Monday, December 30, 2013

Largo Area Historical Society Meeting - 13 January

Catch the monthly meeting of the Largo Area Historical Society on 13 January, 2014. The meeting starts with a covered dish supper at 6:30 pm followed by a business meeting and speaker.

This month the speaker will be Jim Kramer who will present his latest video showcasing Largo's historic landmarks.

Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine | Forum

Check out this forum of the WDYTYA Magazine. You will find requests for research assistance as will as chats about genealogy topics in general and episodes of WDYTYA specifically.

You can, of course, post questions and contributions of your own.

Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine | Forum

Friday, December 27, 2013

Use Google Books to Get Free Copies of Pages of Family History Library Books

Here is an excerpt from the FamilySearch Blog:

Earlier this year, FamilySearch announced a free lookup service for genealogy books and microfilm available at the renowned Family History Library in Salt Lake City. The response was overwhelming, 1000s of people contacted us to take advantage of this free service. Another way to utilize this service is to start with limited preview Google Books and get us to scan the entire page and email it to you for free.

The link below takes you the the Blog for an in-depth explanation of how to use the service and how to use Google Books in conjunction with it.

Use Google Books to Get Free Copies of Pages of Family History Library Books

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Happy Holidays

Happy holidays to all from Pinellas Genealogy Society!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Largo Area Historical Society Open House

The Largo Area Historical Society will hold an open house at the Historic Feed Store in Largo Central Park from 10 am to 2 pm on January 4, 2014. Drop by and see the exhibits of artifacts from Largo’s past. Society members will be on hand to give explanations and answer questions.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Welcome Largo Area Historical Society As a PGS Organizational Member

PGS seeks to demonstrate its support of other organizations which share our objectives in promoting the research and preservation of ancestral families and their histories.

We are pleased to announce the Largo Area Historical Society as an organizational member.

In the early 1970's, an idea for a historical society evolved from the Area Development Committee of the Greater Largo Chamber of Commerce. Largo Area Historical Society, Inc. was granted a charter on October 17, 1973. Early preservation projects of the Society included saving approximately 28 of the City's original 1915 brick streets, the Lowe Barn, and the historic Feed Store which was moved to Largo Central Park in 1992, to name just a few.

The mission of the Society is to provide historical education, promote Largo’s rich heritage, and strive for preservation of historical documents and places of interest.

·         The Society meets the 2nd Monday of the month (except March, July, and August) at the historic Feed Store (295 Central Park Dr., Largo). Meetings start at 6:30 pm with potluck followed by a business meeting and a speaker.

·         The historic Feed Store is open to public tours from 10-2pm every 1st Saturday (except July and August).

American Battle Monuments Commission

Established by Congress in 1923, the American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) commemorates the service, achievements, and sacrifice of U.S. armed forces. ABMC manages 24 overseas military cemeteries, and 26 memorials, monuments, and markers. Nearly all the cemeteries and memorials specifically honor those who served in World War I or World War II.

However, interments from other wars are also included in the databases. For instance, the Mexican War, Spanish American War, and the Korean War are also included.

Check out the website at:  American Battle Monuments Commission

Friday, December 20, 2013

Family Dynamics: An Important Consideration During Any Event

In his Genealogy Tip of the Day,  Michael John Neill points out that what is going on in the family during any genealogical event (death, move, etc.) in important to explore. It may lead to additional important information, and surely will give a greater appreciation of our ancestors’ lives.

Check out his tip at:  Genealogy Tip of the Day: The Microdynamics of Death

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Shelby County Register of Deeds Provides Online Data

Check out the Shelby County, Tennessee Register of Deeds website for links to many data files including Marriage indexes and images from 1920-1989, and death records from 1848-1962.

There are also links to marriage, divorce, and death records indexes at the Tennessee vital records website.

Tom Leatherwood, Shelby County Register of Deeds

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Cook County, Illinois Records Online

If you have ancestors from the Cook County area of Illinois, you may find the Cook County website Genealogy Online helpful.

There you will fine birth certificates 75 years or older, marriage licenses 50 years or older, and death certificates 20 years or older.

You need to establish an account to use the site, but it is free to register.

Check it out at:  Cook County Clerk's Office - Genealogy Online

Friday, December 13, 2013

Madison County, Alabama Records

If you have research interests in Madison County, Alabama, check out this link to the Madison County Records Center.

You will find links to indexes for Marriage records, Probate records, confederate pensions, naturalization records, and more.

I searched for a grooms name in the marriage record collection and came up with an index entry showing the names of the groom, bride, the volume and page number of the entry, and the date of the license.

Check it out at:  Madison County Records Center

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

List of Occupation Abbreviations

Old documents often mention occupations our ancestors are involved in, but to save space those occupations are often abbreviated.

GenealogyInTime Magazine recently made a compiled list of occupational abbreviations available to us. It may be a useful reference as you do your research.

Find the list at:  List of Occupation Abbreviations

Monday, December 9, 2013

Most Popular Names for Girls

OK, so this on is not the most genealogically relevant site I’ve ever referred you to…but it is fun.

An animated map shows you the most popular girls names for babies state by state. The time period covered is form 1960 to 2012. The whole affair is color coded to help you see the changes from map to map.

If you scroll down the page, a static version of each maps is displayed for more careful examination.

Have fun: Map: Six Decades of the Most Popular Names for Girls, State-by-State

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Guidelines to Preserving Family Archives

Here is an article that appeared in a short while ago. It gives us guidelines for preserving our paper documents.

The guidance includes how to handle paper, what plastic sleeves to use, what boxes to use, warnings about using glue and tape, and where to store it.

Check it out at:  Hidden History: The guide to preserving your family archive

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Family History Respository Service In Action

PGS member Karen Fortin is shown working at the book scanner at the Largo Public Library. She is digitizing donated family history research papers for entry into the Family History Repository.

The FHR Service opened its doors just last month. It has been established to give researchers a place to harbor their work when they decide that they want to retire their research collection or there is no family member who is able to continue the effort. In these cases, the FHR stands ready to accept the material.

To be accepted, the material must be an original work product (family group sheets, pedigree charts, narratives, notes, etc.), it must be unpublished, and the author or other authorized person must be willing to pass control of the material to PGS.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Online Data for Michigan: Chippewa, Luce, and Mackinac Counties

The Bayiss Public Library is located on the Canadian border at the eastern part of the Upper Peninsula. It makes available to us some genealogical information for Chippewa, Luce, and Mackinac counties. Of the three, most of the information deals with Chippewa County.

You can find cemetery transcriptions, biographies, and hotlinks to some local records resources as well as the local genealogy societies.

Check it out at:

Friday, November 29, 2013

More Great Genealogy Brickwall Solutions

A few days ago I posted an article on brickwall solutions from the Genealogy In Time Magazine. Well, here are some more. Look over part 2 of the article to get some great ideas for busting thorough those brickwalls.

Check it out at:  More Great Genealogy Brickwall Solutions - Part 2

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Holiday Deals from Roots Magic

Roots Magic is offering holiday discounts on all of its software products and books. Check them out at:

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

City Directory Abbreviations

The link below will take you to an issue of Genealogy In Time Magazine that has an article showing a list of more or less standard abbreviations used in city directories.

Each directory has a list of abbreviations it uses, but sometimes it is handy to have a list on the side for easy reference. Remember that there may be some unique to the directory you are using, so don’t overlook that directory’s list of abbreviations if needed.

By the way, the Pinellas Genealogy Society offers a class on conducting research using city directories. You can see when it is being offered by checking the class schedule on the society website:

In the meantime, check out the abbreviations at:  City Directory Abbreviations

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Surnames in the United States

Here is a website that is informative and fun to poke around in. Want to know the most popular surnames in the US? It will tell you. Curious about the top 10 baby names? Look here. Interested in ethnic associations of last names? Go no further.

Check it out at:  Last Names [Surnames] in the United States

Friday, November 22, 2013

More Great Genealogy Brickwall Solutions

The Genealogy In Time Magazine offers us yet another great article on brick wall solutions. You may be aware of some of these problem-solving research techniques, but others may be just the tip you need to make progress in your ancestor hunt.

Check it out at:  More Great Genealogy Brickwall Solutions - Part 1

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Rochester Churches Indexing Project

If you have ancestors in or around Rochester, New York, this website may hold treasures for you.

The Rochester Churches Indexing Project started in 2009 and now boasts over 29,000 marriages and 21,000 baptisms in their database.

In addition to searching for names, you can get information on all of the churches included in the project.

Check it out at:  Rochester Churches Indexing Project

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Family History Repository Opens Its Doors

The Pinellas Genealogy Society in partnership with the Largo Public Library announces the formation of the Family History Repository. Its goal is to safeguard and make available to the public unpublished, original family history and genealogy research.

The FHR has been established to give researchers a place to harbor their work when they decide that they want to retire their research collection or there is no family member who is able to continue the effort. In these cases, the FHR stands ready to accept the material.

Too often the efforts of researchers are neglected or destroyed when their personal involvement in the research ends due to shifting priorities, health, or other reasons. The FHR provides a place and a process where that research can live on.

To be accepted, the material must be an original work product (family group sheets, pedigree charts, narratives, notes, etc.), it must be unpublished, and the author or other authorized person must be willing to pass control of the material to PGS.

Although paper files are the focus of the repository, several different electronic formats can be acceptable on a case by case basis.

The PGS has offered this service on a limited scale for some time. Now, the recent acquisition of a book scanner by the Pinellas Public Library Consortium accompanied by project partnership with the Largo Public Library, the service can be greatly expanded.

The donated material will be archived either in paper or converted to digital form, and made available to other researchers through the collection in the Genealogy Center of the Largo Public Library or the World Wide Web.


Friday, November 15, 2013 Indexes An Additional 1 Million Florida Marriage Records

The Florida Marriage Record database at now numbers somewhere north of 2.3 million indexed records. Access is free.

You can get directly to the search screen with the following link:  Florida, Marriages, 1830-1993 —

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Elkhart (IN) Public Library Makes Obituary Information Available

The city of Altoona is located in central Pennsylvania in Blair County. Its county seat is Hollidaysburg.

It has an obituary index available on line that is extracted from the Elkhart Truth from 1921 to the present. The work is not complete, and entries continue to be added.

From the home page, click on “Genealogy & Local History” from the tabs across the top of the page, and then select “Obituary Database” from the dropdown menu.
Elkhart Public Library — Elkhart Public Library MyEPL

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

PGS Family History Assistance Day Another Success

Charlie and Lois Barros staff the reception desk
Twice a year the PGS and the Largo Public Library hold a Family History Assistance Day where researchers can sit with fellow genealogists and get one-on-one help with their research. This time around, twenty-nine researchers took advantage of the opportunity.
 Dorothy McDermott, Eileen Mandujano, and Susan Luce (helper) at work
Fifteen helpers at work with clients
Laurie Stokes (helper) with patron Barbara Edwards at the Genealogy Center

Monday, November 11, 2013

The Devon Wills Project 1312-1891

As stated on the home page of “The Devon Wills Project” at

The majority of wills and administrations of Devon people were proved or granted in either in Devon itself or in London. The originals of those wills proved in London (very nearly all at the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, "PCC") have survived. However many probate records for the county of Devon and Diocese of Exeter including the Exeter Principal Registry were destroyed by enemy action in 1942, when the Probate Registry was destroyed in the bombing during the Exeter Blitz of WWII. Thus the overall aim of this index is to create a finding-aid to enable the researcher to determine what probate materials were originally recorded and most importantly what documents have survived (original document, copy or abstract) and where they can be located.”

The link below will take you directly to a search form. - National Wills Index - Search Devon Wills Project 1312-1891

Friday, November 8, 2013

My Genealogy Hound May Reveal Ancestor Biographies

According to the My Genealogy Hound home page, “”My Genealogy Hound is your completely free site to view thousands of family biographies from early and rare history and genealogy references. These biographies can often be valuable for discovering details about ancestors in your family tree research.”

The site add new biographies as they acquire them, so it is worthwhile bookmarking the site to easily revisit it.

You can browse the entries by state and county or by family surname, and it is free.

Check it out at:  My Genealogy Hound Home Page

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Memorial Park Cemetery Canvas Begins

Thanks to Jean Schmidt, Cheryl Shaughnessy, Deborah Schuler, Laurie Stokes, and Karen Fortin for beginning the canvas of Memorial Park Cemetery (yours truly took the picture). Lots more work to do, so consider getting involved. If you are interested in participating, send an email to to let us know.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

James Tanner in his Blog Genealogy's Star, has written a series of very interesting articles giving his take on where we are today in the world of genealogy. It may echo your own thoughts, but his insights are well worth the read.

James has  more than thirty years' experience in law and computers, and over twenty years experience as a research genealogist. His view is obviously born of great experience. The series of articles is in four parts, and if I have not messed up the links, you can read them as shown below.

You can access James' entire Blog at:

Monday, November 4, 2013

Online Indexes for Cemeteries, Obituaries and Death Records Updated

Joe Beine has recently updated is Online Indexes for Cemeteries, Obituaries and Death Records. The following link will take you to a page that shows the updates, and throughout the page are links to the actual indexes.

Genealogy Roots Blog: Online Indexes for Cemeteries, Obituaries and Death Records - Latest Additions

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Why Genealogy is Important

We all know why genealogy is important to us…why we spend an inordinate amount of time poking around archives, searching online, etc. But we may find it difficult to explain to others, like our families, what drives us.

The following link is to an article in the Genealogy In Time Magazine that does a good job of listing various reasons genealogy is so compelling. It may be worth your while to look it over if you  need help explaining your hobby. It may be especially helpful if you are trying to convince a family member to get involved along with you.

Why Genealogy is Important

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Insight on Google Genealogy Searches

The Genealogy In Time Magazine gives us an insight into how the Google search engine works when it comes to genealogy searches. You may be surprised that as useful as that search engine is, it has some limitations.

The article also gives some advice about how to work around the problems.

Check it out at:  Google Limitations on Genealogy Searches

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Database Links for Military Cemeteries

Try these links if you possibly have ancestors buried in military cemeteries:

For interments at Arlington National Cemetery:

For military cemeteries other than Arlington:

For American service members killed and buried overseas:

Monday, October 28, 2013

Family History Assistance Day Scheduled for 9 November

Family History Assistance Day is scheduled for 12 noon to 4 pm at the Largo Public Library on November 9, 2013.

This popular event is held twice a year and is a great opportunity to sit one-on-one with a researcher to help you get started in exploring your family, or to tackle a knotty research problem you have been having. Just bring the research notes you have as a starting point. This is a first-come-first-served event. You do not need to be a member of the Pinellas Genealogy Society to participate, and it is free.

We also will have a class you can participate in if you have to wait for a research assistant to become available. Volunteers will also be present in the Genealogy Center to provide help with our print collection.

Join in, and spread the word.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Oak Grove Cemetery in Paducah, KY

Oak Grove Cemetery dates back to 1847 and has about 33,000 burials. The database of burials is arranged alphabetically, so there is no real search form to fill out.

Scroll down the home page and you will fine links to various maps of the cemetery. Click on “Burial Records” to find the list of burials. Your next screen will give you another set of alphabetized links so you can go to the “A” surnames, “G” surnames, etc. Be aware that each letter of the alphabet has two links: one form 1800-1999 burials, and another for 2000-present burials.

Oak Grove Cemetery |

Friday, October 25, 2013

Cathy Salustri Makes Presentation at October PGS Meeting

Cathy Salustri (left) presented a program at the PGS October meeting based on a 1930's WPA Writer's Project travelogue of Florida. She recounted her own travels following the 1930's book, concentrating mostly on US 19 from the northern border to its termination in that day at what is the Bay Pines VA Hospital. Vice President Harriet Thompkins (right) holds a copy of the original WPA Guide to Florida.

Cathy's preparation for her adventures and her insights during her trip hold lesson for all of us who make similar history-based trips to visit ancestral homes.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

The Lexington, KY Cemetery

Lexington Cemetery was established in 1849. The online database will allow you to search for notable people buried there, as well as a general search for any burial.

Your results will include dates of birth and death, burial date, funeral director, and interment location.

From the home page click on “Genealogy” at the top of the page and then scroll down just a bit to get to the search form.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Congratulations and Thanks to Karen Fortin

PGS member Karen Fortin was recognized at the October 2013 meeting with the Outstanding Contribution Award. Karen's contributions as a consultant in the Genealogy Center, her work on the CDROM collection, and her work to bring the Family History Repository Service on line make her deserving of the recognition and our thanks. In the picture, president David Dellinger gives a certificate and pin to Karen.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The German Genealogy Group

The German Genealogy Group focuses, of course on German genealogy, but it s databases go beyond that single nationality and are free for anyone to search.

From the group’s home page, click on “Database Searches” on the left and then choose from a dropdown menu. The choices include births, marriages, cemetery records, church records, German enemy aliens, naturalizations, and more.

Check it out at:  The German Genealogy Group (GGG) is a not for profit organization established in early 1996...

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Breaking Through Your Genealogy Brick Walls - YouTube

A little while ago, Crist Cowan (’s “Barefoot Genealogist) published a YouTube video on dealing with your genealogy Brick Walls.

There are tips and techniques valuable to all in this video. Check it out.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Privacy Versus Information Sharing

This article at by Maureen Taylor, gives us a different spin on the old subject of online privacy and its related subject of identity theft protection.

Maureen talks to those who want to start their own family website, but what she has to say can be of use to the broader audience of everyone who publishes family information on line. She brings some balance to the competing subjects of information sharing and privacy protection.

Check it out at: Privacy and the Family Home Page

Thursday, October 17, 2013

German Researcher in New Port Richey--Free Seminar

Peter Raap, of Bremerhaven, Germany will be visiting New Port Richey.   You are invited to come and hear Peter speak about researching German ancestors.  Topics to be covered will include German privacy laws, researching German archives, history of German immigration, finding the genealogy union most likely to assist you in your search area, and time permitting, a period of translating your documents.

Place:  New Port Richey Family History Center
Location: 10606 Hilltop Drive, New Port Richey, FL  34654
Time: 6:30 pm
Date: November 1, 2013 (Friday)
RSVP: Debbe Hagner – or Karen Blank - or Bill Schick -

Wednesday, October 16, 2013 Offers Video on The War of 1812 has several databases applicable to the War of 1812 and they are discussed in a video they have posted on YouTube. If you have ancestors that may have served during that war, you may find the video helpful.

Don’t forget that PGS also presents a class on the War of 1812 that covers the same material and even goes into more detail. The video and our class certainly compliment each other. Check the class list at the PGS website to see if that class is scheduled for the near future. If it isn’t, keep checking because it will be.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Family History Assistance Day Scheduled for 9 November

Family History Assistance Day is scheduled for 12 noon to 4 pm at the Largo Public Library on November 9, 2013.

This popular event is held twice a year and is a great opportunity to sit one-on-one with a researcher to help you get started in exploring your family, or to tackle a knotty research problem you have been having. Just bring the research notes you have as a starting point. This is a first-come-first-served event. You do not need to be a member of the Pinellas Genealogy Society to participate, and it is free.

We also will have a class you can participate in if you have to wait for a research assistant to become available. Volunteers will also be present in the Genealogy Center to provide help with our print collection.

Join in, and spread the word.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Altoona Area Public Library Publishes Obituary and Birth Indexes

The city of Altoona is located in central Pennsylvania in Blair County. Its county seat is Hollidaysburg. The public library there has made two indexes available online that may be of interest. One is obituaries, and the other is birth announcements.

The obits include those from 1929 to the present. The birth index includes all of the information from the newspaper announcement.

From the home page, click on the index of interest in t;he “Digital Library Resources” box on the right on the screen, or scroll down to Databases, and click on “Our Databases.”

Digital Library | Altoona Area Public Library

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Megan Smolenyak to Speak at Pensacola

Megan Smolenyak will be the featured speaker at the West Florida Genealogical Society in Pensacola, Florida on 9 November.

The titles of her presentations are: "Right Annie, Wrong Annie," "Trace Your Roots with DNA," "Find That Obituary! Online Newspaper Research" and "Honoring Our Ancestors"

For a registration form and more information see:

Monday, October 7, 2013

PGS Sponsors Program on "Finding Florida"

On Saturday, 19 October, in the Jenkins Room of the Largo Public Library, the PGS will sponsor a unique and fascinating look at Florida and some of its history. Cathy Salustri will present Finding Florida: Revisiting the Guide to the Southernmost State.

During the Great Depression, the Federal Writers Project of the Works Progress Administration hired writers throughout the US to develop tour books for each state. The authors of Florida's book included Stetson Kennedy and Zora Neale Hurston. The book that resulted from their efforts, Florida: A Guide to the Southernmost State, captured a slice of life along Florida's roadways just before America's entry into the Second World War. This presentation relives Cathy Salustri's experience of taking "the ultimate Florida road trip" to retrace the paths followed by Huston and Kennedy more than seven decades ago.

Additionally, this year celebrates the anniversary of Juan Ponce de Leon's 1513 landing on the peninsula and naming it "La Florida." It would seem fitting to have a program celebrating Florida for a number of reasons then.

Join in at 11 am in the Jenkins Room of the Largo Public Library. The presentation is free and open to the public. Come early (10 am) and enjoy the monthly Computers in Genealogy Q&A session.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Genealogy Search Engine by GenealogyInTime

GenealogyInTime Magazine offers two search engines specifically for genealogists: the Genealogy Search Engine and the Family Tree Search Engine. I have written about them before, but they deserve another look.

The Genealogy Search Engine has been enhanced in several wayS. For example, the entire Google Newspaper Archive is now included in the search. In all, the search engine says it indexes 2.7 billion records from over 1,000 websites.

The following link explains the two search engines and provides direct links to them. Check it out.  Search Over 500 Million More Records

Thursday, October 3, 2013 Acquires Find A Grave

Here is the announcement from the Blog:
  "We are pleased to announce that LLC has acquired Find A Grave, Inc., the leading online cemetery database. 
  "With over 100 million memorials and 75 million photos, Find A Grave has amassed an unparalleled collection of burial information. Over the past 18 years, it has grown to become an invaluable resource for genealogists, history buffs and cemetery preservationists. Find A Grave will become a wholly owned subsidiary of, and will continue to be managed by its founder, Jim Tipton.
  " plans to bolster the resources dedicated to Find A Grave to launch a new mobile app, improve customer support, introduce an enhanced edit system for submitting updates to memorials, foreign-language support, and other site improvements."

For a more complete discussion of the acquisition and an analysis of Ancestry and others in the genealogy market, see:

Heritage Village Jubilee To Be Held 26 October

The Heritage Village Fall Jubilee takes place on 26 October from 9 am to 4 pm. Heritage Village is at  11909 125th Street, Largo, FL.

This is a great annual event for the entire family…and PGS will have a display table there with volunteers to answer questions about genealogy and the Society.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Suncoast Genealogy Society Fall Seminar, 26 October

Suncoast Genealogy Society


Fall Mini-Seminar 2013

October 26, 2013

Palm Harbor Library Community Room
2330 Nebraska Ave, Palm Harbor
1:00 PM to 4:30 PM (Registration 12:30 PM)
 Joanne Chubb King
Topics: Researching German Americans
        Researching Irish Americans
For additional information Contact: John Mangan
Phone: 727-667-0457
  SGS members $10 in advance, $15 after Oct 11, 2013
     Non-members $15 in advance, $20 after Oct 11, 2013   

Sunday, September 29, 2013 Adds to Its Immigration Collection

The website has been adding to its online immigration collection at a fairly good clip. Since it is free and thus accessible from home, it is a good place to check during your research.

Some ports of entry are complete (as complete as the National Archives at any rate), but some are still works in progress. Be sure and read about the database before you do your search so you can determine if the search for you ancestor's arrival place and date is appropriate.

The link provided below will take you to a list of the current immigration and naturalization digitized record sets. Check on the right of the list to see when the listed database was last updated.

Thursday, September 26, 2013 Search the world's historic newspaper archives

Here is website that is worth checking out. Elephind claims to search, in one fell swoop, over 1000 newspaper titles that are online…including the Library of Congress digital collection.

The home page gives you a search box prominently displayed, but it is worth clicking on the advanced search option where you can narrow your search by country, date range, and source. Take a minute to check the list of sources to get an idea of the depth of the search.

The hit list resulting from your search may be a bit daunting, but could uncover items you would be interested in. Each of the hits will have your search terms high lighted to aid you in separating the wheat from the chaff.

If you find hits from a particular source of interest to you, it may be worth your while to also search that source on your own to be sure something wasn’t overlooked. Search the world's historic newspaper archives

Monday, September 23, 2013

Suncoast Genealogy Society features Debra Fleming

The Suncoast Genealogy Society will have Debra Fleming as guest speaker at their September meeting .  She will discuss Exploring Genealogy Bank, one of the top resources for finding ancestors in the news. Genealogy Bank℠ not only contains historical newspapers, but it also contains historical books, historical documents and a Social Security Death Index (SSDI).

The meeting will be at 2 pm, Sept. 28th at the Palm Harbor Library.  Guests are welcome.  The meeting will be preceded by a Roots Magic user group meeting at 1PM.

Identity Theft–A Perspective

We have all been alerted to the specter of identity theft. And within limits, we as genealogists should be concerned about it, especially if we publish our genealogy information online. There is a danger however, that we can become completely paralyzed not only in our genealogy work, but simply in our normal lives if we don't use some reason.

James tanner, writing in his blog “Genealogy's Star,” gives us his take on the threat. His article also provides hotlinks to additional articles he has written on the subject.

Each one of us has to make a personal decision on how we will deal with this issue. James is thoughts are well worth consideration.

You can find his article at: Genealogy's Star: Genealogy and the Specteral Myth of Identity Theft

Friday, September 20, 2013

Online Searchable Naturalization Records & Indexes

Naturalization records can provide a wealth of genealogical information. The problem as that most of those records are not easily available. However more and more records are finding their way an online in the form of indexes or digital copies of the records themselves.

Joe Beine provides us with a wonderful list of online searchable naturalization records and indexes, and he updates the list list frequently.

You can find Joe’s list at: Online Searchable Naturalization Records & Indexes

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Manatee Genealogical Society Features Jom McHugh

The Manatee Genealogical Society October meeting on the first at 9:30 am will feature Jim McHugh. Jims topic is "How to Self-Publish at No Cost."

The meeting takes place at the Manatee County Central Library auditorium. For more information go to

Understanding Jurisdiction Can Help in Finding Records

James Tanner, writing in his Blog “Genealogy’s Star,” gives us an informative article about the issue of legal jurisdiction and how it can influence our search for records.

James’ legal training comes to bear here as he introduces the legal aspects of the term and then moves into its genealogical implications.

You can read his article at: Genealogy's Star: The Question of Jurisdiction

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Britney Hord to Speak at PGS Monthly Meeting on 21 September

Britney Hord, Library Services Coordinator at our very own Largo Public Library, will be the featured speaker at the 21 September meeting. Her topic will be "How to Use 'The Rest' of Largo Library for Your Genealogy Research."

We often get so focused on the references in the Genealogy Center that we forget about all of the other sources of genealogical importance located elsewhere in the library. It is those sources that Britney will talk abut. This topic was inspired by our seminar speaker last February, Sharon DeBartolo Carmack. Her presentation titled "Flesh on the Bones: Putting Your Ancestor into Historical Perspective" touched on the value of the library's general collection. The topic was well-received and prompted us to expand it with Britney's help.

The monthly meeting is free and open to the public. It is held in the Jenkins Room of the Largo Public Library and starts at 11 am. There is an open Q&A period about computers in genealogy that precedes the meeting. It begins at 10 am.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Does The Vital Record I’m Looking For Exist?

The Blog offers an article that addresses that question. Although you may not have a personal subscription to, the research techniques it discusses will help you with any search. And don’t forget that access to Ancestry is free at nearly every local public library.

This article is especially interesting because it show a use of the Ancestry Family History Wiki.

You can find the article at: How Do I Know if a Vital Record Exists?

Monday, September 9, 2013

Operation Ancestor Search

The following is from George Moran (Florida Genealogy Society, Tampa; one of the Genealogy Guys of podcast renown; and frequent presenter at our monthly meetings). It explains a program called Operation Ancestor Search. It is meant to aid our wounded warriors.

Here is what George sent us:

I’ve asked the Florida Genealogical Society (Tampa) Board for permission to share information with all of my fellow members about a very special program that I believe is important. It is called Operation Ancestor Search, and it is an exemplary program operated by the National Society, Sons of the American Revolution (NSSAR), in partnership with to help and support our United States veterans.

Operation Ancestor Search (OAS) works with our country's Wounded Warriors - the men and women who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces and who have suffered physical and emotional injuries. This program provides an interest for these veterans to take their minds off their injuries, provides them with a potentially new interest, and fosters reconnection with their family, friends, and their communities.

This program has a lot of benefits to the wounded veterans' lives, perhaps more than you may imagine. Testimonials by participants, their spouses, and their families recount stories of the recovery from substance abuse, restoration of self-esteem, and help in rebuilding their lives.

OAS can bring brave these men and women into contact with genealogical and historical societies, perhaps drawing them into contact with people who will accept them without any judgment - just welcoming support. That involvement can be a step towards reintegration with their communities.

The NSSAR is not using this program to recruit new members. Rather, they are working to establish this program where it is needed to support our veterans. The program is growing, and seeks support and volunteers to promote and help implement it.

I had the opportunity at the Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference in Fort Wayne, Indiana, on August 22nd to interview Rick Kincaid, the Program Director for OAS, and Kim Harrison of who works directly with Rick and OAS. The interview is published as part of The Genealogy Guys Podcast that Drew Smith and I co-host. You can listen to that interview in our September 2, 2013, episode at

In addition, I've compiled a PDF file that contains some important details about OAS, its mission, and how to help. That file can be accessed in the Secure Download area of the Members Only area on our society’s website. (You can access that by entering an ID of the first initial of your first name and your last name (no spaces) and a password consisting of your ZIP code.)

I believe that there is nothing that we cannot and should not do to support our veterans. The fact that OAS is taking advantage of genealogy to help is icing on the cake. We have multiple VA hospitals in our metropolitan area and this could be an opportunity for us, as individuals and as a genealogical society, to begin getting involved with OAS.

If you're interested in getting more information, you can visit the Operation Ancestor Search website at Please also feel free to contact Rick Kincaid at or by phone at (502) 588-6147, and let him know that you heard about OAS from me. He's a delight to talk to and would love to hear from you. You can also contact me at (813) 205-3032 for more information.

Please spread the word to your family, friends, colleagues, and to others in your community. OAS provides an exceptional opportunity to support our Wounded Warriors and their families in a very tangible way.

Thank you for listening,

PGS Program on How to Use the Largo Library for Your Genealogy Research

I hope you all know how great a resource the Genealogy Center at the Largo Public Library is. But are you aware of the research potential of the library resources outside of the Center? That is what the program on 21 September at the Library's Jenkins Room will be about.

Britney Hord, Largo Library Service Coordinator, will share with you what's available in the Largo Library to help you with your family history.

Join in at 11 am in the Jenkins Room of the Largo Public Library. The presentation is free and open to the public. Come early (10 am) and enjoy the monthly Computers in Genealogy Q&A session.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Lee County Genealogy Society Meeting Hosts Carol Rooksby Weidlich

On September 14, 2013 LCGS is presenting Genealogy in the clouds given by Carol Rooksby Weidlich as she takes a look at the various options available both free and paid and how to choose what's right for you.
This meeting is held at the Wesley memorial United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall At 4141 DeLeon Street, Fort Myers, FL 
Doors Open at 9:30 AM  Business meeting at 10:00 AM with Refreshments and Program.

Ellis Island Immigration Records

The GenealogyInTime Magazine recently published a very informative article about Ellis Island immigration records. It gives much historical background about the place and some insight as to how immigrant names got changed or misspelled.

This is a “must” article if you are doing immigration research. Check it out at: Ellis Island Immigration Records

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

More Iowa Records Available at Familysearch

Those of you with Iowa ancestors will be pleased to know that has recently added about 128,000 more records to their online Iowa County Marriage database…and it is indexed. The collection covers the period 1838 to 1934.

The database is free to access, and the search screen can be accessed at:  Iowa, County Marriages, 1838-1934 —

Monday, September 2, 2013

Make Your Online Genealogy Searches More Effective

Knowing how to construct your online searches is key to making them effective. The Genealogy In Time Magazine offers us a concise article on how to do just that. It covers techniques for searching for names, places, and dates.

The search techniques are applicable to Google in addition to the magazine’s own Genealogy Search Engine and its Family Tree Search Engine. Links to those last two are provided in the article.

Check out the article at: A Guide to Performing Online Genealogy Searches

Friday, August 30, 2013

Some Answers for Your Brick Wall Problems

We all have those pesky ancestors that refuse to be found, or who have documentation that eludes us. When we try unsuccessfully to uncover them, that’s when we put them in the “brick wall” category.

Recently, Genealogy in Time online magazine offered an article with fifty ideas on how to solve common brick wall problems. The article covers a variety of topics including maiden names, migration, land records, and more.

Check it out at: 50 Best Genealogy Brick Wall Solutions

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Library and Archives Canada Releases Census Records

Library and Archives Canada (LAC) has released the 1842 census of Canada West (modern-day Ontario) and the 1842 census of Canada East (modern-day Quebec).

These censuses, like the US censuses before 1850, contain limited information: name of the head of the household, occupation and number of residents in the household as well as a few other pieces of information.     

Here are direct links to the two census databases:
Canada West:
Canada East:

LAC has also released the 1870 census of Manitoba, which was taken shortly after Manitoba joined Confederation. It contains the names of 12,200 individuals who lived in the region at that time.

Check it out at:

The first national census of Canada was conducted in 1871, so all of the above predate that event.
All of the databases listed above are free access.

Saturday, August 24, 2013 Releases NY Naturalization Petitions recently announced its release of a collection of New York State naturalization petitions.  They cover the period 1794 to 1906 and were filed in various federal, state and local courts in New York State. This is a valuable collection given the dispersed nature of naturalization records. It is fortunate state and local courts are included.

The collection contains over one million records which can list the name of the petitioner, age or date of birth, nationality, date and port of arrival and the court where the paperwork was filed. is a subscription service, of course. But don't forget you can get to it free from your public library.

Here is a direct link to the Ancestry database search screen:

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Florida Genealogical Society Seminar 26 October

This announcement come from the Florida Genealogical Society:

The Florida Genealogical Society - Tampa is proud to present its annual Fall Seminar "Putting Method to Your Genealogical Madness" featuring J. Mark Lowe.

he seminar will take place at the University of South Florida (Tampa Campus), Marshall Student Center, Room 2708 (Plaza Room) on 26 October from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 pm.

The price for non-members is $40 and $35 for members.

There will be a boxed lunch available for $7.50 with your choice of sandwich or lunch can be on your own. The first 100 cars will receive FREE Parking

Please visit the website for more information including registration forms:


Sunday, August 18, 2013

PGS Newsletter Available Online

Did you know you can read the current as well as past PGS Newsletters online? It's easy...just click on the link below and enjoy.

The Newsletter is published monthly except for June, July , and August. It is meant to keep you informed about PGS activities and issues, as well as give you insights to research techniques.

Go to and then click on the link for the current issue or the historic issues located in the center of the page.

If you are new to our website, once you get to the page described above, use the main navigation bar at the top of the page to explore it.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

PAF User Alert

This was a notice provided a few weeks ago by PGS Education Director, Bob Bryan:

If you are one of the many PAF users who is considering moving to another genealogy database program, this item will be of interest to you. is recommending that PAF users change to a new program and they suggest one of the following:
  • Legacy
  • Ancestral Quest
  • RootsMagic
RootsMagic is the only one of these programs with a substantial number of users in PGS and has a user group meeting each month, Sep-May. You can download a free version of the software from
Also, a series of short videos has been posted at explaining how to move your PAF data to RootsMagic, how to customize RootsMagic to look and feel like PAF and more. Take a look and see what you think.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

1000 Memories to be shut down

If you have participated in the 1000 Memories website to store photos or to create memorial pages for you ancestors, you need to know that the site is shutting down. You photos will not be accessible after 15 September.

However, you may download your photos to your computer or to (which recently bought 1000 Memories.

Here is the information from the website:

Dear 1000memories users,
  We're writing to let you know what we are shutting down the website.
During the next month, you can export your photos to or download them as a ZIP file by visiting (see instructions below). After September 15th, all photos will be deleted permanently.
  If you created a memorial page, you don’t have to worry about exporting – an archived version of your loved ones’ memory page will remain up on (we have emailed you links separately).
  We regret that this decision will adversely affect many people, but we are excited to continue serving many of you at Since being acquired last fall, we’ve launched a beautiful new way to tell your ancestors’ life stories as well as a new and improved version of our Shoebox mobile app. We will now be working toward a new photo-sharing experience on
  We can’t thank you enough for your support and input over the last several years. If you have any questions or concerns, please email us at
   The 1000memories team

Monday, August 12, 2013

Top Tips for Canadian Family History Research - YouTube

If you have Canadian ancestors in our research sights, this video by Ancestry’s Crista Cowen will help you get started. It provides some general research techniques as well as pointers specific to using

Friday, August 9, 2013

Ancestry Paths–A Treasure of Genealogy Information

Check out the Ancestry Paths website for a myriad of helpful hints on research and a pile of links to data on various subjects.

Once on the home page scroll down to see some of the featured categories of information, or click the “Site Index” tab near the top to get an over-view of the site content. Some of the references are very specific in terms of geography, and some, like Internet Archive, are large, general collections.

You can find it at:    

Ancestry Paths | Helping you find your way to Genealogy information.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

USCIS Website Make-over

If you have not looked that the website for the U.S. citizenship and Immigration Services in a while, click on the link below.

The site has had a make-over and, although the information available remains essentially the same, the presentation is more complete and user-friendly.

Once at the home page, look for “History and Genealogy” under the services tab on in the left hand panel.

There you will find a complete explanation of the different files the USCIS has, an explanation of the process one would follow to decided if and how to use the services offered, and a price structure. If you cannot find arrival lists or naturalization papers for your ancestors…and the timeframe is right, you may find help here.

Check it out at:

USCIS Home Page

Monday, August 5, 2013

PGS Program on Identity Theft Prevention

At its monthly meeting on Saturday, 17 August, the Pinellas Genealogy Society will sponsor a program on identity theft prevention, a constant concern to people who publish information genealogists.

The internet has made it easier for genealogists to find family information , but it has at the same time opened the door for possible identity theft. The presenters (John Bacon and Wendy Swertfeger) will discuss how you can protect your identity in this arena.

Join in at 11 am in the Jenkins Room of the Largo Public Library. The presentation is free and open to the public. Come early (10 am) and enjoy the monthly Computers in Genealogy Q&A session.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Digital Library on American Slavery

If you have slave connections in your ancestry you will want to check out the Digital Library on American Slavery website. Here is an extraction from the site:

”The Digital Library on American Slavery offers data on race and slavery extracted from eighteenth and nineteenth-century documents and processed over a period of eighteen years. The Digital Library contains detailed information on about 150,000 individuals, including slaves, free people of color, and whites.”

Check it out at:

About the Digital Library on American Slavery

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Tips for Using Maps in Your Family History Research

Diane Haddad, writing in her Blog Genealogy Insider, gives us several tips on using maps in our research.

PGS has two classes on using various types of maps, some of which Diane mentions in her article. She also includes some great links to online map collections.

Check it out at:

Genealogy Insider – Six Tips for Mapping Your Family History

Sunday, July 28, 2013

The Estray Book

Have you ever used an Estray Book in your research? Do you even know what one is?

Check it out in Michael John Neill’s Genealogy Tip of the Day at:

Genealogy Tip of the Day: The Estray Book

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Learning Center at

In case you have not visited it lately, here is the link to the Learning Center at

Note on the left of the screen that the courses have been categorized in several different ways, making it easy to zero in on what is most helpful to you. Of course, the classes are free.

Learning Center: Genealogy Courses |

Monday, July 22, 2013

Ethical Considerations in Family History

Here is a thoughtfully considered treatment of the issue of how to treat sensitive information we come across in our research.

Thanks to Crista Cowan of .

Saturday, July 20, 2013

The License Agreement

With the new format of the website and its apparent emphasis on the sharing of information found on the site, concern about what we are agreeing to when we past information to the site may arise.

Judy Russell, writing in The Legal Genealogist blog addresses this issue and gives us a plain-English explanation of the license agreement. This article is a “must” for anyone with concerns.

You can find Judy’s article at:

FamilySearch: sharing is forever | The Legal Genealogist

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Congratulations to The Genealogy Guys

Our congratulations to The Genealogy Guys who back in May completed their 250th podcast. George and Drew are personal friends of PGS so this note is heart-felt.

The link that follows will take you to their site and, if you nave not done so already, will allow you to subscribe to their podcast.

The Genealogy Guys Podcast

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Civil War Widow’s Pension Files Database on

In case you have not noticed, a database of approved pension case files of widows and other dependents of soldiers submitted between 1861 and 1934 and sailors between 1910 and 1934 is now available on

It is searchable by name, and linked to to view the actual documents. Be aware that Fold3 is a subscription site and fees are applicable. Still, the site proves to be a helpful index.

The following link will take you to the search page at

Collection Details —

Saturday, July 13, 2013

FGS Announces Two Free Webinars

This from the FGS:

The Federation of Genealogical Societies announces two new webinars focusing on the use of military records in genealogical research.  These webinars are FREE and open to the public!

  • Discovering Local & State Militia Records
    Presenter: J. Mark Lowe, CG, FUGA
    Date: Tuesday, 16 July 2013, 8pm Eastern / 7pm Central

    Take a closer look at the wide variety of records documenting our local militia companies. From annual muster to supplies and appointment of Officers, learn how these records may be used in your family research. Learn more about the military organization of citizens called for the purpose of local defense, who served this country from the Revolution through 1812 and on to the development of the National Guard.

    J. Mark Lowe, CG, FUGA a full-time professional researcher & educator, formerly APG President and FGS officer. You will find him researching for clients including Who Do You Think You Are?, African American Lives or Biography’s uneXplained. With his love for teaching, you will see him at SLIG, IGHR, numerous webinars or at your local society.
  • Researching in the Post War Records of 1812
    Presenter: Craig Scott, MA, CG
    Date: Wednesday, 7 August 2013, 8pm Eastern / 7pm Central

    This lecture will focus on the records created by the War Department after the War. It will include compiled military service records, pensions and pension payments.

    Craig Roberts Scott, MA, CG is the President and CEO of Heritage Books, Inc., a genealogical publishing firm with over 4,900 titles in print. A professional genealogical and historical researcher for more than twenty-eight years, he specializes in the records of the National Archives, especially those that relate to the military. He is the Coordinator of the Advanced Military Track at IGHR and SLIG.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Search Engines and Indexes–Why They May Fail

We have all experienced doing a lookup using one search engine or another and failing to find the subject of the search. That failure doesn’t necessarily mean that the person searched for is not in the record. It simply means the search did not reveal him.

James Tanner, writing in his Genealogy’s Star Blog, provides a good explanation of why a search may not be successful. He explains the indexing process and its pitfalls as well as possible search engine short comings.

Understanding what James has to say can increase your searching effectiveness, and prompt you to look beyond what a search engine has to offer.

Read his article at:

Genealogy's Star: Why not to rely too heavily on search engines for genealogists

Monday, July 8, 2013

"Who Do You Think You Are?" Returns to TV

For those of you who enjoyed the TV show "Who Do You Think You Are?" that aired for a couple seasons on NBC, it' back on the air.

It is scheduled to show starting July 23  at 9 PM Eastern, 8 PM Central on the cable channel TLC.

Eight one-hour episodes will comprise the new season, and the celebrities featured this year include: Christina Applegate, Kelly Clarkson, Cindy Crawford, Chris O’Donnell and Zooey Deschanel.

Genealogy Karma at Mocavo

Mocavo, the genealogy search engine (and more) has announced a service they call Genealogy Karma. Essentially it is a follow-on to the old Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness.

You can ask for help (like getting a tombstone picture or a death certificate) and other users who are conveniently geographically located can respond. You can also volunteer to be helper.

You can read an article about the service as well as find a link to Mocavo Karma at:

GeneaPress: Mocavo Announces Genealogy Karma

Friday, July 5, 2013

Everything You Wanted to Know about The Draft

Did you know that men born from March 29, 1957 through December 31, 1959 were not required to register because registration was suspended for several years in the late 1970s?

Do you know the rules for requesting Selective Service records for registrants born before 1960? Those rules are different from those born 1960 and after.

You can discover this and other historical perspectives of the Selective Service System at the link below.

Selective Service System: History and Records

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Preserving and Protecting Photographs

Keeping those old photos safe and protected is a concern to many of us, and ensuring our new photos stand the ravages of time should be a concern too.

An article from The American Museum of Photography gives us some tips and rules to follow to protect those treasures. Among the topics addressed you will find explanations on the enemies of photos, how to deal with both albums and loose photos, and looking at special cases like daguerreotypes.

Read about those topics and more at:

Preserving and Protecting Photographs

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Top 40 Genealogy Blogs for 2013

The year 2013 is not even over and Family Tree Magazine has come up with its list of the top 40 genealogy blogs for the year.

It may be nice to find your favorite blog in the list…sort of affirming. But the real value of the list may well be revealing blogs you did not know about.

And another thought…is the 41st blog any less valuable? I think not. So keep your own list in your “Feeds” and “Favorites.”

Check out the list at:

Top 40 Genealogy Blogs for 2013 - Family Tree Magazine

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Knowing Naming Conventions Can Help Your Research

Knowing how different groups name their children by convention can often help in your research. There is no guarantee, of course, that the convention will be followed by any specific family, but there is the chance when all else fails that a valuable research hint may be uncovered.

Michael Leclerc, writing in the Mocavo Genealogy Blog, tells us some of those naming conventions, and gives examples of how they can possibly get us past some research roadblocks.

Check out his article at:
A Rose by Any Other Name: 5 Tips for Using Onomastics in Your Research » Mocavo Blog - News, Announcements & More from the World's Largest Free Genealogy Search Engine

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Desktop Genealogy Program vs. Internet

A frequently asked question in our society meetings and classes is whether a person should keep his genealogy information on his computer (using a genealogy software program), or keep it in an online tree.

James Tanner, writing in his blog Genealogy’s Star, gives us his thoughts on the answer to that question. He raises some really good points to consider, among them that the question in becoming increasingly difficult to answer.

This is a great read, and you can find his article at:

Genealogy's Star: Do you still need a desktop (local) genealogy program?

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Top 40 Genealogy Blogs for 2013

Family Tree Magazine has released its list of top forty genealogy blogs for 2013. New or experienced genealogists will find this worthwhile. Cruise the list to see what you may be missing out on.

You can find the list at:

Top 40 Genealogy Blogs for 2013 - Family Tree Magazine

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Only Children With No Descendants

Only children with no descendants can leave an unexpected treasure trove of information about some of those “hard to find” ancestors.

Michael Neill explains this in his Genealogy Tip of the Day blog which can be found at:

Genealogy Tip of the Day: Only Children With No Descendants

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Copy Pedigrees At Your Own Risk

We have probably all experienced the excitement of finding a pedigree online that intersects with ours. The temptation to incorporate those new relationships into our family is over-powering.

But I trust that you are aware of the dangers of doing just that. There is the possibility that the information is incorrect, and it may be that it is not information about your line at all.

James Tanner, writing in his blog Genealogy’s Star, gives some examples of the trouble one can get into when accepting the research results of others without question.

His article is one that gives cautions as well as a balanced view of how such information could be used. Check out his article at:

Genealogy's Star: The Danger of Copying Pedigrees