Friday, November 29, 2013

More Great Genealogy Brickwall Solutions

A few days ago I posted an article on brickwall solutions from the Genealogy In Time Magazine. Well, here are some more. Look over part 2 of the article to get some great ideas for busting thorough those brickwalls.

Check it out at:  More Great Genealogy Brickwall Solutions - Part 2

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Holiday Deals from Roots Magic

Roots Magic is offering holiday discounts on all of its software products and books. Check them out at:

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

City Directory Abbreviations

The link below will take you to an issue of Genealogy In Time Magazine that has an article showing a list of more or less standard abbreviations used in city directories.

Each directory has a list of abbreviations it uses, but sometimes it is handy to have a list on the side for easy reference. Remember that there may be some unique to the directory you are using, so don’t overlook that directory’s list of abbreviations if needed.

By the way, the Pinellas Genealogy Society offers a class on conducting research using city directories. You can see when it is being offered by checking the class schedule on the society website:

In the meantime, check out the abbreviations at:  City Directory Abbreviations

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Surnames in the United States

Here is a website that is informative and fun to poke around in. Want to know the most popular surnames in the US? It will tell you. Curious about the top 10 baby names? Look here. Interested in ethnic associations of last names? Go no further.

Check it out at:  Last Names [Surnames] in the United States

Friday, November 22, 2013

More Great Genealogy Brickwall Solutions

The Genealogy In Time Magazine offers us yet another great article on brick wall solutions. You may be aware of some of these problem-solving research techniques, but others may be just the tip you need to make progress in your ancestor hunt.

Check it out at:  More Great Genealogy Brickwall Solutions - Part 1

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Rochester Churches Indexing Project

If you have ancestors in or around Rochester, New York, this website may hold treasures for you.

The Rochester Churches Indexing Project started in 2009 and now boasts over 29,000 marriages and 21,000 baptisms in their database.

In addition to searching for names, you can get information on all of the churches included in the project.

Check it out at:  Rochester Churches Indexing Project

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Family History Repository Opens Its Doors

The Pinellas Genealogy Society in partnership with the Largo Public Library announces the formation of the Family History Repository. Its goal is to safeguard and make available to the public unpublished, original family history and genealogy research.

The FHR has been established to give researchers a place to harbor their work when they decide that they want to retire their research collection or there is no family member who is able to continue the effort. In these cases, the FHR stands ready to accept the material.

Too often the efforts of researchers are neglected or destroyed when their personal involvement in the research ends due to shifting priorities, health, or other reasons. The FHR provides a place and a process where that research can live on.

To be accepted, the material must be an original work product (family group sheets, pedigree charts, narratives, notes, etc.), it must be unpublished, and the author or other authorized person must be willing to pass control of the material to PGS.

Although paper files are the focus of the repository, several different electronic formats can be acceptable on a case by case basis.

The PGS has offered this service on a limited scale for some time. Now, the recent acquisition of a book scanner by the Pinellas Public Library Consortium accompanied by project partnership with the Largo Public Library, the service can be greatly expanded.

The donated material will be archived either in paper or converted to digital form, and made available to other researchers through the collection in the Genealogy Center of the Largo Public Library or the World Wide Web.


Friday, November 15, 2013 Indexes An Additional 1 Million Florida Marriage Records

The Florida Marriage Record database at now numbers somewhere north of 2.3 million indexed records. Access is free.

You can get directly to the search screen with the following link:  Florida, Marriages, 1830-1993 —

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Elkhart (IN) Public Library Makes Obituary Information Available

The city of Altoona is located in central Pennsylvania in Blair County. Its county seat is Hollidaysburg.

It has an obituary index available on line that is extracted from the Elkhart Truth from 1921 to the present. The work is not complete, and entries continue to be added.

From the home page, click on “Genealogy & Local History” from the tabs across the top of the page, and then select “Obituary Database” from the dropdown menu.
Elkhart Public Library — Elkhart Public Library MyEPL

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

PGS Family History Assistance Day Another Success

Charlie and Lois Barros staff the reception desk
Twice a year the PGS and the Largo Public Library hold a Family History Assistance Day where researchers can sit with fellow genealogists and get one-on-one help with their research. This time around, twenty-nine researchers took advantage of the opportunity.
 Dorothy McDermott, Eileen Mandujano, and Susan Luce (helper) at work
Fifteen helpers at work with clients
Laurie Stokes (helper) with patron Barbara Edwards at the Genealogy Center

Monday, November 11, 2013

The Devon Wills Project 1312-1891

As stated on the home page of “The Devon Wills Project” at

The majority of wills and administrations of Devon people were proved or granted in either in Devon itself or in London. The originals of those wills proved in London (very nearly all at the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, "PCC") have survived. However many probate records for the county of Devon and Diocese of Exeter including the Exeter Principal Registry were destroyed by enemy action in 1942, when the Probate Registry was destroyed in the bombing during the Exeter Blitz of WWII. Thus the overall aim of this index is to create a finding-aid to enable the researcher to determine what probate materials were originally recorded and most importantly what documents have survived (original document, copy or abstract) and where they can be located.”

The link below will take you directly to a search form. - National Wills Index - Search Devon Wills Project 1312-1891

Friday, November 8, 2013

My Genealogy Hound May Reveal Ancestor Biographies

According to the My Genealogy Hound home page, “”My Genealogy Hound is your completely free site to view thousands of family biographies from early and rare history and genealogy references. These biographies can often be valuable for discovering details about ancestors in your family tree research.”

The site add new biographies as they acquire them, so it is worthwhile bookmarking the site to easily revisit it.

You can browse the entries by state and county or by family surname, and it is free.

Check it out at:  My Genealogy Hound Home Page

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Memorial Park Cemetery Canvas Begins

Thanks to Jean Schmidt, Cheryl Shaughnessy, Deborah Schuler, Laurie Stokes, and Karen Fortin for beginning the canvas of Memorial Park Cemetery (yours truly took the picture). Lots more work to do, so consider getting involved. If you are interested in participating, send an email to to let us know.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

James Tanner in his Blog Genealogy's Star, has written a series of very interesting articles giving his take on where we are today in the world of genealogy. It may echo your own thoughts, but his insights are well worth the read.

James has  more than thirty years' experience in law and computers, and over twenty years experience as a research genealogist. His view is obviously born of great experience. The series of articles is in four parts, and if I have not messed up the links, you can read them as shown below.

You can access James' entire Blog at:

Monday, November 4, 2013

Online Indexes for Cemeteries, Obituaries and Death Records Updated

Joe Beine has recently updated is Online Indexes for Cemeteries, Obituaries and Death Records. The following link will take you to a page that shows the updates, and throughout the page are links to the actual indexes.

Genealogy Roots Blog: Online Indexes for Cemeteries, Obituaries and Death Records - Latest Additions

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Why Genealogy is Important

We all know why genealogy is important to us…why we spend an inordinate amount of time poking around archives, searching online, etc. But we may find it difficult to explain to others, like our families, what drives us.

The following link is to an article in the Genealogy In Time Magazine that does a good job of listing various reasons genealogy is so compelling. It may be worth your while to look it over if you  need help explaining your hobby. It may be especially helpful if you are trying to convince a family member to get involved along with you.

Why Genealogy is Important