Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Greater Porltand Feb 2 Meeting Cancelled

The Greater Portland Chapter of MGS has announced that they will be cancelling their meeting scheduled for Saturday, February 2nd.

Carol McCoy writes: "The Prophet Gordon B. Hinckley, president of the LDS Church, has passed away. There is a memorial service scheduled for the same time as our meeting this Sat Feb 2nd. It will be via satellite in the large room where we were to meet. Even though the local Bishop would have permitted us to meet in our old room, it does not feel right to have our meeting. We feel that it would be disrespectful to have a meeting at the same time as a funeral (celebration.)"

As a result, we will have the meeting topic of the Shakers in June and keep the rest of the schedule the same. For more information, visit

Sunday, January 27, 2008

February Genealogical Events

Here's what's happening genealogically around the state for February:

February 2, 2008
Greater Portland Chapter of MGS
Cape Elizabeth, Maine
Your Shaker Ancestors presented by Linda Aaskov

February 10, 2008
Pejepscot Genealogical Society
Brunswick, Maine
Why Don't I Get an Answer to my Query? presented by Marge Erickson

February 16, 2008
Hancock County Genealogical Society
Ellsworth, Maine
Annual Meeting and Election of Officers

February 16, 2008
Taconnett Falls Chapter of MGS
Winslow, Maine
Monthly Workshop - The Master Genealogist

February 17, 2008
Taconnett Falls Chapter of MGS
Winslow, Maine
Valentine's Party and a short video about the Gerald Hotel

February 20, 2008
Penobscot County Genealogical Society
Bangor, Maine
A View to Organization: Taming the Paper Pile presented by Phil Getchell and Dale W. Mower

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Town of Atkinson Vital Records

Wassebec Genealogical Society announces that it has copies of "Vital Records and Cemetery Records Prior to 1892, Town of Atkinson, Maine" for sale. The book is edited by Ronald J. Fortier from research done by Charlotte A. (Edgerly) Nicely (copyright 2004). Copies can be obtained for $10.00 plus $3.00 shipping and handling.

For ordering and more information, please visit

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Diary of Martha Ballard 1785-1812

Not all of Maine Genealogical Society's special publications are transcribed town vital records, as I was recently reminded of by Sherry LeBlanc.

Sherry wrote that she "can only say that the work done on this woman's diary is incredible! What a life! You are all to be commended on an outstanding body of work. Imagine her life. I've noted on several occasions her comments about falling from her horse. I do believe the woman fell of from exhaustion. The "Story" was so interesting I invested in the 900 page book (#10)."

For those not familiar with this diary, Martha Ballard made almost ten thousand daily entries during her three decades as a midwife. She reported on all 814 deliveries she attended in the Kennebec River Valley towns of Hallowell, Augusta, and vicinity; on numerous marriages and deaths; on the multitude of daily joys and cares, gossip and crops, meetings with strangers and acquaintances; and the activities of her large extended family. This is one of the few 18th century diaries by an American woman, and one of the most interesting diaries ever. If you are interested in colonial Maine, in colonial women, in diaries in general, or in women’s rights and activities in particular, this book is for you! The story of Martha Ballard has been chronicled on television through the PBS stations. If you have seen this movie, you will surely want to read the diary.

The diary was transcribed by Robert R. McCausland and Cynthia MacAlman McCausland. Introduction by Pulitzer Prize winner Laurel Thatcher Ulrich. It is available on CD, complete with an every name index. For more information, visit

“This diary is probably the only record which will rescue from oblivion many of the early inhabitants of this city when our principal street was a wood road and when the larger part of the city [Augusta] was an unbroken forest.”—Charles Nash, author of The History of Augusta, Maine, writing in 1901.

Thank you Sherry (Descendant of Daniel LeBlanc (Acadia pre 1650) and Francoise Gaudet).

The 1837 Foundation of Northern Maine

WHO: The 1837 Foundation of Northern Maine is an educational/historical/genealogical non-profit organization established to recognize and remember those who protected and defended the Northern boundary and Territorial integrity of the United States and State of Maine prior to the finalization of the 1783 Treaty of Paris. It’s Board of Directors include: Roxanne Munksgaard, Executive Director (Bangor, Maine); Roberta Williams, Chief Researcher & Genealogist (LaGrange, Maine); Daniel Walker, Northwest Territories Director, Genealogist & Publisher (Rhinelander, Wisconsin).

WHAT: The Aroostook Expeditionary/War Historic Trail - The Foundation will be working to obtain national recognition of the route used by the State of Maine representatives. The trail will begin at the rendezvous site in Lincoln -- for many of the Aroostook expeditionary militia companies -- and finish at the site of the Defensive Breastworks in T 10 R 5 (Masardis, Aroostook County). We are working with Congressman Michaud on an amendment to the National Historical Trails Act to include an Aroostook Expeditionary Trail. Our project is an enhancement of his Northern Maine Economic Development plans.

For more information, visit

Eva P. Davis, wife of Edger L. Forbes

Member William A. Forbes is looking for any info on Eva P Davis, born May 1853, in South Elliot, York Co., Maine. She married Edger L Forbes (he was born Mar 1844 in East Haven, Ct., died 30 Aug 1926 in Branford, Ct.

William A. Forbes

Website Launched For Reuniting & Identifying Lost Photos

The following article is from Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter and is copyright 2007 by Richard W. Eastman. It is re-published here with the permission of the author. Information about the newsletter is available at

Photo Grafix has launched "Lost and Found Photos." Quoting from the company's announcement:

Many customers have asked us if we could identify photographs they inherited from relatives or rescued from the garbage dump. We have also met skilled and generous people who have helped others confirm locations, dates, and sometimes names of people in those kinds of photographs. The goal of Lost and Found Photos is to facilitate such connections. Those who would benefit from using this site:
Owners of unidentified photos
Professional and amateur Photo Identification specialists

This is a free service. Registration is only required for posting photos.
The new web site currently is in the testing phase. It does look good. For more information, look at

NOTE: The photo accompanying this post is of Dick Eastman's ancestor, Orman Eastman, who was born in Corinth, Maine.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Stonecutter Ancestry?

Not only did Dorothea McKenzie join us at the 2007 conference in the vendor area, but she also joined us as a member.

She writes to let us know that there is a bit of genealogical information to be found in the journals of the stone workers union journals. At the Fogler library at Orono and the Boston Public Library they have quite a few of the Granite Cutters Union of North America journals on microfilm. She hopes to review some of the other stone workers journals, such as the Journeymen Stonecutters, Paving Cutters, Limestone Workers, Tool Sharpeners, Marble Workers and Quarry Workers union journals as they are scattered across the Nation and Canada in distant archives and universities; and also hopes to travel across the country starting in September of 2008 in search of information and resources regarding the previous mention unions and stone workers, masons, sculptors and cutters.

Another genealogical source is the payrolls of the granite/limestone/marble/slate companies papers, as stonecutters and paving cutters often traveled to job sites in neighboring towns but sometimes off to far away states for work.

Listed in the above journals are names of the new and renewing, in good standing or not good standing memberships. The journals would often list when the members got married or when they died. As well as, sometimes the journals would list the BMD of their family members. Also listed is a list of missing people, not in every month of the journals but in some, if a family member was looking for a lost family they will list it in the journal for the readers to keep a look out for that family member. The journals for the most part are from the late 18th century to the early 19th century. The Granite Cutters had the longest journal publications from May of 1877 to Feb 1979.

Dorothea has hopes of writing or helping to write a condensed history of the stone workers unions of the U.S. and Canada, as well as a book about Thompson Henry Murch (1838-1886), a greenback Congress member/world traveler/granite quarry owner/union founder and National Secretary/Freemason/etc., from Hampden, Maine.

The web address for the Stonecutters and Quarry Workers of North America Preservation Group is .

If you have questions or need assistance researching an ancestor that was a stonecutter, Dorothea would love to hear from you. Her email address is

Hancock County Genealogical Society

Hancock County Genealogical Society announces a couple of upcoming meetings. Their meetings are held the third Saturday of each month at the Ellsworth Public Library starting at 2:30 p.m. The library is located at 20 State Street, in downtown Ellsworth.

On January 19, 2008, the topic is "Working on Maine Families in 1790 Project."

On February 16, 2008, they will hold their annual meeting and election of officers.

Other dates to mark on your calendars now include March 15th and April 19th, topices to be announced.

To learn more about Hancock County Genealogical Society, visit them at

Blog: Boston 1775

MGS friend Dick Eastman recently ran a posting on his blog which directed me to a very interesting historical blog that might be of interest to others as we research historical events to add context to our own family histories -

The following article is from Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter and is copyright 2007 by Richard W. Eastman. It is re-published here with the permission of the author. Information about the newsletter is available at

If you have an interest in history, especially history in and around the city of Boston in 1775, you will enjoy J. L. Bell's writings in "Boston 1775." The web site contains "history, analysis, and unabashed gossip about the start of the American Revolution in Massachusetts."

Bell writes in a manner that shows the true daily life in and around Boston in the early days of the American Revolution. He also gives special insights into the motivations of many of the leaders of the day, both the Loyalists and the Revolutionaries. Recent articles include:

Colonial Boston Vocabulary: "caucus"
Did the Union Flag Disappoint Boston’s Loyalists?
The Great Union Flag and the Boston Gentry
King George Addresses the “Unhappy and Deluded Multitude”

J. L. Bell is a Massachusetts writer who is an expert in the events surrounding the Boston Massacre and the start of the American Revolution. He is particularly interested in the experiences of children in 1765-75. He has published scholarly papers and popular articles for both children and adults. He was consultant for an episode of History Detectives, and contributed to a display at Minute Man National Historic Park.

If you like to read about Boston history, you'll probably spend hours reading the various stories in the local history buff's haven, "Boston 1775," at

News from George Morgan

Many of you recall the opportunity we had to learn from George Morgan at our 2007 conference. George has for a long time been communicating with the genealogical community through his "Along Those Lines..." column. However, in his latest posting he announced the discontinuance of this endeavor:

Dear Friends, Relatives, and Extended Family,

Many or most of you already know me. I've been working on my family genealogy since I was about 10 years old. It has been a wonderful and challenging addiction, and a wonderful part of my life. I would never trade the experiences, the people I have met, the places I have visited, the learning opportunities, and so much more for anything! I'm 55 now and have met many relatives, acquaintances, friends, and much closer people over the years. It's inevitable, I suppose, and I am richer for these wonderful experiences. Perhaps most important to me is the fact that, as the youngest of my generation and the one who missed out on meeting and knowing so many and so much, I have been blessed to become closer to my older brother (11 years and 51 weeks) and to cousins -- first, second, and more -- and to meet fantastic relatives more distant who let me into their homes, their memories, and even more.

I have been writing the weekly "Along Those Lines ..." columns for almost 14 years, first for "The Genealogy Forum on America Online" and then for When was acquired by, my weekly columns were no longer regularly required as the company wanted to provide a more diverse collection of writers, articles and columns. (This doesn't include a substantial reduction in per-article payments.) Don't get me wrong! I still write for the Ancestry Weekly Journal, for Ancestry Magazine, and have written three books for Ancestry Publishing (and am working on a fourth for them as I write this). I have always enjoyed being a part of and the family of contract writers who work for them because I think that Ancestry Publishing is the créme de la créme of the genealogical publishing industry. I also am confident that their parent company, The Generation Network, Inc., is and will long be the leader in the genealogical services industry.

However, there are many other genealogical companies in business in the marketplace and it would be foolish for me not to work with, write for, and to participate in partnership with them. As you might see if you look at my company's Web site ( which will be changing after the first of the year, under Genealogy Publications, you will see that I've written for many magazines, online sites, society newsletters and journals, in the U.S. and around the world -- even in Singapore! The commercial publications and Web sites provide me with a source of some income, along with my seminar engagements with libraries, library consortia, and genealogical societies, and in library genealogical collecting consulting jobs. This is all very sweet, enjoyable work for me -- almost play in some cases.

In the meantime, I love to write and get a lot of positive feedback from readers at all levels. I have attempted to maintain the "Along Those Lines ..." blog here for a couple of years with articles to replicate what I wrote for and, before that, for the Genealogy Forum on America Online. I am always humbly appreciative for the positive feedback.

As much as I regret it, I unfortunately cannot continue producing "Along Those Lines ..." as a free blog for the public. I continue to pay three sets of medical bills for the past three years -- even though I now am in excellent health. The bills, the insurance, and all the other expenses that have ballooned in the last 6-8 years have made it difficult to make ends meet. I know that many of you will and can identify with that -- increased gasoline prices, home insurance increases, property tax and utility increases, medical insurance and health costs.

It is with very heartfelt regrets that I have to announce that the "Along Those Lines ..." column will end with this installment. If I could afford to continue writing the column pro bono, I would. However, the reality is that I need to write articles for magazines, journals, and online venues for some kind of remuneration, and I need to be able to write books for the very small profits that genealogy books make.

I would love to hear from you, and to know if the column has had any impact, positive or negative, on you over the last 2+ years since it left My readers have always been my lifeblood, no matter whether the feedback was positive or negative.

Genealogy IS a wonderful addiction, and I sincerely hope that we will always meet at conferences and seminars. and that we will always help one another.

I send each of you, my dear faithful readers,
Much love!