Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Mentoring for the Month of May

The successful genealogical Mentoring program that took place in April 2010 is now followed by some repeat and some new topics for the month of May. Do think about taking advantage of this opportunity to learn from members who have expertise to share. The schedule, topics, and mentors are:

Thursday, May 6
Using FamilySearch Internet Resources
Come to learn about the ever-growing electronic resources on the Mormon genealogical site, all free and accessible from any computer.
Mentor: David Martin
Place: Dennis Public Library, Genealogy Room
Time: 2-4pm

Tuesday, May 11
Creating Citations for Genealogical References
Citing sources for your genealogical information is important for sharing your family history with others; learn about ways to cite your sources.
Mentor: David Martin
Place: Dennis Public Library, Genealogy Room
Time: 1-3pm

Saturday, May 15
French-Canadian Genealogical Research
If you have French-Canadian ancestors, you will want to find out the best places to search as well as get advice on how to do genealogical research on their origins.
Mentor: John Bower
Place: Brewster Ladies' Library
Time: 10am to Noon

Friday, May 21
Cape-Cod-to-Nova-Scotia Planters
The movement of Cape Codders to Nova Scotia for setting up plantations is an important part of genealogical links between these two areas. Come to learn about how to trace these ancestors.
Mentor: Dan McConnell
Place: Dennis Public Library, Genealogy Room
Time: 10am to Noon

Wednesday, May 26
A Genealogy Primer for Beginners
For anyone who is just beginning to do family history research, this session will give guidance and many suggestions for how to get started.
Mentor: Nancy Daniels
Place: Eastham Public Library
Time: 11am to 1pm

No reservations needed; just come and be prepared to learn!

Memoir Writing

At a general meeting of the Cape Cod Genealogical Society on 11 Feb 2004, Dr. John B. Ahrens, historian, spoke to us about writing memoirs.

Dr. Ahrens said that to get started, one should write about episodes from your life. Writing one episode that you recall triggers memories of others. Just write them down, and do not worry about the sequence or telling a chronological story at first. Although he is an historian, not a genealogist, Ahrens thought that this would be one way to get started on a family history.

His ideas for subjects included:

• Important events in your life.
• Happy ones, sad ones, learning experiences, funny ones.
• Timelines of world events corresponding to your own
• People who affected your life.
• Use quotes where possible to make it come alive.
• Add photos, art works, poems, essays.
• And genealogical information, of course.

If you own a CD of the Society's Bulletin back issues, as you should, you will find a Summary of Dr. Ahrens's suggestions there.

Mark Twain once said, “I remember everything that ever happened to me, and some things that didn’t,” but here is a true example.

My Friend, Charlie Brown
In my former working life, I had a friend we’ll call Charlie. Charlie was an amiable little guy. He was shorter than average, married to a tall, stern woman, who towered over him. They made an interesting couple to look at when they attended company picnics, dances and other events. I do not know anything about their personal lives, but I do know that Mrs. Brown definitely would not fly. This gave Charlie an opportunity to spread his own wings, so to speak.

Charlie somehow learned about the island of Dominica, an island nation in the Caribbean Sea, and the northern-most of the Windward Islands. The size of the country is less than 290 square miles. The little nation went through various stages of French, British, and independent control. When Charlie went to the island in the 1960s or 70s, the only way to get there was by small airplane; there was no surface transportation available.


At the time, the island nation was ninety percent non-white: mostly black and natives such as Caribs. He made friends with these people easily in the local drinking establishment, which he frequented regularly when he was there--just as he did at home.

This was a great life, and he liked what he saw, so bought a small banana plantation. It came with a little cement block house and a plantation manager. The manager managed, and sold the crop. The proceeds paid his salary. Charlie lived in the little house and enjoyed his rain forest idyl for several weeks each year.

He was the last white man permitted to buy property on Dominica in that period of its history. (Today, Dominica is a very different place, a thriving and popular tourist attraction.)

When he returned from vacation, Charlie brought us souvenirs of cinnamon, nutmeg and other things typical of the Caribbean. No bananas, of course, but one of our co-workers annually asked him to bring some native rum. Charlie, whose intentions were generous and noble, always started home with a bottle of rum. But with the vicissitudes of air connections and airport waiting, the rum never completed the trip.

One morning after returning from vacation, Charlie came down to the kitchen to greet his wife, who was standing at the stove. Charlie, naked and feeling quite friendly, put his arms around her. She reacted to this by saying, “Good morning Charlie, say hello to Mother.”

Mother was sitting in the corner.

I don’t know where Charlie is today, but bless him, he was a lot of fun.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Writers Needed for Blog--a New "Career"?

The Cape Cod Genealogical Society’s Blog site is now up and fully operational (as you already know if you are reading this message); the Blog will continue to serve as a quick and appropriate communication vehicle for events and timely reports. But a Blog is only as good as the level of participation within any organization.

Volunteers are now needed for preparing brief stories or announcements on a somewhat regular basis. Some examples of perhaps monthly or occasional news items which could be sent to the Committee for posting would be:
  • Special announcements about genealogy publications
  • Book Reviews
  • Cape Cod Families
  • Anecdotes about Genealogical Breakthroughs
  • Relating Genealogy to Local History
  • Family History Humor
  • Updates on developments on Ancestry.com
  • Updates on developments on Familysearch.org
  • Announcements of genealogy workshops in our region
  • And more—your choice.
Creating content for a Blog is about as easy as using a word processor, and no technical skills are required. And, a bonus for anyone who becomes a Blog contributor -- Chris Geanacopoulos, our electronic “guru”, has offered to help train anyone in Blog methodology so that they will feel comfortable in the role; you won’t want to miss this chance.

Questions and ideas are welcome—contact the Publications Committee through either David Martin (davidchina_2000@yahoo.com) or Carolyn Weiss (carlysue01@comcast.net); your participation is needed now!

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Thursday, April 8, 2010

Genealogical Seminar--May 15, Concord, NH

A special one-day Genealogical Seminar, co-sponsored by the New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) and the New Hampshire Historical Society, will take place on Saturday, May 15, 2010 in Concord, New Hampshire at the Historical Society Library.

The seminar will explore intermediate and advanced techniques for genealogical research, including on-line and printed resources, general genealogical technology, social networking, and the use of land and probate records. Speakers will include David Lambert and David Dearborn of NEHGS, who will address topics that will be of interest to all genealogists, not only those doing northern New England research.

The hours are 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM, with time afterward to visit the Historical Society Library; the library has an extensive collection of archives and objects related to New Hampshire. Fees are $55 for NEHGS members and $65 for non-NEHGS members. Anyone with northern New England roots will want to consider this opportunity. Those interested in possible car-pooling on that day to go to Concord may contact David Martin (davidchina_2000@yahoo.com) who will match people together.