American Ancestors by NEHGS Announces an Unprecedented, Historic Event for Genealogists: A BILLION Records FREE!

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April 6, 2016—Boston, Massachusetts— America’s oldest and largest genealogical society announces a historic event for family historians around the world. From April 6 to April 13, American Ancestors by New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) is offering FREE access to all of its online records on AmericanAncestors.org. More than one billion records covering 18 countries— including the most important family history research materials for early America created by the experts and scholars at NEHGS—and all are open to anyone who registers for a free account. Start searching now at AmericanAncestors.org/Free-Billion.

To assist family historians of all levels in locating more pieces of the family tree puzzle, NEHGS is granting this unprecedented free access to its entire collection of genealogical databases from Wednesday, April 6, 2016, at 12:00 a.m. (EDT) through Wednesday, April 13, 2016, at 11:59 p.m. (EDT). Free accounts on AmericanAncestors.org ordinarily allow visitors only a sample of the vast offerings that NEHGS provides family historians of all levels. This unprecedented free access promotion by NEHGS from April 6 through April 13 offers the Society’s entire collection of online content for eight full days to anyone who registers for a free account.

About American Ancestors and NEHGS

Holding the largest collection of original family history materials in the country, the New England Historic Genealogical Society, founded in 1845, is the nation’s oldest and largest genealogical society. Our website, AmericanAncestors.org, offers access to more than 1 billion searchable records and leading scholarly resources to help you advance your family history research. Our expert staff helps researchers of all levels explore their past and their families’ unique place in history. Located in Boston, our research center houses millions of manuscripts, books, and original items to preserve the stories of families in America and beyond.

Curt DiCamillo Appointed Curator of Special Collections at NEHGS

The following is from Henry Hornblower at NEHGS:

Curt DiCamillo lecturing at a Masterpiece event for Downton Abbey at WGBH Studios, Boston.
Curt DiCamillo lecturing at a Masterpiece event for Downton Abbey at WGBH Studios, Boston.

Boston, Massachusetts, January 11, 2016 ― Curt DiCamillo, the internationally recognized authority on English country houses and the decorative arts, has been appointed the New England Historic Genealogical Society’s (NEHGS) first Curator of Special Collections, a new position commencing February 29, 2016.

A longtime member of NEHGS, Mr. DiCamillo has led highly successful heritage tours for the organization to England and Scotland, has lectured extensively in the United States and abroad, and has taught classes on British culture and art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and elsewhere. Previously, he was for many years Executive Director of The National Trust for Scotland Foundation USA, based in Boston, where he successfully raised over $7 million and initiated many innovative programs. In addition, he worked at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, for 13 years. The New England Historic Genealogical Society, founded in 1845, is the leading nonprofit genealogical society in America, serving more than 150,000 constituents and millions of online users through its award-winning website, www.AmericanAncestors.org.

“For more than 170 years, we have collected family-related objects along with genealogical source materials,” said Brenton Simons, President and CEO of NEHGS. “Curt DiCamillo is the perfect person to lead our efforts in collecting, stewarding, and widely communicating ― both online and in-person ― the importance of these special holdings to our members, scholars, art historians, and the public.” As Curator of Special Collections at NEHGS, Mr. DiCamillo will provide strategic direction and expert guidance for organizing and exhibiting the organization’s extensive collection of family history-related artifacts and fine arts, part of a larger collection of more than 28 million items held by the organization. The position has been created now in anticipation of the organization’s expansion into a second, adjoining building on Newbury Street in the Back Bay in the coming years. Mr. DiCamillo will also continue to lead a series of heritage tours for NEHGS both in the United States and abroad. “The field of family history is exploding, in large part through the leadership efforts of NEHGS,” said Mr. DiCamillo. “I am so pleased to be a part of telling the compelling story of our ancestors by interpreting objects, art, furnishings, and other artifacts collected by or given to this society, the founding genealogical organization in America. Our historic objects span centuries, cultures, and ethnicities, and are a wonderful tool to better understand the lives and times of our ancestors.”

Mr. DiCamillo’s award-winning website, “The DiCamillo Companion to British & Irish Country Houses,” seeks to document every English, Scottish, Welsh, and Irish country house ever built, standing or demolished, together with a history of the families who lived in the houses, the architects who designed them, and the history of the collections or gardens. He is a Fellow of the Massachusetts Historical Society, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a member of The Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain, and a member of the Advisory Board of Samuel T. Freeman & Co. of Philadelphia. In recognition of his work in the field of English country houses, Mr. DiCamillo has been presented to the late Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother, and the Prince of Wales. His paternal ancestors hail from Italy; his maternal ancestors came from Warwickshire to Maryland in the 18th century. Mr. DiCamillo, a native of the Philadelphia area, grew up in Central Florida with his sister, the award-winning children’s book author Kate DiCamillo.

About American Ancestors and New England Historic Genealogical Society
The founding genealogical society in America, New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) was established in 1845. Today it has a national collecting scope and serves more than 150,000 constituents through an award-winning website, www.AmericanAncestors.org. Since 1845, NEHGS has been the country’s leading comprehensive resource for genealogists and family historians of every skill level. Today NEHGS provides constituents with worldwide access to some of the most important and valuable research tools anywhere.

American Ancestors is the public brand and user experience of NEHGS representing the expertise and resources available for family historians of all levels when researching their origins across the country and around the world. NEHGS’s resources, expertise, and service are unmatched in the field and their leading staff of on-site and online genealogists includes experts in early American, Irish, English, Scottish, Italian, Atlantic and French Canadian, African American, Native American, Chinese, and Jewish research. Expert assistance is available to members and nonmembers in a variety of ways. The NEHGS library and archive, located at 99 – 101 Newbury Street in downtown Boston, is home to more than 28 million items, including artifacts, documents, records, journals, letters, books, manuscripts, and other items dating back hundreds of years.

NEHGS Partners with the Congregational Library & Archives to Digitize Early Church Records

The following news release is from NEHGS:

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New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) Partners with the Congregational Library & Archives to Digitize Early Church Records

January 7, 2016—Boston, Massachusetts — New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) is pleased to announce its participation in New England’s Hidden Histories: Providing Public Access to the Manuscripts of New England’s First Churches, Incubators of American Democracy. NEHGS, the Congregational Library & Archives (CLA), the Phillips Library of the Peabody Essex Museum, and the Connecticut Conference of the United Church of Christ have received a grant of $210,000 from the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) in support of the New England’s Hidden Histories program. The grant will enable the digitization of 28,000 pages of manuscript church records, personal papers of pastors and deacons, and ministerial conference records, dating from 1641 to the mid-1800s.

“As part of its ongoing effort to digitize the genealogical and historical treasures in its collections and make them available to a wide audience online, NEHGS is proud to be a co-recipient of the prestigious CLIR Digitizing Hidden Collections grant and to participate in this important project,” said Jean Maguire, Director of the NEHGS Library. “This partnership will open up to researchers our rich holdings of early American church membership and vital records, correspondence, diaries, and family papers, including those of Michael Wigglesworth, the well-known Puritan minister and author of America’s first ‘best seller,’ The Day of Doom.”

“These documents cast more light on early New England life and culture than any other discrete set of sources,” said James Cooper, Director of New England’s Hidden Histories. “We are pleased to make them available to scholars and the public, and we are delighted to establish a foundation for ongoing partnerships with the New England Historic Genealogical Society, the Phillips Library, and the Connecticut UCC Archive, with whom we share so many scholarly goals.”

The grants were awarded to collections of “high scholarly value” at libraries and repositories with commitments to digitization and wide public accessibility. New England’s Hidden Histories is one of just eighteen funded projects out of 165 applicants. Established in 2005, New England’s Hidden Histories is an ongoing program of the Congregational Library and Archives that seeks to secure, archive, digitize, transcribe, and make available online New England’s early manuscript church records. Documents contributed by NEHGS will also be made available through AmericanAncestors.org.

Learn more about the project and see the CLIR announcement of awards.

About American Ancestors and New England Historic Genealogical Society

The founding genealogical society in America, New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) was established in 1845. Today it has a national collecting scope and serves more than 150,000 constituents through an award-winning website, www.AmericanAncestors.org. Since 1845, NEHGS has been the country’s leading comprehensive resource for genealogists and family historians of every skill level. Today NEHGS provides constituents with worldwide access to some of the most important and valuable research tools anywhere.

American Ancestors is the public brand and user experience of NEHGS representing the expertise and resources available for family historians of all levels when researching their origins across the country and around the world. NEHGS’s resources, expertise, and service are unmatched in the field and their leading staff of on-site and online genealogists includes experts in early American, Irish, English, Scottish, Italian, Atlantic and French Canadian, African American, Native American, Chinese, and Jewish research. Expert assistance is available to members and nonmembers in a variety of ways. The NEHGS library and archive, located at 99 – 101 Newbury Street in downtown Boston, is home to more than 28 million items, including manuscript documents, genealogical records, books, photographs, and other items dating back hundreds of years.

Free Cemetery Records Databases at AmericanAncestors.org October 30 through November 7, 2015

The following was received from NEHGS:

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October 30, 2015 — Boston, Massachusetts — “Your ancestors have been dying for you to uncover them. NEHGS has opened the cemetery gates so you can start digging!”

Just in time for the Halloween celebrations and to add some fun to ancestral research this holiday, AmericanAncestors.org and New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) have made their complete collection of American cemetery databases accessible for FREE to guest users on their data-rich website.

The collection of more than 100 databases comprising more than one million records is accessible FREE from Friday, October 30, through midnight on Saturday, November 7. The collection includes cemetery transcriptions from New England and other states and was compiled from many different sources to create a unique group of cemetery offerings.

Registration at AmericanAncestors.org is required as a FREE Guest Member to gain access to these valuable resources. Guest User accounts allow web visitors to use a limited suite of databases on AmericanAncestors.org and to access web content such as making purchases from the NEHGS online store. Unlimited access to more than one billion online records on the website and to other benefits is through membership at NEHGS.
Family historians may start digging for their ancestors in these historic American cemeteries at: http://www.americanancestors.org/free-cemetery-databases.

The cemetery databases included in this special offering and FREE Access event are:

  • American Jewish Historical Society – New England Archives: Jewish Cemeteries in Massachusetts
  • Boston, MA: Old Cemeteries of Boston
  • Brooklyn, NY: Cemetery Inscriptions, 1686-1882
  • Cemetery Transcriptions from the NEHGS Manuscript Collections
  • Charleston, SC: Inscriptions in Old Jewish Cemeteries, 1762-1903
  • Dedham, MA: Church and Cemetery Records 1638-1845
  • Gloucester, MA: Burials in Gloucester Cemeteries
  • New York: Long Island Cemetery Inscriptions, 1652-1910
  • North Andover, MA: Burials in Ridgewood Cemetery, 1848-1950
  • Northampton, MA: West Farms Cemetery
  • Rhode Island Historical Cemeteries Database Index
  • Sharon, MA: Sharon Memorial Park Cemetery
  • Sterling, MA: Leg Cemetery Records
  • Westbrook, CT: Cemetery Inscriptions
  • Western Massachusetts: Jewish Cemeteries of Western Massachusetts

About American Ancestors and New England Historic Genealogical Society
The founding genealogical society in America, New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) was established in 1845. Today it has a national collecting scope and serves more than 130,000 constituents through an award-winning website, AmericanAncestors.org.

NEHGS’s resources, expertise, and service are unmatched in the field, and their leading staff of on-site and online genealogists includes experts in early American, Irish, English, Scottish, Italian, Atlantic and French Canadian, African American, Native American, Chinese, and Jewish research. The NEHGS library and archive, located at 99–101 Newbury Street in downtown Boston, is home to more than 28 million items, including artifacts, documents, records, journals, letters, books, manuscripts, and other items dating back hundreds of years.

Numerous NEHGS Databases FREE to ALL at AmericanAncestors.org Through Sept. 9

Family Historians May Commemorate Labor Day by Working FREE on Family History on AmericanAncestors.org September 2 through September 9

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September 2, 2015 — Boston, Massachusetts — To commemorate the Labor Day holiday, New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) is granting FREE Access to a large group of databases within its popular Census, Tax, and Voter List category on AmericanAncestors.org, its data-rich website.

The Census, Tax, and Voter Lists category is a collection of 40 separate databases containing a range of resources to provide information about the families who resided in the New England states between the 18th and 20th centuries. Other broader databases help to trace families as they moved to other areas of the United States. And a handful of European databases within the collection can assist researchers attempting to further document their family’s heritage.

Included within the collection are transcripts of the U.S. Federal Census, 1790—1880, and a variety of state and town tax records. Because these records often carry occupational information, researchers might uncover their ancestors diligently at work.

These databases from NEHGS will be open with FREE access to the public beginning Wednesday, September 2, through Wednesday, September 9.

Registration is required at AmericanAncestors.org as a FREE Guest User to gain access to these valuable resources. Guest User accounts allow web visitors to use a limited suite of AmericanAncestors.org databases and access web content such as making purchases from the online store. Unlimited access to all 450+ million records and to other benefits is available through membership at NEHGS.

Family historians may start their Labor Day research at AmericanAncestors.org/laborday.

NEHGS Appoints Christopher C. Child as Editor of the Mayflower Descendant

The following is from NEHGS:

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New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) Announces Appointment of Christopher C. Child as Editor of the Mayflower Descendant

August 19, 2015 — Boston, Massachusetts — Christopher C. Child, Senior Genealogist of the Newbury Street Press at New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS), has been named editor of the Mayflower Descendant, the Society announced today. Child is an award-winning genealogist and author of important published studies of American family history. He will begin his assignment as editor with the winter 2016 issue of the journal, the first to be published by NEHGS, while retaining his responsibilities with Newbury Street Press.

Last week NEHGS announced that, as the result of an agreement with the Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Descendants (MSMD), NEHGS will assume a ten-year stewardship of the Mayflower Descendant. First published in 1899 by George Ernest Bowman, under the auspices of the Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Descendants, the journal is one of the most highly respected scholarly journals in the field of genealogy. NEHGS plans to continue twice-a-year publication, winter and summer, available by subscription.

In making the announcement of Child’s appointment, Penny Stratton, NEHGS Publishing Director, stated “Chris Child is an excellent choice for this new position, poised to bring his well-articulated vision of genealogical scholarship to this very important journal.”

Child is the recipient of two publishing awards this year: Ancestors and Descendants of George Rufus Brown and Alice Nelson Pratt (2013, co-written with Patricia Law Hatcher and Kelvin L. Meyers) won the Brainerd T. Peck Award from the Connecticut Genealogical Society, and The Nelson Family of Rowley, Massachusetts (2014) won the Award for Excellence in Genealogy and Family History from the National Genealogical Society. In 2012 his book with NEHGS colleague Scott Steward, Descendants of Judge John Lowell (2011) won both those awards as well as the prestigious Donald Lines Jacobus Award of the American Society of Genealogists.

Child has been associated with NEHGS since 1997, first as a librarian and researcher, and later joining the Publications team as Genealogist of the Newbury Street Press in 2006. He also serves as editor of the genetics column in American Ancestors magazine and contributes frequently to the Vita Brevis blog of NEHGS.

An experienced and in-demand lecturer and consultant, Child has contributed many articles to scholarly genealogical journals, including the Mayflower Descendant. His wide-ranging research interests include, as well as Mayflower ancestry, colonial New England genealogy (especially Connecticut), presidential genealogy, and DNA. Chris holds a B.A. in history from Drew University in Madison, New Jersey.

More information about the Mayflower Descendant and subscription opportunities may be found at the website of NEHGS at www.americanancestors.org/mayflower-descendant.)

FREE Access to the Great Migration Databases on AmericanAncestors.org – July 1-8, 2015

The following was received from NEHGS:

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Family Historians May Commemorate Independence Day by Searching FREE on AmericanAncestors.org for America’s Earliest Settlers, July 1 through July 8

June 29, 2015—Boston, Massachusetts — In a salute to the anniversary of our nation’s independence, New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) is granting FREE access to all online searchable databases related to the Great Migration. A unique foundation of governance and religion was created by the 20,000 men, women, and children who crossed the Atlantic between 1620 and 1640, seeking opportunity and relief in New England, in the period known as the Great Migration. These are the Mayflower names, the Pilgrims, the Puritans, and the families that delight and provide rich insights for genealogists and family historians. Since 1988 NEHGS has undertaken the Great Migration Study Project, directed by Robert Charles Anderson and scheduled for completion in 2016. The results are open to the public to research FREE during the first week of July 2015 on its data-rich website AmericanAncestors.org.

A total of nine searchable databases comprise the Great Migration project on AmericanAncestors.org, consisting of thousands of records. Some content highlights include:

1: The Great Migration Begins
The first phase of the Great Migration Study Project attempts to identify and describe all those Europeans who settled in New England prior to the end of 1633. The date was chosen because of the steep increase in migration beginning in 1634 and continuing for the rest of that decade (see Robert Charles Anderson, “A Note on the Pace of the Great Migration,” The New England Quarterly 59 [1986]:406-07). As a rough estimate, about 15 percent of the immigrants to New England arrived in the fourteen years from 1620 to 1633, with the remaining 85 percent coming over in half as many years, from 1634 to 1640.

2: The Great Migration Newsletter
This database comprises Volumes 1 through 20 of the Great Migration Newsletter, published between 1990 and 2011. Each 32-page issue contains one or two feature articles, a column with editor’s comments, and a review of recent literature on the Great Migration. Each issue also contains a section with detailed coverage of one of the towns settled during the Great Migration, or of a specific critical record, or group of records.

3: The Great Migration: Immigrants to New England, 1634-1635, Volumes I—VII, A-Y (7 separate databases)
From 1620 to 1633, only a few hundred people stepped on the shores of New England in any given year. But all of a sudden in 1634 the trend surged upward and as many as 2,500 people immigrated in 1634 and again in 1635. In May 1634, the population of Massachusetts doubled in just one month, and when comparing immigration in 1634 and 1635 to immigration in 1633 and earlier, there was a tenfold jump in annual immigration.

These volumes covering surnames beginning with A through Y, complete a series documenting the watershed years of 1634 and 1635. They trace families and individuals immigrating to New England during those two years – a time of rapid migration and settlement.

Each alphabetical entry for a family or individual includes:

• Place of origin, if known

• Date and ship on which they arrived in New England, if known

• Earliest known record of the individual or family

• First residence and subsequent residences, when known

• Return trips to their country of origin, whether temporary or permanent

• Bibliographical information such as birth, death, marriage(s), children, and other important family relationships, church memberships, and civil and military offices held

The full introduction to these seven volumes is available for download as a pdf file. The introduction includes a description of the methodology used to create the sketches as well as thorough descriptions of the sources used.

The database provides an index to the sketches of 219 Great Migration individuals, and the 7,192 name, 2,040 place, and 249 ship name references contained within those sketches. The images of the original book pages are available from the search results pages.

These Great Migration databases from NEHGS will be open with FREE access to the public beginning Wednesday, July 1, through Wednesday, July 8. Registration at AmericanAncestors.org is required as a FREE Guest Member to gain access to these valuable resources. Guest User accounts allow web visitors to use a limited suite of AmericanAncestors.org databases and access web content such as making purchases from the online store. Unlimited access to all 450+ million records and other benefits is through membership at NEHGS.

Family historians may start their search for ancestors who came to the country as part of the Great Migration at this site: AmericanAncestors.org/specials/fourth-of-july.

The New England Historical and Genealogical Register – Spring 2015 Electronic Issue Now Available

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My electronic copy of The New England Historical and Genealogical Register came popping into my inbox today. I like get the Register in electronic format. I can just blow up the copy and flip through the pages on my big computer monitor – making it easy on old eyes…

What’s really cool is that the Register is archived, with access all the way back to Volume 164, January 2010 (Whole #653).

Following is the table of contents for this latest issue.

VOLUME 169, WHOLE NUMBER 674, SPRING 2015

Editorial

Joseph DeSilva of the Island of Madeira, Colony of New Jersey, and State of New York, and His Wife Hannah Compton
Steven T. Beckwith and Celia Gammel

Pomfret Proprietor Joseph2 Griffin and His Family
Neil E. Mellen

Joseph4 and Elizabeth (Wheeler) Whitcomb of Middlesex County, Massachusetts, and Some of Their Descendants
Austin W. Spencer

Western Massachusetts Families in 1790 Sketch: Salah Barnard of Deerfield
Debora Ellen Blodgett

Two Men Named Antoine Chapouil, Emigrants from Meyssac, Corrèze, France, to New England
William T. Brunelle and Jonathan A. Shaw

John5 Eggleston of Watertown, Connecticut, and Broome County, New York
Gale Ion Harris

Elisha, Stephen, Thomas, Isaac, and Samuel: The Five Probable Sons of Elisha Morehouse
Jane Belcher

Reviews of Books

The New NEHG Register #Genealogy

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I got my copy of The New England Historical and Genealogical Register today. No – not in the mail, but as an online magazine. After getting The Register for eons as a print publication, I finally decided that I’d rather get it online. First off, I don’t have room for the publications anymore. Secondly, I can blow the online magazine up on my screen by clicking on the magnifier, then sit back and read. My eyes are old and tired. Online reading is now easier on them.

The Register now has an entirely new look. Gone are the boring covers, replaced by colorful works of art, complete with teaser surnames on the front.

According to the introduction to the Editorial, several important changes have been made. They are as follows:

  • “An expanded editorial focus, providing genealogical content of national and international scope — while still retaining an emphasis on New England, New York State, and out-migrations from New England.” NEHGS had already moved in that direction in 2009, when they started the annual American Ancestors Journal supplement, whose content they are now integrating into the quarterly issues The Register.
  • NEHGS has added “Quarterly News” inside the back cover, highlighting NEHGS developments of particular interest to readers of The Register.
  • Changes in editorial style, reflecting their decision to conform completely with the guidelines presented in the Guide to Genealogical Writing (NEHGS, 2014) are also noted.

Articles found in The Register, Vol. 169, Whole Number 673, Winter 2015 are:

  • Identifying Anna Pierce, Wife of Francis Whitmore of Medford, Massachusetts
  • Untangling the Ancestry of the Two Men Named Abraham Andrews in Waterbury, Connecticut
  • Elisha, Stephen, Thomas, Isaac, and Samuel: The Five Probable Sons of Elisha4 Morehouse
  • Confirmed English Ancestry of Thomas1 Betterley of North Carolina and Boston
  • Descendants of John Everson of Plymouth, Massachusetts
  • The Elwyn Family Revisited John5 Eggleston of Watertown, Connecticut, and Broome County, New York
  • Two Men Named Antoine Chapouil, Emigrants from Meyssac, Corrèze, France, to New England
  • William Sewall of Bridgewater, Massachusetts, and Some of His Descendants: A Reconstruction of a New England Mixed-Race Family
  • Book Reviews

Anyone signed up to get the electronic version of the magazine can read it as a FlippingBook publication, without having to download it at all – or if you like, you can download a PDF version for storage on your personal cloud or hard drive.

NEHGS Purchases the Adjacent Brownstone for 3 Million $

New England Historic Genealogical Society has purchased the adjacent brownstown building at 97 Newbury Steet for 3 million dollars. Following is an excerpt from an article by Thomas Grillio, posted in the January 3,2012 edition of Boston Business Journal.

An 1870s brownstone in Boston’s Back Bay built by Jordan Marsh co-founder Eben Jordan has been sold to the New England Historic Genealogical Society for $3 million.

The five-story property at 97 Newbury St. allows the nonprofit to expand its location from their headquarters next door at 99-101 Newbury. For now, jeweler John Lewis, the seller, is leasing the property from the nonprofit and plans to continue his retail operation.

Purchase of the property gives the genealogical library and archive an additional 4,500 square feet of space for education and public programs, exhibition space, parking, and a museum store. In particular, the group can continue expanding its collection of more than 28 million objects while allowing the organization to maintain a larger portion of those artifacts on the premises rather than in off-site storage.

Read the full article.

The Expansion of New England

For 2012, the New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) has republished The Expansion of New England: The Spread of New England Settlement and Institutions to the Mississippi River, 1620-1865. Lois Mathews wrote and originally published this history in 1909. Many of today’s historians and genealogists have overlooked this valuable history. However, NEHGS recognized the value is this volume, and so have made it available again.

In this manuscript, Mathews seeks to explain where and why people migrated, first to early coastal settlements, then throughout the region as families moved inland and northward during the colonial period. The author continues this historical examination of migration through the 1850s and people moved up and down the Hudson River, and then on into central and western New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, and the northern counties of Indiana and Illinois.

Mathews examines reasons behind migration movements, including, socio-economics, religion, and war. She also evaluates the relationships between Native Americans and settlers. Even the formation of new states is reviewed.

Ralph Crandall, Executive Director Emeritus for NEHGS provided the foreword for this most recent publishing. In it, he outlines the value of this book to genealogists. He suggest that first, taking the larger migration patterns into consideration can help genealogists potentially reverse trace a families origin in the American colonies. Second, Crandall notes that Mathews thoroughly examined the printed literature available in her day; namely, town histories and other works that covered specific migrations. These smaller migrations were usually small clusters of families. These groups and the sources are cited through the book. Genealogist can identify specific works for further reference and reading.

Of course, just knowing a bit of history, and understanding the driving forces of the day, can help researchers make deductions about their own ancestors and their likely movements throughout New England and beyond.

 

Contents

Chapter I Introduction

Chapter II The Beginning of an American Frontier

Chapter III The Influence of Indian Warfare Upon the Frontier

Chapter IV Forty Years of Strife withing the Wilderness

Chapter V The Frontier in War and in Peace, 1754-1781

Chapter VI The Beginning of the Great Migrations form New England Toward the West, 1781-1812

Chapter VII The Planting of a Second New England, 1787-1865

Chapter VIII The Joining of Two Frontiers: Indiana and Illinois, 1809-1865

Chapter IX The New Englanders as State Builders: Michigan and Wisconsin, 1820-1860

Chapter X Two Centuries and a Half of New England Pioneering, 1620-1865

 

Find The Expansion of New England: The Spread of New England Settlement and Institutions to the Mississippi River, 1620-1865 at Family Roots Publishing; Price: $17.59.

Western Massachusetts Families in 1790

The post-Revolutionary period in Western Massachusetts found families and settlements in constant flux. People were moving westward into New York and northward into Vermont. The transient nature of the period presents certain difficulties for genealogical research. In an attempt to help researchers, members of the New England Historical and Genealogical Society (NEHGS) contributed 50 well-researched and carefully constructed genealogical sketches of Western Massachusetts families using heads of households and a listing of children from 1790. These sketches appear in Western Massachusetts Families in 1790, published in 2012 by the NEHGS.

The geographical area covered includes what is called today Berkshire, Hampden, Hampshire, and Franklin counties. In 1790 there were actually only two counties, Hampshire and Berkshire. Franklin and Hampden were separated from Hampshire in 1811 and 1812 respectively. In selecting individual families for this book, the NEHGS began with some 250 families submitted by members. The list was then cut down, choosing families which have little to no representation in existing works, and represent the area as a whole. Every source was double checked for accuracy. All children and spouses were identified and listed as fully as possible. In addition to primary sources, sketches reference old family records, bibles, letters, and other collections compiled for research. All this allows for a level of detail not found in other places.

Each sketch begins with the entries for the head of house as it appears in the 1790 census. For example:

Baldwin, James

2 – 0 – 1 – 0 – 0

The columns represent the following:

  1. The number of free white males age 16 and older, including the head of household if male
  2. The number of free white males under 16
  3. The number of free white females
  4. All other free white persons
  5. The number of slaves

The remainder of each sketch follows in “Register” style, with vital data on the head of house along with his/her spouse, biographical information, and a listing of their children. Every sketch is well documented, creating an extensive list of sources.

One commentary had this to say about the book:

“This compilation of family histories represents some of the fines contemporary genealogical research for Western Massachusetts. Western Massachusetts Families in 1790 is an essential reference fro anyone conducting serious historical, biographical, or genealogical research on this vital region of western New England.”

 

There are hundreds of individuals represented withing these sketches. However, the surnames from the 50 heads of household who are sketched are as follows:

  • Baldwin
  • Beals
  • Beaman
  • Bigelow
  • Bowen
  • Burghardt
  • Chapman
  • Converse
  • Cook
  • Cranson
  • Cutler
  • Dorchester
  • Fobes
  • Frary
  • Fuller
  • Griswold
  • Harwood
  • Hastings
  • Heath
  • Hines
  • Holton
  • Howard
  • King
  • Kingsley
  • Milliman
  • Nelson
  • Pepper
  • Perry
  • Pittsinger
  • Rogers
  • Thomas
  • Thompson
  • Tolman
  • Tooley/Tully
  • Tyler
  • Warner
  • White
  • Williams

 

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NEHGS Announces New Assistant Vice President

The following was received from Alessandra Magno at NEHGS:

Boston, MA – Sept. 5, 2012 – Brenton Simons, President and CEO of the New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS), announced today that staff member Ryan Woods, has been promoted to NEHGS Assistant Vice President for the Website and Library. Woods, a five-year veteran of the NEHGS staff, will oversee www.AmericanAncestors.org and the Boston-based library, bringing those two areas into greater alignment with each other and advancing the organization’s national mission. He will report to Thomas R. Wilcox, Jr., NEHGS Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, and will succeed Marie Daly, who has served as the Director of the Library for ten years. Daly will be staying on with NEHGS in a new role she helped to craft as senior genealogist, with particular emphasis on Irish research. A new day-to-day manager of the library has also been appointed.

Simons said, “This new role will help us centralize core activities, better serve our growing body of constituents, and allow for more productive experiences both online and in our library.”

Woods, who joined NEHGS in 2007, will work to re-staff several areas to manage increases in web traffic and visitors to the NEHGS Boston library, due in part to swelling interest and popularity of genealogy across the country. The moves take effect immediately.

About NEHGS
Founded in 1845, New England Historic Genealogical Society is the country’s leading resource for family history research. With more than 65,000 members and registered users, NEHGS helps family historians expand their knowledge, skill, and understanding of their family and its place in history. The NEHGS research center, located at 99-101 Newbury Street, Boston, houses millions of books, journals, manuscripts, photographs, microfilms, documents, records, and other artifacts that date back more than four centuries. NEHGS staff includes some of the leading expert genealogists in the country, specializing in early American, Irish, English, Italian, Scottish, Atlantic and French Canadian, African American, Native American, and Jewish genealogy. Our award-winning website, www.AmericanAncestors.org, provides access to more than 135 million searchable names in 3,000 collections.

NEHGS Wins Two Top Awards For Lowell Genealogy

The following news release was received from NEHGS:

Scott Steward and Christopher Child Share Top Prizes from NGS and CSG

Boston, MA – May 22, 2012 – The New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) announced today that one of its latest Newbury Street Press titles, The Descendants of Judge John Lowell of Newburyport, Massachusetts, by Scott C. Steward and Christopher C. Child, has won top honors from both the National Genealogical Society and the Connecticut Society of Genealogists. The awards were handed out at recent ceremonies hosted by each organization.

The National Genealogical Society (NGS) awarded Christopher C. Child the 2012 “Award for Excellence: Genealogy and Family History Book” on May 11, during the NGS annual conference held this year in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Connecticut Society of Genealogists (CSG) honored both authors with the 2012 “Literary Award, Grand Prize for Genealogy” at its annual luncheon on May 19 in Berlin, Connecticut.

NEHGS Director of Publications and book co-author Scott C. Steward said, “We had hoped to make the Lowell book a model, both as a genealogy and as an example of book production at Newbury Street Press, so having our work recognized by NGS and CSG is doubly rewarding.”

The book marks the first full treatment of the Lowell family since an 1899 genealogy written by Delmar R. Lowell. This new book traces descendants of Judge John Lowell (1743-1802) to the present day, and includes famous descendants Francis Cabot Lowell, for whom the city of Lowell, Massachusetts is named; John Lowell, Jr., founder of the Lowell Institute in Boston; James Russell Lowell, the poet and diplomat; astronomer Percival Lowell; Harvard president Abbott Lawrence Lowell; the poets Amy Lowell and Robert Traill Spence Lowell; architect Guy Lowell; and Isabella Stewart Gardner, art patron and museum founder. The book comprises more than one thousand entries for heads of families. Because of several early cousin marriages, many Lowell descendants have two or even three lines of descent from Judge John Lowell.

This marks the first time that NEHGS has won both a national and a regional award for one of its books. NEHGS publishes a number of titles each year, including genealogies, biographies, and instructional and resource books. NEHGS publishes its genealogies under the Newbury Street Press imprint. Learn more at www.AmericanAncestors.org

Job Opening for Research Services Manager At NEHGS

The following was received from APG:

Research Services Manager
New England Historic Genealogical Society
Boston, Massachusetts

The full-time Research Services Manager is responsible for assigning research to staff, volunteers, and contractors and assuring that output is thorough, accurate, and responsive to the requests. The Research Services Manager will supervise client billing, financial tracking, and database updates; ensuring that the research process moves forward according to established schedules.

Excellent genealogical research skills are a requirement as is extreme attention to detail and “customer orientation.” The incumbent needs to be able to coach the staff and to respond professionally to the Society’s clients, giving realistic expectations of time to complete contracted research and providing ongoing, appropriately frequent status reports of progress.

This is an important and visible position where good, thorough, accurate, and timely service is considered the norm.

Experience
• Bachelor’s degree.
• Genealogical training.
• General computer skills including internet, e-mail, and word processing.
• 5-7 years of professional genealogical experience.
• Ability to analyze documents and compile detailed narrative research reports.
• Manage a staff of 4-8 employees, volunteers, and/or contractors.

Salary and Benefits: Salary depends on experience; benefits include health insurance, paid vacation, holidays, and 403(b).

Email a cover letter, resume, and research report sample(s) to: Michelle Major, Human Resources Coordinator, New England Historic Genealogical Society, at mmajor@nehgs.org .