Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Famous Family Trees - Celebrity Trees & Famous Folk

Famous Family Trees - Celebrity Trees; Famous Folk

Advantages of being related to a celebrity or famous person:
  • Their genealogy has already been researched.
  • They might have the financial resources to travel to the homeland (and send you pictures)!
  • It might get your children finally interested in genealogy.
If your relative has been a United States President, he may have his own library.  Can you think of other reasons you might relish the thought of being kin to a famous person?

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Ancestry Insider seeks to clear up confusion...

The Ancestry Insider 

This is a blog that I read frequently for a better understanding of two primary genealogy websites that I depend on: and

I gather from this that some folks are concerned about alliances that have occurred, several very recently between these two organizations.  I think that the message I'm getting from the blog is that this:

  • Good things happen when the big guys partner with each other on preservation projects, especially digitization of records.  More records accessible to more people is good, right?
  • FamilySearch doesn't show any sign of closing free access of the historical records featured on the site.  Is that assumption on my part correct?
  • If I could afford it, I would take advantage of the best that each genealogy website has to offer; since I do have budget, I continue to search for record sites that offer free or low cost access.  I use FamilySearch both at home and at the Family History Center, so that I can utilize the premium web sites that are offered at that location.  I depend greatly on's United States collection (also available at the Family History Censter) and occasionally, I activate my "at home" subscription to Ancestry, also.
  • I have more than enough to do with the sources available just between those two sites and hope for state and local governments to continue to try and make their collections more available through digitization projects, on the Internet,

Monday, December 30, 2013

What's Happening in NWFL and thereabouts...Updated

Happy New Year!
 Heritage Museum of Northwest Florida: Did you know that the museum is a member of Panhandle Historic Preservation Alliance?  
Check out the historic alliances in Okaloosa County, and/or other Panhandle counties.  Road trip, anyone?  In addition, the calendar of activities and events for the Alliance is posted at THIS PAGE.

The Heritage Museum's Valparaiso archives are available to research by appointment.   And one last word about this amazing institution: it is the building where the Genealogical Society of Okaloosa County gathers the second Saturday of every month!

Want to know what is happeninng in the rest of Florida?  Check out the Florida State Genealogical Society site; I'm excited because their annual conference will be held in Gainesville, FL, this year! 
The three-day conference will be held at the Hilton University of Florida Conference Center in Gainesville, Florida on 28 - 30 March 2014.

I can't contain my excitement about another event that is just a little bit further afield than Gainesville:    The NGS 2014 Family History Conference will be held at the Greater Richmond Convention Center in Richmond, Virginia. Mark your calendars for 7–10 May 2014.

The Salt Palace Convention Center
Feb. 6-8th, 2014:  If you really want to get out of Dodge (no one gets this phrase, anymore, unless they are "older"), there is the RootsTech event in Salt Lake City.  I know at least two people from our local area who are attending this year--I'm impressed!  A serious 21st Century family historian aspires to events like this one.  Many of the lectures, presentations, etc.  will be available to the general public at some point.   

West Florida Genealogical Society January Program:  This will happen on January 4, 2014!  The program will feature Charlene Grafton; her topic is "What's In Your Genes?"--"Human Disease Traits.

Charlene is a survivor of Stevens Johnson Syndrome caused by a severe reaction to Septra DS in 2009; she is also the author of What's In Your Genes: Human Threads Linking Genetics and Genealogy.  She is a participant in the Personal Genome Project with Dr. George Church at Harvard. 

Bay County Genealogical Society sponsors Dick Eastman at their Spring Seminar!  This will be an event you won't want to miss.  Richard "Dick" Eastman is an internationally known lecturer and author of Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter.  Did you know that the BCGS received an award in 2012 recognizing their efforts at preservation of local records?  It's a well deserved award, too! (March 22nd, 2014).

The Genealogical Society of Okaloosa County January Program: The January 11, 2014 meeting will feature a presentation by Hank Klein entitled Publishing and Enjoying Your Genealogy Work. Mr. Klein has completed three books on his and his wife's ancestors, and is working on the fourth. Several of his articles have been published in the GSOC Newsletter and his interesting presentations to the Society are highly regarded.

January 10th, 2014 Registration Date for Center for Lifelong Learning
Fort Walton Beach: I have LINKED TO the registration schedule here for you, so that you can mark your calendars, now, for the Winter/Spring Session which begins shortly.  You will need to look, also, at the Course Listings of all the classes that are offered, this session.  There are three genealogy related classes and other classes that might be of interest to a family historian, heritage lover, or anyone!  My friends, Hilma and Tom teach the ABC's of Genealogy; my friend, Marc teaches the FamilySearch Family Tree, and I will do Beyond Basic Genealogy. *

*More about Beyond Basic Genealogy in my next blog!