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  • 2007 Archive

  • Vol. 9, No. 4
    Whole #306
    January 24, 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
    * Ninth NERGC Conference April 26-29, 2007 in Hartford
    * Name Origins
    * Now in Paperback: The Pilgrim Migration: Immigrants to Plymouth Colony, 1620–1633
    * NEHGS Library 2007 Holidays and Early Closings
    * Research Recommendations: Grammar Girl
    * Spotlight: Library Resources: Additional Obituary Databases
    * From the Online Genealogist
    * Stories of Interest
    * Upcoming Public Lecture Series
    * Upcoming Education Programs
    * NEHGS Contact Information


    New Databases on New

    Abstracts of Wills, Administrations and Guardianships in NY State, 1787 - 1835

    This week, an additional 39,802 records have been added to this database from the following counties: Genesee, Greene, New York, Richmond, Suffolk, and Wayne.

    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. 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. The researcher should look under the names of the parent county for estate proceedings of counties formed after 1835.

    This database currently contains abstracts for the following counties: Clinton, Cortland, Delaware, Erie-Niagara, Essex, Franklin, Genesee, Greene, Herkimer, Lewis, Livingston, Madison, Monroe, Montgomery, New York, Niagara, Oneida, Onondaga, Orleans, Oswego, Putnam, Richmond, St. Lawrence, Seneca, Suffolk, Sullivan, 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.

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    Ninth NERGC Conference April 26-29, 2007 in Hartford

    New England CONNECTions, the ninth New England Regional Genealogical Conference, will be held April 26-29, 2007, in Hartford, Connecticut. It promises to build on NERGC’s tradition of excellence in providing genealogical lectures, seminars and workshops; the Ancestors Road Show; a Society Fair; as well as banquets and luncheons, for new and established genealogists alike, at minimal cost.

    Featured speakers include Patricia Law Hatcher, Hank Jones, and Cyndi Howells. In addition, over 45 national, regional, and society-sponsored speakers are on the program, including the following from NEHGS: Henry B. Hoff and Helen Schatvet Ullmann, editor and assistant editor of the Register; David Allen Lambert, the Online Genealogist, and Michael J. Leclerc, director of special projects. NEHGS will also have a booth in the exhibit hall. For more details visit

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    Name Origins
    by Julie Helen Otto

    MAGGIE (f) – Formed from MARGARET.
    MAISIE (f) – Lowland Scottish name formed from MARGARET via its Gaelic form MAIREAD.

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    Now in Paperback: The Pilgrim Migration: Immigrants to Plymouth Colony, 1620–1633
    by Robert Charles Anderson

    This popular book from the Great Migration series is now available in paperback. In it, Robert Charles Anderson tells the story of the Pilgrim Migration by relating the story of each family or individual known to have resided in Plymouth Colony between 1620 (when the Mayflower arrived) and 1633. Each of the more than two hundred sketches provides information on the early histories of these immigrants as well as their New World experiences. This material is followed by complete genealogical accounts, including all marriages and children of the immigrants.

    Reviewing the book, author Nathaniel Philbrick (Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War; the award-winning In the Heart of the Sea) has lauded Anderson’s efforts: “Applying the skills he has perfected in his ongoing Great Migration Study Project, Robert Charles Anderson has created the essential Pilgrim reference work. Here in one volume are concise but richly detailed biographies that are full of scholarly rigor and yet are a pleasure to read. A remarkable work of synthesis and original research, this book will be the bible for Pilgrim studies for a long time to come.”

    David L. Green, CG, FASG, co-editor and publisher of The American Genealogist, says: “Anderson’s scholarship sets new standards, and his accounts are definitive. They are essential for all genealogical libraries and for all historians specializing in the Old Colony.”

    Available from NEHGS for $29.95 at or by phone at 888-296-3447. The hardcover version is still available, at $49.95. For more information, see

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    NEHGS Library 2007 Holidays and Early Closings

    Saturday, February 17, Library Closed - Presidents' Day
    Saturday, May 26, Library Closed - Memorial Day
    Wednesday, July 4, Library Closed - Independence Day
    Saturday, September 1, Library Closed - Labor Day
    Wednesday, November 21, Library Closes at 3:00 PM
    Thursday, November 22, Library Closed - Thanksgiving Day
    Tuesday, December 25, Library Closed - Christmas Day
    Tuesday, January 1, 2008 Library Closed - New Year's Day

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    Research Recommendations

    Grammar Girl
    by Michael J. Leclerc

    One of the great benefits of the age of technology and the internet is the ease with which we can assist each other with knowledge and questions. Mignon Fogarty, a technical writer in Arizona, is using her knowledge of English grammar to help others with their writing questions.

    Mignon’s alter ego is Grammar Girl. Grammar Girl is a self-described “defender of the sacred comma, orator of the mysterious grammar way, and deliverer of practical tips.” Her regular podcasts are filled with short tips on improving your grammar. The podcast is currently the 47th most popular download from Apple’s iTunes online music store.

    The podcasts are brief, running on average 2-3 minutes, and explained grammatical questions and problems in a way that makes them easily understandable. Among her recent podcasts are Grammar Affects Me (affect vs. effect); Excessive Repetitive Redundancy (using redundant acronyms); Don’t You Dare Lay Down, Sally (lie vs. lay); and Saddam Hanged (hang vs. hung as past tense of hang).

    Grammar Girl podcasts are downloadable for free from at

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    Spotlight: Additional Obituary Databases
    by Valerie Beaudrault

    Public Libraries of Saginaw Obituary Index, Michigan
    Saginaw is the county seat of Saginaw County, which is located on Michigan’s Lower Peninsula about 15 miles west of the shores of Lake Huron. This obituary database is an index to more than 200,000 obituaries found in the Saginaw News. The earliest record in the database is from 1860. The database covers the period from then until the present. The search results include the date of the obituary and the name of the deceased arranged alphabetically by last name then first name. Click on the name link to view the detailed record. Data in the detailed record includes the newspaper title, date(s) the obituary appeared, page number, name of the deceased, spouse’s name, child of, date of birth, place of birth, date of death, place of death, and miscellaneous information.

    Miscellaneous information may include the year the individual moved to the U.S. or Saginaw, name of the cemetery in which he or she was buried, information about military service, and other miscellaneous facts such as number of times married and manner of death. The database is a work in progress with data being added on a regular basis. Copies of obituaries (up to 5 per request) can be requested from the library. Currently there is no charge for this service, but donations to the library are gratefully accepted.

    Waushara County Obituary Database, Wisconsin
    Waushara County is located in central Wisconsin about 70 miles north of Madison. The Waushara County Obituary Database is a project of several libraries in the county. The index contains data from obituaries for individuals with ties to Waushara County. They were published in the Oshkosh Northwestern, which began publication in 1868, and Waushara Argus, a weekly newspaper in Wautoma, Wisconsin, which has been published since 1859. Records in the database cover the period from 1864 through 2005. The obituary database can be searched by last name and first name. The resulting match could be the name of the deceased or that of the spouse of the deceased. The search results fields for a Name Only search include last name and first name. They are arranged alphabetically. Click on the name link to view detailed information. The data fields include birth date information, marriage dare information, death date information, children listed in the obituary, relatives listed in the obituary, and the source for the data. Relatives named include siblings, parents, and stepchildren.

    Findlay-Hancock County Public Library Obituary Database, Ohio
    This database is an index to obituary and burial information found in 25 area newspapers and nearly 80 cemeteries located in 18 communities in Hancock County, Ohio. Findlay is in Hancock County, which is located in northwest Ohio. The database can be searched by last name, first name, year published, newspaper name, and cemetery name. The search results fields include last name; first name; day, month, and year; newspaper name and page number, if an obituary appeared; and name of cemetery in which the deceased is buried. While the date range for records in this database is not given, sample searches returned results from both the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

    Specialty Obituary Database
    College of Physicians and Surgeons Obituary Database, Columbia University
    The College of Physicians and Surgeons Obituary Database can be found on Columbia University’s Health Sciences Library Archives and Special Collections website. The database contains the obituaries of 6,300 death notices physicians who graduated from the College of Physicians and Surgeons (P & S). There are also obituaries for some non-P & S graduates. The database includes obituaries from 1909 through 2006. You can search by first name, last name, graduating year and keywords from the obituary summary. Search results fields include record number, name, and graduation year. Click on the name link to view the obituary summary, which also includes the date of death and source citation. You can also browse through the lists of names organized alphabetically by surname.

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    Stories of Interest

    In a story too well-known to genealogists, an eagle-eyed archivist at the Georgia state archives recently located a valuable eighteenth-century document that had been in the archives' posession since 1918, without their knowing they had it. In this instance, the document turned out to be the state's only original copy of the Declaration of Independence from 1777. Read the full story from the Macon Telegraph at

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    From the Online Genealogist

    I have a photograph taken in the 1910s shows my great uncle in Native American apparel with other men, and one in a regular suit. I know we have no Native American ancestry. On the back it says “Frank – 1914 I.O.R.N.” He lived in western Massachusetts and was a member of the Grand Lodge of Masons.

    I think you are looking at a group photo of members of the “T.I.O.R.M.” (not I.O.R.N.). This stands for The Independent Order of Red Men. The organization is descended from the Sons of Liberty. After the War of 1812 the name was changed to the Society of Red Men and in 1834 to the Improved Order of Red Men. They kept the customs and terminology of Native Americans as a basic part of the fraternity.

    The organization still exists as a non-profit organization devoted to inspiring a greater love for the United States of America and the principles of American liberty. The following are the Massachusetts chapters:

    Franklin Tonkawa Council No. 102
    Gloucester Utica Council No. 46
    Greenfield Heelahdee Council No. 85
    Methuen Weetomps Council No. 66
    Southbridge Sago Council No. 70
    Stoneham White Feather Council No. 16
    Wareham Wampanoag Council No. 15.

    For general information and history on the Red Men go to The library and museum for this fraternal organization can be reached at 4521 Speight Ave., Waco, Texas 76711 – Telephone 254-756-1221.

    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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    Upcoming Public Lecture Series

    Our lectures explore a wide range of research skills and sources and are free and open to the public. They are offered in the Richardson-Sloane Education Center at 101 Newbury Street on Wednesdays and Saturdays at 10:00 A.M. unless otherwise stated. Advance registration is not necessary.

    Future programs for the first quarter of 2007 include:

    Feb. 7, Marie Daly, New Visitor Welcome and Library Tour
    Feb. 14, David Dearborn, A Cornucopia of Records: Researching Essex County [MA] Ancestors
    Feb. 21, Tom Wilcox, Down to the Sea: Steamboats to Maine
    March 3 (Saturday at 10:00 am), Marie Daly, New Visitor Welcome and Library Tour
    March 7, Joshua Taylor, Creating Your Personal Genealogical Website
    March 14, David Lambert, Getting the Most from NEHGS Databases
    March 17 (Saturday at 10:00 am), Shelley Barber and Marie Daly, Researching Immigrant Documents: The Prendergast Letters
    March 21, Martin Hollick, New Englanders in the 1600s
    March 28, Rhonda McClure, Using Your Computer for Genealogical Analysis


    For more information about lectures offered by New England Historic Genealogical Society, please go to the Education homepage at or call 1-888-286-3447.

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    Upcoming Education Programs

    African American Genealogical Research Seminar
    Saturday, February 10, 2007
    This day-long seminar begins with tips on getting started on African American genealogical research, then progresses to lectures on southern slave ancestors and African Americans in pre-Civil War New England. There will also be an overview of pertinent manuscripts in the NEHGS Archives. Presenters include Kenyatta D. Berry, independent scholar; David Allen Lambert, NEHGS online genealogist; Judy Lucey, NEHGS assistant archivist; and Timothy Salls, NEHGS archivist. This program is co-sponsored by the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society, New England Chapter.

    Registration fee: $75
    For additional information and to register please visit

    Research Week in Washington, D.C.
    Sunday, February 25 - Sunday, March 4, 2007
    Join us for our popular trip to the nation’s capital which offers a wealth of research opportunities for genealogists. Enjoy the benefits of working with our expert staff at the Library of Congress (LC), the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) Library and at the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).
    Sign up now at

    Each year the Society presents a large number of lectures, seminars, and tours for genealogists. The following major programs will be held March-November 2007:

    Writing Your Family History: Organizing Your Material and Getting Started Saturday, March 31, 2007
    Seminar in Boston

    Genetics and Genealogy Saturday, April 21, 2007
    Seminar in Boston

    Research Day at NARA Northeast Region Wednesday, May 16, 2007
    Location: Waltham, MA

    Come Home to New England #1 Monday, June 18–Saturday, June 23, 2007
    Tutorial program with consultations in Boston

    Come Home to New England #2 Monday, August 6–Saturday, August 11, 2007
    Tutorial program with consultations in Boston

    English Family History Research Tour to London Sunday, September 9–Sunday, September 16, 2007
    Lodging: Holiday Inn Bloomsbury

    Research Tour to Salt Lake City Sunday, October 28–Sunday, November 4, 2007
    Lodging: Salt Lake Plaza Hotel

    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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