Here’s my prediction. The Sept. 22 meeting of the Maine Genealogical Society in Brewer will draw more than 125 people from around the state who want to learn more about exploring the branches on their family tree.
Safe guess, you say, and you’d be right. More than 130 people, experienced genealogists and new ones alike, attended last year’s meeting in Bangor.
Count me in. I can’t wait to hear Ted Steele give the keynote talk on “Family Stories: Did It Really Happen That Way?” Steele will share examples as he discusses how we sometimes stumble over conflicting evidence, secondary sources and misidentification.
My name was mud when I told my dad and my uncles that our family had long misidentified the fascinating Jefferson P. Moore, who once owned Uncle Carroll’s house in Abbot. It turned out that he actually belonged to the Scots-Irish Moores from Norridgewock, while we were English Moores from York.
Maine Genealogical Society also will offer a choice of talks during breakout sessions:
• “Using a Library Effectively,” with Ted Steele.
• “Using Tax Records in Genealogy: How Taxes Can Be a Good Thing,” with Carol McCoy.
• “Genealogy and the Law,” with Helen Shaw, certified genealogist.
• “Genealogical Holdings of the Maine State Library,” with Emily Schroeder.
• “Using Gazetteers and Maps in Your Genealogical Research,” with Ted Steele.
• “Maine Horse Soldiers in the Civil War,” with Steve Burke.
There also will be vendors and exhibitors, as well as a query board offering the opportunity to post a question — and perhaps meet a cousin.
The cost for the conference is $40 for Maine Genealogical Society members, $50 for nonmembers. Add $15 for the cost of the luncheon. Include your society membership number, mark down which break-out sessions you plan to attend, and mail your check to Maine Genealogical Society, c/o Celeste Hyer, 69 Loop Road, Otisfield 04270-6456.
You also may get information on Maine Genealogical Society at maineroots.org.
Not currently a member of Maine Genealogical Society? Include $25 for U.S. membership in order to get the conference discount and pay only $40 to attend. Membership will bring you four quarterly issues of The Maine Genealogist a year, plus four useful issues of the newsletter, in addition to discount prices on society publications.
As more and more genealogy information becomes available on the Internet, it can be tempting to do genealogy in a cocoon, rarely meeting anyone else who’s actually out there researching. Every society meeting I have attended in more than 25 years has brought me so much new information and the opportunity to meet speakers and fellow genealogists who sometimes already have found what I was looking for, and are glad to share.
My thanks to Bill West of Abington, Mass., for posting on Facebook a sample from “a 1940 Census page from Brookline, Mass. Instead of listing Massachusetts as the place of birth, the enumerator listed the town in Massachusetts.”
So it is that we can find residents of Brookline born in Lowell, Cambridge, Roxbury, Brooklin[e] or some other town. What a wonderful bonus for people with ancestors in 1940 Brookline.
Though I enjoyed my children’s commencements, there is always something special about returning for graduation at my alma mater, Piscataquis Community High School in Guilford.
I cannot tell you how powerful it was on June 10 to watch two nephews march in together, Erik Johnson Moore and Mark Johnson Moore, who are identical twins from Parkman.
The graduating seniors sang the class song to music from Daughtry, “But I know in time we’ll find this was no surprise.”
I wish everyone in the class of 2012 much success and happiness as they work, study, enter the service and make their future. If their Piscataquis County heritage stands them in good stead, it will be “no surprise” to me.
For information on researching family history in Maine, see Genealogy Resources under Family Ties at bangordailynews.com/browse/family-ties. Send genealogy queries to Family Ties, Bangor Daily News, P.O. Box 1329, Bangor 04402, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.