Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Bill Israel to Speak at PGS Monthly Meeting on 18 June 2016

The program for the 18 June 2016 monthly meeting of the Pinellas Genealogy Society will feature Bill Israel speaking on "Introduction to Jewish Genealogy."

The meeting takes place at 11 AM at the Largo Public Library, and is free and open to the public. Before the meeting is an hour Q&A session at 10 AM on the use of computers in Genealogy.

Here is a synopsis of the presentation:

This talk will focus on the unique challenges and rewards of Jewish genealogy - how it is different and often more difficult for many reasons among which are: the diaspora (the Babylonian exile from their original homeland and repeated forced dispersion of Jews from one country to another during the past 2,000 years); the changing borders of Eastern European countries from which most American Jews came; Jewish resistance to civil authority in Imperial Russia, the lack of surnames before the 18th century, the Holocaust, and name changes and spelling variations by early immigrants to America.  Bill will discuss some of the more widely used specialized research resources for Jewish genealogy, and he will illustrate his talk with examples of how he was able to discover and document his own Jewish family history.

Even if you do not have Jewish ancestry, the research challenges and techniques may reveal something that will be of value in your own research.

We are pleased to have Bill as our presenter. Here is a bit about him:

Bill Israel has spent more than 35 years researching his Jewish roots. He has traced ten generations of his family lines going back more than 200 years, and he has documented more than 3,600 family members.  He has published a 300-page hardbound book of his paternal family history.  He has been the historian for 18 Israel family reunions since they began in 1980.  Bill is a founding member of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Tampa Bay (JGSTB), and he served two terms as its president.  He served for several years on the Board of Directors of the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies (IAJGS) and on the boards of two IAJGS-related Special Interest Groups.  He currently serves as the Program Chairman of the JGSTB.

Effective Searches on Ancestry.com

Here is an article from The Ancestry Insider that summarizes a presentation by Anne Mitchell on Becoming a Master Searcher on Ancestry.com. No matter  how long you have been using search engines, it is always beneficial to stop and examine your technique once in a while. Anne's 10 tips help us do just that.

Check them out at:
The Ancestry Insider: #RootsTech: Anne Mitchell – Become a Master Searcher on #Ancestry.com:

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Saturday, May 28, 2016

Oakdale Cemetery in Wilmington, North Carolina

This link will take you to the home page of Oakdale Cemetery in Wilmington, NC. It was established in 1852.

The link to the burial database is to the right of the landing page. You can search by first or last name and by date of death. The index will provide name, date of death and age. When you click on a name, you will be given additional details including grave location as well as place of birth and death.

Check it out at:  Contact Oakdale Cemetery:

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Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Unique Approach to Home Decorating

Here is an article I thought you would enjoy as a change of pace. Read about this family's approach to preserving memories in a big way.

Why a House in Manhattan Beach is Covered in a Family's Photos | L.A. Weekly:

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Sunday, May 22, 2016

Small Town Newspapers

This site focuses on small town newspapers.  The dates of the issues range from 1846 up to the present, depending on the paper in question.

From the home page you can browse or search the newspapers by title or by state. Once you click on a specific newspaper, you will be taken to an image of the newest edition, but you can also elect to browse or search the archives, or browse articles by category.

Small Town Newspaper-A newspaper directory featuring small town newspapers and articles.:

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Friday, May 20, 2016

PGS Event for the Week 22-28 May

Monday, 23-May-2016 at 6:00 PM--MILITARY RECORDS --This class explores the types of military records produced from the Revolutionary War to modern times. It shows the information contained in those various records, and where to find them in print and online.   Summers, Local History Room, Largo Library.

Tuesday, 24-May-2016 at 1:00 PM--DNA Interest Group--Share your DNA knowledge and discuss your results with others interested in making DNA Connections.  This is the first meeting of this group for DNA novices to learn together. Luce, Local History Room, Largo Library.

Wednesday, 25-May-2016 at 10:00 AM--WAR OF 1812-- This class seeks to provide an understanding of the historical significance of the War of 1812: it looks at the causes of the war, how it was fought, and its consequences. It then explores the genealogically relevant records generated in relation to the war: what they are, and where to find them. Summers, Local History Room, Largo Library.

Saturday, 28-May-2016 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.

More news of interest:

German genealogy researchers: Although the discussion group will not be meeting during the summer months, Sue Dietz has agreed to work one-on-one with anyone needing help. Contact Sue at mandsdietz@hotmail.com to arrange for assistance.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Ancestry.com Projects for the Future

Randy Seaver in his Genea-Musings  Blog, gives us a recap of future projects Ancestry.com talked about in this year's RootsTech held this past February. It is a good summary and worth looking over.

Some of the highlights are in process now, and some are to come.

Check it out at:
Genea-Musings: RootsTech 2016 Highlights: What's Coming for Ancestry.com?:

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Monday, May 16, 2016

Top 100 Genealogy Websites of 2016

Each year the GIT Magazine (GenealogyInTime) Treats us to the top 100 genealogy websites. The article also includes an explanation of the criteria they use, so you have a better idea of exactly what it is you are looking at when you review the list. The list also tells you how the website fared in the previous year's lineup.

In addition to seeing the rankings, this list provides links to sites  you may not be familiar with and want to check out for yourself.

Top 100 Genealogy Websites of 2016:

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Friday, May 13, 2016

PGS events for the Week of 15-21 May 2016

Tuesday, 17-May-2016 at 6:00 PM--National Archives,–Ordering Data. This is an in-depth explanation of how to order several different records from the National Archives. The records include military (both historic and modern), naturalization, census, land, and microfilm. Both online and postal mail ordering procedures will be covered. Summers, Local History Room, Largo Library.

Wednesday, 18-May-2016 at 6:00 PM--King Philip’s War, 1675-1676: Causes & Consequences – Although largely forgotten, King Philip’s War was a widespread conflict that had a significant and long-lasting impact on New England colonists and Native Americans. The class will look at causes leading up to this brutal war, analyze the course of the war, and outline the consequences that helped shape the future of the United States. Fortin, Local History Room, Largo Library.

Thursday, 19-May-2016 at 1:00 PM --Irish Genealogy Interest Group-a discussion of resources and techniques for researching your Irish ancestry. Focareta/Padgett, Local History Room, Largo Library.

Saturday, 21-May-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, 21-May-2016   11:00 AM--Tracing Your Colonial New England Ancestors, Program Meeting, The Willards  , Jenkins B, Largo Library.

Thinking of Using Full URLs in Citations?

A post on The Ancestry Insider Blog gives us some insight as to when it is useful to provide a full URL as part of our source citations.

Check out this opinion at:  The Ancestry Insider: Full URLs in Citations?:

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Thursday, May 12, 2016

Surnames Meanings, Origins, and Distribution

Use this site to type in a surname and get scads of information about it. For instance you can see how common it is, approximately how many people in the world bear that name, the "definition" of the name, its geographic distribution as shown on an interactive map, and more.

Surnames Meanings, Origins & Distribution Maps:

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Wednesday, May 11, 2016

New DNA Interest Group Added to The PGS Class Schedule

Here is a late addition to our class schedule. It will not appear in the previously printed class schedule, but it is in the schedule that is posted on the PGS website.

DNA Interest Group
--Share your DNA knowledge and discuss your results with others interested in making DNA Connections.  This is a group for DNA novices to learn together.
  • Tues, 24 May
    ​, 1:00-3:00 PM, Susan Luce instructor​
  • Wed, 22 Jun
    ​, 1:00-3:00 PM, Susan Luce instructor​​
  • Wed, 27 Jul
    ​, 1:00-3:00 PM, Susan Luce instructor​​

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Obituaries From Ashley County, Arkansas

Those of you with family from the Ashley County, Arkansas area may find this site helpful. It is a list of obituaries from the Ashley County Ledger from 1965 thru the first half of 2015.

Click on the year of interest and you will see an alphabetized list of the obits. In some cases there really is no obit, but the death event was reported in the paper. If your interest is in a 2015 obit, they are transcribed in full.

If you want the obit, it can be ordered for a modest fee, and instructions for doing so are shown.

Ashley County Ledger > Obituaries:

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Sunday, May 8, 2016

PGS Events for the Week of 8-14 May, 2016

Monday, 9-May-2016 at 10:00 AM--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, 10-May-2016 at 6:00 PM--Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC): History and Research. The CCC was a major governmental program of the New Deal that sought to employ millions of destitute young men of the Depression Era. Although the term “CCC” is usually recognized, few specifics are generally known about the program. This presentation recounts the history and accomplishments of the CCC, as well as characteristics of the corps members and camp life. It will also explore where records can be found and how to order them if needed. Summers, Local History Room, Largo Library.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Tips for Finding Scottish Ancestry

Diane Haddad, writing in the Genealogy Insider Blog gives those with Scottish ancestry a helpful article containing ten tips for finding Scottish Ancestry.

Check it out at:  Genealogy Insider - 10 Tips for Finding Scottish Ancestry:

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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War Grave Registration Database

This site is the result of a concerted volunteer effort. Understandably it is not complete, but it continues to grow.

Enter your Civil War ancestor's name and other information you know into the form and you will get a hit list. Each name on the list is a hotlink to additional information.

Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War : Grave Registration:

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Monday, May 2, 2016

Lee County Genealogical Society Features Werner Ropers

Lee County Genealogical Society meeting on 19 May 2016 will feature Werner Ropers talking about "Letters From Germany."

The meeting is at 10 am, and is held at Cypress Lakes Presbyterian Church Fellowship Hall, 8260 Cypress Lake Drive, Fort Myers, Florida.

For more information see www.LCGSFL.org .

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Newspapers Online From the Kalkaska County Library

The Kalkaska County Library in Michigan had digitized issues of the The Leader and theKalkaskian from 1879 to 2012. You can browse all 6122 items, or browse by decade, or search. Helpful search tips are provided.

If you have ancestors from the Mid-Michigan area, you may want to check this site.

Home · Kalkaska County Library Local History Collection:

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