MGS to Sponsor Michael Brophy at NERGC 2019

The Maine Genealogical Society is pleased to sponsor Michael Brophy as our society speaker at the New England Regional Genealogical Conference on April 3-6. He will be speaking 8:30 to 9:30 on Saturday morning.  Mike’s talk, “Maine Records at the Mass Archives,” reminds us that Maine has been a state for just under 200 years and the records for those who lived in the District of Maine before 1820 are housed in the Massachusetts Archives.

As a nationally known researcher from the Boston area, Mike is well positioned to help us delve into those records.  His professional work with private clients and as an heir search specialist requires that he look beyond the basic facts.  Sometimes that leads down paths that are unexpected. In his own family, he discovered a long hidden divorce in Ireland almost 100 years ago, and a great grandmother who was killed by a drunken driver.  Digging in courthouse papers and newspapers he was able to discover, as they say “The rest of the story.”

His introduction to genealogy came as is does for many of us with someone else’s work.  Mike reports that after an aunt died his cousin compiled an historical tribute.  That was the spark to begin his own research—what better way to study history than with his own family.  He recruited his father to help search through the attic for memorabilia then began the task of making sense of it.  In those days, that meant scrolling through reels of microfilm and visiting repositories eventually finding school records and passenger ship logs documenting his family’s journey from Ireland to New Brunswick in the early 1800’s. He eventually took a trip to New Brunswick to walk the streets and the countryside where his ancestors had lived.  Studying his family’s history also gives him perspective on the present.  Our problems pale when compared to the hardships our ancestors endured.

These days, Mike can still be found researching in repositories—even though some think otherwise, we all know that not all records are on the internet. He may using resources in the library of the NEHGS, the Boston Public Library or the Massachusetts Archives.  He subscribes to the FAN approach to research. Look around your subject for interactions. That requires those visits to repositories.  Finding the elusive document that answers a long sought family connection can be the “eureka” moment that drives research forward.

Mike’s talk can help us early Maine researchers find what that elusive document leading to our own eureka moment.  

For more information see the conference brochure at

Wassebec Genealogical Society Workshop May 19th.


Photo by Stuart Hedstrom | Piscataquis Observer

On May 19th the Wassebec Chapter will sponsor a free workshop to be held in the Sebec Room in Mayo Hospital in Dover-Foxcroft. From 9 to 12 the speaker will be Judy Reitze, former director of the Family History Center in Bangor.  Judy will take us through using the Family Search website which can get confusing at times.  From 1-4 Nina Brawn, a former columnist for the Piscataquis Observer will be with us to take us through using  Snacks and lunch are included. If you aren’t already pre-registered for the workshop, please do that as soon as you can.  We are limited in the number the room will legally hold and would like to have a good idea how many to expect by May 15h if possible. If you have questions, need directions, or want any other info, please get in touch with Nancy Battick 564-3576 or NormaJean Mahar 564-7363. Hope to see you at the workshop,  

2018 Spring Workshop – Writing Your Family History

Writing Your Family History

Guest Speaker: Joseph C. Anderson, II FASG

April 21, 2018 – 9:00am to 4:00 pm

(Registration from 8 to 9)

Elks Lodge, 397 Civic Center Drive, Augusta, ME 04330

What do I do with all the research I have accumulated? The simple answer is to write it up, publish it, and make your family proud. The Spring Workshop, led by the editor of The Maine Genealogist, Joseph C. Anderson, will cover the steps to turn your yellowing, dusty files into the printed word.  Along the way, you will learn many of the tricks and tools that professional writers use to make the writing process simpler. The morning session will delve into a range of topics, including:
  • Defining the writing project
  • Assembling your research notes
  • Using writing as a research tool
  • Compiling a resource and style sheet
  • Exploring ways to make your writing come alive
  • Choosing a publisher to fit your project and budget
The afternoon session will focus on how to write for a genealogical periodical and include a presentation by MGS’s Membership Secretary, Deb Nowers, on how family heirlooms inspired her to write about her ancestors. Wrapping up, there will be a session covering illustrations, indexes and bibliographies, copyright considerations, and the printing process.  If you have ever considered writing a blog, a family newsletter, or a book about that quirky ancestor, this workshop will give you the tools to make that happen. Because, after all that research, if you don’t write it up; rest assured, your heirs won’t either!
Joseph C. Anderson II is the editor of The Maine Genealogist, coeditor of The American Genealogist, consulting editor of Vermont Genealogy, and editor of MGS’s Maine Families in 1790 project. He has authored or edited eighteen books on various genealogical subjects and contributed dozens of articles to genealogical journals. In 2000 he was appointed a Fellow of the American Society of Genealogists (FASG).



July 11th Genealogy Fair – Brick Wall Busters

Just 2 days left before our first FREE Genealogy Fair in Augusta, Maine.  We’re excited to be offering an informal gathering of experts on Maine history and genealogy from around the State, including our friends at the Maine State Historical Society, among others.  Visitors to this event will be able to get information about the State Archives, The Maine State Library and can enjoy free admission to the Maine State Museum.

MGS will have many of our books available for sale, as will other groups.  The Cross Cafe will be open most of the day and the weather is going to amazing, so you can sit outside and enjoy some beautiful Maine weather, if you’re so inclined.

On top of it all, we’ve assembled some folks who will be available for consultations to help YOU take another chunk out of that brick wall that’s been plaguing you for years…  Or maybe you’re just getting started in your genealogical journey – or don’t even know where to start…  Our volunteers are here to help you get going, no matter what phase of research you are in.

Our current list of volunteers and their areas of expertise are included below. If you would like to reserve some time with one of these volunteers, please email and we’ll make sure we have some space reserved for you. If possible, please include some specifics about what you would like to talk about and we’ll forward it along to the appropriate person.

Don’t see what you’re looking for in an area of expertise?  Send us your questions and let us know if you’ll be attending the fair. We’ll do our best to match you up with someone we think may be able to help you.

Our panel of experts:

Jerry Gower – Washington County Research & Maine Families in 1790
Bob Chenard – Franco American Research
Craig Siulinski – Recording Oral Histories & Sharing your Research Online
Helen Shaw – Census and Cemetery Research, Lineage Society Applications & Accessing Maine Vital Records
Nancy Milliken Mason – DNA for Genealogy
BJ Jamieson– Scottish and Irish Research

In addition MGS Officers and members will be available throughout the day to discuss getting started in your family history research and other general research related questions.

Email with your Maine family or general genealogical queries and we’ll work hard to get you with the right person on Saturday. If you can’t make this event, you can still email us your Maine genealogy questions and we’ll work to get an answer back to you as soon as possible!

New Brunswick Genealogical Fair

The New Brunswick Genealogical Society, Saint John Branch will again be hosting a Genealogy Fair and New Brunswick Archives Road Show, September 12, 2009, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m (don’t forget they are one hour ahead) at Joachim’s Church Hall, Loch Lomond Road, Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada.

The fair is open to all those interested in genealogy and family history. Come early or late or stay all day. Exhibitors will include the New Brunswick Archives with the NB Archives Road Show, New Brunswick Museum, and many local area genealogists with information on Southern New Brunswick families and beyond. Book sales. New publication announcements. Find out about the New Brunswick Genealogical Society Beginners Corner. Do you have a name for our “brick wall?” Internet access available.

Are you interested in exhibiting your family tree information? If you would like to display the results of your genealogical research, this is the place to do it! Are your launching a book? Found a new ancestor? Got a brick wall you need to tear down? Contact Dave Fraser at or call (506) 849-7922.

For more information, visit the Saint John Branch of NBGS on the web at

Genealogy Workshop in Ellsworth

The Hancock County Genealogical Society announces a Genealogy Workshop to be held on Saturday, June 20, from Noon to 4:00 p.m. at the Ellsworth Public Library.

Are you having trouble finding your Hancock County ancestors? Are you trying to get started on a genealogy research project? If you are, join the members of HCGS on Saturday, June 20. A chance to ask questions of local genealogists. The Library’s genealogy collection will be available for researchers to use.

They do suggest that it would be a big help if you would let them know what names you are interested in researching ahead of time. Contact Charlene Fox Clemons by email at or by phone at 667-6363 (W) or 667-7210 (H).

Take advantage of this opportunity!

Taconnett to hold 6th Annual Genealogy Fair

The Taconnett Falls Chapter of MGS announces their 6th Annual Genealogy Fair. This popular event will be held on Saturday, June 20, 2009, at the Taconnett Genealogy Library, 10 Lithgow Street, Winslow, Maine, from 9:00 a.m to 3:00 p.m. Everyone is invited to spend a relaxing day devoted to researching and networking.

Special 2009 offerings include:

10:00 “There’s a long, long, road a-winding, but you CAN get there from here-ah”. Sarah Crockett will share some of the lessons learned from her experiences.

11:00 “Organizational Tips for Genealogists” will be presented by Carolyn Browne.

1:30 “Brick Walls: A Panel Discussion” moderated by Janet Weymouth is just the place for help with your questions like – where should I look? what’s next? or ___? Panelists will be Jerry Gower, MF-1790s contributor and Washington County expert; Kay Marsh, Kennebec Valley family researcher; and Carol McCoy, noted genealogical researcher and national presenter.

Not to mention –
  • Representatives of various societies including Penobscot County Genealogical Society, the recently formed Sidney Historical Society and Vassalborough Historical Society, plus others will be at the fair to share with you information about the valuable resources offered by their societies.
  • Debbie Roberge will be available to show you all the ins and outs of the RootsMagic software. While at the Fair, check with others to see which software they prefer.
  • Celeste Hyer, MGS Membership Secretary, will be available for Maine Genealogical Society related questions.
  • Check out what’s offered by the Maine Old Cemetery Association (MOCA).
  • Family association representatives including Roland Rhoades, who will share the latest Rhoades updates along with listings of Universalist & Unitarian ministers in Maine.
  • Janice Gower will be sharing her extensive knowledge of the Woolwich area and the expertise she has gained compiling may sketches for the Maine Families in 1790 project.
  • If you have Maine roots you will likely need to know about Franco-American research. Clair Poulin from the Maine Franco-American Society (their library is in Auburn) and Taconnett’s own Franco expert, Bob Chenard, will be available to help with the unique aspects of this type of research.
  • Ancestry outside of Maine? Check with Barbara Gunvaldsen experienced Scandinavian genealogical researcher.
What a full day! And did we mention the book sale, prize drawings and refreshments? If you didn’t attend one or all of the first five fairs, you really missed out – Don’t let that happen again.

For more information, visit their website at – or you can email – or call (207) 873-5590.

December Genealogical Events

Here’s what is happening genealogically around the state for December:

December 6, 2008
Greater Portland Chapter of MGS
Winslow, Maine
Finding Healing in Family History with Angels of Austria
presented by Judy Faust

December 14, 2008
Pejepscot Genealogy Society
Brunswick, Maine
Christmas Party
at the Holden Frost House at the Highlands, Topsham, Maine

December 17, 2008
Penobscot County Genealogical Society
Bangor, Maine
Open Research Night with Holiday Refreshments

December 21, 2008
Taconnett Falls Chapter of MGS
Winslow, Maine
Christmas Party

We hope to see you at one of these events!

November Genealogical Events

Here’s what’s happening genealogically around the state for November:

November 1, 2008
Greater Portland Chapter of MGS
Cape Elizabeth, Maine
Poland Spring – A Tale of the Guilded Age 1860-1900 presented by David L. Richards

November 9, 2008
Pejepscot Genealogy Society
Brunswick, Maine
Researching at the Maine State Archives presented by Jeffrey Brown, Maine State Archivist

November 13, 2008
Wassebec Genealogical Society
Dover-Foxcroft, Maine
Coming to America, the Immigrant Experience presented by Jack Battick

November 16, 2008
Taconnett Falls Chapter of MGS
Winslow, Maine
Voyages – A Maine Franco-American Reader presented by Nelson Madore

November 19, 2008
Penobscot County Genealogical Society
Bangor, Maine
First White Settlers on the Penobscot presented by Fran & Guy Grant

October Genealogical Events

Here’s what’s happening genealogically around the state for October:

October 4, 2008
Greater Portland Chapter of MGS
Winslow, Maine
Portland’s Irish Heritage Center presented by David Soule

October 15, 2008
Penobscot County Genealogical Society
Bangor, Maine
eGenealogy: 2008 presented by Dale W. Mower

October 19, 2008
Taconnett Falls Chapter of MGS
Winslow, Maine
Vassalboro Historical Society looks at a famous Vassalboro home
presented by Kent London

October 25, 2008
Maine Genealogical Society 2009 Conference Committee
Maine Genealogical Society Executive Committee Meeting
Benton, Maine
Meetings are open to any interested MGS member
For information, please e-mail Dale W. Mower, President

Special Conference Announcement

Have you been watching the early registration deadline rapidly approaching? Well, we are offering a bit of a reprieve. At the August 23rd Executive Committee meeting, it was decided to extend this deadline.

The Early Registration Deadline has been extended to September 5, 2008.

But you don’t want to miss this conference – so send in your registration today. Enjoy the savings – MGS Members save $35 by registering early, Non-MGS Members save $20!

For a registration form or for more information, please visit the official conference website at

David Mishkin to speak at Conference

Many of you may remember David Mishkin from past conferences. We’re glad to say he’s back.!

For those of you not familiar with David, he received a B.S. degree in photography from Rochester Institute of Technology in 1969 and has graduated from their Photographic Preservation seminar series. He has presented lectures on preserving photographs and documents for over ten years from Boston, Massachusetts, to San Francisco, California. Mr. Mishkin has recently completed two terms as the President of the New England Regional Genealogical Conference and has served as the Conference Chair for the 2002 Cape Cod Conference and the 2005 Portland, Maine Conference. He has also served as the Exhibitor Chair for the 1998 conference in Portland, Maine. In addition, he has served as LAC Co-Chair for the National Conference in Providence, Rhode Island, in 2000. He is currently serving as Exhibitor Co-Chair for the 2009 NERGC Conference in Manchester, NH. Mr. Mishkin was a member of the Genealogical Speakers Guild and served as secretary for the organization. He has written several articles in photographic magazines as well as genealogical and historical magazines and publications. Currently, Mr. Mishkin serves as Vice-President for the South Portland Historical Society.

David Mishkin will be speaking on the Preservation of Modern Imaging Systems.

Are modern imaging systems better than the older processes we have now? In many cases this is not true. It is very important to museums, historical societies and families that are using these new systems to be aware of the problems that are inherent in each. Can you imagine the disappointment in displaying a beautiful color wedding photograph only to see it fading and shifting colors after only five years?

This session discusses the longevity of video photography and why you should not use videos for preserving family or historic events. The pros and cons of using digital imaging, cameras, printers and CD-Roms for preserving images; the durability of color photography and what you can do to help prevent those color images from fading; and proper storage methods for each medium.

This lecture is designed for all levels from beginner, intermediate to advanced.

For more details on the 2008 conference to be held in South Portland on Saturday, September 20th, visit