Saturday, December 31, 2011

Czech Research Assistance Available

If you are stuck and need some research assistance for South bohemia or the Czech Republic, contact JudyNelson08@gmail.com . You can also call at 727-641-4456. Judy can also help translate old German script, Czech, and Latin.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

My Heritage and World Vital Records

You may have heard by now that My Heritage has bought World Vital Records. That could be important to us on at least two levels. First, as genealogy researchers, our data availability may be impacted. It is difficult to see how this might manifest itself, in reality it would serve no one's interest to restrict data.

But we may see some version of this in perhaps higher access fees (World Vital Records is a pay site). Or perhaps not. Decisions like that are usually made at coporate levels and we just end up holding on for the ride, and ultimately voting with our purchase or lack of purchase.

About all that is clear to me is that the subscription discount the PGS members enjoy is still substantial...and I confirmed that with the folks at World Vital Records just recently after the purchase took place. There is only one level of subscription to WVR now, and it costs about $149 a year. We realize a savings of a bit over 45%.

If you recall, earlier this year Ancestry bought Footnote (now Fold3)--another site for which our members continue realize a discount (about 50%).

This type of corporate buying and selling is not something that should come as a surprise to us. After all, genealogy is an area of great public interest right now and thus a source of consumer dollars, and that translates to market opportunities. It does not matter what the economic area is, if profits are there to be made, then this sort of capitalist posturing is to be expected.

What I do know is that typically it all shakes out for the best (I know, I know, I'm a Pollyanna), and that your society is doing all it can to secure subscription benefits for you.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Thinking of Taking a Genealogy Cruise?

Theme cruises are seemingly becoming more and more popular. You know, take a cruise and attend sessions on technology…or genealogy…or whatever.

If you have some curiosity about such things, then Dick Eastman’s review of a genealogy cruise he took in November is worth reading. This one was one week long, was peopled by 200 or so genealogists, and cruised the Bahamas.

Dick is very detailed in his description of what went on, and very positive about the whole experience. Give it read and see if such an event may be in your future.

You can find Dick’s Article at Wholly Genes Cruise is a Success - Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter

Friday, December 23, 2011

Figuring out an old photo

There is really no shortage of guidance on how to figure out an old photograph, you know, identify when and where it was taken, and perhaps even who the subjects are.

But although there are many books and articles to go to for guidance, do not think it makes the job easy. That’s why I never pass up reading something more on the subject.

Susan Bankhead in her Blog Susan’s Genealogy Blog, gives us a concise ten steps to follow in decoding an old photo. It’s true that the list is a short one, and that you can read entire books on the subject, but you never know what gems you can come across in your reading. Two of the Susan’s listed steps really resonated with me: using city directories as supporting resources, and “keeping the photo in its original order or grouping.” (I’m afraid to say that I am frequently guilty of violating that last one…especially after I’ve digitized it.)

You can read the entire article at 10 Steps to Decoding a Family Photo » Susan's Genealogy Blog

By the way, our speaker at the PGS annual seminar on 11 February 2012 is going to address the topic of old photographs. Check out information about the seminar and especially about the speaker, Colleen Fitzpatrick, at http://www.flpgs.org/NMbrs/seminar/2012/seminar_brochure.aspx

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Get Website Subscription Discounts Thru PGS

Did you know that you can get a discount on subscriptions to Fold3, World Vital Records, and Godfrey Library? All you have to do is become a member of the Pinellas Genealogy Society!

Members can go to the society's members-only website and find the instructions on how to take advantage of these great deals. You can more than pay for your membeship with the savings you get...up to 1/2 off the normal price.

Check out the websites and then join the society.

Fold3: http://www.fold3.com/

World Vital Records: http://www.worldvitalrecords.com/

Godfrey Library: http://www.godfrey.org/

Monday, December 19, 2011

It's Time To Renew Those Dues

OK gang...it's time to open that check book and renew your PGS dues for 2012....a whopping $17!

You already know what a great deal that is. For that small amount you keep the PGS involved in its many projects, its educational events, its publications, and its support of genealogy and historical events in the area. It also keeps alive the PGS support for the Genealogy Center in the Largo Publick Library through volunteer consultants and collection maintenance.

You also get access to the members-only website where you can find handouts to all of our classes (around 40 now), past issues of the journal (Pinellas Genealogist), the monthly newletter, subscription discounts to popular internet sites, and a great collection of various handouts. And you get a member discount for the annual seminar (coming up on 11 February 2012).

Our dues are low, our benefits of memberhsip are great...renew (or join for the first time) now. Send your check to Pinellas Genealogy Society, 120 Centeral Park Drive, Largo, FL 33771.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Dower versus Dowry

Confused about those two terms? Check out Michael Neill’s genealogy tip at Genealogy Tip of the Day: Dower versus Dowry

Thursday, December 15, 2011

BIRLS Database Available at Ancestry.com

The Beneficiary Identification records Locator Subsystem (BIRLS) is an addition at Ancestry.com, that can be of great value because of it immense scope. It contains both birth and death dates for in excess of 14 million veterans and VA beneficiaries who died between 1850 and 2010.

Here is what Ancestry's dexcription of the database has to say:

"The BIRLS (Beneficiary Identification Records Locator Subsystem) Death File is a Veterans Benefits Administration database that lists the names of deceased individuals who had received benefits from the Veterans Administration while they were alive. These include veterans who received educational benefits and veterans’ survivors who applied for benefits. Details listed in the index can include
name
gender
birth date
death dates
cause of death (unknown, natural, combat, other)
branch(es) of service
enlistment date(s)
release date(s)

"This collection’s scope and the potential for providing birth and death dates make it a significant source for anyone researching ancestors who served in the U.S. Armed Forces."

It is an index only, so don't expect to see any digitized records.

To get to the database, type "BIRLS" in to the title field when you search the Ancestry card catalog.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Immigration and Emigration

You ever get confused about whether somebody is emigrating or immigrating?  A tidy little article for you to read then, is one by Susan Ferrell Bankhead on her blog Susan's Genealogy blog.

She neatly explains the difference, gives you a way to remember it, and includes a handy research at tip.

Read it at I Before E or E Before I: Immigration and Emigration » Susan's Genealogy Blog

Monday, December 12, 2011

Exciting PGS Meeting Saturday, 17 December

Be sure and mark you calendar for the 17 December meeting of the Pinellas Genealogy Society!

This will be our holiday party, so be sure and bring something to contribute to the festivities. It is also the time of our annual elections.

But wait....there's more! Bring your heirlooms to show and tell about. We will have tables available for you to display your heirlooms, so bring those old photos, old books, swords, and what-have-you. This event is always popular and is a great venue to show your stuff.

In addition, we will have several short presentations, one of which will be explanations of how you can get significant subscription discounts, if you are a PGS member, to Fold3, World Vital Records, and the Godfrey Library.

This is going to be fun and packed meeting and you don't have to be a member to attend and enjoy.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Why Do We Do Genealogy?

In speaking with groups about getting started in genealogy, I often spend a few minutes talking about why do it the first place. I have my own ideas about this that I share with folks, but recently I ran across an article that gave me some brand new perspectives on the subject.

Diane Boumenot in her Blog, One Rhode Island Family recently wrote an article titled “10 Things I’ve Learned About Genealogy.” it is a wonderful read that tucks away in those 10 things some unique perspectives on why to get involved with genealogy. One that I especially like is where she says it combines several interests into one hobby (history, reading, writing, libraries, databases, Familys, antiques, cryptography, and bookmaking).

Checked out what Diane has to say at 10 Things I’ve Learned About Genealogy « One Rhode Island Family, and see if you can add to her list.

Friday, December 9, 2011

War of 1812 at Fold3

Fold3 has recently announced that it has finished digitizing the War of 1812 pension files for soldiers whose last name begins with the letter "A," and they are now starting on the B's.

This is great news and shows progress in making these important documents available on line. And, did I mention, access to the files is free, whether you have a subscription to Fold3 or not.

Visit http://www.fold3.com/

Don't forget, if you go to Fold3 and like what you see to the extent you wish to be a subscriber, you can get a significant discount if you are a member of the Pinellas Genealogy Society. Go the to members-only page to see what the discount is and how to get it.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Learn About Vital Records at Ancestry.com Wiki

The Ancestry.com Wiki is a great resource for information on doing searches, the types of records available, etc. In fact, there is so much information available there, any description falls miserably short of indicating its true value to researchers. You have to get in and nose around.

One entry that is singularly helpful is one dealing with vital records (birth, marriage, death) for the various US states. Once you select your state of interest, you get a page telling you where the various records are kept and for what years. You also get direct links to appropriate Ancestry.com databases (if you are a subscriber). If you are not, make note of the database title for your next trip to the public library. Also listed on the page are links to information pages for other records (such as probate, land, military, etc.) relative to that state.

Check it out at All about genealogy and family history - Category:U.S. Birth, Marriage, and Death Records - Ancestry.com Wiki

Monday, December 5, 2011

Putting Flesh on the Bones

Susan Farrell Bankhead offers several tips and references to use in breathing some life into our ancestors; that is, going beyond the standard birth, marriage, death data that we usually hunt for.

It is always a challenge to do this if we don’t have written family diaries, memoirs, or histories from ancestors themselves, but with some guidance, such as Susan’s, and some work we can do it. It will require some general research and digging, but the rewards are worth the effort.

The article gives some great references, and after seeing the types of resources Susan offers, you can probably come up with some of your own after a little time in a library.

Check “Susan’s Genealogy Blog” at Not Just a Name and Date: Flesh on the Bones » Susan's Genealogy Blog

Sunday, December 4, 2011

New Version of Roots Magic Released

Roots Magic 5 is now available. The cost to a new user is $29.95 and an upgrade for a current user is $19.95.

You can read all about it at the Roots Magic website: http://www.rootsmagic.com/ .

You can also see a recorded webinar about its features at: http://www.rootsmagic.com/Webinars/ .

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Historical U.S. County Boundary Maps

Randy Majors gives us a great map utility that allows us to see the historic location of modern day locations.

The site shows a large scale map and under the map are the directions for its use. Essentially all you need to do is fill in the search box with the name of a modern day place (city or county and state) and the date of interest to you. The map will then redraw showing that city and its location within the historic county appropriate for the time you specified. At the top of the map will appear a short description of the area that often gives information on the origin of the political boundaries.

Hats off to Randy for this one. Check it out at randymajors.com: Historical U.S. County Boundary Maps - NEW beta

Friday, December 2, 2011

Manatee Genealogical Society Meeting, 6 December

The Manatee Genealogical Society will hold a meeting on December 6, 9:30 AM to noon at the Manatee County Central Library, 1301 Barcarrota Blvd. W., Bradenton, Florida.

The program will be “What’s In Your Attic? A Show and Tell About Your Family Treasures.” If you wish to actively participate, call Jean Morris at 941-722-5156 about your topic or item. The Computer Special Interest Group will discuss “Using Google Scholar for Genealogical Research.” Get all the details at www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~flmgs/

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Getting the Kids Involved in Genealogy

Getting our kids, or grandkids, involved in genealogy is an objective of many of us. It is a challenge, but one worth aspiring to.Janet Hovorka in her Blog “The Chart Chick” (gotta love that title, don’t you?) has posted an interesting article on her own approach to doing this.

Actually it is the first of what sounds like it may be a series of articles…we can only hope. It is great reading, and she makes the point that it is only a start, and not all the answers.

If you enjoy the article, bookmark the Blog address and visit frequently yourself. You can find Janet’s article at The Chart Chick: True confessions.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Are Common Names Vexing You?

Many of us sooner or later run into the problem of ancestors with common names, and if not that, then families with the same names even though they are not necessarily common.

James Tanner in his Blog “Genealogy’s Star” has written a great article about overcoming such challenges. He gives some tips and research strategies. He also advises that the search is not going to be an easy one, but having perseverance and a strategy will go a long way.

Check out his article at Genealogy's Star: Finding John and Mary

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Colleen Fitzpatrick is Primary speaker at PGS 2012 Seminar



The Pinellas Genealogy Society is pleased to announce Dr. Colleen Fitzpatrick as the primary speaker for its annual genealogy seminar to be held on February 11, 2012 at the Largo Public Library in Largo, Florida.

Colleen is the author of two of the best-selling books in genealogy: Forensic Genealogy and DNA & Genealogy. Both have been critically acclaimed as “must reads” and significant contributions to the field. Colleen's newest book, The Dead Horse Investigation--Forensic Photo Analysis for Everyone, extends her forensic background and analytical skills to the analysis of photographs to reveal family history. She brings photo identification into the 21st century.

Colleen is a real-life CSI detective who has helped crack the most compelling mysteries of our time. As a top forensic genealogist, she has been called upon to identify and locate people worldwide, sometimes based on information 80 years old.

She has been featured on NPR's Talk of the Nation radio program, she has written cover articles for Internet Genealogy, Family Tree Magazine, and Family Chronicle, and she writes a regular column for Ancestry magazine. She and her work were also featured in More Magazine in 2010. She consults with television and documentary production companies on both Forensic Genealogy and DNA & Genealogy.

Colleen brings critical skills and inventive techniques to such genealogical areas as mining databases, interpreting photographs, determining how to look at data as well as where to look for it, and using DNA in conjunction with traditional genealogy research. In all of her work, she emphasizes the creative aspects of an investigation over the mechanics. We are indeed fortunate to have her as our featured speaker for the Pinellas Genealogy Seminar on 11 February 2012.

For more information about the seminar and all it has to offer (Colleen's four presentation topics, breakout speakers, booksale, etc) see the special events page of the PGS website at http://www.flpgs.org/NMbrs/seminar/2012/seminar_brochure.aspx

Friday, November 25, 2011

A Day at NARA Finding Land Case Files

Ginger Smith in her Blog “Genealogy by Ginger’s Blog” gives us a blow-by-blow account, complete with pictures, of what she experienced at the National Archives while doing research in land files. Her pictures recount for us everything from the subway ride to the Archives to what the request forms that she had to use looked like.

And of course, she gives us a narrative of what she had to do, filled with tips to help you make such a trip yourself.

The topic of land records at the National Archives is a big one, so she is devoting more than one blog post to the subject. This is part 1. Check it out at Genealogy By Ginger's Blog: Day 1 at NARA - Land Case Files - Part 1

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

WPA Records

“WPA records were created between 1935 and 1943, when the federal government created the Works Projects Administration to provide work for thousands of unemployed Americans who were struggling to survive the depression of the 1930's.  Records of this program are at the National Archives and some state archives. Some of the projects resulted in interviews, surveys or guides that are useful to genealogists.”

This is the beginning of an article on using SPA documents in your genealogy research by Barb Snow. She gives both print and web resources on the WPA. If you had an adult male ancestor of working age in the 1935 to 1943 timeframe, they may have been employed in the WPA.

When the 1940 census is released in just a few months, you will be able to determine that work history for sure. At least one of the occupation questions on that census specifically asks if the respondent was employed in government programs such as the WPA.

Keep checking the PGS class schedule. ON 12 December 2011 and again on 9 January 2012 we will present a class on the content of the 1940 census and talk about ways you can search the census even before the indexes are completed for our normal website searches.

Check out the article at WPA Records

Monday, November 21, 2011

New Records Being Added to Fold3

Fold3.com continues to add new military records to its holdings. If you have not checked out the site lately, you may want to do so. Although the collections are certainly not complete, they are continually working on War of 1812 pension files, Mexican War service records, WWI officer experience reports, and WWII draft registration cards ("Old Man's Draft"), to name a few.

You can find it all at www.fold3.com

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Interviewing Relatives

We all know that interviewing relatives is a profitable avenue of genealogy research. It is even “necessary” when you realistically consider the perishability of the information living relatives have.

Al and Dottie Hamilton (PGS members and Bloggers) have posted an article reviewing the process of doing such interviews, giving tips on how to make the session more productive, and even listing suggested questions.

The article is on the “Family Genealogy Tutor” Blog at http://familygenealogytutor.com/2011/09/20/interview-relatives/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=interview-relatives

If you want another list of questions and you are a PGS member, you can go to the PGS Members-Only website and find one there. It is used each year by the society as one of the sponsors of the Sun Coast Hospice Centenarian Birthday Party. Each of the honorees is assisted in answering the questions, and their responses are used to introduce them during the celebration. It not only provides great information for the honorees’ families, but everyone has an enjoyable time participating in the process.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Free Access to Newsbank

Did you know that one of the databases availble to you at the Largo Public Libary is Newsbank? Using it you can access St. Petersburg Times articles from 1987 to the present as well as issues of several magazines to include Newsweek, Foreigh Affairs, Slate, Popular Science and others.

AND...here is something else: did you know that you can get to the Newsbank collection from home? Simply go to the Largo Public Library website (http://www.largo.com/department/index.php?fDD=11-0), click on "Databases" then "Databases A-Z", scroll to "Newsbank" and click on the "at home" option.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Free Access to Heritage Quest

Did you know that one of the databases availble to you at the Largo Public Libary is Heritage Quest? Using it you can access images of US Census records, over 20,000 digitized books, Revolutionary War pension files, Freedman Bank Files, and more.

AND...here is the best part: you can get to the database free from home. Simply go to the Largo Public Library website (http://www.largo.com/department/index.php?fDD=11-0), click on "Databases" then "Databases A-Z", scroll to "HeritageQuest" and click on the "at home" option. You will be prompted for your library card number and then you are connected.

The PGS offers a class on using the various parts of the Heritage Quest website. Keep you eye out for it on our class schedule at (http://www.flpgs.org/classes.aspx).

You can also see a presentation on Heritge Quest by our speaker, George Morgan, at the 19 November meeting of the the PGS. It is held at 11 AM at the Largo Public Library and is free and open to the public.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Canada Gazette is Online at Library and Archives Canada

Library and Archives Canada (LAC) has finished putting all the back issues of the Canada Gazette online from 1841 to 1997.

The Gazette is the official newspaper of record for the Canadian government. As such, it contains many genealogical lists and records such as military promotion lists, naturalization lists, and others.


Access is free. Check it out at Keyword Search - A Nation's Chronicle: The Canada Gazette - Library and Archives Canada

Friday, November 11, 2011

Irish Genealogy

If you are doing Irish research, you should love this site. It is the  Irish government’s genealogy website, and it has added more Roman Catholic Church records for Carlow, Cork, Dublin and Kerry. This now completes the collection for these regions (some 3 million records).

The access is free, and site is very user-friendly, even providing links to related sites.

Check it out at Irish Genealogy

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Social Networks

When we hear the term “social networks,” I imagine most of us think of the modern use of the term born by modern technology…Facebook, etc..  But social networks have a much broader (and older) application.

Social networks include such things as educational affiliations, neighbors, professional contact, etc. Exploring those networks of our ancestors can reveal much information about their lives and even reveal other family members.

Check out this entry the MY Heritage Blog: Social Networks: Our ancestors had them - MyHeritage.com - English blog

Monday, November 7, 2011

Free Maps from the US Census Service

OK, this is a weird thing to send you to, but if you stick with it, you will find a gold mine of information…map information.

The link below will take you to a sub-page of a site called Census.gov . The displayed page is nothing more than a listing of sets of maps, by state, that you can view as pdf documents.

The files have strange names like “mn_cosub.pdf”, but just pay attention to the first two letters and they will tell you the state covered by the maps you get when you click on the name. (In case it’s not obvious, that file name is for maps of Minnesota.)

The maps will not necessarily get you down to street level, but they will show counties and the townships within them.

Check it out at Index of /geo/maps/general_ref/cousub_outline/cen2k_pgsz

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Online Searchable Death Indexes, Records & Obituaries

I know I have suggested previously that you visit the Online Searchable Death Indexes website maintained by Joe Beine, but perhaps it is time for a refresher.

This is a great reference. The link below will take you to a page where you can select your state of interest. Once done, you will see a list of links to appropriate websites. Each site is accompanied by a short explanation of its content, and a note on whether it is a fee site.

Joe is good about keeping the list of sites updated. It is well worth a minute of your time to check it out. But be careful…once you start exploring it is difficult to stop.

Check it out at Online Searchable Death Indexes, Records & Obituaries

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Learn About Fold3

Unless you have been living under a rock, you have heard by now the Footnote.com is now Fold3.com . But did you know that there are video tutorials available to tell you about the website and how to use it?

You can check them out at Fold3 Video Tutorials

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Copyright One More Time -- copyright vs. family trees online or otherwise

This is another article on copyright by James Tanner in his Blog Genealogy’s Star. It deals with how protected by copyright is the family tree that I publish—online or otherwise.

The entire article is worth your time to read, but in particular, read the second to last paragraph.

Find it at Genealogy's Star: What is original? copyright vs. family trees online or otherwise

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Copyright….again -- Government Documents and Public Domain

The subject of copyright never seems to get old. The Blog Genealogy’s Star gives us a detailed look at government documents and public domain to help us understand what is clearly NOT covered by copyright.

Personally, I can never read enough about the topic of copyright. It is so easy to make a mistake when using information found in libraries or on the Internet, that I find I always need to refresh my understanding of the law.

Check it out at Genealogy's Star: Government Documents and Public Domain -- What is clearly not covered by copyright

Friday, October 28, 2011

Differences Between Online and Desktop Trees - Using TreeSync in Family Tree Maker 2012

Family Tree Maker recently announced the release of its 2012 version software. Part of the release is the use of TreeSync to keep trees on your computer and online synchronized.

Randall Seaver in his Genea-Musings Blog gives some details about how the sync process is actually accomplished and how that affects the trees being synchronized.

Actually, he points us to what other bloggers have said, but one way or another, the end result is worth reading. Tree synchronization is a technology that is now going to be with us, so getting smart now and staying updated on its refinements is wise.

Check out Randy’s Blog at Genea-Musings: Family Tree Maker 2012 TreeSync - Differences Between Online and Desktop Trees

Thursday, October 27, 2011

FSGS Conference Coming Soon

If you are interested in attending the FSGS Conference in Orlando 11-12 November, now would be a good time to register. The price goes up after 31 October.

You can easily register online at www.flsgs.org

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Some Genealogy Stuff

Bob Bryan sends an occasional Email to our PGS members and friends with some genealogy tidbits in them. I thought it would be a good idea to put some of them up on our Blog also. So check out these suggestions:

Native American “Indian” Ancestry? If you have an interest in this topic, you might want to view the Smithsonian video online at http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/17314991. This is almost 3 hours in length. From Eastman’s newsletter of 19 Dec 2011.

Another free option for automatic or manual backup of your genealogy data is available from BackupMyTree.com. This company has been around for a year or so and was recently acquired by myheritage.com. It works for most (but not all) genealogy programs operating in Windows. Several user options are available. For what it’s worth, Eastman’s genealogy column thinks it is a good thing. Read about it at https://www.backupmytree.com/.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Civil War Service Records Online

It is rather interesting to try and locate Civil War service records. Not that it is necessarily hard to do, it's just that depending on who your Civil War ancestor is, you will have to look in different places.

If your ancestor fought for the North and came from a norther state, then you will have to go to the National Archives for the records. That is because those records were never microfilmed and exist in paper form only. Of course, you don't have to physically GO to NARA...you can order them online from the NARA website.

It's a different story if you ancestor fought for the South, or fought for the North but came from a southern state, or was a member of the US Colored Troops. It is different because those records were microfilmed and now have been digitized. That means that you don't have to go the the National Archives to see the images. You can order the microfilm from the Family History Library, or you can travel to any number of other libraries to view them (such at the Tampa Library). You can also now view them online at Fold3 (what used to be Footnote.com).

And most recently you can find them online at the FamilySearch.org website. The indexes are there for searching and to see the images you are shunted over to Fold3. At first it looks like you have to have a subscription to Fold3 to see the images, but if you put your search name in the appropriate box, you can view the digitized contents of the service record for free. This is made possible though an affiliation between the two sites.

Don't forget that to learn more about ordering records from the National Archives, or to learn more about military records in general and where to find them, check out the list of classes offered by the Pinellas Genealogy Society. Go to the PGS calendar page at http://www.flpgs.org/classes.aspx

If the class is not in the list for the next few months, check back when the calendar is extended.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Let’s Be Reasonable About a Reasonable Search

This discussion about what constitutes a “reasonably exhaustive” search is not for the feint of heart…but we should all suck it up and read it. James Tanner in his Blog Genealogy’s Star has done us all a service by digging into this first element of the Genealogical Proof Standard.

He tackles the questions: What is is exhaustive? What is reasonable? He explains what the standard means (or should mean). He tries to give some objectivity to a subjectively stated standard.

So go get a cup of coffee or tea, then come back, relax, and check out James’ offering at Genealogy's Star: What constitutes a reasonable search?

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Allen County Public Library

In genealogy circles, the Allen County Public Library is one of the key destinations in research trips. Although most of us have heard of the library, we may not really know the extent of its collection and services.

Leland Meitzler in  his GenealogyBlog provides a good overview of the library that is worth reading. It may even influence you into including it in your next trip through Indiana. You can find the article at Allen County Public Library — A Genealogical Treasure

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

FSGS Conference in November

The Florida State Genealogical Society will hold its 2011 Annual Conference November 11 and 12 at the Sheraton Orlando North Hotel, Maitland, FL.

The two-day conference will feature Keynote Speaker Lloyd Dewitt Bockstruck who will offer four fascinating new lectures. Additional presenters will address selected genealogical topics, and vendors will exhibit new products.

Visit their website, http://www.flsgs.org/, for easy online conference registration and hotel information.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Family History Writing Competition -- Deadline Approaching

Pinellas Genealogist, quarterly journal of the Pinellas Genealogy Society, is accepting entries for the annual Family History Writing Competition from members and non-members of the Society.

Entries should be based on the author’s research of a family history or a genealogical account of family lines and lives, discussing the steps followed and the conclusions that resulted from the research. Entries may be original, unpublished papers or published papers. If previously published, please submit permission to reprint from the original publisher along with the entry.

Prizes will be awarded to three submissions selected by our judges: 1st prize is $50, 2d prize is $30 and 3d prize is $20.

All entries must be received no later than 31 Oct 2011. That is just around the corner, so start writing now! See the competition rules and information on where to send entries on the PGS website at: http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~flpgs/index.htm

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Family History Assistance Day is Coming Up

The PGS is sponsoring Family History Assistance Day on 29 Oct 2011 from 12-4 PM at the Largo Library.

During this event, you can receive one-on-one help from experienced researchers. How often have you wanted to sit in front of a computer with someone who can show you how to get started in your research? How often have you wanted to consult with someone about some problem you have encountered? This event may be for you.

It event will operate on a first-come-first-served basis. If there are people ahead of you, there will be other events such as classes going on to help make good use of your wait time.

The event is free and open to the public, and there is no need to preregister.

Roots Magic Users Group Meets 22 October

Join us at the Largo Library at 10 AM on Saturday, 22 October for the monthly Roots Magic Users Group. This is a question and answer session for those who are using the software and want to improve their skill, or those who are trying to decide which genealogy software program to buy.

This month we will also explore a piece of software called GenSmarts. Although it is authored by the maker of Roots Magic, GenSmarts will work with any genealogy software program.

The session is free and open to the public.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Free Webinar: Ask the Google Guru

This webinar by Lisa Louise Cooke, has already been presented, but it has been archived and is available for free viewing.

Lisa is the author two books on using Google features to assist in genealogy research, and so is well-positioned to give some good advice. To get to the webinar, you have to file out a couple on-line forms.

By the way, the PGS offers a class on using Google to support your genealogy research. Keep your eyes on our calendar to see when it is next offered (http://www.flpgs.org/classes.aspx).

You can access the webinar and see more information on Lisa and her publications at Ask the Google Guru FREE WEBINAR | FamilyTreeUniversity.com

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Getting Ready to Go on a Research Trip

In his Blog Genea-Musings, Randy Seaver treats us to the steps he has taken to get ready for a research trip to the Midwest.

We wish Randy the best of luck, but our interest goes beyond that. Read between the lines of Randy’s post to get an idea of what good preparation is all about. Although you and I may not be going where Randy is planning to visit, his preparation in general can guide our own. A productive trip is dependent on good preparation, and Randy gives us some insights on how to accomplish that.

By the way, he references the book New Englanders in the 1600’s by Marin Hollick. It indexes published genealogical research from 1980 to 2005 for New England families, and Randy considers it “invaluable.” Well, we have that resource in our collection at the Largo Public Library.

Check out Randy’s post at Genea-Musings: I'm almost ready now to go research!

Tour of Largo Library Genealogy Center

There will be a tour of the Largo Library Genealogy Center on Saturday, 15 Oct (after the society meeting). It is open to the public and will start in the Genealogy Center at 1 PM. Join us and learn about this impressive genealogy resource.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Look at the Entire Record

In his Genealogy Tip of the Day Blog, Michael John Neill reminds us to look at more than just the alphabetical listing of a city directory. There may be much more about your ancestor in the business listing, advertisements, etc.

This is great advice, and can be expanded to just about any record we may find. Just think of all the wonderful information found on “the rest” of a census form (after you record the names of the members of the household), or all that good stuff tucked away in obits.

You can read Michael’s tip and more at Genealogy Tip of the Day: Look at the Entire City Directory

Kim Garvey to Speak on Saturday, 15 October

On Saturday, 15 Oct 2011, at 11:00 the Pinellas Genealogy Society will spondor a presentation titled "Pointing the Way Towards 21st Century Remembrance." It will be resented by Kim Garvey.

Kim is an historian, librarian, lecturer and owner of Tree Trax, a genealogical services company. She has written for several genealogical magazines, such as, the National Genealogical Quarterly and the Florida Genealogy Society Reach Out. She is a graduate of Salt Lake City Institute of Genealogy Research, a member of the National Genealogy Society, the Association of Professional Genealogist and the Florida State Genealogy Society among many others. She specializes in a variety of areas and topics related to historical methods, immigration, ethnicity and cemeteries.

At 10:00, before Kim's program, The Computers in Genealogy group will meet. This is an informal discussion group in a question and answer format on anything related to the use of computers in genealogy.

Both events are free and open to the public. Put them on your calendar and plan to attend.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Search Merchant Navy Seamen Records 1918-1941

A million or so records of UK Merchant Seaman are now available at the FindMyPast website. Apparently, this is the maiden voyage for these records being available online.

FindMyPast is a pay website, but you can do a search for free to see the resulting list of hits. What you can’t do is see the images of the index cards that comprise the database. The cards were used to produce a centralized index of merchant seamen serving on British merchant navy vessels between the two world wars.

Check it out at Search Merchant Navy Seamen Records 1918-1941 | Findmypast.co.uk

Friday, October 7, 2011

Lee County Seminar

The Lee County Genealogical Society is hosting it's annual Fall half day seminar on Saturday, October 22, 2011. Special speakers are Gary M. Smith and Diana Crisman Smith.

Gary will talk about Tax Records: Why Do We Care? This will be followed by a joint presentation by Gary and Diana on Methods for Organizing Your Genealogical Records – He Said/She Said.

The cost of the seminar is $20.00 per person and pre-registration is required. Check the website at http://www.lcqufl.org

Here is the address of the seminar:Fellowship Hall, Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church, 4141 DeLeon Street, Fort Myers, Florida

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Arlington Tombstone Project

Leland  and Patty Meitzler in their GenealogyBlog recently gave us a post about a project to photograph all of the tombstones at Arlington National Cemetery. Apparently this is in response to a law passed last year.

The project is about half done, and plans are to make the records available to the public when it is completed.

You can read Leland’s post to get the more complete story at http://www.genealogyblog.com/?p=13872

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Class on Using Heritage Quest Databases

In case you missed the HeritageQuest class at the Largo Library recently, you can catch it at the Aging Well Center this Saturday, 8 Oct.

The class is free and begins at 10 am. The Aging Well Center is located in the Long Center at 1501 N. Belcher Road, Clearwater.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Curious About Google Search?

The Genealogy in Time Blog provided a link to a video that explains how Google goes about improving its search function.

The video is only a little over 3 minutes long. Knowing a bit about the logic of Google search can help us as users. Check it out at How Does Google Improve Search?

Sunday, October 2, 2011

5 New Titles Recently Added to Fold3

If you have a subscription to Footnote and have not checked on the site lately, you may want to do so.

First of all, its name has changed to Fold3. When you sign on you can get all of the information about the name change. You can still get to the site using www.footnote.com, but you might as well change your favorites link to www.fold3.com now.

Another reason to visit the site is to check out the databases it has been working on. You can now find an increasing number of entries from War of 1812 Pension Files, Mexican War Service Records, Confederate Casualty Reports, WWI Officer Experience Reports, and WWII “Old Man’s Draft” Registration Cards.

You can read the Fold3 blog about these and other changes at 5 New Titles Recently Added to Fold3 | Fold3 Blog

Friday, September 30, 2011

PGS Has a Facebook Page

For some time now PGS has had a Facebook page. If you go to our webpage, at the bottom of the home page you will find an icon that you can click on to show you "like" the Facebook page. That gets you in the loop to see each new Facebook entry. The same icon is in the right hand margin of this Blog page.

We list all of our classes and events weekly, send out special bulletins, and publish photographs of PGS events and activities.

You can also get to the Facebook page directly by typing the following into the address box of your browser: www.facebook.com/pinellasgenealogysociety

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Family History Assistance Day is Coming Up

The PGS is sponsoring Family History Assistance Day on 29 Oct 2011 from 12-4 PM at the Largo Library.

During this event, you can receive one-on-one help from experienced researchers. How often have you wanted to sit in front of a computer with someone who can show you how to get started in your research? How often have you wanted to consult with someone about some problem you have encountered? This event may be for you.

It event will operate on a first-come-first-served basis. If there are people ahead of you, there will be other events such as classes going on to help make good use of your wait time.

The event is free and open to the public, and there is no need to preregister.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Lee County Genealogy Society Unvails Obituary Database

After more than a decade of hard work, The Lee county Genealogy Society has rolled out abstracts of Lee County deaths published in the Fort Myers News-Press between the years 1930 and 1997. The database holding 65,528 entries is now available in a searchable format at their website.

In the left hand side of any of the pages at their site, you'll see a new link "Area Deaths". Clicking on that link will bring you into the database where you can search for the date of death notices and obituaries by last name, which appeared in the Fort Myers News-Press between the years of 1930 and 1997. By clicking on the icon in the "Actions" column, you'll see the Section of the newspaper and the Page number.

The database does not contain the actual obituary...it is a pointer to where it can be found in the Fort Myers News-Press held at the Fort Myers-Lee County Public Library at 2050 Central Avenue in downtown Fort Myers, FL.

Check it out at http://www.lcgsfl.org/areaDeaths.php

Ancestry.com Anniversary

In case you didn't see it, Ancestry is celebrating it's 15th anniversary from 1 to 15 October by making several collections free for that period. Check the site for free searches and daily prizes.

Here is Ancestry's announcement: You’re invited to a 15-day celebration of your story—and ours. Visit Ancestry.com daily October 1st-15th to search some of our favorite collections for free and enter for a chance to win the prize of the day in the 15 Days of Discovery Sweepstakes.
*Each day starting October 1, 2011 we’ll reveal a collection youcan search for free through midnight ET on October 15, 2011

Monday, September 26, 2011

Analyzing Brick Walls–Exposed

In the Blog “Genealogy’s Star,” James Tanner gives us much to think about concerning the infamous brick wall. First, he defines what a brick wall is. You will find his definition interesting…it is not simply coming to a dead end…his definition is much more precise than that.

As his analysis unfolds, you will be reminded of Damon Hostetler’s presentation at the August meeting of the PGS. He called it “Where Is That Old Codger"? His approach to defeating brick walls fits right into James’ suggestions.

You can check out the Blog at Genealogy's Star: Analyzing Brick Walls -- a genealogical myth or reality?

Saturday, September 24, 2011

School Yearbook Collection on Ancestry.com

In case you don't know about it, or haven't visited it in a while, you should check out the yearbook collection on Ancestry.com.

Ancestry continues to expand its collection and it reportedly now has more than 35,000 books with 155 million records from 1884 to 2009.

You can find the collection on the Ancestry.com site by searching the catalog using the keyword "yearbook."

Friday, September 23, 2011

1940 Census Presentation in Tampa

On 22 October from 10:30 to noon at the John Germany Library (900 N. Ashley Dr,, Tampa, Fl.) there will be a presentation on the 1940 census.

The speaker, Shane Bell, is an archivist from the National Archives who will paint a broad picture of what's on the census, how the information was collected and now digitized, and how it is a reflection of the historical times. He will put the census in its socio-economic context.
The 1940 census is the first census after the Great Depression so it will reflect the migration to urban areas. It's the first census to have a short and long form, the first to ask people their income, the first that could be mailed back, and the first to ask people where they had lived 5 years earlier.

The 1940 census will be released next April, but at least for a while will not be indexed for easy searching.

In the December-February timeframe, the PGS will also present a class on the 1940 census…both at the Largo Library and the Aging Well Center in Clearwater. You may want to go to both the Tampa and local events to get multiple perspectives on this important topic.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Syncing Family Tree Information—Some Thoughts

Randy Seaver in his blog “Genea-Musings” offers a though-provoking post on the issue of syncing family tree information. By “syncing” we mean making a change in a family tree on one platform in one piece of software and having that change update itself in a copy of that family tree resident on another platform and created by a different piece of software.

There are some noble efforts being made to accomplish this, but as Randy observe, we are probably in the infancy of this technology.

You can read Randy’s post at: Genea-Musings: GEDCOM, Software, Online Trees and Syncing

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Statement of Work for 1940 U.S. Census

In mid-August, NARA released the statement of work and the request for quote concerning the 1940 US Census. This is one of the steps in the process of getting a contractor on board to do the work that NARA needs done to make the census available to the public.

Interested parties will respond to the request for quote and a winner (or winners) will be selected.

Randy Seaver in his Blog “Genea-Musings” has capsulized the major points in both the request for quote and the statement of work. If you are excitedly awaiting the release of the census in April 2012, you may find this summary interesting.

Genea-Musings: 1940 U.S. Census Request for Quote and Statement of Work is out

Sunday, September 18, 2011

More Ideas About Dealing With Piles Of “Stuff”

James Tanner in his Blog Genealogy’s Star weighs in with some amusing and serious/helpful ideas about dealing with genealogy in quantity.

I especially like his comments about the money value of our time. The essence is that our time is valuable, so we should feel free to justify spending money to make the best use of it…faster scanners, digital cameras, etc.

Check out the article at: Genealogy's Star: Dealing with the piles and boxes, genealogy in quantity

Friday, September 16, 2011

Mini Seminar at Suncoast Genealogy Society

Suncoast Genealogy SocietyMini Seminar --

2011October 29, 2011
Palm Harbor Library Community Room
2330 Nebraska Ave, Palm Harbor
1:00 PM to 4:00 PM(Registration 12:30PM)

Speaker:Drew Smith
Topics: (1) Beyond Database Programs: Technology Tools to Manage Your Research
(2) Where is the Book with My Family in It?

For registration information Contact: Ann James: Phone 727-791-1983; Email: jamesamsj@ail.com


Thursday, September 15, 2011

Family History Writing Competition

Pinellas Genealogist, quarterly journal of the Pinellas Genealogy Society, is accepting entries for the annual Family History Writing Competition from members and non-members of the Society.

Entries should be based on the author’s research of a family history or a genealogical account of family lines and lives, discussing the steps followed and the conclusions that resulted from the research. Entries may be original, unpublished papers or published papers. If previously published, please submit permission to reprint from the original publisher along with the entry.

Prizes will be awarded to three submissions selected by our judges: 1st prize is $50, 2d prize is $30 and 3d prize is $20.

All entries must be received no later than 31 Oct 2011.See the competition rules and information on where to send entries on the PGS website at: http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~flpgs/index.htm

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Webinar on FamilySearch Learning Activities

I just fininshed watching a webinar produced last July on three important learning activities offered by FamilySearch. They are online classes, the Wiki, and Forums.


The show lasts about 30 minutes and gives a great overview of what each of the three areas has to offer and how to use them.


I found the Wiki especially helpful, since I personally have been having trouble finding some things on the FamilySearch website since it's make-over last year.


You can watch the video at: http://www.millenniacorp.com/_videos/webinars/2011-07-06-we/2011-07-06-we.html



Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Library Book Sale 24 September

The Friends of the Largo Library will hold a huge booksale from 9 am to 3:3o pm on 24 September at the Largo Library.

Adult's books will cost $0.50 each (3 for $1.00). Kid's books will be $0.25 each.

Come early, grab a snack at the cafe, and enjoy the sale.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Public Land Survey System

Land descriptions can be confusing, especially when in comes to the Public Land States. Ironically, the survey system adopted for those states was meant to be simple, I’m sure, and an improvement over the old metes-and-bounds system.

Well, it actually is, but you have to know the key. The Genealogy Insider Blog recently had a good explanation of this survey system (complete with pictures).

Brush up on your geography at: Genealogy Insider - This Land Is Your Land .

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Genealogy Tip

The GenealogyInTime Blog has a tip of the week offering that may be just what you need to break through a brick wall.

One in particular focuses on the problem of not finding people on the census who you know should be there. The tip gives you a method of tracking them down that you may not have tried before.

Check it out at: Genealogy Tip of the Week .

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Small-town Newspapers

We have probably all seen the virtues of researching historic newspapers. Sometimes, however, we think that big city papers are the desired research avenue. But small town papers have distinct advantages over the big city press in revealing the lives of our ancestors.

In the Blog "GenealogyInTime,” we were recently treated to a detailed article about the unique advantages that researching small town papers gives us. Even if you have been on this trail in the past, the article is worth a read just to be sure you did not miss any of the things these papers offer.

You can check it out at: Searching Historic Small-town Newspapers .

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Evaluation of Records

The Blog Genealogy’s Star recently had a post about the research cycle…in particular about one phase of it: the evaluation of records.


The author, James Tanner was making the point that too often we skip over that last step in the process. His comments are well worth looking at. You can find his article at Genealogy's Star: Skipping the evaluation of records .


I might add the the PGS offers a class on the evaluation of records. Check out the calendar page of out website to see when it will be offered again. The web site is found at http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~flpgs/index.htm .

Monday, September 5, 2011

Family History Assistance Day is Coming Up

The PGS is sponsoring Family History Assistance Day on 29 Oct 2011 from 12-4 PM at the Largo Library.

During this event, you can receive one-on-one help from experienced researchers. How often have you wanted to sit in front of a computer with someone who can show you how to get started in your research? How often have you wanted to consult with someone about some problem you have encountered? This event may be for you.

It will operate on a first-come-first-served basis. If there are people ahead of you, there will be other events such as classes going on to help make good use of your wait time.

The event is free and open to the public, and there is no need to pre-register. Put it on your calendar now.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Marketing Genealogy

James Tanner in his Blog Genealogy’s Star gives us an interesting take on all those ads for genealogy products we see. They seem to be everywhere: on websites we visit, conferences we attend, etc.

We tend to see such advertisements as bothersome and sometimes even obstructive. But James’ view is a refreshing one that is worth serious consideration.

Check it out at: Genealogy's Star: Is genealogy just another market?

Friday, September 2, 2011

Civil War Wittness Trees

Diane Haddad in her Blog Genealogy Insider has a fascinating post on “Witness Trees.” This was a new term for me, and Diane gives a good explanation and some links to great examples.


I have to admit that I will not think of trees in the same way again after reading that article.


Check it out at: Genealogy Insider - Civil War Witness Trees

Thursday, September 1, 2011

African-American Genealogy

There will be a "Lunch and Learn" session coming up you may be interested in. It will be held from 11:30 am to 1 pm on Tuesday, 13 September at the North Greenwood Recreation and Aquatic Center (900 North MKL Ave., Clearwater, FL)

The topic will be "African-American Genealogy--Methods and Challenges." The presenter is Harriet Thompkins. Harriet does an African-American research class at the Largo Library for the PGS also.

The lunch is free--first come first served. Pre-registration is suggested. Call (727)793-2339, Ext. 244.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Advice for Organizing Family Archives


One of Diane Haddad's readers received several boxes of family genealogy research that she had to do something with. On her Blog Genealogy Insider she asked her readers for suggestions.



We may not all be faced with a task this daunting, but the suggestions she received are worth looking at. There are organizational ideas that all of us could use, if not in total, then at least in part.



You can read her summary of some of the suggestions at: Genealogy Insider - Your Advice for Organizing Family Archives

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

PGS Facebook Page

For some time now PGS has had a Facebook page. If you go to our webpage, at the bottom of the home page you will find an icon that you can click on to show you "like" the Facebook page. That gets you in the loop to see each new Facebook entry. The same icon is in the right hand margin of this Blog page.

We list all of our classes and events weekly, send out special bulletins, and publish photographs of PGS events and activities.

You can also get to the Facebook page directly by typing the following into the address box of your browser: www.facebook.com/pinellasgenealogysociety

Monday, August 29, 2011

Land Record Insights

If you have ever done research land record office, you know it can be daunting. Anne Roach in her Blog The Technogenealogist shares some things she learned in a recent experience.



You can check out what she has to say at The TechnoGenealogist: A Little Land Record Lesson

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Free Google Tips Webinar

Lisa Louise Cooke with speak at a free webinar on using the genealogy tools offered by Google.

The webinar will be held Thursday, September 1 at 1 pm. You must register for the event, and when you do, you can even submit a question in advance.

You can read the “Genealogy Insider” Blog on the event at Genealogy Insider - Get Google Tips in Free Webinar .

You can register for the webinar at https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/202910537

Photo Editing and Ethics

Today we all have access to one photo editing program or another. Those programs give us great power to alter digital photographs. With this power comes responsibility, however. Are there alterations of reality that we as researchers should shy away from? Are there edits that are OK? We in the Pinellas Genealogy Society deal with such questions as part of our photo editing classes.

James Tanner in the Blog Genealogy's Star addresses that issue. In his post he shares our point of view, and he even shows us two photos, one original and one altered, to reinforce his point.

You can check it out at http://goo.gl/HFGUk .

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Family History Writing Competition

Pinellas Genealogist, quarterly journal of the Pinellas Genealogy Society, is accepting entries for the annual Family History Writing Competition from members and non-members of the Society.

Entries should be based on the author’s research of a family history or a genealogical account of family lines and lives, discussing the steps followed and the conclusions that resulted from the research. Entries may be original, unpublished papers or published papers. If previously published, please submit permission to reprint from the original publisher along with the entry.

Prizes will be awarded to three submissions selected by our judges: 1st prize is $50, 2d prize is $30 and 3d prize is $20.

All entries must be received no later than 31 Oct 2011.
See the competition rules and information on where to send entries on the PGS website at: http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~flpgs/index.htm

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

FSGS Conference in November

The Florida State Genealogical Society will hold its 2011 Annual Conference November 11 and 12 at the Sheraton Orlando North Hotel, Maitland, FL.

The two-day conference will feature Keynote Speaker Lloyd Dewitt Bockstruck who will offer four fascinating new lectures. Additional presenters will address selected genealogical topics, and vendors will exhibit new products.

Visit their new website, http://www.flsgs.org/, for easy online conference registration and hotel information.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

FSGS Has a New Website

The Florida State Genealogical Society recently unveiled its new web site. The Pinellas Genealogy Society as a member of the FSGS, we publish their newsletter on our members-only website, and we participate in their annual conference.

Check out the new web site for lots of good information including upcoming events. You can find it at: http://www.flsgs.org/index.php

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Footnote Changes Its Name To Fold3

You may have seen that Footnote has changed its name to Fold3. Although you can still access the site using the http://www.footnote.com/ URL, it now can be found using http://www.fold3.com/ .

The change was made to emphasize the site's focus on military records. Those records have been part of the site in the past, but it is now refocusing to become the web's premier site for them.

The choice of name is interesting. The name Fold3 comes from a traditional flag-folding ceremony in which the third fold is made in honor and remembrance of veterans for their sacrifice in defending their country.

We all will have our own take on this change. I, for one, welcome it. The military records available were my primary reason for using the site in the first place. I have been anxiously awaiting the digitization of the Civil War Widows Pension Files. With this newly defined focus, I expect more progress in that area as well as records from the War of 1812.

If you want to read more about all this, you can do so at the Fold3 blog at: http://blog.fold3.com/footnote-is-now-fold3/

Remember, if you are a PGS member, you get a significant discount on a Fold3 subscription.

Friday, August 19, 2011

PGS Video on YouTube

While we're on the subject of YouTube videos (see previous post), don't forget to check out the PGS video on YouTube.

Here is the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7qSSGOIR5l8

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Civil War Prints On Display At The Library

Presently there are some great Civil War prints on display in the gallery of the Largo Public Library. They just went up two days ago and will be on display until the end of this month.

They are there courtesy of Laura Robinson of the Art Brushstrole Gallery on Indian Rocks Road.

The prints are all signed and numbered, so they are of collector value, and they depict some readily recognizable events in the Civil War.

The next time you are in the library, take a detour to the right of the stairs on the first floor to the gallery and check out this wonderful artwork.

Family Search Videos on You Tube

A little while ago Bob Bryan sent an e-mail to our mailing list with a link to a YouTube video from Familysearch, the LDS web site. The video was part of tahe series from Familysearch called "5 minute genealogy." The subject of the video sent by bob was on interviewing family members.

After watching the video don't rush off however, because there is more you can do on that screen.

Underneath the YouTube screen where you watch the video is a box labeled "subscribe." This gives you the capability of subscribing to future videos of this nature from Familysearch. You can be notified by e-mail when they are posted, or if you have a YouTube count it will be posted on your YouTube page.

Also, if you have both a YouTube and a Google account, here is where you can link them so that one sign in will give you access to both services.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Google Gives Up On Its New Archive Project

By now you have probably heard that Google is not longer seeking to digitize the country's historic newspapers. That ambitious project, and a boon to genealogists, is now a matter of history.

The five-year-old project reportedly resulted in 60 million scanned pages of news print covering some 250 years of publication.

What has been done will remain accessible, but no new content or development will be coming.

You can read more about the project and its fate at: http://thephoenix.com/BLOGS/phlog/archive/2011/05/19/google-abandons-master-plan-to-archive-the-world-s-newspapers.aspx#ixzz1NsCZOITT

Sunday, August 14, 2011

PGS Meeting Features Damon Hostetler

at 11 am on 20 August at the Largo Public Library, genealogist Damon Hostetler will be the guest speaker. His topic is "Where is the Old Geezer" I Knew He's There!"

This presentation will be of interest to anyone who has encountered a dreaded brick wall in their research.

Join us...the meeting is free and open to the public.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

"Findagrave" Revisited

Susan Peterson in her Blog Long Lost Relatives, gives us an good article on some of the aspects of Findagrave.com that many may not be aware of. These include asking for help with adding pictures to the memorial entries.

You can read the article at http://longlostrelatives-smp.blogspot.com/2011/05/are-you-making-full-use-of-find-grave.html

Monday, August 8, 2011

Leave Your Calling Card at a Cemetery

Michael John Neill in his Genealogy Tip of the Day gives us a unique idea. Leave your calling card (in a baggie to protect it from the elements) at the headstone you visit in a cemetery. Perhaps someone related to the deceased will find it and contact you.

You can read the tip in Michael's words at http://genealogytipoftheday.blogspot.com/2011/05/cemetery-calling-card.html

Saturday, August 6, 2011

New Military Records at Ancestry.com

In case you missed it a couple months ago, Ancestry has rolled out some new military records for it's collection.

You can now search U. S. World War II Navy Muster Rolls (1938-1949). A search will get you information such as service number, rating (rank), date and place of enlistment, and change in status along with the date of the event.

Also available is a collection of U. S. Navy Cruise Books (1918-2009). These are like college year books, except they deal with a navy ship and a particular cruise (or deployment). In them you will find the history of the ship, its ports of call, a list of it's officers and crew. They are actually books and each page has been digitized.

Friday, August 5, 2011

FGS Conference

The Federation of Genealogical Societies is holding its annual conference from 7 through 10 September 2011 at Springfield, Illinois. You can get all the info you need at their website.
Here is a notice we received recently in email:

"The Federation of Genealogical Societies invites you to the FGS/ISGS 2011 Conference for the Nation's Genealogists. Our local host, the Illinois State Genealogical Society, joins FGS in welcoming you to historic Springfield as we celebrate "Pathways to the Heartland."

Click here for their website, conference registration, and full conference booklet: http://fgs.org/2011conference/registration/

Thursday, August 4, 2011

NGS Conference Slides Online

In May the National Genealogy Society held its annual conference in Charleston, South Carolina. You may have wanted to go but price, time, or distance many have discouraged you. However, you can still see some of the presentations.

Jordan Jones posted his slide presentation at slideshare.net where you can watch it at your own pace. His presentation is titled “Beyond Google: Advanced Search.” There is no audio…just the slides, but you can still get a lot of information from them alone.

You can flip through his slides at the following website:

Beyond Google: Advanced Search

On this day...

For you history buffs....on this day in 1821 Atkinson & Alexander published the Saturday Evening Post for the first time as a weekly newspaper.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Finding Revolutionary War Ancestors in DAR Records

The DAR website goes a long way in helping us find Revolutionary War ancestors, but it may be a bit confusing to use that resource.

Randy Seaver in is Blog Genea-Musings gives a good click-by-click explanation on how to navigate the site to find pay dirt. Check it out with the following link:

Genea-Musings: Tuesday's Tip - Find Revolutionary War Ancestors in DAR Records

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Genealogy Tip of the Day: Marriage Bann

Michael John Neill in his Genealogy Tip of the Day gives a good, short explanation of a marriage bann.

If you were ever wondering about what that is, check it out at Genealogy Tip of the Day: Marriage Bann

Friday, July 29, 2011

RootsMagic Webinars

If you are a Roots Magic user, you will be interested in this. The Roots Magic website has a list of webinars that have already been presented and are now in their archive. You can watch any of them with a simple click of your mouse.

New webinars are being presented all of the time. You can watch them live (only the first 1000 people who register can see them). After they are aired for the first time, they then go into the archive for “any-time access.”

Check out the list at RootsMagic Webinars

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Try Mocavo!

On 23 June I put up a post on the new genealogy search engine called "Mocavo." Since then I have read more and more about it. This is something worth checking out. In fact, I even covered the website during our last Internet Explorations class. At any rate, I think it deserves a second "shout."

Mocavo searches free websites, and if that is not interesting enough, it includes such things as query lists and blogs in the search. Here is what the authors have to say about the site:

"The world’s largest free genealogy search engine, Mocavo.com, provides genealogists access to the best free genealogy content on the web including billions of names, dates and places worldwide. Mocavo.com seeks to index and make searchable all of the world’s free genealogy information. While Mocavo.com discovers new sites every day, some of the existing sites searchable on Mocavo.com include genealogy message boards, family trees, state and local historical societies, the Library of Congress, National Archives, Ellis Island, Find A Grave, the Internet Archive, various U.S. state archives, and many tens of thousands of genealogy sites built by individuals."

It is easy to use--just type you search terms into the box that appears on the home page of the site...and don't forget, just as with most search engines, it may be best to put full names in quotes.

Check it out at http://mocavo.com/

Monday, July 25, 2011

Interactive Map of Historic Manhattan

Those of you who have ancestors who lived in NYC, especially Manhattan, will love this. The New York Times website offers a map of historic 1811 Manhattan (created by John Randel)with an interactive overlay of modern Manhattan. That means you can switch back and forth between the two views to see the modern equivalent of historic streets and locations.

Also available in the same window is an 1830 mop of the farms in Manhattan, a map of street openings since 1642, and an overlay that indicates the growth of Manhattan based on historic census data.

You can play with the map at http://goo.gl/jdUAG

Thanks to Dick Eastman for revealing this site.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Baptismal Sponsors May Provide Clues

Michael John Neil in his "Genealogy Tip of the Day" Blog, recently gave a tip about the value of checking out the sponsors in a child's baptism. They could be relatives you did not know about, of course. But Michael also suggests that if you can not trace your ancestor's immigration or birth country, perhaps you can do so for their children's baptismal sponsors.

Check out the tip at http://genealogytipoftheday.blogspot.com/2011/04/check-out-sponsors.html

Thursday, July 21, 2011

National Events effects on Family History

We have all probably heard of using time lines to help understand our family's history. You know, plotting historic events on a time line and then plotting and ancestor's personal history on that same time line. The examination of the coincidence of those two plots can reveal possible influences on the actions our ancestors chose to take.

In the April-June 2011 issue of NGS Magazine, Harold E. Hinds Jr. wrote an article titled "Pivotal Moments In U. S. and Personal Family History." In that article he outlines the process briefly described above. He shares his own experience in carrying out such a strategy, complete with telling some of the references he used.

Hinds brings great credentials to the article--he is a distinguished research professor of history at the University of Minnesota, Morris, and he lectures on history and genealogy.

The magazine is in our collection at the Genealogy Center of the Largo Public Library...or at least it will be. We just received it, so give it some time to get entered into the system before you look for it on the shelves.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Getting Ready for the 1940 US Census Release

The 1940 US Census record will be available to us on 4 April 2012, but you can get ready for it now.

When it is first released, there will be no indexed searches available. That means to use it you have to be aware of where you ancestors lived in 1940 in order to find them in the census.

More and more articles are being written about the census release, and a helpful one comes from Randy Seaver in his Blog "Genea-Musings." You can read Randy's article at http://goo.gl/ee53l

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Take a Genealogy Trip

With the increased interest in genealogy and family history, an increasing number of guided research trips oriented on discovering your roots are being offered by travel companies and genalogy professionals.

We are all familiar with trips to Salt Lake City to the LDS Family History Library and to the Allen County Library, but there are also trips designed to explore specific geographic areas. These can be a bit pricey, especially if air travel abroad is involved, but they may be just the thing to combine travel and research to break through a brick wall or to walk the ground of ancestral homes.

Here are some organizations that offer specialized genealogy tours:
>Ancestral Attic (Carp Lake, MI) specializes in Eastern Europe
>European Focus, Inc. (Sarasota, FL) specializes in Europe, especially Germany
>Scottish Ancestral Trail (Dumfriesshire, Scotland) specializes in Scotland

You can find other companies by doing a search at cyndislist.com

Friday, July 15, 2011

Dealing With Early Handwriting

The Blog, Genealogy's Star, recently had a post dealing with the subject of old handwriting. As we go back in time for our research, we all run into handwritten documents that we have to wade through.

It can be an exhilerating experience when we figure things out, but that good feeling is usually accompanied by frustration as we deal with poor penmanship, different writing styles, and even multiple languages.

The Blog post gives some insights into dealing with those records as well as several handy links to sites that will help with understanding different writing styles and even help with translation.

Check it out at http://genealogysstar.blogspot.com/2011/05/going-back-in-time-handwritten-records.html

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Atlas of Historical County Boundaries

At last...an on-line, interactive program to study the change in state and county boundaries over time. That is what the NewBerry Library's "Atlas of Historical County Boundaries" provides.

This is a feature-rich website that demands a lot of exploration to get the most out of it, but is intuitive enought that you can start making it work for you immediately.

Now you can trace how county lines changed over time (you select your state of interest and timeframe of interest), which of course, influenced in what courthouse your ancestor's records might be archived.

Check out the site at http://publications.newberry.org/ahcbp/

Monday, July 11, 2011

Answer to Genealogy Quiz 0710

Her is the answer to yesterday's genealogy question: "The year (365 days) preceding the effective date of the census."

Note: In addition to federal census mortality schedules for the 1850 to 1880, they also exist in the 1885 census for Colorado, Florida, Nebraska, New Mexico, and North and South Dakota. In the New York state census, mortality schedules were generally recorded for the years of 1855, 1865, and 1875

Sunday, July 10, 2011

PGS Features Progam on Crime Prevention

This topic is not directly aimed at genealogy, but it is aimed at a topic that concerns us all--crime prevention (especially when it involves us personally). Here is what the presenting group, Crime Prevention Consultants, has to say about their program:

"We are Crime Prevention Practitioners trained by the Attorney Generals Office offering complimentary Crime Prevention seminars to organizations, residents and businesses across the state of Florida. Our seminars cover timely information on recent rise in crime due to the economy. Seminars are approximately 30 minutes and covers criminal threats in your community such as burglary, home invasion, purse snatching, assaults, identity theft and other self-defense tips recommended by local Law Enforcement."

Identity theft is a concern to all of us who research the Internet. Join us at the monthly PGS meeting at 11 am on 16 July at the Largo Public Library to hear presenter Brian MacNeel address this and other sensitive topics.

The meeting is free and open to the public.

Genealogy Quiz 0710

Here is a genealogy question for you. The answer will be posted tomorrow.

When did a person have to die to be included in the US census mortality schedules produced in 1850, 1860, 1970, and 1880?

Friday, July 8, 2011

Answer to Genealogy Quiz 0707

Here is the answer to yesterday's question: "1870."

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Genealogy Quiz 0707

Here is genealogy question for you. The answer will be posted tomorrow.

In which year did the US census first list by name African Americans who had been slaves?

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Answer to Genealogy Quiz 0704

Here is the answer to yesterday's quiz: "It is the form used to request a copy of the original Social Security application form (SS-5) from the Social Security Administration.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Genealogy Quiz 0704

Here is a genealogy question for you. The answer will be posted tomorrow.

What is the SSA-771 form used for?

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Answer to Genealogy Quiz 0701

Here is the answer to yesterday's quiz: "The application form for a Social Security number." This can provide some great information on your ancestor if he/she filled one out.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Genealogy Quiz 0701

Here is a genealogy question for you. The answer will be posted tomorrow.

What is the SS-5 form used for?

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Footnote.com Working to Make War of 1812 Pension Files Available

Footnote.com has about 1% of the War of 1812 pension application files digitized and available at its website. That's about 1400 images out of a total of about 7.2 million...but it's a start. And if one of your ancestors is included in the early release, it doesn't matter how low the percentage is.

Even better, the collection is available for free

Check it out at http://www.footnote.com

Recall that you get a significant price reduction to an annual subscription to Footnote.com if you are a PGS member. Go to the PGS Members-only website for details.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Enjoy the Music of You Ancestors

The Library of Congress in coorperation with Sony, makes thousands of pre-1925 music recordings available for listening on line free of charge. If you would like to listen to music you ancestors enjoyed between 1901 and 1925, this may be your site. Here is more information on the project from the LOC website:

"The Library of Congress presents the National Jukebox, which makes historical sound recordings available to the public free of charge. Recordings in the Jukebox were issued on record labels now owned by Sony Music Entertainment, which has granted the Library of Congress a gratis license to stream acoustical recordings.

"The Jukebox includes more than 10,000 recordings made by the Victor Talking Machine Company between 1901 and 1925. Jukebox content will be increased regularly."

Check it out at http://www.loc.gov/jukebox/

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Search Tip of the Day

Michael John Neil has launched a new Blog as a companion to his "Genealogy Tip of the Day." It is called "Seach Tip of the Day."

Check it out at http://genealogysearchtip.blogspot.com/

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Mocavo.com Genealogy Search Engine

Mocavo.com is a genealogy search engine that you should check out. In addition to the sites it already searches, it recently added genealogy blogs.

This comes from the Macovo.com website: "Mocavo.com seeks to index and make searchable all of the world’s free genealogy information. While Mocavo.com discovers new sites every day, some of the existing sites searchable on Mocavo.com include genealogy message boards, family trees, state and local historical societies, the Library of Congress, National Archives, Ellis Island, Find A Grave, the Internet Archive, various U.S. state archives, and many tens of thousands of genealogy sites built by individuals"

check it out at http://www.mocavo.com/

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Be a "Green" Genealogist

Diane Haddad in her Blog "Genealogy Insider" gives us some useful tips on how to be "green" in our research efforts.

Check out her ideas at http://blog.familytreemagazine.com/insider/2011/04/21/ColorYourFamilyTreeGreen.aspx

Sunday, June 19, 2011

You Only Get $1! What's Going On?

As you have probably figured out by now, one of my favorite Blogs to follow is "Genealogy Tip of the Day" by Michael John Neill.

Recently he posted a tip about what it means if you see a minor amount in a deed or will...like $1.

Check out his tip at http://genealogytipoftheday.blogspot.com/2011/04/all-consideration-i-need-is-your-love.html

Friday, June 17, 2011

"American Ancestors" from the NEHGS

If you have not roamed around the "American Ancestors" website from the New England Historic Genealogical Society, you should carve out some time to do so.

It contains lots of information, too much to cover here, that is for sure. However, one trail I would suggest you follow is this: At the home page, click on "Resources" and then on "Learning Center." From there you can further explore guidance on getting started, online seminars, and articles. I took the "Articles" choice and discovered I could access a wealth of articles by author, topic, or location.

Check it out at http://www.americanancestors.org/home.html

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Name Spellings

In Michael John Neill's Genealogy Tip of the Day Blog recently, he gave us a few comments and tips about variant name spellings.

He has some good thoughts about why NOT to standardize those variations when you come across them

Check out his Blog at http://genealogytipoftheday.blogspot.com/2011/04/they-really-did-not-care-how-it-was.html

Monday, June 13, 2011

PGS Slogan T-Shirts Now Available

In case you have not seen the news in our monthly newsletter or elsewhere, the PGS now has a slogan ("Discovering Our Ancestry"). You can get that slogan put on a t-shirt, mug, etc at Big Frog (1874 Gulf to Bay Blvd, Clearwater, FL 33765; tel: 727-734-2421).

Just drop in or give them a call. Identify yourself as belonging to the PGS and place your order. They have the pattern on file. You can get your t-shirt in as quickly as 1 day...or perhaps 3 days depending on what kind of base t-shirt you want.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Answer to Genealogy Quiz 0610

Here is the answer to yesterday's genealogy question: "Freedman's Savings & Trust Company (Freedman's Bank)

Friday, June 10, 2011

Genealogy Quiz 0610

Here is a genealogy question for you. The answer will be posted tomorrow.

Which financial records are a prime source for finding African American genealogical information in the Civil War post-bellum period?

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Answer to Genealogy Quiz 0607

Here is the answer to yesterday's quiz: "To die without a will."

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Genealogy Quiz 0607

Here is another genealogy question for you. The answer will be posted tomorrow.

What does it mean to die "intestate?"

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Answer to Genealogy Quiz 0604

Here is the answer to yesterday's quiz: "probate."

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Genealogy Quiz 0604

Here's a genealogy questions for you. The answer will be posted tomorrow.

What does this describe...From the Latin term meaning "to prove." In legal jargon, it means to prove the authenticity of a will in court, or in the absence of a will, to provide for distribution of property under laws of inheritance.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Answer to Genealogy Quiz 0601

The answer to yesterday's quiz is....."Dower."

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Genealogy Quiz 0601

Here is a genealogy question for you. The answer will be posted tomorrow.

What is this called...a part or interest of a deceased man's real estate allotted by law to his widow, typically one third of the total value.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Family History Questionnaire

If you are going to be interviewing any of your family members about their history and experiences this summer and need an interview guide, we have one for you.

This guide was put together for use at the Suncoast Hospice Annual Centenarian Birthday Party. After hearing about it, several PGS members asked that it be posted on our website.

To get the to questionnaire, go to the PGS Member-Only website, click on the "Genealogy Center" link, and you will find it listed there.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

The National Park Service Civil War Commemoration

The National Park Service has established a home page for the commemoration of the Civil War sesquicentennial. If you want a fascinating look at Civil War topics, then and now (like presidential security or fashion or Fort Sumpter), this site is for you.

Warning: the site is as extensive as it is interesting, and once you start exploring it, you may be lost for hours.

Check it out at http://www.nps.gov/features/waso/cw150th/

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Indiana Maps Anyone?

Go to the stats.indiana.edu website for modern maps of Indiana. These are not detailed road maps by any means, but you can display counties within regions of the state, and townships within counties.

Find the maps at http://www.stats.indiana.edu/maptools/townships.asp

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Online City Directories

Thanks to Miriam Robbins Midkiff for this great website. She is attempting to produce one list that contains all of the city directories that you can find online...she admits it is a work in progress. But what a work it is.

She states "My goal is to have a complete listing for historical alumni, business, city, county, farm, Masonic, rural, social, and other types of directories for the United States and Canada, and then go on to add directories for other countries."

From the home page you can click on your country of interest (I chose the US). Then you bore down through state and county, until finally you end up with an image of the page you want. Granted, there are lots of blank spots in this database, but when you get a hit it is pure gold.

Check it out at http://sites.google.com/site/onlinedirectorysite/

Sunday, May 22, 2011

A Fresh View of Genealogy Software Programs

Kerry Scott in her Blog "Clue Wagon" has written a refreshing post on genealogy software. The refreshing part is that she iconoclastically states that it really doesn't matter which product you use.

Finally, an opinion about software that I agree with. I know that opinion may be hard to absorb...most genealogists I know are pretty locked into one program or the other. In fact most can become almost belligerent in support of their favorite.

Treat yourself and read kerry's post at http://goo.gl/KRO94

Friday, May 20, 2011

See and Hear Curt Witcher at RootsTech 2011

Curt Witcher (Allen County Library) was a speaker at the RootsTech 2011 conference in February. His topic was "The Changing Face of Genealogy." You can see his presentation at the link provided below.

The talk is about 1 hour so grab a cup of coffee before you start, and then settle in and enjoy. The first 6 minutes of the video deal with conference administration, but it is worth holding on for Curt.

Check it out at http://mpaagenealogicalsociety.org/videos/rt2011cfg.html

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Suncoast Genealogy Society to Hold Genealogy Fair

The Suncoast Genealogy Society is having a Genealogy Fair on May 28, from 1 - 4:30 PM at the Palm Harbor Library, 2330 Nebraska Ave, Palm Harbor. Some organizations participating are Creative Graphics of Dunedin. They will show you how they can help preserve your family memories. The Palm Harbor Library, Caledesi Chapter of the DAR, and the American Institute of Polish Culture.

There will be used genealogy books and periodicals for sale. Experienced genealogists will be available to offer help with starting your research or research questions. There will be a lecture at 2 PM by Debra Fleming, the Ancestor Detective, on Free Internet Genealogy.

Admission to the Fair is free, but pre-registration is required for seating for the lecture. To pre-register for the lecture, contact John at (727) 667-0457 or email John8530@aol.com.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

"A Date Guide to English Genealogy-Part 3"

This is the third in a series of articles that encourage you to take a research approach that involves identifying what records are available in what time frames for a particular area as a starting point.

Really, there is no sense searching for a name when applicable records have not been kept yet. The other part of this logic says that once you identify existing records, then focus your search on those for better results.

The link provided below also includes links to the first two installment of the article. This Blog pointed you to the first installment in a 20 March post.

A related post is also found in this Blog on 12 May. Check the article out at http://us.mg1.mail.yahoo.com/neo/launch?.rand=93ip45mtbp97i

Monday, May 16, 2011

Revolutionary War Pension Application Transcriptions Online

There is a web site that contains free transcriptions of over 10,000 Revolutionary War Pension Applications. It contains about 10,500 pension application as well as many roster transcriptions, all from the Southern Campaign.

This can be a double edged sword: transcriptions can contain the errors of the transcriber, but they are certainly easier to read than the original documents. The ideal strategy would be to use the transcriptions to determine that you have an ancestor who made an application, and also to help you decipher the original documents when you ultimately get them.

Remember, these cover only those who fought in the Southern Campaign. Check it out at http://southerncampaign.org/pen/#m

Thanks to Dick Eastman and one of his Online Newsletter readers for this lead.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

PGS Features Copyright Presentation

At 11 am on Saturday, 21 May at the Largo Public Library, the featured program at the monthly PGS meeting will be on copyright law. It will essentially outline what your can use from other authors and when you can use it.

The presenter is David Ellis, an attorney who has spoken to us on this topic before, but long enough ago that a refreshed is warranted.

Whether you are an aspiring author or not, this program will be of value to you. Join us on the 21st. The meeting is free and open to the public.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Big Plans at Ancestry.com

During the past few days, The National Genealogy Society Conference has been going on in Charleston, NC. (our own journal editor, David Dellinger, has been in attendance).

One of the highlights of the conference was a presentation by Ancestry.com where representatives outlined past accomplishments and future plans. In both cases they were many.

Dick Eastman was at the conference and wrote an long article in his newsletter about Ancestry's presentation. It is well worth reading since so many of us use that website either through a personal subscription or at a public library.

You can find Dick's article at http://goo.gl/cIhPX

Thursday, May 12, 2011

How Far Back Can Your Research Take You?

James Tanner in the Blog "Genealogy's Star" has written a great article on this subject. He uses his own search in Arizona as an example, but with very little effort you can get the idea and apply it to your own research.

The "limits" of our research essentially are defined by what you are looking for and what records exist for the time period in question. You might recall an earlier post on this Blog (20 March 2011 titled "A Date Guide to English Genealogy") that also talks to this approach...check it out.

James' article is apparently going to be in several parts, and this is the first. By the way, he references two helpful print resources, Red Book and The Handy Book for Genealogists which we have in our collection at the Genealogy Center.

You can read the post at http://goo.gl/4vDrH