Sunday, November 30, 2008

Reminder: Genealogy Consultant Orientation

Here's reminder of the orientation sessions we have scheduled for PGS Genealogy Consultants. If you are curious about what the job entails, one of these sessions will fill you in. Consulting is a great way to help out fellow genealogists as well as to hone your own research skills and become fully familiar with what our library has to offer. Here are the three sessions to be conducted in the genealogy department of the Largo Library:

2 Dec., 12 PM
5 Dec., 12 PM
9 Dec., 10 AM

No advanced notice is necessary, just show up and join in.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Want to be a census worker?

For all of you who have ever complained about the quality of census documents, here's your chance to do something about a census worker for the 2010 census.

There are both part-time and full-time jobs in the Tampa Bay Area. Individuals will be compensated for participating in training, if selected for employment. Mileage is reimbursed and wages are paid weekly.

Applicants must take and pass a basic skills test (Copies of a practice test are at the reference desk of the Largo Library). Bring to the testing session either your U.S. Passport, current, or expired; or a Driver’s License or State issued ID card AND a U.S. social security card. Testing is conducted at St. John’s Episcopal, in the Parish Hall Tuesday’s at 9:00 a.m. on the following dates:
December 2, 16 and 30,
January 13 and 27,
February 10 and 24,
March 10 and 24.

For additional information and to schedule a test, please call toll free 1-866-861-2010.

St. John’s Episcopal Church
1676 S. Belcher Rd.
Clearwater, FL 33764

Directions: Located in northern Pinellas County, Florida, St. John's is on Belcher Road, about 1 milewest of US 19, between East Bay Drive and Belleair Road. Belcher Road runs parallel toUS 19 (the main north/south arterial in Pinellas County).

Here's a couple of interesting interviews

Dick Eastman recently conducted interviews of two people notable in the world of genealogy: Craig Scott and John Titford. Those interviews are now available on Roots Television if you are interested.

Craig Scott is President and CEO of Heritage Books, Inc. as well as an expert in military records, Scottish ancestry and a number of other topics. He talks about his experiences in publishing 3,200 genealogy books, as well as his genealogy research expertise. You can watch the video at

John Titford is a well-known British genealogy expert, author and lecturer. He has recently completed the project of rewriting The Penguin Dictionary of Surnames. He also talks about his experience with Louisiana culture & history. You can watch the video at:

Monday, November 24, 2008

New City Directories on

This was recently posted on the 24-7 Family History Circle Blog: has posted 1,100 U.S. city directories to its Collection. This addition, with an estimated 50 million names, covers some large cities such as New York City and Brooklyn. There are directories for quite a few large cities, as well as some smaller ones, with coverage typically from the 1880s through around 1900, which neatly bridges that gap left by the missing 1890 Census. These directories are, in fact, part of the 1890 Census Substitute Collection at Ancestry.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Genealogy Gifts

With the holidays coming up and the need to find gifts for friends and family, don't forget gifts that have a genealogy theme to them. They are a great way to stimulate interest in the subject. There are several websites with genelogy gift to look at that give you a selection of light-hearted gifts is Genealogy magazine subscriptions also make a good gift, and of course there is always genealogy software if you want to dive into the deep end of the pool.

The PGS also has some great gifts you can purchase...our collection of instructional CD-Rom's. Just go to the PGS website <> and click on "publications" to get to a list of the titles currently available.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Looking for Genealogy Consultants

What you see to the right is our consultant schedule with only the openings shown. Those are the 3-hour blocks where we have no one on duty at the genealogy desk in the Largo Library. In case its confusing, "AFT" stands for afternoon, and "NITE" means night.

We need to cover these time periods. Patrons rely on PGS consultants to aid them in using the library resources. Don't worry about how much you will receive training, and we will team you with an experienced consultant until you feel confident to go it on your own.

If you want to volunteer and wish to do so during a time when we already have a consultant on duty, that's all right...we would like to have depth at each time slot. And don't worry if you must miss a time or two. This is not an Army enlistment, we will just work around absences.

Contact me if you wish to participate (272-535-3093; Take it from me and the other consultants: this is a very rewarding way to spend your time.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Full Text Newspapers Available at the Library of Congress

A short while ago I put a notice similar to this one on the Blog....and it was wrong...the referenced website was a pay site. So let me try again.

A while ago, the Library of Congress announced that "Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers" is debuting with more than 226,000 pages of public-domain newspapers from California, Florida, Kentucky, New York, Utah, Virginia and the District of Columbia published between 1900 and 1910. The fully-searchable site is available at

When you reach that site, right in the middle of the screen will be a box labeled "Search Pages." If you click on that you will be taken to a search form and eventually to the image of the target newspaper.

Good Luck.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Discussion Leader Wanted

This is something to consider. There is a genealogy discussion group which meets the second Saturday of every month at the West St. Petersburg Community Library on the Gibbs Campus of the St. Petersburg College (that's at the corner of 67th Street North and 8th Avenue. It generally sees attendance of from 6 to 12 people. Charlie Grandmaison, one of our members, is supporting that group, but the "formal" leader has been Susan Hickok. Unfortunately, an accident resutled in Susan's death recently, and so the group now needs a leader/coordinator. The group was established to serve the genealogical interests of those who live a bit south of us, but it also encourages membership in the PGS. The PGS directly supports the group by attending some of the meetings and also by making presentations and extolling the virutes of PGS membership. That support, although appreciated, is not sufficient to keep the group going, however.

So....if you live down in that area and would like to help lead that discussion group, let me know. Call me at 727-535-3093 or send an email to

Manasota Genealogical Society meeting announcement

Here is a notice I just received from the Manasota Genealogical Society about their up-coming meeting:
>Date: TUESDAY, December 2, 2008
>Where: Manatee Central Library, 1301 Barcarrota Blvd.
>West Bradenton, Florida
>Time: 9:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
>Guest Speaker: ALEX MORRIS from the Sarasota Genealogical Society will speak on “The Most Important Moment in American History: George Washington’s Resignation from the Army” anouncement

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Documentation and Evidence ala Elizabeth Shown Mills

Many of you may be familiar with the name Elizabeth Shown Mills. She is the author of several genealogy books, two of which are Evidence and Evidence Explained. Those are two volumes we reference in our class on "Documenting Your Sources."

She was recently interviewed by Dick Eastman and the interview was poster at Roots TV. Use the following link to see that interview. She has interesting things to say about her books, the need to evaluate sources, and what her current projects are:

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Family Tree Maker 2009 Free "Webinar"

If you are interested in Family Tree Maker 2009, you might be interested in an upcoming "webinar" on this software. Here is the blurb describing the event:

“Family Tree Maker 2009 – What’s New and What’s Coming”
Get up close and personal with’s newest version of award–winning family tree–building software, Family Tree Maker 2009. We’ll give you an overview of its new features, preview what’s in the works for the upcoming year and give you tips and tricks to help you use Family Tree Maker to grow your family tree.

There will be a 20–minute Q&A session afterward. We’ll also be answering questions that have been submitted from the Family Tree Maker community. To submit a question, please visit the Family Tree Maker blog.

Check it out at FTM 2009 Webinar.

Speakers for PGS meeting on 15 November.

Remember the PGS general meeting (open to the public) at 11 AM on 15 November at the Largo Public Library. This month Jim and Terry Wilbur will be our speakers.

Jim and Terry have shared a love of genealogy since their high school days together. Both are retired teachers. They have researched their genealogy back 15 generations on both sides. Jim has found ancestors who fought on opposite sides of the French and Indian War, and both found that they were 6th cousins through their French-Canadian heritage. You might remember them as “hosts” on the PBS series Ancestors.

PGS is pleased and excited to have been able to secure them to speak with us on Franco-American/ French Canadian (meaning Quebecois) Research. The focus is on the descendants and ancestors of those that left Quebec to come to US...French speakers. The program is titled, " An Introduction to Franco-American/ French( Quebec )-Canadian Genealogy".


Hope to see you at the meeting.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Genealogy Consultants Rock!

We have a dedicated core of folks who volunteer as genealogy consultants at the genealogy desk at the library. This is a wonderful way to positively impact library patrons who are pursuing their family histories, and it is a wonderful way to learn how to improve your own research. We need more people to get involved with this effort so I want to tell you a bit about what the consultants do.

They are called consultants because their primary purpose is to provide guidance to patrons working on their genealogy. Consultants aren't expected to actually do research for patrons, but instead they familiarize them with the sources the library has to offer, they assit them in operating the computers to do their research (always a source of confusion for new researchers), and they give ideas and directions on how patrons can proceed to find what they are looking for. If time permits, they also assit in doing some of the many tasks that contribute to keeping the genealogy department running smoothly.

We are proud of our consultants and the job they do. They are one of the most visible parts of our society since they are "out front" interacting with the public, and by their actions they influence people to become involved with the PGS.

Now that you know a little bit about consultants, please consider becoming one. You can set your own hours (generally people volunteer for a 3 hour period anywhere from once a week to once a month), and you will get all of the training you need. When possible, we will pair you with an experience consultant until you feel comfortable doing the job. And did I mention that one of the benefits of of the job (in addition to the good feelings you get by helping out) is that you learn a lot for yourself in the process of helping others with their research.

If you are interested or have other questions, contact me at or phone 727-353-3093. Join this special group of the PGS...sharpen your own research abilities.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

November Classes

We have a full lineup of classes this month including the following:

Searching with
Getting Started in Genealogy
Using your digital camera for genealogy
Getting the most out of
Using MS Excel In Genealogy
Introduction to using Godfrey Library
Courthouse Documents
Using message boards & mailing lists

See a more detailed description along with times and dates at

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Suncoast Genealogy Society Seminar

The Suncoast Genealogy Society Announces its Mini Seminar on January 24, 2009 at thePalm Harbor Library (Community Room). The library is at 2330 Nebraska Ave, Palm Harbor and the event is from 1:30 PM to 4:30 PM, with registration at 12:30 PM.
The speaker is Debra Fleming and her topics are "The Three D's: Deeds, Death, and Divorce" and "Google for Genealogists."

For additional information Contact: Ann James Phone: 727-791-1983; Email:

More Volunteers for Adopt-A-State

Adopt-A-State is catching on. We now have 8 people who have adopted states. Thanks to Mary Ann Farrell, Betty Lindberg, Dianne Troyer, Ernie Whalen, Helen Savage, Rose Mary Hays, Betsy Filz, and Sandi Haynie. Between them they are covering 10 states.

Recall that under this program, you can volunteer to keep a state section of the genealogy books in order. This means that at least two times a month you will carve out time to visit your chosen state section to straighten up the shelves and ensure that the books have been shelved in the correct order.If you would like to participate in this program, simply let me, Peter Summers, know of your desire to participate (727-535-3093; A short orientation session will be arranged and you will on your way.