Our chair Trevetta Wunderlin opened the meeting of the Genealogy Interest Group – Ancestor Trackers at 9:30 am.

She welcomed new attendee Anthony Murphy and asked him about his reasons for joining us. His brother had done some research while he lived in Ireland which had piqued Anthony’s interest in his family’s history. We had a short discussion about the recent release of the 1940 federal census. Again Trev asked for someone to become Program Chair. Our speaker Debbe Hagner showed us two of her CDs “Personal Historian” and “Family Atlas.” Debbe’s program this month was “How to Find Your Ancestors on Ship Passenger Lists.” She told us that before 1820 there were scattered port indexes and to consult Passenger and Immigration List Bibliography, 1538-1900 by P. William Filby, available at the Tampa library. Custom Passenger Lists are available for the years 1820 to 1891 and Immigration Passenger Lists for 1891 to 1957. We were advised to check both the direct and indirect lists. Debbe gave us the names of ports in the United States where we might search for our ancestors’ arrival. She also let us know what lists are available at the Tampa library, explained Soundex and showed us an example on our own Florida driver’s licenses. Debbe listed books for us that might assist with our research and helpful websites. She also told us how to find pictures and histories of the ships on which our ancestors sailed to reach the New World. Debbe opened the floor for general questions and replied to inquiries about the Family History Library in Salt Lake City – she even showed us film clips, told us about volunteering at their New Port Richey library and her online deaf signing lessons at www.familysearch.org. Debbe recommends the paid www.myheritage.com, www.genealogybank.com, available free from home with a Hillsborough library card and www.newspaperarchives.com, also available free at any Family History Library.

          Respectfully submitted, Rosalyn Davenport Gibbs

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