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Genealogy conference slated for September

By Roxanne Moore Saucier, BDN Columnist

Saturday, Sept. 26, Bangor, Maine. It’s the only place you can go to hear nationally known genealogists Marcia Melnyk and Joe Anderson, plus a host of other wonderful speakers — all in one day.

Now is the time to sign up for the Maine Genealogical Society’s 2009 annual conference at the Bangor Civic Center.

Marcia Melnyk has been teaching genealogy courses for more than 15 years. She is the author of “The Genealogist’s Handbook for New England Research, Fourth Edition”; “The Weekend Genealogist: Timesaving Techniques For Effective Research”; “The Genealogist’s Question and Answer Book”; and “Family History 101.” She’s also a founding member of the Italian Genealogical Society of America.

I don’t think I’ve heard Melnyk speak, so I’m looking forward to it.

I always love to hear Joe Anderson speak, and not just because he’s editor of the MGS quarterly, The Maine Genealogist, and of the “Maine Families in 1790” project of MGS.

He has written lots of books and articles, is co-editor of The American Genealogist and is a Fellow of the American Society of Genealogists. And he’s a speaker who just knows his stuff.

Here’s the schedule for Sept. 26:

• 8-9 a.m. Registration. Vendors and exhibitors open.

• 8:30-9 a.m. MGS annual meeting.

• 9-10:45 a.m. Welcome, awards presentation, keynote address on “Oral History” by Marcia Melnyk.

• 11 a.m. Choose from four sessions:

“Widowed Mothers, Metes and Bounds, Marks and Dowers, Witnesses and Executions: Getting the Most Out of Deed Research,” with Joseph C. Anderson.

“Handle with Care: Getting the Most from Your Library Visits,” Betsy Paradis.

“Tracing Your French-Canadian Roots,” Dennis Prue.

“The Immigrant’s Experience: Sailing to America,” Jack Battick, retired history professor.

• 12:15-1:15 p.m. Catered luncheon — choice of sweet apple cornbread chicken, baked filet with stuffing or pasta primavera.

• 1:30-2:15 p.m. Vendor time. Browse the books and other items for sale, visit with exhibitors.

• 2:15-3:15 p.m. Choose from four sessions:

“Forms, Forms and More Forms,” Marcia Melnyk.

“Maine’s Early Churches and the Location of Their Records, with Research Case Studies,” Joe Anderson.

“Let’s Google the Family Tree,” Dale W. Mower.

“Unearthing the Genealogical Treasures at the University of Maine’s Fogler Library,” Melvin Johnson.

• 3:30 p.m. Choose one of four sessions:

“Immigrant Research Strategies,” Marcia Melnyk.

“Breaking Through Brickwalls,” Joe Anderson, Marlene A. Groves and Jerry Gower.

“Native American Genealogy in the Northeast,” Nancy Lecompte.

“The Great Irish Potato Famine,” Janet TeBrake.

4:40 p.m. Closing remarks. Don’t miss this, because you may go home with one of the great genealogical door prizes.

As you can see from this wonderful list of talks, the only problem will be choosing which ones to attend!

The registration fee is $40 for MGS members, $50 for nonmembers. If you’re not a member, send in a membership form and check for $20, and you can attend the conference for the lower price. As a member you also will get a discount on MGS special publications you buy, such as “Maine Families in 1790” volumes. There will be an MGS table at the conference.

The cost of lunch is $20.

Make checks payable in U.S. funds to MGS and mail to Celeste Hyer, 69 Loop Road, Otisfield 04270-6456. And please indicate which workshops you will attend.

I’ve been attending MGS meetings for decades, and they’re always worth the trip. I meet up with old friends and find new cousins.

For more information on the MGS annual conference, visit www.maineroots.org.

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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