New genealogy group to meet in Greenville

Posted Feb. 14, 2010, at 6:26 p.m.

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.

I think it’s wonderful to have an opportunity for genealogists to get together in that region.

Betty (Doyon) Ryder’s particular interest is her Franco-American ancestry, but she emphasized that the group is for anyone with any heritage.

I have offered to come speak to the group this spring or summer, and look forward to that very much.

I’ve researched my husband’s St. John Valley family, which is all Franco-American.

And I’ve written often about my Henry T. and Eleanor (Currier) Hildreth, and Silas and Sarah Abigail (Hildreth) Cummings of Greenville. The Hildreths were from New Hampshire, the Cummingses from Parkman, Greene and Massachusetts.

Betty pointed out that a Franco-American film was shown last summer in Greenville, and there was a float in the Fourth of July parade. She has written a few things for local papers and the Moosehead Historical Society newsletter. There also are efforts to collect documents and preserve oral history through interviews.

Here’s hoping Saturday’s meeting will draw lots of interest so that more can be done to preserve the heritage in the Greenville area.

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On Wednesday, Feb. 17, I’ll give a talk on “Tracing the Ancestry of Sarah Palin — Maine to Alaska,” at the 6 p.m. meeting of the Penobscot County Genealogical Society in the Lecture Hall on the third floor of Bangor Public Library, 145 Harlow St.

I wrote about the genealogy of the presidential and vice presidential candidates before the 2008 election, but let me emphasize that this program is not a political presentation.

When I found that Palin had ancestors from my hometown of Abbot, I wanted to know how her forebears made their way across the country. And, of course, I’ll talk about the 150-year-old letter I found on eBay.

All are welcome.

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The North Star Lodge invites the public to its annual Black History Month program and potluck supper on Saturday, Feb. 20, at the Bangor Masonic Center, 294 Union St. The supper will begin at 5 p.m. and the program at 6:30 p.m. Keynote speaker Red T. Mitchell will share some of the history of Prince Hall that has been veiled for centuries.

In October 2008, before the presidential election, the city of Cambridge, Mass., proclaimed the Hon. Prince Hall a Founding Father of the United States. Mitchell is the chairman of the Prince Hall Grand Lodge education committee and has worked with the city of Cambridge to create the proclamation.

The contributions that Prince Hall made to the nation during its infancy are starting to become recognized, and his contributions have extended well beyond the organization of Freemasonry.

For more information, call Guy Chapman, Bangor Masonic Center, at 947-3400.

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As part of the yearlong recognition of the founding of Lincoln County 250 years ago, the rich and varied influence of the Scots-Irish on the history and culture of midcoast Maine will be celebrated 2-4:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 20, in the Old Boothbay Town Hall at Boothbay Railway Village.

Come and enjoy traditional Scots-Irish music, sample Scots-Irish and early American food, view Scots-Irish artifacts and books — including items from the Boothbay Region Historical Society, watch a slide show on Scots-Irish culture and history and learn about the impact of the Scots-Irish in Lincoln County at its founding.

The schedule is:

• 2-2:45 p.m. John Mann, chairman of the Maine Ulster-Scots, will narrate and answer questions on the slide show “The Scots-Irish Long Trail Home.”

• 2:45-3:15 p.m. Valerie Mann and her Maine Highland Fiddlers will play traditional Scots-Irish music — and at other times during the event.

• 3:15-4 p.m. Local historian and author Chip Griffin will share “Life in Lincoln County 250 Years Ago and the On-Going Influence of Scots-Irish Culture in the Region.” You’ll learn about many “Heroes, Heretics and a few ‘Hellraisers.’”

• 4-4:30 p.m. Sample Scots-Irish and traditional 18th century American food while listening to more Scots-Irish music. View a historical slide show up close, examine Scots-Irish artifacts and books on Lincoln County history, and share genealogical history and stories.

This special event is co-sponsored by Boothbay Railway Village, Boothbay Harbor Memorial Library, the Maine Ulster-Scots Project, Boothbay Region Historical Society and the Boothbay Region Art Foundation. Admission is free, though donations are appreciated. and there’s plenty of free parking at the Railway Village. The snow date is Sunday, Feb. 21. For info, call 633-4727 or visit www.railwayvillage.org. You do not need not be Scots-Irish to attend.

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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