Thursday, September 10, 2009

Got books?

Maine Genealogical Society will have its wide selection of Special Publications for sale at our annual conference on September 26th in Bangor.

To insure that the books you are interested in adding to your library are available, we recommend that you pre-order. Click here to download the order form. Complete the order form and indicate that you will pick them up at the conference and you will avoid the freight charges. The order form and payment information needs to be sent to Picton Press (contact information is included on the form). Then, simply visit the MGS Special Publications table at the conference. We will have your order set aside and waiting for you!

Pre-orders for books need to be received by Picton Press by Wednesday, September 23rd, to insure delivery to the conference.

Save more! Order now! Don't forget, MGS members receive special low pricing!

Need information about the conference? Visit

Taconnett Falls Chapter announces September meeting

The next meeting of Taconnett Falls Chapter will be on September 20th.

Here is a chance to hear from one of our local experts, not to mention a past winner of the Maine Genealogical Society's Award of Excellence in Genealogical Service - Thelma Eye Brooks.

Thelma's topic for the September meeting will be "What to find in Civil War Records." With the effects of the Civil War touching virtually every family in some way, this should be an excellent talk of benefit to all family history researchers.

The Society meets at the Taconnett Falls Genealogical Library, 10 Lithgow Street, Winslow, Maine. The library opens at 1 p.m. on meeting days. For more information, please visit their website at

Monday, September 7, 2009

Follow-Up: Why You Need a Second (and Better) E-Mail Address

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

On February 6 of this year, I posted an article telling why you don't want to use the e-mail service from your Internet provider. Instead, you should be using an e-mail service provided by an independent e-mail provider (Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo, Fastmail, etc.).

I described a recent nightmare for 234,000 former Verizon customers in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont who suddenly found their Internet service was being changed to a smaller company, FairPoint Communications. The former Verizon customers all had assigned e-mail addresses ending in "" and were suddenly told that their e-mail addresses had been changed.

Now the problem is getting worse.

The changes in February were made with little or no advance notice. In some cases, the former Verizon customers were told of the switch AFTER the changes had already been made. Such an abrupt change causes great turmoil for business and personal users. As one example, a former Verizon customer was selling many items on eBay, and notices of the completion of sales and shipping notifications were all being sent to his former Verizon e-mail address that was now defunct. His e-mail address was changed with no advance notice, and he soon found he had no method of receiving new orders. There were thousands of other, similar stories.

Those who had hundreds or thousands of old email messages saved on Verizon's mail servers found those messages were all deleted with no advance notice. Business messages, family photographs, and more all disappeared instantly.

Even worse, the limited number of mail servers at tiny FairPoint Communications croaked under the newly-imposed load. Mail servers crashed, thousands of new e-mail messages were lost, and 234,000 people were unable to even check their e-mail for days at a time.

FairPoint Communications was so unprepared for the huge increase in workload that the company reportedly faked a switchover demonstration that was shown to an outside auditor, Liberty. If true, this constitutes fraud, and company executives might be prosecuted and even serve jail time. (I doubt that will happen; FairPoint has plenty of lawyers who probably can keep the executives out of jail. However, the charge of fraud is serious.)

Whether or not the test was faked, the network has proved so unready that FairPoint reportedly is close to bankruptcy and may have its licenses to operate revoked in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont. Of course, that will create even more turmoil for FairPoint's customers, who are now using e-mail addresses ending in "" Those who had their e-mail service abruptly changed last February are now facing another abrupt change or may even lose all e-mail service.

Anyone who took my advice in February to obtain e-mail service from an independent provider will be unaffected.

You can read my earlier article at and a new article that describes Fairpoint's latest woes and legal problems at

I will repeat the advice I offered last February 6:

Why be held hostage by your Internet provider? It's YOUR e-mail! You have a right to receive e-mail messages and to not be "jerked around" by corporate buy-outs. I'd suggest that you take control of your e-mail now. Obtain your own e-mail address [from an independent e-mail provider] today, and start migrating your mail.

Finally, if you are immersed in the Verizon/Fairpoint problems right now, why fight it? Pick up a Gmail account now and switch to that. You already have to notify all your correspondents anyway; why not get an e-mail address that works and won't change for a while?

I will add one new comment. It is theoretically possible for an e-mail provider to also go out of business or to sell out to a competitor. However, the odds of that are significantly lower than having an Internet provider do the same. The independent e-mail providers are generally better prepared to handle the workload of new e-mail customers. Nothing is ever absolute, but I'd rather trust Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo, Fastmail, etc. than your present (or future) Internet provider.

Pejepscot Genealogy Society to Meet

You are invited to join the Pejepscot Genealogy Society as they kick off their 2009-2010 membership year on September 13, 2009.

This chapter holds its meetings on the second Sunday of each month at the Curtis Memorial Library's Morrill Meeting Room in Brunswick at 2:00 p.m.

To learn more, visit

Vital Records of Cape Elizabeth

Advance Notice -

The Vital Records of Cape Elizabeth is currently on the press and expected to arrive early October 2009. This volume is 640 pages and contains over 28, 235 entries. Compiled by Anne M. Diehm, with co-editors Joseph Crook Anderson, II, FASG and Marlene A. Groves. A must have for researchers involved in this area of Maine.

The retail price for non-members is $79.50, but MGS members receive the discount price of $69.50.

Contact Picton Press ( to pre-order. Please reference Book #2167 - and MGS members must provide their MGS membership number.

Penobscot County Announces September Meeting

On Wednesday, September 16, 2009, the Penobscot County Genealogical Society will meet at 6:00 p.m. in the Lecture Hall at the Bangor Public Library.

Joining them will be Maine State Archivist Jeff Brown who will discuss holdings at the Maine State Archives and be available to answer any questions about using their resources.

Jeff Brown has been working at the Maine State Archives since 1980. He began working in the Search Room assisting researchers, being promoted to the Supervisor. He currently serves as Processing Archivist. His duties include processing paper records series, as well as database and web page management. Jeff received his B.A. in History at the University of Maine in 1974 and also attended the Modern Archives Institute at the National Archives in Washington, D.C. He has been researching his own genealogy since the 1970s, so the Archives has been the perfect place for him to work, combining his interest in history and genealogy.

Everyone is invited to attend. Refreshments will be available.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

A Discussion about Adoptee Legislation

The Greater Portland Chapter of MGS will be holding it's regular monthly meeting on Saturday, September 5. Former Maine State Senator Paula Benoit of Phippsburg will speak about legislation she sponsored over a year ago, which became law in January, 2009, allowing adoptees rights to their original birth records in this state. Since leaving the legislature Senator Benoit has become Executive Director of AdopteeCARE (Adoptee Council for Adoption Reform Education), a national non-profit foundation she founded with the goal of educating legislators on the importance of all adult adoptees having access to their original birth records.

The Society meets at 1:00 on the first Saturday of every month at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints at 29 Ocean Avenue in Cape Elizabeth, Maine. New members are always welcome. Come early as refreshments are served before the meeting at 12:30 and admission is free.

This month, at 12:30, Will Haskell will be offering a "Tech Tip" presentation on free software that will assist in transcribing old documents and grave marker images.

For more information, visit their website at

New Brunswick Genealogical Fair

The New Brunswick Genealogical Society, Saint John Branch will again be hosting a Genealogy Fair and New Brunswick Archives Road Show, September 12, 2009, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m (don't forget they are one hour ahead) at Joachim's Church Hall, Loch Lomond Road, Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada.

The fair is open to all those interested in genealogy and family history. Come early or late or stay all day. Exhibitors will include the New Brunswick Archives with the NB Archives Road Show, New Brunswick Museum, and many local area genealogists with information on Southern New Brunswick families and beyond. Book sales. New publication announcements. Find out about the New Brunswick Genealogical Society Beginners Corner. Do you have a name for our "brick wall?" Internet access available.

Are you interested in exhibiting your family tree information? If you would like to display the results of your genealogical research, this is the place to do it! Are your launching a book? Found a new ancestor? Got a brick wall you need to tear down? Contact Dave Fraser at or call (506) 849-7922.

For more information, visit the Saint John Branch of NBGS on the web at

Query: Eskildson/Eskilson, Marsh, Mitchell

William ESKILSON, of Liverpool, England, was married, by Dummer Sewell, J.P., of Bath, Maine, 1 Jun 1794, to Miss Deborah MITCHELL of Bath. Circumstances imply a relationship to Christopher ESKILDSON, mariner, who married by license 26 Sep 1799, Church of St. Anne, Liverpool, England, to Anne MARSH, a minor. Jenks Portland Gazette, 4 Jun 1804, reported the death "in this town" of Miss Lydia ESKILDSON, aged 16. For other ESKILDSONs, see query in The Maine Genealogist 24 (Feb 2009):44.

I would like to exchange information on the MITCHELL ancestry and any relationship of the various Maine ESKILDSON families.

Louis D. Melnick, 530 Michigan Avenue, Evanston IL 60202-3033