On 17 June 2011 our chair, Trevetta Wunderlin, welcomed us to the meeting of the Genealogy Interest Group – Ancestor Trackers. She told us about upcoming meetings of the Florida Genealogy Society and introduced first time attendees Karren McGuigan, Patricia Fritz and guest Janet Tedrow. Our next meeting will be in September. At that time we will discuss the book “A Land Remembered” by Patrick D. Smith. Copies are available at the library.

We had a member participation program with questions posed and possible answers given. There was a discussion of erroneous family trees online and in books, also the good genealogy collection at the downtown John Germany library. Trev added that the Florida Archives is a great source, as are the libraries in Vero Beach, Orlando and Largo. We mentioned that Newsbank and Footnote are available online from home using your library card. You have to be at the library to access Ancestry.com at no cost. We were asked what states have death certificates online and where records of school teachers may be obtained. Dovie Yates talked about guardianship searches in Arkansas and Janet Tedrow told us about a relative who lived in Virginia/West Virginia. We discussed when the separation between the two states occurred and recommended that Janet search the relevant censuses. Rick Adams filled us in with information about Virginia research and he commented about how name changes at marriage make women more difficult to trace. Judy Copeland mentioned conflicting places of birth on censuses and told us about finding a family bible with a signed temperance pledge. She made copies of the bible entries and sent the copies to family members. Rick asked Nancy Sjoberg about her trip to Salt Lake City and Swedish research. Patricia Fritz wanted to know about the best software programs and this led to a discussion of Legacy, Roots Magic, Brother’s Keeper and Family Tree Maker. Then Nancy asked about converting her trees from Family Tree Maker to Roots Magic. Marilyn Bartholomew wanted to know about finding an Indian marriage record and Karren mentioned that she could not find her grandparents in the censuses after their marriage. Rick warned us about relaying negative family history finds. Some relatives do not take kindly to the news. I asked about a brick wall and was advised to post on message boards, such as Rootsweb.com, Genealogy.com or Ancestry.com. Nancy added that messages should be brief, the surname capitalized, and locations and dates given. FindaGrave was highly recommended as a genealogy source. Our meeting ended with a story from Trev about researching a cousin who began as an artist, became a very successful creator of large animated animal figures in New York City, sold the business to his partner and returned to his career as an artist, displaying his work at art shows in Berkshire County, Massachusetts.

Respectfully submitted,

Rosalyn Davenport Gibbs