Thursday, February 16, 2017

This Blog Is Moving. Check Out Our New Site!

The MGS Blog is officially moving to become part of our main(e) website,  This blog space has served us well for several years, but as MGS continues to grow and expand its influence, maintaining multiple sites and managing several different accounts has become tiresome and, quite honestly, a limiting factor in how much new content we can add online.

We recently moved our website and worked with a design & hosting company in Bath to move the whole site to a new platform, which includes its own blog.  We're very excited to be able to consolidate our many sites down to a single place for visitors to go and learn more about MGS and what we're doing to preserve the State's history and promote genealogical study across the State.

If you want to stay up to date and get the latest blog updates emailed directly to you, you can sign up
on the new site.  Click on the Blog link in the main menu, then Subscribe by entering in your email address into the Email address input field on the right side of the screen and clicking Subscribe.  You will be walked through the steps for subscribing to the blog.

Along with the consolidated website, we're adding new member content, an Events list of things we know are happening around the State that we feel may be of interest to people interested in Maine family history and we're adding more back issues of the The Maine Genealogist for sale on the site.

Please visit the new and improved and subscribe to updates to the new blog.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Query: Peter PARKS

One of our members is looking for help...

I am trying to find information on my great(x4) grandfather, Peter Parks.  I can prove back to his son Peter Parks Jr who died a POW at Salisbury NC.  What I "know" from his death record (8 July 1867, Saugus, Massachusetts) is that he was born in 1799 (approx.) in Scotland.

What I can't find is record of his arrival in the US prior to 1829 when he married Mrs. Susan Wood Hooker in Saugus, Massachusetts.

Suggestions for how I would proceed.  I have exhausted all the common online resources at this point.
Please contact if you can help with this query.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

D. Joshua Taylor is coming to Maine on May 21st!

The 3rd Annual Southern Maine Genealogical Conference, sponsored by the Greater Portland Chapter of the Maine Genealogical Society, is scheduled for May 21, 2016 in Portland,Maine.  In addition to vendors, exhibitors and a number of speakers related to Maine's rich heritage, the featured guest will be D. Joshua Taylor, a nationally recognized researcher, author and speaker who has also been featured on shows such as Who Do You Think You Are? and Genealogy Roadshow. Taylor will discuss topics ranging from new tools and technology in genealogy to how to find and locate records in one of the myriad of of historical and genealogical societies across the country.

In addition to the keynote speaker, representatives from the Maine State Archives and Penobscot Marine Museum will present on their respective organizations, and you will have an opportunity to get hands on while learning how to develop and efficient and effective research strategy to make your research easier.

Please join the members of the Greater Portland Chapter of the Maine Genealogical Society and all their guests for a day full of lectures, camaraderie, exhibits and lunch on May 21, 2016 at Keeley's Banquet Center in Portland.  For more info or to register, visit the group's conference web page:

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Full Day Genetic Genealogy Workshop Planned

<a href="">School vector designed by Freepik</a>
The Maine Genealogical Society's 2016 Spring Workshop is set for April 23, 2016 in Augusta, Maine with special guest, Blaine Bettinger, Ph.D., J.D. Dr. Bettinger is an intellectual property attorney by day and a genetic genealogist by night. He is the author of the long-running blog The Genetic Genealogist (, and frequently gives presentations and webinars to educate others about the use of DNA to explore their ancestry. We are very excited to be able to invite Dr. Bettinger to Maine to discuss this fascinating and increasingly popular aspect of family history research.

Join members of The Maine Genealogical Society and other guests as we work through a series of lectures beginning with an introduction to DNA, using Y-DNA and mtDNA for genealogical research, including how to break through some of those pesky brick walls in your research. We'll end the day discussing third party tools you can use to help analyze your DNA results more efficiently and have saved a block of time at the end for a Q&A session.

You've got DNA questions. We've got answers.  Make the most of your DNA test results after spending a day with a national recognized speaker, who specializes on this very subject.  Lunch is included in the registration fee, and we'll have a number of our Special Publications available for purchase, including the recently released Maine Families in 1790, Volume 11 and Vital Records of Mount Vernon.

For more information about the day's events, or to register, visit our workshop website at  We're looking forward to seeing you in Augusta on April 23!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

NOW AVAILABLE! Vital Records of Mount Vernon, Maine

Hot on the heels of our highly anticipated Maine Families in 1790, Volume 11 release comes the latest publication from the Maine Genealogical Society (MGS). Vital Records of Mount Vernon, Maine continues the long tradition of publishing established by MGS 30 years ago. Special publication #74 of the Society is now available to both non members and members, exclusively through the MGS website at

Mount Vernon, Maine, is a small community located northwest of Augusta. Originally settled in 1774 as Washington Plantation, the town was incorporated June 28, 1792 as the 80th town in Maine. When the settlers applied for incorporation as Washington, they learned that there was another town in Maine by that name so they chose instead the name of George Washington’s estate - Mount Vernon.

Mount Vernon is bounded by Vienna, Rome, Belgrade, Readfield, and Fayette, and many of the marriages included in this book relate to people from those towns. These vital records are transcribed from the original town records which are on microfilm at the Maine State Archives. We have made every attempt for accuracy. We located most of the original records of Mount Vernon in the Maine State Archives in Augusta and were able to compare our transcription with the originals. We also discovered other important records relating to paupers so we have added those to this book. We
also visited the Dr. Shaw Memorial Library in Mount Vernon but could find no relevant original records. With nearly 550 pages, and an every name index of more than 16,500 entries, this book is a gold mine of information for anyone researching early families of the area.

Because punctuation is so erratic in these early documents, we have included only the necessary commas and periods. However, we have transcribed the erratic spelling exactly as written by the early town clerks. We included all vital records such as births, deaths, marriages, and marriage
intentions as well as sale of pews and sheep marks, but we did not transcribe such town records as meetings or lost horses. Such omissions are noted within the book.

If you would like to order a copy of Vital Records of Mount Vernon, Maine it is only available through the Maine Genealogical Society.

Purchases can be made through our online store by visiting our website:

Members of MGS receive $7 off the regular retail price

*MGS membership is $25 per calendar year.  In addition to superb discounts on publications and conferences, your MGS membership gets you a quarterly newsletter with information about genealogical events and MGS chapter news from across the State, our quarterly scholarly journal, The Maine Genealogist, and a number of other benefits.  Consider joining MGS today and save on this and other upcoming publications.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Maine Families in 1790 Volume 11 is now shipping

Maine Families in 1790 Volume 11 was recently delivered from the printer. Preorders have shipped, but there's still plenty of copies left for those that were waiting to make their purchase.  With more than 18,700 names in this edition's every name index, this volume will be a most welcome addition to many researchers libraries.

For more information about this release, see our last post.

Remember, this and upcoming titles are now available to both MGS members and non-members (though members do receive a nice discount on all titles)

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Maine Families in 1790, Volume 11 - Now Taking Pre-Orders!

After nearly 6 years since Volume 10, The Maine Genealogical Society is excited to announce we are now accepting preorders for volume 11 of our Maine Families in 1790 series.  This book is now at the printer and is available to both Maine Genealogical Society members and non-members for pre-ordering now!  Books are currently scheduled to arrive from the printer to MGS the week of December 13.  Pre orders will be shipped to individuals as soon as we have them, with the intention to get them to most households before the Christmas holiday.

Edited by Joseph Crook Anderson II, FASG, Volume 11 of the Maine Families in 1790 series is the biggest yet. Crammed with 800 genealogy-packed pages, this volume treats 208 new families located throughout the District of Maine. Consistent with the previous volumes, all of the families have been thoroughly researched and edited, and all facts are meticulously documented with clear source citations. Conclusions drawn from circumstantial evidence, incomplete records, or conflicting sources are fully discussed within each family sketch. With this volume, the total number of families treated in the series is now 2,895 (or 17% of all families living in Maine in 1790). The usefulness of these books for genealogical research cannot be overstated. The Maine Families in 1790 series is simply the most comprehensive and up-to-date resource on families living in the state during the late-Colonial, Revolutionary War, Federalist, and early statehood periods of Maine’s history.

Surnames of heads-of-household included in Volume 11 are:
Alexander, Allen, Andrews, Atkinson, Baker, Beal(s), Berry, Besse, Bickford, Bishop, Bixby, Blake, Bonney, Booker, Bowman, Boyd, Bradbury, Bradford, Britton, Brown, Card, Cash, Cass, Chandler, Chipman, Clifford, Colby, Collier, Colson, Cottrell, Cousens, Crary, Crommett, Davis, Dexter, Dickey, Dingley, Downing, Dutton, Ellis, Eustis, Fairbanks, Farley, Farnsworth, Fenby, Fletcher, Foster, Fowler, Frye, Fuller, Gilbert, Gilpatrick, Goodridge, Goodwin, Gould, Grant, Greeley, Griffin, Haley, Hall, Hancock, Hawes, Hicks, Hinds, Hinkley, Hopkinson, Houston, Ingalls, Jack, Jacobs, Jewell, Jewett, Jordan, Kilborn, Lackey, Lambert, Lancaster, Lanpher, Libby/Libbey, Lindsey, Longley, Martin, Mathews, Mayberry, Merithew, Metcalf, Miller, Millet, Mitchell, Moors, Neal, Niles, Nock, Norris, Odam, Otis, Patch, Patten, Peabody, Peirce, Perley, Perry, Poke, Porter, Potter, Pratt, Randall, Redlon, Reed, Richmond, Robbins, Russell, Sawyer, Shute, Small, Smith, Springer, Spurr, Staples, Stimson, Stinchfield, Stowers, Sturgis, Sturtevant, Sylvester, Tate, Thurston, Town(e)(s), True, Turner, Walker, Ward, Washburn, Wells, Weston, Whiting, Whittier, Wilder, Winslow, Woodman, Young.

As always, MGS members enjoy a substantial discount on the non-member price.  The nearly $20 
discount to members on just this book makes the $25 annual membership dues well worth the investment.

Interested to know if your Maine families are represented in the first 10 Volumes?  There is a master index of heads of households for volumes 1-11 available on the MGS website available here.

Monday, October 12, 2015

News From The Maine State Archives

Archives Month events to include UMA professor’s presentation on Maine’s highways

AUGUSTA – Dr. Tom McCord will give a presentation on Maine’s highway system at the Maine State Archives on Oct. 20, highlighting how the Archives’ holdings helped him in his research.

“Detours and Details: Unearthing the History of Maine Highways at the Archives and Elsewhere” will be presented to the public on Tuesday, Oct. 20, at 5:30 p.m. in the lobby of the Maine State Archives in the Cultural Building, 230 State St., Augusta. The event is part of the Maine State Archives’ celebration of American Archives Month, an effort to spread the word about the resources and role of the bureau.

McCord teaches history at the University of Maine at Augusta, where his courses include “History of Maine” and “The United States Since World War II.” A longtime editor at the Bangor Daily News, he earned his doctorate in American history from the University of Maine in 2013. His primary research has been on urban renewal in Maine, with emphasis on redevelopment of downtown Bangor, reuse of the former Dow Air Force Base and housing reform.

In addition to this special event, the Maine State Archives will also be marking American Archives Month with these offerings:

October, the Research Room will be open every Tuesday evening until 7 p.m. and every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Regular hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Public tours of the Maine State Archives, including areas not normally accessible to the public, will be offered Tuesday, Oct. 13, at 5:30 p.m.; and Saturday, Oct. 31, at 10 a.m. To reserve your spot on a tour, please call or email Communications Director Kristen Muszynski (626-8404) with your full name and phone number. Reservations will be made on a first-come/first-served basis and the tours will be capped at 20 participants. No large groups, please.

The Maine State Archives is a bureau of the Department of the Secretary of State. Visit or our Facebook page, Maine State Archives, for more information and updates about our plans for Archives Month this October.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

2015 Fall Conference Registration Extended

If you thought you missed the September 1st deadline for registering for the 2015 Fall Conference, there's still time to sign up and join us in Brewer on September 19th at Jeff's catering, where we will welcome Michael Strauss, AG, as our keynote speaker and his lecture: “All in a Day’s Work: Occupational Genealogical Research”. Mr. Strauss is the principal owner of Genealogy Research Network and an Accredited Genealogist since 1995. He is a native of Pennsylvania and a resident of Virginia and has been an avid genealogist for more than 30 years. Strauss holds a BA in History and is a United States Coast Guard veteran.  In addition to his keynote, Strauss will be discussing various topics related to discovering valuable genealogical insight from often overlooked sources.

For more information and to register by September 11, 2015 visit the conference website:

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

NOW AVAILABLE: Vital Records of Newcastle, Maine

Vital Records of Newcastle, Maine, special publication #72 of the Maine Genealogical Society (MGS) is now available exclusively through MGS.

The town of Newcastle is located in Lincoln County on the peninsula between the Sheepscot and Damariscotta Rivers. The town was originally called Sheepscot Plantation and settled in 1630 by fishermen. The town was attacked and destroyed in 1676 during the King Philip’s War but many residents returned when the War ended. During another French and Indian War in 1688 the town was again destroyed with residents not returning for about 30 years. The name of the town was changed to Newcastle in 1730 and incorporated on 23 August 1775 as the 30th town in Maine. The population of the town increased from the first census in 1790 when there were 787 residents to its high point in 1850 when there were 2,012 residents. After that, it dropped each year to a low point in 1930 of 914, rising in 1940 to 994 residents.

The vital records for the town of Newcastle have been transcribed for this book from the microfilms located in the Maine State Archives as digitized on two CDs available from Picton Press. Also included are Delayed Records of Births and Marriage Intentions which were transcribed from two original volumes located in the Newcastle town office, neither of which have been microfilmed. The quality of the microfilmed records is quite good with only a few pages having sections either too faint or too dark to read but were found to be more readable in the original record volumes found in the Newcastle town office.

Vital Records of Newcastle includes Birth, Marriage, and Death records as transcribed from images of microfilms held at the Maine State Archives. Also included are records from the journal of Ebenezer Webb.

With over 380 pages of information, including an Every Name Index of well over 8,000 individuals, this book is a must have if you are researching families in the Newcastle area in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries.  At $39.95 for non-members,, this book is a great value for any genealogical library.

If you would like to order a copy of Vital Records of Newcastle, Maine it is only available through the Maine Genealogical Society.

Purchases can be made through our online store by visiting our website:

Members of MGS receive 25% off the non-member price, a savings of $10!

*MGS membership is $25 per calendar year.  In addition to superb discounts on publications and conferences, your MGS membership gets you a quarterly newsletter with information about genealogical events and MGS chapter news from across the State, our quarterly scholarly journal, The Maine Genealogist, and a number of other benefits.  Consider joining MGS today and save on this and other upcoming publications.