Four isn’t too young to start learning about genealogy. After all, I was just 3 when my mother took me to see my 95-year-old great-great-grandmother, and I remember that a little bit — a memory that was reinforced over the years by the sight of the five-generation picture on the wall at home that showed ancestor Mary (Cummings) Bennett Lord holding me as a baby.

Miss Emilee Saucier, age 4, doesn’t have five generations to know, but she had a question for Memere when I was driving her to lunch the other day.

“Is Pepere married to you?”


“You didn’t have any babies?”

“I had two babies: Uncle Tony and Daddy. Daddy was my first baby.”

“I’m Mama’s first baby.”

“No, you’re her fourth baby.”

“Who had you?”

“Great-grammy Moore.”

“Who had Pepere?”

“Memere Rosette.”

“Who had Lily?”

“Auntie Erica.”

“Who had Emmet?”

“Auntie Erica.”

You can see she was starting to get the gist of genealogy.

There’s always a little genealogy conversation at family gatherings, such as Mother’s Day, which we celebrated May 28 because that was the date my sister and brother and I could get together with my mother.

My grandchildren weren’t able to attend because they had school activities, so my son here in Maine couldn’t join us either.

But we were pleasantly surprised to have Twillig Bror on hand. You will remember, I’m sure, that “Twillig Bror” is Swedish for “twin brother,” and it also is a tattoo my nephews, Mark and Erik Moore, each have on one arm.

So my mother, bless her heart, turns to my brother (their dad) and says, “Well, I don’t know when I’ve seen Mark. I probably wouldn’t have known him if I saw him on the street.”

I’ve been chuckling over that remark ever since, because Mark and Erik are identical twins and I often can’t even tell them apart. But my mother, you see, can tell them apart, as can my sister and, of course, my brother. And anyway, you know the word “seen” doesn’t just mean recognized visually but was in the presence of.

I guess that leaves me as the one still learning about genealogy in the company of Miss Emilee, as opposed to the more perceptive members of my family. Actually, I can tell my 21-year-old nephews apart if they quietly stand next to each other and give me a minute.

And I give them credit for never telling me “You only get a hug, Aunt Roxanne, if you guess correctly which is which.”

One thing I do know is that the Maine Historical Society has set an ambitious summer schedule, with an intriguing exhibit and a variety of programs under the umbrella of “Democracy from Magna Carta to Declaration of Independence” during June, July and August.

That is particularly interesting, because many of us with early New England roots can claim descent from someone involved with the Magna Carta.

Yes, there will be a copy of the Declaration on display, as well as the most rare autograph of the document’s signers — that of Button Gwinnett.

Read more about the society’s plans for the summer at

You also may be interested to know that MHS has a three-hour Genealogy 101 class set for 10 a.m. Saturday, June 13, at the society at 489 Congress St., Portland. The teacher will be Jamie Rice, MHS Library director.

The cost is $35 for MHS members, $45 for others. There are only 10 openings in the class, but don’t be discouraged if it should fill up quickly. Let staff know you’re interested, and perhaps another class will be scheduled soon.

A blog from Heather Wilkinson Rojo reminds us to save Saturday, July 11, for the first Maine Genealogical Society Fair, a free event that will bring together genealogical and historical societies at the Maine State Library in Augusta.

If you are interested in receiving Heather’s blog with its wide variety of information on New England and what’s happening, visit

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