Wednesday, June 24, 2009

PGS Display at Largo Library

We had a PGS display table in the Largo Library Lobby on Tuesday, 23 January 2009. There to answer questions were Gladys Evan, Carol Strobeck and Bob Bryan. Several folks stopped by and expressed an interest in the society.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Some Bad News

Karen Keegan passed away Monday, 22 June 2009 as a result of an automobile accident in Berlin, Vermont. Karen was the society Historian and also led the Family Tree Maker User group meetings on the first Saturday of each month. She will be greatly missed. You can read an account of the accident here.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

California Digital Newspaper Collection

Thanks to Dick Eastman for this notice:

" The California Digital Newspaper Collection offers over 200,000 pages of California newspapers spanning the years 1849-191l: the Alta California, 1849-1891; the San Francisco Call, 1893-1910; the Amador Ledger, 1900-1911; the Imperial Valley Press, 1901-1911; the Sacramento Record-Union, 1859-1890; and the Los Angeles Herald, 1905-1907. All the issues are available online and can be viewed on your computer.
"Additional years are forthcoming, as are other early California newspapers: the Californian; the California Star; the California Star and Californian; the Sacramento Transcript; the Placer Times; and the Pacific Rural Press."
You can find the collection at:

Saturday, June 13, 2009

1911 Ireland Census Site Updated

Thanks again to Dick Eastman for this blurb:

“A further five counties have been added to the National Archives of Ireland's 1911 census website. Returns for Cork, Donegal, Wexford, King's County, and Galway can now be searched online. Antrim, Down, Dublin and Kerry were released last year.

“The 1901 and 1911 censuses are the only surviving full censuses of Ireland open to the public. Both censuses cover the entire island of Ireland. The 1911 census was taken on 2 April 1911.

“Ireland's census records are unusual in that the original household manuscript returns survive. These are the forms filled out and signed by the head of each household on census night. Most other countries only have enumerators' books, where family details were transcribed by the person charged with collecting the census information. In Irish records, you can see your ancestor's handwriting, assuming that he or she was the head of household at the time.”

You can find the online Irish census returns at

Friday, June 12, 2009

Canadian Books Available Online

Our Roots has the goal of preserving “Canada’s unique identity for future generations through the use of digital technology.” The site is in pursuit of that goal through the digitization of about 5,500 digital texts with more appearing regularly.

This is a full-text site and contains thousands of Canadian local histories in both French and English.

You can explore the site at:

Thursday, June 11, 2009

UK Census Maps From 1871 Now Online

Thanks to Dick Eastman for this alert:

“Cassini Publishing, in partnership with The National Archives, has released a unique set of historical maps on-line. For the first time, digital versions of the original Registration District maps from the 1871 census are available to browse and download. The original Registration District maps are stored with The National Archives in Kew, London. This set of maps is the only known collection in the world and offers a fascinating snapshot of how England and Wales were administered at the time of the 1871 census.

“At the Cassini Maps site, you can:
>Find any location in England and Wales
>Create your own personalized maps centered on this point
>Explore how the landscape has changed over time
>Understand the world your ancestors inhabited
>Discover long-lost place names, villages, mills, woodlands, mines, railways, canals, farms... “

The maps are free to view online, however, there is a charge to download them.
You can find the maps at:

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Don’t Forget Land Deeds in Your Research

Sharon Tate Moody recently wrote an article about the value of land deeds in genealogical research. This is especially true because not only are the names of the buyer and the seller on the deed, but often all previous owners of the land are listed also. What a treasure of information!

Sharon says: “To many people, deeds are boring legal descriptions of land bought and sold. But for the genealogical researcher, they are rich records. Hidden within them, one might find the maiden names of female ancestors, evidence of prior marriages, children's names, even records of slave ancestors.”

You can read all of Sharon’s article at:

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Researching Black Genealogy

Recently the Seguin Gazette Enterprise had an article about the efforts of Mark Gretchen to document the life and time of a Negro League baseball player by the name of “Smokey” Joe Williams. Complicating the effort was the fact the Williams came from a slave family.
Gretchen’s efforts expanded into a book about all of the local slave population in his area.

You can read about the book and some of the research challenges Gretchen faced at: <>

This has special meaning for us because one of our PGS members, Harriet Thompkins, is constructing a class on researching Black genealogy, and will address some of the same issue encountered by Gretchen.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Getting Started in Genealogy Is Rewarding, But Not Easy

Thanks to Dick Eastman for the following write up on a recent Sharon Tate Moody article:

“Sharon Tate Moody has written an excellent article that perhaps should be required reading for all beginning genealogists: ‘People new to genealogy often are surprised to learn they can't "do their family history" on the Internet in a weekend. In fact, those of us who have been working on our families for 30 or 40 years know it might take more than one lifetime to get it all done.’

You can read Sharon's entire article at

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Help In Tracking Russian Jewish Ancestors

If you are seeking Jewish ancestors, this site may be of interest to you. It lets you search an archive and photographs of headstones in St. Petersburg’s Preobrazhenskiy Jewish Cemetery. No, that’s NOT St. Petersburg, Florida. It’s St. Petersburg, Russia. And here’s a twist…the site in is Russian, so be prepared.

Check it out at

Friday, June 5, 2009

TimeGlider Offers Free, Interactive Timelines

Thanks to Dick Eastman who mentioned TimeGlider recently in his online newsletter.
This site gives you interactive access to building a time line of your choosing. There are lots of cool features here that you should check out. You have to register to use the site, but the registration is free unless you wish to buy some of the advanced features. Check it out and play around with it at

If the topic of time lines interests you, search this Blog for information on another site where you can build free time lines. It is found at