Friday, September 30, 2016

Lee County Genealogical Society Meeting, October 20, 2016

This was just received from the Lee County Genealogical Society:

JOIN US when Fort Myers Librarian and LCGS member Bryan Mulcahy will
demonstrate how to use the many online databases that family researchers may
use in the library and at home to further their genealogy research.

Bryan will
show us how to:
    •Access the library’s website remotely and the two ways to access the genealogy
homepage, and
    •Register remotely for genealogy or any adult programs online.

Bryan will also review the content of the genealogy homepage links, guides, and

Cypress Lakes Presbyterian Church Fellowship Hall, 8260 Cypress Lake Dr. Fort Myers.
Doors Open: 9:30 a.m.; Announcements begin at: 10:00 a.m.; followed by Refreshments and program
For more information visit

PGS Events for the Week of 2-8 October 2016

Monday, 3-Oct-2016 at 10:00 AM--Facebook for Genealogy—how to use this powerful social media tool for genealogy. Summers, Local History Room, Largo Library
Tuesday, 4-Oct-2016 at 6:00 PM--Living Persons--suggested methods and tips for finding living people--kinfolks you never knew. Bryan, Local History Room, Largo Library
Saturday, 8-Oct-2016  12-4:00 pm--Family History Assistance Day-- Volunteer researchers will assist attendees on a first-come, first-served basis to find their ancestors through online research. This will be especially helpful if you are just getting started in genealogy. Volunteers will also be available in the Genealogy Center to introduce visitors to the print collection through tours and will assist on the use of materials. Local History Room, Largo Library

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Alabama Civil War Newspapers Online

The Alabama Department of Archives & History has begun a project to make all of  its newspapers from the Civil War Era available online.

You can search the collection using the search box at the top of the landing page (there is an advanced search form available also), or browse the collection by county or date. A tab above the search box also lets you browse the entire collection.

Check it out at:
Alabama Civil War Newspapers:

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Monday, September 26, 2016

Bayside Cemetery, Potsdam, NY Database of Burials

Located in northern New York in St. Lawrence County, Bayside Cemetery offers us a database of its burials. The burials date back to 1867.

You will be asked to log in (both the user name and password are "password"). You can both browse and search the database, and if you click on the "Research" tab, you will see the option to download burial data as an Excel spreadsheet.

Check it out at:   Cemetery Association - Database of Burials:

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Friday, September 23, 2016

PGS Events for the Week of 25 September - 1 October 2016

Monday, 26-Sep-2016 at 6:00 PM--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.
Tuesday, 27-Sep-2016 at 10:00 AM--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.
Wednesday, 28-Sep-2016 at 11:30 AM--DNA Basics—an introduction to DNA that may be help attendees better understand the discussion in the DNA Interest Group following at 1:00 PM. Summers, Local History Room, Largo Library.
Wednesday, 28-Sep-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 a group for DNA novices to learn together, Luce. Local History Room, Largo Library.
Wednesday, 28-Sep-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.
Saturday, 1-Oct-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, Hosmer/Bryan, Local History Room, Largo Library.

Georgia Confederate Pension Applications

Those of you who have Confederate ancestors from Georgia may find this site helpful. If your ancestor applied for a pension from Georgia, you may find it in this record set from the Georgia Archives at the University System of Georgia.

There is a search box at the top of the landing page, along with an option for an advanced search form.

Be sure and read the information about the database before you just jump into a search, because there is another set of pension applications that are not included in this database, but which are accessible following another link.

Confederate Pension Application Supplements:

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Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Carleton's Book of Negroes (sic), 1783, Library and Archives Canada

If you are doing Black genealogy research this offering from the Library and Archives Canada may be helpful. What it offers is the contents of a book listing Black Loyalists who left the United States after the Revolutionary War. Listed is the person's name, age, physical description, and some comments (if you are lucky).

I have given you two links below. The first is to a page at the Library and Archives Canada which gives historical background and an explanation of what the book contains. This is necessary to get the most out of the second link which takes you to the transcription of the book at the Black Loyalists site. You can get to the second link by following directions in the first link, but the trail can be confusing, so I've given you starting and ending points here. When you use the second link (you may have to copy and paste it to your browser), click on "documents" in the left pane of the page, then click on "Official Documents and Proclamations," then you will find a link to the book.

Carleton Papers – Book of Negroes, 1783 - Library and Archives Canada:

This note comes from the Libarary and Archives Canada website:
Important Note about Terminology
Since the 1960s, there has been a change in the terminology used to designate people of African descent. Today the term “black” is preferred. Nevertheless, “negro” is used in this research tool for two reasons:
  • The term appears frequently in the original documents and is used here only for historical context.
  • The Book of Negroes contains references not only to black people, but also to “mulattoes” and others of mixed race; the word “negro” is used to designate both black people and “mulattoes.”

Monday, September 19, 2016

Patricia Charpentier to Speak at Largo Library on 15 October on Writing Family History

Patricia Charpentier will be our October speaker.  Her talk is entitled "Your Journey Story"and include general advice on writing family history as well as specifics on the journey story approach. This event is free and open to the public.  

Through ghostwriting memoirs on behalf of others, as well as co-authoring, editing, teaching, speaking, and publishing Patricia has motivated and guided hundreds in leaving written legacies for their families.

Patricia encourages and inspires hundreds of people each year to write their personal and family histories. She offers fun, lively workshops and presentations that give people the tools needed to write those all-important stories before it is too late. 

For more on Patricia and her bio go to

For a list of future PGS programs go to 

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Google Limitations on Genealogy Searches You May Not Be Aware Of

The GenealogyInTime Magazine (GIT) gives us an article alerting us to a Google search limitation that is important to know about, especially when doing a genealogy search. It also offers a couple of suggestions on how to avoid that limitation.

Check it out at:  Google Limitations on Genealogy Searches:

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Friday, September 16, 2016

PGS Events for the Week of 18-24 September 2016

Monday, 19-Sep-2016 at 1:00 PM --Italian Genealogy Interest Group-- CANCELLED; MODERATOR CALLED OUT OF TOWN
Tuesday, 20-Sep-2016 at 6:00 PM--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.
Saturday, 24-Sep-2016 at 10:00 AM--RootsMagic User Group--Demos, Q & A on how to use this popular genealogy database program. Summers, Local History Room, Largo Library.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

New York State Genealogical Research Death Index from 1957

This free database helps you locate New York State death records that fall between 1957 and 1966, excluding New York City. The information offered includes year of death, state file number, decedent name, and decedent age. Each element can be sorted ascending or descending using the menu icon at the top of the appropriate column of data. The index can be browsed or searched.

Check it out at:
Genealogical Research Death Index: Beginning 1957 | State of New York | Open Data:

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Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Clearwater Public Library System Won Grant to Preserve Community History

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) awarded a grant of nearly $12,000 to the Clearwater Public Library System to bring historical records and artifacts currently hidden in family attics and basements and make them digitally available to the wider public and for posterity. It is one of only two institutions in the state of Florida to have been awarded the grant.

These are the first awards made under NEH’s new Common Heritage grant program, which was created in April 2015 as part of The Common Good: The Humanities in the Public Square, an agency-wide initiative that seeks to enhance the role of the humanities in civic life.

The Common Heritage grant awarded to the Clearwater Public Library System will allow it to host “digitization days,” encouraging members of the public to share materials important to their family or community histories, such as photographs, artifacts, family letters and works of art.

These items will be digitized, along with descriptive information and context provided by the community attendees. With the owner’s permission, the digitized materials will be made publicly available through the library’s online Pinellas Memory Project Contributors will receive a free digital copy of their items to take home, along with the original materials.

Residents may bring items to be digitized at the following days, times and locations:

  >Saturday, September 17, 2016; noon-5 p.m.; Clearwater Main Library, 100 N. Osceola Ave., Clearwater, FL 33755. At 1 p.m., Local librarian and genealogist Karen Fortin will discuss Clearwater’s local history resources.
  >Saturday, September 24, 2016; 12:30-4:30 p.m., Clearwater East Library, 2251 Drew Street, Clearwater, FL 33765-3306.
  >Monday, November 7, 2016; 1-5 p.m.; Clearwater North Greenwood Library, 905 N. MLK Jr. Ave, Clearwater, FL 33755-3351.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Twelve Free Websites to Search for Military Ancestors

It a bit past Memorial Day, which is what Diane Haddad's article in Genealogy Insider Magazine was aimed at, but the links she offers are valuable at all times. She lists twelve free sites where you can search for ancestors who died serving in our wars.

Genealogy Insider - 12 Free Websites to Search for & Honor Fallen Military Ancestors on Memorial Day:

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Saturday, September 10, 2016

PGS Events for the Week of 11-17 September 2016

Monday, 12-Sep-2016 at 6:00 PM--Homestead Act-History and Records- A review of the historical and political significance of the 1862 Homestead Act and associated legislation. Includes a discussion of the process followed to establish a homestead on public domain land, and an understanding of the method of legally surveying and describing the land. The presentation will also cover an examination of the records that were created in establishing a homestead, their genealogical value, and where those records are found today. This is an in-depth treatment of the Homestead Act, which is briefly referred to in the presentation on property Research Basics in the US. Summers, Local History Room, Largo Library.
Tuesday, 13-Sep-2016 at 6:00 PM--Brick Walls—You will eventually reach a point where you seemingly can’t go back further on a particular line. This class will offer some ideas and suggestions for overcoming dead ends in your family history research. Bryan, Local History Room, Largo Library.
Wednesday, 14 Sep-2016 at 6:00 PM--ANCESTRY FAMILY TREES – Part 1. 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, 15-Sep-2016 at 1:00 PM--Irish Genealogy Interest Group (GIG)--Q & A and demo on how to research your Irish ancestry. Focareta-Padgett , Local History Room, Largo Library
Saturday, 17-Sep-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, 17 Sep 2016 at 11:00 AM—Program Meeting on Organizing Your Genealogy Research Process. Tips for staying on track and avoiding the temptation to chase those bright shiny objects. The research process includes goals, questions, sources, information, information, evidence and conclusions. Learn to use task management software and research logs and other tools to keep on track. Drew Smith, Jenkins B, Largo Library.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

The Israel Genealogy Research Association (IGRA), All Israel Database (AID)

Those of you who heard Bill Israel's presentation on Jewish genealogy research at a PGS meeting back in June and got motivated to do some digging, may find this website helpful.

From the website:
  "This search engine currently features 774,593 records from more than 273 different databases.
  "The Israel Genealogy Research Association [IGRA] has set as one of its primary aims the preparation of databases based upon various records, mainly found in Israel, for as wide an audience as possible. The large amount of archives located in Israel dealing with communities in Israel and Jewish communities outside of Israel have records in a variety of languages but mostly in Hebrew and English. Our data come from Archives as well as publications which are on open shelves in libraries.
  "We scan the materials, build databases with the pertinent information, and then link to the original scans, where archival permission has been granted. Surnames and first names will be transliterated from Hebrew to English, and vice versa, depending on the language of the original material. This will enable researchers who are not familiar with the other language to find the families they are searching for."
When you get to the site, look for the translation tab in the upper right of the page. Access is free after registration.
Check it out at:

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Wednesday, September 7, 2016

"Use of Computers in Genealogical Research" To Be Presented 11 September by JGSTB

Jewish Genealogical Society of Tampa Bay Meeting
Use of Computers in Genealogical Research
By Clint Elbow
Sunday, September 11, 2016

     The Jewish Genealogical Society of Tampa Bay will meet at Gulf Coast Jewish Family & Community Services, 14041 Icot Blvd., Clearwater, Florida on Sunday September 11, 2016 for a presentation by Clint Elbow on  “Use of Computers in Genealogical Research”.  A social with refreshments and library access begins at 1:30 PM, and the featured program starts at 2:00 PM.

     This program will focus on some of the fundamental elements of using computers and search engines for genealogical research. Genealogy software use is widespread and continually improving which offers researchers a significant number of tools to support their activities. But researchers still need to work outside of these software programs to find and manage data in many formats. In this program we will take a look at some helpful parts of this process and pull back the covers on a few common tasks that we encounter while conducting our genealogical research.

Clint Elbow served two terms as President of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Tampa Bay after being involved with the group for several years prior.  Clint works in the Information Technology industry in the Tampa Bay area with a focus on business analysis and project management, and he has been conducting his own genealogical research for a number of years.  He has been able to apply his professional IT experience to his genealogical research, and he will share some of his experiences using computers during this presentation. 

Monday, September 5, 2016

Forming Good Research Questions is Essential

Time for some basics. Formulating a good research question is the first step in launching successful research. This short article from Harold Henderson, CG, writing  in the Board for Certification of Genealogists "SpringBoard News and Notes," gives you good pointers and examples.

I especially like the last line of the article: "Seek  specifically, and ye shall find abundantly."

Ten-Minute Methodology: How to Ask Good Research Questions | BCG SpringBoard: News and Notes:

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Saturday, September 3, 2016


The semi-annual Family History Assistance Day, co-sponsored by the Largo Public Library and the Pinellas Genealogy Society is returning on October 8, 2016. This is an event that offers personal, one-on-one, family research assistance.

Bring your family history notes as a starting point and a USB drive to record new discoveries. You and a volunteer researcher will hunt for data online to get started on your genealogy or to extend your family finds by breaking through a brick wall in your research. This is an especially helpful event if you are just getting started in genealogy. You can learn research techniques as well as find family information.

The event begins at 12pm in the Local History Room and Reading Room on the second floor of the Largo Public Library and runs until 4pm. Volunteer researchers will assist attendees on a first-come, first-served basis. Volunteers will also be available in the Genealogy Center to introduce visitors to the print collection through tours and will assist on the use of materials.

Genealogy research is most successful when shared. This event provides that opportunity. If you can’t make it, tell your friends, especially those who are new to family history research.

Friday, September 2, 2016

PGS Events for the Week of 4-10 September 2016

Tuesday, 6-Sep-2016 at 10:00—the class will demonstrate how to search the vast databases available on this rapidly-expanding site made available from the LDS (Mormon) genealogy collection Bryan, Local History Room, Largo Library.
Tuesday, 6-Sep-2016 at 6:30 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, Tarpon Springs Public Library.
Thursday, 8-Sep-2016 at 10:30 AM- Google Earth tourscan be a fun way to share your genealogical research with relatives. This class will show you the basics of how to create, save, and share a tour that can visually illustrate the life and travels of your ancestors using the Google Earth free program. Fortin, Local History Room, Largo Library.
Saturday, 10-Sep-2016 at 10:00 AM--The War with Mexico: History and Records. Summers, Pasco Genealogy Society, Dade City.

Family History Guide Provides Genealogy Education

Here is a site that you may find helpful if you are needing information on a new area of research you are embarking on, or if you simply need a refresher. The Family History Guide is a free site that gives guidance on research strategies, available records, and much more.

To get an idea of the breadth of assistance available, click on the "Topics" link located on the left side of the home page. That will reveal an index of the site. Click around and check it out. You may not need what it offers right now, but knowing what it offers may be useful for you sometime in the future.

Although the name is similar, this site has no formal affiliation with

FHGuide: Introduction:

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