Greater Portland Chapter Meetings

The Greater Portland Genealogical Society meets at 1:00 on the first Saturday of every month except July at the First Congregational Church, United Church of Christ at 301 Cottage Road (Meeting House Hill), South Portland. Our meetings are open to the public and new members are always welcome. Come early as refreshments are served before the meeting at 12:30. Admission is free.
2018 Upcoming Program Schedule

February 2, 2019 - A "How-To" Helping Round Table
Our newest member has been doing genealogy for two weeks! So, bring your device (computer, tablet, paper and pencil, whatever) and we'll see how we can help her and each other. A wi-fi connection will be available.

March 2, 2019 - TBD by Diane Brakeley
Diane will be responsible for this meeting. I'm not sure yet what she'll focus on, but plan on a 10-minute presentation and then lots of time to work on your research. Bring your device (computer, tablet, paper and pencil, whatever) and we'll see what we can discover. A wi-fi connection will be available.
Past programs

January 5, 2019 - 12th Volunteer Regiment of Maine during the Civil War
Debra Ann Gorneault is currently writing a book on the role of the little-known 12th Volunteer Regiment of Maine during the Civil War. She shared her extensive knowledge about the soldiers she now calls "her boys." Her digital presentation, photographs and books all presented a fascinating account of a forgotten but valuable regiment.

December 1, 2018 - Holiday Party
Holiday party and Yankee Swap. This was a fun meeting of fellowship and sharing!

November 3, 2018 - Loyalists in Maine
Pamela Gilpin Stowe became an avid scholar of the history of the Loyalists. She has written and self-published an historical novel based on factual material called "Above the Glebe." She spok about Maine's unique history as a haven of Loyalists from southern New England.

October 6, 2018 - The 12th Maine Volunteer Infantry Regiment
Debra Ann Flynn Gorneault spoke about her upcoming book, The Democratic Regiment; The 12th of Maine. She gave a glimpse of historically accurate accounts of a little-known Civil War Regiment. Over 799 Veteran men have been lost to the pages of time and this is part of their story. How and where she was able to research to obtain information, as well as some over looked sources, guides and internet sites were discussed.

September 8, 2018 - Field trip to Alfred Shaker Museum
We carpooled to the Alfred Shaker Museum, where Linda Aaskov and Brother Albert treated us to a 30 minute film on the history of the Shakers and a tour of the house, while explainingdss the entire history of the Alfred community and its buildings.

August 4, 2018 - Share a Story
Members brought in a story or an item related to their family genealogy. We took turns presenting short explanations of what we have or have done.

June 2, 2018 - MGS-Benefits of Being a Chapter and a Member of MGS
Carol McCoy, past GPCMGS president, told us about the benefits of being an MGS chapter and a Member of MGS.

May 5, 2018 - Portland's Historic Eastern Cemetery, a new book by Ron Romano
Ron Romano guided us through Eastern Cemetery’s rich history, with an overview of the remote burial patches designated for minorities, and a look at how the landscape has changed over the past 350 years.

April 7, 2018 - In Defense of the Seacoast
Elizabeth Blake Hotchkiss presented on current research by the Maine State Regent's Project for the Daughters of the American Revolution. The state DAR is putting together a publication that will highlight the battles fought here in Maine - Machias, Castine, Falmouth, Cape Porpoise, and including Arnold's March to Quebec.

March 3, 2018 - Tracing Maine, New England and Canadian Irish ancestry back to Ireland
Matthew Jude Barker of the Maine Irish Heritage Center in Portland explained important resources both here in Maine and in Ireland, with some mention of Irish ancestors in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

Feb. 3, 2018 - History of the Shakers
Leonard L. Brooks of the Shaker Museum in New Gloucester spoke to us about the history of the Shakers. Leonard is the retired director (1988-2013) of the Shaker Library and Shaker Museum at the Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village, an active community of Shakers since 1783 in New Gloucester, ME.

Jan 6, 2018 - Portrait of a 19th - Century Family Through their Letters
Linda McLoon, one of our members, delivered a talk entitled "Portrait of a 19th - Century Family Through their Letters." The lives of several siblings of the Googins family of Old Orchard and Scarborough, Maine, were described through their letters to their brother William.

Dec 2, 2017 - Holiday party and Show and Tell
A small group enjoyed a member "Show and Tell" and fesive holiday food. Happy Holidays to all!
Nov 4, 2017 - Maine in World War I
A discussion of Maine's contributions of men and women, supplies and equipment and more was included in this image-filled presentation by Jason Libby. He also discussed some of the records available use for documenting soldiers/sailors/nurses and those used for general purposes, for example WWI draft registration documents.

Oct 7, 2017 - Stories to tell
Meghan Vigeant discussed saving personal and family stories in books and audio formats. Her website is ""

August 26, 2017 - Field trip to The Maine State Library
Field trip to Maine State Library in Augusta.

August 5, 2017 - Everything you wanted to know about The Maine State Library
Emily Schroeder of the Maine State Library told us about all records available at MSL and how to work with them.

June 3, 2017 - Tips on interpreting handwriting in early town records
A talk by Marlene Groves offering tips on how to read many of the handwritten documents genealogists come across. Most of the illustrations used in her presentation covered the period from the mid-17th century to the later part of the 20th century.

May 6, 2017 - "The Life and Times of Harriet Smith Pullen, Pioneering Woman"
Eleanor Phillips Brackbill, art historian and published author, presented her recent book about her mother, titled The Queen of Heartbreak Trail: The Life and Times of Harriet Smith Pullen, Pioneering Woman.

April 1, 2017 - Stories to tell - cancelled due to snow storm

March 4, 2017 - Confronting Conflicting Evidence
Pam Stone Eagleson is a professional genealogist with a broad education and decades of experience in genealogical research. Her specialty areas are Maine & New England, Mid-Atlantic, & Midwest research. She has her own website and blog online ( She presented "Confronting Conflicting Evidence," which examined ways to analyze and resolve such evidence.

February 4, 2017 - Land records and Deed Platting - Part 2
The second session of Will Haskell's presentation was a hands on workshop where we broke into small groups and worked on reading a deed and creating a map from the metes and bounds information.

Will was born and raised in Maine. He is a professional civil engineer with over 25 years of experience. His father and great grandfather were also civil engineers and surveyors. Will has been working on his family history since the early 1990's and enjoys using maps and land records as part of his research. Check out Will's genealogy blog at

January 7, 2017 - Land records and Deed Platting - Part 1
Will Haskell presented a Powerpoint presentation summarizing land records and the basics of deed platting. This was the first part of a 2-part presentation. This first session focused on the information that is found in records and deeds, why this information is important in family history research, and the basic tools and methods of creating a plat map from the information presented on a deed. The second session will be presented in February.

December 3, 2016 - Holiday party
Members brought their favorite holiday food to share as well as a gift for a Yankee Swap. There was no speaker, however new officers for our 2017 year were elected.

November 5, 2016 - Like Father, Like Sons – Scarborough’s Burbank Family in the Revolutionary War
Linda McLoon presented a Power Point presentation entitled “Like Father, Like Sons – Scarborough’s Burbank Family in the Revolutionary War,” about a father who took his two young sons, ages 11 & 14, with him to fight in the Revolutionary War.

October 1, 2016 - Maritime Records
The National Archives (NARA) may very well hold a document proving your ancestor was in fact the seamen or famed shipmaster you heard of in family traditions. Jake Fletcher's presentation explained records of the U.S. Customs Service and related departments used in maritime genealogy and important online resources for locating ancestors. Jake answered questions about researching at the National Archives field branch in Waltham, Massachusetts.

September 3, 2016 - Tour of Eastern Cemetery
Our field trip this year was to Eastern Cemetery where we were joined by Ron Romano, author of the new book titled, Early Gravestones in Southern Maine: The Genius of Bartlett Adams. Ron will took us on a tour of Eastern Cemetery, pointing out the most interesting stones, including those engraved by Bartlett Adams.

August 6, 2016 - Three Families of Yarmouth
A talk by Bob Greene connecting his two loves: genealogy and music.

June 4, 2016 - Brian Bouchard with a murder mystery
Brian has been researching a murder case in his family for a few years and have been collecting everything related to the case. In that time, he's gone to the Archives on a number of occassions, asking for material related to the case and until recently had been told there was nothing cataloged. Recently an archivist searched through some uncatalogued records and found thousands of pages of information related to the case. His presentation focused on the kind of information that was found and how it helped fill in gaps in his previous research.

May 7, 2016 - Scarborough history and research resources
Rodney Laughton, President of the Scarborough Historical Society, presented a program on the history of Scarborough, Maine, beginning with its early settlement and the founding families of the town and up to the industrial development of the 19th century.

April 2, 2016 - DNA results - What next?
Nancy Mason presented her program on “DNA Results – What Next: Preparing for and working with your Autosomal Results.”

March 5, 2016 - Small Group Discussions
Members chose to take part in one of three small group discussions. "Brick Walls", "Organizing Genealogical Research" and "Future Projects for GPCMGS" were the three choices.

February 6, 2016 - Judith Herbert
Maine's most recently Certified Genealogist, Judith Herbert of Bath, Maine spoke on another complex evidence case study. This one involved sorting out multiple individuals of the same name in an 18th century rural area.

January 2, 2016 - Judith Herbert
Maine's most recently Certified Genealogist, Judith Herbert of Bath, Maine gave a presentation that covered a complex evidence case study. This study explored conducting a 19th century urban surname study when all else fails to yield an individual’s parents.

December 5, 2015 - Holiday Party
There was no speaker and refreshments were provided by all!

November 7, 2015 - Irish Heritage Center
Krista Ozyazgan spoke to us on the Maine Gaeltacht DNA Project. This is a group of people who have had their DNA tested who mostly have some Irish ancestry in the family. By being part of the project, it will help others find their ancestors, among other things.

October 3, 2015 - My Grandmother's Diary
Our featured speaker was be Dixie Hayes. Dixie is a retired school teacher from North Yarmouth, Maine. She lives on land that has been in her family for over 150 years. Her presentation will highlight things she has learned about her town and family from information gleaned from her grandmother’s diaries.

September 5, 2015 - Genealogical holdings at Maine State Library
Emily Schroeder of the Maine State Library, spoke to us about the genealogical holdings at Maine State Library, and their related services. Emily has been in various positions at the State Library since she began working there in 1980; her latest incarnation has been as genealogy specialist, starting in 2007. She teaches genealogy classes regularly. She serves on the board of Maine Genealogical Society, and has been Secretary of Kennebec Historical Society since 2003.

August 1, 2015 - Social Networking for Genealogy
Don Taylor, a retired technology specialist, described some of his techniques and successes in using social networking in his family history and genealogical research.

June 6, 2015 - Family Folklore
Donna Damon spoke about solving and documenting mysteries around family folklore and some stories about interactions with people who travel half way across the country on a pilgrimage to find their roots on a Maine Island.

Donna grew up on Chebeague Island and now lives in a house her husband build on land inherited from her grandfather. She was the founder of the Chebeague Island Historical Society 30 years ago and is active in many island organizations, including the library, church and recreation center. Donna is the ‘go to’ person for Chebeague history.

May 2, 2015 - Bartlett Adams, Stone Cutter
Ron Romano leads historic tours and serves on the Board for Spirits Alive (the ‘Friends of Eastern Cemetery”, a non-profit in Portland). He spent much of 2013 researching the life, times, and work of Bartlett Adams and conducted a comprehensive survey of Adams’ work at Portland’s historic Eastern Cemetery. In 2014, Ron visited over 175 early cemeteries to document the impact of Bartlett Adams throughout the region, and he was pleased to share his findings with us.

In 1800, Bartlett Adams (1766-1828) arrived in Portland from Massachusetts and established the area’s first stone-cutting shop. He made marble hearthstones, mantlepieces, and door jambs, but his more lasting - and visible - impact can be found in the early cemeteries of southern Maine. His shop produced hundreds of slate and marble gravestones, many of which survive today in early graveyards of Portland, throughout Cumberland County, and beyond.

April 4, 2015 - Kevin C Mills, Author, Journalist
Kevin Mills is a native of Gorham, Maine and graduated from Gorham High School. His ancestors were privateers, shipbuilders, merchant mariners, and lighthouse keepers. He spoke about his book which chronicled the life of his grandfather.

March 7, 2015 - Cumberland Historical Society
Carolyn Small is Exhibition Hall Superintendent at Cumberland County Fair, having learned the job from her mother-in-law in the 1960’s. She spoke on the history of the Cumberland County Fair.

Feb 7, 2015 - What can you find at Probate Court?
Jeffrey A. Kimball is the Deputy Register of Probate for the Cumberland County Probate Court. Jeff has 10 years’ experience with the Cumberland County Probate Court, has worked for the Registry of Deeds and the District Attorney’s Office for Cumberland. He spoke to us on what information the Probate Court has and how to use the internet to look up probate matters at the different Probate Courts in Maine. He discussed what items on are online and what items you would need come to the registry to look up, how to get older items online and the filing of cases online.

Jan 3, 2015 - Starting the New Year
We met in three groups where members and guests discussed and shared with each other.
  • Group One - Organizating Your Research ~ Lois Knight
  • Group Two - Vital Records ~ Members brought town vital record books and other resources to share.
  • Group Three - DNA ~ Questions and discussion on DNA testing with Nancy Mason

December 6, 2014 - Tips for Easier Navigation of with Judy Reitze
Judy Reitze's presentation taught us all about navigating the Family Search website. Judy and her husband Charles have been Co-Directors of the Bangor Maine Family History Center since early 2009.

November 1, 2014 - DNA with Nancy Mason
Local genetic genealogist Nancy Milliken Mason presented a talk on Dna - this exciting new tool for tracing your family lineage.She explained the three major test types, Y-DNA, mtDNA, and atDNA.

October 4, 2014 - Southern Maine: The Postcard View
Kevin Johnson, photo archivist for the Penobscot Marine Museum in Searsport, Maine presented "Southern Maine: The Postcard View; Selections from the Eastern Illustrating & Publishing Company.”

The Eastern Illustrating & Publishing Company was founded in 1909 in Belfast, Maine by Rudolph Herman Cassens. Cassens’ goal was to photograph small towns and rural areas from Maine to California, producing “real photo” postcards that would be valued for promoting tourism. Cassens did not fulfill his dream of photographing the entire country, but his company did produce over 50,000 glass plate negatives of New England and Upstate New York between 1909 and 1947.

We all enjoyed the fascinating images of times gone by. It was great to hear people saying - "That hasn't changed at all" or "That's not even there any more!"

September 6, 2014 - Visit to the Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village
We took a trip to the Shaker Museum at 707 Shaker Road, New Gloucester, ME, where we enjoyed a talk and guided tour.

August 2, 2014 - The Grand Trunk Cemetery
Mary Ann Chapman spoke to us about the Grand Trunk Cemetery in Portland, Maine. We learned about the history and restoration of this cemetery where War of 1812, Civil and Revolutionary War heroes (aren't all military men heroes?) are interred. This cemetery is on Presumpscot St. next to the Grand Trunk RR tracks.

June 7, 2014 - A talk on Genealogy
Jodi Moore spoke on her experiences with genealogy.

May 3, 2014 - Beginning Genealogy by Sue Hawes
Wondering how to get started tracing your family history? Get off on the right foot with these easy steps!

April 12, 2014 - “The Irish of Portland, Maine: A History of Forest City Hibernians”
Matt Barker has just published his book. He spoke to us about the success story of a small group of early arrivals who faced hardship and discrimination, the Portland Irish – a 19th century community of domestics, longshoremen, teachers, laborers, homemakers, shopkeepers, nurses and policemen - who grew into a powerful statewide political force.

March 1, 2014 - Antiques Road Show
Mike Gallant of Hometown Antiques was on hand to tell attendees about the age, use and marketablilty of vintage items that they brought in.

February 1, 2014 - Gadgets and Brick Walls
Members shared a few brick walls for which other members offered suggestions. The group also discussed plans for the Southern Maine Genealogy Conference.

January 4, 2014 - Cancelled
Unfortunately, This meeting was cancelled because the parking lot had not been cleared. Our apologies.

Dec. 7, 2013 - Creating Maine Towns—The Process and the Records
Carol Prescott McCoy, Ph.D, presented a talk on the development of Maine towns. The District of Maine, part of Massachusetts until 1820, had a wild history marked by frequent warfare, the destruction of many early settlements, common land disputes, a challenging terrain and a harsh climate. Carol discussed how Maine towns typically developed, the role and responsibilities of proprietors and what they had to do to create a successful town, what town records were created, and where you might look for them.

Nov. 2, 2013 - The Mystery of Miss Pattee
Linda McCloon presented "The Mystery of Miss Pattee." Her very entertaining presentation detailed a family research project that traced a spinster’s trail from Maine’s Belgrade Lakes to the halls of Congress and one of the biggest frauds of the 19th century.”

Oct. 5, 2013 - Lineage Society Fair
This meeting featured information on a variety of lineage societies, such as the DAR, SARA, Mayflower, Métis, and family names such as Jordan, Libby, Leavitt and Reynolds. We had tables for each society and many people spoke about their groups. Handouts were also available for those interested in more information.

Sept. 7, 2013 - Tell Your Life Story
Maine writer, storyteller and personal historian, Eddie Adelman, presented a program designed to encourage us to document our own life stories before they're lost forever. The presentation featured a lively mixture of readings, music, instruction, inspiration and humor.

August 3, 2013 - House Island Field Trip
We had a beautiful day to take our field trip to House Island. After a lovely boat ride, we arrived at House Island and ate our lunch. We then hiked around the island and were given a tour and some history of Fort Scammel.

June 1, 2013 - Researching at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City
Nancy Mason, a GPCMGS member, talked to us about using the resources at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. She has traveled there every year for the past 12 years, and told us about her experiences and how best to use your time there. She has already booked her trip for 2014 (during the last week of April) and has reserved four extra rooms. If anyone is interested in making the trip next April, they can contact Nancy about using one of her extra reservations!

May 4, 2013 - Give Us Your Poor and Indigent
Thomas C. Bennett, Director of the Prince Memorial Library in Cumberland, Discussed the Cumberland Overseers of the Poor Archives Project. He has been the director of Prince Memorial Library in Cumberland, Maine since 1998.

April 6, 2013 - Divorce Records in Genealogical Research
Pam Eagleson presented a talk about using divorce records in your genealogical research. Divorce was alive and thriving throughout the nineteenth century. This lecture addressed the history of divorce in the United States.

March 2, 2013 - Mainer Forty-niners in the California Gold Rush
Jan Eakins gave us some general background on Mainers in the California gold rush. She also discussed some highlights of its effects on the greater Portland area and give some tips for researching genealogy during this period. Jan is writing a book on this topic which is an outgrowth of work she conducted for the National Park Service.

February 2, 2013 - Crafting a Book of Genealogy
Fred Boyle spoke on his experiences and surprises in writing and adding families to a book.

January 5, 2013 - Maine Labor Unions
Charles Scontras spoke to us about Maine Labor Unions. Mr. Scontras lives in Cape Elizabethand and has taught 36 years at the University of Maine in Orono.

December 1, 2012 - Malaga Island
Rachel Talbot Ross spoke on the horrible tales of Malaga Island which is located just of the coast at Phippsburg, ME. An exhibit on Malaga Island is currently on display at the Maine State Museum and will continue into the new year.

November 3, 2012
Several of our chapter members presented short talks on some very interesting topics. Speakers included Rowena Walton, Jerry Gower, Janice Gower, Roland Rhoades, Colleen Reed and Carol McCoy.

October 6, 2012
Peggy Konitzky, Site Manager for Castle Tucker and the Nickels-Sortwell House in Wiscasset, gave an informational & humorous talk about the people of these two homes, the architecture and especially the women who actively preserved them over the years.

September 1, 2012
Arlene Palmer Schwind, Curator of Victoria Mansion in Portland, spoke to us about the families of Ruggles Sylvester Morse of Leeds, Maine, and his wife Olive Ring Merrill of Durham, Maine. The Morses lived in New Orleans and built the Mansion in 1858-1860 as a summer home. The Higgins, Lothrop, and Keay families are among the Maine relatives of the Morses.

August 4, 2012

Gail Kill spoke to us on how us how to log searches to streamline analysis of the research problem and how to file so that any document can be retrieved in less than a minute. Organizing files is essential to quality research.

June 2, 2012

Deb Locke & Bill Norbert shared their experiences with DNA testing. Deb’s test was done though the National Geographic Genome Program and Bill was tested with Family Tree Maker. Deb had always believed her family came from Latvia & Russia but her Dad had said that he was born in Mass. His passport stated that he was from Russia & her DNA tests proved that once leaving Africa, the early families did indeed settle at the steps of Latvia & Russia. Bill’s DNA test showed his family coming from early Scotland & Ireland.

May 5, 2012

Kathy Amoroso , the director of digital projects at the Maine Historical Society, explained how to use the 1940 US census. This census was made available to the public for the first time on April 2, 2012. This census was taken on punch cards, so searching it is a little different from other censuses.

April 7, 2012

Ruth Bridges Ayers , author of Early Families of Newfield, Maine, told us about four murders which took place on a June night in Newfield. The brutal murders of Civil War veteran George W. Goodwin, his adopted son Scott, housekeeper Elsie Horne, and hired hand Fred Bertsch resulted in a man hunt through New Hampshire and into Massachusetts. The resulting trial of a former Newfield resident brought crowds of spectators to the York County Courthouse in Alfred.

March 3, 2012

Mike Connolly presented a talk on the Irish roots of America's most prolific filmmaker, John Ford, winner of six Oscars for Best Director, who was born in Cape Elizabeth and raised on Munjoy Hill. His talk was be illustrated with scenes of importance to Ford from his family's genealogical roots in Ireland and places of residence in Cape Elizabeth and Portland.

February 4, 2012

Marge Devine spoke about Benjamin Blackstone, her 4th great-grandfather.

Jaunuary 7, 2012

The January meeting was what we call a "Brick Wall" meeting. Several members spoke about their genealogical research and pointed out a spot where they are having trouble getting any further - a "Brick Wall". Other members offered suggestions of where they might find a clue to further their research.

December 3, 2011

Frank Millett Day revealed his methods and sources for discovering his ancestors’ past through newspaper articles. Frank took us on a journey through several generations of his family in the Kennebunk area and shared his research found in The Eastern Star (1878-1915), now the York County Coast Star.

November 5, 2011

Carol McCoy presented a talk illustrating how old tax records can provide valuable clues to our ancestors' lives. In the early days of America people were taxed on their property, to repair and build roads, to support the military, and to provide revenue for many reasons. Carol McCoy explained the types of tax records that may be available, where to look for them, and how they can help solve genealogy problems.

October 1, 2011

Our scheduled program by Dianne Bergstedt was cancelled shortly before the meeting, so Program Chair Deb Locke opened the meeting up to sharing information. Diane Brakeley shared what can be found by searching on She showed several items she has purchased relating to her family or her husband's family.

Others then offered suggestions for beginners who were in attendance. Paul Doucette answered some questions regarding and he suggested Google Books as a good source. Janice Gower commented that by obtaining a Portland Public Library card (residents of York & Cumberland Counties can obtain one free of charge) you also gain free access to Heritage Quest. Other sites that were suggested were Fold (formerly Footnote),, and DeadFred.

September 3, 2011

Dana Edgecomb spoke about the existing records for Maine (and New England) Quaker meetings, where to find Quaker records and how the Quaker doctrine effects genealogical research.

August 6, 2011

Trish Severance Mason spoke about her book, The Seaside House.

Her talk followed her Gooch Family through the generations into the 21st century. From pre-colonial Maine, the family purchased an inn-keeping business that continues today and is operated by a member of the current generation of Gooches.

June 4, 2011

We had the perfect sunny day to meet at 10am at Eastern Cemetery in Portland. Docents and board members from the non-profit group, Spirits Alive , gave instruction on transcribing gravestones so that the information on the deteriorating stones is preserved. We learned to use a mirror to better read the engravings. William Jordan’s Eastern Cemetery book was availble to purchase as well as gravestone jewelry by Della Mano Designs and Spirits Alive tote bags. Then, at 1pm (after snacks) we were led on a fascinating guided tour through the cemetery.

May 7, 2011

Steve Bunker, author and historian gave a presentation on Maine's participation in the Civil War. Steve first heard about the Civil War from his grandmother who shared her memories and tales about family members of that era.

April 2, 2011

Sophia Mendoza spoke about Henry Knox the man, and the Henry Knox Museum and their collections. Sophia is the Education Coordinator at Montpelier: The General Henry Knox Museum in Thomaston, ME.

March 5, 2011

Will Haskell lead a search technique and strategy session for on-line searches. Using his computer and projector members discussed various Web sites.

February 5, 2011

Members presented stories based on family artifacts or heirlooms.

December 4, 2010

Kimberly A. MacIsaac gave a presentation on The Fifth Regiment Maine Volunteer Infantry.

November 6, 2010

Will Haskell presented a talk on Google Earth and its uses in genealogy. Will is the GPCMGS secretary and a civil engineer with eighteen years of experience. Google Earth is free software that allows you to “fly” anywhere on the earth and visualize what that place looks like today and in the past. This powerful tool provides opportunities to visualize where your ancestors lived, their migration routes and patterns, compare current and historic photographs, overlay historic maps over current maps and locate cemeteries and churches.

To see his handout for the presentation, click here.

October 2, 2010

Carol P. McCoy, Ph.D. and past president of GPCMGS, presented "The Origins of Mary Drummond, Oldest Native Negro in New Bedford, Mass."

September 4, 2010

Fred Boyle, a former certified genealogist, spoke on his upcoming book, Waterborough, Maine: The Influences of Brentwood, NH and Berwick, ME on the Early Settlement of the Town. Boyle is a resident of Springvale and a native of Massachusetts. In retirement he has developed a second career as a genealogist, personally publishing a number of "Early Families" books on Sanford, Shapleigh, Acton and most recently (2006) Alfred.

August 7, 2010

Ruth Bridges Ayer, author of Families of Newfield, Maine, spoke about her experiences while digging into the records of folks who lived in Newfield, Maine, which resulted in many interesting stories - most of them printable.

June 5, 2010

Phyllis Legare, CG presented tips, techniques and tools for breaking down brick walls. Her presentation detailed a six-step research methodology, based on Val Greenwood’s process documented in his book “The Researcher’s Guide to American Genealogy”, which provides the framework for discovering information about your family or a specific individual.

May 1, 2010

Author Kate Kennedy shared stories of remarkable Maine women from her book More Than Petticoats, about thirteen strong and determined women who broke through social, cultural, or political barriers. Through their passions for art, exploration, literature, politics, music and nature, these women made contributions to society that still resonate today.

April 3, 2010

Bob Greene presented a talk called Meaty Bones. Vital records research uncovers names, dates and places. But that's only the skeleton of our ancestors. Newspapers can put meat on those bones, and it's becoming easier than ever to look at our past.

March 6, 2010

Sandy Oliver, food historian, shared with us her knowledge of early New England food. How We Ate: Early American Fare, explained how we became baked bean, brown bread, pumpkin pie eating and cider drinking Yankees when we left England preferring pease porridge, roast beef and beer.

February 6, 2010

Patricia Corey, co-author with Melville Corey of Settlement of Black Point “Owascoago” 1605-1800, spoke. Owascoag or "Place of Much Grass" was the Indian name for Scarborough. The settlement was also called Black Poynt by the English. Owascoag is the story of Black Poynt told in the settler's own words. Patricia found diaries, letters, depositions, court records, and other interesting material, giving a first hand account of life from 1636 to the 1750's.

January 2, 2010

Sticky Wickets - Cancelled due to storm

December 5, 2009

Matthew Barker spoke on Irish Maine history. 15 percent of Maine's 1.3 million residents claim Irish ancestry, according to the 2000 Census. Matthew Barker is an author from the Maine Historical Society.

November 7, 2009

Bruce Tucker expanded on his recent talk regarding Scottish prisoners of war delivered to New England in the 1650’s.

October 3, 2009

This was a Sticky Wickets meeting.

September 5, 2009

Former Maine State Senator Paula Benoit of Phippsburg, Maine spoke 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.

August 1, 2009

Photos of our 30th Anniversary celebration on August 1, 2009, taken by Linda Aaskov and Carol McCoy.

We celebrated our 30th anniversary from 10am to 3pm, with a luncheon, classes, software demonstrations, member presentations, a research library and even a give away table.

June 6, 2009

Dr. Carol P. McCoy presented a talk on deeds.
May 2, 2009

Kathy Amoroso gave us an update on the reopening of the Historical Society and what is new on Memory Network. She presented us on a visual tour of the newly renovated biulding.
April 4, 2009

Norman Beaupre, Ph.D gave this month’s program on the “French-American Connection”.

March 7, 2009

Mary Lee Dunn, author of Ballykilcline Rising/From Famine Ireland to Immigrant America (University of Massachusetts Press, July 2008) was our guest speaker.

February 7, 2009

Author Beth DeWolfe, spoke to us about her most recent book "The Murder of Mary Bean", set in the 1850's, when the woolen mills in New England were hiring young girls from all over NE & Canada.

January 3, 2009

Leonard W. Cummings Sr., spoke to us about the history and restoration of the Abyssinian Meeting House in Portland. This is the 3rd oldest African American Meeting House in America.

December 6, 2008

Judy Faust, presented a showing of her short documentary based on her mother's family history which tells how an Austrian church offered friendship to a group of Jewish Holocaust survivors in 1995.

November 1, 2008

David L. Richards, the author of Poland Spring - A Tale of the Gilded Age 1860-1900spoke about the history of Poland Spring Hotel.

October 4, 2008

David Soule of the Irish Heritage Center in Portland spoke about the center and resources available there.

September 7, 2008

Lynda L. Sudlow, author of A Vast Army of Women: Maine’s Uncounted Forces in the American Civil War (Thomas Publications, 2000), spoke about the role women played in the Civil War.

August 2, 2008

Susie R. Bock, Head of Special Collections, University of Southern Maine Libraries, presented a talk on Genealogical Resources in the University of Southern Maine's Special Collections.
June 7, 2008

A talk by Linda Aaskov. We generally assume the Shakers were/are a celibate group. . . then how could we have Shaker ancestors? Linda explained, using several actual examples.
May 3, 2008

Dr. Carol McCoy, presented sound strategies for seeking your ancestors in New England.
April 5, 2008

Pam Stone Eagleson, CG, a professional genealogist and member of the Greater Portland Chapter of the Maine Genealogical Society, presented Grandma's Obituary Box.

March 8, 2008

Bruce Tucker presented the topic of Scottish prisoners who were brought to America in the 1650s.

February 2, 2008

Meeting cancelled due to the memorial service at church.

January 5, 2008

Howard Faulkner presented the topic: Town/City Clerks and Genealogy. He explained the types of records that are typically held by municipalities which are of interest to genealogists and family historians and how best to obtain that information.

December 1, 2007

Bob Greene presented a closer look at the African Americans from Maine who participated in the Civil War.

November 3, 2007

Howard Maynard Faulkner moderated a panel discussion on Cemeteries.

October 6, 2007

Ernest DeRaps gave a slide presentation and talk on his experience living in and caring for a lighthouse.

September 8, 2007

Deborah E. Roberge presented an illustrated talk on "What Maine men endured at Andersonville, GA".

August 4, 2007

John F. Battick presented a talk on the challenges and rewards of researching in small historical societies.

June 2, 2007

Dale Mower presented Sarah's Journey - Retracing an Ancestor's Life with Military Pension Files, a program on the use of Military Pension files and how they can aid in family history research.

May 5, 2007

Mr. David Mishkin of the firm Just Black & White presented a program titled Enhancement and Restoration of Old Photographs. David is a local expert with a national reputation and it was a great honor to have him speak to our group

April 7, 2007

Jeffrey Brown, Archivist at the Maine State Archives, presented the topic "What's Downstairs at the Archives".
March 3, 2007

Kathy Moody spoke on Marvel! Maine's Virtual Library. MARVEL, a service of Maine Infonet, is an exciting website that brings many of the resources of your local library right to your home. All that is needed is a Portland Public Library card. More information on MARVEL can be found at or
February 3, 2007

A very informative panel discussion on "Back to Basics" was held.
January 6, 2007
The Greater Portland Chapter of the Maine Genealogical Society elected its 2007 slate of officers at this meeting. After the business meeting, Judy Plummer spoke about her new book entitled My Family History Book ~ If I can do it, so can you.
Dec. 2, 2006

Alan Hawkins spoke on Genealogical research with a focus on Native Americans.
Oct. 7, 2006

John F. Battick, a retired member of the History Department at UMO, gave a presentationon "Our Seafaring Ancestors".
May 6, 2006

Eva Holmes gave a very entertaining talk on her trip to Italy and Sicily, and connecting with her family there.
April 1, 2006

Ann Thomas gave a humorous speech on Parliamentary Law in Story Form, the perfect program for April Fools Day!
March 4, 2006

Carol McCoy spoke on "Creative ways to untangle your family roots."
February 4, 2006

Our guest speaker was Vrege Murray, State Vice Regent from the Daughters of the American Revolution.
January 7, 2006

Election of our 2006 officers, and a sticky wicket session where members helped each other brainstorm approaches to the toughest road blocks in their research.