Our chair Trevetta Wunderlin called to order the 19 November 2010 meeting of the Genealogy Interest Group – Ancestor Trackers. She introduced guests Onna Fishman and Joanne Hubert and our speaker Debbe Ann Hagner. Debbe’s topic was “How Will Newspapers and Magazines Help Me in My Research.” She is an Accredited Genealogist, a professional in the field in the TampaBay area, and a member and former President of the West Pasco Genealogy Society.

Debbe began her talk by telling us about the history of newspapers and discussed what kind of information may be found in obituaries, birth announcements and wedding information. Society news can yield all sorts of local tidbits and public service announcements can supply information about farm equipment and livestock, auctions and debtors. Real estate transfers show buyers and sellers, and church publications and school news inform us about the activities of its members. Then Debbe talked to us about where we could look for newspaper articles, such as Ancestry.com, local libraries, US Newspaper Project and requests to Family History libraries. She gave us many addresses of online sites to check in our research. Then Debbe told us about preserving old newspapers. She emphasized that we must focus our research – it is so easy to go off in several different directions, and she admonished us to document our sources carefully. Timelines help us to stay focused. Online queries can be most helpful, especially on Genforum.com and Rootsweb.com. When composing a query remember to use the four “W”s: Who, what, where and when. She said, “You never know what you’ll find until you try.”

Respectfully submitted,

Rosalyn Davenport Gibbs