Learning opportunities abound in September

Family Searcher    September brings glorious late summer days, and tons of learning opportunities. Most schools and colleges have opened their doors, and the school supplies are still on sale, so it’s a great time of year to stock up on sheet protectors, file folders and all the other helpful genealogy paraphernalia. Once the kids and grandkids have gone back to school, it’s also a great time to indulge in some grown-up learning opportunities, and there are several in our area; starting with the Maine Genealogical Society’s (MGS’s) annual September conference.

    The conference, Saturday, Sept. 21st, will once again be held at Jeff’s Catering in Brewer. The keynote speaker is Linda Prescott, presenting the topic “How the Internet Makes Us Sloppy Genealogists”. There will also be three breakout sessions for which you can chose one class each session. Session one choices are between “Placing Your Heritage in Historical Perspective,” and “Divorce Records.” For session 2 you can chose either “Finding Your Military Ancestors on Fold3” or “Digging for Gold in Early Maine Town Records,” Session 3 offers “Treasures within the Ivory Tower: Finding Family in Academic Archives” or “Improving Your Use of FamilySearch.”
    Between sessions there will, of course, be vendors and exhibits, and you can purchase lunch with your registration or go “off campus.” Lunch is $15, registration is $50. All registrations received before Aug. 23rd will be entered into a drawing for a $50 L.L. Bean gift certificate. MGS members, of course, get discounts on registration (and on MGS publications which will be available at the conference).
    The conference is always an interesting and helpful way to spend a Saturday. For more information and to pre-register contact Celeste Hyer at 69 Loop Road, Otisfield, ME 04270-6456. Or visit the MGS website at www.maineroots.org.
    There are also two Adult Ed. opportunities starting in September at PVAEC (Penquis Valley Adult Education Cooperative) in Dover at the Morton Avenue Town Suites. Keep an eye out for the PVAEC Course Catalog which will be in mailboxes soon, and will be available at various places throughout the area, such as libraries and businesses.
    On Wednesday nights, Nancy and Jack Battick will be offering “Finding your Roots, Genealogy from A to Z”. This seven-week course will start beginners on the right track; and with their years of expertise and knowledge, the Batticks will have much to offer even the experienced genealogist.
    On Monday nights from 6 to 8, I will be guiding participants through the process of creating Family History Heirloom Books with Ancestry.com’s MyCanvas publishing program. Participants can choose from many options ranging from printing individual pages at home to very high-quality books with hundreds of pages. You can choose to automatically have Ancestry records added to your book, or go with only your own scanned and uploaded images. MyCanvas also offers thousands of backgrounds and embellishments to give your book that personal touch. There are options for posters and calendars as well. This seven-week crash course requires computer skills, and you should already have some basic family history information for a generation or two. Not sure if you have what you need for this course? Contact me at ninabrawn@gmail.com and we can “discuss” the possibilities.
    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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