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