Lucky indeed is the person who has ancestry tracing back to the Machias area. Resources Down East and those who know about them are plentiful. And what better introduction to the area than the opportunity to attend the 10th annual Margaretta Days Festival, “Celebrating the American Revolution Down East,” 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, June 14, on the Mall of the University of Maine at Machias.

Billed as “A day of fun with a little history thrown in,” the event celebrates the first naval battle of the American Revolution, which was fought June 12, 1775, when a small band of Machias patriots fought and defeated the British armed schooner, the Margaretta.

Activities begin at 10 a.m. with a parade starting at Helen’s Restaurant and winding its way up to the University of Maine at Machias campus. Participants include re-enactors’ encampments from McCobb’s Company and the Acadia Frontiersmen, a blacksmith, trappers, timber framers, weavers and quilters.

Other activities will include the popular antler toss competition, children’s games and the favorite — a petting zoo. Also on hand will be several Washington County historical societies with displays and crafters with wares to browse and buy.

Period food will be available featuring meat pies, deer/moose stew, baked beans and fruit pies, plus Machias Rotary Club’s hot dog stand will be on hand.

Music will be provided by the University of Maine at Machias Ukulele Band, the Freemont Street Band, and fiddling and accordion music by the trio of Barbara Lapham, John Viseli and Elna Davis.

Lessons in history will be presented by members of the Machias Historical Society, who will take on the personalities of the Rev. James Lyon, Capt. Jeremiah O’Brien and Hannah Weston relating their own parts in the story of the first naval battle of the American Revolution. In addition, one of the members will tell the story of the little-known second encounter with the British in August 1777, the Battle of the Rim.

Rounding out the stories of what took place in Down East Maine will be a special presentation “Life, Customs and Clothing of Revolutionary Times” by the husband and wife team of Wayne and Sonia Mallar. Wayne is a member of the Sons of the American Revolution, and Sonia is a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution.

There is no admission fee to attend the festival, which will be held rain or shine. The Burnham Tavern Museum will be open for tours noon-4 p.m.

The next Bangor Family History Center Public class will be 10:15 a.m. Saturday, June 14, at the LDS Church center on the corner of Grandview Avenue and Essex Street.

The program on video will be “Basic Online Resources for the Beginning Genealogist” with Lisa Alzo.

When you’re new to family history, diving into the research process can seem overwhelming. This session will walk beginners through the exciting journey of genealogy. Learn what information is online, how to effectively search databases, and share information with others.

No sign up is necessary, and there is no cost to attend the session.

For the latest information regarding the FHC, visit the Bangor FHC page on the FamilySearch Research Wiki at

For information on researching family history in Maine, see Genealogy Resources under Family Ties at Send genealogy queries to Family Ties, Bangor Daily News, P.O. Box 1329, Bangor 04402, or email

Roxanne Moore Saucier

Family Ties columnist