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Online, free genealogy classes

If you are thinking about how to use some of the time at home that you now have with the advent of social distancing, consider starting that genealogy research you’ve always wanted to do.   1.

The following are three excellent resources for online classes (written and video) that you can access for free from your computer at home.  Just click on the links provided and go from there.  Between these three resources you can probably find a class for almost any level or topic of genealogy research. Academy

Particularly helpful for general education about genealogy research skills, Ancestry Academy provides free, video classes, ranging from topics such as “Learn a New Skill in 5 Minutes” to “Tips and Tricks” to  hour long classes on topics like “Finding Your Female Ancestors”. You can search by areas of interest by using the “Find” box at the top of the page. You will need to join the Academy with an email but use is free after that.

Family Search Learning Center

Particularly helpful if you are doing genealogy research outside the United States, provides an extensive list of video classes.  There were over 2,000 options available when I last looked.  The classes cover every possible ethnic and geographic option for genealogy research, ranging from topics like “Reading Polish Handwritten Records” to “Finding Helpful Resources Post-1965”.  Languages for the videos includes English, Spanish, Russian and Korean.  You can sort the classes by language, presenter or title.  Actually, just about any topic you can think about is probably covered here!

American Ancestors Education

Particularly helpful if you are researching in New England or Canada, the New England Historic Genealogical Society provides free, written subject guides on topics ranging from “Catholic Records in New England” to “African American Genealogy”.

By |April 2nd, 2020|Categories: Genealogy Blog|

Two free databases for genealogists


There are now two great resources available to genealogists that they can use at home.   Click here for free access from anywhere in Maine to Library Edition.  Ancestry is one of the most popular and used databases in the world for genealogy research.  If you haven’t tried it yet, now is the time!

Also, right now for free you can get access to the New England Historic Genealogical Society’s Digital Collection website.  These collections include city directories; family and local history books, and much more.  Click on this link:

I will continue sharing free research resources as they become available.  I hope studying your ancestors gives you a sense of perspective and comfort in today’s crazy world.


By |March 25th, 2020|Categories: Genealogy Blog|

Genealogy – it will help take your mind off everything

It is amazing how fast the world can change, isn’t it?  A week ago we shut down the library and today pretty much the entire country is shut down.  I hope you are safe at home, social isolating as much as you can!

Some information if you are planning to do genealogy research during this crazy time (which I would strongly suggest since it is a great way to take your mind off all that is happening):

  • The Maine library consortium is working to make available at home for all library users. This isn’t done yet but hopefully will be by next week.  We will keep you updated when this is finalized.
  • Don’t forget that you can use from home for free. You need to register for a free account but that’s it. One of the best tools on the site is the research wiki at  You can search for information by location, even down to the level of a town or county. You can also search by date/name/etc. If you’ve never used before, it is definitely worth checking out.
  • The Curtis technology librarian has finished the big job of re-creating the old Curtis local history page on the library’s new website Of particular interest are the Brunswick directories and the index of Brunswick cemeteries.   The Snow Index is not included because the database that housed the index will not work on the new website.  We are working on solutions for this and will keep you up-to-date on that also.
  • If you haven’t gone to the Curtis Genealogy page lately, check it out.  There are links to other free, useful websites that you might find interesting.

That’s it for this week.  Stay safe and healthy and get some research done!  Hopefully, next week we will have some additional good research resources that we can make available to you.

By |March 20th, 2020|Categories: Genealogy Blog|

Cyndi Ingle of Cyndi’s List at Maine Genealogy Society workshop April 18!

The Maine Genealogical Society Events Committee has not been hibernating this winter.  We are currently putting the finishing touches on the April 18th Workshop in Augusta. The focus of the workshop is researching your family on the internet.   We will be welcoming Cyndi Ingle of Cyndi’s List to Maine.  She will be our only speaker that day and she is the expert on finding family history sites on the internet.

New digital repositories seem to spring up everyday and current sources become more robust as digitizing becomes easier.  Cyndi will help us navigate these resources and also share a little of what she has seen change in online resources over the two decades she has been curating her list. She has prepared a special presentation on Maine research as well.

I am excited to be part of the planning team and am looking forward to meeting Cyndi in person. As a researcher and volunteer I often find people giving up on internet resources when they “don’t find it on Ancestry” I spend a lot of time pointing out that the web is full of niche resources and fascinating stories if you are willing to do the sleuthing.  Cyndi’s List is the Genealogy Map of the Information Super Highway (remember when we called the internet that?). With over 300,000 links there is sure to be something that will help you move your research forward.

The workshop fee of $55 for Maine Genealogical Society (MGS) members and $70 for non-members includes a full day of education, lunch and entry for one of our fabulous door prizes. If you are considering joining the MGS please do that a day before you register, this gives the system time to recognize you as a member for the lower rate.  A flyer for the conference is available, but you can always find more information, including the topics Cyndi will be speaking about and register online at The Maine Genealogical Society website.

Please pass the word and bring a friend.

Lynne Holland, guest blogger and Curtis Genealogy Volunteer

By |March 5th, 2020|Categories: Genealogy Blog|
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