Friday, January 30, 2009

Another "Win" for PGS Projects and Website

As most of you know, most of the projects that PGS members volunteer to do result in a published book of genealogical data that is available to the public, and some of that data also appears on the PGS website. Researchers from all over the world have found value in the products we have published.

The following are two recent entries left on our website guestbook which demonstrate that:

"I'm from New Jersey and am interested in the descendants of my Aunt, Irene Walsh Bokor. I found a second cousin (Michael Bokor) in your Weddings and Engagements 1970 to 1974! Great site! Thank you so much!"

"I am researching Leonard Keith BENNETT 1887-1967. I have found the brief transcription for his grave at Largo...I am based in UK, but plan a trip to Florida and Virginia in Feb 2009, so it could be an opportunity for local research ..."

Thanks to our project volunteers for making connections like this possible.

Check out Linkpendium for Genealogy Sites

Linkpendium is a genealogy index site. Although it is not as extensive as Cyndislist, it does boast over 7 million genealogy sites that are arranged by geographic location or surname. Its history shows that it is continuing to grow by several thousand additional links each month. This may be a good resource to use in addition to Google and Cyndislist as you search for your ancestors.

You can check it out at

The Deadline for Membership Renewal is coming

The general meeting in February is the last opportunity you have to renew your dues before you officially have a break in membership. That means you do not receive the journal and you do not receive any price breaks in PGS products and you do not have the opportunity to support this organization's educational and preservation efforts.

So if you have not sent in your 2009 dues, get them to us by the meeting on 21 Feb to continue you membership. The PGS needs your support.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

African American History online

From Legacy News, 29 Jan 2009:New African American History Collection Now OnlineOver a million pages of original documents, letters and photos, most digitized for the first time.
Lindon, UT - January 29, 2009 – In celebration of Black History Month, is launching its African American Collection. has been working with the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) in Washington, D.C., to digitize records that provide a view into the lives of African Americans that few have seen before.
“These records cover subjects including slavery, military service, and issues facing African Americans dating back to the late 18th century,” explains James Hastings, Director of Access Programs at NARA. “Making these records available online will help people to better understand the history and sacrifice that took place in this country.” has spent the last two years with NARA compiling this collection and is currently working on adding more records that will be released in the upcoming months. African American records currently on include:
Service Records for Colored Troops in the Civil War – Records for the 2nd-13th infantries including enlistment papers, casualty sheets, oaths of allegiance, proof of ownership and bills of sale. American Colonization Society – Letters and reports relating to this colony established in 1817 for free people of color residing in the U.S. Amistad Case – Handwritten records of this landmark case beginning in 1839 involving the Spanish schooner Amistad, used to transport illegal slaves. Southern Claims Commission – Petitions for compensation resulting from the Civil War. “The Southern Claims Commission records are a very rich, often overlooked resource for African American family research. They often contain information that cannot be found anywhere else,” says Toni Carrier, Founding Director of the USF Africana Heritage Project. “These records document the experiences of former slaves during the Civil War and in the days immediately after. Many contain detailed narratives that make it possible for descendants to envision the lives and experiences of ancestors.” is also working on additional record collections that will be released shortly. Read more here.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Online Institute for Advanced Loyalist Studies

This site is a "must" for all those who are in search of Americans who remained Loyal to the British Crown during the War for Independence. The site offers a wealth of information about the Loyalist cause, Loyalist military organizations, etc...good background stuff. It also maps out a thorough research plan for those on the trail of their ancestors.

And last but not least, you can search the site by name or key word. If you have a Loyalist ancestor, he will most likely show up least in the recorded muster rolls.

You can find the site at:

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Southwest Florida Germanic Genealogy Research Group Seminar

Those of you with German ancestors may be interested in this event.

Saturday, February 28, 2009 at St. James Episcopal Church, 1375 Viscaya Drive, Port Charlotte, Florida from 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

The speaker is Baerbel Johnson from the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. Attend and hear how “Putting Flesh on the Genealogical Skeleton” will bring your ancestors to life giving you a better understanding of their lives and customs. Her presentation will include:
>Marriage Laws and Customs in Germany
>German Research on the Internet
>Strategies for Solving German Research Problems
>Internet Resources for Locating the 19th Century German Emigrant

You can get more information at the Southwest Florida Germanic Genealogy Research Group website:

Monday, January 26, 2009

Scanning Project Digitizes 25,000 US Library of Congress Books

This was recently published on the VOA website by Art Chimes:

"The Library of Congress is the world's largest library, with tens of millions of items that attract scholars from all over the world to do research. But soon, those scholars may not have to travel far to do their research. Some of the library's treasures are starting to appear online.

"The Library of Congress is the largest library in the world, housing millions of books, recordings, photographs, maps and manuscripts. Like many other great research libraries, the Library of Congress has been moving into the digital world. One way they're doing it is through a scanning project that has so far put 25,000 books online for anyone to read or download."

To read the entire article, go to:

The scanned books from the Library of Congress are online at:

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Connecticut Society of Genealogists Nutmegger Journal Online.

From Dick Eastman's Newsletter of 23 Jan 2009:

CSG Nutmegger Now Available as an Online Searchable Database
The following announcement was written by the New England Historic Genealogical Society:
Boston, MA & East Hartford, CT – January 22, 2009 – The New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) and the Connecticut Society of Genealogists (CSG) announce today the first phase of bringing the CSG’s flagship journal The Connecticut Nutmegger online as a searchable database, available to members on both organizations’ Websites. The Connecticut Nutmegger has served as the “journal of record” for the CSG since 1968. During this time it has captured a wealth of information for genealogists such as vital records, probate records, bible records, headstone records, memorials and other useful records. The Nutmegger also presents well-documented family histories and genealogical articles, covering hundreds of families – mainly with Connecticut ties. Published articles include commentary on and corrections to previously published family lines, vital records and town histories. Book reviews, research tips, queries and other valuable tools for genealogists are also available.This database will be released in stages over the next year, starting this week with volumes 1-6, which cover the years 1968, its first year, through 1973. Additional sets of five volumes will be added periodically throughout this coming year. The database search facility is very similar to that of the NEHGS Register and allows searches by last and/or first name, or by subject keywords. Images of the original pages may be seen from the search results page. It is also possible to browse the pages of the Nutmegger by entering a Year (or volume number) and a page number. This first installment indexes 12,347 names and 477 subject records.For more information on The Nutmegger, visit the CSG Website, or the NEHGS Website,

Saturday, January 24, 2009 Launches Canadian Civil Servants Lists

The following announcement comes from Dick Eastman's online newsletter and ultimately comes from has just launched online the fully indexed Canadian Civil Servants Lists of Canada, 1872-1900, which features more than 78,000 records of those employed in departments of the Canadian Government during the country’s early days of Confederation.

The records give family history researchers a unique opportunity to find out how an ancestor’s career might have progressed and how much they earned, as well as offer personal individual information such as birth date, age, date of first appointment, years at post, promotion to present rank, creed or religion and nationality of origin.

PGS Field Trips Resume

Pat Strait has offered to organize field trips for the Pinellas Genealogy Society. This is welcome news since it has been some time since we have had someone volunteer to do that job.

The first field trip was to the Family History Center this past Saturday (24 January) and was filled up within one day of being announced. Another trip will be scheduled for the Center, but you have a chance to influence future trips. If there is a particular place you think would be valuable to make the subject of a field trip, let Pat know. Her email is In addition to the suggested place, also tell her why you believe it would make a good trip.

Since field trip "seating" is limited at some venues, PGS members will have priority.

Our thanks to Pat for stepping up to do this job.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

NEHGS adds to its on-line databases

This is reprinted from Eastman's Genealogy Newsletter found on line. I am including it here because as patrons of the Largo Public Library we have access to the NEHGS website and the data referred to here.

The use of the site is even a subject of one of our classes on use of the library databases (besides Here's Dick Eastman's article:

"The following announcement was written by the New England Historic Genealogical Society:

"Boston, MA – January 2009 – New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) announces the addition of 5 million names to its databases during 2008 to help its more than 23,000 members around the country with their family history research. The new data includes more than 1 million new Massachusetts records and more than 3 million records to the Social Security Death Index database.

"The NEHGS Web site,, is home to more than 120 million searchable names in 2,500 databases covering areas like New England, New York, Canada, and the eastern United States."

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

1916 Canadain Census Online

1916 Census of Western Canada Now Available Online (from Legacy News, 20 Jan 2009)

If you are a Canadian researcher, today it's your turn to get excited. The 1916 census of Western Canada is now available online for free searching and browsing.

In August 2008 the census was released on microfilm and has been available for searching on location at Library and Archives Canada. We wrote about this here. Now, thanks to the FamilySearchIndexing efforts, the census, which includes Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta, is now searchable in FamilySearch's pilot Research Search database.

To search the census, for to, then select Canada in the Select a Region drop-down list. Happy searching!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Matching Funds Program for New Book Purchases

The PGS increases its collection of research material every year through donations, as most of you are aware. We also budget for the purchase of new books...and most of you are aware of that also. But here is what you may not be aware of: we have a program where, if you wish to donate money to the PGS specifically for the purchase of new books, the PGS will match those funds.

Contact the society [] if you have any questions or wish to take advantage of this program.

Tallahassee Genealogical Society Spring Seminar

This event is a bit of a distance from us, but may be of interest to some of you. It falls one week after our seminar, and unfortunately, on the same day as our monthly meeting.

The featured speaker is Dick Eastman, widely known in genealogy circles, especially for his on-line newsletter. He will be talking on photographing old documents and tombstones, searching with Google, and the future of genealogy software.

The price of attendance is $50 for TGS members and $60 for non-members. If you want more information, you can find it at

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Writer's Workshop Forming

We have seen increasing interest from members of the PGS in the subject of publishing genealogy material...lineages, family history, etc. One of our programs last year was on the subject and we had a class on it just recently. Going hand-in-hand with the subject of publishing is the subject of authoring (actually doing the writing) and so that subject has stimulated some interest also.

To respond to that interest we are thinking of establishing a Writer's Workshop. The concept is that it will meet regularly (like once a month) and provide an environment where attendees can do some actual writing as well as hear hints and tips about the writing process. Sharing what is written will be completely voluntary, but doing the writing is what this will be all about. It is often heard that the most difficult part of writing is to get started. This workshop will concentrate on getting over that hurtle.

We want to gauge the interest in this workshop. If you are interested in doing some writing about your family (to ultimately publish it or even if just for your own enjoyment), let me ( or Bob Bryan ( know.

If we get enough interest, you can expect to see the workshop offered in the Mar-Apr-May class list.

Root Magic Users Group to Meet

Roots Magic is a genealogy computer program that is similar in its objectives to PAF and Family Tree Maker, but which also has its own particular approach to the job of managing genealogy data.

By popular request we have formed a users group to explore the "ins and outs" of using the program. We first met near the end of 2008 and agreed to pick up again after the holidays. So there will be a meeting of that group on Saturday, 24 Jan in the Local History Room of the Largo Library at 10 AM. This is not a class, but instead is a forum at which to ask questions, get answers, and share knowledge. Users of the program as well as those who may be considering buying the program, will find this session valuable. So bring your questions and/or problems to the Local History Room at 10 AM on Saturday, 24 Jan. and we will work through them together.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Friends of the Largo Library Book Sale

This Saturday (17 Jan) the lobby of the library may be a bit crowded when you arrive for the PGS meeting at 11 AM, or for the Computers-in-Genealogy discussion group that precedes it at 9:45 AM. That is because from 9 AM to 3 PM the Friends of the Library is holding a book sale.

This is a big event and draws people from all over, so expect some congestion. But, more than that, expect some great sales. Reference books will be among the offerings as well as fiction, so there may be some items of particular interest to genealogists.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Manasota Genealogical Society Meeting

Date: TUESDAY, February 3, 2009
Where: Manatee Central Library, 1301 Barcarrota Blvd.
West Bradenton, Florida
Time: 9:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Guest Speaker: GEORGE MORGAN

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Monthly Meeting on 17 January

The meeting this month on Saturday, 17 January at 11 AM at the Largo Public Library will feature our annual business meeting. That is not all, however. After the business meeting we'll have refreshments and some discussion groups dealing with different aspects of genealogy research.

The annual business meeting is an important one for the society. Included in it will be a report on the major accomplishments of 2008 as well as a look to the future. In addition, new bylaws have to be voted on, and the budget for 2009 has to be voted on as well.

The meeting is open to the public, so bring friends and introduce them to the society and the consumming passion of genealogy.

As usual, at 9:45 AM before the formal meeting, Bob Bryan will conduct the popular "Computers In Genealogy" discussion group. Bring your questions or just sit in to to pick up handy hints and tips.

This will be a busy meeting packed with important activities. See you there.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

PowerPoint Class Schedule Change

The class that was scheduled for Monday, 19 January at 6 pm on using PowerPoint for genealogy has been re-scheduled for Wednesday, 21 January at 6 pm. This change is necessary because the Largo Library is closed for the Martin Luther King holiday on the 19th.

Sorry for the inconvenience.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Genealogy Discussion Group

The PGS is presenting a genealogy discussion group in conjunction with the Friends of the Library at the West St. Petersburg Community Library. The library is located at 8th Ave N. and 76th Street N. in St. Petersburg, and is the library associated with the Gibbs Campus of the St. Petersburg College. The discussion runs from 10-11 AM on the second Saturday of each month. On 10 Jan the topic will be using census documents to track ancestors. If that topic appeals to you, drop in for the discussion, or attend any second Saturday if you want an additional shot of genealogy.

On the second Saturday of February of course, we will all be at the PGS Seminar at the Largo Library. PGS presentations at the West St. Petersburg Library will pick up again in March.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Records Added to the FamilySearch Pilot Project

This will be of interest to all of you, but especially to those who have attended our FamilySearch class where the Pilot Project was explained and explored. Dick Eastman included this announcement in his online newsletter.

FamilySearch added about 4 million new records to its Record Search pilot over the holidays. Patrons will find records from Brazil, Hungary, Czech Republic, Southern Bohemia, Třeboň, West Virginia, and the much anticipated Indian Territory records from the 1900 U.S. Census. The new records can be searched for free at (Click Search Records, then Record Search pilot).

Monday, January 5, 2009

PGS Earns an Award

As many of your heard at the society meeting in December, the PGS was given an Achievement Award by the Florida State Genealogical Socity at their annual conference in November.

The award was based on sustained superior contributions in the areas of projects, education, programs, special events, publications and membership involvement. You can read more about it in the next issue of the Pinellas Genealogist.

I want to congratulate you all on earning this award...well done!

Damon Hostetler Recognized

Damon Hostetler, long time PGS member and contributor, was recognized by the Florida State Genealogical Society with an Outstanding Achievement Award in November 2008.

The award was based on Damon's years of contributions to the field of genealogy including service with the Ohio Genealogy Society and the PGS, as well as contributions as a speaker and educator. You can read more about the basis for Damon's award in the next Pinellas Genealogist.

Well done, Damon. We are proud of you.

Genealogy Journal Exchange Program

As many of you are aware, we are in a journal-exchange relationship with many genealogy societies around the country. That means that rather than buy each other's journals, we simply swap them free of charge...everybody wins.

If you know of a genealogy society that produces a good journal which you think would be a worth while addition to our collection, let me ( or Sally Brown ( know. We will contact that society and broach the subject of a possible exchange. This is a very good way for us to increase the value of our collection to our members and researchers at large.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Adopt-a-State Vacancies

The Adopt-a-State program introduced in September has been very well-received. Recall that this is the program where people volunteer to keep the books in their adopted state section in the library neat and in order so that researchers will not be denied use of a resource due to miss-shelving. This effort requires a 2-times a month effort on the part of the volunteers, and is a great service.

We have had 15 people respond to this program with the result of 19 states plus Canada being attended to. Our goal is to have each state east of the Mississippi adopted. Here are the "orphan" states that need adoption: WI, RI, CT, TN, AL, IN, DE.

If you have a particular interest in one of those states and wish to get involved, let me know (