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

Chandler Family Association Newsletter Honored

The Chandler Family Association Newsletter received the First Place, Family Newsletter award at the recent National Genealogical Society meeting in Salt Lake City, Utah. The coveted award was presented April 28 in front of a large crowd of enthusiastic genealogists. Accepting the award on behalf of the Association was Charles Chandler, a resident of West Jordan, Utah, and CFA member. Editor of the award-winning newsletter is Claudia Chandler Brocato of Brandon, Mississippi, who was appointed editor of the publication in 2006. Brocato also serves as webmaster for the CFA website, which scored 84% in a recent marketing effectiveness evaluation of 2.3 million websites.

In announcing the award, C. M. Chandler, president of the Chandler Family Association, stated “We are very pleased and honored that our newsletter was judged the best family newsletter in this year’s competition. Our members look forward to receiving their newsletter as each issue is packed with a variety of informative articles and documented genealogies contributed by our members. Each issue generally includes articles by members of our Executive Board, who are involved in various research projects throughout the year. The newsletter provides an excellent vehicle for updating our more than 400 members worldwide about the progress of these efforts. While our peer review board double-checks all genealogical articles for accuracy, Mrs. Brocato has full charge of the final product. We are extremely pleased with the professional appearance she has given our newsletter. This prestigious award from NGS, America’s leading genealogical association, is a reaffirmation of our members’ appreciation of the work Mrs. Brocato performs for our Association.”

The NGS Family Newsletter competition is held annually to recognize the hard work, long hours, and creativity by editors of family newsletters, most of whom are unpaid volunteers. Newsletters entered in the competition are judged by a three-member panel and must meet certain preset criteria, such as material interest, variety and originality, writing quality, readability, and overall attractiveness of presentation. The 2010 competition is the first time the Chandler Family Association has submitted an entry, which adds to the pride the CFA membership has at large for its publication.

To view one of the award-winning issues, visit the group’s website at The website also carries full details about the Chandler Family Association, membership details, and information about the group’s upcoming Annual Meeting, open to all who are interested in Chandler genealogy, September 17-18 in Hampton, Virginia.

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, 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 by clicking on Free Online Classes on the home page.

Paul Nauta
FamilySearch Public Affairs Manager

Open Vital Records

Below are two links to research papers discussing the link of open vital records to identity theft. We recommend all genealogists review these as they formulate their own position on the heavily discussed proposed LD 1781.

Massachusetts Genealogical Council’s White Paper – Framing a Discussion on Vital Records Access

The Case for Open Public Records – A Position Paper Prepared for the Association of Professional Genealogists

To learn more about LD 1781 and to follow it’s progress, visit the State of Maine Legislature Bill Status Search Page and enter in the bill number.

LD 1781 – Genealogists Take Note:

Received from Helen Shaw:

A bill recently passed out of the Health and Human Services Committee of the Maine legislature which would close vital records and divorce records in Maine for 100 years after the event. The bill is LD 1781 An Act To Allow Electronic Filing of Vital Records and Closing of Records To Guard against Fraud and Make Other Changes to the Vital Records Laws.

A public hearing was held on the bill on March 3rd, but the genealogy community in Maine was not aware of the bill or of the public hearing so no one was at the hearing to protest. Since then, Pam Eagleson and I have been working to amend the bill so that genealogists are included in the bill as persons with “a direct and legitimate interest in the matter recorded.”

While input on problems with the bill was sought by the legal analyst preparing an amendment to the bill, that input was not included in the amendment which was made available to us March 18 (after it had been voted on by the HHS Committee). That amendment made the bill even worse.

At this time, the only option is to have the bill amended on the house floor or killed there. The proposed amendments can be viewed at:

I do not know when this might come to the house floor for a vote. I have a call in to my state senator for his advice. It may be that we will need/want to address the party caucuses early next week.

You may post any of the above except what is in brackets. Please also let folks know we still need them to contact their legislators about LD 1781 and the proposed amendments.

Thank you for your help and support.
Helen Shaw, CGsm

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

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*,0,0. Once you know the enumeration district, return to the Internet Archive at 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: to conduct your search.

New Genealogy Group to meet in Greenville

Roxanne Moore Saucier reported in her Family Ties column in Monday’s Bangor Daily News that a new genealogical group will meet at 10 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 20, in the carriage house by the Moosehead Historical Society on Pritham Avenue in Greenville.

Candy Russell will share some resources that are available through the historical society.

To quote Roxanne, “Here’s hoping Saturday’s meeting will draw lots of interest so that more can be done to preserve the heritage of the Greenville area.”

To read her complete column, visit:

Get Ready for the New “Who Do You Think You Are?” Television Series

Stock up on the popcorn and get ready for the new NBC hit show “Who Do You Think You Are?” The family history-focused series will lead seven celebrities on a heart-warming journey back in time as they discover more about the ancestors who came before them. Lisa Kudrow, who executive produced the show will be featured in the episodes, along with Sarah Jessica Parker, Spike Lee, Matthew Broderick, Susan Sarandon, Emmitt Smith, and Brooke Shields. is a partner with NBC on the show

The idea for “Who Do You Think You Are?” originated from a show that has been phenomenally successful in the UK for several years. Since the show aired in 2004, the UK has seen a surge of interest in family history, and we hope and expect the same reaction from “Who Do You Think You Are?” in the United States.

Typically, celebrities play the role of someone else, however in this show they play no one but themselves. Because of this, “Who Do You Think You Are?” really shows the human side of these individuals, who experience a myriad of emotions as they learn their family history. Viewers can’t help but feel inspired and intrigued as they watch the episodes. Naturally, the show will lead viewers to begin thinking about and asking questions around their own family history.

What is wonderful about the show is that, with the celebrity appeal, the genuine emotion they experience, and the family storytelling nature of the show, “Who Do You Think You Are?” is perfectly poised to appeal to the masses – not just professional genealogists or family history experts.

Tune into NBC Fridays 8/7c beginning March 5. For more information about the show, go to:

The potential is great! You and your friends have an important role in making “Who Do You Think You Are?” the next biggest family history phenomenon since Roots! Please help spread the news!

Lou Szucs, Vice-President of Community Relations

Update: Maine Vital Records Fees

Most genealogists have heard about the recent increase in fees for obtaining a certified copy of a vital record (birth / marriage / death). The Maine State Office of Vital Records is now receiving $60.00 per copy.

LD 1648 (proposed legislative bill) has been submitted this session as an emergency bill that would require these fees to be changed back to what they were in September of 2009. It is felt by some that the new fees are inappropriate.

If you support this bill, you should contact your State Senators and Representatives to let them know your thoughts.

Also a reminder, these fees are only for copies being obtained from the State Office of Vital Records. We encourage genealogists to check with the town where these events occurred as the recent fee increase is only at the State level. The locally obtained copy may have a substantially lower cost.