New Native American Blog

Nancy Lecompte writes to introduce her new Research Journal Blog titled Gwilodwôgan.

http://nedoba.blogspot.com

The word refers to exploration or investigation in the Western Abenaki dialect.

She will be exploring what is known about families with potential Native American heritage in the Northeast, one family at a time. It is her hope the blog will serve as a teaching tool for any beginning researcher, a resource for descendants, and a journal of what is known, what is still left to learn, what is incorrect (and why), and what her conclusions are (and why) for each family examined.

She will begin with Edward Marden (also Mardin), c1751-1835 of Lyman, NH, who is said to have an “Indian” wife. His grandchildren are scattered all over the Northeast (ME, NH, VT, Quebec, MA).

The next family she will examine is that of a woman named Marleah Kanistaux of Stockton, NY, who is said to be the granddaughter of Metallic. Metallic was a rather famous Abenaki man known in western Maine and northern New Hampshire. He died in Stewartstown, NH in 1845 at an age well over 100 years.

She will be looking for another family to work on this summer. If you have an interesting “Indian” puzzle, write and share it.

You can email Nancy at nancy@nedoba.org.

Family History Library Classes Now Available on Internet

Free Classes Make Genealogy Expertise Accessible Anywhere

SALT LAKE CITY—It is rare that Marcia Covington can make the trip from her home in State College, Pennsylvania, to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah. Now, however, people like Covington can take classes from the world-famous library without ever leaving home.

The FamilySearch Family History Library is now making its popular classes available at FamilySearch.org, where anyone anywhere in the world can access them for free at a time that is convenient for them. The classes have been offered on-site in Salt Lake City for years. Until now, attendance has been limited to those patrons who are fortunate to live in the surrounding community or happen to be visiting the library as part of a research trip. Making the classes available online allows access to many more patrons.

“Most people do family history whenever they can fit it in their busy lives, on evenings, holidays, weekends, and so forth. Whether you are a beginner or experienced researcher, you can choose subjects of interest to you from the available classes and watch them anytime and anywhere,” said FamilySearch Community Services Manager Diane Loosle.

The online classes are a great complement to the free personal research assistance the Family History Library offers to its patrons in Utah and through its family history centers worldwide. According to Loosle, the free online classes are one part of the growing number of tools FamilySearch is building for its online patrons. That is great news to people like Covington.

“Very few people have the opportunity to come to Salt Lake City, but these classes give me the same access at home as I can get in Utah,” Covington said. “Our distances here are pretty long, and for some people it is a 40-minute drive to the nearest family history center. These classes make it possible to get training in your home whenever you want, and it is so nice that it is free.”

There are currently 23 Family History Library classes available online, with subjects ranging from European research to United States military records. The most popular offerings are the Beginning Research Series for Ireland and England and a class on descendancy research.

The classes vary in length from 6 to 58 minutes, with most lasting about 25 minutes. The format of the class varies, depending on the content being presented. One type of class shows a video that alternates between the teacher and the PowerPoint slides. Another kind of class integrates video of the presenter, the accompanying PowerPoint slides, and links to supplemental materials all in one screen.

Several of the classes are interactive, such as a course on reading German handwriting. In these classes, the teacher is represented with still photographs and audio narration, and the student can actively participate in learning activities, such as matching English and German characters or transcribing selected words from a document. As a student types, the correct text appears in green and incorrect answers appear in red, providing immediate feedback.

FamilySearch is continually adding new online offerings; classes on how to read English handwritten records are currently in development. All of the classes can be accessed on www.familysearch.org by clicking on Free Online Classes on the home page.

Paul Nauta
FamilySearch Public Affairs Manager

1930 US Census Available Free of Charge on the Internet Archive

The following article is from Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter and is copyright by Richard W. Eastman. It is re-published here with the permission of the author. Information about the newsletter is available at http://www.eogn.com.

Here is a pleasant surprise: the Internet Archive is placing the 1930 U.S. Census online and is making it available at no charge. This is a “work in progress;” but, the census records from many states are available now, and the remaining states will be added in the near future.

The records are offered in exactly the same format as the microfilms created by the U.S. Government. In fact, the online images appear to be copies of the microfilms. The images are being offered “as is.” That is, there is no index available, only the images. If you already know where your ancestor lived and (hopefully) the enumeration district, you can view the images one at a time until you find the information you seek.

You can find enumeration districts on FamilySearch at http://www.familysearch.org/Eng/Library/fhlcatalog/supermainframeset.asp?display=subjectdetails&subject=870702&subject_disp=Census+districts+-+United+States&columns=*,0,0. Once you know the enumeration district, return to the Internet Archive at http://www.archive.org/details/1930_census to conduct your search.

If your ancestors lived in a small town, you can probably find them without determining an enumeration district in advance. However, for those who resided in cities, the enumeration district is a valuable piece of information that allows you to zoom in on the correct neighborhood quickly although you will still need to look at a lot of images to find what you seek.

While it is nice to see a free version of the census available, I doubt if this will have much impact on the commercial companies that also offer census images online for a fee. The commercial companies have indexed most of their records, and finding someone in an index first is much, much easier than manually looking at hundreds of images in search of the right family.

While I appreciate the free, unindexed images, I’ll still gladly pay a few dollars a month to have an index available. I suspect most others will do the same, especially after trying to find someone in the free records.

Of course, now is an excellent time for your genealogy society or historical society to index the records for your area and place your own index online, with each entry pointing to an original record on the Internet Archive.

To find the 1930 U.S. Census records on the Internet Archive, start at: http://www.archive.org/details/1930_census to conduct your search.

Aroostook County Genealogical Society Now Online

We are happy to report that our northernmost chapter, Aroostook County Genealogical Society, is now online with a new website. Visit them at http://www.ac-gs.org.

The website is still undergoing some tweaking and they are working diligently on adding additional content, but it is already a great resource.

Surf over and check them out and welcome “The County” to the Internet!

Where to Write for Vital Records

Here’s a site you might not think of for genealogical research – The Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s website provides links to those who want to direct access to individual state and territory information. To use this valuable too, you must first determine the state or area where the birth, death, marriage or divorce occurred, then click on that state or area.

The site does provide guidelines to help ensure an accurate response to your request.

To access, visit http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/w2w.htm.

Kennebec County Deed Index

The website of the Registry of Deeds Office, Kennebec County, Maine contains a searchable database of their Land Records and Plans databases. Index information and document images that you’ll see available on the website date back to the late 1700’s.

It is free to search the database. Users must register first. Subscription to the database carries a cost of $50 per month. But as a non-subscriber, users have an unlimited view of index data and have the opportunity to purchase document images where applicable ($3.00 per page for land records or $7.00 per document for plans

Please visit the Registry of Deeds Office website at www.kennebec.me.us.landata.com.

Thanks to the Gowers for bringing this to our attention. As Jerry Gower points out, “even having access to the search index at home can be a big help and save time once at the deeds office.”

Les Filles Des Roi

The following article is from Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter and is copyright by Richard W. Eastman. It is re-published here with the permission of the author. Information about the newsletter is available at http://www.eogn.com.

If you have French-Canadian ancestry, you probably have encountered the term “Filles du Roi” at some point in your genealogy research. Millions of today’s Canadians and Americans can find one or more of the Filles du Roi in the family tree. I thought I would explain the term this week and also provide some historical background information.

The French term “Filles du Roi” translates literally as “the daughters of the King.” Between 700 and perhaps 1,000 young, single women traveled to Quebec City, Trois Rivières, and Montréal from 1663 to 1673 as a part of a program managed by the Jesuits and funded by King Louis XIV.

These hardy immigrant women married and raised families. In fact, many of them raised large families in the tradition of the day. Many of their sons and daughters went on to also have large families, and so on and so forth for generations. As a result, millions of living people are descended from this group of pioneer women.

In the mid-1600s, most of the people arriving in what was then called New France were young French men intent on farming or fur trapping. Relatively few women traveled to the new land, which created a problem for these young men: there were very few women of marrying age.

As if the farmers and fur trappers didn’t have enough competition finding wives, King Louis XIV sent almost 1,200 soldiers of the Carignan-Salières regiment to Québec in 1665 to fight the Iroquois Indians, who were aggressive and killed many settlers. The soldiers were deployed at strategic points of the territory to defend the colony and its residents. The regiment was successful, and a peace treaty with the Iroquois was signed on July 10, 1667. The Regiment then returned to France but left behind 400 soldiers and officers, aged between 19 and 30, who all agreed to remain in the country as settlers. With an additional 400 young men added to the colony, the marriage problems worsened. Jean Talon, intendant of New France, carried out the colony’s first census. He recorded that the population was a bit more than 3,000, with 719 unmarried males and only 45 unmarried females living in the colony. This did not bode well for the future of the settlement.

In the custom of the day, the oldest daughter of a family in France received as large a dowry as possible from her parents to improve her chances of marriage. Dowries often included furniture, household articles, silver, land, or other inherited goods. Younger daughters of the same family typically received smaller dowries. Daughters of impoverished families often received no dowry at all, which reduced their chances of finding a suitable mate. These younger daughters were prime candidates for an opportunity in the New World.

Starting in 1663, the French government recruited eligible young French women who were willing to travel to New France to find husbands. The King of France offered to pay for transportation to New France of any eligible young woman. He also offered a dowry for each, to be awarded upon her marriage to a young Frenchman. Each woman’s dowry typically consisted of 1 chest, 1 taffeta kerchief, 1 ribbon for shoes, 100 needles, 1 comb, 1 spool of white thread, 1 pair of stockings, 1 pair of gloves, 1 pair of scissors, 2 knives, about 1,000 pins, 1 bonnet, 4 laces, and 2 silver livres (French coins). Many also received chickens, pigs, and other livestock. Because the King of France paid the dowries instead of the parents, these women were referred to as the “Daughters of the King,” or “Filles du Roi.”

Their travels must have been difficult. In 1664, the Conseil Souverain reported to the French minister for the colonies, Jean-Baptiste Colbert, that sixty of the 300 people who embarked at La Rochelle the previous year had died at sea before reaching New France.

In France Madame Bourdon was made responsible for one hundred and fifty girls whom the king sent to New France in vessels from Normandy. She wrote that the young women in her charge gave her plenty of exercise during such a long voyage since they were of all kinds and conditions. Some were very badly brought up and very difficult to handle. Others were better bred and gave Mme. Bourdon more satisfaction.

There are many contradictory stories about the origins of these women. Some stories claim that they were mostly prostitutes who were forced onto ships in French harbors and sent to New France against their will. Other stories claim that these women were mostly recruited by Jesuits who insisted upon accepting only women of the finest moral character. The truth is probably somewhere between these two extremes. About 40 Daughters, called Daughters of Quality (filles de qualité), were from wealthy upper class families and had dowries of over 2000 French pounds. Several of the Daughters of Quality have provable descents from royalty.

On October 27, 1667, in a letter to Jean-Baptiste Colbert, Quebec intendant Jean Talon confirmed the recent arrival of the first young ladies. Jean Talon wrote:

Instead of the 50 that your despatch had me hope for, 84 young girls were sent from Dieppe and 25 from La Rochelle. There are fifteen or twenty from quite good families; several are real young ladies and quite well brought up…

The vast majority of the group was of French origin, although there were girls of other nationalities as well. According to the records of Marie de l’ Incarnation, who knew many of these women, there were among them one Moor, one Portuguese, one German, and one Dutch woman.

Those who arrived safely usually found husbands within a few weeks. In fact, there are records of some of the young women marrying within days after their arrival in New France. Since many of them produced large families, hundreds of thousands – if not millions – of people in North America today can find one or more of these young women in their family tree.

An alphabetical listing of all the Filles du Roi and their husbands is available on the Encyclopedia of Genealogy at: http://www.fillesduroi.org/src/Filles_list.htm

You can find a lot more information about the Filles du Roi on the World Wide Web. Some of the better sites include the following list:

In English:

A Scattering of Seeds: The Creation of Canada: http://www.whitepinepictures.com/seeds/i/12/sidebar.html

An essay by Peter Gagné on Quintin Publications’ Web site: http://www.quintinpublications.com/fdr.html

La Société des Filles du roi et soldats du Carignan at http://www.fillesduroi.org/

In French:

Les Filles du Roi at Mouvement estrien pour le français: http://www.mef.qc.ca/filles_du_roi.htm

Les Filles du Roi at http://perso.wanadoo.fr/alain.perron/fillesduroy.htm

Memoire de Sieur Jean Talon at: http://www.mcq.org/histoire/filles_du_roi/

A chart of the origins of the young women may be found at The Musée de la civilisation and the Musée de l’Amérique française: http://www.mcq.org/histoire/filles_du_roi/plan.html

If you do not read or speak French, the above sites can be translated into English by using the machine-generated translation services available at Google. The results will be grammatically incorrect and even humorous at times, but still quite readable.

There are many other Web sites devoted to the Filles du Roi. Use your favorite search engine to find them or click here for a search on Google.

Websites by Nancy Lecompte

Nancy (Coffin) Lecompte has written advising of updated addresses for her websites containing not only her genealogical information, but some historical information which might be interest to researchers as well.

http://home.roadrunner.com/~nlecompte/stevens/index.htm

The Stevens Clan & 4 generations of Ancestors. This one covers her Irish Burns/Sullivan and English Stevens/Perry lines found in Lewiston, Auburn and Minot area of Maine.

http://home.roadruner.com/~nlecompte/proctor/index.htm

Nancy’s Proctor ancestry, including a brief history of Early Falmouth (Portland) with 1775 Map and her family involvement in the Salem Witch Trials.

http://trees.ancestry.com/tree/253201/person/-2103611421
this link will only work for Ancestry members
http://www.myheritage.com/site-family-tree-454583/samuel-proctor-maine
this one not as up to date, but should work for everyone
Descendants of Samuel Proctor (1685-1765) of Lynn, MA & Falmouth, ME attempting to identify and document at least 4 generations of descendants.

http://home.roadrunner.com/~nlecompte/patriot0.html
My Patriot Ancestors
A brief accounting of the military service of Nancy’s ancestry during the American Revolution with notes on important events, etc.

http://home.roadrunner.com/~nlecompte/regiment/
The 6th (7th) Massachusetts Regiment of the Continental Line
A story of Maine Men serving at Cherry Valley and in the Sullivan Campaign in the New York Theatre of War.

http://www.footnote.com/page/2549_cherry_valley_november_11th_1778/

The Cherry Valley Massacre – November 11th, 1778
An Account of the Event and Identity of the Soldiers who Died or were taken Captive by the British and Their Indian Allies.

And don’t forget to visit Nancy’s Ne-Do-Ba website at www.nedoba.org – Your home for accurate historical and genealogical information concerning the Wabanaki People of the Northeast.

What Was Your Ancestor’s Property Worth?

The following article is from Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter and is copyright by Richard W. Eastman. It is re-published here with the permission of the author. Information about the newsletter is available at http://www.eogn.com.

Genealogists often find references to money in old deeds and other documents. Even U.S. census records frequently recorded estimates of a person’s real estate. The naturally question is, “I wonder what that would equal in today’s dollars?” There is a web site that can answer this question.

S. Morgan Friedman’ Inflation Calculator can convert a U.S. dollar amount for any year from 1800 through 2008 into the equivalent amount, adjusted for inflation, in any other year of that range. In other words, if you find that your ancestor purchased land for $400 in 1805, the Inflation Calculator will tell you that the money he spent is equivalent to a purchase of $5667.99 in 2008.

This should be sufficient for genealogy purposes. The pre-1975 data comes from the Consumer Price Index statistics published in the Historical Statistics of the United States (USGPO, 1975). All data since then is from the annual Statistical Abstracts of the United States. You can access the Inflation Calculator at: http://www.westegg.com/inflation.

Canadians will find a similar Inflation Calculator for the years 1914 through 2009 at the Bank of Canada’s Web pages at: http://www.bankofcanada.ca/en/inflation_calc.htm.

Think DAR for Free Online Research

The Daughters of the American Revolution has added its Genealogical Research System to its website, providing free access to the public.

This addition offers a combination of several databases created in recent years to organize the large quantity of information that the DAR has collected since its inception in 1890. This system of databases will continue to expand as new information is added.
The Ancestor Database is not a comprehensive list of all individuals who served in the Revolutionary War – new patriots are added as they are proven through DAR membership applications.

The Member Database is limited in order to protect the privacy of the Society’s members, but it is possible to search for basic information on a member’s ancestor record.

The Descendants Database is an every-name index of the names found on the lineage page of DAR applications and supplementals (this database is currently still under construction).

This is a wonderful resource and it is free! To learn more about the various databases and to launch your search, visit www.dar.org/library/online_research.cfm.

Windham Maine Online Databases

Kay Soldier of the Windham Historical Society writes to let us know that as of September 24, 2009, the website of Windham (Maine) Historical Society has listings of vital records (births, deaths, marriages) including the Friends Church, some very, very old, some into the early 1900s, along with burial records for all cemeteries up to the year 2000 – there are almost two dozen cemeteries. This is the list for vital statistics:

Marriages by Bride (1906-1944)
Marriages by Groom (1906-1944)
Friends Marriages
Marriages – Town Records by Dole
Family Records by Dole
Friends Birth Records
Records of Death by Dole
Friends Death Records
Death Records 1906-1974

All these records are the same which had at one time been available at RootsWeb.com and were compiled by volunteers at the society.

Go to the website (www.windhamhistorical.org) and click on “Link” and follow the subsequent links.