July 6th, 2015

History is Alive at the Library!

chautauquaIt’s not apple pie. It’s not quilting, baseball, or rock n’ roll, either. No, “the most American thing in America,” according to former president Teddy Roosevelt, is Chautauqua.


Before television, radio, and car travel, cultural and educational entertainment was not easily attained by folks living in rural areas. In 1874 at Lake Chautauqua in upstate New York, “Chautauqua” was born, a week-long event packed with music, lectures, and other cultural opportunities. Its popularity gave birth to a movement, and towns all over America hosted Chautauqua events up until the mid-1920s.

Experience the resurgence of this American tradition, right here in Cecil County! Join us on Saturday, July 11th at 6pm for a special, after-hours event at the Elkton Central Library.

Emmy-winning actress and educator Gwendolyn Briley-Strand brings Olympian Wilma Rudolph to life in this one-woman living history performance. Rudolph was the first American woman to win three gold medals in track and field during a single Olympic Games, a feat accomplished in spite of her childhood battle with polio. The living history performance is preceded by harp music played by local musician, Jessica Whelan.

Reserve your spot today!

Chautauqua is sponsored by the Maryland Humanities Council with support by Delmarva Power.

Photo credit: Window on Cecil County’s Past

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October 28th, 2014

Uncover Your Family History

genealogyDid you know that if you go back 10 generations in your family tree, you have 1,024 direct-line ancestors? Ten generations may sound like a lot, but if you were born in 1950, ten generations may only bring you back to 1700 – a little over 300 years ago! Direct-line ancestors only include parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, and so on, so each of those 1,024 people directly contributed to your existence.

For some, researching their family tree helps them connect with the past and make sense of where they fit in the scheme of history. For others, genealogy is a deeply emotional experience as it helps them understand where they came from, who they are, and why they do the things they do. Others find genealogy to be an invigorating game of detective, piecing together clues from documents and family lore to figure out who, what, where, and when, sometimes even why!

Whether you’re just getting started or are a seasoned researcher, the 3rd Annual Cecil County Genealogy Symposium at the Elkton Central Library on Saturday, November 8th is not to be missed. We are joined by keynote speaker James Beidler who is known on the national level for his expertise in German and Pennsylvania research.

9:00-9:30     Poster Sessions* and Registration
9:35-10:35     “Time and Place”: Using Genealogy’s “Cross Hairs” (James Beidler)
10:35-10:50     Break
10:50-11:40     Finding and Using Public Domain Books (Leah Youse)
11:45-12:00     Break
12:00-1:00     Letterpress to Digital: Historical Newspapers in Print, Microfilm, and Online (James Beidler)

*Discover the resources you have access to in our region at our poster session, a gathering of local historical and genealogical societies, including:

Upper Shore Genealogical Society of Maryland
Maryland State Archives
Maryland Department at the Enoch Pratt Free Library
Historical Society of Cecil County
Daughters of the American Revolution, Head of Elk Chapter
Delaware Genealogical Society
Family History Library

Be sure to reserve your spot at this popular event!

Sponsored by the Upper Shore Genealogical Society of Maryland

Photo courtesy the Library of Congress

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