaper Article index contains more than 200,000 records. They come from 33 newspapers and cover the years from 1867 to 2007. The results are returned by city/town with the article title, newspaper title, date of publication, and section and page number. Click on the article title to access a more detailed record.

    Census Records
    This database contains indexes to the census records of Halton County for the period from 1842 to 1901. Search results returned may include name, occupation, sex of the individual, place of residence, year of census, religion, and page number, depending on the year. In some cases researchers will find links to the actual census pages. A guide to microfilm numbers for each census and a link to the Ontario 1871 Census page, courtesy of the Ontario Genealogical Society and Library and Archives Canada, have also been included.

    Cemetery Records
    This database is an index to Halton and Peel cemeteries. There are just over 200 cemeteries and more than 14,000 surnames in the database. Searches can be performed by last name. Some area cemeteries are not yet available in the database and the gravestones from other identified cemeteries have not yet been recorded. Transcripts of some of these records can be ordered; click on the order form link to begin the process. Detailed annotated cemetery lists are on the search page.

    Land Records
    This database contains information from the first two volumes of the “Abstract Index to Deeds” for Georgetown, Ontario. Most of the data covers the period from the creation of the lots to 1875. Some entries are as late as the 1950s. The search results contain full name, the town, volume, and pages numbers on which records name appears.

    Surrogate Court Records
    The records in this database cover the period 1851–1907. The results returned include name, location, case type, volume, page number, and instrument number.

    Military Records
    This database contains nearly 10,000 entries from a typescript containing the Lorne Scots Enrollment, a World War II-era Halton-area military regiment. The index can be searched by name, unit, and regimental number. The results returned include the soldier’s name, regimental number, enrolment, and information regarding changes in the soldier’s service. The term “struck off strength” was used to indicate these changes. The phrase could mean death, injury, transfer, or other.

    Business Directories
    This database contains transcribed records from eight nineteenth-century Halton County-area business directories. The years covered are 1851, 1857, 1866, 1869-70, 1871, 1872, 1882, 1896, and 1899. In some cases copies of business advertisements have been scanned and linked to individual records. This database can be searched by last name.

    Books, Documents and Maps
    This section contains searchable indexes or full text versions of 14 local history books, historical maps and transcribed local history for a number of communities. The Halton Historic Maps Collection includes the Illustrated Historical Atlas of Halton County, Ont., 1877, the Plan of Georgetown in Esquesing, County of Halton, 1854, and the Fire Insurance Plan, Milton, March 1927.

    Halton Images
    The searchable online image collection was created by the Halton Region public libraries and the historical societies of Burlington, Esquesing, Milton, Oakville and Trafalgar Township. The contributors’ collections contain thousands of images. To get a sense of where the Halton Regional Municipality is located, click on the Halton Railway Stations link.

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    From the Online Genealogist

    My records show that Freeman Priest was in the Soldier's Home in Chelsea, Massachusetts, after the Civil War, and also in a home in Togus, Maine. Are these records available?


    The records for the Chelsea Soldiers Home are open only to relatives, and have not been microfilmed. You can contact them at:

    Soldiers' Home in Chelsea
    91 Crest Avenue
    Chelsea, MA 02150
    Main Phone: (617) 884-5660
    Fax Number: (617) 884-1162

    The registers of veterans at the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers, Eastern Branch in Togus, Maine, 1866-1934, are available on microfilm from the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. It is indexed and each name is assigned a register number. There are a total of eighteen rolls of microfilm in the series. You can borrow FHL microfilm from NEHGS, or use it at a Family History center near you. You can find the microfilm numbers by searching under Togus, Maine in the Family History Library Catalog (available online at — then selecting Military Records.


    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

    The Rhode Island Historical Society has had a difficult few years. Under great financial pressure they briefly considered selling a Colonial-era desk that could have brought up to $12 million into their endowment. They eventually decided against the sale, and the organization’s financial difficulties seem to be behind them. Read the full story in The Providence Journal at

    The Franklin County, Pennsylvania government is centuries behind in their rent on two public buildings. They have accumulated a debt of more than 200 roses. 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.

    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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