American Ancestors New England Historic Genealogical Society - Founded 1845 N.E. Historic Genealogical Society Seal View Your Shopping Cart Join NEHGS
  • 2007 Archive

  • Vol. 9, No. 33
    Whole #335
    August 15, 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 Research Library Holiday Closure
    * NEHGS staff on RootsMagic Cruise
    * Name Origins
    * Pre-Publication Orders for New Great Migration Books
    * Research Recommendations:Trinity Church in New York City
    * Spotlight: Obituary Databases — Indiana and Michigan
    * From the Online Genealogist
    * Stories of Interest
    * Upcoming Education Programs
    * NEHGS Contact Information


    New Databases on New

    Vital Records of Lowell, Massachusetts to the end of the Year 1849

    This week, we are adding the vital records of Lowell, MA to our existing Massachusetts Vital Records to 1850 database. These vital records were published in 1930 by the Salem Institute. Although Lowell was part of Chelmsford until 1836, the four-volume Lowell vital records are among the largest of the published Massachusetts towns. This database contains 9,686 births, 18,504 marriages, and 7,183 deaths. Most (95%) of these 35,373 records are dated between 1830 and 1849.

    Page images are also available for this book and may be accessed from the search results page, or via the ‘Browse’ button on the Massachusetts Vital Records to 1850 database introduction page.

    The original four volumes are available in our Boston Research Library, call number F74.L9 L951 1930.

    Social Security Death Index - Free Access
    Updated through July, 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 July, 2007. Access to the SSDI is FREE to all who visit This database now contains the names of 78,705,162 individuals, most of whose deaths were recorded after 1965.

    Return to Table of Contents


    NEHGS Research Library Holiday Closure

    The Society's research library at 101 Newbury Street will be closed on Saturday, September 1, in observance of the Labor Day Holiday.

    Return to Table of Contents


    NEHGS Staff On RootsMagic Cruise

    RootsMagic is a leading developer of genealogy software. In addition to their RootsMagic program, they offer Personal Historian, Family Atlas, and Family Reunion Organizer. The staff at RootsMagic will be joined by several leading professional genealogists, including NEHGS director of special projects Michael J. Leclerc and staff genealogist Rhonda R. McClure, for a cruise of the Caribbean this fall.

    The cruise, on Royal Caribbean’s Mariner of the Seas, will take place November 11–18, 2007. In addition to Michael and Rhonda, participants will hear presentations from Deborah Abbot, Jana Sloan Broglin, Dick Eastman, Leland K. Meitzler, Diana Crisman Smith, and Gary M. Smith. Participants will also benefit from the experts on how to use RootsMagic products.

    To find out more about he cruise visit

    Return to Table of Contents


    Name Origins
    by Julie Helen Otto

    The following names are derived from the term "Gift of God:" DOROTHY, THEODORE/THEODORA [from Greek], THEODATE [Greek-Latin blend], DIODATE [from Latin via Italian], and DIEUDONNÉ [French].

    Return to Table of Contents


    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.

    Return to Table of Contents


    Research Recommendations

    Trinity Church in New York City
    by Michael J. Leclerc

    I have been researching a number of late-eighteenth- and early-nineteenth-century New York City families recently for a project on which I am working. Just last week I discovered one of the best church websites I’ve seen. Trinity Church in Manhattan has developed a website that not only provides a great deal of information for its current parishioners, but also offers tremendous resources for genealogists.

    Trinity Church, founded in 1697, is located in the heart of lower Manhattan, at the intersection of Wall Street and Broadway. Founded in 1697, it has founded, endowed, or aided more than 1,700 churches, schools, hospitals, and other organizations, including Columbia University.

    Click on the History tab at and you will find a brief history of the parish. There is a link to a timeline of major occurrences in the history of the church, including the mysterious fire in 1750 that destroyed the school and all records of baptism, marriage, and burial to that point.

    There is a guide to the church archives that gives information on each department within the church (although ironically the archives and church historiographer sections are still under construction). There is also a link to the requirements for researching in the archives on site.

    For genealogists, however, the best part of the site may be the Registers & Churchyards link. The parish has made available a searchable database of their baptisms, marriages, and burials from 1750 to 1850. You can search by last name and/or first name. You can search a specific date range, and you can limit your search to a single record type, or you can search all of them concurrently. There is also a “sounds like” function if the name you are searching has spelling variations.

    In addition to the parish registers, you can view information on burials in the Trinity Churchyard and the St. Paul’s Chapel Churchyard (located at Broadway and Fulton Street). There are direct links to famous burials, such as Alexander Hamilton and Stephen Rochefontaine. The graves are searchable by last name and/or by first name. After searching you see a list of hyperlinked names. Click on the name, and it will open a window with a map of the cemetery, a photograph of that section of the cemetery, and a map of the section with the grave location circled in red. It also opens a second window with a listing of all individuals buried in the grave, and their year of burial. Remember to go back and search the parish burial registers if the date lies between 1750 and 1850. Each churchyard can also be browsed by section and grave.

    If you have ancestors in New York City during this time period this website is a must-visit. It makes liberal use of pop-up windows, so remember to change the settings on your browser to allow pop-ups from the site. Here's hoping other churches will start to provide this kind of information on their websites.

    Return to Table of Contents


    Spotlight: Obituary Databases — Indiana and Michigan
    by Valerie Beaudrault

    Bremen Public Library, Bremen, Indiana

    Bremen, with a population of less than 5,000, is located in Marshall County, Indiana. Marshall County is in the north central part of the state.

    The obituary database is a work in progress. As of June 25, 2007, the Bremen Public Library’s obituary index contained 8,322 records. The majority of the obituaries in the database are from before 1967. Unless otherwise indicated, the obituaries have been drawn from The Bremen Enquirer. To learn more about the newspapers from which the obituaries have been gathered, click on the ‘Dates Indexed’ link on the obituary index search page. The earliest newspapers indexed are from 1884.

    Index users can search the database by first name and last name. The search can be limited by a range of birth and death dates. The data returned consists of full name and age at death. Click on the name link to view a detailed record, which includes name of the deceased, date of birth, date of death, age, source date, source page, and newspaper title (source). There is also a thumbnail image of the obituary clipping. Click on the ‘Enlarge Image(s)’ link to view a full-size image of the clipping.

    In addition to the Obituary Index the Bremen Public Library has links to articles of historical interest, which can be accessed from the database search page. These articles have been scanned from the local newspaper. There are articles about the town, its businesses, schools and other topics. The school articles are from 1892 and are about Bremen public school history and school board members. The articles in the ‘Other’ section are about accidents that occurred in Bremen or involved individuals in Bremen during the 1920s and 1930s.

    Grosse Pointe Public Library, Grosse Pointe, Michigan

    Grosse Pointe is a small city in northeastern Wayne County, Michigan. It is bordered on the west by Grosse Pointe Park, on the north by Detroit, on the east by Grosse Pointe Farms, and on the south by Lake St Clair. There are five communities within the city. The Central Branch of the Grosse Pointe Public Library is located in Grosse Pointe Farms.

    The Library has made an obituary index available on its website. The records have been drawn from the Grosse Pointe News and Grosse Pointe Review. Most of the obituaries are from 1940 through the present, although there are some from 1939 and earlier. Click on a date link to browse through the alphabetical lists. The data fields include last, first and middle name; date of death; date the obituary was printed; newspaper title; and page number.

    After finding an obituary citation in the index, researchers can view digital images of an obituary online by clicking on the Local History Archives link just above the obituary index date links. The following newspapers have been digitized here: Grosse Pointe News, 1940–Present; Grosse Pointe Review, 1930–1952; and Grosse Pointe Civic News, 1923–1934. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the obituaries. If you do not have Adobe Acrobat Reader, click on the link on the Newspapers homepage to download the latest version.

    First, click on the newspaper image link to bring up a page with a list of date ranges. Next click on the desired date link to bring up the list of years in that date range. Click on the year in which the death occurred to find the right PDF file.

    It is also possible to search the entire database using a keyword or an exact phrase or browse through each issue page by page. It is important to first read the instructions to make the best use of the search feature.

    Return to Table of Contents


    From the Online Genealogist

    Can you tell me what kind of work a “Frame work knitter” did?


    A frame work knitter worked in the textile industry. These individuals would obtain the raw materials and create stockings at home. In most cases the equipment was leased or borrowed from the merchant who sold the stockings.


    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.

    Return to Table of Contents


    Stories of Interest

    Jim Beidler offers a follow-up piece to his column a couple of weeks ago in the Lebanon Daily News on genealogy vs. family history. You can read this piece at You can view the original story at

    Tamie Diehler recently contributed an excellent piece on marriage bonds to the Terre Haute Tribune-Star. You can read this story, titled Genealogy: Think of a marriage bond as an intention to marry, at

    Return to Table of Contents


    Upcoming Education Programs

    Each year the Society presents a large number of lectures, seminars, and tours for genealogists. Programs are held at 101 Newbury Street unless otherwise indicated.

    The following major programs will be held August–November 2007:

    A Celebration for the 250th Anniversary of the birth of the Marquis de Lafayette
    September 24, 2007, 6:30pm
    In conjunction with members of the French Heritage Society, Massachusetts Society of the Cincinnati, the Society of the Cincinnati in the State of New Hampshire, and the Consulate General of France in Boston, NEHGS will co-host a talk by author James R. Gaines, former editor of Life, People, and Time magazines. Mr. Gaines will present his new book “For Liberty and Glory: Washington, Lafayette, and Their Revolutions.” The presentation will be followed by a book signing and reception. A minimum $25 donation is requested.
    To RSVP with your donation, please call Ryan Woods at 617-226-1226.

    NEHGS Comes West
    September 26, 2007
    Join NEHGS President and CEO D. Brenton Simons and California Genealogical Society (CGS) President Jane Lindsey, along with Online Genealogist David Allen Lambert, for a one-day conference devoted to helping you find your New England ancestors. The conference will take place at the historic Scottish Rite Center in Oakland, California. Learn more.

    What’s New in New England Research?
    October 4, 2007
    The Fiske Genealogical Library in Seattle, Washington will host a one-day seminar on New England resources featuring NEHGS President and CEO D. Brenton Simons and Genealogist of the Newbury Street Press Christopher C. Child. For more information, or to register, please contact the Fiske Library at 206-328-2716.

    The Naked Quaker
    October 17, 2007, 6:30pm
    Award-winning author and popular contributor to New England Ancestors Diane Rapaport will present an engaging look at her forthcoming book, The Naked Quaker: True Crimes and Controversies from the Courts of Colonial New England. As a lawyer and historian, Ms. Rapaport provides a unique and revealing perspective on the underside of Puritan life. The presentation will be followed by a book signing and reception.

    Great Migration Study Project One Day Seminar
    October 20, 2007, 9:00am-5:00pm
    To mark the publication of The Great Migration: Immigrants to New England: 1634-1635, Volume V, M-P, NEHGS will host a one-day seminar with the director of the Great Migration Study Project, Robert Charles Anderson, who will speak on new developments in the project. Registration fee $95. Please call Ryan Woods at 617-226-1226 for more information.

    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

    Return to Table of Contents


    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

    Return to Table of Contents

New England Historic Genealogical Society
99 - 101 Newbury Street
Boston, Massachusetts 02116, USA

© 2010 - 2014 New England Historic Genealogical Society