Talk to focus on Franco-American genealogy

Posted June 13, 2010, at 8:33 p.m.

Most of my husband’s Franco-Americans are French-Canadians who settled in or near Quebec City in the 1600s and 1700s, then migrated up the St. Lawrence River every couple of generations or so until they planted their roots in the St. John Valley near what is now Frenchville, Maine, and St. Basile, New Brunswick.

But Gaelen’s paternal grandmother was Marie Theriault, whose Acadian forebears were expelled by the British in 1755 from what we now call Nova Scotia.

Not all the Acadians moved on to Louisiana, where they’re now known as Cajuns.

Some came to Madawaska, which is both a town in Maine and a region of New Brunswick. Some went farther to Quebec, then joined the migration to the St. John Valley.

Other Quebecois migrated to places such as Old Town, Greenville, Waterville, Lewiston and Biddeford.

Want to learn more? We’ll talk about some of the resources used in Franco-American genealogy in “Franco-American Research and Migration Patterns,” a talk I will give at 10 a.m. Saturday, June 19, at the Center for Moosehead History (formerly the Community House) in Greenville.

The meeting is sponsored by Moosehead Roots and the Franco-American Moosehead Lake Identity, or FAMLI. The group will accept donations at the door.

The Moosehead Historical Society and the Franco-American Center at the University of Maine are sponsors of FAMLI and Moosehead Roots.

It’s been awhile since I’ve talked about Franco-American genealogy, so I’m looking forward to this program.

Another year, I’d like to give a program on the Haskell, Hildreth, Cummings, Young and Walden connections in Greenville.

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The Penobscot County Genealogical Society will hold its annual barbecue picnic at 6 p.m. Wednesday, June 16, at the Hampden Historical Society. While most PCGS events are open to the public, this one is for members only.

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Now that Piscataquis Community High School in Guilford has been holding graduations for 40 years, I think I’ll stop calling it “the new school.”

Not that I didn’t have reason. My Class of 1969 was the last class, 82 of us, to graduate in the gym on School Street in Guilford.

My congratulations to all the new PCHS alumni. It was a pleasure to see them graduate on June 5, particularly nephew Christopher S. Taylor, who will study computers this fall at Eastern Maine Community College in Bangor. His parents are Maureen (Moore) and Scott Taylor.

I try not to get weepy at events involving my nephews, but when the new graduates sang Kenny Chesney’s “Don’t Blink,” I shed some tears.

When my younger son graduated high school in 1998, a song by Green Day was played during the slide show on Senior Night, I believe.

It’s something unexpected

But in the end is right.

I hope you had the time of your life.

It’s true that time goes too fast. How else to explain why the friends I knew in grade school and high school now have children, grandchildren, nephews and great-nephews graduating.

I’ve known Diana (Rees) Bowley at least since I was a year old — that’s more than a half-century — and we’ve both worked for the Bangor Daily News for many years.

How wonderful to see her granddaughter Ashley Bowley, the daughter of Heather and Chris Dinwiddie, receive her diploma at PCHS.

And Ellen Cleaves’ nephew James Cleaves. I didn’t meet Ellen until “later on” in Sangerville — I must have been 7 or 8 years old.

I’ve known Candace Jordan all my life. Her nephew Matt Pinkham graduated. It was great to see Matt’s grandparents Arlene and Jake Jordan. Happy birthday, Jake, later this week — a birthdate he shared with my dad, who was two years older.

Congratulations to great-nephew Christopher J. DelGiudice, who graduated June 10 from Messalonskee High School in Oakland and will study physical therapy this fall at Husson University. His grandmother is my husband’s sister.

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Next week, I’ll share information on the Acadian Festival and the Gagnon Family Reunion, both set for June 24-27 in Madawaska. For information now, visit www.acadianfestival.com and www.gagnonreunion.com.

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Mark your calendar now for the Maine Genealogical Society’s annual Family History Conference with keynote speaker Dick Eastman, set for Saturday, Sept. 25, at Point Lookout Resort in Northport.

Later this month, we’ll share details on the conference and workshop speakers. For now, visit www.mainroots.org.

Send genealogy queries to Family Ties, Bangor Daily News, P.O. Box 1329, Bangor, ME 04402.

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