ISSUU – Another Genealogical Tool?

I’ve seen ISSUU before, but I have never had a chance to really explore it. I thought I’d give it a look and see what I might find there.

I was amazed. A simple search for “Genealogy Maine” brought up about 11,000 results.[i] I quickly found that “Discover Maine” magazine has a regular feature, “The Genealogy Corner” by Charles Francis. The “Welcome Guide to Franklin County, Maine” let me know that the Strong Historical Society has a display of the town’s saga as the “Toothpick Capital of the World.” There is also a regular magazine, “The Downeast Shamrock” which is “A Monthly Journal of Irish Heritage and Genealogy in Maine, New England, the Northeast, and Canada. A very interesting publication.

On Issuu, you can clip individual articles, share an article through Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, email and more. You can also create “stacks” for your magazines. For example, you could create a stack just for “The Downeast Shamrock.”

Sadly, you can’t download any of the books or magazines as PDFs; however, knowing the title you can sometimes find a PDF version on the internet.

I will definitely add ISSUU to my research sites. There will often be too many items but if you are specific in your searches and you might find a real gem.


[i] ISSUU provides thumbnail results that are not numbered.  I used a google search “Genealogy Maine” to provide the approximate number.
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Social Networking for Genealogy

Title slide for
“Social Networking for Genealogists”
I’ll be giving a presentation on “Social Networking for Genealogy” to the Greater Portland Chapter of the Maine Genealogical Society on August 1. This will be the first presentation I have done since moving from Smyrna last year; I am really looking forward to it.
I attended a “Social Networking” presentation a couple years ago (in Georgia) and felt that I could do a much better job than that speaker did. The biggest issue that I had with that presentation was that the speaker talked about his family tree excessively and he didn’t tie his findings to social networking. In other words, he didn’t keep to the topic – an issue I often have with speakers. Anyway, I’ll be talking about some techniques I use and will speak of some of my social networking successes. I will stay on topic and, hopefully, people will enjoy the talk.
I’ll probably post my slides to “Social Networking for Genealogists,” my Pinterest board sometime after the presentation.
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Jump Hunting and the Maine Register


Painting by Henry Thomas Alken
[Public domain]
My foster father, Duane Olson, took me hunting when I was in high school. He liked to “jump-shoot” ducks. He knew places where there were likely to be ducks. We would then stalk the ducks at those locations. Once we got close, we would “jump” the ducks into the air. We’d get a couple birds most every time.Often my genealogical efforts use the same method. First, it helps to know where the information might be. Then, I stalk the places and “bag” my information.

I was recently at a genealogical conference and saw a copy of the Maine Register. I was immediately struck with how useful the book could be. After I got home, I looked to see if there were on-line copies of the book. There were. I found three editions on Archive.Org:

Maine Register, State Year-Book and Legislative Manual

1887-1888 –
1891-1892 –
1912 –

Maine Register #43 (1912)
Page opposite of 889

I don’t have many trees that have Maine roots, but I thought I’d take a quick and see if the Maine Register would shed light onto the families that I do have. I pulled up the 1912 edition to see what I could find. Sure enough – there were over twenty entries on a “Bickford” search and nearly as many for “Whitten.” Briefly looking at the search results, I saw noticed several known ancestors in the findings. I also found an interesting company, the Swan-Whitten-Bickford Co., wholesale grocers in Belfast[i]. I would speculate there must be some kind of connection between that company and the Whitten-Bickford marriage twenty-five years later.

Thanks to the Maine Register, I’ve jump-shot the ducks. Next, I need to clean them, and then cook them. (Document and interpret the findings.)

If you use the Maine Register, great! If you aren’t using it yet, I highly recommend adding it to your list of important sources to “jump shoot” when you are hunting for information on your Maine ancestors.

I’ll bet other states have them too.  If you know of a similar book for another state, please let me know by posting a comment below.

[i] Maine Register, State Year-Book and Legislative Manual – No. 43 – July 1912, Published by Grenville M. Donham, Portland, Maine, 1912. Accessed via (
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