The Weekly

Edited by Lynn Betlock, Jean Powers, and Valerie Beaudrault
[email protected]
NEHGS Database News
Early Vermont Settlers to 1784 (34 sketches)

This new study project by Scott Andrew Bartley contains modified Register-style genealogical sketches for every identifiable head of household who resided within the present-day borders of Vermont by the year 1784. A list of children, their spouse(s), and all their known vital records accompanies each sketch. The research to date has shown that the head of household occasionally died outside of Vermont and many of the children moved from Vermont to New York, Ohio, and states further west.

This database currently contains 34 sketches and more than 2,100 records. Additional sketches will be released on a monthly basis.

A detailed description of the project appears in the Spring 2015 American Ancestors magazine, pp. 31-32.
Browse the alphabetical list of sketches or search this new database.

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New at the Online Learning Center
Sign up for the FREE Webinar
Early Military Resources at NEHGS--last chance to register!
Tuesday, June 16, 3 p.m. EDT (2 p.m. CDT; 1 p.m. MDT; 12 p.m. PDT)
Presented by: David Allen Lambert, Chief Genealogist
Do you have ancestors who served during the colonial wars, the American Revolution, or the War of 1812? Join military research expert David Allen Lambert to learn about the resources at NEHGS that can help you in your research. Register today!

Can't attend the live broadcast? A recording will be posted to our website the following day.

Featured Webinar
Preparing for Your Visit to NEHGS
(Presented live Tuesday, May 26, 2015, by Jean Maguire, NEHGS Library Director)
Learn how best to prepare for your visit to our library and archives by searching our online catalog, creating a resource checklist, scheduling an in-person consultation, requesting manuscript materials before you arrive, and more. Watch the video.

Register for an Online Course  

Exclusively for NEHGS Members

Using DNA in Your Family History Research
Instructor: Christopher C. Child
Wednesday, June 17, 6-7:30 p.m. EDT (5 p.m. CDT; 4 p.m. MDT; 3 p.m. PDT)
Join genealogist and editor of the "Genetics & Genealogy" magazine column Christopher C. Child to learn what DNA tests exist, the basics of interpreting your results, and how DNA can be used in a practical sense for the family historian. Cost: $35

Effective German Research: Records, Resources, and Repositories
Instructor: Rhonda R. McClure
Wednesdays, July 15, 22, and 29, 6-7:30 p.m. EDT (5 p.m.CDT; 4 p.m. MDT; 3 p.m. PDT)
Germans have been emigrating to America since the seventeenth century and today are the largest self-reported ancestry group in the country. During this three-session online course you will discover key records, resources, and repositories, while gaining important skills and strategies for finding your ancestors. Cost: $75 


Questions? Contact Ginevra Morse, Director of Education and Online Programs. 


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Give to the NEHGS Annual Fund
NEHGS is celebrating its 170th anniversary this year! By recognizing the Society's distinguished past, your Annual Fund donation supports a bright future. Annual Fund donations help to enhance our website capabilities and make our educational programs possible. Please consider a tax deductible gift. Give now.

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Spotlight: LaGrange County Public Library, Indiana
by Valerie Beaudrault, Assistant Editor
LaGrange County Public Library, Indiana

LaGrange County is located in northeastern Indiana. Its county seat is the town of LaGrange. Click the Genealogy link on the LaGrange County Public Library's homepage to access its County History department, which has put a number of guides and links to resources online. Scroll down the page to the Genealogy Links heading. Descriptions of some of the LaGrange County resources are below.

LaGrange County Vital Records
There are four LaGrange County vital records indexes. Three of the indexes--birth, death, and marriage records, were compiled by the Indiana Works Progress Administration (WPA). The birth records index covers 1882 through 1920. The data fields include the child's full name, father's given name, mother's given and maiden names, sex, color, date of birth, and book/page numbers. The death index, 1882 through 1924, includes name of deceased, sex, color, age at death, date of death, place of death, and page/book number. The alphabetical marriage index, 1850 through 1920, includes husband's name or wife's name, spouse's name, date of marriage, and book/page number. The index of LaGrange county divorces, abstracted from LaGrange County court records, covers years between the 1860s and 1938.

Probate Indexes
There are two sets of probate-related indexes in this section. An index to LaGrange County wills, uploaded in two parts, covers the period from the 1840s into the early 1940s. The data includes name of the deceased, date of the will, date of probate, when and where recorded, and notes. The notes field includes bequests, the names of heirs, and references to property owned by the deceased. The other probate-related resource is Book Two (in two parts) of the Sole Heirs of Descendants. The volume contains abstracts listing the heirs of deceased LaGrange County individuals with references to the paperwork filed.

Town by Town Index to the 1890 Federal Census for LaGrange County
The LaGrange County Public Library has microfilm of the 1890 census in its collections. On the library's website you will find indexes for eleven of the county's towns. The data fields include last name, given name, sex, age, and place of birth.

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Ask A Genealogist
by Lynn Betlock, Editor
We occasionally feature "Ask a Genealogist" questions posed to our staff genealogists and their answers. For more about Ask a Genealogist, click here. --Editor.

Question: My ancestor, Captain Finney Leach (1774-1839), was a mariner and ship's captain. I have found dozens of his land deeds and his probate records. He seems to have been fairly successful at his trade and he owned several ships during the course of his career. Now I would like to find further information about his seafaring life. I have located one newspaper article from an 1817 Boston Commercial Gazette about a voyage he made to St. Petersburg, Russia, when he was captain of the brig Victory. I also found a reference to his service during the War of 1812. His gravesite at Burial Hill in Plymouth is marked by a military flag. He was also a founding member of the Plymouth masonic lodge. Where would I find merchant ship manifests, cargo, crew lists, etc., for ships sailing out of Plymouth and Boston? I am not sure which archive or museum to contact.

Answer by Genealogist Rhonda McClure: When it comes to maritime records, two repositories in Massachusetts stand out. The first is the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, which holds more than 400,000 objects. The museum's Phillips Library contains manuscripts, books, pamphlets, newspapers, and documents. If you are planning a visit, you need to apply for a Visiting Research pass. Additional information about their collections and access to their online library catalog is available by visiting the Library's website. The second important repository is the Woods Hole Maritime Museum. Their collection features many items, including ships' logs and other records related to shipping and whaling.

Other institutions outside of the state have maritime resources for Massachusetts. These include Mystic Seaport in Connecticut and the Maine Maritime Museum in Bath, Maine.  

If your ancestor was a founder of a masonic lodge, you should see what information is included on his membership card. NEHGS members can search the Massachusetts Grand Lodge of Masons Membership Cards, 1733-1990, here.

To learn more about your ancestor's involvement in the War of 1812, visit the Naval History and Heritage Command's website. Their page on the Department of Navy Documents in Record Groups at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) for Record Group 45 will be useful. However, if you do not know the name of his ship, then you may find yourself doing a lot of looking through this record set. The National Archives website has a finding aid to this collection. 

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The Weekly Genealogist Survey
Last week's survey asked about your family's oldest wedding photo. 3,461 people took the survey. The results are:
  • 14%, 1850 to 1875
  • 27%, 1876 to 1900
  • 32%, 1901 to 1925
  • 19%, 1926 to 1950
  • 6%, 1951 to 1975
  • 1%, 1976 to 2000
  • 1%, 2001 to 2015   
This week's survey asks about musician ancestors. Take the survey now!

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Stories of Interest
50 Shades of Chambray
"Being a thrilling account of how the Saco-Biddeford [Maine] cotton empire gave rise to a trashy 19th-century literary craze full of torrid affairs, horrendous murders, and ruined females."

Journalist Travels to Spain Hoping to Trace His Ancestry Back to the 15th Century
Journalist Juan O. Tamayo traveled to the Spanish city of Burgos to try to extend his knowledge of his paternal line.

Why the Public Library Once Collected Snails
In the early 1900s, the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County received a number of unusual donations, including snails, a tadpole, four Indian arrowheads, and some rat skins.

7 Fun Genealogy Games for Kids
Inside Toronto columnist Janice Nickerson offers some ideas for introducing kids to family history.

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Free Shipping for Portable Genealogists
The Bookstore at NEHGS is offering free first-class shipping on all of our Portable Genealogists. This series of best-selling quick-reference four-page laminated sheets, written by the experts at NEHGS, cover a wide variety of topics for researchers of all levels, including:
  • Organizing Your Research
  • Using DNA in Genealogy
  • Immigration to the U.S.
  • U.S. Naturalization
  • Building a Genealogical Sketch
  • Genealogical Numbering
  • Applying to Lineage Societies
  • Editorial Stylesheet
  • Problem Solving in Irish Research
  • New York State Census
  • Massachusetts State Census
  • 17th Century New England Research
  • Indexing
  • Reference Notes

NEHGS members receive the member discount!

Order online or call 1-888-296-3447.

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Tours & Education Programs
Salt Lake City Research Tour
October 25-November 1
Experience the world's largest library for genealogy and family history as we return to Salt Lake City and the Family History Library for our thirty-seventh annual research tour. Activities include individual consultations with NEHGS genealogists, lectures, and other special events. The itinerary is now available online. Register today!

Happenings at our Library & Archives in Boston

New Visitor Tour
Where: NEHGS, 99-101 Newbury St, Boston, Mass.
When: Saturday, June 13, 10-11 a.m.
Cost: FREE
This free orientation and tour introduces you to the resources available at the NEHGS research facility and expert staff here to help you navigate it all. You do not have to be a member to participate. Tour attendees are welcome to use our resources following the tour. No registration necessary.
Book Event: Soldier, Engraver, Forger--Richard Brunton's Life on the Fringe in America's New Republic
Where: NEHGS, 99-101 Newbury St, Boston, Mass.
When: Wednesday, June 17, 6-7:30 p.m.
Cost: FREE*
In commemoration of the 240th anniversary of the Battle of Bunker Hill, join author Deborah M. Child for the launching of NEHGS's most recent publication, Soldier, Engraver, Forger--Richard Brunton's Life on the Fringe in America's New Republic. This richly illustrated biography retraces Brunton's steps from the time of his arrival with the British army in Boston in 1774, through the various battles he fought in, including the Battle of Bunker Hill, until his death in the poorhouse in Groton, Massachusetts, in 1832. Book sales, signing, and reception to follow. Register today!

*To register for our free events, you must "Add to Cart" and go through the checkout process--your total will be $0.00.

Questions? Call us at 1-617-226-1226 or email [email protected].
Visit our website to learn more about our upcoming tours and education programs.

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NEHGS Contact Information
99-101 Newbury Street, Boston, MA 02116
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