PINELLAS GENEALOGY SOCIETY
Saturday, February 11,2012
Largo Public Library
120 Central Park Dr.
Largo, FL 33771
Topics for the seminar will be:
Speaker: Colleen Fitzpatrick
for registration form)
Forensic Genealogy - CSI Meets Roots
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 &
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
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
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
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
The Database Detective (3:00
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
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
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
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
If you are in need of a place to stay overnight during the
seminar, the Hampton Inn offers a discount. For details, see
page www.flpgs.org/moteloffer.aspx 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
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.
View Larger Map
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.
for registration form.