Drew Smith, president of the Florida Genealogical Society of Tampa and a librarian at the USF Tampa library, spoke on “Effective Online Queries”, a topic voted for by previous attendees.      An online query is “a message in electronic format that requests information concerning an ancestor, a place, an historical event, or an aspect of culture, and that is directed toward an unknown recipient or recipients”. He compared requesting an Internet response to throwing a message in a bottle into the sea. He covered (& passed out handouts on):

  • Types of places where online queries can be posted: mailing lists, message boards, and social groups/communities.
  • How electronic queries are typically organized.
  • How to search online archives for previous queries.
  • How to locate the most appropriate place to post a query.
  • How to construct the best possible subject line.
  • How to write the content of the query.

 Trevetta Wunderlin, chairman of the group, was unable to attend due to health problems. Diana Kelley had the new people introduce themselves together with their geographical areas of interest.

 Eleven people were in attendance: Charles Bearss, Nancy Sjoberg, Careen Best, Ed Brill, Tim Madden, Gail Parsons, Maxine Roy, Marilyn Bartholomew, Bob Nixon, Linda Carson, & Diana Kelley. Interests of some of the new people included Panama, Ireland, Scotland, Ohio, Germany, and Pennsylvania.


Ed Brill told of posting a query for Scottish information & getting a response 3 years later from someone in Saudi Arabia – with new information. Nancy Sjoberg once responded to a query. A 3rd person saw her response and gave her important information she didn’t have; she felt that she had hit the jackpot.

Diana announced the next 3 meetings:

  • March 21, 2013 – “A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words”

               Speaker: Ann Palmer, librarian at Florida History & Genealogy Library at J. F. Germany Library

  • April 18, 2013 – “Florida Pioneer Descendants”. She will also speak on joining other legacy societies.

               Speaker: Amy Lay, Florida State Genealogical Society

  • May 16, 2013 – “New Ways to Research Your Roots”

               Speaker: George Morgan, president of AHA Seminars


 Respectfully submitted,

 Diana Kelley, Recording Secretary