Monday, October 22, 2007

A Mention in the Wall Street Journal

The following appeared in the Weekend Journal section of the October 12, 2007, edition of the Wall Street Journal:

The Photo Detective
Does the shoebox in the attic hold family secrets?
Alexandra Alter on how one expert unlocks the past.

MAUREEN TAYLOR has dated a photograph to 1913 by studying the size and shape of a Lion touring car's headlamps. Armed with her collection of 19th-century fashion magazines, she can pinpoint the brief period when Victorian women wore their bangs in tight curls rather than swept back. Using a technique borrowed from the CIA, she identified a photo of Jesse James by examining the shape of his right ear.

With millions of Americans obsessively tracing their roots, Ms. Taylor has emerged as the nation's foremost historical photo detective. During a recent meeting of the Maine Genealogical Society, attendees lined up a dozen deep as she handled their images with a cotton glove and peered at the details through a photographer's loupe. One man offered a portrait photo and asked if it could be his great-grandmother who died in 1890. "It's not," Ms. Taylor said after about 15 seconds; she'd dated the hairstyle and billowy blouse to the early 20th century. When another attendee asked why her great-great-grandfather was wearing small hoops in his ears in a portrait, Ms. Taylor explained, "He was in the maritime trade."

Read the rest of the article at a library near you....
or the article can be accessed from Maureen's blog - visit

SOURCE: Alexandra Alter, "The Photo Detective," Wall Street Journal, 12 Oct 2007, pp W1, W10

Monday, October 15, 2007

2007 Award of Excellence in Genealogical Service presented to Thelma Eye Brooks

Maine Genealogical Society at its conference on September 22, 2007, presented Thelma Eye Brooks with new Award of Excellence in Genealogical Service, in recognition of her years of service in the areas of society volunteerism, teaching and writing. Among her many accomplishments are the publication of the Hermon Roots newsletter from 1989-1999; authorship of a book on 3 generations of early Calais families (published by Heritage Books); and the self-publication of 13 books (5 family books and 8 funeral home records). She also wrote a column "Roots and Branches" which appeared regularly in the Kennebec Journal and Morning Sentinel for 15 years. Thelma has served as president, vice-president and secretary of Taconnett Falls Chapter of MGS, where she has also served on their library committee since 1990 and has served as its chair since 2000. Thelma has taught classes on genealogy, coordinated historical and genealogical research with the Waterville Public Library, and has been a frequent speaker for many genealogical and historical societies.

More than any of these specific accomplishments, the most wonderful thing about Thelma is that she is always willing to share her knowledge and experience with everyone. She is always a "can do" person and works tirelessly for Taconnett Genealogical Library, the chapter, and genealogy researchers everywhere.

Maine Genealogical Society honors her extraordinary contributions to the Society and for advancing the field of genealogy in the State of Maine.

2007 Award of Excellence in Genealogical Research presented to Marlene A. Groves

Maine Genealogical Society at its annual conference on September 22, 2007, presented Marlene A. Groves with its new Award of Excellence in Genealogical Research, in recognition of her outstanding scholarship in carefully transcribing and publishing volumes of Maine town vital records and for encouraging others to do the same. Her published works include: Vital Records of Lisbon, Maine, Prior to 1892; Vital Records of Islesboro, Maine; Vital Records of Rockland, Maine; Vital Records of South Thomaston, Maine; Vital Records of St. George, Maine; Vital Records of Warren, Maine; Vital Records of Union, Maine; Vital Records of Camden/Rockport, Maine; Vital Records of Friendship, Maine;. Vital Records of Matinicus, Maine; Vital Records of Washington, Maine; and Records of the Rockland Congregational Church 1835-1945. She has also compiled the Index to Maine Seine and The Maine Genealogist and the indices to History of Old Broad Bay and Waldoboro; North's History of Augusta; Wheeler's History of Brunswick, Topsham and Harpswell; and Allen's History of Dresden. In addition, Marlene has also published 3 genealogies of her family: Descendants of John Clarke, Malbon Genealogy and Hinckleys of Maine.

Maine Genealogical Society honors her extraordinary contributions to the field of genealogy in the State of Maine.

William Cox of Pemaquid

New MGS member Dave Eldridge writes that he is researching the Cox family beginning with William of Pemaquid. He would appreciate any tips other members would be willing to share with him.

Dave Eldridge

Flemish DNA and Ancestry

An email was received from Guido Deboeck announcing that a book on the above subject has just been released by Dokus Publishing in Arlington, Virginia.

This new book is about the history of three Flemish families over five centuries. The research for this book was based on conventional genealogy complimented with an innovative part on genetic genealogy. The conventional genealogy part shows how to find and document family history given the vast resources made available on the web and in Family History Centers. After an introduction to genetic genealogy this book includes concrete DNA results of several of the three family histories described in this book. It also discusses the deep ancestry of Flemish people, hence anyone with Belgian or Flemish roots can find out where their oldest ancestors came from. The scope of this book also includes elements of war, business and immigration history, which Professor van der Wee, a well known historian called "very informative, even fascinating".

You can preview or take a tour of this book at Copies of this book can be ordered via the order form on the above website or the form enclosed.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

For Users of The Master Genealogist

The TMG Southern Maine group generally meets on the third Thursday of every month at 7-9 pm at 321 Brackett Street in Portland. The meetings are posted on the website

In October we are not meeting on 10/18 but are having a longer session on Saturday 10/20 from 10 am to 3 pm at the same location – again the details are on the website.

Anyone interested in TMG software is welcome to attend. Most of the meetings are very informal and often go off on tangents depending on what people are interested in.

2008 Genealogy Seminar at Sea Announced

Fly Away Travel is now taking reservations for the 2008 Genealogy Seminar at Sea, October 25th - November 1st. The seminar will be hosted on board Royal Caribbean's brand new, unparalleled, Liberty of the Seas, which will be sailing to the warm Eastern Caribbean islands of Puerto Rico, St. Maarten, and Royal Caribbean's private paradise of Labadee.

This Seminar at Sea stands to be the best of the best in terms of its stunning array of some of the most sought after speakers in the genealogy community today. These include John Phillip Colletta and George G. Morgan (featured speakers at our own 2006 and 2007 conferences), along with Paul Milner, Laura G. Prescott, Donna M. Moughty, Paula Stuart-Warren, Michael J. Leclerc and Stephen J. Danko.

Passengers will have to opportunity to learn the latest and greatest techniques in areas such as: methodology, writing & publishing, internet research, problem solving and geographic areas around the world. Guest’s will have the opportunity to choose up to 15 lectures that will take place in Liberty of the Seas four state of the art conference centers over a period of three days during the seven day cruise. The authored speakers will be featured for book sales and autographs during a special group activity.

Check out the exciting all-star line-up of topics for this event at

The cost of experiencing this week long seminar/vacation begins at just $829 per person, including all port taxes and seminar fees. Traveling companions not attending the Seminar at Sea qualify for a rate reduction, as well as the 3rd & 4th passengers sharing one cabin. (Ask for details).

Fly Away Travel is a full service Travel Agency with nearly 60yrs of combined experience. Fly Away Travel specializes in Group Travel, Honeymoons, Destination Weddings & Family vacations. Contact Cindy Lorenz at Fly Away Travel 800-837-0295 or by e-mail:

Timothy Crocker, lived in Standish and Machias

Searching for information on Timothy Crocker who moved from Cape Cod to Standish, Maine, and then to the Machias area. He died at Bristol. He married Hannah Meserve, but have no death date or place for her.

Brother John Crocker moved from Cape Cod to Nova Scotia where some of his children were born; he then also moved to the Machias area, but his son remained in Nova Scotia. There I am having trouble separating out the various John Crockers.

Dave Eldridge


As another means of communicating information timely and efficiently to the members of Maine Genealogical Society, we have established this blog presence. With our newsletter published quarterly, sometimes announcements come in that just don't allow us to get the information distributed prior to an event or deadline, or due to space constraints with a print newsletter, can't be fit.

All postings on this blog will be related to genealogy - announcements and press releases related to genealogical events, publications, products, etc. We'll also be able to post queries and questions from members here as well as we move forward.

We hope you enjoy this new channel of contact!