Saturday, September 27, 2008

October Genealogical Events

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

October 4, 2008
Greater Portland Chapter of MGS
Winslow, Maine
Portland's Irish Heritage Center presented by David Soule

October 15, 2008
Penobscot County Genealogical Society
Bangor, Maine
eGenealogy: 2008 presented by Dale W. Mower

October 19, 2008
Taconnett Falls Chapter of MGS
Winslow, Maine
Vassalboro Historical Society looks at a famous Vassalboro home
presented by Kent London

October 25, 2008
Maine Genealogical Society 2009 Conference Committee
Maine Genealogical Society Executive Committee Meeting
Benton, Maine
Meetings are open to any interested MGS member
For information, please e-mail Dale W. Mower, President

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

MGS Conference Recap

Conference attendee Brian Bouchard included a well-written recap of the MGS conference on the blog of the Ellsworth American.

"Saturday was the Annual Maine Genealogical Society Conference, held in Portland this year. I thought it would be good to recap my own experience, and invite others who may have participated in the conference to post a comment about their own day."

To read the rest of Brian's post, please visit

Thanks Brian!

MGS Elects Officers for 2009

At its annual meeting on Saturday, September 20, 2008, the membership elected officers and 2 new directors for 2009. Members of the Executive Committee elected were:

President - Dale W. Mower (Bangor, Maine)
1st Vice-President - Janet M. Weymouth (Benton, Maine)
2nd Vice-President - David Mishkin (Portland, Maine)
Recording Secretary - Nancy C. Battick (Dover-Foxcroft, Maine)
Treasurer - Richard E. Spinney (Ellsworth, Maine)
Membership Secretary - Celeste Hyer (Otisfield, Maine)
The Master Genealogist Editor - Joseph C. Anderson II (Dallas, Texas)
Newsletter Editor - Marlene A. Groves

Also elected were 2 directors to serve 3-year terms:
Flossie Dere (Farmington, Maine)
John "Jack" Battick (Dover-Foxcroft, Maine)

Congratulations to the new and returning members of the Executive Committee!

And also an additional thank you to Edwin "Jay" Bullard (Caribou, Maine) and Paul M. Aldrich (Bristol, Maine) who will be stepping down as directors at the end of this year.

2008 Award Winner Bob Chenard

At its annual conference on September 20th, Maine Genealogical Society was pleased to recognize Bob Chenard's contributions to the genealogical community. He was presented with the 2008 Award of Excellence in Genealogical Service.

For those not familiar with Bob, let's run down a few of his contributions:

Bob has been a member of the Taconnett Falls Chapter of MGS since 1992 and has held the position of Vice-President twice. He is currently serving as VP Director in the Maine-Franco American Genealogical Society of Auburn/Lewiston.

He has compiled computer listings of over 100,000 Franco-American marriages in over 700 family surnames, most of which are tied back to the original European ancestors of the 16th and 17th centuries. These listings are freely available for researchers visiting the Taconnett Genealogical Library in Winslow.

He has published a 3-volume set of parish records for the oldest Catholic parish in the Waterville area covering the period 1830-1975; and has also published the parish records of St. Joseph's in Old Town.

Bob has authored several articles that have appeared in a wide variety of publications. In the FORUM published by the University of Maine's Franco-American Center you will find several of his family genealogies since 1989. The Central Maine Sentinel published a series of genealogical and historical articles over a span of 2-3 years in the mid-1990s. He also wrote an article on French genealogical research that was included in 'Voyages - A Maine Franco-American Reader.'

In 1997, he established a large website on Franco-American genealogy at a time when there were few such websites. His website received several awards and one national publication listed it as one of the top 100 genealogical websites.

Never tiring, he is currently in the process of compiling all the pre-1876 parish records in Beauce county, Quebec, which includes persons born as early as the 17th century and many living into the 20th century. This is a 5-year project transcribing original microfilm records into a large database. Beauce county is particularly important to central Maine's Franco population since some 80% of the pre-1900 Quebec immigrants into that part of the Maine had roots in that county.

Bob is a frequent lecturer and instructor to adult education classes and various genealogical and historical societies around the state. Perhaps he best promotes genealogy by offering assistance and information to those in need of specialized help in finding their Franco-American roots. And we are talking anyone, anytime, anywhere! Via e-mail or you might just find him at a genealogical library near you.

Bob Chenard epitomizes what service to the genealogical community is all about.

The plaque presented is inscribed:


In recognition of his years of work in the area of Franco-American genealogy as an author, lecturer, and instructor, and his volunteer efforts on behalf of the Taconnett Falls Chapter of the Maine Genealogical Society.

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

September 20, 2008
To learn more about the Maine Genealogical Society's awards, please visit our

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Annual Conference less than 1 week away!

And there is still plenty of room available for anyone who might just be deciding to attend! Register Now! Hop on over to for all the details and a registration form.

One of our speakers this year that you will want to consider hearing is our own Carol P. McCoy. Her lecture is entitled "The Maine-Canada-Ireland Connection: Seeking Rogers' Roots." This is an entertaining case study that shows how she unearthed the Canadian and Irish roots of the Rogers' family who lived in Brewer, Maine, in 1850. Learn how U.S. and Canadian census, land, probate, historical, and newspaper records, as well as archival material, online sites and databases and internet contacts can bring a complex family to life. The journey to the type of success we all want to have!

Another speaker we are delighted to have join us this year is Legacy Software's Geoff Rasmussen who will tackle some of the techy type topics at this year's conference. He will be conducting 3 sessions.

The first is Mapping Your Ancestors Electronically: Using Software and the Internet which will discuss the major mapping resources available to genealogists today - AniMap, Map my Family Tree, Google Earth, Family Atlas, and much more.

His second session will help you discover new ways to find and "advertise" your ancestors, entitled "Marketing Your Ancestors Using Message Boards, Mailing Lists, Blogs and Podcasts."

And then Geoff wraps up the day with "Legacy Family Tree" Insider Tips and Tricks" where he shows how Legacy helps you write sources correctly and easily, Evidence Explained style, and also shows how to create shareable CDs, customized wall charts, publish books, get automated research suggestions, view your ancestors on maps of the world, and much more. Whether you already use Legacy Family Tree software or are considering it, or just want to learn about what software can do to help with your research, this is the session to sit on.

And then there is also our featured speaker, Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak, Senator Paula Benoit, and David Mishkin. What a line up? So register today, go to now so you don't miss this exciting event!