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Climbing the Family Tree

   Wednesday, January 19th, 2011 - by: Brian Herzog, Head of Reference

Judy SylviaIf you're wondering about how to research your family tree, the Chelmsford Genealogy Group is ready to help.

By Paula McCarron, Chelmsford Patch (reprinted with permission)

Spike Lee, Sarah Jessica Parker, Emmitt Smith and Lisa Kudrow found their ancestors courtesy of the NBC show "Who Do You Think You Are," which focuses on how genealogy can reveal fascinating details of one's family history. But here in Chelmsford, you don't need to be a celebrity to get help in climbing your family tree - and best of all, the help is free.

Judy Sylvia, Coordinator of the Chelmsford Genealogy Group (CGG) started her search after hearing her father-in-law speak about his search for ancestors. Since then, Sylvia works on her own tree but she's also helping others to make their own discoveries through her volunteer work with Chelmsford Genealogy Group.

CGG meets on the first Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. at the Chelmsford Public Library. All meetings are free and open to all – residents and non-residents, alike.

"If you're just getting started, it's a great because someone in the group has probably already done what you're looking to do. People are willing to share what they know. And we often have guest speakers with thanks to the Friends of the Library who donate the money for speakers' fees," says Sylvia.

E-mail announcements are sent three to six times a month to keep everyone informed of the meetings as well as other local events. Sylvia also forwards requests from people who are searching for a Chelmsford ancestor.

The "hottest" development, a surname database was initiated by club member, Norm Rourke and is under construction by Reference Librarian, Brian Herzog. The database will provide an opportunity to search or share information about a particular ancestor or surname in the very near future through the Chelmsford Public Library website.

Now twelve years into her search, Sylvia recently discovered a 1700's ship captain within her family tree.

"That's the thing. You start with four grandparents, then eight great grandparents and it just keeps going. You keep finding so much that it's never really ever done," she said.

For more information, check out the Chelmsford Public Library's Web site.

This article originally appeared on the
Chelmsford Patch on January 18th, 2011
.

   Posted in Library Information, Programs, Resources | No Comments »




Join a Book Group at the Library

   Friday, November 19th, 2010 - by: Becky Herrmann, Library Director

Book group meetingDo you enjoy reading and then discussing what you thought of the book with others? Come join one of the library's book groups!

We have several options for book groups - morning and afternoon sessions at both the main library and at the MacKay branch. Here's a brief breakdown on each one:

  • Evening Book Group
    Run by Library Director Becky Herrmann, this group meets at 7 p.m. on the first Monday of each month, and has been going on for about 7 years. It's an informal and talkative mix of men and women with ages ranging from mid-thirties to mid-seventies. They read a mix of fiction and non-fiction (with a heavier emphasis on fiction). Check out their list of upcoming books or sign up for email meeting reminders.
  • Morning Book Group
    The Morning group is run by Technical Services Librarian Vickie Turcotte, and meets at 10 a.m. on the third Wednesday of each month. This group is mainly women, primarily elderly folks but still a mix, and they read mainly fiction. Check out their list of upcoming books or sign up for email meeting reminders.
  • History Book Group
    This is a relatively new book group, meeting at 7 p.m. on the last Thursday of each month. It is run by one of our volunteers, and focuses on books that are historical in nature. Check out their list of upcoming books or sign up for email meeting reminders.
  • Mystery Book Group
    This group meets at the MacKay Branch Library at at 6:45 p.m. on the fourth Wednesday of the month. They have been meeting for about 20 years, and they focus on several authors each month rather than particular books - these are die-hard, mystery fans who have read extensively in the genre. Check out their current authors list.
  • "Novel Conversations" Book Group
    This popular daytime book group meets at the MacKay Branch Library on the first Friday of each month at noon. This group reads fiction with the occasional biography or memoir thrown in. Check out their list of upcoming books.
  • Now... It's Your Turn
    This is a seasonal readers advisory program (designed with baby boomers in mind but suitable for all adults). Each season, Becky Herrmann and Mayleen Kelley highlight a group of mostly new books, to keep people reading for a few months. Attendees are also welcome to suggest titles. As this group meets sporadically, check our events calendar for dates, and also previous suggestion lists.
  • Readergirlz Teen Book Group
    This is a book group for Teens, led by Tricia Moore, and meets from 4-5:30 p.m. on the third Tuesday of the month. At each meeting participants will complete a craft or activity related to the book. Refreshments will be served. Pick up a copy of this month's book at the circulation desk.
  • "Cinema Night Out" Film Discussion Group
    A "book group" for movie buffs, led by Teen Services Librarian (and film aficionado) Tricia Moore. The film starts at 6:30 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month, with discussion to follow - and refreshments are provided. Due to our public performance contract, film titles are only announced a few days in advance, but you can check the online listing or sign up for email notification.

All of our groups are open to the public, and all are welcoming new members. Each group meeting will be listed on the library's events calendar, and many of the groups send email reminders.

If none of these groups quite meet your needs, a variety of other book groups are listed on Meetup.com and LibraryThing Local.

   Posted in Books, Library Information, Programs, Reading Room, Teens | No Comments »




10 Years of Genealogy

   Thursday, April 30th, 2009 - by: Brian Herzog, Head of Reference

Forefathers Burying Ground signThe month of May is the Tenth Anniversary of the Chelmsford Genealogy Club, and they are celebrating with some great programs:

Mary Lee Dunn, author of Ballykilcline Rising: From Famine Ireland to Immigrant America
Sat May 2nd at 1:30 p.m. - POSTPONED - Check the website for a new time.

Marcia Melnyck's presentation, "Investigating the Dash (1842-1929): Following an Ancestor from Cradle to Grave"
Tues. May 5th at 7 p.m.
Creating a timeline of an individual's life can produce many surprises. Take a new look at those elusive ancestors and fill in the blanks of their lives - who knows what you'll discover!!

Dick Eastman, editor of Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter
Tues. June 2nd at 7 p.m.
This weekly newsletter has grown into a daily publication that is read by more than 40,000 genealogists all over the world, and the website has grown to also include discussion forum, a genealogy encyclopedia, and two online genealogy bookstores.

The Chelmsford Genealogy Club meets monthly at the Chelmsford Library on the first Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. This is an informal genealogy group for sharing of information and ideas serving Chelmsford and surrounding towns. The group is open to everyone, and anyone interested in researching their family history is encouraged to attend.

For more information on the Chelmsford Genealogy Club contact Judy Sylvia at jjsylvia582@aol.com or Bob at robert.pacitti@analog.com, or sign up for the email newsletter, to be notified of meeting times, special events, and other genealogy news.

   Posted in Events, Programs | 2 Comments »




New History Book Group

   Wednesday, April 15th, 2009 - by: Brian Herzog, Head of Reference

The Old Middlesex Canal book coverThere is a new History Book Group starting on at the library on Thursday, April 30th.

Do you have an interest in history? Library volunteer Bob Hanlon will be leading a new book group on the last Thursday of each month at 7 p.m. in the conference room. This group is for people with an interest in history - local, U.S. and world history.

The titles will be determined by the participants in the group. Attend the first program April 30th and help choose future titles. For this first meeting Bob suggests reading
The Old Middlesex Canal, by Mary Stetson Clarke.

For more information on the new book group, visit their webpage or contact Kathy Cryan-Hicks at kcryanhic@mvlc.org or 978-256-5521 x109.

For information on all of the book groups at the Chelmsford Library, visit our book groups webpage.

   Posted in Books, Programs, Reading Room | No Comments »