On 19 October 2012 our chair, Trevetta Wunderlin, opened the meeting of the Genealogy Interest Group – Ancestor Trackers.
She asked for volunteers for the OLLI-USF – G-SIG  vendor table at the Florida Genealogy Society’s Fall Seminar.  We welcomed first time attendees Linda and Bill Harre, Midge Connolly and Janice Shannon.  Linda said that she is interested in finding material concerning her maternal grandfather.  Midge told us about going on genealogy trips with her sister.  They share an ancestor who was a British sympathizer during the Revolution and was hanged.  Tom Cassidy is working on German settlers who lived near Cincinnati. 

  Our speaker was Ann Palmer, senior librarian at the Florida History and Genealogy Library at the John Germany Library.  There will be an open house at the Florida History and Genealogy Library, a library within a library, in April.  She also told us about the reorganization of the genealogy section of the library by state.  Ann’s topic was “Finding Female Ancestors.”  She said that females are harder to trace because they lose their maiden names when they marry and advised that it is important to determine their relationship to others.  Ann told us to look for family documents, photographs, letters, diaries and family Bibles.  She showed us an example of a photograph that listed the woman’s maiden name.  Among the sources for family histories are Heritage Quest, Ancestry trees and local libraries and court houses in the community of your ancestor.  Ann showed us more examples of where a maiden name might be found including an obituary, a marriage certificate and a tombstone.  She also recommended looking into church records, such as baptisms and marriages, land records, censuses, naturalizations, pensions, voting lists and especially wills and probate.  Lastly, Ann discussed women’s legal rights and property laws and explained the terms “femes sole” and “femes covert.”     

                                                                         Respectfully submitted,

                                                                                     Rosalyn Davenport Gibbs      

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