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  • 2007 Archive

  • Vol. 9, No. 38
    Whole #340
    September 19, 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 Books and Other Resources in NEHGS Library Catalog
    * Announces Best Price Guarantee
    * Name Origins
    * Five Books by Carl Boyer III
    * Research Recommendations:
    * Spotlight: City Directories on the Web
    * Stories of Interest
    * Upcoming Education Programs
    * NEHGS Contact Information


    New Databases on New

    Vital Records of Hanover, MA, 1727-1857

    The town of Hanover (Plymouth County) was originally the westernmost portion of the town of Scituate and was officially set off and incorporated in 1727.

    The records in this database are from a volume that was created in 1898 by a committee that transcribed records from the original 35 record books in the Hanover Town Clerk’s office. This database includes 2,580 births, 1,029 deaths, 1,920 marriages, and 1,101 marriage intentions, “where the marriages of such persons is not recorded.”

    The original volume is available in our Boston research library, call number F74/H2/H2 1898.

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    New Books and Other Resources in NEHGS Library Catalog

    NEHGS has posted the most recent list of new titles added to the library collections. It includes titles on such topics as Atkinson, Maine, vital records; Carleton County, New Brunswick, cemeteries; Italian immigrants in Boston and Connecticut; New York coroners proceedings; Irish immigrants and the Emigrant Industrial Savings Bank; 19th-century Pennsylvania photographers; and Janesville, Wisconsin, newspaper indexes. To see if there is something relevant to your research on this June–July 2007 list, go directly to the New Books page at You can also access the list by going to the catalog’s main search page,, and clicking the “New Books” link beneath the search box. To view more details about any title on the list, simply click the title, which is hyperlinked (underlined), and you will be taken to the full catalog record. The list is sorted in call number order. If you would like to use any of these new resources, you may do so by visiting our Research Library in Boston or by contacting our Research Services department at to have a researcher consult the resource for you.


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    ********************************** Announces Best Price Guarantee

    British website has announced a new loyalty program. Effective September 17, 2007, subscribers will receive a 20% discount when renewing. They are also guaranteed that they will receive the best subscription price available. If a lower rate is advertised anywhere else, will refund the subscriber double the difference between the two prices. In order to receive these benefits, subscribers must renew prior to the expiration of their current subscription. has a large volume of vital, census, and immigration records for the United Kingdom. They offer several different subsciptions. You can read more about them, and their special offer, at

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    Name Origins
    by Julie Helen Otto

    GERSHOM(m): Name often given to the first child in an immigrant family born in America. (Thanks to Patricia Law Hatcher for submitting this information to me).

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    Five Books by Carl Boyer III

    The NEHGS Sales Department is pleased to offer five titles by author Carl Boyer III at discounted prices, for a limited time.

    Medieval English Ancestors of Robert Abell: Who Died in Rehoboth, Plymouth Colony, 20 June, 1663, with English Ancestral Lines of Other Colonial Americans
    This new book is a companion to Weis' "Ancestral Roots of Certain American Colonists." It contains details of additional English ancestral lines for Robert Abell, who died in Rehoboth, Plymouth Colony, in 1663. It is also of real value to those researching many of the royal and noble English families published in Weis' work. Published in 2001, 344pp.
    Normally $35.00, now $25.00

    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.
    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.
    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.
    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 and early New York City, New York (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.
    Normally $70.00, Now $50.00.

    To order, please call 617-226-1212. Shipping is not included.

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    Research Recommendations
    by Michael J. Leclerc is an essential tool for you family history research. It is the largest library network in the world, providing instant access to the catalogs of thousands of libraries around the globe. WorldCat is a service provided to member organizations of the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC). For forty years OCLC has assisted member organizations in providing access to their collections. OCLC is a nonprofit, membership, computer library service and research organization. More than 57,000 libraries in 112 countries and territories around the world use OCLC services to locate, acquire, catalog, lend and preserve library materials.

    WorldCat has long been available to librarians, but in the past the public had to go to their local library to access it. OCLC launched their first public version of WorldCat in August 2006, making it available free of charge at There are many ways you can use WorldCat, including a downloadable browser plug-in for Firefox, Yahoo! Toolbar, and Google Toolbar.

    You may have been using WorldCat already, without realizing it. Websites such as,,,, and provide information from WorldCat. Google Scholar and Google Books also provide information from WorldCat through their "Library search" and "Find this book in a library" features.

    You can also get results from WorldCat through the regular Google search as well as Yahoo! Search. Simply type the phrase “find in a library” (including the quotation marks) with your search terms. The search engine will return results from WorldCat.

    Using the website directly, however, will provide you more tools for searching as well as obtaining results. The main page includes a simple search, where you can type in a title, author, subject, or keyword. There is also a link to a more advanced search.

    The Advanced Search page allows you to search by keyword; exact title; author; subject; and ISBN, ISSN, or OCLC number. You can limit your search results by language, format (e.g., archival, article, book, etc.), and publication date range.

    When you search, the results will display in a list in the right pane of the window. In the left pane is a list of ways you can refine your search, such as author, content, format, language, etc. If you become a registered user you can save search results (such as Books I Own) and add notes or reviews.

    Click on a title, and you will get the full catalog entry with all pertinent publication information. At the bottom of the catalog information are a number of links for citations. Clicking on "Cite This Item" will open up a popup window with the catalog information in standard citation style (i.e., APA, CMS, Harvard, MLA, and Turabian). You can easily copy and paste this into your word processor. You can also export the entry directly into EndNote or RefWorks.

    Lower on the results page are a number of tabs: Libraries, Details, Subjects, Editions, and Reviews. The Libraries tab will provide a list of OCLC libraries that have the item in their collection, and their distance from your location. The Details page provides item details as well as user-contributed notes. There is also a place for users to insert the table of contents for the book if they so desire. The Subjects tab provides the subject headings for that book.

    The Editions tab provides information on various editions of the book. One drawback to WorldCat is that member libraries that contribute cataloging information even slightly differently will show a different edition of the work. Examine the entries carefully to determine whether there really are different editions. Finally, the Review tab allows users to write a review of the work.

    Once you locate items in WorldCat, you can go to your public library and request many of them through InterLibrary Loan. Try out, and I’m sure that you will quickly find it a priceless research tool.

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    Spotlight: City Directories on the Web
    by Valerie Beaudrault

    City Directories are very useful resources for anyone who is tracing their family’s history. They serve to place one’s family in the context of the community in which they lived. Because many cities published annual directories, you may be able follow your family through the years. Occupation or place of work may be listed. You may find a spouse’s name and the names of children who became ‘boarders’ in their parents’ homes when they reached age 18. In many cases, an ancestor’s date of departure from the city has been recorded and sometimes you will even find the name of the place to which they moved. An individual’s date of death may also be recorded.

    Old Directory Search
    This website contains the images of 9 digitized city directories from 8 states. Adobe Acrobat Reader is needed to view the city directory images. You will also find a list of city directories in a box at the bottom of the main page. Clicking on these links will bring you to the website. You must subscribe to to search or view these directories. However, you can access a number of other free city directories by clicking on the “Links” link on the Old Directory Search website. This will open a page with links to individual city directories that reside on describes itself as an "Archive of Genealogical Data and Images". There are both images and transcriptions of city directory information for locations in 39 states and in New Brunswick, Canada. The databases are searchable by surname and you can limit your search to a particular state. You can also browse through the city directory collection by geographic location. also offers a number of databases of other types, including school alumni lists, obituaries, military records, vital records, cemeteries and passenger lists. Researchers search the entire collection by surname or limit it by record type.

    Manchester City Archives, New Hampshire

    The on-site collections of the Manchester City Archives, which fall under the Office of the City Clerk, are extensive. They have made two of their resources available to the public online.

    Manchester City Directory, 1869
    The Manchester City Directory database contains a transcription of the original directory for 1869. The data fields included in this alphabetical database are last name, first name, occupation, and street address. The city directory section’s homepage also includes a list of the city’s neighborhoods and brief descriptions of their locations and, sometimes, their origins, as well as the locations of the city’s schools, and churches. In addition, there is an 1879 map of Manchester. Click on the link below the map to enlarge the thumbnail image. You can zoom in more by clicking on the map itself.

    Naturalization and Declaration of Intention Papers
    This database is an index to both declarations of intent and naturalizations recorded in Manchester, New Hampshire, during the period from 1863 through 1888. The data fields include year, last name, first name, country of origin, declaration, and residence. The declaration field provides information on whether the Archives has either the naturalization papers or the declaration of intention papers or both. Copies of these papers can be ordered from the Archives for a fee.

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    Stories of Interest

    Book restorer Zbigniew Niebieszczanski has restored many ornate leather-bound Bibles, but recently received his oldest one to date. Published in 1810, the Brown family Bible was recently brought to his shop in Fort Gibson, Oklahoma, for restoration. Read the story of this well-travelled book in the Tulsa World at

    Dear Myrtle recently posted some interesting observations about the costs of “free” genealogy. Read her comments 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:

    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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