Worcester Chapter Board 2017-2018

Welcome to the Worcester Chapter

Worcester Chapter Board 2017-2018

Charlene Sokal, President

vacant, Vice President

Susan Dion, Secretary

Deborah E. Cardoni, Treasurer

Steven D. Yankus, Membership

Contact Worcester Chapter President

The Worcester Chapter meets at the Worcester Public Library, 3 Salem Street, Worcester, Massachusetts. Meetings are generally held on the second Tuesday of the month at 7:00 p.m. except that winter meetings (November - March) are held on the first Saturday of the month at 10:00 a.m.

Reservations for the Worcester Chapter May dinner meeting close on May 1, 2018.

Please contact Treasurer Deb Cardoni before then to ensure a meal and arrange for your payment.

Meeting is on Tuesday, May 8th at 6pm at O’Connor’s Restaurant & Bar – 1160 W Boylston St, Worcester, MA 01606

Speaker is Janeen Bjork, probably about 7:15pm.  Members are welcome to attend for the presentation only.

Janeen’s topic is Finding Family in Online Newspapers: Tips from My Great-Great Grandfather.

Janeen’s great-great grandfather, William Strutz was shot and killed in Syracuse, NY in 1894 by a jealous husband who was also his former best friend. Janeen will share the methodology that helped her find 150 accounts of the tragedy, despite the names being misspelled or misread by OCR, and stories being printed up to six weeks after the incident. This includes a brief OCR lesson, examples of the methodology used, and comparisons of her favorite websites for finding historical newspapers.

Image result for bryan farr

TUESDAY, April 10th at 7 p.m. at the Worcester Public Library / Saxe Room (right side as you enter from the parking lot)

Bryan Farr – will present “Historic Route 20” – A visual overview of the history of how route 20 came into being. From early native trails, to the railroads, route 20 became an early concourse for transcontinental travel. We focus on the overall history of the highway with an emphasis for the locations we are in and a few stories of the people met along the highway. Each program typically lasts 1 hour with additional time from Q & A.

Meeting is sponsored by the Worcester Chapter but everyone is welcome to attend.  There will be a brief chapter meeting and there are typically refreshments available for socializing a little bit after the presentation.

Charlene Sokal, President of the Worcester Chapter, will present:

Women’s Work: Grandma Ran a Boarding House and Momma Brewed Beer

As researchers, we think of our female ancestors as stay at home wives and mothers. In fact, many women ran their own businesses and worked in mills, factories or offices. This presentation will suggest resources to find information on these women

Our January meeting was cancelled, so join us on Feb 3rd and discuss the holidays and first month of 2018 during social time!

Please join us on Saturday, Feb. 3 at 10am in the Banx Room of the Worcester Public Library for our next monthly meeting. The event will begin with a short business meeting followed by the “Why, When, and How to Conduct Research at the National Archives in Boston” presentation by Seema-Jayne Kenney. This presentation is a result of a member request – let us know if you have a topic you would like to hear about!

You can arrive as early as 9:30am to attend an earlier ½ hour of social time.  Many people often organize a group lunch for after the meeting as well.

Join the Worcester Chapter on Tuesday, November 14th for a discussion on WWII with Michael G. Walling. While Michael has much he can share, he’s interested in answering your questions.  Come prepared to participate and discuss this historic event.

Michael G. Walling (Hudson, Massachusetts) is the author of several books, including Bloodstained Sea, Forgotten Sacrifice, and Enduring Freedom, Enduring Voices.

An internationally recognized World War II expert, Walling is a contributing author to the U.S. Naval Institute’s Naval History magazine and has appeared on The History Channel and PBS as an aviation and naval expert. He and his work also have been featured in AL.com, American Heroes Radio, Authors Den, Coast Guard Channel, Coast Guard Compass, The Lowell Sun, Nashoba Publishing, Newspaper Heroes On the Air, and other media. In addition, he is a sought-after speaker, giving presentations before a variety of audiences and venues, including Battle Ship Cove, Fort Devens Museum, Maine Maritime Museum, National World War II Museum–New Orleans, Naval Order of the United States, Naval War College, U.S. Coast Guard Chief Petty Officers Association, and numerous veterans’ reunion groups.

Walling has spent five decades collecting stories from veterans from World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan, as well as those of pilots, merchant seamen, and civilian personnel with NATO and EUFOR. His research has taken him across the United States as well as abroad to such places as Afghanistan, Bosnia–Herzegovina, Croatia, Great Britain, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Russia, and Afghanistan.

Join the Worcester Chapter on WEDNESDAY, October 11, 2017, at 7 pm for a business meeting and presentation at the Worcester Public Library – Saxe Room.

Our presenter will be Lilly Cleveland.  Her topic is Lineage Societies, taking the mystery out of the magic.

Lilly will discuss the application process for some societies and documentation requirements along with several stories of how to close gaps by expanding source materials and working with family composition.

Lilly’s research interests include colonial, Swiss, Irish, immigration, Mayflower ancestors, lineage application assistance and research. Strong background in historical research and writing. A graduate of the BU Genealogy Program, Pro Gen Study Course, recipient of a B.A. in American History. She is a member of 9 lineage societies including the Associated Daughters of Early American Witches based on lineage from John Proctor.

The speakers are booked, the room is reserved.  All we need now are paid members and meeting visitors!

Please join us on WEDNESDAY, 13  September 2017  at 7 p.m. in the Saxe Room of the Worcester Public Library for our first meeting of the 2017/18 Season.  Meet your new officers, conduct business, and then listen as

Pamela Guye Holland discusses Discovering Cousins Using DNA – Tools and Case Studies for Exploring Your Autosomal DNA Matches.  This talk will show you how to explore your matches and use the tools available at the three major DNA testing companies: FamilyTreeDNA, AncestryDNA and 23andMe. It will focus on practical ways to discover how you are related to your Autosomal DNA Cousins. Case studies using matches at each testing company will illustrate methods you can use to connect with new cousins who can help you grow your family tree. This talk assumes you are considering testing or have tested at one of the three DNA testing companies. MyHeritage will also be briefly discussed.

In case you can’t make the September meeting, our October meeting will be on WEDNESDAY, October 11, 2017, at 7 pm in the Saxe room with Lilly Cleveland discussing Lineage Societies, taking the mystery out of the magic.


All meetings are currently scheduled for the Worcester Public Library.  Our meeting schedule includes two meetings on Wednesday evenings and a switch for some meetings to the BANX room – a slightly smaller room across the hall from where we’ve been meeting:
  • WEDNESDAY, September 13, 2017, 7pm Saxe room
  • WEDNESDAY, October 11, 2017, 7pm Saxe room
  • Tuesday, November 14, 2017, 7pm Saxe room
  • Saturday, December 2, 2017, 10am BANX room
  • Saturday, January 6, 2018, 10am BANX room
  • Saturday, February 3, 2018, 10am BANX room
  • Saturday, March 3, 2018, 10am BANX room
  • Tuesday, April 10, 2018, 7pm Saxe room
  • Tuesday, May 8, 2018, 7pm Saxe room
  • Tuesday, June 12, 2018, 7pm Saxe room

Gail White Usher – Women In 18th Century America

This presentation explores middling and lower class rural women in 18th century New England using diary entries, objects, and images to describe their everyday lives.

Tuesday, June 13th, 7 pm at the Worcester Public Library.

Arrive early to avoid the lines at the parking kiosk.

Worcester Chapter

        Their March 4th meeting will be at the Worcester Public Library, 3 Salem Square; Worcester, Saturday morning at 10:00 a. m.

“I Found My Village! Now What?”

Doing Polish Genealogy

          Finding vital records for one’s family in Poland is a critical step in exploring one’s 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.  And there’s a good chance that the same process will help with other ethnicities!

           The meeting is open to anyone interested in this presentation. Attendees are encouraged to bring along a friend(s), as well as your own non-alcoholic beverage, munchies will be provided. Anyone bringing goodies to share will receive an extra door prize ticket.

          Please note that parking at the library isn’t allowed in the “green” areas (further from the door). Note your space number and pay for parking at the outdoor kiosk (cash or credit cards accepted) BEFORE entering the library.