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. 34
    Whole #336
    August 22, 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
    * APG Announces New Awards and Scholarship
    * NARA Raises Rates
    * Join NEHGS at AARP EXPO
    * Name Origins
    * New Great Migration Volume Now Available
    * Research Recommendations: BYU Family History Archives
    * Spotlight: Obituary Databases — Virginia and New York
    * From the Online Genealogist
    * Stories of Interest
    * Upcoming Education Programs
    * NEHGS Contact Information


    New Databases on New

    Abstracts of Wills, Administrations and Guardianships in NY State, 1787 – 1835. 55,020 additional records added.

    This week, an additional 55,020 records have been added to this database from the counties of Dutchess, Queens and Rockland.

    This compilation of Abstracts of New York Wills, Administrations and Guardianships was created by William Applebie Daniel Eardeley. The original materials are part of the Brooklyn Historical Society's manuscript collection. Eardeley abstracted original estate proceedings in the counties of this state. In addition he indexed on 3 x 5 cards all the names in his abstracts, i.e. those of the decedents, executors, administrators, petitioners, guardians, witnesses, named beneficiaries and minor children. The original abstracts were written in pencil on yellow legal pad paper. Although the original title of the collection refers to the years 1691 to 1860, the bulk of the material concerns the period 1787 to 1835. Also, while the abstracts generally end at 1835, it appears that in a few cases the dates were extended to fill a county's file folder. For estate proceedings of counties formed after 1835, the researcher should look under the names of the parent county.

    Currently, this database contains abstracts for the following counties: Albany, Allegheny, Broome, Cattaraugus, Cayuga, Chautauqua, Chenango, Clinton, Columbia, Cortland, Delaware, Dutchess, Erie-Niagara, Essex, Franklin, Genesee, Greene, Herkimer, King’s, Lewis, Livingston, Madison, Monroe, New York, Niagara, Oneida, Onondaga, Orleans, Otsego, Oswego, Putnam, Queens, Richmond, Rockland, St. Lawrence, Schenectady, Seneca, Sullivan, Steuben, Tompkins, Warren, Wayne, and Yates.

    The remaining counties in the collection are in the process of being indexed by our volunteer team and will be released in the future as they become available.

    The New England Historic Genealogical Society wishes to thank both the Brooklyn Historical Society and Mr. Frank J. Doherty, whose support made this information available.

    Return to Table of Contents


    APG Announces New Awards and Scholarship

    The Association of Professional Genealogists presented a number of awards at the FGS/ACPL Conference in Fort Wayne. The Graham T. Smallwood, Jr., Award of Merit was given to J. Mark Lowe, C.G., for his service to APG as a Board Member, vice president and president from 2000–2005. Lowe, a researcher and lecturer from Tennessee, also is a former vice president of FGS. He has written articles for a variety of genealogical society publications. His own publications include Robertson County Tennessee Marriage Book 2, 1859–1873, and Pioneer Cemetery (Bowling Green, Ky.).

    Dr. Stephen P. Morse received the APGQ Excellence Award for his exceptional articles published in the APG Quarterly last year. His "One-Step" search tools have assisted genealogists greatly by making it easier to find their ancestors within existing large genealogical databases. Morse is a computer professional who holds a doctoral degree in electrical engineering. He is best known as the architect of the Intel 8086 which sparked the PC revolution 25 years ago.

    Two new awards were introduced this year to recognize outstanding service to the field: the Honorary Lifetime Membership Award, for achievement in genealogy which has spanned a significant length of time, and the Professional Achievement Award, to highlight a record of exceptional professional achievement through individual excellence and ethical behavior.

    Helen F. M. Leary, a noted author, speaker and professional genealogist from North Carolina, has been recognized with the Honorary Lifetime Membership Award for creating an excellent body of work in the field of genealogy. Her contributions to the genealogical community include service as president of the Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG) and the North Carolina Genealogical Society. She has also been a trustee for BCG and APG. Leary is considered a leading authority on early families of the Upper South and is widely known for her study of Sally Hemings' children and for the subsequent publication of her work in the National Genealogical Society Quarterly (NGSQ).

    The inaugural Professional Achievement Award was given to Elizabeth Shown Mills. Mills, author of thirteen books, has been recognized for her excellent example of genealogical professionalism and continual contribution to the field through writings, lecturing, and service. Mills has served the genealogical community in many capacities including former editor of the NGSQ, past president of the American Society of Genealogists, and past president and trustee of the BCG. Mills has delivered over 500 lectures nationally and internationally, and has appeared on radio and TV talk shows on three continents. Two of her books made a lasting impact on the profession of genealogy. She authored Evidence and edited Professional Genealogy, considered classics and essentials in every professional genealogist's book case. Her newest endeavor, the newly-released Evidence Explained, promises to become the definitive word on genealogical source citations.

    APG also announced their new Young Professional Scholarship. Candidates for the 2008 award must be between the ages of 18 and 25 years as of 1 May 2008, be enrolled as a high school senior, undergraduate, post graduate or recent graduate of an accredited university or college, and have at least a 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale or the equivalent in another averaging system). The scholarship includes registration for the annual APG Professional Management Conference and a $500 award toward travel and accommodations. This scholarship will be presented for the first time in 2008.

    For more details about these awards, and scholarship information, visit

    Return to Table of Contents


    NARA Raises Rates

    As reported earlier this year, the National Archives and Records Administration has raised the fees for obtaining copies of records. The old NATF-80 form has been discontinued. Major genealogical records and costs are:

    • Passenger Arrival Lists (NATF 81), $25
    • Federal Census requests (NATF 82), $25
    • Eastern Cherokee applications to the Court of Claims (NATF 83), $25
    • Land entry records (NATF 84), $40
    • Full Pension File (Civil War and after, more than 75 years old), up to 100 pages (NATF 85), $75
    • Full Pension File (pre-Civil War) (NATF 85), $25
    • Pension Documents Packet containing only selected records (NATF 85), $25
    • Bounty land warrant application files (NATF 85), $25
    • Military service files more than 75 years old (NATF 86), $25.

    You can obtain copies of the forms from More details about the rate increase are available from the Federal Register, Volume 72, No. 159, Friday, August 17, 2007, Rules and Regulations, 46145.

    Return to Table of Contents


    Join NEHGS at AARP Expo

    The New England Historic Genealogical Society will be exhibiting at the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) Life @50+ National Event & Expo, being held September 6– 8, 2007, at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center. If you are attending the event, please stop by Booth #2055 in the Travel & Leisure section of the exhibit hall and say hello. For greater details and a map of the exhibit hall, visit

    Return to Table of Contents



    Name Origins
    by Julie Helen Otto

    PEG, PEGGY (f) – Nickname formed from MARGARET.

    Return to Table of Contents


    New Great Migration Volume Now Available

    The NEHGS Sales Department is happy to announce that the new book, The Great Migration: Immigrants to New England, 1634–1635, Volume V, M-P, is now available for shipment. The book, normally priced at $59.95, is currently available for $54.95.

    Earlier volumes of the 1634–1635 series (A-B, C-F, G-H and I-L), normally priced at $59.95, are now available for $49.95. Also on sale are the three-volume Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England 1620-1633, for $99.00, and The Pilgrim Migration: Immigrants to Plymouth Colony, 1620-1633, for $29.95.

    Prices are good through October 31, 2007. Prices do not include shipping. To order, please visit our website at, or call 1-617-226-1212.


    Return to Table of Contents


    Research Recommendations

    BYU Family History Archives
    by Michael J. Leclerc

    The Family History Archive operated by Brigham Young University is an excellent free resource that is invaluable to researchers. The collection includes countless diaries, biographies, family histories, maps, and other materials. These are all available for free at

    Last week at the FGS/ACPL Conference in Fort Wayne the University announced a new partnership with the FamilySearch and the Allen County Public Library. This new venture is targeting over 100,000 published family histories and thousands of local histories, city directories and other related records from the collections of the three libraries. Once they are digitized, the collections will have "every word" search capability, with search results linked to digital images of the original publication. New additions will be announced and linked to in the Family History Library Catalog at FamilySearch as they are digitized.

    FamilySearch is providing the computers, scanners, and camera operators required to complete the project. FamilySearch is a nonprofit organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. FamilySearch maintains the world’s largest repository of genealogical resources accessed through, the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, and over 4,500 family history centers in 70 countries.

    This collaboration will produce one of the largest sources of free information for genealogists on the internet. Check their website often for updates as this partnership progresses.

    Return to Table of Contents


    Spotlight: Obituary Databases — Virginia and New York
    by Valerie Beaudrault

    Obituary Index of the Newport News Public Library, Virginia

    Newport News is located on the southwestern end of the Virginia Peninsula, on the north shore of the James River. It is one of thirty-nine independent cities in the Commonwealth. Virginia municipalities that have been incorporated as cities are considered independent and are not part of any county in the Commonwealth.

    The Newport News Public Library System’s Obituary Index covers the period from 1898 to the 1990s. The bulk of the obituaries indexed here are for the period from 1898 through 1968. A limited number of obituaries from the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s have also been included.

    Most of the obituaries in this database have been drawn from the Daily Press, the local newspaper of the city of Newport News since 1898. Obituaries from the Times-Herald for the period 1902–1915 have also been indexed. The database is a work in progress, with additions being made to it on a regular basis.

    Researchers can browse through the index by letter or run a simple search by last name or maiden name. Click on the ‘more search options’ button to access the advanced search function. With the advanced search one can search by first name, middle name, last name, and/or maiden name. Database searches can be limited by gender and the date on which the obituary was published. The data fields in the search results returned include the full name of the deceased, gender, newspaper title, date on which the obituary was published, and page on which it appeared.

    The Virginiana Room ( of the Newport News Public Library System is where the library’s local history and genealogy collections are located. In addition to a description of the available resources, researchers will find a Newport News History Timeline and a collection of photographs related to the construction of Hilton Village, which took place in 1918–1919, and pre-1925 photographs of the Warwick Hotel. The nearly 300 photographs, which are a part of the library’s collections, have been added to the Library of Virginia’s Digital Library Program.

    Obituary Index of the Field Library, Peekskill, New York

    Peekskill is a city in Westchester County, New York, located on the east bank of the Hudson River. Peekskill’s Field Library offers an Obituary Index on its website. The index comprises death notices from Peekskill newspapers for the period from the mid-1800s to the present. This database is a work in progress. It was originally a card file index and, as of March 2007, it includes names beginning with the letters A through T. To request an obituary search on names that begin with letters U through Z, complete and submit the Genealogical or Subject Request Form. You can download a PDF document, which lists Peekskill area newspapers in the library’s collection.

    The index can be searched by last name, first name, and maiden name. You can narrow the search by selecting a range of years. The initial search results include full name, maiden name, place of death, date of death and age of the deceased. Click on the name link to bring up a detailed record. The data fields in these records include full name, maiden name, place of birth, date of birth, place of death, date of death, and age at death, as well as newspaper name, date and page information.

    The Field Library Obituary Index uses a shopping cart system, which allows researchers to collect a list of names for which you would like copies and then order them directly. Submit your electronic request. Copies of the requested obituaries will be mailed to you along with a bill. Copies cost $3.00 each.

    Return to Table of Contents


    From the Online Genealogist

    I just received my great-great-grandmother's death certificate from Boston. It says that she died of phthisis. Can you tell me what kind of disease this is?


    Phthisis is an archaic term for tuberculosis. Before the advent of antibiotics, a person afflicted with this disease would eventually waste away. Twentieth-century medicine has reduced the disease dramatically, but as recent news reports have shown, there is a danger that new, drug-resistant versions of the disease are coming back.


    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

    Last year we shared a story with you about DNA tests identifying the body of a WWII airman in the mountains of California. The body of a second airman has now been found on the glacier. You can read this update 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