15 May 2010

FGS Meeting - Saturday, June 5, 2010

The Florida Genealogical Society (Tampa) is pleased to announce its program for Saturday, June 5, 2010, at 10:30 AM in the auditorium of the John F. Germany Library at 900 N. Ashley Drive, Tampa, Florida.

Our speakers will be Pam Treme and Pattie Schultz presenting a program titled "Taming Templates." You've heard the advice many times." Just use a template in your word processor or spreadsheet program to do this, that, or the other task." But when you try, you're lost. And it's a shame because so many routine tasks that genealogists perform can be made simpler by using a template. At our 5 June meeting, Pam and Pattie will show you templates. They will be explaining what templates are, how to find or create them, and how to use them. They'll demonstrate templates so that you can see how they work. You'll see what Microsoft and other sites offer for free. Pattie and Pam put special emphasis on the templates you can use to present your family history.

Join us for a program that will help you streamline your genealogy work!

News from Other Societies - Jewish Genealogical Society of Tampa Bay

The Jewish Genealogical Society of Tampa Bay will meet at Gulf Coast Jewish Family Services, 14041 Icot Blvd., Clearwater, Florida on Sunday, June 13, 2010. A pre-program social with light refreshments and library access begins at 1:30 PM, The program starts at 2:00 PM.

This program will be an information sharing session where individual researchers will report on significant discoveries they made in their family research and how they were able to achieve these successes. These successes will provide insight and give encouragement to others on how they too can achieve success in their family research. Bring a success story with you, and tell us about it.

The Jewish Genealogical Society’s library and research resources including printed materials and Internet access, along with guided assistance and information exchange from experienced researchers will be available to participants at the meeting. Members may check out library materials to take home.

The purpose of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Tampa Bay is to assist interested individuals in learning about Jewish genealogy and how to research and document their own family histories. The Society does this by facilitating the exchange of research information, encouraging and facilitating research activities, educating members to help themselves and others, making available research resources and materials, arranging genealogical research tours and presenting monthly programs of interest to Jewish genealogical researchers.
Anyone interested in learning how to do Jewish genealogical research is invited to attend. Beginners as well as experienced researchers are welcome. For further information on the Jewish Genealogical Society of Tampa Bay or directions to the meeting call Clint Elbow at 727-786-5518.

06 May 2010

The Federation of Genealogical Societies to Digitize the War of 1812 Pension Files

Press Release: Salt Lake City, UT [April 27, 2010]

With the approaching bicentennial of the War of 1812, the Federation of Genealogical Societies, a non-profit genealogical organization headquartered in Austin, Texas, is pleased to announce a national fund-raising initiative to raise $3.7 million to digitize of the War of 1812 pension files. The digitization process will enable online access by historians and family researchers to the memories and biographies of those who fought to protect our nation’s independence. This announcement is being made at the start of the National Genealogical Society’s 2010 conference, an event that will draw more than two thousand genealogists to Salt Lake City, Utah.

The War of 1812, often referred to as America’s second war for independence, significantly shaped this country’s identity both internationally and domestically. Many remember the War of 1812 as the war that give us the “Star-Spangled Banner” and the burning of the White House. Some of the great leaders of our country, including three presidents, took part in this conflict. Nearly 300,000 men served, including members of at least eighteen Native American tribes. The pension records for the War of 1812 consist of more than 7.2 million documents in 180,000 files. The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) receives more than three thousand requests per year for War of 1812 pensions, placing them among the most requested sets of records. Digitizing these valuable records will preserve the originals by removing them from continued heavy use. It will also make the images of the records much more widely available. NARA reports these important historical records already have been conserved and readied for digitization, so scanning could start as soon as funds are received. With the cost for digitizing and saving a single page from a pension file being fifty cents, supporters will see progress from the earliest days of the fund-raising initiative.

Genealogists, historians, and scholars of military history have long appreciated the value of pension files. A typical pension file may contain documents that describe a veteran’s service as well as why he, his widow, or his dependents qualify for a pension. In the cases of widows’ and dependents’ filings, there are typically a number of documents proving the claimant is related to the veteran. The testimony of a veteran’s comrades can provide unique and valuable data on what military life entailed, the rigors of everyday camp life, and details of particular skirmishes and battles. One may discover numerous details of an ancestor’s life in these pension files, some of which may be many dozens of pages long.

The Federation of Genealogical Societies is committed to projects that link the genealogical community and advance the cause of preserving records and making them more accessible. The Federation will be working with the genealogical and historical societies nation-wide, particularly in states where War of 1812 activities took place, as well as the many War of 1812 societies and bicentennial commissions, to raise awareness about this vital preservation and access project and to raise the funds necessary to complete the project.

Those interested in contributing to the Preserve the Pensions! Project or wanting additional information should contact the Federation of Genealogical Societies via their website at www.fgs.org/1812, or contact Curt Witcher at 260-421-1226 or 1812@FGS.org.

The Florida Genealogical Society of Tampa, as a member of the Federation of Genealogical Societies, will want to actively support this very important project. Please visit the FGS website to donate to the Preserve the Pensions Project. You have a number of donation options:

  • Donate to the General War of 1812 Pension Project
  • Make an anonymous donation to the War of 1812 Pension Project
  • Make a donation to honor as a Tribute to a living person, perhaps someone who is a student of history
  • Make an Memorial donation to a deceased individual in honor of the War of 1812 Pension Project
  • Make an Memorial donation in honor of one of your own War of 1812 ancestors
  • Make a donation in honor of notable genealogist Marsha Hoffman Rising

We hope that our members will donate to this exceptionally important digitization, indexing, and preservation project. We will look forward to providing a society donation to the project and hope that our members will also support the project by contributing at the website at http://fgs.org/1812. For more information about how to donate by mail, please contact the FGS Office:

  • by mail at P.O. Box 200940, Austin, TX 78720-0940
  • by telephone at 1-888-FGS-1500
  • by fax at 1-866-FGS-1350
  • by email at office@fgs.org

Thank you for your help in bringing these important records to the genealogical community!

News from Other Societies - South Bay Genealogical Society

The South Bay Genealogical Society will hold its May meeting on May 18, 2010, at the SouthShore Regional Library at 15816 Beth Shields Way, Sun City Center, Florida. The speaker will be Don Churchill presenting a program about Elderhostel programs relating to genealogy, and the service he has been doing - a week of "Cemetery Surfing" in St. Kitts. His program is titled "Death and Genealogy should not be avoided."

The program will be preceded with a luncheon. For information call (941) 722-5156 or visit their website at http://www.rootsweb.com/~flmgs.

05 May 2010

News from Other Societies - Pinellas Genealogy Society

Nationally known genealogist and speaker, George G. Morgan will present a program entitled "Push-Pull: The Reasons for Migration" on Saturday, May 15th, at 10:30 AM at the Largo Public Library.

"The earliest humans, from earliest times, have migrated from place to place seeking survival and sustenance. Our more recent ancestors also moved around for the same and other purposes. What made your ancestors leave their homes and move hundreds or thousands of miles? What drew them to a specific place to settle? This session examines some of the reasons why it is important to become a student of history, geography, and sociology in order to understand and trace your ancestors’ movements."

George is the author of eight books, hundreds of print and online genealogy columns, the co-host of "The Genealogy Guys Podcast" (at http://genealogyguys.com), and the owner of Aha! Seminars. Don't miss this one!

The program is preceded by an informal Q&A session on "Computers in Genealogy" beginning at 9:45 am.

Light refreshments will be served after the presentation and there will be opportunity to talk with the speaker and PGS members.