• Join Us

    Cost of Annual Membership: Individual: $15.00 Family: $20.00; Organization: $25.00 Read More
  • Meetings

    Meetings are held from 7:00pm to 9:00pm at the American Legion Post #129, 22 Elm Street, Gardner, MA 01440 Read More
  • Publications

    Members of CMGS have compiled several publications. Read More
  • Links

    Links to Genealogy Resources Read More
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Date:  June 27, 2017

Annual Dinner Meeting

"Isaiah Thomas - Patriot Printer"

Theatrical performance by Neil Gustafson

The Isaiah Thomas - Patriot Printer program will be brought to life by an interactive theatrical performance by professional actor, Neil Gustafson. in this performance Thomas's own story and the history of the nation's founding will be told through a selection of documents created or collected by Thomas. All the historic documents and graphic images described in the theatrical presentation come from the collections of the American Antiquarian Society, a national research library of the American history, literature and culture.

Neil Gustafson is a member of both Actors Equity and the Screen Adtors Guild - American Federation of Television, and Radio Artists. His list of credits includes work with the Worcester Foothills Theatre Company, the Wheelock Family Theater, the Lyric Stage and other regional theatre companies. Gustafson also has extensive experience performing for young audiences, having toured nationally for three years with the Chamber Theatre Company, and presenting Isaiah Thomas in schools since 2001.

  • Justices of the Peace: Miscellany, Mischief, Marriages, and More!
  • Remembering the Salem Witch Trials: The Limits and Possibilities of Public History
  • How Fitchburg's Abolitionists Preserved the True Meaning of the Civil War for Seven Decades


Date:  August 22, 2017

"Justices of the Peace:  Miscellany, Mischief, Marriages, and More!"

Speaker:  Diane Gravel

Diane Florence Gravel is a Certified Genealogist, who began her genealogical journey about 1995 when she stumbled upon some online lessons and census records and, as a self-proclaimed library nerd, she decided she wanted to do genealogy research professionally.

To augument her self-studies and personal experience, Diane has attended numerous conferences and workshops and has taken courses through the Institute of Genealogical and Historical Research, the National Institute on Genealogical Research, the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy and the National Genealogical Society. As a professional genealogist, she has held various positions, both nationally and regionally, as a genealogy speaker, library trustee, society board member and most recently as the President of the new Hampshire Society of Genealogists. Diane was also a guest speaker at the 2017 NERGC recently held in Springfield, MA.


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Date:  September 26, 2017

"Remembering the Salem Witch Trials:  The Limits and Possibilities of Public History"

Speaker:  Benjamin Railton, PhD

Ben Railton is a Professor of English Studies and the Coordinator of American Studies at Fitchburg State University. He is the author of four books, most recently History and Hope in American Literature: Models of Critical Patriotism (2016). He writes the daily AmericanStudier blog, is a frequent contributor to Huffington PostWe're History, and many other sites, and is a member of the Scholars Strategy Network.

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Date:  October 24, 2017

"How Fitchburg's Abolitionists Preserved the True Meaning of the Civil War for Seven Decades"

Speaker:  Darren Barry

Despite the nation's deliberate whitewashing of the civil War's fundamental issues of slavery and racial equality, the small town of Fitchburg, Massachusetts remembered the country's greatest conflict and a mission to preserve the Union and to free four million slaves from bondage. In this provocative presentation Darren Barry examines the individuals and families that made up Fitchburg's abolitionist community and how they worked to preserve the true meaning of the Civil War over the course of seven decades.

Darren Barry is a local historian and high school history teacher. His first published work, "The Unity of the Republic and the Freedom of an Oppressed Race: Fitchburg's Civil War Soldiers' Monument, 1874" appears in the January 2017 issue of the Historical Journal of Massachusetts.

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