Upcoming Meetings 2024


Meetings 2024


Date: January 23, 2024 – Virtual Meeting
Presenter: Sara Campbell
“Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” – Who was John Erving of Boston who gave his name to the Town of Erving? What were the other Central Mass towns that he left his fingerprints on?

Sara Campbell will discuss the wide range of sources she found, in collaboration with Philip Johnson. Have you looked for an ancestor in the Acts and Resolves of the Commonwealth? Do you know where to find Colonial newspapers? How about academic archives? We will explore many areas where this prominent family was found.

Sara Campbell brings her engineering training into solving genealogical problems. She is an author, editor, blogger, and educator through the non-credit offerings of local colleges. A member of her local Historical Society, she has brought history programming into the schools. She believes that knowing more about “ordinary” people from the past helps us see our own place in history. Recent virtual conference experience includes the New England Regional Genealogical Consortium (NERGC), and the Massachusetts Genealogical Council, as well as virtual programs at many libraries and genealogical societies in New England.


Date: February 27, 2024 – CMGS in conjunction with the Leominster Public Library – Virtual Meeting
“The Case of Martha Sleeper – The Gadget Girl” – Escape Room
Presented by Thomas MacEntee

Accidentally, you are locked in at the Leominster Public Library after hours. It seems that you fell asleep in a cubicle while researching the history of bakelite jewelry from the 1930s and 1940s. Your current research subject is Martha Sleeper, who was known not only as a film and stage actor, but also as a jewelry designer. Some of her designs were produced by the New England Novelty Company in Leominster. You MUST complete your research on Martha Sleeper by answering a set of questions related to her genealogy and family history. USE THIS FORM AT https://forms.gle/4KiygsZMzzbWDE1w9. Sharpen those research skills by researching NOW and then participate in the “actionable genealogy education” event on Tuesday, 2/27 @ 7 PM!

NOTE: You are allowed to use ANY online sites for GENEALOGY research; most clues can be found on Ancestry at https://www.ancestry.com and FamilySearch at https://www.familysearch.com. And if you “cheat” by simply using Google to find information, you are only cheating yourself out of an amazing story of an amazing woman. 

ZOOM LINK for participation in the answer reveal: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82137212466?pwd=dE51SHNmZTBPZm45MXJxTmY0MjQ0UT09


Date: March 26, 2024 – Annual Dinner Meeting – Hope Lodge, 42 Central Street, Gardner, MA
“New England Lighthouses and the People Who Kept Them”Dinner is at 6:00 PMHybrid Meeting at 7:00 PM

Speaker: Jeremy D’Entremont

A native of Massachusetts, Jeremy grew up on the coast near Boston where his love for lighthouses was inspired by the famous historian Edward Rowe Snow and his fascinating stories about lighthouses and the sea. When Jeremy worked in television, he produced an award-winning series about Snow’s life, which further “hooked” him, and soon he was giving tours at Boston Light.

The beauty of lighthouses captivated him and he became an avid lighthouse photographer. But as he learned about the human history of the lighthouses – the keepers and their families, he became involved in their preservation. He has authored or co-authored over twenty books and hundreds of articles on lighthouses and maritime history, founded Friends of Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouses, and is the historian of the American Lighthouse Foundation. He will have books available for those who wish to purchase them at the program. Jeremy D’Entremont has been called the leading expert on New England’s historic lighthouses. He is the author or co-author of more than 20 books, including The Lighthouses of Maine, The Lighthouses of Massachusetts, The Lighthouses of Rhode Island, The Lighthouses of Connecticut, Great Shipwrecks of the Maine Coast, The Lighthouse Handbook: New England, All About Nubble Light, and Ocean-Born Mary: The Truth Behind a New Hampshire Legend.


More information about the Annual Dinner Meeting: The cost is $12.00 per person – Please RSVP by March 20, 2024 -Send checks to CMGS, PO Box 811, Westminster, MA 01473-0811 OR pay by PayPal at cmgso.org – Remember to include the names with your registration.

MENU: Tossed Garden Salad with Croutons and assorted salad dressings, Oven Roasted BBQ Chicken, Mashed Potatoes (no instant), Dinner Rolls, Roasted Carrots, Coffee, Tea, Water , Other Flavored Drink, Cake


Date: April 23, 2024 -Hope Lodge – Hybrid Meeting
Hope Lodge, 42 Central Street, Gardner, MA
Speaker: Gena Philbert-Ortega – Topic: “Records That Tragedy Leave Behind”

Gena Philibert-Ortega is an author, researcher, and instructor whose focus is genealogy, social and women’s history. She holds a Master’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies (Psychology and Women’s Studies) and a Master’s degree in Religion. Her published works include two books, numerous articles published in magazines and online, as well as five editions of the Tracing Your Ancestors series from Morsehead Publishing. Her writings can be found on her blogs, Gena’s Genealogy and Food.Family.Ephemera as well as the GenealogyBank blog. She has presented to diverse groups worldwide including the Legacy Family Tree Webinar series. Her current research includes women’s repatriation and citizenship in the 20th century, foodways and community in fundraising cookbooks, and women’s material culture.


Date: May 28, 2024 -Hope Lodge – Hybrid Meeting
Hope Lodge, 42 Central Street, Gardner, MA
Speaker: Richard Reid – Topic: “Have a Computer, Will Document-A Review of Genealogy Software for Windows and Mac”

Richard Reid is the director of both the Friends of Irish Research and the David Allen Lambert Library which is based in Brocton, MA.    Once you have started collecting family information and documents, there has to be a way to keep it organized and have the ability to generate a presentation book.   Most of the online subscription services have some of these tools but having it at your fingertips on your own computer is priceless.