New England conference offers dozens of genealogical talks

By Roxanne Moore Saucier, BDN Columnist
Posted Nov. 02, 2012, at 1:48 p.m.

If ever there were a time to make plans to attend the New England Regional Genealogical Conference, the April 18-20 event sounds like a great opportunity. “Woven in History: The Fabric of New England” will feature dozens of talks by experienced researchers at the Radisson Hotel in Manchester, N.H.

I’m sure that many participants will go a day or two early in order to search for ancestors at the New Hampshire State Library and New Hampshire Historical Society, two terrific libraries located next to each other in Concord, just a few miles up the road from Manchester.

I spent a couple of days at these libraries a few years ago and enjoyed myself. As someone who feels easily overwhelmed by larger cities, I was comforted by the small town feel of Concord. I also was pleased to find out that the county courthouse was but a short walk from the libraries.

Back to the April conference. The varied topics include “Jewish Calendar Demystified” with Stephen P. Morse; “Special Schedules of the U.S. Census” with Nora Galvin; “Treasures in Federal Land Records” with F. Warren Bittner; “Oyster River Settlement and the Native Peoples” with Jayne A. Jordan; “Solving Genealogical Problems Using Deeds” with Carol Prescott McCoy; “Massachusetts Native American Research” with David Allen Lambert; and “Reading the Genealogy in Homemade Artifacts” with Lisa McKinney.

“The Secrets of Abraham Lincoln’s DNA” with Colleen Fitzpatrick will no doubt be a popular talk, as will “Researching Your French and Indian War Ancestors in New England” with Craig R. Scott and “Digging Up the Dirt on Your Farmer” with Lori Thurston.

Laura G. Prescott will speak on “loc.gov: Using Our Nation’s Library Online.” I’m sure we all could benefit from learning more about the Library of Congress and its offerings. Prescott also will be the keynote speaker at next year’s Maine Genealogical Conference, scheduled for Sept. 21, 2013 in Brewer.

Many more top-notch speakers have been lined up for the conference in New Hampshire, including certified genealogist Helen A. Shaw of Rockport. Her topics will be “Broad Bay: The German Settlement of Maine” and “The Sociology of Cemeteries.” Shaw, an anthropologist, is the 2013 president of MGS, registrar of Maine Daughters of the American Revolution and president of Old Broad Bay Family History Association.

Other talks scheduled will be of interest to those researching New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island, New York and Quebec.

Early bird registration (by Feb. 28) is $110. For more information on other talks and speakers, visit the website at nergc.org. Special workshops are available for an additional fee.

The Family History Center will offer a class on “Effective Searches Using FamilySearch.org” at 10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 10, at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at 639 Grandview Ave., Bangor.

Judy Reitze will teach the one-hour class, which is free. After the class, participants are invited to practice what they have learned at the Family History Center until 2 p.m.

I attended a useful presentation at the center recently that was a field trip for the Penobscot County Genealogical Society. Here’s what I would suggest:

Look around familysearch.org ahead of time if you haven’t already used the website, so that you have an idea what you would like to ask.

The Family History Center plans to offer additional classes on the second Saturday of most months, beginning in January.

The volunteers at the center are most helpful and I found the center’s computers to be very user-friendly. The bookshelves are well worth browsing, as well.

For i nformation 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 familyti@bangordailynews.com.

http://bangordailynews.com/2012/11/02/living/new-england-conference-offers-dozens-of-genealogical-talks/ printed on July 30, 2014