Monday, August 25, 2008

Special Conference Announcement

Have you been watching the early registration deadline rapidly approaching? Well, we are offering a bit of a reprieve. At the August 23rd Executive Committee meeting, it was decided to extend this deadline.

The Early Registration Deadline has been extended to September 5, 2008.

But you don't want to miss this conference - so send in your registration today. Enjoy the savings - MGS Members save $35 by registering early, Non-MGS Members save $20!

For a registration form or for more information, please visit the official conference website at

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Census of Canada, 1881

Many of us with Canadian ancestry have relied on the transcribed 1881 Canadian census database at But how about free access to digital images of the census? It's available and easy to use, I quickly located my great-grandmother Martha Dow in Canterbury, New Brunswick! Here's the scoop:

The 1881 Census offers a rich source of information about Canada and Canadians. Through this research tool, you can access digitized images of original census returns which list the name, age, country or province of birth, nationality, religion, and occupation of Canada's residents at the time of the 1881 Census. This includes notable figures such as Sir Wilfrid Laurier, Sir Robert Laird Borden, and Sir John A. Macdonald.

Library and Archives Canada gratefully acknowledges the contribution of Statistics Canada ( and the Genealogical Society of Utah (, without which this project would not have been possible.

You can learn more about the history of the Canadian census at 'The Living Census: Sharing 340 Years of Canadian Growth' (, developed by Statistics Canada in collaboration with Library and Archives Canada.

What would you like to do? You can search census records, learn about the Canadian experience in 1881, including a description of famous and notable Canadians, and learn how the census was collected and how to interpret the column headings and abbreviations.

Vital Records of Wayne, Maine

Maine Genealogical Society Special Publication No. 56 is now available! The Vital Records of Wayne, Maine has been compiled by Marlene A. Grove.

The town of Wayne is located in Kennebec County and is about fifteen miles west of Augusta, the county seat and state capitol. the first settler was Job Fuller who arrived about 1773 from Sandwich, Massachusetts. He was soon followed by others and the region was called New Sandwich. The town was incorporated on February 12, 1798 as the 113th town and the name was changed to Wayne in honor of General Anthony Wayne, a Revolutionary War hero.

304 pages, hard cover, 10,286 entry Every Name Index. 2008.

The book sells for $39.95, but MGS members pay only $35.95! For more information or to place an order, please visit Picton Press, official publisher of Maine Genealogical Society Special Publications at

To learn about other MGS special publications, visit our website at

Membership number required to receive the MGS member discount.

Who were Charles Smart's Parents?

MGS Member Jean Savage is in need of some proof of the parents of Charles Smart. She writes:

Need proof that the parents of Charles SMART (b. 1829 Searsport, ME) were John and Nancy (WEST) SMART. Charles m. Almira HARRIMAN 1851 in Bucksport, ME. It is believed that Charles's brothers were Daniel, James Henry, John S., Thomas and George F.; but need proof of any of those connections.

Thank you -
Jean Savage
73 Stagecoach Rd.
Stockton Springs ME 04981

The Maine Genealogist - August 2008

Joseph C. Anderson II, FASG, Editor of The Maine Genealogist reports:

"This issue of The Maine Genealogist proves once again that some of the most valuable genealogical information does not come from standard sources. Censuses and vital records are the basic building blocks of genealogy, but they rarely tell us anything about the quality of life or personalities of the people we are investigating. If we want to learn what it was like to walk in our ancestors' shoes, we need to find records that provide insight into the personal challenges and circumstances that our ancestors faced.

"Nathan Barlow is familiar to all Maine schoolchildren as one of the Liberty Men who resisted the Great Proprietors in the early nineteenth century, but little else has been written about him. Author O'Flaherty has compiled a detailed account of Nathan's life and family, with some of the most illuminating facts being gleaned from unusual sources including: an eyewitness account written by a neighbor describing a particularly defining moment in Nathan's life, a criminal case heard by the Kennebec County Supreme Judicial Court, and the records of the Charlestown [Mass.] State Prison. She has woven the information into a story of a life marked by zealotry, financial difficulties, misdeeds, and ultimately tragedy.

"Authors Smith and Battick describe their frustration in tracking Emily Woodman, who seemed to have disappeared from the records shortly after her marriage. The eventual discovery of a divorce petition provided many of the facts they were seeking and offered the added benefit of a firsthand account of the suffering Emily endured in her marriage. Additional research uncovered a three-generation cycle of early marriage and divorce in Emily's family, with the divorce records offering poignant details of these people's lives not found anywhere else.

"Finally, who would think to look at the records of the United States Consulate at Bremen, Germany, for personal facts about our Maine ancestors? Dr. Kenneth Heger, director of the Family History Program at the National Archives, gives the example of a document found among those records which lists the ages and physical descriptions of a group of Maine sailors in 1841."

So what's the total lineup for the August 2008 issue of The Maine Genealogist?

Nathan Barlow (1776-1816) of Freedom, Maine By Ellen J. O'Flaherty

The Crew of the Barque Edinburgh: April - June 1841 By Kenneth W. Heger

Finding Hidden Gold in Divorce Records: The Search for Emily Woodman of Newport, Maine By Peter M. Smith and Nancy C. Battick

Bible Records of the Smiley Family of Sidney, Maine Contributed By Stephen L. Robbins

Portland, Maine, Marriage Intentions, Volume 4, 1814-1837 (continued) Copied By Joseph C. Anderson II

The Maine Genealogist is published quarterly. For more information, visit our website at

Monday, August 11, 2008

David Mishkin to speak at Conference

Many of you may remember David Mishkin from past conferences. We're glad to say he's back.!

For those of you not familiar with David, he received a B.S. degree in photography from Rochester Institute of Technology in 1969 and has graduated from their Photographic Preservation seminar series. He has presented lectures on preserving photographs and documents for over ten years from Boston, Massachusetts, to San Francisco, California. Mr. Mishkin has recently completed two terms as the President of the New England Regional Genealogical Conference and has served as the Conference Chair for the 2002 Cape Cod Conference and the 2005 Portland, Maine Conference. He has also served as the Exhibitor Chair for the 1998 conference in Portland, Maine. In addition, he has served as LAC Co-Chair for the National Conference in Providence, Rhode Island, in 2000. He is currently serving as Exhibitor Co-Chair for the 2009 NERGC Conference in Manchester, NH. Mr. Mishkin was a member of the Genealogical Speakers Guild and served as secretary for the organization. He has written several articles in photographic magazines as well as genealogical and historical magazines and publications. Currently, Mr. Mishkin serves as Vice-President for the South Portland Historical Society.

David Mishkin will be speaking on the Preservation of Modern Imaging Systems.

Are modern imaging systems better than the older processes we have now? In many cases this is not true. It is very important to museums, historical societies and families that are using these new systems to be aware of the problems that are inherent in each. Can you imagine the disappointment in displaying a beautiful color wedding photograph only to see it fading and shifting colors after only five years?

This session discusses the longevity of video photography and why you should not use videos for preserving family or historic events. The pros and cons of using digital imaging, cameras, printers and CD-Roms for preserving images; the durability of color photography and what you can do to help prevent those color images from fading; and proper storage methods for each medium.

This lecture is designed for all levels from beginner, intermediate to advanced.

For more details on the 2008 conference to be held in South Portland on Saturday, September 20th, visit

Saturday, August 9, 2008

McKusick, Pioneer in Medical Genetics, Dies at 86

Dr. Victor A. McKusick, a native of Parkman, considered to be the father of medical genetics, died Tuesday of cancer at his home outside Baltimore, Md., at the age of 86.

He was the key architect of the Human Genome Project, winner of the National Medal of Science in 2001 and the Japan Prize earlier this year. He was born on Oct. 21, 1921, a few minutes after his identical twin brother, Vincent L. McKusick, former chief justice of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court.

Officials at Johns Hopkins University, where Victor McKusick was a professor of genetics and the McKusick-Nathans Institute of Genetic Medicine was named for him in 1999, mourned his loss.

"We have lost a giant," said Johns Hopkins Medicine dean and chief executive officer Edward D. Miller. "He spent virtually all of his incredible career at Hopkins, but his influence and legacy reach around the world."

Victor McKusick founded the Johns Hopkins Division of Medical Genetics in 1957 and in 1973 became chairman of its department of medicine and physician-in-chief of The Johns Hopkins Hospital. Officials said he became a professor of medical genetics in 1985 and remained active in that teaching role until last year.

The physician and his colleagues taught a two-week course in genetics each summer at The Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor. It became a highly respected course in the subject, attracting more than 4,000 students, doctors and researchers over the years.

"Victor McKusick’s seminal contributions in genetics, medicine and education have simply become synonymous with excellence in biomedicine," Rick Woychik, president and CEO of Jackson Lab, said Thursday. "His involvement with The Jackson Laboratory over the past 50 years in co-organizing the Short Course in Experimental and Mammalian Genetics is a reflection of his intense commitment to help thousands of students, scientists and physicians learn and put into practice the remarkable power of genetics for understanding human disease."

Former Maine Gov. John McKernan and the McKusick brothers each received an honorary degree in June from the University of New England in Biddeford. McKernan and his wife, U.S. Sen. Olympia J. Snowe, issued a statement Thursday through her office.

"Dr. McKusick, along with his accomplished brother, Vincent," the former governor said, "demonstrated to every Maine child that there are no limits to what they can accomplish with hard work and a curious mind."

In 1966, Victor McKusick published the first edition of his catalog "Mendelian Inheritance of Man" with 1,500 entries on inherited disorders. Today, the publication has grown to more than 20,000 entries.

He was one of the first to propose the human genome map in 1969 and helped establish the Human Genome Project. The sequence was completed in 2001. He also helped establish the journal Genomics.

In seeking support for the genome project, Victor McKusick testified before congressional committees. He would pull sequential editions of his catalog from an L.L. Bean canvas bag and stand them up on the table, according to The Washington Post. Each was thicker than the last and they stood as visual witnesses to the slow accumulation of knowledge about the mapping project.

The sons of Carroll L. and Ethel (Buzzell) McKusick, the twins along with three siblings grew up on the family dairy farm in Parkman in Piscataquis County and attended a one-room elementary school. His high school offered no science classes, according to a story published Thursday in The Washington Post.

As a young man, Victor McKusick planned to enter the ministry, but changed his mind after suffering from a severe streptococcus infection in his armpit in 1937 at the age of 15. He spent 10 weeks in Massachusetts General Hospital, where he was cured with antibiotics.

He attended Tufts University but left in 1943 before he received his degree to enroll early in the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, where he spent the rest of his career. In 1949, he married fellow physician Dr. Anne Bishop, who continues to work part time in Johns Hopkins’ Division of Rheumatology.

Victor McKusick trained as a cardiologist, but an encounter with a tall patient with an inherited disorder called Marfan syndrome altered the course of his career. He devoted his career to medical genetics in the late 1950s, a few years after DNA was discovered.

"Some of my colleagues thought I was committing professional suicide because I had a reputation in cardiology and was shifting over to focus for the most part on rare, unimportant conditions, and so forth," Victor McKusick said in an interview earlier this year with The Baltimore Sun.

Earlier this week, the University of Maine Law School announced that Victor and Anne McKusick had donated $100,000 to the scholarship fund named for his brother — the Vincent L. McKusick Diversity Fellowship Fund.

The program began last year with an initial pledge of $100,000 from Pierce Atwood LLP, the Portland-based law firm where McKusick the lawyer began his career. The program will reach out to members of Maine’s immigrant community, members of Maine’s Indian tribes and diverse applicants nationwide, according to the law school.

"I have decided to match the donation of Pierce Atwood ... out of commitment to diversity and to the welfare of my native state of Maine," Victor McKusick said in making the gift. "And, of course, I do it to honor my DNA-identical brother."

The twins in 1993 were awarded the first Maine Prize from the University of Maine System board of trustees. To be considered for the prize, an individual must have made nationally recognized contributions to quality of life and have strong ties to the state of Maine.

In addition to his brother, Victor McKusick is survived by his wife and their children: Carol Anne McKusick of Urbana, Ill.; Kenneth Andrew McKusick of Ruxton, Md.; and the Rev. Victor Wayne McKusick of Herkimer, N.Y.

Visitation is scheduled for 3 to 5 p.m. and from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday, Aug. 1, at the Ruck Towson Funeral Home in Towson, Md. A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 2, at the Second Presbyterian Church of Baltimore, Md.

Interment will be at 11 a.m. Friday, Aug. 8, at Pingree Cemetery in Parkman.
Bangor Daily News, Friday, July 25, 2008,

South Berwick Public Library

Mamie Anthoine Ney, Library Director, writes to let us know that the South Berwick Public Library has made significant investment in providing to their patrons Ancestry Library and HeritageQuest online. Those services are available free of charge at the library.

It's always great when we become aware of a new or improved stop for genealogical research here in the State of Maine.

South Berwick Library is located at 37 Portland Street, South Berwick ME. To learn more, visit their website at

Friday, August 8, 2008

August Genealogical Events

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

August 20, 2008
Penobscot County Genealogical Society
Bangor, Maine
A Tour of the Fogler Library, University of Maine, Orono

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Philbrick Walker & A Train Wreck in Upper Stillwater

Colleen Reed is looking for assistance -

Philbrick A. (Allen)Walker married Jane E. Walton of Orneville in Old Town, Maine, on 26 Nov 1855. Where was Philbrick born? Was it Bangor abt 1835? And who were his father and mother?

Philbrick died 24 Jun 1857. He was injured in a railroad wreck at Upper Stillwater and died a few days later (maybe Orono).

Colleen would really appreciate any information on the train wreck and the actual place of death for Philbrick, as well as info on where he is buried (maybe Orono).

He had one daughter - Mary "Esther" Walker who was b. in Bangor, Maine, on 9 Dec 1856.

Colleen's e-mail is