Calendar of Genealogy Events in Massachusetts:

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Saturday, February 8 @ 10:30 a.m.

DNA Painter and Chromosome Mapping
Hosted by Massachusetts Society of Genealogists - Middlesex Chapter

Acton Memorial Library
486 Main St., Acton

Presented by Pamela Guye Holland

DNA Painter is a colorful, easy-to-use tool for understanding the chromosome segments you received from an ancestor. This free program lets you map DNA segments and assign or "paint" them various colors on your different chromosomes. Learn how to create a chromosome map for your own research using DNA results from FamilyTreeDNA, 23andMe, MyHeritage or GEDmatch. Please note that AncestryDNA cannot be used in DNA Painter unless you have transferred your results to GEDmatch.

Pamela Guye Holland has been researching family roots found in Ireland, Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, and Germany for almost twenty years. She is co-president 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 works for Research Services at the New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) and as the US-based genealogist in the Green Room at 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

This event is free and open to the public.

Friday February 14 @ 7:00 p.m.

TIARA (The Irish Ancestral Research Association, Inc.)
The Parish and the Universe: an Irish Enclave on Prince Edward Island

Brandeis University, Mandel Center for the Humanities, Room G3

A short business meeting at 7:30 p.m., followed by our speaker, Professor Thomas O'Grady (doors open at 7 p.m.)

“To ask for a map is to say, ‘Tell me a story.’” So writes Peter Turchi on the opening page of his marvelous book Maps of the Imagination: The Writer as Cartographer. An occasional genealogist over more than forty years, Thomas O’Grady, Director of Irish Studies at the University of Massachusetts Boston from 1984 to 2019, has always been inclined to look for “the story” in the branches of a family tree. For his talk on February 14th, Professor O’Grady will focus on the Irish enclave of Avondale on his native Prince Edward Island, unfolding and telling the story of that small rural community and its mostly first-generation Irish-Canadian population—prominent surnames in the community include Hughes, Larkin, Delaney, Keoughan, Keefe, Mahar, and O’Donnell. Meacham’s Atlas from 1880 is an essential source for anyone researching PEI history and genealogy; but Professor O’Grady will take us back as far as the so-named “Lake Map” of 1865 and forward to the Cummins Atlas of 1928. He will also draw on archival newspaper references to Avondale dating from the 1890s through the early 1920s. The materials—the evidence—he will use for reconstructing the “Irish” texture of Avondale’s community and culture thus ultimately speak directly to Irish geographer William J. Smyth’s recognition of the complexity of engaging with “place”: “Geography is a naïve kind of discipline, even a foolish one, since it tries to marry these two perspectives: the outsider-perspective of the map, and the subjective, felt world of place. There is therefore always a tension in the discipline, and particularly in cultural geography, between knowing the world and experiencing it, between scholarly distancing and caring, between truth and love.”

Thomas O'Grady recently retired after a 35-year teaching career in Irish Studies, English Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Massachusetts Boston. Over the decades he taught a wide variety of Irish-centered courses: survey courses like the Irish Literary Revival and Recent Irish Writing; genre courses like the Modern Irish Novel and the Irish Short Story; and single-author courses on James Joyce, W. B.Yeats and Seamus Heaney. His writing on Irish literary and cultural matters has been published in scholarly journals on both sides of the Atlantic, including: Eire-Ireland, Irish University Review, Etudes Irlandaises, Canadian Journal of Irish Studies, New Hibernia Review, Joyce Studies Annual and James Joyce Quarterly. He is the author of two books of poems — What Really Matters (2000) and Delivering the News (2019) — both published by McGill-Queen's University Press in the distinguished Hugh MacLennan Poetry Series. He divides his time between his native Prince Edward Island (Canada), Milton, MA, and Adamsville, RI, sharing those worlds with his wife, three daughters who come and go, and two young cats.

This meeting is free and open to the public.

Saturday February 15 @12:00 pm

Essex Society of Genealogists
Scottish Prisoners of War

Centre Congregational Church, 5 Summer Street, Lynnfield

BYO lunch at noon followed by our speaker, Peg Plummer, at 1:00 pm

Scottish Prisoners of War were shipped to New England in the mid-1600s. Some of them worked in the various iron works in Maine and Massachusetts while others worked on farms or other businesses. Many became successful farmers and businessmen after their indenture expired. More importantly, they fathered large families whose descendants are numerous today. Are you a descendant? Learn about the SPOWs and the people who are recreating their histories today.

Peg Plummer is known in the area as a presenter with an eclectic range of genealogy topics in her tool bag. She enjoys coaching individuals and groups to a greater understanding of tried-and-true genealogy skills. Peg’s a past-president of ESOG, member of MSOG and ACGS. She’s also outgoing corresponding secretary of the Sons and Daughters of the First Settlers of Newbury. She’s working on her descent from Jane Walford, an accused witch of Great Island, New Hampshire, through three of her daughters. Peg also moderates a DNA Special Interest Group.

This meeting is free and open to the public.

Saturday March 21 @ 12:00 pm

Essex Society of Genealogists
A Recipe for Well-Being: Health and Illness in Colonial New England

Centre Congregational Church, 5 Summer Street, Lynnfield

BYO lunch at noon followed by our speaker, Lori Lyn Price, at 1:00 pm

Have you ever wondered what British colonists in New England used for medicine? Learn about some of the popular theories of the causes of illness as well as some common illnesses and treatments, including the roles of food, herbs, bleeding, cupping, blistering, purging, religion, astrology and superstition. Examples of some of the treatments will be presented and their efficacy discussed. This talk will help genealogists place the role of health and medicine in their colonial ancestor’s life into perspective.

Lori Lyn Price, MAS, MLA works as a statistician at Tufts Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts, and owns Bridging The Past, a business dedicated to helping genealogists incorporate social history into their research to bring their ancestors to life. In addition to running the website and blog at, she recently debuted another website focused on telling family stories re: the 1918 flu. You can read the stories (and share your own if you’d like) at Her passion is helping people learn about the historical context in which their ancestors lived.

This meeting is free and open to the public.

Saturday March 21 @ 11:00 am

Massachusetts Society of Genealogists, Bristol Chapter
Locating Vital Records in Poland Using Online Resources

Somerset Public Library, 1464 County St, Somerset, MA 02726, USA

Finding vital records for one's family in Poland is a critical step in exploring our Polish ancestry, but can sometimes be confusing. After a brief overview of the Polish partitions to introduce beginners to the history and geography of Poland, Julie will illustrate the use of church records, passenger manifests, naturalization records, and other documents from U.S. sources, to determine one's ancestral village accurately. She’ll suggest resources and strategies to help you decipher misspelled place names, and discuss the next steps in your research: determining the parish and civil registry office using gazetteers, and obtaining birth, marriage and death records. Julie will rely heavily on online sources throughout her presentation, and show how you can trace your Polish ancestry without having to cross the ocean.

Julie Roberts Szczepankiewicz is a genealogist, writer, and speaker with 20 years of experience in researching her family's origins in Poland, Germany, the U.S. and Canada. She holds a bachelor's degree in biological sciences from the State University of New York in Buffalo and a master's degree in endocrinology from the University of California, Berkeley. She currently volunteers as administrator and regular contributor to a number of genealogy-related Facebook groups, and serves on the board of directors for the Polish Genealogical Society of Massachusetts. Her articles have been published in the journals of the Polish Genealogical Society of America and the Polish Genealogical Society of Massachusetts, and she is also the author of a genealogy blog,

This meeting is free and open to the public.

Saturday April 18 @ 12:00 pm

Essex Society of Genealogists
Current Strategies for Analyzing DNA Results

Centre Congregational Church, 5 Summer Street, Lynnfield

BYO lunch at noon followed by our speaker, Seema-Jayne Kenney, at 1:00 pm

A look at the logic, and the latest vendor & third-party online tools to use in connecting your DNA matches to your family tree. Many of these were used by the presenter to narrow in on a missing grandfather for her own family tree.

A wife, mother of three, and entrepreneur, Seema is an experienced software instructor and a professional genealogist. Based on over 20 years of research, her known roots are deep in New England as well as England, Germany, and Sweden. She has a certificate in Genealogical Research from BU, has completed ProGen, and is an active member of several societies and part of the NERGC planning committee. Seema is also certified as a Guided Autobiography Consultant and a Legacy Planner.

This meeting is free and open to the public.

This Calendar is sponsored by Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter.

This page was last updated 14 Jan 2020 00:54.

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