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"The Pinellas Genealogy Society, Inc. is a non-profit organization dedicated to the furtherance of genealogical research, education, and preservation of Pinellas County genealogical material."


2012 Seminar

Saturday, February 11,2012

Largo Public Library
120 Central Park Dr.
Largo, FL 33771

Topics for the seminar will be: Speaker: Colleen Fitzpatrick
(Click here  for registration form)  
Forensic Genealogy - CSI Meets Roots (9:00 AM) The Pinellas Genealogy Society is pleased to announce Dr. Colleen Fitzpatrick as the primary speaker for its annual genealogy seminar to be held on February 11, 2012 at the Largo Public Library in Largo, Florida.

Colleen is the author of two of the best-selling books in genealogy: Forensic Genealogy and DNA & Genealogy. The first has been widely recognized for its innovative forensic science approach to genealogical research. The book received high marks from Dick Eastman in Eastman's Online Genealogical Newsletter: “Now I have had a chance to read through this book. I only wish that I had done so earlier...All in all, Forensic Genealogy provides a fresh view of the many methods and objects that genealogists have used for decades. This one is a 'keeper.' "
Who? What? When? Where? Are these the words of a genealogist researching his family tree or a forensic scientist solving a mystery? Maybe someone who is both!

Today, genealogy is more exciting than ever thanks to the ever-growing wealth of information that is available at the click of a mouse.  Even if you cannot find something online, it’s often possible to find someone who can find it for you in a library thousands of miles away.  The possibilities are limited only by your imagination.

Forensic genealogy has established itself as the modern approach to family research.  Forensic genealogy does not replace conventional methods of research, it enhances them. Established reference materials such as photographs, databases, and DNA can provide much more information than you ever dreamed, if only you keep your eyes open and use a little imagination. But are you really using your genealogical materials to your best advantage?

The goal of this lecture is not to provide a dry list of places to look for information, but rather to spark your imagination to discover new ways of looking at your family mysteries, to permanently change the way you see things, to turn you into a forensic genealogist.

Who is Benjaman Kyle? (10:15 AM) DNA & Genealogy was commissioned by Family Tree DNA for its Second Conference on Genetic Genealogy in November 2005, and has been called by readers as “the ideal handbook for anyone starting out in genealogy using the DNA tools available” and “the book to get for someone starting or running a surname project.” Colleen consults with television and documentary production companies on both Forensic Genealogy and DNA & Genealogy.

Colleen's newest book, The Dead Horse Investigation--Forensic Photo Analysis for Everyone, extends her forensic background and analytical skills to the analysis of photographs to reveal family history. She offers innovative ways of identifying old photographs. In it she brings photo identification into the 21st century.

As a top forensic genealogist, she has been called upon to identify and locate people worldwide, sometimes based on information 80 years old. Colleen is a real-life CSI detective who has helped crack the most compelling mysteries of our time. As Consulting Genealogist for the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory, she has been recognized internationally in print media and on MSNBC for her work on identifying the remains found in the crash of Northwest Flight 4422, and was a key member of the team that identified the Unknown Child on the Titanic.

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

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

You can learn more about Colleen on her website: . While you are there you may want to participate in the photograph quizzes she has posted. They will sharpen your analytical skills, and prepare you for hearing Colleen in February.
Imagine living without a Social Security Number and a birth certificate. You could not get a job, you could not drive, you could not open a bank account. Forget about boarding a plane.

Yet Benjaman Kyle suffers from amnesia and must function under these conditions every day. Not knowing who he is, he cannot access the personal identification we take for granted. Yet he is a well-spoken, healthy 62-year-old.

Benjaman's case offers a fascinating look at modern life. He lives without a wrapper of personal identification that we take for granted, and must rely on his social network to get by. But isn’t this what our ancestors did before the advent of Social Security Numbers, driver’s licenses, and credit cards?

So who are we really? What can we learn from the search for Benjaman’s identity that we can apply to our hunt for ancestors who lived under much the same conditions, even centuries ago? A possible birthdate, maybe a birthplace, are all we have to use to search for his identity. But this is all I had to work with when I started researching my great great grandfather.

Benjaman Kyle’s unusual story and offers insight to genealogists searching for ancestors who have left behind just as few clues about themselves as the person Benjaman used to be.

The Dead Horse Investigation (1:45 PM)
The hat, the horse, the man, the scene…the mystery. Who is he and why was he photographed in top hat and tails sitting on a dead horse in the middle of 8th St. in Sheboygan, WI?

Could this bizarre scene be the result of the tornado that struck Sheboygan while a horse show was in town in 1901? Or maybe the owners of a Sheboygan tannery were staking their claim to the hide after someone’s horse died in the street. Numerous theories have been advanced to explain the picture.

While we may never discover the reason for this bizarre scene, we have come as close as anyone. The photograph is a great test of anyone’s photo-sleuthing skills. So before you attend this talk, have a good look at the famous Sheboygan Dead Horse picture and see if you can answer a few questions. Do you see the sundial? Do you see the locomotive? What type of lens was used to take the picture? The answers to these questions are all right in front of you, it’s only a matter of how you look at things.

The Database Detective (3:00 PM) Additional Information
Birth, marriage, and death indexes are three databases familiar to even casual genealogists. But have you ever considered using Google Maps to solve a genealogical mystery? What about Amazon or eBay? And once you have found the facts, how do you “connect the dots” in a meaningful way to bring long-gone family members to life again?

Spotting patterns in data is important to a family historian. For example, noticing patterns used by parents to name their children can provide clues to the parents’ parents and siblings. Yet genealogists often miss such hidden clues.

And what about very large databases? Is there any sense is looking at a mountain of birth records if all you need is one or two? How can you harness the power of information to reveal interesting background information on how your ancestors lived and died?

Forensic Genealogy has used database mining to solve some of the most compelling mysteries of modern genealogy. Understanding how to mine databases is critical for genealogical success, especially since the size and number of online databases are growing so rapidly. Forensic genealogy will not only show you where to look for information, but more importantly how to look at it.
The Largo Public Library cosponsors the Pinellas Genealogy Society annual seminar.

The annual book sale will be in the rear of the conference room. The tables will be open before the seminar and during break periods.

A representative of the society and membership information will be available at a table in the lobby.

Lunch will be provided as part of your advance registration.

Parking and driving instructions are provided below.

Great door prizes and raffles will be offered throughout the day.

If you are in need of a place to stay overnight during the seminar, the Hampton Inn offers a discount. For details, see page or our special events page.

After lunch (12:30 PM) there will be three break out sessions conducted.  They will be:
Debbe Hagner on Researching Funeral Home, Grave Site and Cemetery Records Damon Hostetler on How and Why of Migration
Debra Fleming on Newspaper Research: Following That Lead

Location – The seminar will be held in the Jenkins Conference Room of the Largo Public Library, located at 120 Central Park Drive, Largo, 33771. Free parking is available in the front lot of the library.

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Driving Directions:
From the north: Travel south on US Hwy 19 to SR 686 (East Bay Dr.) Make a right on East Bay and follow to Largo. Turn left on Central Park Drive. The Library is on the left side of the road.
From the south: Travel north on I-275 to Exit #30 (Clearwater/Largo SR 686, Roosevelt Blvd. West). At the fork in the exit ramp bear left which leads to Roosevelt Blvd. Follow on Roosevelt. At the fork in the road bear left and follow the overpass that merges with Ulmerton Road (SR688) Follow Ulmerton past the 2nd traffic light and veer right to SR 686(Roosevelt Blvd). Follow Roosevelt Blvd / East Bay Drive.
Click here  for registration form.

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