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  • 2007 Archive

  • Vol. 9, No. 36
    Whole #338
    September 5, 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 on
    * New Research Service Rates
    * Name Origins
    * New Great Migration Volume Now Available
    * Research Recommendations: Evidence Explained
    * Spotlight: New Westminster Public Library, New Westminster, British Columbia
    * Stories of Interest
    * Upcoming Education Programs
    * NEHGS Contact Information


    New Databases on New

    The Essex Antiquarian – Volume 8 (1904)

    This week, we are releasing the eighth 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 consisting of genealogical articles and a variety of photographs, maps, illustrations, 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 Amesbury, Bridgewater, Chelsea, Newburyport, and Westford.  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.

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    New on

    Subscribers to The Great Migration Newsletter have access to five new sketches online. For more information on subscribing, visit

    William Mann

    Nicholas Merritt

    Anthony Morse

    Thomas Newberry

    Robert Pennoyer

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    New Research Service Rates

    The NEHGS Research Services Department conducts quality genealogical research for members of the Society and non-members. Using the immense resources of the NEHGS Research Library, NEHGS staff genealogists, and other Boston repositories, the department is readily available to assist you in your genealogical quests.

    As of September 1, 2007 the rates for research services have changed. Research will be done at a rate of $50 per hour for members and $70 per hour for non-members. Photocopy service rates will be $5.00 for members and $12.00 non-members for 1-35 pages from up to 3 sources. For more information, visit or email

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    Name Origins
    by Julie Helen Otto

    VIRTUE NAMES – Puritan names honoring desirable feelings, character traits or salvation status (e.g., FAITH, HOPE, CHARITY, DELIVERANCE, PRESERVED). Originally unisex, they tended over time (with a few exceptions) to become female names.

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    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.


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    Research Recommendations

    Evidence Explained
    by Michael J. Leclerc

    The reasons for citing sources for our research are twofold. First, it is important that we be able to find that source again. One of my colleagues has a particular piece of information on her grandfather’s place of birth that she found in the early years of her research. Unfortunately, she did not document where she found it at the time. She has spent the last 25 years trying to find the information again, without success.The second reason is so that we can judge the reliability of the information, weighing it against other information found in different sources.

    In 1997 renowned genealogist the Genealogical Publishing Company (GPC) released Elizabeth Shown Mills’ Evidence! Citation and Analysis for the Family Historian. This 124-page book was divided into two roughly equal-sized parts. The first dealt with the fundamentals of analysis and citation, the second with specific citation formats. The book quickly became a success, and has been the standard for citing sources ever since.

    Over the course of the last decade, Ms. Mills has been collecting samples of even more citations, and expanding the ones she previously published. Last month GPC published the long-awaited revised and expanded version of that earlier work. Evidence Explained: Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace is a necessity for anyone wishing to properly document their research. No longer will researchers have to struggle with the question of how to cite a particular source.

    The new work tips the scales at just shy of 900 pages, providing information on any kind of source imaginable. With such a large volume of material, the organization and presentation of the material is critical. The new work is laid out in a manner similar to the Chicago Manual of Style, making it infinitely easier to locate information. The book is grouped into fourteen sections with headings such as Cemetery Records, Local & State Records, National Government Records, and Publications: Periodicals, Broadcasts, & Web Miscellanea. The first two sections give a detailed introduction to the Fundamentals of Evidence Analysis and the Fundamentals of Citation.

    Each section starts with a list of the subsections. That is followed by QuickCheck Models. These models give specific examples from the sources described in that section. This introductory matter is printed on gray pages, making it easier to locate information. The introductory matter is followed by the subsections giving detailed information on specific types of sources. Once you have an understanding of the types of resources, the QuickCheck Models will make it easier for you to cite your information properly.

    Evidence Explained is one of the most useful books a genealogist can have on their shelf. You will always know how to cite your sources properly so that you will be able to locate that information again. It will be the best money you’ve spent on your research. It is available from GPC for $49.95 at

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    Spotlight: New Westminster Public Library, New Westminster, British Columbia
    by Valerie Beaudrault

    The city of New Westminster is located in British Columbia, Canada, on the Fraser River, about 12 miles east of the City of Vancouver. The New Westminster Public Library was established in 1865, making it British Columbia’s oldest library.

    Click on the Heritage Sites link on the homepage to access a variety of heritage and local history resources. From here you can access pages on the following topics: Genealogy, Heritage Buildings, and Historical Photographs. The Heritage Sites homepage also contains links to articles and other presentations on a number of Local History Subjects. These include Cemeteries of New Westminster; New Westminster Streets; New Westminster Police History; a history of the Salmonbellies, New Westminster’s long-lived lacrosse team; a list of all mayors; and early provincial statutes.

    Among the online resources of the New Westminster Public Library is a funeral home database. It can be found under the Genealogy link on the Heritage Sites homepage. The library’s print holdings include the Bowell Funeral Home records for the years 1911 to 1960, except for the years 1918, 1919, and 1920. The database, which is a work in progress, currently contains records for the years between 1932 and 1956.

    The database can be searched by names and dates. Search returns are in the form of name links. The funeral home’s records were maintained on preprinted cards, which are in the process of being digitized. The images are being uploaded to the website. Click on the name link to view each individual’s card. The cards contains nearly forty different pieces of information about the deceased including: name of the deceased; address; place and date of death; cause of death; place and date of birth; occupation; kind of industry or business; date last worked; number of years worked; name of spouse; parents’ names; informant’s name, address, and relationship to the deceased; place and date of burials; detailed information about the funeral service including the names of newspapers on which the funeral notice was placed and the names of the pallbearers.

    Back on the Heritage Site homepage, researchers can click on the “Genealogy and Local History at New Westminster Public Library” link to learn more about the library’s on-site genealogy resources and research tools, which include cemetery records; census records; city directories; military resources; registers of births, marriages, and deaths; obituary and funeral resources; telephone directories; voters lists; local histories; and maps. There are links from this page to the British Columbia Archives, which has a searchable index to some birth, marriage, and death records, and to a website with death notices from the following British Columbia newspapers for the period from 1861 to 1875: The Vancouver Times (September 1864–April 1866), The New Westminster Mainland Guardian (April 1870–May 1875), The British Columbian (1861–1869), and The Victory Daily Standard (1870–1872).

    You will also find a link other British Columbia genealogy resources on the web from Heritage Site homepage.

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    Stories of Interest

    Correspondent Tamie Dehler writes an interesting article about orphanages and the important role they played in history. Read the full story in the Terre Haute Tribune-Star at

    Genealogist Catherine Slaney has discovered her "true colours." She had no idea that her grandfather was a black man passing as white. She has since discovered a rich history, and turned it into a book: Family Secrets, Crossing the Colour Line. Read more in the Chatham Daily News at

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    Upcoming Education Programs

    Each year the Society presents a number of dynamic lectures, seminars, and tours for genealogists and the general public. Programs are held at 101 Newbury Street unless otherwise indicated.
    The following programs will be held September–October 2007:

    New Visitor Welcome & Library Tour
    September 8 2007, 10:00 a.m.
    New visitors will participate in an introduction and orientation to the Society, including the opportunity to describe their research and have staff genealogists offer general advice on how to proceed. The free thirty-minute introductory lecture will be followed by a tour of the library.

    Getting the Most from NEHGS Databases
    September 12, 2007, 10 a.m.
    With over 110 million names in 2,200 databases, is the primary internet resource for New England genealogy. This free lecture will offer an overview of the Society’s website and online databases.

    Lost Houses of Scotland
    September 18, 2007, 6:00 p.m.
    Join NEHGS for a special program hosted by The Royal Oak Foundation featuring Ian Gow, Curator of the National Trust for Scotland. Mr. Gow will present his new book Lost Houses of Scotland,a discussion about the country’s most important lost houses and the 20th century as an era of destruction. For more information please visit

    A Celebration for the 250th Anniversary of the birth of the Marquis de Lafayette
    September 24, 2007, 6:30 p.m.
    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 at

    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 or visit

    Boston Discovers Boston: 17th-century Treasures
    October 13, 2007, 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.
    NEHGS and The Partnership of the Historic Bostons (PHB) will present a free one-day seminar featuring the history and treasures of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. The seminar will include discussion and display of original books and documents from the officers of the Mass. Bay Colony; participants will also learn the unique historical connection between Boston, Massachusetts and Boston Lincolnshire, England. To register, please call Ryan Woods at 617-226-1226 for more information.

    The Naked Quaker
    October 17, 2007, 6:30 p.m.
    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, 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
    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

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    NEHGS Contact Information

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    Copyright 2007, New England Historic Genealogical Society
    101 Newbury Street, Boston, MA 02116

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