Three local societies are kicking off the new year with daylong seminars, but genealogists will have to choose between two scheduled for the same day.
The first, Jan. 28, will be led by Hank Jones, retired Hollywood actor and highly respected professional genealogist. He's sponsored by the South Bay Genealogical Society.
On Feb. 13, both the Manasota Genealogical Society and the Pinellas County Genealogical Society host two other nationally known speakers. Manasota will spotlight Bruce Buzbee, developer of my favorite genealogy software, RootsMagic, while the Pinellas group will present popular online newsletter founder Dick Eastman.
Here are the particulars on each of the three programs:
WHEN: 8:30 a.m. Jan. 28, coffee and muffins; 9:30 a.m. to 3:45 p.m., lectures
WHERE: Sun City Center Community Hall, 1910 S. Pebble Beach Blvd., Sun City Center
HOW MUCH: $40 for members, $45 for nonmembers; includes buffet lunch
INFORMATION: Register and get details at www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~flsbgs/meetings.htm.
WHEN: 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 13
WHERE: Bethel Baptist Church, 1805 30th Ave. W., Bradenton.
HOW MUCH: $35; includes lunch for those who register in advance
INFORMATION: Register and get details at www.colket.org/RootsMagic
WHEN: Registration begins at 8 a.m. Feb. 13.
WHERE: Largo Public Library, 120 Central Park Drive, Largo
HOW MUCH: $35 for members, $40 for nonmembers; box lunch available for $6.50
INFORMATION: Register and get details at www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~flpgs/Seminars/sem2010/pgs-2010-seminar-brochure.htm.
Pasco County meeting
Ann Bergelt presents German Research Suggestions at Saturday's meeting of the Pasco County Genealogical Society. Bergelt will introduce new ways to determine the geographic location of original German ancestors and hints for obtaining record copies.
The meeting begins at 10 a.m. at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 9016 Fort King Road, Dade City. There is no charge to attend.
Institute registration opens
Registration for the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research opens Jan. 19. The popular classes fill quickly so don't procrastinate if you plan to sign up.
The institute, held annually at Samford University in Birmingham, Ala., is co-sponsored by the Board for Certification of Genealogists and taught by the field's leading researchers and writers. This year's program will be June 13 to 18.
Ten modules will be offered. Check them out at www4.samford.edu/schools/ighr/index.html.
If you're serious about genealogical work and can attend only one event this year, this one should be it.
Improved census images
Census records are among the first that beginning genealogists use. Most old-time researchers thought they would go blind squinting at microfilm pages and trying to decipher the faded records.
With digitization and efforts of commercial entities such as Ancestry and Footnote, the work got much easier. Records were enhanced and near-miracles wrought.
Ancestry announced it recently completed even more enhancing of the 1790-1900 censuses. Those who had trouble reading the first digitized records will want to check this out at landing.ancestry.com/censusimprovements.
A new product by a longtime writer promises to provide an educational outlet for evolving genealogists. Michael John Neill, familiar as a writer for Dick Eastman and Ancestry.com, will distribute "CaseFile Clues" weekly by e-mail.
Neill's goal is to show family historians how to research. That may sound like a no-brainer, but it's amazing how much there is to learn.
I've subscribed. At $15 annually, it's a deal. Go to email@example.com to check out a sample.