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  • 2007 Archive

  • Vol. 9, No. 6
    Whole #308
    February 7, 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.

    * Technical Difficulties Last Week
    * New on
    * Coming Soon in the January, 2007 Issue of the Register
    * Name Origins
    * NEHGS Library Holiday Closure
    * Research Recommendations: Connecticut Military Census of 1917
    * Spotlight: Northeast Massachusetts Digital Library (NMDL)
    * From the Online Genealogist
    * Stories of Interest
    * Upcoming Public Lecture Series
    * Upcoming Education Programs
    * NEHGS Contact Information


    Technical Difficulties Last Week

    We apologize to our subscribers for their not receiving the January 31 issue of eNews in a timely fashion. Technical difficulties with our service provider prevented the issue from going out. It has now been sent. It may also be viewed online in the eNews archives at

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    New Databases on New

    Enhancements to the Massachusetts Vital Records to 1850 database

    Our ongoing project to add images and corrections to our ‘Massachusetts Vital Records to 1850’ database continues.

    This week, we are re-releasing the enhanced and corrected vital records of Abington, Rowley, Roxbury, and Scituate. We will continue to release enhanced records on a town-by-town basis as our volunteer team completes the work. When searching records of these towns, you’ll find an ‘image’ link on the search results page that will display the image of the original VR page.

    Want to volunteer to help in this effort? Please contact our volunteer coordinator, Susan Rosefsky, at . To help, you’ll need a PC with Excel, a CD drive, the ability to send email, basic Excel skills, and a penchant for detailed work. Please put ‘MA VR to 1850’ in the subject line of your email to Susan.

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    Coming Soon in the January, 2007 Issue of the Register

    Helen Schatvet Ullmann

    Joseph2 Daggett of Martha’s Vineyard, His Native American Wife,
    and Their Descendants
    R. Andrew Pierce

    Was Mary, Wife of Nathaniel Barker, a Daughter of George1 Kilbourne
    of Rowley, Massachusetts?
    Ernest H. Helliwell III

    A Probable Royal Descent for Thomas Bradbury of Salisbury, Massachusetts
    Marshall K. Kirk

    Samuel Hall (1664–1733) of Taunton and Middleborough, Massachusetts, and Connecticut
    Jane Belcher

    Osmond1 Trask and His Children of Salem and Beverly, Massachusetts
    Deborah Kimball Nowers

    Genealogist John Farmer Discovers His Ancestry: The Warwickshire Family of Edward1 Farmer, Isabel1 (Farmer) (Wyman) (Blood) Green, and Thomas1 Pollard, of Billerica, Massachusetts
    Nathaniel Lane Taylor (continued from 160:272)

    Reviews of Books and CD-ROMs

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    Name Origins
    by Julie Helen Otto

    KETURAH – From Hebrew ‘incense.’ Often seen in several Stonington, Conn., families.

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    NEHGS Library Holiday Closure

    The NEHGS Research Library at 101 Newbury Street will be closed Saturday, February 17, 2007, in observance of President's Day.

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    Research Recommendations

    Connecticut Military Census of 1917
    by Michael J. Leclerc

    As the United States edged closer to entry into World War I, the Connecticut General Assembly ordered a census be taken to “procure certain information relative to the resources of the State,” especially men and materials. The census had many components, requesting information on farms, crops, livestock, automobiles, doctors, nurses, factories, and more.

    The largest part of the census was a survey of manpower in the state. All males over the age of sixteen residing in the state in 1917-1918 were surveyed. Many questions were asked, including name, address, age, height, weight, and marital status. It also asked how many individuals were dependent upon the respondent for support. If he was not a U.S. citizen, the man was asked whether he had filed his first papers, and what his nationality was.

    The census also asked whether the respondent had ever done any “Military or Naval Service in this or any other Country?” This particular question can be very valuable in locating military records for immigrant ancestors. It asked where they served, for how long, in what branch, and what his rank was. This can make it easier to locate service records in their home country.

    If he suffered from a disability, this was noted on the page. Among other questions, it also asked it he could ride a horse, handle a team [of horses], ride a motorcycle, understand telegraphy, operate a wireless, handle a boat, or drive a car. Remember that this was 1917, and many men had never driven a car before.

    They questionnaires were filled out by a military census agent, who signed the bottom of each form. The person being questioned did not sign the form at all.

    The surveys of men and those of nurses have been microfilmed and are available through your local Family History Center. These surveys, while extremely valuable to the state in the war effort, are a major resource for genealogists who have ancestors in Connecticut at that time.

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    Spotlight: Northeast Massachusetts Digital Library (NMDL)
    by Valerie Beaudrault

    The Northeast Massachusetts Digital Library’s website hosts digital collections of members of the Northeastern Massachusetts Regional Library System. Click on the Imagining History Collections link on the website’s homepage to access the digital collections Welcome page. The link to the Advanced Search function is located on the Welcome page. You can perform a keyword search on any or all of the collections in the digital library.

    You can also browse through the individual collections by clicking on the Browse by Collection.

    A number of photography collections have been included.

    Beverly High School, Beverly - Athletics
    This collection contains 45 images from Beverly High School. Many are photographs of sports teams. Click on the thumbnail image to enlarge the image. The detailed description includes the date of the photograph.

    Essex Agricultural & Technical High School, Hathorne (Danvers), MA – Historic photographs
    This collection contains 167 historic images from the Essex Agricultural & Technical High School. While many of the photographs are of the buildings and grounds, others are of individuals. These individuals have been identified in the title or description.

    Lawrence Public Library –Streetscapes & Parades
    The Lawrence Public Library has placed 768 images of street scenes and parades on the website. Click on the thumbnail image to enlarge the image. Click on the subject link on this page will bring up thumbnails of all related images.

    Lynn Public Library – Lynn Picture Collection
    This collection contains 875 images of scenes in and around the city of Lynn, Massachusetts. Click on the thumbnail image to enlarge it. Click on any of the links in the detailed description to bring up thumbnails of related images.

    Peabody Institute Library, Peabody, MA – Boston Mat Leather Company
    This digital collection contains 34 photographs related to The Boston Mat Leather Company, which was located on the corner of Wallis and Walnut Streets in Peabody, Massachusetts. It was in operation from 1917 to 1919.

    Other collections:

    Ipswich Public Library – Antiquarian Papers
    The Ipswich Pubic Library’s contribution to NMDL is a run of Antiquarian Papers published between October 1879 and August 1885. This periodical is focused on people and events in the history of Ipswich. Click on the thumbnail for the issue you would like to see to read the 4-page paper. A summary of the contents of each paper can be found under the Contents Notes in the index of items in the collection.

    Lowell National Historical Park, Lowell, MA – Lowell City Atlases & Aerial Photographs
    The Lowell Natural Historical Park’s contribution to this collection includes 180 items. There are aerial photographs of various locations around the city and digitized atlases for the City of Lowell—Hopkins Street Atlas for 1879; L. J. Richards Street Atlas for 1896; and Richards Map Co. Street Atlas for 1924. Click on the thumbnail of the atlas to bring up the title page. From this page you can access the index to streets, overview maps and the individual plates.

    Saugus Public Library – History of Saugus: books & photographs
    This digital collection contains 989 items. It includes books related to the history of Saugus, Massachusetts, and photographs of scenes around town. As with the other collections, you can click on the thumbnail images to browse through the books or view enlargements of the photographs.

    Stephen Phillips Trust House, Salem, MA – Selected correspondence of Anna P. Phillips
    This collection contains 38 items. It is primarily made up of correspondence written by Mrs. Anna P. Phillips. There are a number of postcards from various countries in Europe in the collection.

    Additional collections include Essex County Heritage Online Exhibits (Echoes) and Local Collections from The Beverly Room, Lynn Public Library, and Peabody (History in Pictures).

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    Stories of Interest Finishes 1841 UK Census (formerly 1837Online) has completed indexing the entire 1841 United Kingdom census. Their search engine offers the widest variety of search variables for this census available anywhere. Check them out at

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    From the Online Genealogist

    Where can I go to get more information on when the 26th New Brunswick Battalion was formed, and where they fought? My great-uncle served with this unit. I have found his records online but not a history of his unit.

    You might care to examine This website will aide you in locating the military background of the Canadian battalions during the first World War. The 26th New Brunswick Battalion Formed at St. John, N.B., on November 4, 1914, and was a part of the 5th Brigade, 2nd Division. To locate the battalions in the 2nd Canadian Division and the battles they fought go to

    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.

    A Cornucopia of Records: Researching Essex County [MA] Ancestors
    David Dearborn, February 14
    First settled by Europeans in 1623, Essex County is one of the most historic parts of New England. More importantly, it was the home to large numbers of settlers, many of whose descendants later migrated West, as well as into southern New Hampshire, Maine, and the Canadian Maritime provinces.

    Essex County has arguably perhaps the most complete and genealogically useful records of any county in New England. Not only are all of the pre-1850 vital records for every town in print, but the early probate and court records are also in print. Over the years there have been several journals devoted exclusively to Essex County genealogy and local history, including the Essex Institute Historical Collections, the Essex Antiquarian, Putnam's Genealogical Magazine, and more recently, the Essex Genealogist. The Register has also included source records and compiled genealogies of many of the county's families. There are good town histories for nearly every town in the county, and many Essex County families have been, and continue to be, the subject of intense genealogical scrutiny and publication. In addition, the NEHGS library has full runs on microfilm of Essex County probate and land records from the early 1600s to the mid-1800s, making the Society a virtual one-stop research center for Essex County genealogy.

    Down to the Sea: Steamboats to Maine
    Tom Wilcox, February 21
    Join the Society’s chief operating officer as he gives an illustrated talk about the steam passenger trade between Boston and Maine that began in earnest after the Civil War and was made obsolete by the automobile by the end of the First World War.  Historic images of steamboats, seaside resorts and the characters who populated the landscape and seascape will be shown. Tom spent more than a decade as Executive Director of Maine Maritime Museum in Bath. 

    Future programs for the first quarter of 2007 include:

    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

    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

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    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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