This blog brings you breaking news about the 15th New England Regional Genealogical Conference and the city of Manchester, New Hampshire.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Why Should I Attend a Genealogy Conference?

Are you wondering whether you should attend a genealogy conference?

Here are some thoughts that were posted around the web: 

Goodharted Thoughts: Looking Forward to April! Michael talks about how the 2009 NERGC conference impacted him and how he's looking forward to 2011.

The Journey Takers Blog: Register Now for NERGC.  Leslie Huber provides six reasons why, if she could only attend one conference, she would pick NERGC.

Marian's Roots & Rambles: Why I attended My First Genealogy Conference. Marian talks about the benefits of attending her first genealogy conference.

 Photo Caption: Leslie Albrecht Huber, author of The Journey Takers Blog

Friday, January 28, 2011

Society Profile - The New England Historic Genealogical Society

The New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) is one of the 22 participating societies in the 2011 New England Regional Genealogical Conference (NERGC).

Founded in 1845, NEHGS is the country's leading resource for family history research. They help build knowledge, skills, and understanding of your family and its place in history. Today they provide more than 25,000 members worldwide with access to some of the most important and valuable genealogical resources anywhere. Whether your family came to this country in the 17th century or the 20th century, NEHGS offers access to an incredible collection of primary materials and other resources that can make your research productive and rewarding.

Four NEHGS staff members will be speaking at NERGC:

David A. Lambert, NEHGS Online Genealogist
Michael J. Leclerc, NEHGS Director of Special Projects
Judy Lucey, NEHGS Archivist
D. Joshua Taylor, MLS, NEHGS Director of Education and Programs

The New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) will also be sponsoring the Friday Night Banquet featuring Paul Milner's talk "What Were Our Ancestors Really Like?" [F-236].

When not presenting you'll have the chance to find the NEHGS staff at the NEHGS corner Booth (#s 37, 38 & 42).  Stop by the booth to chat with staff, ask questions, buy books or to join NEHGS.

The New England Regional Genealogical Conference (NERGC) is being held April 6-10, 2011 in Springfield, MA. More information is available from the conference website

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Society Profile - The Cape Cod Genealogical Society

The Cape Cod Genealogical Society is one of the 22 participating societies in the 2011 New England Regional Genealogical Conference (NERGC).

Founded in 1971, the Cape Cod Genealogical Society acquires, catalogs, and preserves genealogical and historical information, emphasizing but not limited to Cape Cod.

The Society gathers and disseminates genealogical and historical information through a collection of diverse activities -

Monthly Meeting presentation by Janis DuffyMonthly Programs: Meetings are held at the Brewster Ladies' Library Auditorium, 1822 Main Street, Brewster, MA, generally on the third Wednesday of each month, from 10AM to 12Noon. Occasional meetings are held on Saturday. After a short business session, presentations are given by genealogical research professionals, seasoned veterans, and other experts in genealogy and history. An annual luncheon is held in June. Check our current Monthly Program.

Irish SIG members compare informationSpecial Interest Groups: (SIGS): Special Interest Groups are informal group gatherings for members of the Cape Cod Genealogical Society for the purpose of sharing research techniques, data and references, and general information regarding the various topics or geographical areas. SIGs generally meet once a month at various times and locations.

Activities: The Society sponsors workshops, research trips and other special events throughout the year. CCGS at NEHGSField trips to the Boston area are offered in the spring and fall. Popular research venues include: Massachusetts Archives, Boston Public Library, New England Historic and Genealogical Society (NEHGS). Workshops are offered to members and the public either by a team of CCGS members or by invited nationally-known experts.

Getting help at the CCGS LibraryGenealogy Room: The Cape Cod Genealogical Society's Genealogy Room is located in the Dennis Public Library. The Genealogy Room houses our collection of genealogy and history books, vital records CDs, genealogy magazines, and archives. CCGS Volunteers are on-hand to assist members and the public with genealogy topics and to make our holdings available for research. Internet access to subscription databases is also available.

CCGS BulletinBulletin: Three times a year members receive the award-winning Bulletin. Containing articles written by members and other authors, the Bulletin provides information of genealogical and historical interest, much of it unique to Cape Cod.

Membership: All people who have an interest in genealogy are welcome as members of the Cape Cod Genealogical Society. Prospective members are welcome to visit us at one of our monthly meetings, or you can sign up for one of our workshops or other activities to get a feel for the group. We hope you'll join us.

The New England Regional Genealogical Conference (NERGC) is being held April 6-10, 2011 in Springfield, MA. More information is available from the conference website

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Help with Introductions for those on Facebook

Are you attending NERGC 2011?  Are you a little nervous because you don't know a lot of people?  Well, if you are on Facebook then making friends just got a little easier.

While preparing for the NERGC 2009 conference the Facebook page was created for attendees to get to know each other.  It worked out very well.  But then our Hospitality Chairpersons, Bonnie Sweatman and Mary Hasselmann, took it a step further.  They devised a way to make it easier for Facebook friends to spot each other.  They gave all the folks on Facebook a smiley face sticker when they checked in at the conference. That way when walking around the conference you can quickly see who else you might know from Facebook.

This worked so well and was such a great success that they are repeating it again this year at NERGC 2011.  If you're on Facebook, join the NERGC Facebook page and let everyone know you're attending.  Check out who else is attending.

In April, when you check in be sure to stop by the hospitality table and get your smiley sticker.  If you came alone you won't be for long.  You'll meet up with many other folks from Facebook. 

Photo Caption: The NERGC 2009 conference badge belonging to speaker, Midge Frazel, which is proudly displaying the Facebook (green) smiley face sticker.

The New England Regional Genealogical Conference (NERGC) is being held April 6-10, 2011 in Springfield, MA. More information is available from the conference website

Friday, January 21, 2011

The NERGC Society Fair - A Great Place to Connect

On Thursday, April 7, 2011 from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm there will be a "Society Fair" in the Sheraton Hotel Ballroom Foyer where twenty-one family, genealogical and historical societies from all over New England will provide information about their organizations.

The Society Fair is open to the general public at no cost so that anyone can make contact with society representatives, pick up brochures and registration material, or perhaps even make a more permanent connection by joining a group.

Who knows how many of these can be of service to you in your research? Come find out!!  It's a great place to meet and greet and gather in anticipation of the opening of the trade show at 6 p.m.. Don't miss it!

Ralph Wadleigh, the Society Fair Chairman says, "The Fair is a great place to meet and greet fellow attendees.  It’s also a place to gather information on family associations, area repositories and genealogical societies offering a variety of information and tools.  It’s been heard that unknown cousins have met at the Fair!!  It’s the place to be before the Trade Show opens.  It shouldn’t be missed for a mix of fun and genealogical socializing!!"

There will be a cash bar available during the Society Fair.

Contact Society Fair Chair Ralph Wadleigh at if you have any questions.

The Participating Organizations Include:

Mass. Society of Genealogists, Inc.
Pilgrim Henry Sampson Kindred
Western Mass. Genealogical Society
Springfield Museums Library & Archives
Central Mass. Genealogical Society
French Canadian Gen. Society
American Canadian Gen. Society
Southwick Historical Society
Soc. of Middletown First Settlers Desc.
Pioneer Valley History Network
Towne Family Association
Doolittle, Rose, Monroe Family Assoc.
Avery Memorial Association
The Parke Society
Locke Family Association
Jewish Genealogical Society
Old Broad Bay Family History Assoc.
Massachusetts State Archives
The Foote Family Association
DAR Mary Mattoon Chapter

The New England Regional Genealogical Conference (NERGC) is being held April 6-10, 2011 in Springfield, MA. More information is available from the conference website

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Librarians' and Teachers' Day - April 7, 2011


NERGC's Third Librarians' and Teachers' Day will be held on
Thursday, 7 April 2011 at the Springfield Marriott. The day will be
devoted to showing attendees how genealogy can enhance
curricula, invite new patrons, and highlight collections.
Librarians' and Teachers' Day provides the opportunity for
professionals to learn how genealogy can serve them in their
dual roles as curators of their unique collections and as
ambassadors of genealogy resources for their schools and
libraries. All librarians and teachers who work with family history
patrons or genealogy-related research materials will benefit
from this special event.The cost is $35.00 per person and
includes lunch compliments of ProQuest.

8:45 A.M - 9:30 A.M.
Registration and Welcome

9:30 A.M. - 10:30 A.M.
Strategies for Making Archival Records Accessible to Genealogists
Kathleen M. Reilly

An overview of strategies used at the Berkshire Athenaeum to make
scrapbooks, pamphlets, manuscripts, maps, and photographs more
assessable to genealogists, students, and other researchers.

10:45 A.M. - 11:45 A.M.
Kids & Collections: Making Meaningful Connections
Liz Shapiro
How do you connect kids with your historical collections? The
Sharon, Connecticut Historical Society's multi-faceted approach
includes the museum website (, Facebook,
Flickr, Glogster, and a new “Community Curator” program to enable
students in grades pre-K through 8 to use local primary resource
materials to create digital stories about people and places through
research, technology, and collaboration, blending a dynamic
multimedia swirl of photographs, text, music, and narration.

12:00 NOON - 1:45 P.M.
Lunch, Courtesy of ProQuest
ProQuest Information and Learning
William Forsyth

2:00 P.M.- 3:00 P.M.
Bringing the Civil War to Life through Library Program and Curriculum Development
Donna E. Walcovy, Ph.D.
The 150th anniversary of the American Civil War (or if you are from the
South, the War of Northern Aggression) begins on April 12, 2011, two
days after the NERGC conference ends. Learn how you can make
the Civil War come alive for your community, adults, visitors, teens,
and children.

3:15 P.M.- 4:15 P.M.
Illustrating the Past: Digital Images at the National Archives
Jean Nudd Elliott
Digital images are now a part of everyday life. Learn how you can
locate images from the Revolutionary War through the Vietnam era
for your clients, whether they are school children, history buffs, or

The New England Regional Genealogical Conference (NERGC) is being held April 6-10, 2011 in Springfield, MA. More information is available from the conference website.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Early Bird Deadline Ending Soon

Don't miss the chance to register for the New England Regional Genealogical Conference (NERGC) before the Early Bird Deadline ends on Feb. 15th.

Save $25 by registering before February 15th!

At NERGC you'll find:
  • Keynote Speakers: John Philip Colletta & Paul Milner
  • Over 60 Expert Speakers
  • The Society Fair
  • Socializing and Networking
  • Special Workshops
  • Special Interest Groups
  • The Ancestors Road Show
  • and much, much more.

Sign up for NERGC today!

The New England Regional Genealogical Conference (NERGC) is being held April 6-10, 2011 in Springfield, MA. More information is available from the conference website.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Society Profile - Descendants of the Founders of Ancient Windsor

The Descendants of the Founders of Ancient Windsor is one of the 22 participating societies in the 2011 New England Regional Genealogical Conference (NERGC).

The Descendants of the Founders of Ancient Windsor

Established in 1983, and now with over 650 active members nationwide, the Descendants of the Founders of Ancient Windsor is pleased to be part of the Eleventh New England Regional Genealogical Conference. With the settlement of Windsor located just 19 miles (about 25 minutes) down the Connecticut River from NERGC 2011’s Springfield conference site, attendees will not want to miss becoming familiar with this unusual society with roots in traditional lineage relationships but open to members regardless of their ability or interest in proving direct descendancy to one of Windsor’s Founders.

The purpose of the Descendants of the Founders of Ancient Windsor is to record and preserve the history and genealogy of the founders of ancient Windsor, their families, and their descendants. Persons support that purpose by paying membership fees and dues as well as with their leadership and participation. Founders are individuals who appear on records pertaining to Windsor by the end of 1641. Over 130 such heads of households have been identified and are presented in our Founders List at Many persons with roots in Colonial times are descended from multiple families on our Founders List.  However, although DFAW is a lineage association, documented descent from a Founder is not a pre-requisite for membership.

Because DFAW wishes to gather and to verify as much genealogical data as possible, we request that members with bloodline descent from one or more Founders take a second step when their time and resources permit and fill out a Lineage Form complete with standard proofs of descent. After that line is verified by our genealogist, DFAW issues a Certificate of Lineage. Lineage Forms with instructions for documentation are available from the membership secretary (Pamela Roberts), returned for initial review to the Registrar (Olivia Patch) and sent on to the Genealogist (Edwin W. Strickland II) for full review. 

In our twenty-seven years of existence, we have gathered much primary and published material on the Founding Families of Windsor. Our information is contained in a computerized database. Much of that database, as well as our library collection, is available during regular hours at the Windsor Historical Society in Windsor, Connecticut. Go to for more information on hours, holdings and exhibits.  For information about on line research requests go to

We maintain contact with our members through two means: a quarterly newsletter and semi-annual meetings. Our 12-page newsletter is edited by the current DFAW President and NERGC 2011 Co-Chair Richard Roberts and includes articles submitted by members on new genealogical findings, upcoming meetings, and other items of importance to Windsor descendants. Our Annual Meeting occurs on the Saturday closest to Windsor's birthday, September 26. Our Spring Luncheon usually occurs on the last Saturday of March. Meetings feature a speaker, food, and the opportunity to share news with other Windsor descendants.  Meeting programs are open to members their guests and those interested in the organization.

DFAW is a non-profit corporation operating under the laws of the State of Connecticut. Our nationwide organization is entirely managed by a volunteer Board of Directors, with no fulltime staff, thus keeping membership  costs low.

We welcome descendants of the Founders of Ancient Windsor, spouses, and other members of the extended family, as well as others interested in Windsor's families. The one time initial membership  fee is $15; the annual individual dues are $10. Life memberships are available.  A line of descent from a Founder, if one exists, is listed optionally on the membership application.  The application with the membership fee and dues is sent to and processed by our Membership Secretary Pamela Roberts who passes checks on to our Treasurer, Sandy McGraw.

Celebrating milestones in the history of Windsor has been a hallmark of association activities. DFAW began as a society after a group of descendents of the founders in 1983 recreated the “trek” from Dorchester Massachusetts in September of 1983 as a part of the 350th celebration of the founding of Windsor. With an eight year old son of the first President Donna Holt Siemiatkoski serving as the flag bearer and leading the trek, they inspired over 222 members to join the fledgling group between February and December of 1983. 

And 25 years later in the fall of 2008 with a membership mailing list of over 670 members, DFAW collaborated with the Windsor 375 Committee in a Gala Evening of Dance, supported a parade float and combined its annual meeting with a Founders Day Celebration.

There is a place for YOU and your family in the Descendants of the Founders of Ancient Windsor! Whether you enjoy sharing coffee occasionally while recounting a story of your ancestry or you are bubbling over with the discovery of a new resource or whether you have just finally found the grave stone of a not so easily documented ancestor, you’ll enjoy gathering for the DFAW Fall and Spring programs.  And, when you see the sample newsletters available for browsing at the NERGC 2011 Exhibit Hall you will not want to miss getting your DFAW Newsletter regularly as a benefit of membership. 

Stop by NERGC 2011 BOOTH #48 for further information, where we have membership forms, member pins, books, T-shirts, and memorabilia for sale.

Our DFAW genealogist will be present at most unopposed exhibit hall breaks during Friday and Saturday.  Samples of our publications will be available for browsing and purchasing. You could pick up a hard copy or request a membership packet to be emailed or snail mailed to you or someone you believe will be interested.

Photo captions:

Top - DFAW members at NERGC 2009.  L-R:  past board member Janet Wallace; Registrar Olivia Patch; Betty Chapman; Membership Chair Pam Roberts

Middle -  DFAW members learn about the Pequot War from Dr. Kevin McBride at the Fall 2010 meeting

Bottom - DFAW members pose with the 2008 float.  L-R: Curt Patch; President Richard Roberts; current Vice President Larry Phelps, board member Ruth Shapleigh-Brown, and Registrar Olivia Patch

The New England Regional Genealogical Conference (NERGC) is being held April 6-10, 2011 in Springfield, MA. More information is available from the conference website.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Learn, Shop, Join, Explore - The Exhibitors Hall at NERGC

There's so much you can do in the NERGC Exhibit Hall! Talk to members of organizations, buy books and genealogical supplies, get a photo identification consultation, register for a class, pick up a magazine, get tips on software and so much more.

The New England Genealogical Conference (NERGC) 2011 list of Exhibitors:

American French Genealogical Society

Board for Certification of Genealogists 

Boston University

Connecticut Ancestry

Connecticut Gravestone Network

Connecticut Historical Society

Connecticut Society of Genealogists

Connecticut State Library

Descendants of Founders of Ancient Windsor

Family Roots Publishing

Friends of NARA- Pittsfield

Fun Stuff for Genealogists

Genealogical Society of Vermont 

Godfrey Memorial Library

Gravestone Girls

Heritage Productions

Jonathan Sheppard Books

Just Black and White

Legacy Family Tree

Maia’s Books

Memory Lane

Massachusetts Genealogical Council

Moorshead Publishing

National Genealogical Society

National Institute for Genealogical Studies [Toronto]

New England Chapter APG

New England Historic Genealogical Society

NY Genealogical & Biographical

Old Maps

Paul J. Bunnell, UE, Author

Polish Genealogical Society CT & Northeast

Rhode Island Genealogical Society

Roots Magic

The Irish Ancestral Research Association

White Poppy Press/Modern Memoirs

The New England Regional Genealogical Conference (NERGC)

The New England Regional Genealogical Conference (NERGC) is being held April 6-10, 2011 in Springfield, MA. More information is available from the conference website.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

"The Search for the Identity of the Amnesiac Benjaman Kyle" by Colleen Fitzpatrick

Speaker: Colleen Fitzpatrick, Ph.D.
Talk: "The Search for the Identity of the Amnesiac Benjaman Kyle" [F-229]
Date: Friday, April 8, 2011
Time: 4:45pm

Who is Benjaman Kyle?

Our ancestors lived without Social Security Numbers, drivers licenses, and sometimes even without birth certificates. Yet they had jobs, they may have owned property, they emigrated to other countries without needing a passport. It can be very difficult for their genealogist-descendant to locate them without much documentation.

Life nowadays is not that simple. Imagine what it would be like to live today without a Social Security Number, a driver's license, and a birth certificate. You could not get a job, you could not drive, you could not open a bank account nor apply for a credit card. It would be impossible for you to get through airport security to board a plane.

Benjaman Kyle must function under these conditions every day. Due to a severe beating, he suffers from retrograde amnesia. He does not know who he is. Yet as a well-spoken healthy 60-year-old man, he would fit in well with our ancestors. He lives very much like they lived, without the types of personal identification we take for granted. Benjaman Kyle is the only missing person in the United States whose whereabouts are common knowledge.

My search for the identify of Benjaman Kyle provides much insight into the search a genealogist might do in identifying a missing member of his family tree. I've had dead ends, I've had close calls, I've located people who look just like him. I've scoured bulletin boards and missing persons' websites. I've given up countless times, only to have that "Eureka" moment that surprises me into continuing.

Unlike our ancestors, Benjaman has the advantage of modern technology. His fingerprints have been checked; we have had his picture run through facial identification software used by various Departments of Motor Vehicles. We have made use of the Internet, constructing a Wikipedia article about him (; he has a Facebook page. He has appeared in a number of newspapers and on radio and television, including The Dr. Phil show and National Public Radio's All Things Considered. He has even taken a battery of DNA tests to try to find his last name or to locate potential cousins. Even though millions of people have been exposed to his story, we still don't know who he is.

I have posted several articles on my blog at about Benjaman's DNA results - most recently an article on all the close calls we've had. My articles give the background of how he was found, with links for more detailed information. I welcome everyone to read the articles, and more importantly, to look at his picture to see if anyone recognizes him. I can provide an email to be forwarded to friends who might not be aware of the story. Most importantly, I encourage anyone who has information on who he is to contact me immediately at

Who knows what will happen before I speak in Springfield this April? There will undoubtedly be developments in the case - maybe I will even be lucky enough to reveal his identity at the conference. So even if you read the articles, make sure you attend my talk on Friday. April 8, 2011 at 4:45pm to hear the latest on our search for (and maybe discovery of) the identity of the amnesiac Benjaman Kyle.

Colleen Fitzpatrick, Ph.D.

Colleen Fitzpatrick, Ph,D., author of Forensic Genealogy, has been recognized by the international press for her work with the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory. Her article on her work on the "Arm in the Snow" project appeared in Scientific American, summer 2010. Although Colleen works on high-level projects, her techniques are familiar to genealogists researching their own family histories. You will come to her talk as a genealogist; you will leave as a forensic genealogist.

The New England Regional Genealogical Conference (NERGC)

The New England Regional Genealogical Conference (NERGC) is being held April 6-10, 2011 in Springfield, MA. More information is available from the conference website.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Society Profile - The Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Descendants

The Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Descendants is one of the 22 participating societies in the 2011 New England Regional Genealogical Conference (NERGC).

The Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Descendants

The Mission of the Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Descendants is:

 To gather together to honor and perpetuate the memory of our Mayflower Ancestors and the ideals of American freedoms and democracy, which have evolved from The Mayflower Compact signed by the Pilgrim Fathers when they reached Cape Cod shores in November, 1620.

The renewed interest in American history brought about by the celebration of the centennial of the United States in 1876 spawned the formation of dozens of hereditary and patriotic organizations. By the mid 1890s organizations such as the Daughters of the American Revolution were attracting members interested in perpetuating the memory of their ancestors who had helped to found this country. Genealogy became a popular hobby and these organizations gave people the opportunity to socialize with others in their genealogical families. The idea of a society for descendants of the Mayflower passengers was realized first in the state of New York on December 22, 1894. Three more states followed in 1896: Connecticut on March 7, Massachusetts on March 28, and Pennsylvania on July 1. In 1897 these four state societies joined to form the General Society of Mayflower Descendants, which has since chartered state societies in all fifty U.S. states, the District of Columbia, and the Dominion of Canada.

 The Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Descendants was founded by George Ernest Bowman who gathered twenty-two men and eight women, many of them his relatives, to sign the papers of incorporation in Boston stating the purposes of the society were patriotic, antiquarian, and historical.

Eligibility in the Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Descendants
Massachusetts is one of fifty (50) state societies plus one in the District of Columbia and one in Canada. By virtue of membership in one of these societies, everyone is a member of the General Society of Mayflower Descendants. You can be a resident of any state or country and still join here in Massachusetts. The advantages of being a member here are listed under benefits.

The requirements to become a member are that you already know your lineage back to a Mayflower passenger, submit an application form with required fees, and are willing to provide two photocopies of all documentation needed under the guidance of the Historian.

The New England Regional Genealogical Conference (NERGC) is being held April 6-10, 2011 in Springfield, MA. More information is available from the conference website

Saturday, January 8, 2011

The Irish are Coming! The Irish are Coming!

If you do Irish research then NERGC is the place to be to help you research your ancestors.  Irish researchers will be coming from as far away as Ireland.  Many of the top Irish researchers will be giving talks at NERGC including, Paul Milner, Mary Ellen Grogan, Judy Lucey, Michael Brophy, Margaret Sullivan and all the way from Ireland, Eileen O'Duill.

Don't miss out on these great talks!
  • "Irish Birth, Marriage and Death Records for the Beginner"
  • "Come to Ireland to Find Your Irish Ancestors"
  • "Irish Emigrants to North America: Before, During and After the Famine"
  • "Griffiths Valuation: Gateway To Irish Research"
  • "First Generation Irish"

Full details on the talks can be found in the NERGC Program

The New England Regional Genealogical Conference (NERGC)

The New England Regional Genealogical Conference (NERGC) is being held April 6-10, 2011 in Springfield, MA. More information is available from the conference website.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Food, Drink and Great Friends

Join your friends and fellow genealogists for a relaxing evening of food, drink and camaraderie during the first of two evening banquets at the New England Regional Genealogical Conference.

When: Friday, April 8, 2011
Time: 7:00 pm
Location: Springfield, MA
Sponsored by: The New England Historic Genealogical Society

Attendees will enjoy hearing Paul Milner speak on the topic "What Were Our Ancestors Really Like?"  A humorous look at the actions and motives of our ancestors as recorded in the records our ancestors left behind.

Banquet attendees will have a choice of chicken, swordfish, steak or vegetarian meals.

Full details can be found in the NERGC Program.  Please note that the banquet registration is in addition to the conference registration.

The New England Regional Genealogical Conference (NERGC)

The New England Regional Genealogical Conference (NERGC) is being held April 6-10, 2011 in Springfield, MA. More information is available from the conference website.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

"Where is Great Grandma Hiding? Finding Forgotten Females" by Sandra MacLean Clunies

Speaker: Sandra MacLean Clunies, CG
Talk: "Where is Great Grandma Hiding? Finding Forgotten Females" [S-318]
Date: Saturday, April 9, 2011
Time: 1:45pm

The photo remained hidden for decades in obscure family records. As did a poem she wrote about death. This elusive great-grandmother died in Massachusetts in childbirth at age 30 in 1872. What was her real first name? Did her sons forget her? Where was she born? Why did such a young mother write such a sad poem?

This lovely young woman was the inspiration for the NERGC 2011 lecture “Where is Great-Grandma Hiding? Finding the Forgotten Females” which will take place on Saturday, 9 April at 1:45 pm.

It took several years of research to uncover all the facts, filled with distracting detours as I had to discount many misleading details found in books and federal records.  I have found other elusive female ancestors by expanding the search circle to include all the men in their lives. Walk with me on this journey of discovery and add to your own toolkit to learn more about your own “mystery mamas.”

Our foremothers are more challenging to identify than our forefathers for many reasons including laws and customs. Learn some successful strategies to use in your hunt for that elusive female ancestor. 

Sandra MacLean Clunies, CG

Sandra MacLean Clunies, CG is a professional genealogist, author and lecturer. Past president of the National Capital Area Chapter of APG, and a past member of the APG Board of Directors, she has served on the adjunct faculty of NIGR and IGHR.  She is a past winner of the NGS Family History Writing Contest and received the 2009 Grahame T. Smallwood Jr. Award by APG for meritorious service.

The New England Regional Genealogical Conference (NERGC)

The New England Regional Genealogical Conference (NERGC) is being held April 6-10, 2011 in Springfield, MA. More information is available from the conference website.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Society Profile - The Godfrey Memorial Library

The Godfrey Memorial Library is one of the 22 participating societies in the 2011 New England Regional Genealogical Conference (NERGC).

The Godfrey Memorial Library

The purpose of the Godfrey Memorial Library is to promote the study of family history by:

- Inspiring individuals in all sectors of society to study their heritage and their own place in history.

- Supporting educational activities that create enthusiasm for family research.

- Making genealogical and historical resources available to all on a national and international level by continuing the expansion, modernization, and distribution of the collection of print, electronic manuscript and other information media as technology develops.

The Godfrey Memorial Library, incorporated in 1947, first opened its doors in May 1951. It was founded by A. Fremont Rider, a well-known publisher, author, inventor, genealogist, and librarian. He served for many years as director of Wesleyan's Olin Library. While in that position, he developed the idea for a monumental index that would help genealogists all over the world in their research. That was the beginning of the American Genealogical Biographical Index (AGBI) and the Godfrey Memorial Library.

The AGBI is a 226 volume master index containing approximately 4 million names from over 800 genealogically related research books including many records from the Boston Transcript. AGBI is the largest and most important genealogical reference set ever published.

Presently, Godfrey Library has approximately 200,000 books and periodicals in its collection including: state and local histories, international resources, family histories, biographies, records by religious organizations, church records, funeral records, cemetery records, military records, maps, and other formats.

Godfrey has been online through its Scholar Program since 2002. At its inception there were only two databases for members to search. It has grown exponentially since that time, and now there are thousands. For information on available databases and how to subscribe, see:

The library does not receive funds from any local, state, or federal agency. Our operating funds primarily come from the sale of memberships to the online Godfrey Scholar Program and through patron donations. Although it is a privately owned library, it is free and open to the public six days a week.  The Board of Trustees is committed to keeping our doors open free of charge and encourage all who seek to find their ancestors to use the library and its resources.

The Godfrey publishes an Update twice a year.  For current and previous copies, please see:

A selection of resources available for free online searching are available at:

Genealogists often consult our Duplicate Book Sale for items of interest. For a complete listing of titles available for sale, please see:

Photo captions (from top)

Top: The Godfrey Mememorial Library building in Middletown, Connecticut

Middle: At the November 2010 Volunteer Appreciation Event, Board Chairman Bruce Tyler was given the Fremont Rider Award for his service.
Left to right; Board members Ned Browning, Bruce Tyler, Barbara Prymas, August DeFrance.

Bottom: Godfrey Board member Ed Laput is working on a project to photograph gravestones in Connecticut (and beyond) and record their vital information. He (and his army of volunteers) are nearing two hundred complete cemeteries.

The New England Regional Genealogical Conference (NERGC) is being held April 6-10, 2011 in Springfield, MA. More information is available from the conference website.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

71 Exceptional Reasons to head to Springfield, MA this April

Here are 71 exceptional reasons to head to Springfield, MA in April 2011

John Philip Colletta, Ph.D.
Paul Milner
David Allen
Kathy Amoroso
Cherry Fletcher Bamberg, FASG
Scott Andrew Bartley
Blaine T. Bettinger, Ph.D.
Matthew Bielawa
Kathryn Smith Black
Mary Ann Boyle, Ph.D., CG
Michael Brophy
Paul J. Bunnell
Raymond Cassidy
Sandra MacLean Clunies, CG
Lucie LeBlanc Consentino
Robert S. Cox
Janis P. Duffy
Pamela Stone Eagleson, CG
Jean Elliott Nudd
Colleen Fitzpatrick
Nora Galvin
Sherry Gould
Diane Gravel, CG
Mary Ellen Grogran
Meredith Hoffman
Leslie Huber
Aleksandra Kacprzak
Richard L. Kimball, Ph.D.
David A. Lambert
Irene Lambert, MGA
Michael J. Leclerc
Lucie K. Lewis, Ed.D.
Patty Vigeant Locke
Judy Lucey
Jill Martin
Barbara Mathews, CG
Carol McCoy, Ph.D.
Linda McMeniman
Marcia D. Melynk
David L. Mishkin
Shellee A. Morehead, Ph.D.
Donna M. Moughty
Jolene Mullen
Muriel Normand
Eileen O'Duill
David Ouimette, CG
Marian Pierre-Louis
Elissa Scalise Powell, CG
Laura Prescott
Connie Reik
Richard Clarke Roberts
Jay Sage
Pamela Sayre
Craig Scott, CG
Sharon Sergeant
Marrianne Lockwood Shafer
Helen A. Shaw, MA, CG
Jonathan Shea
Gerald H. Smith, CG
Michael L. Strauss
Edwin W. Strickland II
Margaret Sullivan
D. Joshua Taylor
Maureen A. Taylor
Richard G. Tomlinson
Bruce Tyler, Ph.D.
Gene Vogt
Donna Walcovy, Ph.D.
Robert Lincoln Ward
Meldon J. Wolfgang III

Check out the New England Regional Genealogical Conference (NERGC) program for a full list of talks being given by these speakers April 6-10, 2011 in Springfield, MA.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Where is Springfield, Massachusetts?

The 11th New England Regional Genealogical Conference (NERGC) is being held in Sprinfield, Massachusetts from April 6-11, 2011.

Where is Springfield, MA anyway?!!

Springfield is located in Central Massachusetts and is easily accessible from I-90 (the Mass Pike) and I-84.

Springfield is:
...27 miles north of Hartford, CT
...141 miles north of New York City
...87 miles east of Albany, NY
...90 miles west of Boston
...85 miles northwest of Providence, RI
...52 miles west of Worcester, MA
...131 miles southwest of Concord, NH
...175 miles south of Monpelier, VT
...247 miles southwest of August, ME

Springfield is a terrific central location for New England and is easily accessible from most of the Northeast.  Not local but still want to come?  There are some great air fare deals being offered until January 4th, 2011.