Author Archive

Seymour, CT Vital Records Final Volume Added

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Thomas H. Seymour, Governor of Connecticut, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. Public Domain in the United States.

We have added the fifth and final volume to the database Seymour, CT: Vital Records, 1700-1914. Volume 5 covers the period from 1 Jan 1911 through 31 Dec 1914. This volume adds 37 pages, and over 6,000 searchable names.

This database contains all the records compiled in the five-volume series Vital Statistics of Seymour, Connecticut. These books were published by W.C. Sharpe in Seymour, Connecticut between 1883 and 1923, and are organized by year of record as follows:

  • Volume 1: 1700 – 1882
  • Volume 2: 1883 – 1891
  • Volume 3: 1892 – 1900
  • Volume 4: 1901 – 1910
  • Volume 5: 1911 – 1914

This database has over 380 pages and contains 33,000 searchable names. The record types include birth, baptism, marriages, deaths, and burials.
The town of Seymour is located in New Haven County and was incorporated in 1850. Previously, Seymour was a part of Derby, Connecticut. The town was named for Governor Thomas H. Seymour, who was buried there in the Cedar Hill Cemetery after his death from Typhod Fever in 1868.

This update is made possible by the efforts of our volunteer David Anderson. If you have some time and would like to get involved in the database digitization or indexing processes please contact Rachel Adams, Database Services Volunteer Coordinator via email at rachel.adams@nehgs.org.

Please note: This database is available to Individual-level and above NEHGS members only. Consider membership.

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Archdiocese of Boston: New searchable records from Holliston and Lawrence

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St. Patrick of Lawrence and St. Mary’s of Holliston from 100 Years of Progress, pages 386 and 765

Today we’ve added eight new volumes to Massachusetts: Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston Records, 1789-1920 from St. Mary in Holliston and St. Patrick in Lawrence. This update adds over 2,300 pages, 23,300 records and over 87,000 new names to search.

St. Mary’s in Holliston because an independent parish in 1870. Before that, most Catholics when to Hopkinton for Mass. Construction started on St. Mary’s church in 1873, and was completed in 1883.

St. Patrick’s in Lawrence was built in the “new city” on the south bank of the Merrimack river to help the growing Catholic population after the Civil War. The church was built to accommodate 1000 people and the first mass was celebrated on Christmas Day in 1869

We’d like to thank Sam Sturgis for his help making these parishes available online. If you would like to become part of the team working on rewarding genealogical projects, please contact Rachel Adams, Database Services Volunteer Coordinator via email at rachel.adams@nehgs.org.

The new volumes are listed below:

  • St. Mary (Holliston) Baptisms, 1870-1920
  • St. Mary (Holliston) Marriages, 1871-1920
  • St. Patrick (Lawrence) Baptisms, 1872-1908
  • St. Patrick (Lawrence) Baptisms, 1908-1914
  • St. Patrick (Lawrence) Baptisms, 1914-1920
  • St. Patrick (Lawrence) Confirmations, 1894-1916
  • St. Patrick (Lawrence) Marriages, 1872-1908
  • St. Patrick (Lawrence) Marriages, 1908-1920

Please note: This database is available to Individual-level and above NEHGS members only. Consider membership.

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New Database: Roll of Arms Registered by NEHGS, 1915-1945

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Registration for the coat of arms for Catharine O’Brien issued in 1940 (Vol. 4, p. 294)

We are very happy to announce a new database today; Roll of Arms Registered by NEHGS, 1915-1945.

Founded in 1864, the Committee on Heraldry authenticates, preserves, and records coats of arms borne in the United States and by U.S. citizens living abroad. Published intermittently in the Register between 1928 and 1980, the Committee’s Roll of Arms includes illustrated shields presented for review by the Committee along with a description, associated family name, and name of submitter. Considering that many 17th-century immigrants to the New World bore arms, this is an important volume for anyone with early American ancestry.

This database provides images and an index to all the names the Roll of Arms Registered and Proved by the Committee on Heraldry of the New England Historic Genealogical Society. Each page includes a beautifully hand-illustrated coat of arms, and documents who received the coat of arms and the applicant to the committee. The data indexed includes residence, birth and spouse information where available. The database contains over 408 pages and 2,700 indexed names.

NEHGS published a book with information about the process and the coats of arms: A roll of arms registered by the Committee on Heraldry of the New England Historic Genealogical Society : parts 1-10 with additions and corrections and a history of the Committee on Heraldry may be viewed at our research library in Boston, call number CR1217.N4 N47 2013.

This update is made possible by the efforts of our interns: Michael Giannetti and Katie McCarver. If you would like to become part of the team working on rewarding genealogical projects, please contact Rachel Adams, Database Services Volunteer Coordinator via email at rachel.adams@nehgs.org.

Please note: This database is available to Individual-level and above NEHGS members only. Consider membership.

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New Database: Vermont Genealogy

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Vermont State House, State Street at Western Avenue, Montpelier, Washington County, VT, by Young, Ammi B; Richards, J R; Mixon, and Stanley P, photographer. Public Domain, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

We are very excited to announce a brand new database: Vermont Genealogy. This database is available through our partnership with the Genealogical Society of Vermont. The database includes volumes 1-19, for the years 1996 through 2014, and it provides over 108,000 searchable names. New volumes of Vermont Genealogy will be added annually.

The indexing for this database includes full names, Publication year (not the year of the record), and article titles and authors. The Vermont Genealogy database is part of the Journals & Periodicals category, and results are included in that category search page

Vermont Genealogy made its debut as a quarterly journal in January 1996. In addition to featuring compiled genealogies, the journal often contains other material including: freeman’s lists; church memberships and dismissals; newspaper vital record abstracts; probate abstracts, Cumberland County, New York, deeds; entries from the diary of Jabez Fitch; records from disincorporated towns, cemetery transcriptions, Bible records; Civil War journals; 1890 Census reconstructions; book reviews; and “Seen Elsewhere,” a bibliography of other journal articles relevant to Vermont. Special issues have featured “Declarations of Aliens, Lower Canada, 1794–1811,” “Name Changes in Vermont, 1778–1900,” “Vital Records of Springfield, Vermont,” and “Vital Records Recorded in the Peru, Vt. Town Records.”

In 2009, Vermont Genealogy switched to semi-annual publication with spring and fall issues. Appointed editor in 2016, Michael F. Dwyer, FASG, has expanded the scope of coverage to include nineteenth-century century immigrant studies, “Gems from the Vermont State Archives,” and continuation of family sketches from “Vermont Families in 1791.”

This update is made possible by the efforts of our volunteers: David Anderson, Kim Bonner, Eileen McCarthy, and Angela Napolitano. If you have some time and would like to get involved in the database digitization and indexing process please contact Rachel Adams, Database Services Volunteer Coordinator via email at rachel.adams@nehgs.org.

The entire run of Vermont Genealogy is available at our NEHGS Boston research library, call number F48.V48 1996.

Please note: This database is available to Individual-level and above NEHGS members only. Consider membership

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Expansion of Suffolk County, MA Probate File Papers

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Map of Boston in 1842. Public Domain, Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Today we are excited to announce an expansion of the Suffolk County, MA Probate File Papers database. This addition includes case numbers 33068-35451, for the years 1842-1847, and it adds over 54,000 new file paper pages. The complete database now contains 496,000 file papers and 36,000 searchable names.

This database was created from digital images and index contributed to NEHGS by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Archives. The probate cases include wills, guardianships, administrations, and various other types of probate records. We’d like to thank our wonderful volunteers Sam Sturgis and Bruce Shaw, without whom this update would not have happened.

The complete Suffolk County File Papers collection will eventually cover cases 1-94,757, which includes years up to 1893. The cases are indexed chronologically, which allows us to present them in sections while digital photography is taking place. The digital photography is expected to continue through 2020. We will continue to add additional cases as they become available.

If you have questions on how to search this database, or about our collaboration with the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Archives, please watch our video, How to Search Massachusetts Probate File Papers. The Massachusetts Archives also have a very helpful website that serves as a directory as to where you can find which pieces of probate information.

Please note: This database is available to all NEHGS members.

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Hints Now Available for Database Search

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Sample Record Display page with hints included

We have released an update to the search user experience that makes hints available to online users of search. Until now, hints from American Ancestors databases were only available to users of American AncesTREES. Now they are available to everyone.

You can see an example of hints on the image above. Here we have the Record Display page for the birth of Nathan Snow in 1725 from the Massachusetts Vital Records, 1620-1850 database. On the right side you can see the heading “Hint” and the suggested records underneath. If there are no suggestions, this section will not appear.

Each hint is prefaced with the name of the database that contains the hint record, the first and last name of the suggested person, and the birth and/or death year of that person as extracted from the source of the hint. An annotated sample is shown below. The name and date part of the hint is the hyperlink. You can click on it and go there directly, or right click and open the hint in a new tab or window.

The hints are listed in a relevance sequence with the best fit at the top of the list. A maximum of 10 hints are displayed. Not all databases currently provide hints. As new databases become hint providers, we will send an update on DB News, such as this one from last summer.  You can also use Browse Database A-Z for a current list by typing “Hint” in the Search field.

We hope that this enhancement helps you with your search efforts. If you have any questions, please let us know by using the Comment or Question box or Report Error button on Record display. You can also email us directly at webmaster@nehgs.org.

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Enhancement to Database Search Results

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New Search Results page when no records found

Today we have introduced some enhancements to the database search results processing on American Ancestors. These updates are intended to answer two of the most commonly asked questions about search:

  1. Why did I get Zero records for my search – Typically found when using Advanced Search (https://www.americanancestors.org/search/advanced-search)
  2. I received results, but they don’t seem like a good fit – Usually found with Database or Category Search

For the case of Zero records, you will now see a blue box in the results area that provides some suggestions on how to proceed. An example is in the image above. The contents of the box provide suggestions that are adjust for the query parameters that you have used. The Learn More link takes you to a short document reviewing a general set of suggestions for how to avoid this problem. Other items provide specific instructions to change your search parameters and help you find results. There are also links to a recorded webinar on search, start over with a new query or even contact Research Services for a thorny research problem.

The approach for the case of results that don’t seem like a good fit is similar. With Database and Category search the default experience is to get results that match any your criteria. This can be very helpful if here is something close, but it looks strange if there is not a good match on the last name. The picture below gives an example of what it looks like when this happens. The Learn More link takes you to a document reviewing the main suggestions on next steps.

We hope that these context specific additions to the search experience will help you get the most of your search time on American Ancestors.

Please contact us at webmaster@nehgs.org if you have any questions or suggestions for the database search experience. We are always happy to hear from you!

New Search Results page when there is not a strong fit

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Mayflower Descendant Volume 63 (2014) Now Available

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Cover of the Autumn 2014 issue of the Mayflower Descendant with a portrait of Myles Standish.

Volume 63, for the year 2014, has been added to The Mayflower Descendant is fully searchable. This update adds approximately 275 new pages and 2,700 searchable names.

Mayflower Descendant has been published by the Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Descendants since 1899. It is an essential source of information on many New England families, and its focus is not limited to those with Mayflower lineage. The journal includes transcriptions and abstracts of deeds, wills, vital records, and other original documents. In addition, it features compiled genealogies and analytical studies of genealogical problems.

The indexing for these records includes full names, Publication year (not the year of the record), and article titles and authors.

This update is made possible by the efforts of our volunteer David Anderson. If you have a few hours a week and would like to get involved in the digitization and indexing process please contact Rachel Adams, Database Services Volunteer Coordinator via email at rachel.adams@nehgs.org.

Please note: This database is available to Individual-level and above NEHGS members only. Consider membership.

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Rhode Island Roots Volume 40 (2014) Added

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Picture from page 33 of volume 40.

We are very happy to add volume #40 (2015) to the Rhode Island Roots genealogical journal database. This update adds over 260 pages and nearly 2,700 searchable names.

The Rhode Island Genealogical Society publishes Rhode Island Roots quarterly. It features many Rhode Island records, such as cemetery and tax lists, General Assembly petitions, civil and military records, and genealogical articles — all focusing on Rhode Island families. Other features include articles about Rhode Islanders in other state census records, queries and a list of RI research volunteers. The authors include well-known genealogists as well as RIGS members with stories of their own families to tell.

The indexing for these records includes full names, Publication year (not the year of the record), and article titles and authors.

This update is made possible by the efforts of our volunteer David Anderson. If you have some time and would like to get involved in the digitization and indexing process for genealogical databases please contact Rachel Adams, Database Services Volunteer Coordinator via email at rachel.adams@nehgs.org.

Please note: This database is available to Individual-level and above NEHGS members only. Consider membership.

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Enhanced Database Browse and Category Updates

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Enhanced Browse Databases Page

Today we introduced an enhancement to the Browse Databases A-Z page, recategorized some databases to improve searchability.

The Browse Databases A to Z page has been enhanced to dynamically adjust the list of databases as you type. This can speed up the search process for finding a specific database. The user interface has been changed slightly, so that the field for entering your search terms is now above the list of databases, rather than on the left. You can see this in the image above. We hope that you will enjoy this update.

Database Category changes have been made ensure that all the databases in the Journals and Periodicals category have the same approach to indexing and search. Specifically, the records contain first and last name, and the year contains the year of publication. The following eleven databases primarily contain birth, marriage, death records, so they have been moved to the Vital Records category:

  • Albany Argus: Records of Deaths and Marriages, 1826-1828
  • Boston Recorder and Telegraph: Death reports, 1827-1828
  • Boston Recorder and Telegraph: Marriages, 1827-1828
  • Christian Intelligencer: Death reports of Reformed Dutch Church, 1830-1871
  • Christian Intelligencer: Marriages (Reformed Dutch Ch.), 1830-1871
  • New Canaan [CT] Era: Marriages and Deaths in New York State, 1868-1871
  • New Hampshire Gazette: Vital Records, 1756-1800
  • New Hampshire: Marriage and Death Notices Published in Newspapers, 1848-1856
  • Otsego County, NY: Newspaper Records, 1808-1831
  • Portsmouth, NH: Abstracts from Newspapers, 1776-1800
  • Springfield [MA] Republican: Marriages and Deaths, 1847

As a reminder, the category specific search pages search all databases in that category at once. The blue button on the top right side of the page provides a link to the current list of databases in the category. The search tips provide information on what the best fields are for searching them. For reference, the full list of categories can be found on American Ancestors under the Search menu, They can also be found on the Advanced Search page on the right side of the page.

If you have any additional questions, please email us at webmaster@nehgs.org.

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