Sunday, February 27, 2011

Procrastination? Let Me Think About It.

We have probably all suffered the effects of procrastination in our genealogy pursuits. If you want to read one person's experience with it and its aftermaths, check out a Blog post in Genealogy's Star.

The article is interesting and though-provoking in itself, but several readers have left comments at the end of the piece that are also worth reading.

Find it at

Friday, February 25, 2011

Genealogy Commandments

In a recent edition of his Online Newsletter, Dick Eastman published his list of 10 genealogy commandments, and it is worth a good, long, thoughtfully-considered read.

The "rules" he lists are mostly ones that we all know about, at least if you have been doing research for a while, but they are also ones that we overlook, forget, ignore, or otherwise fail to give their due.

Read his article at

Thursday, February 24, 2011

New Window In the Genealogy Center

The next time you are at the Genealogy Center of the Largo Public Library, look for the new window. It is the one at the end of the computer terminals.
The window is the product of a discussion last year between the PGS and library leadership.
It is difficult to get a good picture of it, but the one at the right will give you an idea of what it looks like.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

PRONI Collection of Wills--Indexes and Images

The Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) recently announced additions to their online collection of wills.

PRONI provides a fully searchable index to the will calendar entries for the three District Probate Registries of Armagh, Belfast and Londonderry, with the facility to view the entire will calendar entry for each successful search. The database covers the period 1858-1919 and 1922-1943, and part of 1921 has been added, with remaining entries for 1920-1921 to follow in the near future.

Digitized images of entries from the copy will books covering the period 1858-1900 are now available online, allowing users to view the full content of a will. Some 93,388 will images are now available to view.

You can find the PRONI website at

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

New Class: Genealogy Software Utilities

You don't want to miss this one. It is a class that explores some of the many software utilities that can help you in your genealogy.

Utilities are those small (usually) programs that help you do things on your computer to ease your research tasks. Usually they are free for download or for use directly on the Web. They can help you find specific dates, manipulate GEDCOM files, capture parts of your image showing on your screen, handily make and save notes to yourself, and much, much more.

The PGS will be presenting two of these classes, both at the Largo Public Library. One is at 10 am on 23 February, and the other is at 10 am on 2 March. Different utilities will be presented at each class.

If you are interested in attending,email Bob Bryan at or call him at 595-4521 to reserve your seat. The classes are free, but seating is limited.

Germanic Genealogy Seminar in Port Charlotte

The Southwest Florida Germanic Genealogy Research Group is hosting a germanic genealogy seminar on 5 March 2011 in Port Charlotte. John T. Humphrey, CG, will be the speaker.

You can get more information and a registration form by visiting

Monday, February 21, 2011

Genealogy In Time Search Engine

In a recent edition of the Genealogy In Time Newsletter, it was announced that You can now search for ancestors listed on the Irish 1901 and the 1911 census using their search engine. They have also added the following state archive genealogy records: Alabama; Arizona; Arkansas; Maine; Missouri; South Carolina; Tennessee; Texas; Utah; Virginia; Washington and Wisconsin.

You can get to the search engine at

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Roots Magic Users Group Meets 26 February

If you are a Roots Magic genealogy program user or are just interested in seeing what its capabilities are, drop by the RMUG at 10 am, 26 February at the Largo Public Library. The meeting is in the Local History Room.

This is a free-flowing Q&A session where software users can help each other. So bring your questions and your experiences with the software and join in.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Genealogy and Privacy

The subject of privacy rules and how they affect genealogy information frequently comes up in our classes. I ran across an article in Genealogy's Star that talks to that subject that I thought might be interesting to many of you.

You can find it at

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

URL Shortner From Google

In a recent edition of his Online Newsletter, Dick Eastman responded to a reader question about confusing web addresses the reader had been seeing. They included "" and the reader wanted to know what they were all about.

Dick explained that they were shortened URL produced by a utility available from Google. This is a relatively new capability that is free.

You may not use the utility, but even so, you may want to know what is behind those mysterious looking web addresses.

You can read Dick's article at (appropriately enough, I used the Google utility to shorten the address for you.

Family History Writers Workshop Meets 22 February

The next meeting of the Family History Writers Workshop is at 6 PM at the Largo Public Library in the Local History Room.

If you are interested in practicing some writing about your family...recording some of those memories and stories before you forget them, then stop by the workshop.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

PGS Seminar A Rousing Success

The annual PGS/Largo Library Genealogy Seminar was held on 12 February. It was a great event featuring internally known author, speaker, and media personality Megan Smolenyak. The all day event also featured presentations by Bob Bryan, Debra Fleming, and Peter Summers.

Over 200 people attended the event and experienced not only the speakers, but also a huge genealogy book sale, the ability to interact with guest lineage and historical organizations, participate in drawings, and enjoy a provided lunch.

Planning is already underway for the next seminar to be held on 11 February, again at the Largo Public Library. Mark your calendar now.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

PGS on the FamilySearch WIKI

If you were at the PGS general meeting in January to hear our Speaker, Drew Smith, you heard him speak on the topic of Wikis.

A Wiki is basically a participatory website...visitors can contribute new information and edit what is posted. They are a unique opportunity to build a knowledge base on various topics. Probably the most well known Wiki is Wikipedia. There are several genealogy Wikis out there, and FamilySearch is one of them.

Drew demonstrated that Wiki and gave us information to arm ourselves to join in. He also pointed out that the Pinellas County page on the FamilySearch Wiki did not have any entry for out genealogy society. Well, following the instruction offered by Drew, I put our information on the site, and it was a easy as Drew indicated in his presentation.

You can see the page at,_Florida#Societies_and_Libraries

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Check Out Dick Eastman's Ten Commandments of Genealogy

In a recent edition of his Online Newsletter, Dick Eastman had an article titled "Ten Commandments of Genealogy." It is, of course, a list of ten things that "thou shalt do" in your genealogical research.

There probably is not much new in the list for experienced genealogists, but even experienced genealogists will probably be a bit embarrassed to admit that they neglect some of the good research practices listed. It is worth a look at the list as a self-check.

At the New Year gets underway, you can use Dick's list of commandments as a resolution list. Check it out at:

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Immigration Records at the Library and Archives Canada

The Library and Archives Canada has organized its immigration records and shown us information about their availability at the webpage shown at the bottom of this post.

Once you get to the page, scroll down a bit and you will see a table that lists the type of record held, whether the record is indexed, and if digitized images exist. Nearly all entries are hot links so you can easily get to the record or index information and to a help page for your search.

Check it out at

Monday, February 7, 2011

February is Black History Month

If you want to explore your African American roots, what better time to start than this month...Black History Month.

The Genealogy Center at the Largo Public Library has a very large African American collection including books with hard genealogical data to those books of the "how-to" variety.

Most of the books are for reference only and so must be used in the library, but there are also several in the circulating collection that can be taken home for a month at a time.

Drop by to check out these research materials, and look over several of the books that have been placed in a special display to highlight the collection.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

A DNA Story--NOT for the Feint of Heart

You have all heard of DNA testing in conjunction with genealogy by's one of the "hot buttons" in our obsession.

Articles on the subject are usually intimidating enough, but if you really want to be wowed, follow the link at the bottom of this post. You will be amazed at what Ann West has done with her analysis of the family DNA.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Ancestry Labs Gives You a Look Ahead

A while ago Ancestry unveiled its "Ancestry Labs" website. It is a site that is essentially separate from its main site. It is sort of an "experimental place" where Ancestry tells about some innovations its working on and can give us a preview of them.

It is worth checking out every once in a while. You can find it at

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Grand Opening of the Huxford-Spear Genealogy Library

You may remember some time ago one of our monthly meeting speakers was Elmer speer. Elmer had the product genealogy library located in North Florida. When he came to talk at our meeting, he said that the library was moving to Homerville, Georgia.

That move has taken place and the grand opening of the new Huxford-Spear genealogy library is going to occur on 13 February 2011 in Homerville, Georgia.

You are all invited to the grand opening. Elmer will speak about the new additions (28,000+ books and other materials) to the library. Refreshments will be served and door prizes will be awarded. And the best treat is you get to see and research in the new library. R.S.V.P. to Elmer Spear at