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
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.
FamilySearch Public Affairs Manager
If anyone else wants to follow this, the link is:
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.
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: http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~megs/LD1781_proposed_%20amendments.pdf
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
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.
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: http://www.bangordailynews.com/detail/136843.html.
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: http://www.nbc.com/who-do-you-think-you-are/.
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
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.