Sunday, April 17, 2011

Resources to Explore My Ancestry

  • Kennebec-Chaudière Corridor  Tour that took place in 2007.  Sorry I missed it!
Kennebec-Chaudiere Corridor Photograph
"Join the Maine Humanities Council off the beaten path as we travel by chartered bus through deep woods and along river roads, from the Beauce Region of Québec to Bath, Maine, along the Chaudière and Kennebec Rivers. These rivers were used for centuries by Native Americans to travel between the St. Lawrence River and the Gulf of Maine. In the 17th century, the Kennebec was a border between the French and English, and then a contested thoroughfare. During the American Revolution, Benedict Arnold led American soldiers up the corridor in an unsuccessful attempt to take Québec. In the 19th century, Maine farmers seeking markets for their products established the “Old Canada Road” along the rivers and, later, thousands of French Canadians and Irish traveled south to find work in Maine’s woods, mills and shoe factories"
  • Old Canada Road Historical Society
Preserves the history of the upper Kennebec valley. Photographs, cemetery records, and family genealogy sites.
  • Beauceville
The city of Beauceville, located in the heart of the valley and region Chaudierre Appalaches Beauce, has combined with the cities of François-Ouest and Saint-François-de-Beauce.  The original territory of Beauceville dates back to 1765 and was once Saint-François-de-Beauce.  Beauceville was the first city in Beauce.  It is known for the warmth of its people and the beauty of it's scenery. (FRENCH)

I have Franco-American roots in Maine that trace back to Canada or Acadia.  Where can I research my ancestry?

Note:  This list is not comprehensive.  These are resources that come to mind.  Many of these resources I have used.
  1. If you're ancestors are from the Waterville, Skowhegan, or The Forks areas, and your last name is Lacombe or one of the surnames of the families married into the Lacombe line, you may well be related to me. 
  2. Interview older family members, grandparents, great-aunts and great-uncles, for instance, for information about your family tree and localities. 
Robert Chenard, genealogist, located at The French Connection, 31 Pleasant St., Waterville, ME 04901-7514 
Genealogist Robert Chenard has traced the ancestry of the earliest French-Canadian settlers to the region and to other geographical areas in Maine.  He has published many volumes of church registers for churches where the predominant population was French-Canadian. 
The French Connection showcases the genealogical and historical work of Robert Chenard of Waterville, Maine.   There is a wealth of information concerning French ancestry and Maine.  It is a good place to start.
The main url with links to census records, genealogy, cemetaries in the Waterville area, Catholic parish records, history and culture, etc., can be found at


Genealogy, heritage, culture site list:
Home page:
Mailing list:

  • The Franco-American Women's Institute is an organization of women who gather together as a force for the specific purpose of promoting Franco-American, ethnic women's voices. The Franco-American Women's Institute is also an archival place or a recording place. The women come together in many forms of presentation, body, soul and creative spirit, as Franco-American women--Québécois, Acadian, Métis, Mixed Blood, French Canadian, 'Cajun, Creole and Huguenot--in a way which encourages them to be voiced while collecting a record of their and their maman's existence. Daughters, mamans, and mémères. 
      Franco-Americans are the ancestors of an important and large genealogical group located on the North American continent. These women live in pockets of communities throughout the Northeast and elsewhere. Here in Maine several communities have been chez-nous for Franco-Americans for more than the past 150 years.

    --Rhea Côté Robbins, Founder and Director


"The Maine State Archives offers treasures of our State's history and culture"  Vital records are available on microfilm and online for available years.  A free research card is required to use the microfilm and early history materials in the archive.

  • List of Maine historical societies

  • Maine Franco-Genealogical Society Library

Town/State: Auburn, Maine
County: Androscoggin 207) 786-3327.  They are housed in the Great Falls School in Auburn, Maine but they are currently looking for a new home.  The library is staffed with volunteers with a wealth of knowledge.  They can help you look up information and they also offer research services for a fee.  Their holdings include Catholic parish registers and related books and maps for provinces of Quebec, Ontario and New Brunswick.  They also have records of marriages in churches in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York & Vermont.  They also have cemetery and obituary collections as well as other reference materials

  • Franco-American Genealogical Society of York County
The Franco-American Genealogical Society of York County was formed in 1982 as a non-profit society devoted to the preservation of our rich Franco-American heritage.  The society serves genealogists of French ancestry beginning in France, and continuing through migration to Canada, Acadia and New England.

    • McArthur Public Library

    Town/State:  Biddeford, Maine
    County: York

    • Maine Historical Society

    Town/State: Portland, Maine
    County: Cumberland
    Has a smaller collection of Franco-American church registries and much historical and genealogical resources related to early Maine.
    • UMaine Raymond H. Fogler Library

    • Franco American Library

    Town/State: Orono, Maine
    County: Penobscot
    Franco American Library is a resource catalog dedicated to the study of Franco American history and life. This virtual collection of materials provides information about genealogies, novels, essays, journal articles, newspapers, and other resources relevant to Franco American studies, indicating in what archives these resources might be found. The majority of Franco American Library's catalog materials are viewable at the Franco-American Centre at the University of Maine.
    article about

    American Canadian Genealogical Society in Manchester NH

    Founded in Manchester, New Hampshire in 1973, the Society is there to serve your genealogical research needs.

    Genforum, presented by, is the largest genealogy message board site.  
    This url will give you an overview of the services:
    "  •    Look for others researching the same family lines
        •    Swap research tips
        •    Help others look up records in your county
        •    Search for hard-to-find data
        •    Enjoy the great benefits of genealogists working together!" New users
              This url will take you directly to the message board home page:

    • PRDH  The Research Program in Historical Demography

    This site has some free basic searches and fee-based detailed searches.  "This objective has been realized in the form of a computerized population register, composed of biographical files on all individuals of European ancestry who lived in the St. Lawrence Valley. The file for each individual gives the date and place of birth, marriage(s), and death, as well as family and conjugal ties with other individuals. This basic information is complemented by various socio-demographic characteristics drawn from documents: socio-professional status and occupation, ability to sign his or her name, place of residence, and, for immigrants, place of origin."
    • Genealogy of the French in North America to 1750
    • Our Origins
    • Rootsweb

    • Family History Centers LDS/Mormons
    Prince Edward Island's

    Acadian Genealogy links

    • American Canadian Genealogical Society


    Ne-Do-Ba   (Friends)
    Exploring & Sharing the Wabanaki History of Interior New England

    Genetics and Ancestry
    "The mission of the International Society of Genetic Genealogy is to advocate for and educate about the use of genetics as a tool for genealogical research, and promote a supportive network for genetic genealogists."

    Isogg page about FTDNA's Family Finder
    The Family Finder is a new Autosomal DNA test from Family Tree DNA which was launched in February 2010.
    Family Finder uses in excess of 700,000 Autosomal SNPs to help find relatives from all parts of one's family tree. Previously, DNA genealogy tests could only tell a person about a small part of their family tree based on DNA from the Y chromosome and mitochondria. By using Autosomal DNA (abbreviated as atDNA), Family Finder can trace any ancestral line, no matter where it is in the family tree. The test identifies matching segments of DNA. The size and number of shared segments will help to predict the possible relationship.... 

    • Family Tree DNA– Numerous dna projects, family finder, Y-DNA, mtdna, warrior gene.
    • Family Tree DNA is dedicated to helping genealogists find lost relatives when the paper trail hits a brick wall. Our service was created for the serious amateurs and the professional genealogists who wish to extend their family trees by confirming a link where no conventional source records exist.
    • 23 and ME – Comprehensive dna testing for ancestry and health
    • Gain insight into your traits, from baldness to muscle performance. Discover risk factors for 97 diseases. Know your predicted response to drugs, from blood thinners to coffee. And uncover your ancestral origins

    General Genealogy Websites 
    • – U.S. census, immigration, military and much more.
    • – Find Your Family Name in Historical Documents
    • Ellis Island – New York immigration records, 1892-1924.
    • Steve Morse One-Step Tools – One-step tools that make it easier to search various genealogy websites.
    • Cyndi’s List – Portal to over 250,000 genealogy-related websites.
    • RootsWeb – Message boards, email lists, user-contributed genealogy databases and more
    Jewish Genealogy Websites 
    • JewishGen – Home of Jewish genealogy research on the web.
    • JRI-Poland – Indexes to Jewish records from many areas of Poland
    • Tracing the Tribe – Schelly Dardashti’s award-winning Jewish Genealogy blog

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