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Middlesex Genealogical Society Middlesex Genealogical Society
Darien Library
Darien Library, 1441 Post Road (at Hecker Avenue), Darien, Connecticut 06820. Phone: 203-655-1234


The Middlesex Genealogical Society holds five program meetings a year in conjunction with the Darien Library. Speakers make presentations on various topics of interest to all genealogists. Periodically, informal member discussion groups are scheduled for an hour before the presentations.

Meetings are in the Community Room on the first floor of the Darien Library, 1441 Post Road (at Hecker Avenue), Darien, Connecticut. Phone: 203-655-1234.

Meetings are held on Saturdays. Presentations start at 2:00 pm. Informal member discussion groups, when scheduled, start at 1:00 pm. Meetings are free and open to the public.

Vice President-Programs Len Christie welcomes ideas for future meetings.

Upcoming Meetings

November 14, 2015, 1:00 pm. Come Talk About Your Work. This is an informal one hour discussion session/round table where all are invited to participate. Think of the most important question or issue that you have about your genealogy. It may be a brick wall that you are facing with one of your ancestors, a question of wanting to know where to find a particular resource, or a success that you are dying to share with the rest of us. The goal is to share your experiences and to help your fellow genealogists and hopefully gain new insights.

Joseph LiebyJoseph Lieby
November 14, 2015, 2:00 pm. "Researching Your German Ancestors." Presented by Joseph Lieby.

Finding our German ancestors' European origins may be difficult, but is usually possible. What tools will you need? Joseph Lieby will help you trace your ancestors using tools and techniques based on what you know about them. Knowing where our German ancestors lived in Europe, and when they came to America, should be the goal of anyone interested in their family history.  Finding out when they came can usually be determined using research tools we already know.  Their European origins may be more difficult to find, but is usually possible using those same tools.  Tracing our German speaking ancestors beyond that will call for a new set of research tools that need to be acquired, including some German vocabulary, ability to decipher German script, and a little about German geography. Handout.

Joseph Lieby is the current President of the Palatines to America National German Genealogy Society. He retired as a school district administrator, and has over twenty years experience in genealogical research in New York and New Jersey. He has spoken at national and regional societies and has published articles on his research interests in his Palatine Notes blog, and in the New York Palatines newsletter of which he is the editor.

January 23, 2016, 2:00 pm. "Intermediate Genealogy." Presented by Tony Lauriano.

March 12, 2016, 2:00 pm. "Using Facebook for Genealogy." Presented by Marian Wood.

May 14, 2016, 2:00 pm. "Finding Italian Records - Italian Genealogy." Presented by Toni McKeen.

Past Meetings

Janeen BjorkJaneen Bjork
October 3, 2015, 2:00 pm. "Historical Newspapers - Read about Your Ancestors." Presented by Janeen Bjork. Janeen will told us what is available through the major collections of digitized newspapers that can be accessed online. Newspaper articles reveal information about people that may not appear in other public records. This information may include details about births, marriages, social events, sporting events, church activities and affiliations, occupations, legal notices, land sales, taxation, military service, businesses, tragedies, heroism, letters to the editor, and advertisements. We learned strategies for finding newspaper items about our ancestors. These included not only looking in newspapers where and when they lived, but also in places hundreds of miles from where they were and decades after. Handout.

Laura CongletonLaura Congleton
May 16, 2015. "Civil War Research." Presented by Laura Congleton. Ms. Congleton provided guidance on how best to determine whether or not your ancestor served in the Civil War. We learned how to identify and research both Union and Confederate veterans using federal and state records available online and at local repositories. Laura provided tips on how to separate veterans with the same name, and how to avoid common research mistakes. Handout.

March 14, 2015. "Putting Flesh on the Bones of Your Ancestor." Presented by Toni McKeen. “As soon as you tell someone that you are doing genealogy, the response is usually either 'How far back do you go’ or ‘How many people do you have on your tree?’” said Ms McKeen. While both are interesting numbers, it is equally important to tell the life story of one individual with stories, documents, charts, and photos." Toni Mckeen took attendees through the process of recording another person’s life with easy, step-by-step directions, with the end result being a book that will be treasured by future generations.

November 15, 2014. "Discover Your Polish, Ukrainian, and Eastern European Ancestors." Presented by Prof. Jonathan Shea and Matthew Bielawa. Handout. Also, see summary on page 4 of the MGS Newsletter for December 2014.

October 4, 2014. "Googling for Genealogy." Presented by Phil Hayes. Handout. Slides.

August 19, 2014. A Tour of the Godfrey Memorial Library.

May 17, 2014. "Case Study: Searching for Persons of Color." Presented by Virginia Banerjee. See summary on page 3 of the MGS Newsletter for September 2014.

March 15, 2014. "Finding Elusive Females." Presented by Toni McKeen. See summary on page 4 of the MGS Newsletter for May 2014.

January 25, 2014. "Fire Up Your Research...The Digital Genealogist Is Here." Presented by Philip Hayes. See summary on page 4 of the MGS Newsletter for March 2014.

November 16, 2013. "Difficult Case Studies." Presented by Tony Lauriano.

David MordyDavid Mordy
October 5, 2013. "Find Your Fabulous Ancestor." Presented by David Mordy.

May 18, 2013. "Blogging Your Genealogy." Presented by Philip Hayes. Handout.

March 16, 2013. "Cruising Long Island Sound—Tracing Its Early Families with a Regional View." Presented by Fred Hart. Handouts: Some Resources for Long Island Sound Region Families; Political Affiliations of Towns in the Long Island Sound Region.

January 26, 2013. "Military Records Research." Presented by Tony Lauriano. See summary on page 4 of the MGS Newsletter for March 2013.

November 10, 2012. "Probate Records." Presented by Virginia Banerjee. See summary on page 3 of the MGS Newsletter for December 2012.

October 6, 2012. "Review of the 1940 Census, and Using the Steve Morse Website to Research Difficult Cases." Presented by Toni McKeen.

May 12, 2012. "Family History for the Whole Family." Presented by Virginia Banerjee. Handout 1. Handout 2.

March 17, 2012. "Exploring the 1940 Census." Presented by Christopher Zarr, Education Specialist at the National Archives facility on Varick Street in New York City.

January 21, 2012. "Letting the City Directories Work for You." Presented by Toni McKeen.

November 19, 2011. "Sources for Irish Records." Presented by Donna Moughty, a former president of the Middlesex Genealogical Society.

October 1, 2011. "Effectively Using in Researching Your Family." Presented by Toni McKeen.

May 14, 2011. “Genetic Genealogy." Presented by Nora Galvin.

March 19, 2011. "Beyond Names and Dates: Uncovering Your Ancestors' Stories." Presented by Leslie Albrecht Huber. See summary on page 6 of the MGS Newsletter for May 2011.

January 29, 2011. "A Walk Through the New " - new and improved with images and new technology. Presented by MGS President Lloyd Sturgis.

November 20, 2010. "Research That Makes My Eyes Cross." Presented by Toni McKeen. See summary on page 4 of the MGS Newsletter for December 2010.

October 2, 2010. "How to Test Your DNA and Why." Presented by Peter Biggins. See summary on page 3 of the MGS Newsletter for October 2010. Slides. Handout.

May 15, 2010. The Story of DARIEN Connecticut. Presented by Kenneth M. Reiss. About the book

March 20, 2010. "Maximizing the Use of the Census." Presented by Virginia Banerjee. See Joan Rinaldi's summary on page 3 of the MGS Newsletter for May 2010. Handouts

January 23, 2010. "Uncle Sam Wants You! - 20th Century Military Research." Presented by Larry Fermi. Outline

November 21, 2009. "Navigating Ship Manifests: Researching Immigration Records Like a Pro." Presented By Toni McKeen. See Joan Rinaldi's summary on pages 4 and 5 of the MGS Newsletter for December 2009.

October 3, 2009. "Getting the Most Out of HeritageQuest and Ancestry." Presented by Toni McKeen.

May 16, 2009. "Crossing The Pond: Finding Your Immigrant Origins." Presented by Larry Fermi. Outline

March 21, 2009. "Effective Use of the Internet for Genealogy." Presented by Kathy Lenerz, Ph.D., Genealogical Lecturer. Slides

February 21, 2009. "Getting Started in Genealogy." Presented by Virginia Banerjee and Pete Kenyon, both members of MGS. Banerjee article