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  • 2007 Archive

  • Vol. 9, No. 5
    Whole #307
    January 31, 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
    * Confronted With Cancer by Edwin M. Knights, MD
    * Name Origins
    * Used Book Sale
    * NEHGS Library Inventory
    * Research Recommendations: Genealogy Podcasts
    * Spotlight: Guinn Local History/Genealogy Center, Thorntown Public Library, Thorntown, Indiana
    * From the Online Genealogist
    * Stories of Interest
    * Upcoming Public Lecture Series
    * Upcoming Education Programs
    * NEHGS Contact Information


    New Databases on New

    Vital Records of Salem Massachusetts to the end of the Year 1849.

    From the introduction:
    “Salem was planted in 1626 by Roger Conant and his associates who came from a fishing settlement at Cape Ann. The first colony of settlers arrived in 1628 under the leadership of Capt. John Endecott. The Indian name for the locality was Naumkeag. Bounds between Salem and Saugus (now Lynn), and Salem and Marble Harbor (Marblehead), were established Mar. 4, 1635. Sept. 7, 1643, part of Salem called Enon was established as Wenham. May 14, 1645, part of Salem called 'Jeffryes Creeke' was set off as the town of Manchester. May 2, 1649, part of Salem was set off as the town of Marblehead. Oct. 14, 1668, part of Salem called 'Bass River' was set off as the town of Beverly. June 20, 1728, part of Salem was included in the new town of Middleton. Jan 28, 1752, part of Salem was set off as the district of Danvers, which afterwards became a town. Much of this territory had been known as 'Salem Village.'

    The original set of six volumes was published by The Essex Institute in 1916. It contains 2,923 pages and lists 29,713 births, 30,193 marriages, and 17,270 deaths. This is the largest series in the collection of pre-1850 Massachusetts vital records.

    This vital records database addition also includes images of the original pages, which can be viewed from the MA VR to 1850 search results page.

    The original volumes are available in the NEHGS Boston Research Library, call no. F74.S1.S136 1916, V.1-6.

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    Confronted With Cancer by Edwin M. Knights, MD

    Is there cancer in you family’s medical pedigree? And if so, how are you going to find it? From death certificates? Obituaries? Perhaps they will help, but death certificates were established as public health documents, not for the enlightenment of genealogists, so don’t get your hopes too high! It may take some real detective work, but it’s certainly worth the try. So let’s get out your family pedigree chart and see how we succeed. Let’s begin with the most recent generations.

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    Name Origins
    by Julie Helen Otto

    LEAPHE, LEAFY (f) – Nickname formed from Puritan virtue-name RELIEF.

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    Used Book Sale

    The NEHGS Sales department has an overstock of certain used book titles that have been priced to move. Most of these titles have been used in the NEHGS research library and have recently been replaced with newer copies. Others have been donated by local libraries and NEHGS patrons, and have been available only at the Family Treasures book store at our Boston facility.

    Prices have been cut by as much as 80% on more than 150 separate titles, many of which have a limited quantity available. Orders will be accepted on a first come, first served basis. The sale price is good only for the titles we have in stock. For a full list of titles available during this sale, along with complete ordering information, please send an email with the words "USED BOOKS" in the subject line to

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    NEHGS Library Inventory

    NEHGS is in the midst of conducting an inventory of the library holdings this week. The library will remain open during the inventory, but each library floor will be closed for a day or two while the collections are inventoried. On the day a floor is closed there will be no access to its materials. The schedule for floor closings for the remainder of the week is: Fourth floor Feb 2; and First floor, Feb. 3. Library closures due to snow emergencies may change the closing schedule

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    Research Recommendations

    Genealogy Podcasts
    by Michael J. Leclerc

    According to, the online encyclopedia, a podcast is:

    a media file that is distributed by subscription (paid or unpaid) over the Internet using syndication feeds, for playback on mobile devices and personal computers. Like 'radio,' it can mean both the content and the method of syndication. The latter may also be termed podcasting. The host or author of a podcast is often called a podcaster. The term "podcast" is derived from Apple's portable music player, the iPod.

    Over the past few years podcasting has become very popular, and as always genealogists are taking advantage of this new technology to increase their knowledge. Podcasts can be downloaded and played on your computer through software like iTunes. Once downloaded the files can be transferred to your MP3 player or burned onto a CD for play in your car.

    Most podcasts are free. Many are available through the iTunes music store free of charge. Many of these podcasts are by well-known authorities such as Dick Eastman, Dear Myrtle, and the Genealogy Guys: George Morgan and Drew Smith.

    The iTunes software is available for free at Once you have downloaded it, you can search the podcasts for genealogy.

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    Spotlight: Guinn Local History/Genealogy Center, Thorntown Public Library, Thorntown, Indiana
    by Valerie Beaudrault


    If you have ancestors who lived in Boone County, Indiana, you might want to take a look at this website. The Guinn Local History/Genealogy Center of the Thorntown Public Library has made a number of resources available online. Thorntown is located in central Indiana, in the northwest corner of Boone County.

    Thorntown Area Records
    Click on the Indexes Online link to access the files, which are printed indexes to a number of library volumes. As all of the indexes are all in PDF format, you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to download or view them. Copies of any items found in these indexes may be purchased from the library for 10¢ per page plus postage. They include the following:

    Local Histories: Thorntown Centurial issued for the Thorntown Centennial, Sept. 24-25, 1930 and Thorntown Sesquicentennial 1830 – 1980.

    Record books for the Russell & Hitch Funeral Home (1938 – 2003) and the LaFollette & Nay Funeral Home (1893 – 1957) in Thorntown and the Russell & Hitch Funeral Home (1945 – 1952) in Lebanon

    Vital Records – clippings from the Lebanon Reporter and Indianapolis Star containing birth, engagement, marriage, anniversary, and death notices.

    Other Indexes: Service Men’s Letter Column Thorntown Times World War II, Local Thorntown Photos at Thorntown Public Library, and Memories of Yesteryear from the Frankfort Times

    Other resources in the Guinn Local History/Genealogy Center include collections of photographs, obituaries, and donated indexes. The library is in the process of creating additional databases.

    Photography Collections
    1936 – 1937 Thorntown, Indiana School Photos: This is an album of school photos that was donated to the library. Every effort has been made to identify the students whose pictures appear in this album. If you know someone who attended school in Thorntown during this period, you should check out this collection.

    Local residents have loaned a number of historical photographs of the Thorntown area to the Library. The photographs have been scanned and uploaded to the website. Click on the Photos of Thorntown area link to view them. In addition there is a collection of photographs of cemetery markers from the Sugar Plain Cemetery.

    Local Cemeteries
    David Guinn, the man for whom the local history center is named, walked many of the cemeteries in the Sugar Creek Township area of Boone County. Mr. Guinn donated all rights to his information to the Thorntown Public Library. His transcriptions of the gravestones in 14 cemeteries can be found on the website. The data fields for each of the cemetery databases include last name, first name, stone inscription, age of the deceased, date of birth and date of death.

    Quaker Links for Thorntown
    There are two histories of Quakers in Boone County on the website — History of Boone County Quakers and History of Sugar Plains Church, Thorntown, Boone County, Indiana. These volumes contain not only a history of the Quaker church and community, since 1827, but also detailed vital records information for members of that community. You will find “names, dates, marriages, birth, deaths, and burials, clerks, pastors, and families.”

    Additional databases include indexes donated by Marilyn Walker — Boone County, Indiana marriages for the period from 1921 through 1923 and the Teacher Record of Visits in the County Record of Superintendence and Statistics — and a collection of online obituaries. Currently obituaries for 5 individuals have been transcribed and uploaded to the website. Volunteers will be adding to this database over time.

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    Stories of Interest

    Lisa Gherardini’s Grave Found
    Who is Lisa Gherardini? Ever since Leonardo Da Vinci immortalized her face in 1506, La Giocanda has puzzled art lovers. Today her countenance hangs in the Louvre, with millions of visitors coming to see her. Better known to the rest of the world as the Mona Lisa, the identity of the sitter has stymied art aficionados for centuries. Italian historian Giuseppe Pallanti has identified her as Lisa Gherardini, wife of Florentine silk merchant Francesco del Giocondo. Gherardini’s grave has recently been located at the former convent of Sant’Orsola. Get details on Discovery News at

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    From the Online Genealogist

    Can you suggest a way to search for War of 1812 pensions at NEHGS? I believe that my ancestor may have qualified for one.

    At NEHGS you can search Virgil D. White’s Index to War of 1812 Pension Files. (Waynesboro, Tenn.: National Historical Pub. Co., 1989) [NEHGS Call # E359.4 .W48 1989]. This title is not online anywhere, and is the best source outside of researching the War of 1812 Pension Index in Washington, D.C. If you determine that there is a pension you wish to look for I would suggest reading some of the online guides from the National Archives of War of 1812 records 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 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

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

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