Saturday, May 30, 2020

PGS Events for the Week of 1-6 June 2020

Here are the online events scheduled for next week. If you need help with Zoom, see the PGS website at "Zoom Orientation."
Sign in information for each class is also given on the calendar at the society website. 
Thursday, 4-Jun-20 at 7:00 PM--DNA Basics. Learn about the types of DNA tests used for genealogy and popular testing companies. We compare the benefits of each type of test and each company’s database. This meeting focuses on shared matches. Luce/Manning. Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 874 4303 1296
Password: 2020

Saturday, 6-Jun-20 at 10:00 AM. Family Tree Maker User Group--Questions & Answers and Demonstration of how to use the Family Tree Maker genealogical database software. Bryan. Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 567 524 039   Password: 2020

Illinois, County Naturalization Records, 1800-1998 on

I usually don't highlight individual databases found in familiar large collections like or, but this is an exception.

This collection of naturalization records from county level archives is a great example of how far the digitizing of records has gone. Finding naturalization documents executed in non-federal courts prior to 1906 is a challenge because for the most part those records only exist at local level court houses and archives...they never got consolidated at the National Archives as federal court records have.

Although this collection focuses on Illinois records, it is easy enough to search for other local level collections.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Congregational Church Records from the Colonial Era Online

Thanks goes to the Congregational Library and the Jonathan Edwards Center at Yale as well as many local churches across New England for this rescued collection of early Colonial Era church records.

The records must be browsed rather than searched, but each record book is dated which makes browsing more focused.

The landing page presents you with an interactive map where you can zoom in, identify your area of interest, and click on an icon representing local church records, individual records, or organizational records. Each record book also has a finding aid to explain what the record contains, how it is organized, etc.

When you finally got to the point where you are looking at a digitized original record, you may find that it has be transcribed for you, but that is not true in all cases.

This collection is a challenge to use, but can yield rewards for your efforts beyond your expectations.

Read the introductory information below the map on the landing page to get started.

Check it out at:

Friday, May 22, 2020

PGS Events and More for the Week of 25 - 30 May 2020

23 MAY, SAT at 10am – 12pm RootsMagic User Group
Questions and answers and demonstrations of how to use the RootsMagic genealogy database software program. Summers. To join the meeting, follow this link:  If needed, Meeting ID is 774 843 754 and password is 2020.
“Using To Find Genealogical Records”  will be presented by Drew Smith for Suncoast Genealogy Society on Saturday May 23 from 1:30-3:30 via GoToMeeting. All are invited to join by clicking on the link below.
26 MAY, TUE at 1 – 3pm – PGS DNA User Group
Every month on the Fourth Tuesday. Learn how to interpret your DNA test results and apply those results to your current family history research. Join our casual group as we research and learn together. Manning, Luce
To join the meeting, follow this link: If needed, Meeting ID: 845 7492 9851 and Password is 2020.

27 MAY, WED at 1 – 2:30pm Homestead Act
This is an in-depth treatment 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. Presented by Peter Summers. Join Zoom Meeting
If needed, Meeting ID is 841 0705 1445 and Password is 2020

A couple more things...
A new TV series, The Genetic Detective, starring well-known genetic genealogist CeCe Moore is scheduled to begin on 26 May 2020 on ABC at 10 pm. Check your TV listings

Free access to all military records on until 26 May. Go to to access.

McHenry, Illinois Local Obituary Database Online

Scroll down the landing page and click on "Local Obituaries." Three data sets are listed that you can click on. Doing so will take you to a PDF file that is organized alphabetically by surname.

The information given is name, date of death, date of newspaper, and page number. The obits range back to 1875, but read the explanation for each list to zero in on the dates covered.

Check it out at:

Monday, May 18, 2020

Greenwood Cemetery in Petosky, Michigan Online

This listing give a treasure trove of information if you are fortunate enough to have ancestors buried in the Greenwood Cemetery at Petosky, Michigan. Actually, the listing includes burials in other nearby cemeteries as well.

To get to the data, click on the "Research" tab near the top of the landing page, then click on "Genealogical Research" in the drop-down menu. That takes you to the first page of the alphabetical listing of over 81,000 records. You can browse the list or search by name.

When you search on a name and get a hit list, clicking on a hit will reveal detailed information. And here's the best part, that additional information may include a photo of the headstone and a digitized copy of the obituary. In fact, there are more than 60,000 obits in the collection.

Friday, May 15, 2020

PGS Events for the of 18-23 May 2020

How to use Zoom--Click the Zoom Orientation link at our website,  

Reminder: Program Meeting tomorrow, 16 May 2020 at 11:00 AM, 
“MEET THE PILGRIMS!” -- You know them as monuments and myths, but in this session, we will get to know the Pilgrims as people! Understand their family ties, their jobs, their hopes, and their failures. Learn how our Pilgrim ancestors made gut-wrenching decisions while fleeing from England to Holland and finally to the New World where they survived to help found a new nation!  Presented by Lori Coffey. Join the meeting at,  Meeting ID: 831 1835 2733
Password: 2020.

Wednesday, 20 May 2020 at 1:00 pm. Orphan Trains: online presentation using Zoom.
Description:The story of the Orphan Trains, which relocated children from the eastern cities to rural farmlands, has become a part of American popular culture. This presentation explores the facts behind the legends; follows a group of children“placed-out” in 1880; and, provides resources available to learn more about the orphan trains and their riders. Presented by Karen Fortin.  

Join Zoom Meeting using this link

If needed, Meeting ID: 892 8181 7798 and password is 2020
Orphan Train handout at    
Saturday, 23 May 2020 at 10:00 am. RootsMagic User Group  (RMUG) meeting .
Questions and answers and demonstrations of how to use the RootsMagic genealogy database software program. Presented by Peter Summers.

To join the meeting, follow this link: 
If needed, Meeting ID is 774 843 754 and password is 2020. 

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Cemetery Records of Forest-Llewellyn Cemetery, Kirksville, Missouri

This listing comes to us in two databases: one being an alphabetical index of burials by name, and the second is a listing of graves by section name and number. First use the alphabetical index to get the grave location, then use that information in the second listing to get the most information: name, date of birth, date of death, and additional information.

It is that last element that can reveal tidbits of special importance such as relationships, number of wives, marriage dates, occupations, etc.

Saturday, May 9, 2020

Largo Public Library Begins the Process of Reopening

The following guidelines were received from the Largo Public Library. This is what they mean for the activities at the Genealogy Center:

The Genealogy Center is open to the public as any other department of the library subject to the guidelines below. Individual genealogy assistance will not be available at the library until further notice in keeping with the guidance. If you wish one-on-one assistance, call 727-586-7410 and leave a message or email and you will be connected with one of our consultant volunteers. 

Under these guidelines there will also be no in-library classes, meetings, or user groups until further notice. However, PGS has a growing number of online events that you can see scheduled on our website calendar at

PGS is striving to deliver the outstanding genealogy education and assistance you are accustom to, but focused for the time being on an online format. Please join us in those activities as we anticipate a time when we can enjoy in-person meetings again.

Here are the published guidelines:

Largo Public Library Begins the Process of Reopening

The Largo Public Library will begin re-opening to the community with limited services beginning Monday, May 11, 2020. The City of Largo is committed to providing a safe environment by implementing operational precautions following the guidelines provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). To preserve the health and safety of our community, the library will open with the following guidelines:

The book drop continues to be open for returning library materials (all checked out materials are due June 1.)

Monday, May 11
• Team members will return to the building to prepare the library to welcome the public. 

Monday, May 18

• Drive-thru only service begins, Monday-Friday from 10am-6pm 

• Cardholders can call and request materials for pick-up
• Library staff will contact you within four hours to let you know materials are ready to pick up at the drive-thru window 

Monday, June 1*

• The Library will open to the public at 25% occupancy 

• Maximizing social distancing is required with 6ft separation between individuals
• Group sizes of no larger than ten people are required • Frequent and regular cleaning of all touch points including doorknobs, keyboards, etc.
• Returned items will be set aside for 24 hours before processing
• Limited seating options will be available
• Limited available computers and computer time
• Library staff may be voluntarily wearing face masks
• Plexiglas shields have been installed at all service desks and there will be limited one-on-one staff assistance 
• No in-person programming until further notice
• Meeting rooms, study rooms, and labs remain closed until further notice

New Services Available • New one-touch self-checkout units
• Mobile checkout option available for personal devices
• Self-service faxing and scanning station
• Virtual programming • Take home summer reading program kits
• Increased eContent
• Live Chat available on the website

*All information is subject to change pending updates to County, State, and Federal guidelines. The Largo Public Library looks forward to welcoming back our loyal patrons. 

If you have any questions, please call (727) 587-6715.

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Steve Morse One-Stop Web pages

Those of you not familiar with the work of Steve Morse are in for a treat when you visit his web page. Steve has created search tools for such things as immigration records, census records, vital records, etc. His tools augment the search capabilities of major data providers like and

His tools are so wide-ranging that it is difficult to explain what they are....they need to be experienced. Go to his website and take your time scrolling through his offerings to get a feel for what is there before you dive into a search. My guess is that you will find searches and information you didn't know you needed.

Check it out at:

Friday, May 1, 2020

PGS Events for the Week of 4 - 9 May 2020

During this time of restricted social interaction, PGS is offering some events in an online format using a service called "Zoom." It is relatively easy to use but there are a few things to learn in the beginning.

You may use a desktop or laptop computer, smartphone or tablet to participate. You will need a microphone for the desktop if you wish to speak and a camera if you wish to be seen; the other devices usually have the microphone and camera built in.

If you are using a smartphone or tablet, you must first install the Zoom client from your App Store. You only need to do this one time. If you are using a desktop or laptop computer, the Zoom app will be installed during your initial log in. You will have to respond to three pop-ups during your login: "open zoom," "join with video" (optional), and "join with computer audio."

To join the meeting at the date/time of the event, click the hyperlink provided and enter the meeting ID number and password if requested. That information will be provided on our website calendar and home page, weekly event email, and Blog.

Once you have logged in, you will have to wait until the host lets you into the meeting. When you are admitted, be patient as others join in, and then the host will start the meeting. At the beginning of the meeting, your audio will be muted. The host will give a short explanation of controlling your audio and video as well as using the "chat" feature.

That's about all you need to know to participate in our online events. Please be mindful of others in the meeting and practice simple courtesy in your communication.

REMINDER—Family Tree User Group Meeting tomorrow, Saturday, 2 May 2020 at 10:00 AM. Click

Meeting ID: 567 524 039
Password: 2020

With all that said, here is what’s happening for the week of 6-11 May 2020:

Thursday, 7 May 2020 at 7:00 pm--DNA Basics online class via Zoom
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 874 4303 1296
Password: 2020
Learn about the types of DNA tests used for genealogy and popular testing companies. We compare the benefits of each type of test and each company’s database.

Saturday, 9 May 2020 at 1:00 pm—Advanced Genetic Genealogy Discussion.
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 880 6405 0975
Password: 2020
We will be reviewing the book Advanced Genetic Genealogy: Techniques and Case Studies.  We will start May 9th with Chapter 1, Lessons Learned from Triangulating a Genome by Jim Bartlett, continuing to review 1 chapter a month through the summer.

16 May PGS Program Meeting Features Lori Coffey

After a couple of schedule adjustments, we are pleased to announce that Lori Coffey will be presenting "Meet the Pilgrims!" at our May online program meeting. Lori was originally scheduled to present at our June meeting, but has been rescheduled for May.

The presentation will be an online event starting at 11 am on 16 May. Here is the URL to follow to join the meeting at the scheduled date and time:

This presentation is a companion to the program on the Mayflower that we heard last month from Karen Fortin. Both are in celebration of the 400th anniversary of the landing of the Mayflower. Here is more information on the presentation:

"Meet the Pilgrims!" -- You know them as monuments and myths, but in this session, we will get to know the Pilgrims as people! Understand their family ties, their jobs, their hopes, and their failures. Learn how our Pilgrim ancestors made gut-wrenching decisions while fleeing from England to Holland and finally to the New World where they survived to help found a new nation!