Thursday, July 30, 2015

File Life Always a Concern

I'm sure we have all given thought to the fragility of our files. We take steps to protect photos and paper documents to extend their lives, and we even digitize them.

Dick Eastman writing in his Blog The Daily Online Genealogy Newsletter, gives us a view of how digital files have the longest life span. It will take a bit of maintenance on our part of course, but given that, digital files will far outlive either paper or microfilm.

This article is a good read and addresses one of those ever-present questions, You will find the full article at:
Digital Files May Last Much, Much Longer than Paper or Microfilm | Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter:

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Wednesday, July 29, 2015 Website Now Available at Largo Public Library

The Largo Library and Pinellas Genealogy Society have added another to their growing collection of genealogy-related websites. focuses on landowner maps which provide researchers with a slick user interface resulting in views of ownership documents as well as visualizations of the plots of land themselves. The two collections, available at the website and described below, are searchable by a person’s name or by the location of the land.

The “First Landowners Project” uses a single, interactive map containing over 12.3 million first landowners’ names (those who acquired land directly from the U.S. Government) among thirty states consisting of all twenty-nine of the public land states in the Continental U.S., plus Texas.

The “Antique Maps Collection” contains about 4000 maps from various sources and time periods. Among them, selected maps (those showing owners and others associated with plots of land at specific points in time) boast hundreds of thousands of indexed persons.

You must be at the Largo Public Library to access the website, unless you invest in an individual subscription. A handout describing how to use the site is located in the library Genealogy Center.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Plainfield, New Jersey Online City Directories

The Plainfield, NJ Public Library has digitized several years of its city directories and made them available on line. They run from 1870 to 1974.

City directories are great companions to the census when researching ancestors. Using the two together can reveal information that is not apparent when using them in isolation.

Check it out at:  Plainfield Public Library:

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Sunday, July 26, 2015

PGS Events for the Week of 26 July to 1 Aug 2015

Monday, 27-Jul-2015 at 10:00 AM--Windows Explorer--How to use this basic computer tool in your genealogy research. Summers, Local History Room, Largo Library
Wednesday, 29-Jul-2015 at 10:00 searching--the next level. This class will explore approaches to difficult searches--how to find them when they're not where they should be. Bryan. Local History Room, Largo Library

Friday, July 24, 2015

Sharon Tate Moody Gives Us a Way to "Clear the Clutter" in Our Research

Sharon Tate Moody, writing for TBO-The Tampa Tribune, gives us a way to use summary documents to help promote our family research. The technique helps separate the wheat from the chaff and thus focuses our attention on information that can  more our research forward.

This is a helpful article with good examples.

Check it out at:  Use summary document to help clear the clutter | and The Tampa Tribune:

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Tuesday, July 21, 2015

A History of City Directories in the United States and New York City

Philip Sutton, writing for the New York Public Library, gives us a detailed article outlining the history of city directories and focuses on those of New York City. So whether your interest is particularly focused on NYC or not, this article will have something for you.

The history ranges back to the 1700's and gives a good understanding of city directories in general. The article explains what city directories have to offer (images, maps, name lists, etc.) and of what genealogical value they have. It also provides links to some online directories.

The Pinellas Genealogy Society offers a class on using city directories that you may want to check out. This article is a worth while addition.

Direct Me NYC 1786: A History of City Directories in the United States and New York City | The New York Public Library:

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Saturday, July 18, 2015

Alpena County, Michigan Public Library Online Resources

The link below is to the Alpena County George N. Fletcher Public Library site, and the landing page focuses on "Genealogy and Local History."

The site offers more than online data; it is a site devoted to the library, after all. So if you have ancestors from the Alpena, Michigan area, take some time to roam the site.

The panel to the right on the landing page gives you links to online lists and indexes. Topics such as cemeteries, naturalization, and census are but a few that can lead to data.

Genealogy & Local History | Alpena County George N. Fletcher Public Library:

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PGS Events for the Week of 19-25 July

Monday, 20-Jul-2015 at 10:00 AM--MS Word in Genealogy-This presentation focuses on generating indexes and tables of contents for documents you author using MSWord. The generation of footnotes and end notes is also demonstrated. Summers, Local History Room, Largo Library.
Saturday, 25-Jul-2015 at 10:00 AM--Roots Magic User Group--Questions and answers and demonstrations of how to use the Roots Magic genealogy database software program. Summers, Local History Room, Largo Library.

An item of interest:
Digitization: Preserving the Past for the Future, is the title of an upcoming conference  on August 13-14 at the Panama City Campus of Florida State University. See for information and registration details. Thanks to Jeri Antozzi for this.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Online Birth & Marriage Records Indexes for Genealogy Research

Joe Beine has updated his list of links to online US birth and marriage records and indexes. Joe's list continues to grow and is a valuable tool to use in your genealogical research. The list is arranged alphabetically by state. He also lets you know right in the list whether or not the link is to a site that requires payment or is free.

Joe also does other lists: death records and indexes, military records, naturalization records and indexes, passenger lists and records, and census records. Scroll to the bottom of the landing page to find links to those other lists.

Online Birth & Marriage Records Indexes for Genealogy Research:

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Monday, July 13, 2015

"Largo Connects" Brings Organizations and Volunteers Together

Pinellas Genealogy Society is pleased to participate in "Largo Connects." We will have a table with volunteers and volunteer information from 10 am to 2 pm at the Largo Library. Drop by and see what volunteer opportunities await!

This notice from the Largo Library website gives more details:
"This month, the library is celebrating the tenth birthday of our "new" building. We'd like you to consider giving the gift of your time to local organizations. To make that easier, we're having a fair.

"Largo Connects is an opportunity for members of the community to see some of the many organizations that are looking for and welcome the time and energy of new volunteers. There are currently 20 community organizations scheduled to have tables at the fair.
"Largo Connects will be in the lobby and circulation area of the library on Saturday, July 25 from 10 am until 2 pm.

"Please come out and see some of the many places that would love to have you as a volunteer!"

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Genealogists and CSI Have Some Things in Common

Jeff Bahr, writing for The Grand Island Independent, gives us a fun interview with George Morgan who recently spoke at the Nebraska State Genealogical Society in Grand Island. George, you will recall, has been a frequent speaker at Pinellas Genealogy Society meetings.

Genealogists, crime scene investigators both solve mysteries - The Grand Island Independent: Local News:

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PGS Events for the Week of 12 - 18 July

Monday, 13-Jul-2015 at 10:00 AM--Genealogical Proof--This class explains how to evaluate the evidence we collect as we build our family trees. Some sources are more reliable, some records bring us closer to the actual event, and some information is more “on point.” How do we rank all of this as we try to assemble genealogical “truth”? The class uses the “Genealogical Proof Standard” as the guide. Summers, Local History Room, Largo Library.

Friday, 17-Jul-2015 at 10:30 AM--German Genealogy Interest Group--A special Interest Group presentation for novice learners seeking basic help with their German ancestry. The class primarily gives basic instruction on how to find the actual birthplace and other key facts that are essential for German family history research. Topics include published resources that are available in the U.S. and U.S. websites used to aid in German genealogy. Helpful hints with surnames, name-places and the German calendar will be shared also. Commons, Local History Room, Largo Library.

Saturday, 18 Jul 2015--NO COMPUTER INTEREST GROUP MEETING THIS MONTH-due to the field trip to the Family History Library--information below:

This summer's PGS Field Trip will take us to our local LDS Family History Center.  LDS genealogy volunteers will give us a tour of the Center and demonstrate its resources and how to use them.  Then they will stand ready to help us use those resources to work on our own research.  So bring your genealogy questions and perhaps you will be able to find and order the microfilm containing that elusive document you have been hunting. 

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Union County, North Carolina Public Library offers Online Data

The Union County Public Library has several online databases that may of interest to you if you have ancestors from that area of North Carolina.

From the home page link below, click on "Genealogy Researchers" found to the left of the screen. You will then be given further links to obituaries, cemeteries, photos, and more. Some of the links give you data beyond Union County itself.

Check it out at:  Union County Public Library:

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Monday, July 6, 2015

Meyers Gazetteer of the German Empire - On

This standard reference is a two-volume set found in most genealogy libraries, and can be invaluable when trying to figure out where records are kept for various German cities, towns, and villages.

It can be daunting to some degree because it is in German (Gothic script), but a little perseverance and careful reading of the early pages that provide abbreviations and guides on how to use the book, will pay off.

It includes all areas that were part of the German Empire before WWI.

Meyers  is also available on for free (you don't need a subscription). The link below will take you to the search page, but scroll down and read the database description before you do any searching.

Meyers Gazetteer of the German Empire:

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Friday, July 3, 2015

United States Census Available for Free on Mocavo

You now have access to the complete US census record from 1790 to 1940 on the Mocavo website...for free.

Using the search form will take a little getting used to. For instance, the birth year field seems to accept "exact" entries only. So if you enter 1882 and the birth date on the record is 1883, you will not show any hits. Be patient and the site will be productive.

Don't forget, that if you have a Pinellas County library card, you can also get to the census on Heritage Quest if you access the site through your Pinellas County library. The census on Heritage Quest is provided by

So now you have two avenues to do complete census research from home. ( is another site for census research, but often the images are not available on the site.)

Here is the link to Mocavo:  1790-1940 United States Census:

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PGS Events for the Week of 5-11 July 2015

Wednesday, 8-Jul-2015 at 10:00 AM--INTRODUCTION TO GENEALOGY (Beginner) -- Basics of how to get started in researching your family history—what to do first, where to look & how to do it. Bryan, Local History Room, Largo Library.
Thursday, 9-Jul-2015 at 1:00 PM--Who do you think you are? Bryan, Suncoast New Neighbors, 2930 Gulf to Bay Blvd, Clearwater, FL.
Saturday, 11-Jul-2015 at 1:00 PM--Military Records, Summers, Imperial Polk Genealogy Society,  3140 Troy Ave, Lakeland, FL.