A day for browsing and asking and sharing. That is the essence of a genealogy fair, and I’m pleased to say that the Washington County Historical & Genealogical Society has a dandy planned for 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, July 19, at Elm Street School, Route 191, East Machias.
Lifelong genealogist Valdine Atwood describes a genealogy fair as “a time when genealogical researchers who have in their personal collections genealogical materials are willing to share them with fellow researchers. Actually, in the past, genealogy fairs were just that. Books, notebooks, census records, vital records and other pertinent documents were put out on tables with attendees given the opportunity to research them, and having an opportunity to make copies of all of the displayed genealogical materials. It was a wonderful opportunity to be able to view and copy a lot of data all at once, with some data that might not be available elsewhere.
“Attendees can look, study and exchange data during the fair,” Atwood wrote. “All attendees will be able to share their knowledge and learn more about their Washington County families. Photocopiers will be available so information found can be copied and taken home.”
It goes without saying that you may meet new cousins, and that some of what you learn will come from people you didn’t know before. But don’t rule out the possibility that new information on your ancestors may come from someone you just didn’t realize shared genealogy lines with you.
It was many years ago that I attended a genealogy fair where I saw a notebook with a pedigree chart adding to my Hathaway line. What fun when I discovered that the chart had been prepared by my longtime friend Marjorie Marsh Quigg. We had talked about Mayflower and other lines in common, but didn’t realize we shared Hathaways.
The genealogy fair in East Machias will have much more than reference materials shared by individuals, according to Atwood.
“Several Washington County Historical Societies will be in attendance, bringing with them displays of some of their research materials,” she said. “Each group attending will have a table for display where, in addition to research materials, they might display pictures of a recent activity, a special project their group is working on, or an item that is for sale to raise funds for the group.”
Historical society members from around the county will be on hand to answer questions that might help in on-going research of family members. Attendees will be able to network with others searching for their long-lost family members, and they will be able to search and copy from a large collection of research materials that will be available for examination.
The event is offered free. Photocopiers will be available to those wishing to take home that “special find” and researchers will be able to learn what else is available for research in Washington County. Coffee, doughnuts and water will be for sale, but those attending should probably bring a “brown bag” lunch.
For further information, contact Valdine C. Atwood, 17 Colonial Way, Machias, ME 04654, phone 255-4432, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
The Bangor Family History Center at the LDS Church at 639 Grandiew Ave. in Bangor will offer free classes this summer:
— Saturday, July 12, 10:15-11:15 a.m. “Scrapping Your Family Tree,” presented by Pam Waite.
— Saturday, Aug. 9, 10:15-11:15 a.m. “Tips and Techniques for Effective Use of the Bangor Family History Center,” presented by Gail Kill.
— September, no classes. Note that on Sept. 13, the Maine Genealogical Society will host its fall conference at Jeff’s Catering in Brewer.
— Saturday, Oct. 11, 10:15-11:15 a.m. “Irish Genealogy,” presented by Nina Brawn.
Check the Bangor FHC page on the FamilySearch Research Wiki at www.familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/Bangor_Maine_Family_History_Center) for the latest information regarding the Family History Center.
The Brewer Historical Society, will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 8, at Brewer First Methodist Church meeting room, 40 South Main St., Brewer. Clayton Rogers will present “Memories of Brewer High School 1962-1968. The meeting is open to all. Those attending are welcome to bring photos and mementos.
The Brewer Historical Society has announced that the Clewley Museum, 199 Wilson St., Brewer, is open 1-3 p.m. Thursdays July 10 and 24, or by appointment. Call Charlotte Thompson at 989-6165
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 email@example.com.