The 16 March 2012 meeting of the Genealogy Interest Group – Ancestor Trackers was opened by our chair, Trevetta Wunderlin.     She welcomed first time attendees and asked about their areas of interest.  Eileen Parks is interested in Czechoslovakia, Kathy Peterson had family in Holland, Dorothy Butler wants to study her relatives in Jacksonville and South Carolina, Josephine Dowd has Italian ancestry, and Susan Millard is concentrating on Massachusetts.    Trev asked again for a volunteer to be program chair and then introduced our speaker Ann Palmer.

Ann is a librarian at the John F. Germany Library in downtown Tampa.  Her topic was “Resources at the THPL History & Genealogy Library” where she works.  Ann began by telling us how to get to the genealogy section, hours and where to park.  She told us about available PCs with attached microfilm scanners, they offer old microfilm readers too, as well as a low vision machine.  Because of costs, most libraries are dropping interlibrary loans and Ann says they email obituaries to out-of-state relatives.  She recommends bringing a sweater, a flash drive and change for the copy machine when you visit.  A librarian will gladly help those of us who are challenged by a flash drive.  They have 36,000 books on genealogy, lots of microfilm including 15,000 rolls of newspapers and many magazines and journals.  WiFi is available at John Germany and all branches.  She is very proud of their military collection, especially concerning the Civil War.  They have begun to modify the Dewey decimal system by reorganizing the shelves by state, following alphabetically by county.  Ann discussed the databases available at the library, principally Ancestry.com and those available to library patrons from home such as America’s Genealogy Bank, America’s Obituaries and Death Notices, Trails, HeritageQuest Online (including PERSI) and Fold3 (formerly Footnote).  Lastly, Ann asked us to remember to submit comment cards when we visit the library. 

A discussion followed with recommendations for Findagrave.com, DeadFred.com and StevenMorse.com.  

                                                                        Respectfully submitted,

 

                                                                        Rosalyn Davenport Gibbs      

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