Sunday, August 31, 2014

Find-A-Record Offers Research Assistance

This website could prove valuable in some of your record research. It has a short video that will help explain how the site works.

There are two main aids offered on the site. The first is “Research Assistant.” This will link to your FamilySearch Family Tree and give you suggestions on how to correct your tree entries and how to fill in research gaps.

The second aid is a search geographically for records. It is found on the site home page at the blue box simply labeled “Search.” You enter the name of the place and time frame you are interested in, the type of record you are interested in, whether you want free or paid suggestions, and click “search.” You will be presented with a file by file listing of suggestions on where to find the appropriate records. The suggestions I got in a quick test were basically from FamilySearch, World Vital Records, and, but presumably the sources suggested would vary with the parameters of the search. In all, the process is easy, and may reveal some sources that your own search of those sites did not reveal.

Try it at:  Find-A-Record

Saturday, August 30, 2014

PGS Educational Events for the Week of 1 to 6 Sep

Wednesday, 3-Sep-14 at 10:00 AM--Pre-1850 Census analysis--Many researchers become frustrated with the difficulty in researching the US Census prior to 1850 because of only the heads of households being explicitly named. However, those early censuses contain more information than one might initially think. This class examines the characteristics of the pre-1850 census, the information available, and some strategies for analyzing those census years. Local History Room, Largo Library.

Saturday, 6-Sep-14 at 10:00 AM--Family Tree Maker User Group—First meeting after the summer hiatus; Questions & Answers and Demonstration of how to use the Family Tree Maker genealogical database software. Jenkins C, Largo Library.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Ask Yourself—Why Was The Record Created?

Michael John Neill in his Genealogy Tip of the Day Blog, gives us an important bit of advice to follow as we explore any record, especially one we have not encountered before.

Read his tip at:  Genealogy Tip of the Day: The Purpose of the Record

Monday, August 25, 2014

Learn to Use FamilySearch Family Tree

FamilySearch offers an online training course on how to use FamilySearch Family Tree. The learning modules start with the basics of developing mouse skills, and then progress through skill levels of actually using Family Tree. In the three levels are 16 individual lessons.

If you have been hesitant about using FamilySearch Family Tree, this curriculum may be what you need to give you the understanding and confidence to use the resource.

Check it out at:  FamilySearch Family Tree Curriculum

Friday, August 22, 2014

Welsh Newspapers Online

This website gives you free access to 7.6 million articles and 725,000 pages from over 100 historical Welsh newspapers. The site is supported by the National Library of Wales and may be of value for those of you with Welsh ancestry.

Check it out at: Welsh Newspapers Online

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

FamilySearch: One Billion Images and Counting

Recently, the GenealogyInTime Magazine published an article about the status of FamilySearch’s digitizing efforts. The title gives a terse summary, but behind that one billion images are multiple billions of individual records, about 3.2 billion of which have been indexed for searching.

The article gives some of the history of FamilySearch (did you know that it has been providing access to genealogy records since 1938?) as well as a summary of the current effort to digitize their microfilm holdings and their continuing effort to digitize new material.

It is a very informative read. Find it at:  FamilySearch Reaches One Billion Images

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Local History and Genealogy Sources for New Brunswick, New Jersey

The New Brunswick Free Public Library has several online sources of information that may be in interest to you if you have ancestors from that area.

The sources include some cemetery listings, military rosters, digitized newspapers, and maps.

You can view the collections at New Brunswick Free Public Library - Materials: Local History and Genealogy

Saturday, August 16, 2014

PGS Educational Event for the week of 17-23 August 2014

Wednesday, 20-Aug-14 at 10:00 in the Local History Room of Largo Public Library, PGS will present "Scanned Books Online--How and where to find them"  (Google books, Heritage Quest,, et al).

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Family Relationships–Understanding All Those Cousins

An article in the GenealogyInTime Magazine offers some ways to figure out all those pesky cousin relationships. In one instance they provide a chart to use, not unlike many others you may have run across. Helpful as it is, it is not always handy when you need it.

They also tell you about the “G-rule.” This is pure gold. An easy way to quickly determine cousin relationships without the need for a chart.

And, by the way, do you know how your “niblings” are?

Check it out at The Key to Understanding Family Relationships

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Florida Genealogical Society Fall Seminar -- 4 October

Registration is now open for the Florida Genealogical Society 2014 Fall Seminar, which will be held on Saturday, 4 October 2014, from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM in the Marshall Student Center on the University of South Florida campus in Tampa. Our speaker will be Thomas W. Jones, CG, CGL, FASG, who will present four great lectures.

The day's theme is "The Proof is in the Puzzle" and will consist of four lectures:
  • When Sources Don't Agree, Then What?
  • Organizing Evidence to Overcome Record Shortages
  • Finding "Unfindable" Answers
  • How to Avoid Being Duped by the Internet

    Preregistration is $40 for members and $45 for non-members, or $50 on the day of the seminar. Preregistrations must be received by no later than Monday, 22 September 2014. Registration begins at 8:30 AM the day of the seminar.
    For a conference brochure and registration form go to:

Sunday, August 10, 2014

The Census Taker Cometh

This article has traveled a bit to get to you: from Ancestry Daily News  to But that matters not; it is a good read for which we have Michael John Neill to thank.

We are treated to the story of three different census takers encountering the same household over the period of several decades. It is a fictional account, but as you read it,  you can just picture the encounters.

This is a good read. Enjoy it at: The Census Taker Cometh

Saturday, August 9, 2014

PGS Educational Events for the Week of 10-16 August

Monday, 11-Aug-14 at 6:00 techniques for getting the most from this huge collection of databases. Local History Room, Largo Library

Saturday, 16-Aug-14 at 10:00 AM--Computers in Genealogy--Question and answer session on the use of computers in genealogy research and record keeping. Jenkins B, Largo Library

Saturday, 16-Aug-14 at 11:00 AM--Program Meeting-John Germany Library, Tampa Genealogy Collection - Lee McQueary, a Tampa Genealogy Librarian, will highlight their genealogy collection, and touch on a variety of genealogy print, microform and electronic resources.  Jenkins B, Largo Library

Saturday, 16-Aug-14 at 12:30 PM--Workshop tour of the Genealogy Center showing the many genealogical research resources there. Genealogy Center, Largo Library.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Tip: Browse on Fold3

Now that Fold3 is available at the Largo Public Library, AND FROM HOME through the library web site, we want you to make use of it whenever possible. Knowing how to use it is of course a necessary element for success.

The link below takes you to the Fold3 blog and an article on using the browse feature of the site. It also refers you to the “Training Center,” a link to which is found at the bottom of the home page.

There you will find several short videos on how to use the site.

Tip: Browse on Fold3 | Fold3 BlogFold3 Blog

Monday, August 4, 2014

Georgia Death Certificates Online

Georgia Archives has an online collection of searchable death certificates for the years 1919 through 1927. There are some earlier ones dating from 1914 included in the collection also.

Search the collection at:  Georgia Death Certificates

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Fold3 Class at Largo Public Library on 4 August

At 10 am on Monday, 4 August, PGS will present a class on using three valuable tools in pursuit of your genealogy.

The first is the Fold3 databases. Fold3 is a subscription site that is free to holders of a Pinellas County library card. It is accessible from computers at the Largo Library or from home if you go through the Largo Library website. The focus of the site is military records, from the American Revolution to the present. This class will demonstrate how to get to the site and then how to effectively search for and use the records.

The second is Dropbox, a cloud storage, file synchronization, and file sharing service. It is free to use and very beneficial if you have more than one computing device (desktop, laptop, smart phone, tablet, etc.). Even is you have only one device, it can be used as a handy backup location. This is not an authoring tool, instead it is meant to help manage files after they have been created with other programs such as a word processor or a genealogy computer program.

The third and last tool is Evernote. This is also a free cloud service, but its focus is on synchronizing and sharing notes and web clippings rather than files. Unlike Dropbox, it is an authoring tool, and great for quickly capturing ideas, web locations, cut-and-paste snippets, etc.

Each of the tools listed is easy to use and requires only a few minutes of explanation. That is why they are grouped together in one class. There are other services similar to Dropbox and Evernote, and some of them will be briefly addressed also.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Railroad Historical Societies

If you  have ancestors  with railroad affiliations, this site will be of great help. It is a list of more than one hundred railroad historical societies. With few exceptions, the names are hot links.

each site is different, of course, but when I followed the Chesapeake & Ohio link, I was treated to history, maps, historic posters, and more.

Check it out at:  Historical Socities