Historical Documents: Community Covenant, Andover, Maine

Historical documents are particularly useful when researching family history. They take us to a point in time and to an era and can give insight into how groups of people handled complex and every day decisions. They also shine a light on the path our ancestors took in forming beliefs and customs—what is referred to contemporarily with an all encompassing vagueness as “our core beliefs”. One such principle of the United States is religious freedom.

In my family history is a group of my ancestors, led by Ezekiel Merrill, who were the first European settlers of an area of Maine where they founded the town of Andover. They first broke ground on a property, now known as Merrill house, in 1792.

In 1822 Ezekiel, his son Ezekiel Jr. and the adult men of Andover gathered and signed a covenant establishing their religious community. A print of the document hangs in my house:

Historical Documents Andover Maine Community Covenant

A partial transcription:


Translating Old Family Tree Data Files

The challenge of translating old family tree data files with current software happens in all digital areas of interest and for do-it-yourselfers this problem can be particularly vexing— or exhilarating depending on how you feel about being your own IT person. Before getting into a few tips on file format translation for family tree applications I will note that my best practice method for having files stay accessible is to always invest in the latest and most flexible application that you can find and afford to do the original job. Subsequently, I try to convert files as technology changes rather than many years later as there may be nothing available to open your original files.

Pursuit of genealogy, family history and archives is time consuming. The tasks of scanning, labeling & organizing files and entering information into a family tree database can be endless. I do lots of photo scanning, repair and file organization for clients


Story Tree

Story Tree Digital file created by Chandler Designs, Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Contact Chandler Designs for permission to use this file
Illustrate a slice of your family story with a Story Tree. ©2016 All Rights Reserved.

Chandler Designs is introducing a custom design service for Family Tree charts—the Story Tree—as well as expanding our archival printing services.

With added text and images a family tree chart can become a Story Tree. We can now print them up to seventeen inches by ten feet long.

As I write this it is 4th of July weekend 2016, a great holiday to visit with family, friends and neighbors and reflect on the American story. This is also a great time to look at your family’s history along with America’s and retell the story of what brought your family to this great country.