Conferences offer years’ worth of ideas and contacts

Family Searcher    There’s still time to sign up for genealogy workshops being held in April. The Maine Genealogical Society (MGS) is offering a one-day workshop on the census at the Civic Center in Augusta, Saturday April 13. The New England Regional Genealogical Consortium (NERGC) offers a conference every 18 months. It is being held in Manchester, New Hampshire, April 17-21. This five-day event will show you why it takes 18 months to put it together, and is well-worth the time and expense.

    MGS President Helen Shaw will be presenting at the Augusta Civic Center, taking us through an in-depth look at the U.S. Federal Census from its inception in 1790 through the recently released 1940 census. There are many more “censuses” than most people are aware, which looked at specialized segments of the population, such as slaves and Civil War veterans. Helen will guide you through these additional censuses, show you where to look for information and provide hints and tips for making the best use of the information you find.
  The workshop is $30 for MGS members, $40 for non-members. Registration begins at 8 a.m. A luncheon buffet will be available. The final session ends at 4 p.m. You can pre-register (which is always recommended to ensure you get materials) and additional information is available at: http://conference.maineroots.org/. While you are there, take the opportunity to explore the newly redesigned MGS website.
    While the second set of workshops — the NERGC Conference — requires more from you, it offers enough to make it worthwhile. The conference is titled: “Woven in History: The Fabric of New England” as a bow to New England’s mill-worker heritage. This rich history in the fabric industry had a huge influence on the culture and development of New England Society in the Industrial Age. If you’ll pardon the pun, attendees will see aspects of this history “woven” throughout the five days of offerings.
    The NERGC website (http://www.nergc.org/Conference-Home-Page.html) is packed with page after page of exciting workshops and ways you can interact with the presenters and others attending the conference. It will be held at the Radisson Hotel & Conference Center in Manchester, N.H. A special rate is available for those attending the conference, so be sure to mention it when you make hotel reservations if you stay at the Radisson.
    The first day of the workshop provides workshops of special use to teachers and librarians. This year NERGC is offering something new, which they call “Poster Sessions,” 20-minute sessions which give you the highlights of a topic (such as you might find on a poster) so that you can get exposure to a wide variety of subjects in a short period of time, with suggestions for further information. What a great idea!
    There will also be a day focusing on genealogy technology; of course there will be an exhibit and vendor area, and workshops on many topics presented by highly respected speakers. Just bringing home the conference syllabus will provide you with years’ worth of ideas and contacts. Check it out and sign up today.
    Editor’s note: Nina G. Brawn has lived in the Dover-Foxcroft area for over 50 years and currently lives there with her husband Fred. Nina was the last of 10 children, has three children of her own and nine grandchildren. She can be reached online at ninagbrawn@gmail.com.

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