Free hcgs fair great resource

Genealogy Search
Visit the displays, take in a workshop and, by all means, mine the knowledge of a variety of family history experts on Saturday in Ellsworth.

The event is the annual fair of the Hancock County Genealogical Society, set for 9 a.m.-2 p.m. July 15 at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Beechland Road, off Route 3 in Ellsworth.

Society members will be on hand to help with genealogy questions related to Hancock County families and the church's Family History Center will be open throughout the fair.

. 9:15 a.m., "Beginning Genealogy," with Ron Fortier. Where do you start?

. 10:15 a.m., "Forms and Sourcing Info," with Charlene Clemons. Now that you have started your research, how do you keep track of all the information? Clemons is a librarian at Ellsworth Public Library, and is very knowledgeable about its newly expanded genealogy area.

. 11:15 a.m., "Census 1790-1930," with Patty Leland, president of HCGS. Learn how to extract information from census records using an actual case study.

. 12:15 p.m., "Deeds and Probates," with Alice Long. Learn how to find genealogical information in these records.

Special attractions will include Patsy Jordan's "Have Genealogy, Will Travel," display, a camper filled with genealogy.

"Her research is ongoing," Leland said, "so even if you visited her camper before, be sure to do so again."

Displays and information will be offered by the Ellsworth Historical Society, Ellsworth Public Library, Hancock Historical Society, Southwest Harbor Historical Society, Mount Desert Isle Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, Trenton Cemetery and Keeping Society, Swan's Island Educational Society, Blue Hill Historical Society, Wilson Museum of Castine, Legacy Crafts, Pine Cone and Tassel Newsletter, Ron Fortier's "The Hodgkins and Young Families of Trenton and Lamoine" and Eastern Illustrations & Publishing Co.

And don't forget to check out the 1860 map of Hancock County.

Books available for purchase include "Ellsworth: Crossroads of Downeast Maine: A Pictorial View" and "Trenton Cemeteries: A Transcription of Trenton's Cemeteries."

For information on the Hancock County Genealogical Society or the fair, contact Patti Leland at 276-5305 or e-mail

The 71st reunion for the Descendants of Joshua Williams will be held 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, July 22, at the Great Pond Town Hall, Hancock County.

The family reunion meeting will begin at noon, and at 1 p.m. there will be an organizational meeting to form a nonprofit organization to support the efforts of acquiring, repairing and preserving the old church building at Great Pond to make it accessible for community use. All are welcome to attend.

Guests are asked to bring chairs, lunch, a small gift for auction and pictures of early settlers.

For information and directions, contact Margaret McKenney at 843-5838, or Joni Archer at 584-5004, or e-mail

The 106th Roberts Family Reunion will be held Sunday, Aug. 20, at the South Sangerville Grange Hall. Attendees gather mid morning and the dinner bell rings at 1 p.m. Bring news of your family and catch up on others'. Bring a dish, paper plates and cutlery.

The Roberts family descends from Jonathan and Elizabeth (Webb) Roberts, early settlers in Buckfield. Their son, George, and Mary (Brown) Roberts and their children Amos, Jonathan, Alanson and Mary Ann, were early settlers of South Sangerville, about 1834.

For more information, write: Ruby McTague, 2451 Main Road, Dedham, ME 04429; or e-mail Celia Ann Roberts at Roberts is president of the Roberts family group, Karyn Seamans is treasurer and Margaret McKenney is vice president.

The Corinth Historical Society has announced new hours for its museum at 306 Main St. in Corinth. The museum is open 2-7 p.m. Wednesdays.

Send genealogy queries to Family Ties, Bangor Daily News, P.O. Box 1329, Bangor, ME 04402; or send e-mail,

Connecting the ancestral dots

Genealogy Search
'These people are removed from me one or two generations, and I don't even know them,?she said.

The realization spurred Seibel Liebowitz to research further, utilizing archives and court ledgers. Eventually, she found her grandfather's naturalization papers and her grandmother's birth name and town.

Since then, she has become deeply involved in tracking her family's story, in particular, and in Jewish genealogy in general. She is not alone. When she attends the 26th International Conference on Jewish Genealogy, hosted by the Jewish Genealogical Society at the New York Marriott Marquis hotel this Aug. 13-18, Seibel Liebowitz will be joined by some 1,500 people from as far a field as Venezuela, Argentina, Lithuania, Switzerland and Uzbekistan.

The conference, designed for the amateur and professional genealogist alike, will feature more than 175 sessions on subjects ranging from how to utilize technology for genealogical research to how to preserve cemeteries in Eastern Europe.

The opening speaker is U.S. Archivist Dr. Allen Weinstein; Samuel G. Freedman, a professor and author of 'Who She Was: My Search for My Mother's Life,?will deliver the keynote address at a banquet on Aug. 17.

This year, technology will play a major role in the conference. At a state-of-the-art computer lab participants can learn about online genealogy resources, such as and Experts will also teach participants how to use Excel databases to organize research and how to search pre-war phone books, business directories and town records that have been transcribed and preserved for online searching.

Some 15 sessions will be devoted to Sephardic Jewry, a group that has been typically overlooked at previous genealogy conferences.

Jeffrey Malka, author of 'Sephardic Genealogy: Discovering Your Sephardic Ancestors and Their World,?will lead these workshops which will explore the genealogy of Greek Jews from the time of the Byzantine empire as well as Sephardic names. According to Malka, many Sephardic names date back more than 1,000 years because Sephardic Jews lived in the Muslim world where they retained their names. In contrast, many Ashkenazi Jews have surnames that date back only 200 years.

There will be a walking tour of the Sephardic Lower East Side. Although Sephardic Jews came to America in the same wave of immigration as those from Eastern Europe, they were often separated by language ?unlike their Yiddish-speaking counterparts, the Sephardic Jews spoke Ladino.

Among many other topics, the conference will also focus on the latest in DNA research, including the study led by Doron Behar, a population geneticist and senior physician at the Rambam Medical Center in Haifa, Israel, who determined that 40 percent of all Ashkenazi Jews can trace their roots back to one of four women (see story on page 11).

'Years ago, genealogy was a popular hobby for people over 65,?said Hadassah Lipsius, one of the event co-chairs. 'Even though there are still a lot of retirees, there are also people from all different generations,?involved.

Susan Gordon, an amateur genealogy enthusiast who has tracked down information about an absent grandfather and found cousins both in Israel and near her Westchester home, talked about her experience with genealogy as a process that has helped her answer questions about her family history. 'I think you go through stages where it's all-consuming,?she said. 'There's a need in all of us at different times to find out where we fit in the whole family tree.?br />

Seibel Liebowitz agreed. She said she enjoys attending annual genealogy conferences so she can observe when family members meet for the first time, and when people wearing nametags from Eastern European shtetls recognize a potential friend or relative in each other.

'It's something about feeling connected with all the generations that went before and all that come after,?that's so rewarding, she said. 'There's something very powerful about it, that sense of belonging.?n

Cchs museum observes 50th anniversary

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A 50th Anniversary Celebration will be held in Salisbury at the Chariton County Historical Society Museum in downtown Salisbury on Sunday, July 16, from 1:00 - 4:00 p.m.

At 1:00 p.m. an 'Antique Roadshow' with Appraisers Dwaine Witte, David Atkinson, Greg Clark, and Jim Ramsey will provide an opinion appraisal of one antique item per person (an item you can carry).

Years ago there was controversy about the town the museum would be located in. Since Keytesville is the county seat, some felt it should be located in Keytesville. Efforts to establish the Sterling Price Museum there were underway. Others felt the Lincoln School in Salisbury would be the ideal location. Some felt there should be museum displays in Brunswick, Keytesville and Salisbury.

The Lincoln School in Salisbury was the site selected for the museum by the Chariton County Historical Society. Those serving on the board today and as well as those serving throughout the past 50 years appreciate the generosity of time and money given to help preserve history of the county.

The museum has moved from its original building has continued to grow in size to house the ever-growing number of donated items. It is a wonderful source for genealogy. A new microfilm reader is a great addition to the Genealogy Room.

Be sure to attend the anniversary celebration and visit the various organized rooms including a Military Room, Tool Room, Little Dixie Room, and Main Street Room. See the great gathering of antiques and historical items on display.

A 2:00 p.m. program to salute and recognize two living founder members, Patricia Kirby and Jerry Wheeler, to pay tribute to the people who have contributed to the Museum's growth, and to the Judge Jordan R. Bentley Genealogy Library will be held.

Refreshments of coke and root beer floats will be served after the program. Bring your lawn chairs.

Dna tests do not grant inclusion to confucius family tree

Genealogy Search
Chinese people desperate to prove they are descendants of Confucius have been told that DNA tests will not be included in the current compilation of the family tree of China's first teacher of philosophy.

Kong Deyong, head of the association of compilation work for Confucius Genealogy, announced the exclusion earlier this week.

The thoughts of Confucius (551-479 BC), a philosopher, educator and founder of Confucianism in the late Spring and Autumn Period (770-476 BC), are believed to still hold sway over Chinese society.

But the total number of the sage's descendants that are alive today is still a mystery.

"Genealogy attaches importance to a clear family tree. Every person who wants to be included in the family tree has to make it clear where on the family tree he or she belongs," Kong Deyong said.

"Although a DNA test may prove someone has blood ties with Confucius, it will fail to ascertain where the claimant is located on the family tree," Kong added.

The current compilation of Confucius Genealogy began in 1996 and is the fifth of its kind. But this time, female descendants will be included for the first time. Those people living outside China may also be included if they are able to present "solid evidence".

Some unconfirmed claimants, who cannot find their ancestors' connection to the family tree of Confucius, were hoping a DNA test would help them verify their identity.

However, Kong Deyong said, "We've never considered inclusion of DNA test results in the re-compilation of the Confucius Genealogy. Although DNA tests can prove blood ties, they are not helpful in the genealogy compilation.

Instead, experts with the Beijing Institute of Genomics at the Chinese Academy of Sciences plans to set up a Confucius-DNA database.

Xia Xueluan, a sociologist with Beijing University, firmly opposes people identifying themselves as descendants of Confucius through DNA tests.

"It is more important to carry on the positive contents of Confucian thoughts than simply proving one is descendent of the sage," Xia noted.

According to Kong Dewei, head of the Confucius Genealogy compilation office, registration of Confucius descendants has been largely completed. The new Confucius Genealogy is expected to be publicized in 2009.

The last compilation of the Genealogy was conducted between 1930 and 1937.

Kong Dewei said the newly completed registration showed there are descendants of Confucius all over China except Tibet Autonomous Region. Most of them live in Shandong, Hebei and Henan provinces as well as in northeastern China and in the Yangtze River valley.

He said, "There are also a large number of descendants living outside China. In the Republic of Korea alone, there are 1.2 million registered descendants of Confucius."

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