Before we jump into a new year of genealogy, it’s wise to make sure we have recorded family happenings from 2011, and documented them where possible.
Did your family welcome a “brand-new baby,” as my grandmother used to put it, in 2011? I just missed seeing Emilee Anne Saucier enter the world on Friday, April 8, but met this new granddaughter in the delivery room minutes later.
I have all the pertinent information on Emilee, including the fact that her grampy, Chris Wilcox, estimated her weight to the ounce, 6 pounds, 13 ounces. Be sure to check with relatives to see if more distant family members, such as cousins and cousins’ children, may have added new members you’ll want to record in your family history.
Did you attend or receive notice of a family wedding? Be sure you have the names of both bride and groom, the date, the name of the person officiating and the place. If the reception was held somewhere else, list that, too.
For deaths in the family, do save the obituary. Many newspapers keep at least recent ones online. For Bangor Daily News obituaries, visit bangordailynews.com, click on Obituaries, then on Archive/In Memoriam.
Not everyone has an obituary, which is a paid notice, but many newspapers also offer brief mentions in a death notices listing. You also may find recent obituaries on the web pages of some funeral homes.
The Maine Death Index for 1960-2009 is free online at maine.gov/sos/arc.
You may find deaths through other states in the Social Security Death Index, available free online at http://ssdi.rootsweb.ancestry.com. I like to use the advance search box which allows the searcher to specify that the person being researched obtained a Social Security card in Maine.
If you save obituaries of friends and others not related to you, you may want to include a notation of how you know the person. Years from now, those using your materials will welcome knowing whether the subject was a relative or not.
If you attended a baptism or naming ceremony, wedding or reception, funeral, graveside service or reunion over the years, make note of that for your family and future researchers. Though not a vital record per se, such a note may carry weight when family members compare information with one another years later.
And may you find many of your ancestors in 2012.
The Ellsworth Historical Society will meet at 7 p.m. Monday, Jan. 9, in the dining hall of the Meadowview Retirement Complex, 25 Tweedie Lane, Ellsworth.
There will be a brief business meeting to discuss the society’s goals, then a “Remember When” program. Members and guests are encouraged to bring a memory or photos to share with the group.
For more information, Terri Weed Cormier at 667-8235 or Linda Grindle at 667-5716. Membership in the Ellsworth Historical Society is open to all. Dues are $20, which may be sent to Ellsworth Historical Society, P.O. Box 355, Ellsworth, ME 04605.
Do you have a brick wall that you need help with? Reached a dead end with your research? Maybe a brick wall that was finally broken that you would like to share? How about an amazing genealogical story?
Kick-start your new year by attending the Greater Portland Chapter of Maine Genealogical Society meeting at 1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 7, at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 29 Ocean House Road, Route 77, Cape Elizabeth. Social time is at 12:30 p.m. Programs are free and open to all. Visit gpcmgs.org or call Paul at 839-2593 for information.
In upcoming Family Ties columns, read about the U.S. president who has a gravestone in Washington, D.C., though he isn’t buried there; and how an 1819 Bible arrived in a museum room honoring Maine.
For more information on researching family history in Maine, see Genealogy Resources under Family Ties at http://bangordailynews.com/browse/family-ties/. Send genealogy queries to Family Ties, Bangor Daily News, P.O. Box 1329, Bangor, ME 04402; or email firstname.lastname@example.org.