It was the old vital records books of Gloucester, Massachusetts, that gave me dozens of Bennett, Wharff, Lane, Millett and Riggs ancestors to help fill in my pedigree charts. Such books for dozens of Massachusetts towns published births, marriages and deaths up to 1850.
The Maine Genealogical Society has done similarly fine work for more than 20 years, first as special publications in conjunction with Picton Press and now on its own since Picton moved its business to Florida. Maine vital records books typically included vital statistics up to 1891, since Maine began centralizing records in 1892.
The newest MGS publication, available in paperback and hardcover, is “Vital Records of Woolwich, Maine” by Marlene A. Groves, who certainly is an expert compiler of such books. The Woolwich book has 652 pages and an “every-name index” of 17,239 names.
The retail price for Woolwich is $39.95 paperback, $49.95 hardcover. Maine Genealogical Society members — include your MGS number — may purchase the book for $29.95 paperback, $39.95 hardcover. Shipping is $7 for one item, $11 for two or three items. Also, add a 5.5 percent sales tax to each book. Send check to MGS, c/o Roland Rhodes, 10 Blackberry Lane, Gorham, ME 04038. You also may choose to order online at maineroots.org using PayPal.
There are many other special publications MGS members can purchase at a discount, including “Maine Families in 1790” books and vital records books for towns that include Alna, Dresden, Dover-Foxcroft, Orland, Litchfield, Smithfield, Mercer, Castine, Bridgton, Wayne, Camden-Rockport, Minot, Brunswick, Warren, St. George, Thomaston, South Thomaston and so on. There is a listing in the MGS newsletter four times per year, as well as online.
There is quite a lot of money to be saved by joining MGS, which you can do by sending $25 in-state, to Maine Genealogical Society, PO Box 2602, Waterville, ME 04903.
You say there are a few brick walls weighing down your family tree, and you can’t find a way over, under, around or through them. Maybe what you need is a panel of experienced genealogists to give you a little advice. Come meet the Brickwall Busters.
BJ Jamieson, Bob Chenard, Helen Shaw, Jerry Gower and Nancy Milliken Morse will be on hand during the first Genealogical Fair, co-sponsored by Maine State Library and the Maine Genealogical Society, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, July 11, in the foyer of the Maine State Library-Archives-Museum at 230 State St., next door to the State House in Augusta.
Staffing tables at the free fair will be the Maine Old Cemetery Association, Wassebec Genealogical Society, Gardiner Public Library, Freeport Historical Society, Sidney Historical Society, Koussinoc Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, Camden Public Library, Aroostook County Genealogical Society, Greater Portland Chapter of MGS, the Sons of Union Veterans, Kennebec Historical Society, Taconnett Falls Chapter of MGS and a few others.
Staff from the Maine State Library and Maine State Archives will provide information on genealogy collections held by the state of Maine. The Maine State Museum will have free admission all day.
To learn more about the fair or genealogy resources at the Maine State Library, contact Emily Schroeder at Emily.Schroeder@maine.gov or call 287-5600.
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.