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27 September 2018

Successful NEHGS Event Nets New Members, Entertains and Informs

Bob Anderson presented 2 of the day's 5 talks
Last Saturday, genealogists and others with an interest in early New England ancestors gathered for a day of presentations by two deeply knowledgeable experts. Robert Charles Anderson and Christopher Child offered anecdotes and insights on Mayflower passengers and life in colonial New England. Anderson regaled us with the saga of his groundbreaking The Great Migration Study Project, an undertaking that was supposed to take 3 years but is now almost 30 years along, with new discoveries continuing.

Chris Childs and Jane Lindsey catch up during a break
Child gave an overview of 17th-century immigration to New England, looking at both where the Pilgrim fathers came from and how later generations spread out over the continent. He also discussed tips and tricks designed to break down brick walls in your research. An example: know your suffixes! "Junior" and "Senior" in colonial documents do not mean what we think of today. Similarly, terms like "cousin" and "in-law" can be broadly applied to a wide range of relationships. There was also discussion of how DNA is helping to solve some old family mysteries. To sum it up in Anderson's words, "even in a field that has been digged more than any other in genealogy, further digging will still be profitable."

The day was possible thanks to the work of longtime CGS member Jane Knowles Lindsey, who first approached the New England Historic Genealogical Society to plan this event. At our membership table, seven new members joined the society and twenty-two signed up to receive our eNews. We offered participants Society information and sold some books. Two memberships were offered as door prizes.  Helping me at the membership table were Kath Merilo, Karen Wetherell, and Kathleen Beitiks.

These four beautiful quilts were donated for the silent auction
Jane organized a Silent Auction asking for donations from our members. Thanks to their generosity, we raised just over $1000. A special thanks to Tracey Laubsted and Diana Wild who helped with the auction.

Thanks also to Matt Berry, who acted as Treasurer, Ron Madson, our "official" CGS photographer, and Jerry McGovern, who helped me unload all the membership supplies when I returned to the library. 

In addition to Saturday's event, CGS offered one-on-one consultations for people who had New England research questions. Our New England experts Jim Russell, Pat Friesen, Linda Longley, Pat Smith, Roger Prince, and Jane Lindsey who provided their expertise during the day.  Karen Wetherell and I were the timekeepers. 
It takes a village and one Jane to make it all happen. Thanks to all our volunteers, our silent auction donors and those who attended the event we had a GREAT weekend!

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