Vital Records of Wiscasset, Maine Now Available

The town of Wiscasset is situated on the Sheepscot River in the southeastern part of Lincoln County and is the county seat. The town was first settled in 1663 but the settlement was abandoned during the French and Indian Wars and the King Philip’s War in 1675. Not until 1730 did settlers return to the area.

The town was first included in the region called South Precinct of Pownalborough. The town of Pownalborough was incorporated as the twelfth town in Maine on February 13, 1760 and originally included what are now the towns of Wiscasset, Dresden, Alna and Swan Island. Land was set off forming the towns of Dresden and Alna on June 25, 1794 with the name of Pownalborough being retained for the remaining portion until June 10, 1802 when it was then changed to Wiscasset.

Maine Genealogical Society Special Publication No. 66. 640 pages, 24,339 entry Every Name Index; hard cover. 2011.

MGS Member price is $74.95, a discount of $10.00 from the non-member price.

Coming to our workshop on April 23rd? This book, and many others, will be on sale there!

For more information, visit the Special Publications catalog on the MGS website.

An Act Relating to Access to Vital Records

LD 258 “An Act Relating to Access to Vital Records” is sponsored by Rep. Deborah Sanderson of Chelsea. It amends LD 1781 [PL 601] which was passed last year and which closed Maine’s vital records for 100 years.

Due to the very short time between the public hearing (Wednesday, March 2) and the work session where the bill will be voted on (Thursday, March 3) it is vital that people submit testimony supporting LD 258 via e-mail as soon as possible.

Testimony may be submitted by e-mail to the HHS Committee Clerk, Lisa Cote at:

There is another bill to amend the law,
LD 388, which will be presented at the same public hearing. It has a provision to lower the fee for the state researcher identification card to $25 and make it good for 2-years. We do not want any requirement that genealogists buy a special card to access vital records. We already pay to belong to various genealogy and historical societies; membership cards from those organizations should be sufficient to prove one is a genealogist. Comments on this bill are also requested. [send to the Lisa Cote]

You may download a copy of LD 258 (and LD 388) by going to and typing the bill number in the box in the upper right corner.

If you can come to present testimony at the hearing you need to bring at least 20 copies of the testimony. The hearing will be at 10:00 a.m. in Room 209 of the Cross State Office Building. Please be advised that parking is very limited around the capitol complex and will be further affected on Wednesday & Thursday by supporters & protesters of the state budget which is also having public hearings.

Please pass this on to any and all genealogists and supporters thereof.

If you have questions, please email Helen Shaw (

New Native American Blog

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

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

State Shut Down Days

Maine residents are more than familiar with the shut down days being imposed upon state workers following the budget crunch being experienced by the state government. For those living out of state or for those in Maine who may not be familiar with all the dates, please make note of the following days when the state offices, which includes the Archives and State Library, will be closed in 2011 so you can plan your trips accordingly.

Friday 14 January 2010
Tuesday, 22 February 2011
Friday, 18 March 2011
Tuesday, 19 April 2011
Friday, 27 May 2011

Vital Records of Orland, Maine

We are pleased to announce the availability of our Special Publication #65.

The town of Orland is located in Hancock County, 17 miles west of Ellsworth. Granted to W. Dall, Nathaniel Snellings, Robert Treat and others in Boston. It was first settled by Joseph Gross from Fort Pownal in 1764. Zachariah Gross, his son, was the first male child born there in 1766. The first road was laid out in 1771 by John Hancock and Samuel Craig. Orland was incorporated on Feb. 21, 1800. Prior to that date it was known as Eastern River Township, or Plantation, No. 2.

James H. Wick, compiler. 426 pages, 14,106 entry Every Name Index. Hard cover. 2010.

Member price: $59.95 / Non-member price: $69.95

Visit our website for ordering information.

Ardell J. (Parkman) Lynds

Maine Genealogical Society is saddened to announce the death of Ardell J. (Parkman) Lynds, a well-known Maine genealogist and recently, a director of our Society.

READFIELD – Ardell J. (Parkman) Lynds died Dec. 6, 2010, at Hospice House, Auburn, with her husband and sons by her side. Ardell was born Jan. 8, 1942, at Scott Webb Memorial Hospital, Hartland, the only child of Henry A. Parkman and Phyllis P. (Pease) Parkman. She attended elementary school in St. Albans, Skowhegan, Norridgewock, Aptos, Calif.; and graduated from Watsonville High School in 1960. She also attended secretarial school in San Jose, Calif., Monterey Peninsular College, and Hartnell College, Salinas, Calif. Upon returning to Maine after residing in California from 1962 to 2000, she really enjoyed reconnecting with childhood friends and family from Skowhegan and Norridgewock. After spending time with family, Ardell’s greatest joy was researching family roots, as she was an extremely successful and passionate genealogist. Some of her greatest accomplishments were tracing her family heritage and others back to their Mayflower voyage. She also wrote and published three books and transcribed the vital records of St. Albans. She was a proud member of several genealogical organizations, including Daughters of the American Revolution, of which she was an officer; Mayflower Society, New England Historic Genealogical Society, Maine Genealogical Society, Colonial Dames of the XVII Century and Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War. She also owned and operated Your Cousin’s Genealogical Shoppe, San Martin, Calif. Ardell was a lady of extreme character and virtue, whose family values and moral code would be next to impossible to surpass. As indicated by the organizations she belonged to, Ardell loved her country, and was a devout patriot. Ardell was a lover of animals, having named and cared for numerous pets including dogs, cats, pygmy goats, roosters, chickens, horses and a pig on Lynds’ Little Acres Ranchette, San Martin, Calif. This would explain why one of her favorite TV shows and books was “All Creatures Great and Small” by James Herriot. She had also been a school volunteer and treasurer of Boy Scout Troop 20. She is survived by her husband, Arvil Lynds of Readfield; and her children, Ronnie Lynds of Gilroy, Calif., Stephen Lynds of Yosemite National Park, Calif., and Michael Lynds of Gardiner. There will be viewing hours 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 10, at Smart & Edwards Funeral Home, 183 Madison Ave., Skowhegan, where a funeral service will be held 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 11. Immediately after there will be a luncheon reception at Tewksbury Hall behind Federated Church on the island in Skowhegan. Donations may be made in Ardell’s memory to National Kidney Foundation , Serving New England, 85 Astor Ave., Suite 2, Norwood, MA 02062-5040; Arthritis Foundation , Northern New England Office, 6 Chenell Drive, Suite 260, Concord, NH 03301; or The Hospice House of Androscoggin Home Care & Hospice, 236 Stetson Road, Auburn, ME 04210. Arrangements are under the care and direction of Smart & Edwards Funeral Home, 183 Madison Ave., Skowhegan.

Published in Bangor Daily News on December 9, 2010

Google Earth 101 and Its Uses in Genealogy – November 6th

November 6, 2010 the Greater Portland Chapter of MGS will present “Google Earth 101 and Its Uses in Genealogy”

Will Haskell is the GPCMGS secretary and a civil engineer with eighteen years of experience. He uses maps and aerial photography every day at work and he finds they provide many benefits in his genealogy research as well. Google Earth is free software that allows you to “fly” anywhere on the earth and visualize what that place looks like today and in the past. This powerful tool provides opportunities to visualize where your ancestors lived, their migration routes and patterns, compare current and historic photographs, overlay historic maps over current maps and locate cemeteries and churches. He will provide a basic overview and introduction of the software and will touch on several of the useful tools for genealogy. At the end of his talk he will show us his unique Google Earth project that provides exciting opportunities for the future of cemetery research.

Our meetings are held at 1:00 on the first Saturday of every month at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints at 29 Ocean House Road in Cape Elizabeth, Maine. New members are always welcome. Refreshments are served before the meeting at 12:30 and admission is free.

Fogler Library Sponsors Town Reports Event

ORONO, Maine— Is your family name in the town report? Did it appear there in 1898? What did this mean? Do you still think of the annual reports prepared by towns in Maine as dull bureaucratic documents detailing arcane activities of municipal governments, of little interest to anyone except local residents? This view will be challenged in a program sponsored by the Friends of Fogler Library entitled Town Reports: Rich Texts, Vital Resources, held in the Special Collections Reading Room
of Fogler Library on Monday, November 15, at 3:00 p.m.

Librarians Mel Johnson and Richard Hollinger will demonstrate that town reports are unique and valuable resources for local history and genealogy, and are essential sources for research on regional and state history as well, containing information about social history often available nowhere else.

The program will also feature Maine Town Reports Online, where digitized historical reports from a number of Maine towns can be viewed. This site is a collaborative project between Fogler Library, the Maine State Library and several municipalities and historical societies. This event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served. For more information contact Gretchen Gfeller at or call 581-1696.

Individuals, towns and organizations that would like to add their town’s reports to this site should contact Sharon Quinn Fitzgerald at Fogler Library (voice: 581-1667, email:

For more information on this event, contact:
Gretchen Gfeller, Web and Public Relations
University of Maine, Raymond H. Fogler Library
5729 Raymond H. Fogler Library, Orono, ME 04469-5729

New Website – Sirius Genealogy 2.0

The following announcement was written by Sirius Innovations, LLC:

Sirius Innovations, LLC is pleased to announce the release of “The Sirius Genealogist Web Directory at the Sirius Genealogy 2.0 website. The Web Directory is a well-organized collection of genealogy related resources that will help the amateur and professional genealogist perform research, find education / training programs, evaluate software options, find hardware, evaluate an assortment of service based offerings, and participate in the genealogy community. The directory is completely search able by category and/or location.

Individual listings can include a detailed description, links to websites, user ratings & reviews, down loadable v-cards and more. Listings can also be easily printed, saved to a favorites area or downloaded as a PDF.

The editors of Sirius Genealogy 2.0 invite users of our website to submit their FREE listing to the Web Directory today. Each listing is individually reviewed for relevancy before approval and then added to the appropriate categories.

Check it out at

New Vital Records Law Goes Into Effect

On July 12th, 2010 a new law preventing fraudulent use of vital records went into effect. Vital records include birth certificates, fetal death and death certificates, marriage certificates, and domestic partner registrations. Maine’s new law will require a person requesting a copy of records less than 100 years old to provide documentation establishing their direct and legitimate interest in the records.

Until now, Maine has been one of just a handful of states that have allowed anyone, including individuals with bad intentions and for profit entities, access to these records. Information from vital records will become completely open to the public 100 years from the date of the event.

Individuals who may access vital records less than 100 years old include:

* The person named on the record;
* The person’s spouse or registered domestic partner;
* The parent(s) named on the record;
* Descendants of the person named on the record;
* Registrant’s legal custodian, guardian, or conservator or respective authorized representative (includes attorney, physician, or funeral director); and
* Genealogists who have a Maine CDC issued researcher identification card.

Proof of identity must also be presented to the municipal and city clerks or state Vital Records Office staff. A brief application for securing a copy of the vital record must be filled out and presented, along with positive identification such as a driver’s license, passport, or other government issued picture identification that clearly shows that the person requesting the record is who they say they are. Identification requirements apply whether the records are requested in person or by mail.

The Genealogical Research Application form is located at: about half way down the page.

Kennebunk, ME Brick House Museum Event

The Kennebunk Brick House Museum is having an ancestor road show from 10 to 1 pm on August 14th to benefit the museum. People can have 25 minute consultations. Genealogical consultants will be Pam Eagleson, Margaret Dube and Carol McCoy. They are also members of the Northeast chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists. Proceeds will benefit the museum.