AUBURN — The Androscoggin Historical Society will host a genealogy conference at 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 9, at the Auburn Public Library.

The presentations by Helen A. Shaw and Stephanie Hawkins will be held in the Community Room at 49 Spring St.

Shaw, former president of the Maine Genealogical Society, will present “Gravestones: A Reflection of New England History.” The stones reflect the social, religious and ethnic makeup of a community. The talk will include a discussion of the types of material used in marking graves over the centuries, including variations based on local availability and changing social beliefs in what was “modern.”

Shaw is legislative liaison for the Maine Old Cemetery Association and Maine’s liaison to the Records Preservation and Access Committee, where she has been active in issues concerning cemetery preservation and vital records access for family members. She holds degrees in anthropology from Ohio State University and the University of Michigan. As an anthropologist, her approach to genealogy is that of a community-wide study. Shaw has been doing family history for over 40 years.

Hawkins will speak about the Family History Centers of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The centers are an incredible source of local information as well as providing access to the main library in Salt Lake City and some pay sites on the Internet. They provide access to records of every type.

Hawkins, who earned a Bachelor of Arts in history at the University of Southern Maine in Portland, is working on a master’s degree in the same field. She has been involved in genealogy for more than 30 years and has volunteered at the Centers since 1988. She will provide information about what can be found there and helpful hints on maximizing research experience.

Admission is free, although donations are accepted. For more information about the Androscoggin Historical Society, call 207-784-0586.

Helen A. Shaw, former president of the Maine Genealogical Society, will speak at the Auburn Public Library on Feb. 9.


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