Thursday, March 31, 2016

How to Use Wildcards in Searches

Here is a topic that never grows old because we constantly need a refresher on how to use wild cards in online searches.

Diane Haddad, writing for Genealogy Insider, gives us a short tutorial on using wild cards when searching on The techniques she discusses are applicable in practically any online search engine.

Read the article at:
Genealogy Insider - Born to Be Wild: How to Use Wildcards in Searches:

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Monday, March 28, 2016

Newmarket, Ontario Digital Newspaper Project

The Newmarket, Ontario Public Library offers us their digitized collection of several area newspapers dating from 1852.

You can search all newspapers at once by any key words, or you can browse by newspaper. Nine newspapers are represented in the project.

Check it out at:
The Era Newspapers: The Era: Newmarket's Digital Newspaper Project:

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Sunday, March 27, 2016

Donna Moughty to Speak on Scots-Irish Ancestors

Donna Moughty will speak at the 16 April 2016 meeting of the Pinellas Genealogy Society. Her topic is titled "Seeking Your Scots-Irish Ancestors. The event is at 11 AM at the Largo Public Library and is free and open to the public.

Here is more detail on the presentation:

Success in Irish research is highly dependent on discovering the exact location in Ireland of ones ancestors and typically clues to the location are in records in the United States. Although researching in Ireland can be a wonderful experience, research at home is key to successful Irish research. For those researching early Scots-Irish ancestry identifying the initial location here as well as understanding migration patterns throughout the US is key. Also, because of the fire at Four Courts in 1922 (the Public Records Office) there are only limited records available in Ireland prior to the 19th century.

• Who are the Scots-Irish?
• History of Immigration and Emigration
• Scots-Irish in America
• Strategies for using US Records
• Strategies for using Irish Records

Friday, March 25, 2016

PGS Events for the Week of 27 March to 2 April 2016

Tuesday, 29-Mar-2016 at 10:00 AM--Writing Brief Narrative Sketches – Sharing Interesting Ancestors with Family--Do you want to share your family history research and enthusiasm with your relatives, but find that their eyes tend to glaze over when you pull out your pedigree charts and family group sheets? Try presenting the information to them in bite-size chunks, one interesting ancestor at a time, using brief, 1-3 page narratives with visual impact. Fortin, Local History Room, Largo Library.
Wednesday, 30-Mar-2016 at 10:00 AM--Research Trip Planning--This session will lay out some steps to take to ensure that your trip to your ancestral home area is as successful as possible. Bryan, Local History Room, Largo Library.
Friday, 1-Apr-2016 at 10:00 AM—CANCELLED. The Franco-American Discussion Group Will Not Meet Until November.

Another note of interest to some:
The library will be closed on 2 April 2016 so there will be no Family Tree Maker User Group Meeting this month.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Victoria, British Columbia Genealogical Society Offers Online Burial and Cemetery Indexes

This site of the VGS gives us three burial indexes to download: One for Greater Victoria, another for Royal Oak Burial Park,, and a third for Southern Vancouver Island and Gulf Islands.

Scroll to the bottom of the page for a list of the cemeteries represented in the indexes.

Name Index - Greater Victoria Pioneers - Settlers and Early Residents before 1910:

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Monday, March 21, 2016

Heart O' Wisconsin Genealogical Society Provides Online Indexes

Here is a site for all of you who have "Cheese Head" ancestors. These indexes point the way to original records and cover cemeteries, early deaths, biographies, 1858 tax sales, marriages, Citizenship Declarations of Intent and more.

HOWGS | Research:

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Friday, March 18, 2016

PGS Events for the Week of 20 to 26 March 2016

Monday, 21-Mar-2016 at 6:00 PM--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.
Wednesday, 23-Mar-2016 at 10:00 AM--Death Records---vital records, funeral home, newspapers and other sources and how to find them. Bryan, Local History Room, Largo Library.
Saturday, 26-Mar-2016 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.

Free Things You Can Do on

Diane Haddad, writing for Genealogy Insider, outlines five free things you can do at You need a guest registration to use the free features, but the article provides a hot link to the page where you can do that.

You may be surprised at the number of Ancestry databases that are free to search (one of the five things you can do), and a link is provided to the search page where you can select a database of interest or search them all at one time.

This is an article well worth checking out.

Genealogy Insider - Five Free Genealogy Things You Can Do on

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Monday, March 14, 2016

Nevada County Cemetery Survey

Here is a survey of Nevada County cemeteries conducted by Jerry and Jeanie McKelvy. It contains 25,874 records in 101 cemeteries and has recently been updated.

You can search all of the entries at once (pay attention to the search hint at the top of the search box), or you can click on a cemetery name and see an alphabetized list of names. Each listed cemetery has explanatory notes attached.

Welcome to Nevada County Depot and Museum:

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Friday, March 11, 2016

Changes Coming Up at the Library

The Largo Library, as well as other libraries in the Pinellas Public Library Cooperative, announce the change to a new online catalog and checkout system. The change will take place from March 21-24, 2016.
Of importance to genealogy patrons, the library databases that require you to enter your library card number to log-in will not be available (that means things like,,, etc) during this period. You can, however, still use the library computers to search the Internet to visit sites outside of the library system, and this may be a good time to dig into the print resources available in the Genealogy Center.
Things should be back up and running by 25 March, but as with any major technical conversion, there may be speed bumps dealing with individual database connections. Please be patient as the library moves to this new system.
For more information about the change-over, see

PGS Events for the Week of 13-19 March 2017

Monday, 14-Mar-2016 at 2:00 PM--Swedish Genealogy Interest Group, Charest, Local History Room, Largo Library
Tuesday, 15-Mar-2016 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-Mar-2016 at 11 AM-12:30PM--England/Wales Genealogy Interest Group-a discussion of resources and techniques for researching your England/Wales ancestry. Pearson, Local History Room, Largo Library.
Wednesday, 16-Mar-2016--1:30-3:30 PM--Counties of England and Wales, 1065 to Present”  and” Locating and Accessing Records.” This is a condensed version of the mini-seminar presented on 12 March for those who could not attend at that time. Pearson, Local History Room, Largo Library.
Friday, 18-Mar-2016 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-Mar-2016 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-Mar-2016 at 11:00 AM—Program Meeting, Using DNA in Genealogy, Jim Lanning, Jenkins B, Largo Library.
Saturday, 19-Mar-2016 at 12:30 PM--Workshop tour of the Genealogy Centershowing the many genealogical research resources there. Summers, Genealogy Center, Largo Library

City Directory Abbreviations

I hope you are aware of how valuable city directories can be as a research source. (If not, you can check the PGS website for a list of classes to see when the city directory class is scheduled: .)

But if you are familiar with city directories as all, you know they make liberal use of abbreviations, and some of those can be confusing. The GenealogyInTime Magazine offers us a list of common abbreviations used those publications, as well as a list of first name abbreviations, and occupation abbreviations.

You might want to bookmark this site to keep it handy when you are exploring city directories.

City Directory Abbreviations:

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Thursday, March 10, 2016

PGS Meeting on 19 March to Focus on DNA Research

Jim Lannin will speak at the 19 March PGS Meeting at the Largo Public Library at 11 am on the topic "Using DNA for Genealogy." The event is free and open to the public.

The presentation will include:
·        A Review of the Basics – A Short DNA Primer
·        Patterns of Inheritance - You Can Thank Your Parents For That!
·        Where Genetics and Genealogy Intersect – What is Genetic Genealogy?
·        The Origin of Genetic Genealogy – A Short History
·        Additional Testing – Can it be Worthwhile?
·        A comparison of DNA Testing Companies – An Overview of the “Big Four”
·        I Got My DNA Test Results Back – What Can I Do With Them?
·        What if I Want More? – A List of Third Party Analysis Tools

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Last Name Meanings and Origins

This webpage is from, but is one of their free pages. Enter the surname you are interested in and you will see a map (you can actually choose from United States, England & Wales, and Scotland) that shows the population density of your chosen surname. You can filter the display by selected decades.

You will also see displays about the surname's origin, immigration information, average life expectancy, and more.

Some of the displays will try and influence you to subscribe to to see more, but the free information offered is worth checking out.

Last Name Meanings and Origins | Search Surnames at

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Friday, March 4, 2016

PGS Event for the Week of 7-12 March 2016

Here's what is upcoming next week:

Monday, 7-Mar-2016 at 6:00 PM--Family Tree Maker 2014 Basics--Part 6, Smith, Local History Room, Largo Library.
Tuesday, 8-Mar-2016 at 6:00 PM--ANCESTRY FAMILY TREES – Part 2. Publishing your tree on can be a great way to share your research with others, as well as to provide a backup for your work. This presentation covers how to start a family tree on, and how to maintain it. That includes working with people, events, images, and sources. Summers, Local History Room, Largo Library.
Thursday, 10-Mar-2016 at 1:00 PM--Irish Genealogy Interest Group-a discussion of resources and techniques for researching your Irish ancestry, Jenkins C, Largo Library
Saturday, 12-Mar-2016 at 10:00 AM--Witchcraft Trials-Was Your Ancestor Accused of Being a Witch?: Exploring the Colonial New England Witchcraft Trials. Fortin, Pasco Genealogy Society.
Saturday, 12-Mar-2016 at 1:00 PM—PGS Lecture Series:Counties of England and Wales, 1065 to Present”  and” Locating and Accessing Records.”   Pearson, Jenkins C, Largo Library.  See attached flyer.

Our Digital World Newspaper Collection

Here is a free newspaper database offering several Canadian papers dating from the 1800's. Here is an excerpt from the site:

"INK is a project of Our Digital World (ODW) that brings together over 200 years of newspaper titles. 50 community newspapers are presented, representing over 97,000 complete issues, and over 1 million full pages of English and French content. Many of these newspapers have been scanned from microfilm, and are searchable using OCR (Optical Character Recognition) technology. Although the quality of the sources vary greatly for using OCR and digitization techniques, INK attempts to provide a strong alternative to using microfilm readers to view the content.
"This collection includes early Kingston newspapers (The British WhigThe Kingston Chronicle, and The Kingston Gazette), two abolitionist newspapers from Southern Ontario (The Provincial Freeman and The Voice of The Fugitive), and unique titles for topics such as Great Lakes shipping (The Marine Record) and visual sources for 19th century Canadian history (The Canadian Illustrated News)."
From the landing page you can type into a search box, call for an advanced search, and see a list of titles.
INK - ODW Newspaper Collection:

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Wednesday, March 2, 2016

New Family Tree Maker Future

The Modern Software Experience Blog gives us an interview with Software MacKiev president Jack Minsky. This is an excellent interview and view into the possible future of Family Tree Maker software.

You do not want to pass this by if you are using FTM.

New Family Tree Maker Future:

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Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Irish Catholic Parish Registers Free at

This comes from Bob Bryan's weekly email blast: has announced today the online release of over 10 million Irish Catholic Parish Registers as part of their ongoing commitment to making Irish family history easier and more accessible than ever before. Fully indexed for the first time, the registers form one of the most important record collections for Irish family history and are free to search forever.

To celebrate the release of this essential collection, Findmypast is also making its entire archive of over 110 million Irish records, the largest available anywhere online, FREE from 9am Tuesday 1st March to 9am on Tuesday 8th March.