Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Genealogy Skill From A Home School Perspective

Tidbits about genealogy come from all sorts of places, expected and unexpected. I just read an article by Nancy Parode, a Baltimore homeschooling examiner. She published it at

Nancy covers a variety of topics from necessary research skills, to penmanship, to getting children interested in the study of their ancestors (the article may give you some ideas on how to stimulate interest about genealogy in your own family). Her perspective is rather unique, but that is what is so appealing about it.

Read Nancy's article at

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Website Offers Free Online Texts

This site offers the ability to view online the complete text of books, and it also allows you to download them in a variety of format (e.g., pdf) for later viewing on your computer.

The following URL will take you to the page showing the book Biographical and Genealogical history of the city of Newark and Essex county, NJ.

By clicking on the book icon that shows on the page you can read the text, or you can download the text in one of six different formats.

You can do a simple or advanced search on several different fields (e.g., author, creator, description, date, etc.). And you can choose to search a variety of different libraries (American, Canadian, etc.)

The site has much more to offer than just books. It also let's you search for audio files, moving images, and software to name a few other options. Keep track of where you are as you move around. You will want to return to the "Text" tab on the menu bar, because that is where the genealogical "pay dirt" is found.

Monday, May 18, 2009

The Tampa Bay History Center Has Much To Offer

The Tampa Bay History Center is located at 801 Old Water Street in Tampa, Florida. Located near the historically important Fort Brooke reservation (the birthplace of modern Tampa), the Center contains 60,000 square feet of exhibits depicting almost 500 years of recorded history and 12,000 years of human habitation in this region.

Part of the collection that may be of particular interest to genealogists is the Touchton collection of Florida cartography. This collection boasts 400 years of Florida Maps, 1513 to 1913.

You can check out the Center's website to get all the particulars at

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Interview With Author of "Google Your Family Tree"

Recently Dick Eastman had the opportunity to interview Dan Lynch, the author of the new book Google Your Family Tree.

We have a copy of that book in our holdings at the Largo Public Library, and it is also the foundation for one of our popular new class offerings.

You can see the entire interview on Roots Television by clicking on:

Friday, May 15, 2009

Genealogy Web Directory: Sirius

A new offering in the area of web directories for genealogists has made itself known. It is found at a site called Sirius Genealogy 2.0.

Here is what the designers of the site have to say about themselves: "Welcome to Sirius Genealogy 2.0, an online community for professional and amateur genealogists who want to learn more about using technology in the genealogy effort. We are NOT a site where you can build your family tree, nor are we a site to perform in depth research on your family, although we do have a few tools that we are sure you will want to use. What we are, is a place to learn, collaborate and teach fellow enthusiasts all about using technology in your genealogical quest."

Dick Eastman characterizes Sirius' directory as a place to "help the amateur and professional genealogist perform research, find education / training programs, evaluate software options, find hardware, evaluate an assortment of service based offerings, and participate in the genealogy community."

You can browse the directory in a variety of ways: category or location. It is well worth your time to do some exploring of what the site has to offer.

You can get to the directory by going to the Sirius home page at and then clicking on "Directory" from the menu bar across the top.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

File Formats

The latest RootsWeb Review has an interesting article about computer file formats. It discusses the pros and cons for choosing one format over another for backing up or archiving your electronic documents and photos. It also gives a good, concise review of the different graphics formats (jpg, png, tiff, psd, etc) that you find yourself having to choose among.

If you currently do not subscribe to the Review (which means you get it delivered free to your mailbox), you can do so at

While you are there, you can also browse previous editions.

Monday, May 11, 2009

US Military Graves Overseas

This is a follow-on to the previous post about military grave sites in the US. You can do a similar search for US Military grave sites overseas at the American Battle Monuments Commission website.

The American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) was established by Congress in 1923 to commemorate the service, achievements, and sacrifice of U.S. armed forces where they have served overseas since 1917, and within the U.S. when directed by public law.

The ABMC commemorative mission is reflected in 24 overseas military cemeteries that serve as resting places for almost 125,000 American war dead; on Tablets of the Missing that memorialize more than 94,000 U.S. servicemen and women; and through 25 memorials, monuments and markers.

You will find the ABMC website at

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Military Gravesite Locator

Those of you who have ancestors who may have been buried in a military cemetery may want to check out the US Department of Veteran Affairs Nationwide Gravesite Locator. If your search is successful, you can find the location of a grave down to section and grave number and even get a map of the cemetery.

The search for burial locations of veterans and their family members encompasses VA National Cemeteries, state veterans cemeteries, various other military and Department of Interior cemeteries, and for veterans buried in private cemeteries when the grave is marked with a government grave marker.

The Nationwide Gravesite Locator includes burial records from many sources. These sources provide varied data, and some searches may contain less information than others. Information on veterans buried in private cemeteries was collected for the purpose of furnishing government grave markers, and for those there is no information available for burials prior to 1997.

Follow this link to get to the search page:

Saturday, May 9, 2009

PGS Display in the Largo Public Library

The society is periodically going to set up a table display in the lobby of the library to advertise the services that the society provides. This picture shows Education Director Bob Bryan at the table ready to answer questions of interested patrons.

This is the first time we have had such a display, and anticipate repeating this effort two mornings a month from now on. We could use some help. Anyone willing to assit should contact Peter Summers at

Friday, May 8, 2009

How Good An Ancestor Will You Be?

How many times have you wished one or another of your ancestors had kept a diary? Or lamented the fact that an obituary or wedding announcement you were reading in an old newspaper had not been written with more detail? Why couldn't our ancestors have been more considerate in that regard...why couldn't they have contributed more to our knowledge of them...why couldn't they have been "good" ancestors?

Thoughts like that certainly beg a question, don't they? That question is: how good will you have been as an ancestor?

It is not a big stretch as genealogists to picture a day in the future when some descendant of yours may be thinking the same thing about you as he or she sifts through old newspapers, partial records and, yes, census forms looking for information about you. Will you have been a "good" ancestor and left information for that researcher, or will you have been like most of your ancestors...making you wish for more...inadvertantly erecting brick walls for you to run into?

Put your thinking cap on the come up with ways you can leave information for your descendants. Add those ideas as comments to this post so everyone can share in them.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Why You Should Organize Your Stuff!

Stefani Evans, writing for the Las Vegas Sun, gives us some thoughts on why organizing our genealogical material is important. If you have any hope of passing your research on to another, especially to a recipient outside of your family, a certain level of organization will be necessary before it is even considered. Stevani gives the examples of the Family History Library and the Allen County Library.

Read the entire article at:

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Book Review: Social Networking for Genealogists

Drew Smith, our general meeting speaker in April, has published a new book titled Social Networking for Genealogists. Drew's topic at our meeting dealt with establishing Blogs and Wikis. His book takes those topics even further and adds many more. He describes Flickr, YouTube, blogs, wikis, photo and video sharing web sites, and much more, always from a genealogist's point of view.

Dick Eastman reviewed Drew's book in his online newsletter. You can read the entire review at:

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

100 Genealogy Sites to Discover Your Ancestry

You may want to compare your list of favorite genealogy websites with this one. Who knows, you may pick up a couple new ones as well as confirm your own undeniably wise choices. See the list at:

Monday, May 4, 2009

British Newspapers from 1800-1900

Dick Eastman in his online newsletter recently had a post about the accessibility online of many 1800-1900 British newspapers (for a fee, of course). The post is a rather long one and even has a couple helpful comments posted by readers. Of particular interest in the post is the complete list of newspapers offered.

If you are doing research going back to England, the site may be of interest to you. You can see Dick's entire post at:

Sunday, May 3, 2009

New on the PGS Website

Check out two newly published documents on the Pinellas Genealogy Society website:
  • The Pinellas Genealogist author index for volumes 1 through 28 in name order
  • The Pinellas Genealogist author index for volumes 1 through 28 in volume and page order
Either of these pages can be reached from the Publications page and the Databases page.


Genealogy Guys Podcast

This is one of those items that folks need to be reminded about every now and again. We have talked about this site before, we have even had the Genealogy Guys (George Morgan and Drew Smith) as speakers, both together and singly, at our society meetings

In case you have forgotten, George and Drew do a podcast on all things genealogical. When you go the Genealogy Guys website, you can easily play the latest podcast, any of the myriad of past ones, and even search for a particular topic. If you are into such things, you can even establish an RSS feed. But you can keep it simple and just visit the site frequently and look for new additions. There are 4 or 5 new podcasts each month.

You can get to the Genealogy Guys website at

Saturday, May 2, 2009

PGS Volunteers In Action Web Page Updated

Check out out updated volunteers in action page. See what what our members and friends have been up to!

If you're interested in helping, do we have opportunities for you.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Submit Photographs to the "American Flag of Faces"

Do you have an immigrant ancestry whose picture you would like to submit to the "American Flag of Faces" project sponsored by the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation? It will cost you some monery, but it is a rather cool idea.

You can read more about the project as well as get some great information about Ellis Island at: