30 July 2007

"Once in Love with Amy ..." - Amy Johnson Crow, CG

World-famous Vaudevillian, stage actor, and immortal film star Ray Bolger is remembered by almost all of us as the wonderful Scarecrow in "The Wizard of Oz," the hit musical, "On Your Toes," and in many other film and television roles. He starred in the hit Broadway musical in 1948 titled, "Where's Charley?" and scored an instant hit with the song, "Once in Love with Amy," which stopped the show every night and for which he won the coveted Tony Award.

The Florida Genealogical Society is very pleased to have as our speaker for the upcoming Fall Seminar on September 8th the very distinguished Amy Johnson Crow, CG, as our speaker. We know that, to paraphrase Ray Bolger's great hit, "once you've heard her, you'll be in love with Amy!" Amy Johnson is a well-known and very well- respected genealogical researcher and speaker. She is a Certified Genealogist by the Board of Certification of Genealogists (BCG). She has held numerous offices in local, state, and national-level societies and had led each to success! She is an excellent writer, having authored genealogy columns, newsletters, and articles in national genealogical magazines. She also is the co-author, with Pam Porter, of the enormously successful book, Online Roots: How to Discover Your Family's History and Heritage With the Power of the Internet, one of the National Genealogical Society's series of publications. (Learn more about Amy's background at http://fgstampa.blogspot.com/2007/07/amy-johnson-crow-will-be-our-special.html.)

Amy will be presenting four (4) excellent programs for your genealogical learning experience. They are:
  • Researching Your Civil War Ancestors Online
  • Ten Years is a Long Time: Census Substitutes for the In-Between Years
  • Finding Ancestors Before 1850
  • Finding Female Ancestors
Beginners and experienced genealogists will learn a great deal from each of these sessions. A special session about beginning your genealogical research will also be presented at the lunch hour. (Box lunches will be available for sale on-site!) In addition, we have arranged some great giveways and door prizes for the drawings throughout the conference.

FGS is thrilled to bring Ms. Crow to Tampa for our annual Fall Seminar, and we can almost guarantee that you will fall "in love with Amy!" So ... get in gear and download our PDF seminar registration form at the right here on the Web page or at http://www.rootsweb.com/~flfgs/2007FGSFallSeminarRegistrationForm.pdf and get your registration in NOW! Don't miss this extraordinary conference!

Mona G. Walters Byrge

The Florida Genealogical Society extends its sincere condolences to Neal B. Byrge and the survivors of Mona G. Walters Byrge, a member of our society. Mona was born in Spencer, MacLean County, SD in May of 1924, and departed this life on 26 July 2007. She is survived by her loving husband of 63 yearsm two daughters, nine grandchildren, ten great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews. She was interred on Monday, 30 July 2007, at the Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell, FL.

22 July 2007


FGS receives several e-mails each month from people outside the area who would like to obtain copies of obituaries and funeral notices from the Tampa Tribune or St. Petersburg Times on microfilm at the John F. Germany Library. This is a moneymaker for the society because we charge $15.00 per hour for the research and $ .25 per copy. However, the work can be be done before or after our regular monthly meeting OR on another visit you might make to the library.

We would like someone to conduct the research, create an invoice to the requester (from a form document), and mail the copies and the invoice to the requester. You can then request reimbursement for the costs of the photocopies, envelope, stamps, etc. from the FGS Treasurer.

If you are willing to invest a little of your time to help satisfy these requests and to make a little extra money for the society, please contact George Morgan at (813) 920-0619 or at rabidgenealogist@hotmail.com.

Many thanks!

12 July 2007

John F. Germany Genealogy Collection Reorganization is Complete!

There has been a major change in the History and Genealogy Department at the John F. Germany in downtown Tampa! Major portions of the collection have been reorganized, re-cataloged, and physically reorganized.

When Melvil Dewey (10 December 1851 - 26 December 1931) devised his Dewey Decimal Classification system for library classification, he established ten (10) major classes, and each class was divided into ten classes. The 900s represented and included History and Geography, with the following ten sub-classes:

  • 900 - Geography, History, and Biography
  • 910 - Geography & Travel
  • 920 - Biography, Genealogy, and Insignia
  • 930 - Ancient world
  • 940 - Europe
  • 950 - Asia
  • 960 - Africa
  • 970 - North America
  • 980 - South America
  • 990 - Other areas
Most genealogists already know that the 929 area contains a lion's share of "genealogy" material. However, from a genealogical perspective, the Dewey Decimal System has never been necessarily ideal. Looking at the 930s to 990s, you would find cemetery books, local histories, geographies, and other geographically-related materials filed outside the 929s -- particularly in the 974s for U.S. geographical materials Therefore, if you simply walked into the John F. Germany Library's collection on 2-West and made a bee-line to 'read the shelves' in the 929s, you would miss a huge amount of resources.

Melissa Shimkus, Melinda Philips, and other staff members have been working extremely hard over the last year to implement a "Modified Dewey System" that has been adopted by some of the largest public library systems in the U.S. and beyond. The 'modified' system entails reclassifying and re-cataloging the materials outside the 929s, and then physically relocating those newly classified items. They are now inter-shelved with the 929s so that, whenever possible, all the print materials concerning a physical location are grouped together for ease of use. Note that the periodical collection is not interfiled with these materials.

Your absolute best way to gain access to what is in the collection and where it is is to always use the online catalog. Any of the library staff are more than happy to give you a tutorial, as well as a tour of the new organization of the collection. Knowing how to access and use the online catalog (and the Information Gateway databases (and not just the "Genealogy" databases!) gives you the power to search the THPLC catalog or any other public library catalog worldwide that you can access via the Internet. This skill can help you pre-plan any library visit so that you can concentrate on the research, and less on the "find" activities.

We owe Melissa and the staff at the JFG Library an enormous thank you for the hundreds of hours they have dedicated to making this transition project a reality! You should now have a much easier time finding helpful reference materials -- but still learn to use that catalog!

- George G. Morgan

10 July 2007

Amy Johnson Crow: Our Great Speaker for the 2007 Fall Seminar!

Amy Johnson Crow will be our special guest speaker for the FGS Fall Conference on Saturday, September 8, 2007, at Hillsborough Community College's Dale Mabry Campus, across from the Tampa Buccaneers' Stadium!

Amy is among the best-know genealogists and speakers in the United States. She is a Certified Genealogist and works as a researcher, author, editor, and lecturer. Amy is the co-author with Pam Porter of the best-selling book, Online Roots: How to Discover Your Family's History and Heritage with the Power of the Internet. She also has served as editor for the NGS Guides series, writes for magazines and journals, and is an active member of the Ohio Genealogical Society.

Amy is extensively published, having had articles published in AncestryMagazine, Genealogical Computing, Heritage Quest Magazine, Indiana Genealogist, The Hoosier Genealogist and the NGS NewsMagazine. She is a winner of the International Society of Family History Writers and Editors’ Excellence-in-Writing contest for published articles. She is a past editor of Ohio Civil War Genealogy Journal.

Amy is the current President of the International Society of Family History Writers and Editors (ISFHWE), serves as Third Vice President of The Ohio Genealogical Society, and is also the OGS Webmaster. She is the developer of DeafBiographies.com, a phenomenal Web site devoted to biographical information about Deaf Americans at http://www.deafbiographies.com. She serves as and is a member of numerous state and county genealogical societies.

We are very fortunate, indeed, to have Amy Johnson Crow as our speaker for the FGS Fall Seminar. You will not want to want to miss any of Amy's great presentations!

You will find a registration form in the right-hand column of this Web site. Simply click on it, download it, fill it in, and sent it in with a check to FGS.

07 July 2007

Volunteers Needed for Telephone Committee

Volunteers are needed for the FGS Telephone Committee. Members make calls to 10-12 members to remind them of the upcoming FGS meeting, which is held on the third Saturday of each month. You would therefore be making your calls starting the weekend or the first few days of the week preceding that third Saturday. Calls take 1-2 minutes for each member you call. You can leave a message with anyone who answers the telephone or leave a message on the answering machine.

If you have a conflict and can't make your calls for the month due to illness or vacation, you can let Loraine Jacobs Rose and she will make your calls for you or arrange for someone else to help out.

If you can contribute 20-30 minutes total per month, it would be very much appreciated! Please call Loraine Rose at (813) 885-3614 or send an e-mail to Lrose40221@aol.com to discuss volunteering.

Many thanks!


News from Other Societies: Florida State Genealogical Society's 2007 Conference

The Florida State Genealogical Society will be holding its annual conference on 9-10 November 2007 (as always, on Veterans Day Weekend) at the beautiful Sheraton Orlando-Downtown Hotel at 60 S. Ivanhoe Boulevard in Orlando, Florida. The hotel has been acquired by Sheraton International and has undergone a fabulous, multi-million dollar complete renovation. It is the perfect place for this year's conference!

Featured guest speakers are Dr. Thomas Shawker, MD, and Patricia O'Brien Shawker, CGSM. Dr. Shawker will present two sessions: "DNA Testing: The Very, Very Basics" and "Race Ethnicity, and Ancestry: Genetic Genealogy and DNA Testing." Ms. Shawker will present two sessions: "Passport Applications" and "NARA Records: A Case Study."

The Shawkers will be joined by Jack Butler, Alvie Davidson, CGSM, Greg B. Gronlund, MLS, Donna M. Moughty, Ann Mohr Osisek, Mary Patrice Parker, Elaine Powell, Deanna D. Ramsey, and a host of vendors and exhibitors. The Association of Professsional Genealogists (APG) Florida Chapter, will host an Ancestor Roadshow for which attendees can sign up for professional genealogists' consultation on brickwall problems.

You can learn more about the program at the FSGS Web site (above). You can access a PDF file of the detailed registration form at http://www.rootsweb.com/~flsgs/pub_conf_reg.pdf, and you can make your hotel registration at the Sheraton by clicking this link.

FSGS will bring yet another great state conference to us, and the Sheraton in Orlando is a wonderful venue for the event!