The Pioneer Valley History Network – Western Massachusetts

I’m promoting this event here on my blog to announce that there will be many interesting presentations from a wide variety of historians and genealogists from around Western Massachusetts and beyond. One of those presenters will be me! I’ll be highlighting the history of Springfield Massachusetts from its founding as a colonial plantation in 1636 to the third largest city in Massachusetts. I’ll feature William Pynchon, a successful businessman, pioneer, diplomat, civic and religious leader who ultimately turned over his New World fortunes to his son, John. My own great grandfather, Deacon Samuel Chapin, was also a high profile figure in this story and worked closely with Pynchon and other figures who caused Springfield to remain an important factor in the growth of the city. More about him in future posts. 

Deacon Samuel Chapin

Deacon Samuel Chapin (1598 – 1675)

Here’s the announcement:

The Pioneer Valley History Network (Western Massachusetts) proudly announces History Camp Pioneer Valley to be held on Saturday, July 30, 2016 at the Kittredge Center at Holyoke Community College. Click for a map.

This will be a gathering of history enthusiasts, high school age and up, for a day of learning and sharing.

Based on the “un-conference” model developed by History Camp Boston, this will be the first event of this kind in the western part of Massachusetts. What is an “un-conference”? In short, it’s a self-organizing conference. People who share a common interest get together and create the framework for the event.

  • The topics that are presented are the ones of interest to the presenters.

  • No committee will “screen” the topics and requesting a time-slot is easy.

  • The sessions that are well-attended are the ones that are of interest to the attendees. Anyone can present.

It’s an incredibly democratic way to gather and share information.

To encourage participation by everyone, this first

“History Camp Pioneer Valley” will have no Conference Fee!

However, participants will be encouraged at the event to make a voluntary contribution to cover the cost of the conference. The goal is to break even – there are no paid staff, no paid speakers, and no one will profit. We anticipate the “break even” point to be $15 – $30 per person, depending upon turnout.

There will also be plenty of opportunity for networking and an exhibit area for selling books and other history-related products. There is no specific theme, but please, no political diatribes or sales pitches for a commercial product or service. Other than that, the sky is the limit.

For more information and register to attend or present, go to:

History Camp – Pioneer Valley


Click here to read about the Pioneer Valley History Network



2 thoughts on “The Pioneer Valley History Network – Western Massachusetts

  1. Donarita Priddle Vocca

    Hi! I am also a Chapin descendant and all of my American ancestors are from New England I stumbled on your blog today and I would love to receive it if possible. Guess the big Springfield event is over and I hope that it was a huge success! Oddly enough I live in MO but am, at the moment, I am visiting my son in MA in “the notch”
    Hope to hear from you soon!

    1. Dave Robison Post author

      Hello Cousin! Sorry for the delayed response. I have been remiss in keeping up with my own blog! If the “big Springfield event” you refer to is the New England Regional Genealogical Consortium’s biennial conference. See It will take place in April of 2017 from the 27th to the 29th. Not the biggest genealogical conference but by far, not the smallest. We expect in excess of 1,000 paid attendees, 50 or so speakers, 50 or so exhibitors and 50 or so volunteers from sponsoring organization to keep it running!

      It’s too bad I wasn’t paying attention, I would have loved to have met yet another cousin…there are thousands of us!!! See where there a a few hundred members but who have contributed thousands of their ancestors to establish their descendancy from the Deacon. I’m writing a history of his descendants which should be ready in a few months. I suppose I should blog about that as well. I know the Wood Museum of Springfield History and Archives would like a copy for the shelves and a few Chapin Family organizations would like one as well.

      Feel free to contact me directly at dave (at) oldbones (dot) info. I’ve coded it a bit to avoid the web crawlers….I get enough spam and phishing emails as it is!!


Leave a Reply