March 18 or 19: Family History Research Coaching with Lodi Town Historian Mark Brown!

Mark will be coaching participants in this workshop how to start their own family history research and develop effective strategies to solve the genealogical mysteries in their own family trees! As a group, participants will look for clues in various vital records and public resources.

Mark is offering this FREE workshop at our library twice: Friday March 18 at 5pm & Saturday March 19 at 11am (both sessions are the same). Sign up by calling 607-582-6218, emailing, or stopping in. Let us know if you have your own device to bring or if you’ll need to borrow one of our laptops.

Mark encourages all who are attending to begin now by interviewing family members about their family history before coming to class.  Take Notes…. Write down what you and others know and most of all identify specific things you wish to learn.  Don’t skip over generations.  Start from the known and journey back to the unknown.  Mark will help you continue on your quest with suggestions for filling in the blanks- resources and strategies that you may have never considered!

In this workshop, Mark will present a few family history mysteries and review the resources used to make these family stories come to life. Participants will be asked, if they would like to share their personal stories and their research stumbling blocks so they can plan a course of action.  There will be an opportunity to ask questions and perhaps begin your own work together. 

This workshop is funded by a generous grant from the Nelson B. Delavan Foundation.

Mr. Brown’s Bio:

Growing up in a home filled with history, I heard lots of stories but never had to do the research myself.  My parents became the Lodi town and village historians and took their job quite seriously.  They even had a microfilm reader in our living room.

Ovid/South Seneca Central School: 1973 SUNY Potsdam: 1977 and a Graduate Teching assistant at Crane teaching tuba and running the basketball pep band among other duties 1979-80.

Teaching: Lake Placid Central School and the Washingtonville Central School 1980-2010. My life has been saturated with music. Adjunct SUNY New Paltz Theater Department.  Musical Composition, Organist Choir Director, Community, College and Professional Theater,  and perming with the Vermont Symphony, NY Choral Society and the NY Russian Chamber Choir.  Orchestra for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the 1980 Olympics in Lake Placid.

In 1994, I was asked to write a musical for Ovid’s 200th birthday.  I called it “Bicentennial”. To write this show I plunged deeply into local history.  Days following the performance my father passed and that’s when I began a journey with my mother to uncover the mysteries of her family’s heritage.  A family living in Lodi since 1840….prior EVERYTHING was about Lodi. My new family history searches led me through Revolutionary time, my colorful Irish ancestors to my German and Alsatian immigrants. The Browns and Viele family lore and legend, an Indian massacres and other the secret letters of “Lucinda Manville” the Mourner on the Rock. 

Retired I found myself needed a new passion, this became: Supporting the Troops and for many years from 2011 to 2015 I sent letters and care packages to deployed soldiers.

I returned home to Lodi to Live in 2014.  A long time church organist and choir director I now play for the Hector Church and much of my time is now consumed with taking care of my dogs, occasional mentoring young folk and making music. During 2021 I accepted the position as Lodi Historian. I’ll never be able to do what my parents did but I can give it my best. I’m also on the board of the Backbone Ridge History Group. 

Since the pandemic I’ve been doing a FB LIVE broadcast for the Lodi Historical Society. It currently shows each Sunday evening at 7:30 pm.