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Dissecting the Documents - Dave Robison

What did you find and what might you have missed? You’ll be surprised at what can be extracted from various documents. Census records, naturalization documents, vital records ... there’s more than meets the eye. And I guarantee it!

Dave Robison of Old Bones Genealogy of New England lectures on family research at all levels. He holds BU’s Genealogy Research Program certificate, is President of Western Mass. Genealogical Society, past president of the New England Chapter of APG and holds memberships in genealogical associations in the US and Canada. He is Co-Chair of the upcoming 14th New England Regional Genealogical Conference, NERGC 2017, to be held in Springfield, MA, 26-29 April 2017.

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Finding the Stories of Your Ancestors: Using Social History to Bring Their History to Life - Pamela Guye Holland

This talk illustrates how to move beyond the traditional sources of just names and dates and use social history to learn what a typical day, or not so typical day, was like in your ancestor's life. What did your ancestors eat or wear, what was their daily life like, why did they do the things they did? Discover where to find a variety of resources that answer these questions and provide rich context to bring your ancestor's history to life.

Pamela Guye Holland lives in Swampscott and has been researching family roots found in Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, England, Germany and Ireland since 2001. She serves on the board of the Irish Ancestral Research Association (TIARA) and is a certificate holder from the Boston University Genealogical Research Certificate program. In 2013 she became a professional genealogist and currently takes private clients and works for Research Services at the New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS). Her research specialties are Irish and Genetic Genealogy. She also has expertise in New England, New York (both city and state) and German research. Her website is

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Using Land Records in Genealogical Research - Richard P. Howe, Jr.

Land records are a valuable resource often overlooked by genealogists. Perhaps that is because the system of keeping land records is complex, designed for doing title searches and not for researching family history. Richard Howe will untangle Massachusetts land records, explaining how they were organized from the seventeenth century until today and providing helpful hints on how to find your ancestors’ land ownership records.

Richard P. Howe Jr. is the Register of Deeds of the Middlesex North Registry of Deeds in Lowell and is the past president of the Massachusetts Registers of Deeds Association. He is a graduate of Providence College and Suffolk University Law School, holds an MA in History from Salem State University, and has been a member of the Massachusetts Bar for more than thirty years. Mr. Howe is the creator of, a widely read blog about Lowell history and politics, and of Lowell Walks, a popular year-round program of guided walking tours. He is the author of Lowell: Images of Modern America and co-author of Legendary Locals of Lowell, both from Arcadia Publishing.

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Researching Rural Slavery in Eighteenth Century Essex County Massachusetts - Jeanne Pickering

Jeanne Pickering, Salem State University, will review her research of enslaved families living in the rural areas of Essex County prior to the Revolutionary War. Using church and probate records, town histories and family archives, she is reconstructing enslaved families' genealogies that have been dispersed as the families themselves were.

Jeanne Pickering is a graduate student in history at Salem State University, finishing her Masters thesis on the lawsuits for freedom filed by enslaved individuals Essex County prior to the Revolutionary War. Her research interests are the social and cultural aspects of colonial slavery in rural Massachusetts concentrating on the North Shore. She regularly speaks on slavery in Essex County to local history groups and runs a website on Essex County slavery at

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Cancelled: Pot Luck Luncheon and Member Show and Tell

* Meeting Cancelled due to inclement weather *


A-G: Desserts (cut into individual pieces)

H-R: Main dishes, precooked and hot (we have power for crockpots)

S-Z: Soups or Salads (tossed or removed from molds)

Share your genealogy research - bring a family tree, album, book, etc, to display, or an interesting research story or brick wall problem for discussion.

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Tracing Your English Ancestors - Linda B. MacIver

English parish registers are the only source for baptisms, marriages and burials between 1534 and 1837 when the civil registration of births, marriages and deaths began. Wills were proved in church courts until 1858 and can reveal complex family relationships. Join Linda MacIver for a guide to understanding English parish registers and wills, using examples from Essex, England, and learn how to extend your family tree through these fascinating resources.

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Autosomal DNA: Your Genetic Tapestry - Michael R. Maglio

Autosomal DNA tests are becoming very popular and affordable. The results from the testing can help find cousins, determine ethnicity and give an indication of medical conditions that exist within your genes. Don’t settle for the results that you get from the testing companies, dive into your genetic data and find out how to solve adoption or paternity roadblocks or validate your paper trail. Learn how your autosomal testing can weave a larger genealogical story.

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Use Evernote for Genealogy and Nearly Everything Else - Richard Eastman

Remember years ago the promise that personal computers would someday store your notes, your recipes, and more? It took a long time, but that promise has now been fulfilled. Indeed, Evernote does all that and much, much more. It not only stores thousands of notes, pictures, sound files, web pages, and more, it also allows the user to quickly find and retrieve items amongst the thousands of bits of information stored in Evernote. Indeed, it is also one of the handiest tools a genealogist can use.