Bangor library has best area news index

Posted Feb. 01, 2009, at 7:23 p.m.
Last modified Feb. 13, 2011, at 10:43 a.m.

Last week we shared information that could be useful to adoptees who have newly obtained names of their birth parents. If you missed that column, visit www.bangordailynews.com and click on Lifestyle, then on Family Ties to see it as well as some earlier ones.

One person was kind enough to send in the Web address for “Adult Adoptee Access to Original Birth Certificate Rules and Forms,” which is www.maine.gov/dhhs/bohodr/ovrpage.htm.

Here are some more tips, not only for adoptees seeking information to help fill in their medical background and family history but also for anyone wanting to know more about their family tree.

People often contact newspapers, wanting to know if they can “find” some event or vital record from years ago. The answer in most cases is, not without the date.

Even a few decades ago, the Bangor Daily News did not have any kind of index.

The best index for the Bangor Daily News and the Bangor Commercial for 1900-2000, when it comes to people, businesses and organizations in the Bangor area, is a card catalog in the Bangor Room on the third floor at Bangor Public Library.

For people in the Bangor area, check the drawers labeled “Families and Individuals.”

I once wrote a story on Adm. Carl Holden, a Bangor native who served in World War I and World War II and later. I found two full cards on him, listing the date and page for each article on him, and whether it was in the BDN or the Commercial. What a gold mine.

You also will find articles on people much less prominent than Holden. These articles often include weddings, anniversaries and obituaries. Keep in mind that when looking up a woman, you should check not only her name, but her husband’s name, because she may be indexed under Mrs. rather than her own name.

Then look up the articles you find indexed on microfilm of the BDN or the Commercial in the microfilm room next door to the Bangor Room. The room also has U.S. Census records for Penobscot County. The 1850-1930 censuses list everyone in the household by name, and there are book indexes for some censuses.

While you’re there, check out what else the Bangor Room has to offer — family histories on one side of the room, town histories and vital records books from Maine and New England states on the other.

Whether your journey into family history is done only through books, documents and computers, or whether it includes reaching out to relatives who are new to you, I hope you have in place a support system that can give you guidance as well as support.

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I can talk to you all day about William Hayford Sr. and James Packard and Cutting Clark and my other Revolutionary War Patriots.

But the Loyalists? I can’t remember if mine is John Hopper or another of my New Brunswick ancestors. I’d have to look it up. My point is that the Loyalists are a great topic for a talk in Bangor.

Liam Riordan, history professor at the University of Maine, will give a free public talk, “Loyalism and the American Revolution in Maine,” at 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 5, in the Lecture Hall of Bangor Public Library.

The illustrated talk reconsiders three famed Revolutionary events in Maine — the naval engagement with the Margaretta off Machias, the burning of Falmouth and the creation of a British military base and Loyalist refugee center at Castine.

In addition, teachers for kindergarten through grade 12 will want to know about a workshop on the American Revolution in Maine scheduled for 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 6, at the library. Possible topics for the workshop include use of Revolutionary material from the online Maine Memory Network and use of selected portions of the HBO series on John Adams.

For information about the workshop, e-mail Liam Riordan at riordan@umit.maine.edu.

Participants must register in advance for the workshop and are expected to attend the Thursday night lecture. A registration fee of $75 will defray the cost of precirculated reading material and lunch. Continuing education credit is available to participants.

Register for the teacher workshop at www.umaine.edu/canam/mainerev.htm.

Support from the series comes from the Maine Humanities Council, the University of Maine Department of History, Bangor Museum and History Center and BPL.

Send genealogy queries to Family Ties, Bangor Daily News, P.O. Box 1329, Bangor, ME 04402; or e-mail queries to familyti@bangordailynews.net.

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