The MGS 2015 Annual Family History Conference

with featured speaker  

Michael Strauss, AG


Saturday, September 19, 2015

Jeff's Catering
15 Littlefield Way
Brewer, Maine

A Quick Overview

Once again, Maine Genealogical Society has planned its annual Fall Conference with a number of interesting and educational lectures planned. This conference starts with an interesting keynote address by Michael Strauss, AG, who will discuss: “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.

The rest of the day’s lectures consists of three sets of breakout session, all interesting but sometimes difficult to choose which to attend., There will be vendors and exhibitors on hand, all of whom we encourage you to visit and support. A query board will be available for anyone interested in posting a query. This has been a popular spot at past conferences! So bring your query--you may find a connection. As always, you will be able to purchase MGS Special Publications at the conference which is a great way to save on shipping costs. Also available will be the Society’s new pin engraved with our logo as well as the new MGS T-shirts.

And if you are not a member, join now! If you submit you membership application with your conference registration, you can take advantage of member discounts for both the conference registration fees and for any books you purchase!

To stay up to date on all the conference activities or to learn more about the Maine Genealogical Society, visit our blog

Day At A Glance



Welcome Address & Awards Presentation
MGS President, Helen Shaw

All In A Day's Work: Occupational Genealogical Research
Michael Strauss, AG

What did your ancestors do for a living? Tap into the business and employment records that might give you clues about how your ancestors made their livelihood. Discover many new wonderful and exiting resources yet undiscovered.

Breakout Session I

A) Genealogical Research in the Customs House Records
 Michael Strauss, AG

The U.S. Custom Service was created in 1789 with the responsibility for collecting duties on imports, registering vessels, and enforcing the law governing seamen and ships’ passengers. Many records created by this department are useful to genealogists. Discover your family history in these great resources


B) Treasures In The Town Vault
 Kathy Montejo

Maine town clerks can be a great partner in your family history research. Learn about various records maintained by municipal clerks that might be of interest to genealogists. Information regarding Maine’s Right to Know law and access to public records will also be reviewed.


Luncheon Buffet 


1:00 - 2:00
MGS Annual Meeting & Exhibit/Vendor Time


Breakout Session II

A) Work Skills Of Old: Justice Of The Peace Records
 Michael Strauss, AG

One of the more interesting old occupations was that of the Justice of the Peace. This was an important and worthy position to hold as the JP was literally the keeper of the peace. Discover your ancestors in the records of the JP. Long overlooked by Genealogists these records are a wonderful source of genealogical information that will prove to be a treasure of information for any researcher.


B) DNA Results, What Next - Preparing For And Working With Your Autosomal Results
 Nancy Mason

Learn what to do in preparation of receiving your atDNA results. Be aware of differences and similarities between Ancestry, FTDNA, and 23andme. We will zero in on the FTDNA website and the tools available on that site. We will discuss matches and other secrets to success.


Breakout Session III

A) Secret Societies: Finding Your Ancestors in Fraternal Organizations
 Michael Strauss, AG

Were your ancestors members of the Masons? Did your family have membership with the I.O.O.F. or other secret society. Discover the rich history and genealogical material that await you with membership records, historical research, and photographs of your family who may have belonged to one or more of these secret societies 

B) Maine Vital Records Access
 Terri Roberts

Tarri will discuss recent changes tregarding access to Maine vital records.


Closing Remarks & Drawing of Door Prizes
Helen Shaw