Organizations of all types are taking a look at how best to approach the future and involve more people.
What’s difficult is the follow-through, but our fellow researchers in Washington County have formed the base for a prosperous future.
Washington County Genealogical Society began by holding a Jan. 15 special meeting in Machias, drawing 27 people interested in how to grow and work together.
The result was a unanimous vote to reorganize WCGS into the Washington County Historical & Genealogical Society, with an expanded focus of history as well as genealogy.
I think it’s a tremendous idea.
President Betsy Fitzgerald led the discussion, which included participants who also represented other organizations. Explaining her long-range view, Fitzgerald suggested that historical societies in the county could affiliate with the WCHGS, giving them opportunities to promote their work and programs on a wider basis.
Participants agreed that the idea of a Washington County history and genealogy society was a good one, and that under such an umbrella all Washington County historical societies and genealogy groups would feel the benefits.
Many ideas for the purpose and workings of such an organization were discussed. Possible benefits included reaching a larger audience through the WCGS newsletter Weirs & Woods, promoting and combining society projects and working from a common calendar of events.
Participants were particularly interested in using the newsletter to promote individual projects. They also discussed who would receive the newsletter, how they would get it, and how submissions could be made and published.
It was suggested by many that a more efficient way to distribute the newsletter would be to e-mail it to as many of members as possible.
Celeste Sherman, vice president and newsletter editor, said she would be glad to send out the newsletter in electronic form as well as by the postal service for members not having a computer or e-mail.
It was decided that before the next issue, members wishing to receive their newsletter by e-mail should send that info to Celeste for developing a newsletter e-directory.
Dues for an individual joining the WCHGS will be $10, payable on the calendar year.
A historical society or other such group also may become a member of the WCHGS by sending a donation to the organization.
WCHGS will meet on a quarterly basis, with the next meeting at 1 p.m. Saturday, April 9, in the Emergency Management Conference Room, 28 Center St., Machias.
Extra meetings may be held during the year with the approval of the membership.
Valdine Atwood, secretary, will continue to help assemble materials for the newsletter.
She suggested that anyone could submit articles that might be included in the newsletter, plus the always popular genealogy queries.
She noted that even in the day and age of instant messaging, the published query is always welcome. A member out in California, for example, might have the answer to a “brick wall” genealogy problem.
Committees have been formed for the new organization. Members of the By-laws Committee are the Executive Board: president, Betsy Fitzgerald; vice president, Celeste Sherman; secretary, Valdine Atwood; and treasurer, Carole Sprague.
Website Committee members, who will coordinate the calendar of events for the newsletter, are Cathy Fonda, Pleasant River Historical Society, Addison; Thomas Roderick, Bar Harbor; and Valdine Atwood, Machias.
Program Committee members will be announced later on.
For those who are not current members of Washington County Genealogical Society, send $10 to WCHGS, c/o Carole Sprague, 301 Ridge Road, Marshfield 04654.
Members who are able to receive the newsletter by e-mail should send their e-mail address to Celeste Sherman at email@example.com
My thanks to Valdine Atwood for sharing information on WCHGS and its plans.
The Greater Portland Chapter of the Maine Genealogical Society will meet at 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 5, at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 29 Ocean House Road, Cape Elizabeth.
Members will present ancestor stories based on a family artifact or heirloom.
Meetings are free and open to all. Visit the chapter at www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~megpcmgs/.
For more information, call Deb at 209-329-6438.
Happy 90th Birthday, Manson Taylor! The Moores and assorted relatives wish you continued “Harmony.”
Send queries to Family Ties, Bangor Daily News, PO Box 1329, Bangor, ME 04402; or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org