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  • 2007 Archive

  • Vol. 9, No. 48
    Whole #350
    November 28, 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.

    * NEHGS President and CEO Mid-Term Letter
    * New on
    * NEHGS in the News
    * Name Origins
    * Holiday Sales Specials
    * Research Recommendations: Genealogy Cruises
    * Spotlight: Bible Records Online
    * Stories of Interest
    * From the Online Genealogist
    * Upcoming Education Programs
    * NEHGS Contact Information


    NEHGS President and CEO Mid-Term Letter

    Dear Friends,

    Our news is good. The New England Historic Genealogical Society continues to prosper. I am very proud that our 2007 fiscal year ended on August 31st so strongly. Our fundraising and operating revenues were ahead of plan, and with careful management of expenses, we ended the year in a cash-positive position. In the same year, we completed our Strategic Planning process; further strengthened the management team with new additions in Marketing, Research, Education, and Finance; published eight first-class books (including a new Great Migration volume); participated in national conferences; held programs and visited with members throughout the country; publicly launched our "Preserving New England’s Records" campaign; began developing a Capital Campaign strategy; and successfully negotiated new initiatives with for-profit and nonprofit partners. In addition, we saw a goodly increase in our number of upper level members and website use continued to grow at an impressive pace. As I look back now, I am struck by how much was accomplished in FY2007. Most of all, I am grateful to you for your important support during this milestone year. We are fortunate to have so many talented individuals involved in our ongoing operations, on our Board and Council, and among our members at large. Many opportunities and challenges still lie before us, so your continuing help is always appreciated.

    Read the full letter.

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    New Databases on New

    Vital Records of Mansfield, Connecticut to 1850

    From the introduction:

    “Miss Ellen D. Larned's valuable History of Windham County, tells us that Mansfield was included in a tract of land left by Joshua, third son of a Mohegan chief, to Capt. John Mason and fifteen other gentlemen from Norwich. After the tract was surveyed, and divided into lots, three sites were 'selected for villages. The Hither Place, now Old Windham village, the Ponde Place, now Mansfield Centre, and the valley of the Willimantic, near the site of the present Willimantic Borough.'

    "The town of Mansfield was incorporated in May, 1703, but it was not until 1710 that Mr. Eleazer Williams, son of Rev. John Williams of Deerfield, Mass, was ordained a pastor of the first church.

    "In 1737, the town was divided into North and South Parishes, and in 1744 a second church was established in the North Parish, over which Rev. Wm. Thorp from Lebanon, was ordained as pastor. There are very few records of the second church in its early days.

    "In all these old records, I find what are evidently the same names, spelled differently; for instance, Slaughter and Slafter, Royse and Royce, Dimuck, Dimmick, or Dimock. Often under the same entry, you will find all the different spellings. I have copied them according to original spelling as far as possible. The records of Coventry, Conn., have been received with so much appreciation, that I have been encouraged to compile the records of Mansfield, Conn.”

    This database contains 8,141 births and baptisms, 4,001 marriages, and 1,553 deaths. This volume is also available in our Boston research library, call number F104/M2/D5 1898.

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    NEHGS in the News

    New England Cable News (NECN) reporter Greg Wayland recently visited the Society’s Boston headquarters for a story on family history. President and CEO D. Brenton Simons, Archivist Tim Salls, and Director of Special Projects Michael J. Leclerc, walked him through the library, showed him pieces from our collections, and assisted him in researching some of his family. The story was broadcast on NECN over the Thanksgiving holiday.

    You can watch the video, titled “Tracing Ancestry with Genealogists” on the NECN area on

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    Name Origins
    by Julie Helen Otto

    Sound shifts to watch for: Intervocalic L to R
    Depending on their places in a syllable (or how the language pronounces them, thus where they are formed in the mouth), “l” and “r” often interchange (as in SARAH to SALLY, or Spanish CATALINA for English CATHERINE).

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    Holiday Sales Specials

    The NEHGS Sales Department is happy to offer holiday sale pricing on a number of our most popular titles, just in time for your holiday shopping! Special pricing is available on The Ancestry of Diana, Princess of Wales, New York Essays and more than a dozen holiday bundles.

    Find out more about our specials at

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    Research Recommendations: Genealogy Cruises
    by Michael J. Leclerc

    According to the Maritime Administration of the U.S. Department of Transportation, 2.65 million passengers were carried on the seventeen largest cruise lines in North America during the first quarter of 2007. With that many people interested in cruises, it is no surprise that we are starting to see a lot of interest in genealogical cruises. In the past two years more than 1,000 genealogists have participated in these trips. I was lucky enough to be a presenter on two of them.

    These seminars at sea are similar to any other genealogy educational event; multiple tracks of lectures are offered five times a day. Some of the best genealogists in the country give the same lectures you would see at a conference. Lectures are held on days at sea, leaving participants to enjoy their time ashore when the ship is in port.

    Genealogy cruises are different from major conferences, however, in that there are far fewer participants on the cruises. Lecture rooms are smaller and thus more intimate. The atmosphere is more relaxed. All of the cruises provide opportunities for participants to share meals with speakers, giving the chance for less formal interaction.

    Are genealogy cruises better than conferences? No. Are they different? Yes. Comparing them is like comparing apples and oranges.

    National conferences have a wider variety of classes from which to choose. There are also a larger number of speakers to hear. They offer exhibit halls where the latest books, software, websites, and other genealogy-related products are available. And they offer participants the chance to research in local repositories. Local research is not always feasible on a cruise, as your time ashore may be limited to 8–10 hours or even less. That said, one participant on this year’s RootsMagic cruise did manage to carve out some time to research in Charlotte-Amalie in St. Thomas, where her grandfather had lived for a time in the early twentieth century.

    Even very large cruise ships have limited facilities, thus restricting the number of genealogy-related sessions that can be held. But cruises do offer many other activities which can entertain non-genealogist cruise companions while you are busy with your classes. And there are extensive options for evening entertainment. Two weeks ago I took in an ice show with extremely talented skaters while we were cruising through Caribbean.

    The costs for a genealogy cruise are obviously higher than those of single-day, local seminars. However, you may find that the costs are quite similar to those of multi-day state and national conferences. Unlike conference fees, cruise fees includes lodging and all meals. (Believe me when I say that cruise ships serve more food than you could possibly consume!)

    As genealogists, we should always strive to participate in educational events, be they local seminars, state or national conferences, or tours. It is up to individual researchers to determine what their needs are.

    For example, when a national conference is on the other side of the country, you may find a genealogy cruise that year leaving from your area, making travel less expensive. One thing is for certain: you are likely to find an increasing number of opportunities for genealogy cruises in the coming years.

    Several cruises have already been booked for the coming year with such nationally known speakers as Elizabeth Shown Mills, Megan Smelenyak Smolenyak, Craig Scott, Robert Charles Anderson, Cyndi Howells, Paul Milner, John Philip Coletta, George C. Morgan, and Dick Eastman.

    I myself will be participating in two upcoming cruises: the Genealogy Seminar at Sea, October 25–November 1, 2008, and the Irish Genealogy Seminar and Cruise, sponsored by The Irish Ancestral Research Association, January 10–18, 2009. I hope to see you on one of these cruises in the future.

    Irish Genealogy Seminar and Cruise (TIARA), January 10–18, 2009
    Genealogy Seminar at Sea, October 25–November 1, 2008
    Family History Cruise 2008 (RootsMagic), September 28–October 5, 2008

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    Spotlight: Bible Records Online
    by Valerie Beaudrault

    I came upon this website last week, as I was searching for sites containing vital records databases. The database contains family records more than 1,100 individual Bibles. As noted on the homepage, the “site is dedicated to transcribing and digitizing the contents of family records that were written inside family Bibles and in other important documents . . . “

    Each Bible record contains, at least, a transcription and, in many cases, actual page images. Additional information includes the source of the transcription, location and ownership of the Bible, and a list of surnames included in the family record. In some cases the Bibles owned by others have been reunited with descendants. Researchers can search the Bible records, browse the Bible lists, or browse through the list of surnames for those of interest.

    Keyword Search: Researchers can run a keyword search of the database to generate a list with links to all instances in which the keyword appears in a Bible record found in the database. Just click on the link to view the transcription and images, if available.

    Browse the Bibles: Researchers can browse through a list of all of the family Bibles found on the site. The list is organized alphabetically by primary surname found in the record. The remaining data fields are a list of other surnames included, location(s), if known, and the dates covered by the family record. Click on the Primary Surname link to access the family record. If there is a cameral icon next to the surname, there will be digital images of the family record pages, as well. Click on the thumbnail image to enlarge the page.

    Browse the Surnames: Researchers can browse through lists of surnames, which are organized in separate alphabetical-order lists. The data fields include the surname and a link to the page with the family Bible record on which that surname is found.

    A separate listing of Bibles with family records that are not in English has been compiled. For the most part, these Bible records are in digital image format only. As a result, researchers cannot use the search function to access them.

    Centre County Genealogical Society, Pennsylvania

    As its name indicates, Centre County is located in the center of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The county seat is Bellefonte. It is also the home county of Pennsylvania State University.

    The Centre County Genealogical Society has placed a collection of family bible records on its website. The family Bible records on the site all have a Centre County connection to them. Collecting family Bible records to share on the website is an ongoing project of the society. Currently there are eight Bible records on the site. The records on the site include a transcription and actual page images. Please note that the images are in PDF file format. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view them.

    The fields in the list of Bibles in the online collection include the family full names, other surnames found in the family record, and the date range.

    The Centre County Genealogical Society also has a county map and information about its Cemetery Inventory Project and a cemetery list on its site, as well as a link to a 1930 Census Index for the county and other resource links.

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    Stories of Interest

    Edwards “Family Tree” is a Fern
    Evelyn Edwards of Newport News, Virginia, possesses a living legacy from her grandmother — a fern first started in 1893. The original story was published in the Daily Press, and was reprinted in The Providence Journal online at

    Vermont Maps Online
    The Vermont State Archives has digitized hundreds of maps, some dating back to the mid-eighteenth century, and is making them available on their website. Read the details in a piece by Associated Press reporter Wilson Ring at

    Tracing Grandmother’s Travels
    The December 2007 issue of Travel and Leisure magazine includes a wonderful article by Patricia Morrisroe. After her grandmother, Ida Albertine Stein, died, Morrisroe inherited some of her possessions. Among them three worn photo albums with images from Ida’s extensive travels. Morrisoe used the albums (and genealogical databases) to retrace some of her grandmothers adventures around the world. You can read the full story at

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    From the Online Genealogist

    I recently received a death record from the city of Boston for an ancestor who died in 1896. The whole death record makes sense to me but her place of burial. I live in Montana so I do not know if there is a neighborhood in Boston called Woodlawn, but there does not appear to be a cemetery on Woodlawn Street either. Can you help me find this cemetery?

    Due to the overcrowding of cemeteries in Boston proper by the second half of the nineteenth century, many families were buried in outlying towns. I am certain that the Woodlawn indicated on her death record is Woodlawn Cemetery in Everett, Massachusetts. This cemetery is not far from the Boston, and is the last resting place of quite a few Bostonians. The cemetery was created in 1852, and has operated a crematorium for a number of years. The cemetery can be reached over the internet at

    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 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. For more information, please contact Ryan Woods at 617-226-1226 or

    The following programs will be held December through January 2007:

    New Visitor Welcome & Library Tour
    Wednesday, December 5, 2007, 10 a.m. and Saturday, January 5, 2008, 10 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.

    The Acadian Deportation
    Saturday, December 8, 2007, 10:00 a.m.
    Lucie LeBlanc Consentino, author and owner of the website the Acadian & French Canadian Ancestral Home ( will speak about the forced deportation of Acadians from Nova Scotia during the Great Diaspora between 1755 and 1763.

    The Ancestry of Diana, Princess of Wales
    Wednesday, December 12, 2007, 10:00 a.m.
    Gary Boyd Roberts, NEHGS Senior Research Scholar Emeritus, will cover both Diana’s English ancestry, often noble, and the New England and American forebears of her mother, plus surprising American immigrant kin of her English and Scottish ancestors.

    Getting the Most from NEHGS Databases
    Wednesday, January 9, 2008 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.

    By Faith Alone
    Wednesday, January 23, 2008, 6:30 pm
    Join NEHGS for a special evening with distinguished journalist and CNBC anchor Bill Griffeth as he discuses his new book, By Faith Alone: One Family’s Epic Journey Through American Protestantism. The lecture will be followed by a book singing and reception. A minimum $15 donation is requested.

    Seminars and Tours
    For more information or to register for any of these events, please contact Ryan Woods at 617-226-1226 or

    Weekend Research Getaway
    #1 Thursday, February 7–Saturday, February 9, 2008
    #2 Thursday, April 10–Saturday, April 12, 2008
    Weekend Research Getaways in Boston are among the most popular NEHGS programs in recent years. Escape to 101 Newbury Street and experience a guided research program, with one-on-one consultations and special access to the collections. Whether you are a first-time participant or have participated in a guided research program before, an on-site visit to NEHGS with our expert staff is sure to further your research. Bring your charts and expect some breakthroughs!
    Registration fees: $300 for the three-day program; $100 for a single day.
    For more information visit

    Technology and Genealogy Seminar
    Friday, February 22–Saturday, February 23, 2008
    NEHGS is proud to host a two-day, in-depth seminar exploring the important relationship between technology and genealogy. Over the course of the seminar, participants will hear from staff experts on Internet search techniques, customizing your Internet experience, electronic database-building, scanning software, and the newest trends in must-have hardware and software.
    Registration fee: $150

    Quebec Research Tour
    Sunday, June 15–Sunday, June 22, 2008
    Celebrate the 400th anniversary of the founding of Quebec by joining NEHGS staff experts Pauline Cusson and Michael J. Leclerc for a research week in Montreal, Quebec. Take advantage of this unique opportunity to explore the great resources of the archives with two of the Society’s staff experts, as well as the staff and volunteers at the archives. The archives hold documents from the earliest settlement of Quebec through the English period down to the twentieth century. Participants will receive one-on-one consultations, providing guidance and suggestions for research. Whether your ancestors spoke French or English, the archival records will help you to break through your brick walls and discover where they came from.
    Registration fees (includes seven nights lodging at the Hôtel Les Suites Labelle): Single, $1,550; Double, $1,350 per person; Double with non-participant, $1,850; Commuter, $775 (no lodging).


    Great Migration Tour to England
    Tuesday, August 5–Friday, August 15, 2008
    Based in Chelmsford, England, this inaugural Great Migration tour with Robert Charles Anderson will visit the historically significant locations in Essex and Hertfordshire counties associated with the families who migrated to New England in 1631, 1632, and 1633. The primary focus of the tour will be the migrations and activities connected to four influential ministers of the period: Thomas Hooker, John Eliot, Thomas Weld, and Roger Williams.
    Registration fees: $3,995 per person.

    Other 2008 Tours
    Massachusetts Archives Research Day

    Thursday, March 27, 2008

    National Archives Research Day
    Thursday, May 22, 2008

    Come Home to New England
    #1 Monday, June 23–Saturday, June 28, 2008
    #2 Monday, August 11–Saturday, August 16, 2008

    Salt Lake City Research Tour
    Sunday, November 2–Sunday, November 9, 2008

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

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