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  • 2007 Archive

  • Vol. 9, No. 50
    Whole #352
    December 12, 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
    * NEHGS Holiday Closures
    * Make a Gift to NEHGS This Holiday Season
    * Name Origins
    * Holiday Sales Specials
    * Research Recommendations: FamilySearchLabs
    * Spotlight: South Dakota State Historical Society
    * Stories of Interest
    * From the Online Genealogist
    * Upcoming Education Programs
    * NEHGS Contact Information


    New on

    Vital Records of Weston, Mass. to 1850
    Click here to search the database

    From the introduction:
    “In addition to the Town Records, private records of Births, Deaths, and Marriages have been printed. These include the list of deaths, about five hundred in number, kept by the Rev. Samuel Woodward from 1751 to 1782, and continued by a later hand to 1786; one kept by Mrs. Rebecca Baldwin, 1762-1788; one kept by Mrs. Miranda Kendal, 1814-1833; and also the names and dates upon the gravestones which were erected in the four cemeteries previous to November, 1900. Some discrepancies in these lists show that the date of death and burial were sometimes confounded. Very few of these deaths are recorded upon the town books. Dr. Kendal, in his Century Sermon, Jan. 12, 1813, says that he has no correct source from which to ascertain the number of deaths during the first century of the town's existence, but that during his own ministry of about thirty years, beginning in 1783, there had been four hundred and sixteen. By actual count, the town records contain but nine of these. He must, therefore, have obtained the list from a manuscript of his own. It becomes interesting to inquire what became of this record. It seems to have disappeared with the first volume of the town records (1695-1754), the last notice of which dates from Dr. Kendal's Century Sermon, preached a short time before his death. The town will be glad to hear from either or both of these records. Some of the names on Dr. Kendal's list have been recovered from private sources, gravestones, etc., but of many of them there is now no record

    "The dates, pages 228-233, have been supplied from Family Registers. The marriages from 1815 to 1839 were probably all returned at the last date, in most cases the year only being reported.

    “In addition to the data found in this book, birthdays and ages are found in the book of Tax Lists, pages 45-49, and lists of schoolchildren, with ages, in the Records of the Town Clerk, 1804-1826, pages 400-417. The Tax Lists themselves (since few escaped taxation) are of great value.

    “The baptisms and other records from the Church books have been included, since these form a valuable supplement to those of the town, the record of baptism often being the only mention of a person. The Rev. William Williams kept a very complete record of persons connected with the church while he had charge of the church books, from 1709 to 1751. From 1709 to 1825 the town had oversight of the church in everything but spiritual matters, voting the minister's salary, providing gravestones at his decease, and making arrangements for the ordination of his successor. The church records during this time and a few later entries from note-books of the Rev. Dr. Field have been printed in full with the exception of certain cases of public acknowledgment and the details of two cases of church discipline. As these seemed to serve no good purpose at the present day, they have been omitted. Similar records may be found in the church histories of the period. There is a complete copy of these records in manuscript.”

    This database contains 3,302 births, 2,717 baptisms, 3,004 marriages 2,701 marriage intentions, 3,541 deaths, 968 church admissions, 177 church dismissals, 193 errata records, and 958 ‘other’ records. The images of the original book pages may be viewed from the search results page.

    This volume is also available in our Boston research library, call number F74.W74 W57 1901.

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    NEHGS Holiday Closures

    The NEHGS research library will be open Saturday, December 22, and Saturday, December 29, 2007. The administrative offices will be closed on Monday, December 24. The administrative offices will be open from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Monday, December 31. The research library is closed on Mondays. Both the research library and administrative offices will be closed December 25 and January 1.

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    Make a Gift to NEHGS This Holiday Season

    During this Holiday Season, give a donation in honor of a friend or loved one. Your continuing support of the Society helps us provide you with quality genealogical databases online, research trips and lectures, and a knowledgeable staff of genealogists here to help with your research needs. Without your support, these resources would not be possible. A gift to our Annual Appeal to help us keep America’s family stories and history alive. Support NEHGS Now.

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    Name Origins
    by Julie Helen Otto

    Sub-Categories of Names
    GOD (LOVE OF) – THEOPHILUS/THEOPHILA, PHILOTHEA [from Greek], AMADEUS [from Latin]. A curious jumble is THEODATE (f), with first element Greek, the second Latin.

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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 in our online store, click here.

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    Research Recommendations: FamilySearch Labs
    by Michael J. Leclerc

    Few organizations have done as much for genealogical research as the Family History Library of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (FHL). From microfilming records around the world to computer technologies such as the International Genealogical Index, Ancestral File, and Pedigree Resource File, the FHL has been an indispensable resource for decades. And has long made their materials much more accessible. Now the team at FamilySearch is working to develop new tools for genealogists to make their work easier. How do you find out the latest tools they are working on? Visit FamilySearch Labs.

    FamilySearch Labs shows their newest technologies in progress. It is important to remember that all of the projects at FamilySearch Labs are beta versions. They do not have the full functionality that final products will have. Indeed, some of the projects may not end up being deployed to the public at all. But they are a great way to try new technologies. And the developers can use your help by testing the features of the projects and giving feedback on how they work for you, or how you think they can work better.

    One successful project that has already been released is FamilySearch Indexing. Volunteers extract information from digital images of documents to create searchable indexes. Among the projects currently being indexed by FamilySearch Indexing are census records from the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and Mecklenburg as well as vital records from Arkansas and Indiana — even Nicaragua. NEHGS is working with FamilySearch Indexing to index the 1855 and 1865 Massachusetts State Census for Boston. Eventually the indexes and images will be made available to the public.

    Three products currently under development are the Pedigree Viewer, Standard Finder, and Record Search. The Pedigree Viewer is a new graphical interface for viewing your genealogical database files and navigating through them. You can zoom in and out to see as much of your tree as you like. You can expand and condense the information presented on individuals, look at ascendencies or descendancies, and view other spouses. You can search the pedigree by last name or first name. You even print out the pedigree chart.

    The Standard Finder is a new search mechanism the will search for a standardized name, date or place, based upon your input. For example, a search for “Boston” returned 100 places throughout the world. It even returned some possible spelling variants, such as Baystan and Bustan in Uzbekistan. A name search for “Michael” returned almost 300 variants from different cultures around the world.

    The Record Search is a new search interface. You can search or browse a number of collections that have been scanned and indexed by FamilySearch Indexing. Some of the databases are text only, but many include images of the original records. Some of the databases include only the images, with no name searchability. This beta version includes a number of census records, passenger arrival lists, draft registrations, land records, court records, and vital records.

    You can search all of the databases at once, or click on the title to search an individual database. The search box is universal, and allows you to search by first name, last name, beginning and ending years, country, and first or last names of parents and spouses. The individual database page includes detailed information about that database. You can adjust the font size to make the text easier to read.

    You can narrow search results by place, date, gender, first names, or rank. Hovering over the names link will give you a popup with a synopsis of the transcribed information. If the database has images, you can click on a link on the right to display the image. You can zoom in and out, display a negative version of the image, save it, or print it out.

    Among the databases currently available with images:

    • Vermont Land Records, Early to 1900
    • Freedman Bank Records, 1865–1874
    • Georgia Deaths, 1914–1927
    • Ohio Deaths, 1908–1953
    • Utah Death Certificates, 1904–1956
    • New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island) 1892–1924
    • 1895 Argentina Census
    • 1900 U.S. Census

    In order to use the Record Search you must first register with FamilySearch Labs. Simply fill out your email address and contact information and submit it. FamilySearch Labs will soon contact you with confirmation of your registration.

    Please remember two things. First, this is a beta test site. That means that full functionality is not always available and things won’t always work the way you want them to. Also, the best way to make these products as useful as possible for you is to submit feedback. There is a feedback link on every page, in the upper-right corner. Click on the link, fill out the easy form, and let them know how they are doing. And don't forget to thank them for their great work.

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    Spotlight: South Dakota State Historical Society
    by Valerie Beaudrault

    The South Dakota State Historical Society has made several resources available on its website. They include a number of exhibits related to the state’s history and a few searchable databases.

    The next two databases can be accessed from links on the homepage.

    Newspaper Vital Records Index
    This searchable database is an index to vital records information found in South Dakota newspapers from the nineteenth century to the present. The database contains about 200 records up through 1876. From 1877 through 1882 there are approximately 2,500 records and after 1882, more 1,000 records per year. Researchers can select a particular vital event and a date range. You can search the index by first name, last name, and newspaper title. The data fields in the search results include the record type, full name, city or county, newspaper title, and date on which the record appeared in the newspaper. Click on the name links to view the notes field that may contain information such as other names mentioned in the article.

    1885-Civil War Census
    The Dakota Territory was home to veterans of both the Confederate and Union armies. This database is an index to the 1885 special census taken of Civil War veterans living in Dakota Territory. The index to Confederate Veterans has been completed. The data fields in the index include last name, first name, regiment, date of enrollment, state of origin, and county of residence in the Dakota Territory. The list can be organized by last name or by county. Click on the last name link to view an image of the census page.

    Currently, volunteers from the South Dakota State Historical Society are entering the data for 5,875 Union soldiers from 45 counties census into the database. When complete, the list and associated images will be added to the website.

    Naturalization Records Index
    Click on the Archives link and then on the ‘For Genealogists’ link to view the Naturalization Index. The database contains two alphabetical indexes. One is an index to First Papers and the other to Second Papers filed by immigrants to the Dakota Territory/South Dakota.The data fields for the First Papers include last name, first name, county of residence, date of intent, birth country, page, and location. Use Quick Search to search for information in any field in the database except for page and location. Enter a year in the search box to find all records for that year. The data fields for the Second Papers include last name, first name, county of residence, final date, birth year, country renounced, page, and location.

    Click on the Exhibits link on the website homepage to access the following exhibits:

    The Dakota Experience
    This exhibit is a work in progress. There is currently one module on the website. The exhibit with words, digitized historical documents and images, as well as interactive features, examines the creation of communities on the frontier between 1860 and 1880. The documents in this exhibit are from the Archives collection and they cover topics including the ‘Wild West,’ Christian missionaries among the Indians, and territorial politics.

    Lewis and Clark in South Dakota
    This online exhibit follows the travels of Lewis and Clark through South Dakota using maps, images of artifacts, and excerpts from the explorers’ journals.

    Dakota Profiles
    The Dakota Profiles exhibit consists of thumbnail photographs of sixteen individuals with significant places in South Dakota’s history. Click on the thumbnail to enlarge the photograph and read a biographical sketch.

    Governor Mike Rounds’ Ancestry: Tracing His South Dakota Roots
    This section of the website reproduces a physical exhibit, which is located in the Historical Society’s Archives research room. This exhibit traces the Governor’s ancestry and was created by the Governor’s father and Archives staff.

    Chicago & Northwestern Railroad Bridge Construction 1905–1907
    The link to this exhibit is located on the website’s homepage. The exhibit contains both photographs and a narrative, documents the building of the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad Bridge across the Missouri River. This bridge gave residents of the city of Pierre a safe way in which to cross the river and head west.

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    Stories of Interest

    Now That’s a Matrilineal Line
    Tayla Daley’s birth on November 16 was a rare event. She was welcomed into the world by her mother, Amber, grandmother, Leonie, great-grandmother Vivian, great-great-grandmother Violet, and great-great-great-grandmother Margaret. Six generations of women. You can read more in the Waikato Times at

    Indiana Genealogist Helps Reunite Family
    Tara Nelson went to Willard Library in Evansville, Indiana, with a few details about her birth mother. Within a few minutes Dorothea Diefenbach-Hines had helped her find not only her birth mother’s name, but her telephone number as well. A tearful reunion soon occurred. Reporter Gavin Lesnick reported the story in the Evansville Courier & Press, which you can read online (complete with video) at

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    From the Online Genealogist

    I have a photocopy from the book by Nancy S. Voye, Massachusetts Officers in the French and Indians War 1748-1763 (Boston, Mass., NEHGS, 1975). Next to the name of my ancestor is a year and (d). Does this indicate the date he died? If so I have a lot more research to look over, and I may not be related to him.

    You can feel more confident about your ancestor’s identity now. This actually does not indicate that the soldier died. The preface of the book explains that “A date followed by a ‘(d)’ notation indicates that the year of military service was not identified on the rolls and that it cannot be inferred; therefore, the ‘(d)’ date is the year in which the rolls were endorsed or dated.”

    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, click here. 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 January 2008:

    New Visitor Welcome & Library Tour
    Saturday, January 5, 2008, 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
    Wednesday, January 9, 2008 10:00 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.

    Lafayette in America 1824 and 1825
    Monday, January 28, 2008, 6:30 pm
    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, the Society of the Cincinnati in the State of Connecticut, and the Consulate General of France in Boston, NEHGS will co-host a talk by author Alan Hoffman on his new unabridged English translation of Auguste Levasseur’s Lafayette en Amérique en 1824 et 1825. A book signing and reception will follow. A minimum $25 donation is requested.

    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 signing 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.

    Technology and Genealogy Seminar
    Friday, February 22–Saturday, February 23, 2008
    NEHGS is proud to offer a two-day in-depth seminar exploring the important relationship between technology and genealogy. NEHGS staff experts will provide lectures, demonstrations, and discussions focusing on key aspects of technology in family history research. Topics will include internet search techniques, evaluations of genealogical software, use of PDAs in genealogical research, how scanning can improve your data collection, organizing your research with Microsoft, and digital assistance in the publishing age. Participants will also have an opportunity to enter a drawing for software packages, including Adobe Photoshop Elements and ACDSee PhotoManager.
    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 Michael J. Leclerc and Pauline Cusson for a research week in Montreal, Quebec. This unique opportunity will allow participants to take advantage of two premier Canadian repositories, the Société Généalogique Canadienne-Française (SGCF) and the Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec (BAnQ). These 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; 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 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: Registration is full. To be added to the wait-list, please contact Ryan Woods.

    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 Program and Events 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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Boston, Massachusetts 02116, USA

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