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Saturday, Sep 20, 2014
Lifestyle Stories

USF needs volunteers to digitize marriage records


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The Florida Genealogical Society (Tampa) has partnered with the University of South Florida Libraries to digitize a Hillsborough County marriage record collection that covers 1882 through 1986.

The society is looking for volunteers to assist in digitizing and transcribing these records. The digitizing will consist of straightening, scanning and cropping paper records. USF will train volunteers to use the equipment. Volunteer digitizers will work at the library during regular business hours.

Volunteers will transcribe the materials from the digital images. This work can be done from the volunteers’ homes using Web-based software the society will provide.

If you’re interested in helping with this important project, call the group’s special projects chairperson, David A. Hoffman, at (813) 282-9631 or email david@mygenealogyconsultant.com.

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You never know where you’ll find information relative to your genealogical searches. In a blog to which I subscribe, I found reference to the Lionel Pincus & Princess Firyal Map Division at the New York Public Library. I’m fairly sure none of my ancestors ever lived in New York, but I never pass an opportunity to explore map collections.

I was amazed to find that the collection includes maps (some of which are high resolution) from all over the world, with a surprising number in Virginia, the Carolinas and Georgia — the lands of my ancestors.

But the one that excited me most was an 1842 map of Florida. My husband’s fourth great-grandfather and a proven Florida Pioneer (meaning we have documented that he lived in Florida before it was a state) lived in Gadsden County in 1842. The house he built is recognized today as the oldest structure in the county.

The 1842 map wipes away all modern interruptions and shows the names of communities and the roadways that connected them. Such maps are highly valuable to genealogists.

So even if you’re sure you have no New York ancestors, check out this site — you just might find a treasure like I did. You’ll find it at http://tinyurl.com/k2rk8gv.

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Most of us are proud of our ancestors who lived through and perhaps fought during the war for independence from Great Britain. We all probably would prefer that those ancestors fought on the colonists’ side.

We might get suspicious if we find no Revolutionary War military records on ancestors whom we know were of fighting age at the time. Could that mean we had a few loyalists on the family tree?

One of Georgia’s most beloved genealogical writers, Mary Bondurant Warren, has just published her latest work, “British Georgia, Loyalists’ Claims.” The book is available online from amazon.com through its Kindle Store for $9.95. Don’t worry if you don’t have a Kindle; the materials can be downloaded to your computer.

Mary located 254 Georgians who had filed loyalist claims with the British government after the war. She found them in the British National Archives at Kew in London during several visits dedicated to transcribing the records.

Sharon Tate Moody is a board-certified genealogist. Send your genealogical methodology questions and event announcements to her at stmoody0720@mac.com. She regrets she is unable to assist with personal research and cannot respond to requests for locating or researching individuals. Past Heritage Hunting columns are available online at tbo.com, search words “Sharon Tate Moody.

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