Thursday, December 31, 2015

Top 100 Genealogy Websites of 2015

Each year the GenealogyInTime Magazine publishes a list of the top 100 genealogy websites. Since this can be a subjective venture, the first page of the article explains the methodology used so you know how the listing was arrived at.

The values of the list, in addition to the ranking, is that it lists sites you may not be familiar with that could be of value in your research. Each site is marked as either "Pay" or "Free" and each also provides a hotlink to the sites' home pages.

You can find the article and list at:  Top 100 Genealogy Websites of 2015:

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Monday, December 28, 2015

Indexes Available at the Sullivan County Public Library, Sulliven, Indiana

The Sullivan County Library in Indiana has some great online indexes  (and in some cases, downloadable images) that may be of value if you have ancestors from that area.

Examples of the resources available are coroner's inquests, death notices and obituaries in county newspapers, death records, funeral home records, high school classes, marriage returns, wills, and more.

Check it out at:

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Friday, December 25, 2015

PGS Events for the Week 27 December to 2 January 2016

Monday, 28-Dec-2015 at 6:00 PM--DNA Testing for Genealogy—What you can and cannot do with DNA testing relating to your family history—an introduction. Summers, Local History Room, Largo Library.
Tuesday, 29-Dec-2015 at 6:00 PM--Documentation-An introduction on the content of proper source citations. Using modern genealogy programs to enter citations will also be covered (Roots Magic, and Family Tree Maker will be addressed). Summers, Local History Room, Largo Library.
Saturday, 2-Jan-2016 at 10:00 AM--Family Tree Maker User Group--Questions & Answers and Demonstration of how to use the Family Tree Maker genealogical database software. We will also discuss options for FTM users in light of the recent announcement that they are discontinuing sales and support of FTM. Hosmer/Bryan, Local History RoomLargo Library. NOTE THE NEW MEETING ROOM.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

2016 PGS Annual Seminar: speakers and more…much more

Over the past few weeks we have been introducing you to our 2016 Seminar coming up on 13 February. We first introduced you to Ann Staley, our featured speaker who will give four presentations during the all-day event. In another post we told you in some detail what those four topics were about.

Then we introduced you to our three breakout speakers and gave you a short explanation of their presentation subjects.

If you missed any of those Blog posts, you can find the information by looking in the Blog archive; or by getting the seminar brochure which is available at our monthly meetings, anytime in the Largo Library Genealogy Center, or online at .  In addition to information on the speakers, their topics, and the schedule of events; the brochure also contains a registration form.

OK, so you have heard about all that, but do you fully understand all of the other things that will be going on during this great event on 13 February 2016?

The festivities begin as soon as the door opens at 8 am. A continental breakfast will be available as you enter the presentation hall at the Largo Library. Coffee, tea, bottled water, and sodas will be available then and throughout the day.

One whole side of the hall will be devoted to our annual book sale. For embarrassingly low prices you can walk away with books filled with data about YOUR ancestors as well as books to give you a more general historical appreciation of when and where your ancestors lived.

Need a magnifier for that detailed reading? Need a 15-generation pedigree chart? Those items and more will be for sale in the back of the room.

Throughout the day we will have representatives from societies and from organizations that can offer you special deals on their subscriptions and memberships.

A box lunch is served at noon with plenty of time for you to peruse the book sale, and swap research tips with your follow attendees and our guest organizations.

Throughout the day you can purchase raffle tickets for software and subscription prizes.  Door prizes will be awarded during breaks between speakers (you get a ticket as part of your registration), and at the end of the day some special prizes will be awarded and raffle winners will be announced.

And finally, throughout the day you will have ample time to meet old friends and make new ones who may share some of the same research challenges that you are facing.

As you can see, there is plenty to learn, see, hear, do, eat, drink, and win during the seminar. All of that is well worth the registration of $40 ($45 for non-PGS members). But register early, because the price goes up after 6 February to $50 without the benefit of the box lunch.

We do have a limit on seating, so register early and secure your place, your lunch, and your price break.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Dayton Memorial Park Cemetery & Mausoleum Interments, Dayton, Ohio

This site give you a list of interments at the Dayton, Ohio Memorial Park Cemetery and Mausoleum. From the landing page, click on the link titled "Search A Burial" at the top of the page. That will lead you to a search form that lets  you search by name, date of interment, grave location, and also allows an AKA search.

The search results will provide the following information: name, dates of birth and death, grave location, funeral home name, and place of death. Not all information is provided for each entry, but as much as is known will be listed.

Check it out at:
Contact Dayton Memorial Park Cemetery & Mausoleum | Dayton Memorial Park Cemetery and Mausoleum:

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Saturday, December 19, 2015

Bahamas Civil Registration, 1850-1959 on

I don't usually alert you to additions to the website, but this one relates to a recent Largo Library "Meet the Author" program that dealt with Caribbean families so I thought I would include it.

This relatively new database is searchable, and deals with civil registration including birth, marriages and deaths for the Bahamas from 1850 to 1959.

Check it out at:  Bahamas Civil Registration, 1850-1959 —

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Friday, December 18, 2015

PGS Events fsor the Week of 20 to 26 December 2015

Happy Holidays, everyone. Understandably there are few events this week. But, if you want a break from all the hustle and bustle, the Roots Magic Users Group will continue to meet. Here are the details:

Saturday, 26-Dec-2015 at 10:00 AM--RootsMagic User Group--Questions and answers and demonstrations of how to use the RootsMagic genealogy database software program. Summers, Local History Room, Largo Library.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Norwich, Connecticut Cemeteries Online

The link below takes you to the site of the Otis Library in Norwich, Connecticut. You can find a lot if you explore the site, but in particular, scroll down the page to the title "City Cemetery Plot Listings" and follow that link.

You will be taken to a link showing 976 pages of cemetery names and interments. The cemeteries are listed alphabetically and the interments are alphabetized within each cemetery, so finding someone is not all that difficult, providing you know the cemetery to start with. Regardless, this is a remarkable listing.

Genealogy — Otis Library:

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Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Breakout speakers at PGS 2016 Seminar

In previous posts on this Blog we introduced you to Ann Staley, our featured 2016 Seminar speaker. We also told about the topics of her four presentations: The Everyday Life of Our Ancestors; Claws or Clues; Organizing, Analyzing, and Sharing; and Online Resources for Free.

But that’s not all you will hear at the seminar. In addition to our featured speaker, we have three great breakout speakers presenting at the seminar as well. Here they are and the topics they will feature:
DEBBE HAGNER: An amateur-interest in tracing her family's roots led Debbe to pursue a professional career in genealogy. In 1996, she attended Brigham Young University and received a Diploma in Family History. Debbe's private practice features genealogy seminars and workshops, private and confidential family background research, and individual one-on-one family history research assistance.
Debbe’s topic at our seminar will be  “Using with Emphasis on the WIKI.”
DEBRA FLEMING: Debra is the principal of The Ancestry Detective™, LLC, a genealogical research firm founded in Pasco County, Florida.  She has been a practicing genealogist for fifteen years, trading her research time between her many New England immigrant ancestors and her husband’s southern colonials. Debra is the Genealogy Instructor for the University of South Florida OSHER Lifelong Learning Center where she earned Roll of Honor Faculty Member status in 2010.
Her seminar presentation will be “Pre-1850 Census Analysis.”
LIZ PEARSON: Liz was born in England where she spent years researching her own family history.  During the late 70's her professional life transplanted her to the U. S.  where she found many opportunities to share her English and Welsh expertise with Anglo Americans researching their roots.
She holds several research qualifications and is an associate member of the Society of Genealogists in London, England.
Liz’s seminar topic will be “How to Access Records Held at the National Archives, Kew, London.”

As you can see, the seminar offers a variety of  topics aimed at different levels of experience. Join us by sending in a registration. The form can be found at the Genealogy Center, or downloaded from 

Saturday, December 12, 2015

German Naming Traditions

Diane Haddad, writing for Genealogy Insider, offers us an article to help make sense of the names found in German genealogies....all of those Johanns and Marias, for example.

Naming traditions in different cultures is extremely interesting in itself, but perhaps even more so for the German tradition since so many Americans are of German descent.

Check out Diane's article at:
Genealogy Insider - Johanns and Marias Everywhere! Naming Traditions German Genealogists Should Know:

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Friday, December 11, 2015

PGS Events for the Week of 13-19 December 2015

Monday, 14-Dec-2015 at 2:00 PM--Swedish Genealogy Interest Group--There will be a brief review of usage of Emibas and the Swedish Census on the PGS Computer. We will review what to do after you have found the parish and birth date of your ancestor and also look at some web sites that are useful for the Swedish researcher. Charest, Local History Room, Largo Library.

Tuesday, 15-Dec-2015 at 1:00 PM--Italian Genealogy Interest Group—a discussion of resources and techniques for researching your Italian ancestry. Bedore, Local History Room, Largo Library.

Wednesday, 16-Dec-2015 at 1:00 PM--England/Wales Genealogy Interest Group—a  discussion of resources and techniques for researching your England/Wales ancestry. Pearson, Local History Room, Largo Library.

Friday, 18-Dec-2015 at 10:30 AM--German Genealogy Interest Group—a discussion of resources and techniques for researching your German ancestry. Dietz, Local History Room, Largo Library.

Saturday, 19-Dec-2015 at 10:00 AM--Computers in Genealogy--Question and answer session on the use of computers in genealogy research and record keeping. Bryan, Jenkins B, Largo Library.

Saturday, 19 Dec 2015 at 11:00 AM—Program Meeting—Election of officers for 2016 followed by “show and tell” of attendees' genealogy treasures plus lots of holiday goodies to eat.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

United States Confederate Officers Card Index, 1861-1865 has digitized the United States Confederate Officers Card Index for 1861 to 1865. The cards were acquired from the Military Order of the Stars and Bars, and consist of over 207,000 images. The collection is not indexed at this point, but the collection is alphabetized to make the browsing job easier.

You will find such information as alternate names, name cross references, rank, unit, etc. Each card provides a front and back image, so don't forget to look at both. And since the cards are in alpha order, you may find some additional kin near your ancestor's card.

United States Confederate Officers Card Index, 1861-1865 —

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Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Ann Staley’s Presentations at PGS 2016 Annual Seminar

Ann Staley, introduced in a previous post on the Blog, is the featured speaker at the Annual PGS Seminar on 13 February 2016, held at the Largo Public Library in Largo, Florida. She will give four presentations during that all-day event. Here they are with some short explanations:

1. The Everyday Life of Our Ancestors
Piecing together information on how our ancestors lived their lives is both challenging and rewarding. They ate and drank, married and had families, dressed, had trades and occupations, practiced a religion, dabbled in the arts and sciences, participated in politics and economics, etc. Placing our ancestors into their historical context & adding the personal details takes time, but it can be done.

2. Claws or Clues
How to attack brick walls with a systematic research approach. Evidence criteria, timelines and spreading your research net outwards will be discussed.

3. Organizing, Analyzing, and Sharing
Put technology to work for you with software applications that can be used to analyze, organize and share your genealogical data. Computers can help us analyze our research to discover what information we don’t have and need to find, and then how we can share it with other family members.

4. Online Resources for Free
Exploration of some of the popular, as well as some not-so-well-known, free websites that hold digital images, databases, and text files that may contribute to your family research.

We are excited about Ann’s presentations, and anticipate they will offer something for everyone, beginning and experienced researchers alike.

In addition to Ann, we will also feature three break-out speakers. An upcoming post will introduce them and their topics.

Seminar registration forms are available in the Genealogy Center and online at the PGS website: (follow the “Special Events” tab at the top of the home page). There you will find not only the registration form, but a complete schedule of events.

Register early to reserve a seat at what will be a very popular event, and save money in the process.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Making Sense of some Terms You May Be Having Trouble With

Our friend Drew Smith, writing in his Blog Rootsmithing: Genealogy, Methodology, and Technology, gives us a handy and helpful article on using some terms the we may have questions about. He not only explains the term, but also points out the correct spelling, something that you may find troubling for these particular terms. Read the article to get straight on terms such as FamilySearch, Findmypast, MyHeritage, GEDCOM, GEDmatch, and more.

Rootsmithing: Genealogy, Methodology, and Technology: A few tech/genealogy words you may be typing/using incorrectly:

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Friday, December 4, 2015

PGS Events for the Week of 6-12 December 2015

Monday, 7-Dec-2015 at 10:00 AM--Library Catalog Searching for Genealogists – Libraries are a great place for finding genealogy resources. This class will show you how to find libraries and archives that can help you in your search, how to get the most from catalog searches, and discover other helpful resources available through online catalogs. Fortin, Local History Room, Largo Library

Wednesday, 9-Dec-2015 at 10:00 AM--Newspapers Online in Genealogy—This class will explore the genealogy data to be found in newspapers (obituaries, weddings, human interest stories, etc.) and show where to find the online repositories and how to use them. Summers, Local History Room, Largo Library

Thursday, 10-Dec-2015 at 1:00 PM--Irish Genealogy Interest Group (GIG)—a discussion group focused on how to conduct research to find your Irish ancestry. Padgett, Jenkins C, Largo Library

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Looking for Digitized Books on

Writing for Diane Haddad's "Genealogy Insider" column in Family Tree Magazine, Diana McCullough gives us a four point strategy to follow when searching the FamilySearch website for digitized books.

Read her strategy at:
Genealogy Insider - Bookworm Genealogy: How to Find Digitized Books on

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Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Ann Staley – Principle Speaker at PGS 2016 Annual Seminar

We at PGS are pleased to present Ann Staley as our 2016 seminar speaker. She is a highly qualified and very popular national speaker. This short bio will tell you more.

She is an instructor, consultant, trip leader and a lecturer at local, state and national conferences. Raised in Mobile, AL, Ann has been researching her family since 1980 from Alabama, Mississippi, and Virginia to France, England, and Germany.

She is the Education Chairman and Webmaster for the Jacksonville Genealogical Society, Inc.; the Secretary of the Genealogical Speakers Guild; a trustee of the Florida State Genealogical Society; on the faculty of The National Institute for Genealogical Studies; and has been an associate of the Board for Certification of Genealogists since 2000.

· Advanced Genealogy Research at Wallace State College, Hanceville, AL
· Advanced Methodology and Evidence Analysis; U. S. Military Records; Understanding Land Records; and many other topics at the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR), Samford University, Homewood, AL (attending since 1998). Ann has also been on the faculty a number of years.
· National Institute on Genealogical Research (NIGR) at the National Archives, Washington, DC
· Problem Solving at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy, Salt Lake City, UT
· Numerous seminars and conferences sponsored by local and national societies

 National Genealogical Society
 Association of Professional Genealogists
 Genealogical Speakers Guild
 Florida State Genealogical Society
 Jacksonville [FL] Genealogical Society, Inc. (life member)

We are excited about Ann’s participation with us on 13 February 2016 for the annual seminar. In another post we will publicize the four presentations she will be making.

Mark your calendars now. You can see the complete schedule of events and get a registration form for the seminar at our monthly meetings, anytime in the Largo Library Genealogy Center, or online at