2019 MGS Conference Details

How Can it Be August Already?

The late cold spring turned into a wet cool early summer and all of a sudden it was the Genealogy Fair in Augusta.  After recovering from that,  I looked up and the Calendar had turned to August.  I am sure there were 31 days of July in there but I have no idea where they went.  Why the panic?  Because the MGS Conference and Annual Meeting are not just a month away and we need to get the word out.

First of all this is my first blog so please be gentle.  As a co-chair of the Events Committee I can testify that we have been very busy the last few months putting together our first ever multi-day conference.  Part of me wants to give you all the background and why the conference is arranged the way it is but I would need a book not a blog for that.  So like Joe Gannon on Dragnet used to say-“Just the Facts” ma’am.

Picture a lovely early fall weekend in Portland, after Labor Day and before the leaf peepers show up.  Friday, September 13th the weekend begins at the Fireside Inn and Suites just off the Maine Turnpike at exit 48 (the old Exit 8).  Park your car (for free) and grab a shuttle to Portland to do research at the Maine Historical Society, The Portland Public Library or the Maine Irish Heritage Center.  Good old fashioned research at great repositories and it is free if you are registered at the conference. 

If you are a bit more experienced then a beginner at using DNA for family research, you can sign up for an afternoon workshop to be held at the Maine Historical Society.  Saturday’s keynote speaker, Karen Stanbary and Patricia Hobbs will each present for two hours.  First, Patricia Hobbs will do a hands on workshop “Working with GEDMatch” (you will need to have a charged laptop for this) then Karen Stanbary will do a presentation “Introduction to Chromosome Mapping and DNA Painter”.  There is an additional cost of $30 for this workshop and space is extremely limited.

Whether you spent the day in the library stacks or learning about some advanced DNA topics cap the day with a reception at the Maine Historical Society from 5-7 pm.  The last shuttle from downtown Portland will leave at the end of the reception.  If dinner in Portland sounds like a good idea the hotel is a short Uber or cab ride away-definitely cheaper then parking all day.

If you chose to stay in Portland the Fireside Inn and Suites is a family owned hotel with pool, restaurant and they are pretty much letting us take over the place for the conference. The room rate of $109 is locked in until August 20 and if you check around you will find that it is a decent rate and you will be right on site.  Speaking of August 20th, that is also the last day of early registration. This year if you register early, by August 20th, you will be entered in a drawing for one of two prizes.  The first prize is a DNA Kit from My Heritage and the second prize is two tickets for a tour of the Eastern Cemetery in Portland by Spirits Alive.

Saturday dawns early at hotel with registration starting at 8 am.  A basic schedule is outlined below.  It is a busy day and we hope, a fulfilling one. 

   8:00    Registration

   9:00    Welcoming Remarks

   9:30    Karen Stanbary Keynote Speech-DNA Ethics and Surprising Results

  10:45   Patricia Hobbs Keynote-Problem Solving with DNA-Case Studies

  Noon:  Lunch

   12:45 MGS Annual Business Meeting

   1:30   First Breakout Session Options

  1. Karen Stanbary:  Testing Company Tools
  2. Patricia Hobbs:  A Roadmap to Solving Genealogical Problems with Autosomal DNA-Part 1 (plan on doing part 2 for the second session)
  3. Helen Shaw: Overlooked X Chromosome Matches

  2:45   Second Breakout Session Options

  1. Karen Stanbary: Common Mistakes with DNA
  2. Patricia Hobbs:   A Roadmap to Solving Genealogical Problems with Autosomal DNA-Part 2
  3. Nancy Lecompte: DNA in Native American Research (intermediate level)

3:45      Afternoon Break and Snack

4:15    Q & A Panel with all speaker-“Answering the Unasked Questions”

We hope to see a lot of you at this very special weekend in Portland in September. September is a great time to visit Portland.  Bring the family or come with friends and indulge in research and learning.  If there is one thing I am sure of, it is that August will go every bit as quickly as July did, so don’t delay in getting your registration in.  You can register at maineroots.org  If you have questions don’t hesitate to email me, Lynne Holland and I will get back to you as soon as I can.

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Comments (1)

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    Pamela Beveridge


    Wow, if I hadn’t registered already, this post would have done the trick! From the sounds of it, this is going to be a very meaty conference, with the potential to take our paper research to the next level. And it’s nice that the venue has spaces where we can catch up with folks we may see only once a year or less, without bothering the workshops or other guests.


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