Friday, October 31, 2014

Selecting the Right Tool For the Job

James Tanner offers us another thoughtful piece in his blog, Genealogy’s Star, dealing with the use of technology in today’s genealogical world.

If you have been agonizing over whether or not to spend money on that new computer, software program, or database subscription, check out his article to put it all in perspective.
Genealogy's Star: Fitting the Tools to the Task

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The 5 Biggest Mistakes I Made with My Genealogy

Here is an article by Gena Philibert-Ortega that is well worth the read. It was published on the Blog, and should hit home for all of us.

You know what she is going to say, but actually reading the article wants to make you vow anew not to be guilty of making those same mistakes…any more.

The 5 Biggest Mistakes I Made with My Genealogy

Monday, October 27, 2014

Join the Canvas Crew at Memorial Park Cemetery, 31 Oct. 2014

REMINDER:  The next canvasing session of Memorial Park Cemetery will be this Friday, October 31st at 9:00 am to about 11:00 am.    

All canvas crews will meet in the South Parking lot (see directions below) of Memorial Park Cemetery. Bring your digital camera and sun protection. Refreshments will be provided.  Wear your PGS shirts if you have one.  

WHEN:  9 am and continuing for 2 hours  

WHERE:  5750 49th Street North, St. Petersburg (at the  intersection of 49th Street North and 54th Avenue North, west side). We plan to meet in the South section of the cemetery (south of 54th avenue).  Google "memorial park cemetery St. Petersburg Fl" for a map.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

John Colletta Featured PGS Seminar Speaker 14 Febriary 2015

Here is some information about the featured speaker for the 2015 Annual PGS Seminar to be held on 14 February. You can get more information about the event and how to register at the PGS website (

John Philip Colletta is one of America’s most popular genealogical lecturers. Knowledgeable, experienced and entertaining, he resides in Washington, D.C. For twenty years, while laying the foundation for his career in genealogy, he worked half-time at the Library of Congress and taught workshops at the National Archives.

Today Dr. Colletta lectures nationally, teaches at local schools, and conducts programs for the Smithsonian Institution’s Resident Associate Program. He is a faculty member of the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research at Samford University (Birmingham, Ala.), the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy, and Boston University’s Certificate in Family History program.

He has also been an instructor and course coordinator for the National Institute on Genealogical Research (Washington, DC), the Genealogical Institute of Texas (Dallas), and the Genealogical Institute of Mid-America (Springfield, Ill.).

His publications include numerous articles, both scholarly and popular, two manuals — They Came in Ships: A Guide to Finding Your Immigrant Ancestor's Arrival Record and Finding Italian Roots: The Complete Guide for Americans — and one “murder-mystery-family-history,” Only a Few Bones: A True Account of the Rolling Fork Tragedy and Its Aftermath. It tells the story of Colletta’s great-great grandfather, Joe Ring, who moved his family from Buffalo, New York, to Rolling Fork, Mississippi after the Civil War. When Joe Ring’s country store burned to the ground with five unfortunate victims sleeping upstairs, the incident was investigated as mass murder, robbery and arson.

Dr. Colletta appears frequently on podcasts and local and national radio and television. He is featured in Episode Four of “Ancestors,” the ten-part KBYU-TV series, as well as its sequel. He has received many professional honors, including fellowship in the Utah Genealogical Association and distinguished service awards from the Dallas Genealogical Society and the National Society, Daughters of Colonial Founders and Patriots.

Friday, October 24, 2014

PGS Events for the Week of 27 October to 1 November 2014

Monday, 27-Oct-14 at 6:00 PM--COURTHOUSE RECORDS--types available, where and how to find them and their use in genealogy. Hostetler, Local History Rm, Largo Library.
Tuesday, 28-Oct-14 at 10:00 AM--Homestead Act-History and Records- A review of the historical and political significance of the 1862 Homestead Act and associated legislation. Includes a discussion of the process followed to establish a homestead on public domain land, and an understanding of the method of legally surveying and describing the land. The presentation will also cover an examination of the records that were created in establishing a homestead, their genealogical value, and where those records are found today. This is an in-depth treatment of the Homestead Act, which is briefly referred to in the presentation on property Research Basics in the US. Summers, Local History Rm, Largo Library
Wednesday, 29-Oct-14 at 10:00 AM--Brick Walls—You will eventually reach a point where you seemingly can’t go back further on a particular line. This class will offer some ideas and suggestions for overcoming dead ends in your family history research. Bryan, Local History Rm, Largo Library
Friday, 31 Oct 14 at 9:00 -11:00 AM--Memorial Park Cemetery Canvass—If you can help, it will be appreciated. Location: 5750 49th Street North, St. Petersburg (at the  intersection of 49th Street North and 54th Avenue North, west side). We plan to meet in the South section of the cemetery (south of 54th avenue).  Google "memorial park cemetery st petersburg fl" for a map. Refreshments will be provided.  Wear your PGS shirt if you have one and bring your digital camera.
Saturday, 1-Nov-14 at 10:00 AM--Family Tree Maker User Group--Questions& Answers and Demonstration of how to use the Family Tree Maker genealogical database software. Hosmer/Bryan, Jenkins C, Largo Library

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Largo Library Genealog Center Digitized Book Collection

Over the past six months significant progress was made on the project of digitizing the Center's rare book collection. Most of the work is done and the digitized books are not part of the Center's CD-ROM collection.

All of the books are in pdf format and so can easily be read on any of the PCs in the library. The book titles are included in the library automated catalog and are also in the index binder located at the CD collection.

Getting the books digitized and saved to disc was the first step in the project. Future plans involve making the books available on line. When that happens, this blog will alert you.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Heritage Village County Jubilee This Saturday, 25 October

Join in the fun at Heritage Village this Saturday, 25 October. PGS will have a table at the event...drop by and say hello.

This is the blurb from the Heritage Village website:
"The 36th Annual Country Jubilee is bringing a variety of activities to Pinellas County’s Heritage Village on Saturday, Oct. 25, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. There will be something for everyone. More than 100 food and craft vendors will be lining the walkways in and around Heritage Village.  House tours, antique cars, musical entertainment, old time craft demonstrations and more. $2 donation requested."

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Tompkins County, NY Public Library Databases

Here is a collection of databases and digitized books from Tompkins County Public Library, New York. You can find notices of births, deaths, and marriages, directory entries, and more.

If you have New York State ancestors, you may want to check this site out at:  Digital Books - TCPL - Tompkins County Public Library

Monday, October 20, 2014

Largo Area Historical Society Hosts 50's Picnic on 8 Nov. '14

The Largo Area Historical Society will host a 50's picnic in Taylor Park, Shelter #7 on 8 November 2014. The event runs from 10 am to 3 pm. For more information call 727-531-1804 or 727-441-1338.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

PGS Educational Events for the Week 20-25 October 2014

Monday, 20-Oct-14 at 6:00 PM--Newspapers in Genealogy--How to use newspapers to discover facts and human interest stories about your ancestors...obituaries, weddings, court cases, etc. We will discuss where to find the newspapers and how to look for genealogy data in them. Hostetler, Local History Rm, Largo Library
Tuesday, 21-Oct-14 at 6:00 PM--NATURALIZATION RECORDS -- Many of our ancestors became naturalized citizens, and left a paper trail when they did so. This class explains the naturalization process, what information can be found in the records, and where those records can be found. Summers, Local History Rm, Largo Library
Wednesday, 22-Oct-14 at 10:00 techniques for getting the most from this huge collection of databases. Bryan, Local History Rm, Largo Library
The Largo Library will be closed this Saturday so there will be no RootsMagic User Group meeting this month.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Search Yearbooks on Mocavo

School yearbooks can be a delight to look at, even when you don’t find your own ancestor. Mocavo is adding to that delight by offering free search of a large yearbook collection of over 43,000 volumes.

Check it out at:  Search Yearbooks | Free Ancestry Search on Mocavo

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Largo Area Historical Society Open House on 1 Nov. 14

The Largo Area Historical Society holds an open house at the Historic Feed Store in Largo Central Park the first Saturday of the month from 10 am to 2 pm. In November that will be on the 1st. All are welcome to view this museum of life in the Largo area.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Google Tips, Tricks and Facts

Here is a site that doesn’t deal directly with genealogy, but does deal with Google, and therefore indirectly deals with it…and just about everything else.

There are some fun things to try at this site, as well as some search tips you may need refreshing on.

Check it out at:  Little-Known Tips, Tricks and Facts About Google

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Genealogy Book Lists at Largo Public Library

Have you checked out the book lists at the Genealogy Center of Largo Library lately? These are lists that you can take home with you to review in leisure, and then bring back to the library with you when you are able to do the research.

We have had several books lists available for some time. They cover the topics:
  >African American Genealogy
  >Circulating Books
  >Jewish Genealogy
  >Military Research
  >Native American Genealogy

Now some additional lists have been added for these topics:
  >Immigration and Emigration Research
  >Land and Property Research
  >Naturalization Research

The lists are available to all as free handouts at the Genealogy Center (2d floor of Largo Public Library), and also to PGS members on the member-only website.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

PGS Educational Events for the Week of 13-18 October 2014

Monday, 13-Oct-14 at 6:00 PM—GENEALOGY SOFTWARE UTILITIES-Part II- Demonstration of several utility programs useful for genealogy such as: Dropbox, Skype, Google Voice, Google Earth, Evernote, Mozy/Carbonite online backup, Online software (Googledocs), automatic backup software, GEDCOM utilities and more. Summers, Local History Rm, Largo Library
Thursday, 16-Oct-14 at 12:30 PM--Property Research Basics--This is a general treatment of property research in the United States. It will explore ownership documents from land grants to land patents to deeds; it will explain the difference in land descriptions in state land states and public land states; it will examine the historical context of military bounty land, the Homestead Act, and the cash purchase of public land. We will also survey where to find the records generated during the ownership and transfer of property.        Summers, Aging Well Center, 1501 N. Belcher Rd., Clearwater, FL
Saturday, 18-Oct-14 at 10:00 AM--Computers in Genealogy--Question and answer session on the use of computers in genealogy research and record keeping. Bryan, Jenkins B, Largo Library
Saturday, 18-Oct-14 at 11:00 AM—Program Meeting: Pinellas by the Decades--Pinellas Historical Society presentation by Jim Schnur, Jenkins B, Largo Library

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Dons List of City Directories

Here is a site offering online, ditigized city directories for a variety of locations and dates. The list is arranged by state, and by community within state.

The entries come from different sources, but all sport the same handy user interface located at the top of each page.

While you are at the site, also check out the tabs across the top of the home page for yearbooks, military, and more topics.

DonsList City Directories

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Class on Using the Card Catalog being held in Tampa

Join Lee McQueary, from the Florida History and Genealogy Library, for an interactive instructional session on's Card Catalog feature. Attendees will have access to laptops, which will allow them to follow along and gain hands on experience throughout. A brief tour of the Florida History and Genealogy Library will follow.

There are two sessions: Sunday, October 12, from 2-3:30 pm and Wednesday, October 22, from 3-4:30 pm.

The Florida History and Genealogy Library is located in the John F. Germany Library at 900 N. Ashley Drive, Tampa, Florida.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Can Someone “Steal” Genealogical Information?

James Tanner, in his blog Genealogy’s Star,” answers that question. The short answer is apparently “no,” but to stop there is to negate James’ great article. He analyzes the topic in detail, and with clarity.

Check it out at:  Genealogy's Star: Can you steal my ancestors? Work Product, Facts and Compilations

Sunday, October 5, 2014

PGS Educational Events for the Week of 6-11 October 2014

Monday, 6-Oct-14 at 10:00 AM--Genealogical Proof--This class explains how to evaluate the evidence we collect as we build our family trees. Some sources are more reliable, some records bring us closer to the actual event, and some information is more “on point.” How do we rank all of this as we try to assemble genealogical “truth”? The class uses the “Genealogical Proof Standard” as the guide. Peter Summers, Local History Room, Largo Library.

Wednesday, 8-Oct-14 at 10:00 AM-4:00 PM--England & Wales Genealogy--How to access the parish records of birth/christening/marriage/burials from 1538 to 1837. Participants in the morning lecture are invited to bring their laptops for an afternoon workshop (after a lunch break) to search for personal records with individual guidance. Liz Pearson,  Local History Room, Largo Library.

Saturday, 11-Oct-14--12-4:00 PM--Family History Assistance Day-- Bring what information you have about your family and receive free, one-on-one research assistance from a PGS consultant. Tell your friends and neighbors--beginners are especially welcome. No appointment is necessary--first come, first served. Tours of the Genealogy Center and classes will also be offered. Jenkins A & B, Largo Library.

Saturday, 11-Oct-2014 at 10:00 AM--Maps in Genealogy Research, Peter Summers, Pasco Genealogical  Society.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Clearwater Historical Society Expands to South Ward School

This article appeared in The Wise Cracker, the newsletter of the Largo Area Historical Society, and with permission, we share it here.

  "The Clearwater Historical Society (CHS) was founded in 1979 and since 1982 has operated a museum in the vintage 1896 Plumb House on Martin Luther King Blvd. The society and its historic collections have long since outgrown the building.
  "In June of this year, the CHS and Pinellas County School Board entered into a 50 year lease (with a minimum term of 15 years) for the use of South Ward School. Under the terms of the agreement, CHS will maintain and insure the property thereby relieving the School Board of that financial burden.
  "The historical society intends to preserve and adapt the South Ward campus for use as a historical museum as well as provide room for the history of the Pinellas county School System and community meeting space as well. In addition, the Bomber Legacy Project has joined forces with CHS and seeks to preserve the history of the men's fast pitch softball team that put Clearwater on the map.
  "The South Ward campus is home to buildings that are among some of the earliest school facilities in Pinellas County and were in danger of deteriorating."

We add our congratulations to CHS in their effort to preserve a significant part of our heritage, and are pleased to acknowledge them as one of our PGS Organizational Members.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Largo Area Historical Society Meeting Features Mayor Elect Woody Brown

The Largo Area Historical Society monthly meeting on 13 October will feature Mayor-elect Woody Brown. The meeting is at the Historic Feed Store in Largo Central Park at 7 pm. It is preceded by a pot luck supper at 6:30. All are invited.