Chair Trev Wunderlin opened the meeting. Four people were in attendance.      She announced that meeting dates & times for 2014 have not changed from 2013 – the third Thursday of each month (September through June) at 9:30-11 AM in room 308-309 at the Lake Magdalene Methodist Church on Fletcher.


The agenda showed one upcoming event: Florida Genealogical Society meeting on Saturday, January 4, 11 AM, at the downtown library auditorium. Thomas MacEntee will speak on “Wolfram – Alpha for Genealogists”. Computer & DNA Interest groups will meet at 10:15 AM in other areas at the library.


David Hoffman spoke on “How to Volunteer on Genealogy Projects”. He is chairman of the FGS Special Projects & “Ask a Genealogist” at the Florida History & Genealogy Library (within the downtown library) on the first Saturday afternoon of each month. He started work on his family tree when in 6th grade. Following is some of what we learned:


Indexing of records is the process of transcribing the text on historical documents to online databases, making them searchable by people worldwide.


Family Search has indexed 140,296,256 records so far this year & 1,100,084,345 in total – available free to search at They now have 120,926 active volunteers.


After registering with Family Search, you can 1) download indexing software, 2) select a batch of records to also download, 3) enter the requested information (names, dates, events, etc.) in the corresponding spaces, & 4) submit your completed batch. You can download either a beginner, intermediate, or advanced batch, and can see a sample from the batch ahead of time. For example, a beginner might transcribe typed material. You might choose to pick a project in which you are personally interested. No special skills or fixed time restrictions are required; you can do it at 3 AM in your PJ’s.


The handout listed many of the current Family Search projects going on. An example of a project is “US, Montana, Beaverhead – Birth Certificates 1902-1930”. One project is “US – 1900 Census” – because the original indexing included too many errors.


Many projects outside of Family Search also need volunteers. For example, the USGenWeb Project collects genealogy data for specific states & counties. They need coordinators for areas still “up for adoption”, & coordinators already in place can use extra help. In addition, they have  special projects including  building a repository for African-American records, building a database of all genealogical events taking place around the U.S, & providing actual transcriptions of pension-related material for all wars prior to 1900.


Find-A-Grave needs individuals or groups to archive cemeteries – taking pictures of headstones, recording stone information, etc.


Local opportunities:  

* Florida Genealogical Society – (1) archiving Memorial Park Cemetery, (2) indexing Hillsborough County    

       Marriage Certificates & (3) serving as “Ask A Genealogist” (will be rotating through county libraries).

* History & Genealogy Library within the downtown library.

* USF Digital Collections – (1) creating digital images, (2) transcribing digital images from your home.


Remember that all volunteerism involves the “3 T’s” – time, talent, & treasure. You can make a gift to support the work of others.


Submitted by Diana Kelley, Recording Secretary