• 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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    • Welcome to the Central Massachusetts Genealogical Society, Inc.
    • CMGS was founded 29 June 1993 in Gardner, Massachusetts.
    • Membership is open to all those interested in family history.
    • We meet January through November on the fourth Tuesday of each month from 7:00 to 9:00PM.
    • Membership extends from January to December.
    • Our members are always happy to help those just starting with genealogy or with questions for finding their ancestors.
    • Guests are welcome for a $2.00 donation.
    • Please use the navigation menu to see further details about our organization.
  • Researching Maritime Ancestors in the National Archives
  • Did Grandma Have a Filling Station?
  • Mining the Rich Genealogical Resources of Western Massachusetts


Date:  February 23, 2016

"Researching Maritime Ancestors in the National Archives"

Speaker:  Jake Fletcher

The National Archives (NARA) may very well hold a document providing your ancestor was in fact the seamen or famed shipmaster you heard of in family traditions. This presentation explains records of the U.S. Customs Service and related federal record groups used in maritime genealogy and important online resources for locating ancestors. Genealogist Jake Fletcher will be able to answer questions about researching at the National Archives field branch in Waltham, Massachusetts and how to effectively prepare for accessing their collections.

Jake Fletcher is a genealogist, historian, and blogger from Lunenburg, Massachusetts. Jake has been researching and writing about genealogy since 2008 on his research blog Travelogues of a Genealogist. He currently volunteers as a research assistant at the National Archives in Waltham, Massachusetts and is Vice President of the New England Association of Professional Genealogists (NEAPG).

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March 22, 2016

"Did Grandma Have a Filling Station? - Recovering Hidden History from Married Women's Business Certificates"

Speakers:  Sara Campbell & Shari Strahan

Laws governing the rights of married women were changing in the late 1800s. Women who entered into a business in their own names were required to register these businesses with the Town or City Clerk. Sara and Shari have digitized the records found at the Gardner and Greenfield Clerk's vaults and analyzed them to see how they fit in local history. There were a wide range of endeavors, from farming to retail shops to manufacturing. Who were these women? Why did they do what they did? Using historic newspapers, business directories, census and vital records we will retell these forgotten stories of enterprising women in our region.

Sara Campbell has been researching her own family for 25 years. She has taught classes on genealogical topics at Greenfield and Holyoke Community Colleges and has presented for many regional genealogical societies. Sara and Shari host a monthly gathering of researchers at the library in Turners Falls. Shari Strahan specializes in French Canadian research and has also taught at GCC. These research partners have combined their skills to dig into several historic topics over the past three years. They combine their unique approaches to provide a richer analysis.

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Date:  April 26, 2016

"Mining the Rich Genealogical Resources of Western Massachusetts"

Speaker:  Dave Robison

Dave Robison, owner of Old Bones Genealogy of New England, is a professional genealogist from Western Massachusetts.  A frequent lecturer, he offers a variety of presentations and workshops, both live and virtual throughout New England and the U.S.  He was also a speaker at the 2015 NERGC conference and serves as a Tri-Chair for the 2017 NERGC conference in Springfield.

He holds a Certificate in Genealogical Research from Boston University and is currently completing the ProGen program.  Dave is an active member of the CMGS, MCG, CNYGS and Toastmasters.  He also volunteers at the Museum of Springfield History and Archives as well as the regular genealogy clinics at the Chicopee Library.  He is the Vice President of the Western Massachusetts Genealogical Society.

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