Speakers From Maine

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Pam Crane

Pamela Crane obtained a Master of Arts Degree in History (Historic Archaeology Option) from the University of Maine in 1997. Pamela meets the qualifications for an archaeologist under Federal Regulations (36 CFR 61 appendix A). She has worked in archaeology for the past 26 years throughout the northeastern United States. Her thesis project concerned the historical archaeology of the Norridgewock Mission, the site of a seventeenth through eighteenth-century French Jesuit Mission and Abenaki village. Her research interests includes New England historical archaeology, historical landscapes, ethnicity, and material culture. Some have her projects have included study Forts Lee and Pickering, Salem, Massachusetts; the Ruggles House, Columbia Falls;  and in association with the Abbe Museum, the Frenchman’s Bay Historical Sites Survey, Hancock County, Maine. Currently, her work has focused on archaeological study of the Ulster-Scots settlement in the area of Casco and Merrymeeting Bays, Maine.  Her recent projects include pedestrian survey identifying Ulster-Scots settlements of the eastern shore of Merrymeeting Bay;  study of the Mann Cemetery 1770-1943, an Ulster-Scots burial ground Freeport, Maine;  and archaeological research at the Somersett Site (ME 049-002) 1718-1722, an Ulster-Scot homestead in Bowdoinham, Maine.

Paper title:  Somersett: Portrait of Ulster-Scot Homestead on the Maine Frontier, 1718-1722

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Emerson "Tad" Baker

Emerson "Tad" Baker is interim dean of Graduate and Professional Studies and a professor of History at Salem State University. He is the award-winning author of many works on the history and archaeology of early Maine and New England, including A Storm of Witchcraft: The Salem Trials and the American Experience and The Devil of Great Island: Witchcraft and Conflict in Early New England. Baker has served as an advisor and on-camera expert for PBS-TV’s American Experience and Colonial House, as well as for documentaries on Smithsonian, National Geographic and The Learning Channel.


Fred Koerber

Fred Koerber - After a 38-year career of teaching History and Archaeology in the Brunswick school system, Koerber currently makes his livelihood as a lobsterman. An avid historian and environmental advocate, he has served on various public service committees including the Brunswick Recreation and Open Space Task Force and the Comprehensive Planning Committee. In addition, he has been a board member of the Pejepscot Historical Society, the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust, and Maine Archaeological Society. When not on the ocean, he is often actively engaged with high school and college students in local historic research projects.


Chris Sockalexis

Meet the Speakers: Chris Sockalexis, Penobscot Nation Tribal Historic Preservation Officer.

Talk Focus: Impact of 1718 on Kennebec River tribes.

Join us Wednesday, August 15, 2018 to explore the impact of 1718 on Maine's Tribes and the relationships along the frontier.

For more information or to purchase tickets visit:https://www.maineulsterscots.com/register-your-interest/

Aside from archaeology, Chris’s primary interest are kayaking and canoeing the waterways of Maine with friends and family. Chris is also an accomplished powwow singer with his drum-group The RezDogs. Chris’s current research projects include the Jones Cove shell midden in Frenchman Bay and the archaeology of the Penobscot River watershed.

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Julia Lane

Scottish and Irish based traditional music of southern Appalachia in the U.S. has received a good amount of attention, due in part to the ballad collections of Francis Child,as well as more recent publications, but there is a wealth of this same music in the folk culture of New England. Immigrants from Scotland and Northern Ireland arrived in this area from the mid 1600's developing thriving communities. They naturally brought their folkways and songs with them. In the late 19th and early 20th century song collectors ranged from the coastal communities to the woodland camps in search of vernacular songs. Journals and recordings preserved hundreds of songs many of which can be traced to ancient sources. These are preserved in archives of Maine Folklife Center, the Library of Congress, Harvard's Houghton Library, the Helen Hartness Flanders collection in Vermont, among many others, and contain well over 5000 songs. The titles, tunes and lyrics reveal that a large percentage of these songs came from Scotland and Ulster. For the last twenty years, Julia Lane, of the Maine folk music duo Castlebay, has been examining, transcribing and interpreting these collections with the intention of making them accessible to a modern audience and revealing the social history of our region through music, song, story. In addition to performing these songs in her regular concert programs, she is preparing a book of her transcriptions and a website. Julia Lane, of Round Pond Maine USA, has researched and presented traditional songs for over 40 years. With her partner Fred Gosbee, she has recorded over 20 albums and has created and performed several multi-media productions blending music, history and lore. They tour both the eastern US and the British Isles and Ireland playing at educational institutions, museums and arts centers. For more information see www.castlebay.net.

Julia also has a significant project highlighting the unique experience from Derry to Maine through a stage production called the Grand Design. 

 The Chronicle of a Scots-Irish journey to the New World

In July, 1741, a group of 200 people from Northern Ireland left Derry bound for Philadelphia. Battered by hurricane, wrecked on a desolate island and abandoned by their captain, some had the strength and courage to survive through the winter.

Based on 18th century documents and narratives, this is the story of their journey. 

Information on the Grand Design can be found here.

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Chip Griffin

Carl R. “Chip” Griffin III grew up in Boothbay Harbor from 1961 to 1973, graduated from Boothbay Region High School in 1973, and received a Ford Fellowship to teach Maine history as an undergraduate at Bowdoin College.  Chip graduated in 1977 from Bowdoin, Summa Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa, with the Highest Honors for his 288-page senior honors thesis, “History of Fishing in the Boothbay Region.” 

Chip graduated Cum Laude from the University of Maine School of Law in 1980.  He has operated his own law firm, Griffin Law Offices, in Boothbay Harbor since 1980.  Griffin Law Offices, with Chip and his four elder law/life planning and real estate paralegals and one receptionist, celebrating their 35th year, located at 59 Atlantic Avenue on the east side of the Harbor.

Chip has authored three books, Coming of Age on Damariscove Island, Maine, in 1980, a brief historical review of pre-twentieth century Damariscove Island and an oral and documented history of Damariscove from 1910 to 1922; I’m Different, in 2002, a biography of Ethelyn P. Giles and a history of our twentieth century in the Boothbay region; and co-authored Lively Stones:  The Evolution of the Congregational Church of Boothbay Harbor, Maine, from Its Origins in 1766 to 2016, in 2016.  He has published two articles in Harbor Journal, “A Distinctive Tradition of Equality in Midcoast Maine,” in volume 1 and “Safe Passage for the Children of the Guatemala City Garbage Dump,” in volume 2.  He has written and presented on many local history topics over the past 30 years. 

Since 2007, Chip has read extensively on the Scots Irish in America generally and in Midcoast Maine particularly.  More recently he has researched and written the following articles:  “Scots Irish in Boothbay” (June 17, 2009), “How Boothbay’s Scots Irish Molded Our Distinctive Culture of Equality and Liberty (January 24, 2010), “Heroes, Heretics, and Hell-Raisers:  Lincoln County Life 250 Years Ago” (February 20, 2010), “Scots Irish in Brunswick, Topsham, and Harpswell” (March 15, 2010), “Scots Irish Culture in Midcoast Maine” (April 10, 2010); and “Scots Irish in the Damariscotta and Newcastle Areas:  The Damariscotta Bridge Riot of April 3, 1806” (April 19, 2010).  More recently additional articles include “American Nations,” (2012) based on Colin Woodard’s book and also comparing our culture with other cultures; “Founding of Our Footbridge in 1901” (2013); Samuel Ball 1729-1800:  Midcoast Hell-Raiser in Balltown and Boothbay” (2015); and “Understanding the Roots of Our Community to Better Understand Our Neighbors and Ourselves.”  He is working on a history of Oak Point as well.

Chip is also very active in community service organizations, both local and global, including Rotary, Rebuilding Together, Boothbay Region Land Trust, Boothbay Region YMCA, Elder Forum, and Safe Passage in Guatemala.  He and his wife, Denise, have two children, Emily and Betsy.  In his spare time, he can be found walking on the roads and trails, or chain sawing in the woods.


John T. Mann

John T. Mann is a Professional Land Surveyor, founder, and president of Mann Associates, Inc., a land surveying and consulting firm with 43 years’ experience surveying private and municipal boundaries in southern Maine. His work has been primarily within the “Kennebec” and “Casco Bay settlement” areas. John is founder and “Chairman Emeritus” of the Maine Ulster Scots Project (MUSP). The MUSP mission is to gather and save the stories of Maine’s Ulster Scots (Scots-Irish) families and to share that information with Maine students and the public. Mr. Mann is a descendant of Scots-Irish emigrants arriving in Maine on the “Robert” in 1718. He is the author of “Ulster Scots on the Coast of Maine, Vol. 1” and various other articles.



John Mann, PLS will draw from 43 years of experience surveying property boundaries and researching ancestors in the “Casco Bay” and “Kennebec” settlement areas to present information on the relationships the Scots-Irish had with the land in Maine, colonial America’s “Eastern Frontier.” Land ownership was a primary attraction for our Scots-Irish ancestors.  John will use historic documents and maps from the period, as well as his experience “in the field,” to discuss:

- how the land was acquired,

- what obstacles needed to be overcome,

- conflicts arising from occupation,

- using the land for subsistence, creating an income, and sometimes wealth, 

 - the economics of location, and the dogged perseverance of those who won the land.

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Carol Gardner

Carol Gardner has more than 30 years’ experience as a writer, journalist and communicator. She earned a Ph.D. in English from Johns Hopkins University; taught at Johns Hopkins, Wake Forest, and Florida State Universities; and has published pieces in a wide variety of books and periodicals, including the World of Baseball series, BluePlanet QuarterlyThe Women’s Review of BooksPortland Press Herald, and The Washington Post. She is a past winner of a Maryland Individual Artists award and the author of the forthcoming narrative history, The Involuntary American: A Scottish Prisoner’s Journey, 1630–1705 (Westholme), to be released in fall of 2018. She lives in Alna, Maine.


Rev. Holly S. Morrison

 Lecture Title: “From the Kailyard to the Dooryard: Gaelic and Scots Poetry from Transatlantic Bards”

Synopsis: The old bardic traditions didn't sink under the waves, but rather re-emerged with vigor after the hard ocean crossings of Scottish and Scots-Irish immigrants. In this survey of song and poetry of the immigrant experience, we'll “keek oor lugs” to a range of bardic voices by turns wise, witty, heart-breaking, righteous, and rambunctious. Bio: Rev. Holly Morrison is a farmer-poet in the tradition of Burns, and a “righteous rememberer” in the tradition of her Highland ancestors. She has studied with Gaelic and Scots tradition-bearers on both sides of the Atlantic. Her poetry is featured in “The Smeddum Test: 20th Century Poems in Scots.” In addition to farming and screeving, she currently serves as pastor of the Phippsburg Congregational Church, United Church of Christ, in Phippsburg, Maine. 


Delia Wilson Lunsford

Delia Wilson Lunsford is a writer, web technologist and genealogist. She holds a BA in English and has
done graduate work in three fields. She has lived the past 10 years in Charlottesville, Virginia, but was
born in Georgia, the daughter of a Georgia mother and New Jersey Irish-Polish Catholic father. She has
lived in Georgia, Washington state, South Carolina, Virginia, Germany and Japan. Delia just moved from Charlottesville VA to Gardiner, Maine.

Presently working on her genealogical certification, she has also worked as an English teacher of adults,
a counselor, newspaper reporter, graphic designer and web designer/developer. She has owned an
antique store and a frame shop and is an accomplished calligrapher. She still owns/operates her own web company, WizTech, Inc., of 18 years but her research and writing now consume at least half her
time. She has published one book, The Uncommonly Common, has one about to be published on her
Vance ancestors, and is working on a third about the Alexanders of Maine.

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Mike Dekker

Growing up and residing in Mid-Coast Maine, Mike Dekker has developed a life-long passion for the region’s past. An avid student of early American history and material culture, he presents educational programs and lectures for historical societies, museums and historic sites including the Maine Historical Society, the Museums at Old York and Colonial Pemaquid. Mike is the author of the book The French and Indian Wars In Maine.

Speakers from other Areas

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Colin Brooks

Colin Brooks is a family historian and genealogist who specializes in research on the Scotch-Irish. As a lead conference speaker in Ireland, former Board member of the Scotch-Irish Society of USA, and speaker at American genealogy conferences he has shared the impact of the early Scotch-Irish in American history. With roots in the original Londonderry families of 1718, he realized the absence of source material and focused family research on the 1718 emigrants. In 2004, Colin began to develop the "1718 Project". Much like the earlier "Mayflower Project", this work documents the first families of 1718  Scotch-Irish to America. From Maine to South Carolina, the project has found families who made their influence felt throughout America. This project now extends back to Ulster, and has included work with media from BBC Radio to Ulster TV and BBC TV and local Ulster newspapers. Colin will be presenting a unique and challenging presentation based on 18th century material and family histories that show our Scotch-Irish families "in a factual light versus the historical fiction" used by many modern authors. 

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Robert "Bob" Starratt

Robert "Bob" Starratt has been doing family history research since he was 16 and for the past 20 years has taught courses in family, local and military history for the City of Edinburgh, as well as for East Lothian and West Lothian Councils. He holds post-graduate university qualifications in history and public administration, as well as a Certificate in Teaching Adult Learners. He has lectured on Scottish, Irish and English family history topics throughout Britain, Ireland, Canada and the USA. A regular participant at family history conferences, including Who Do You Think You Are? Live, he also does professional historical research and leads historical-cultural tours.