The Villages Genealogical Society

Events of 2015

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Some of the many local, regional and national speakers that we have provided for quality member education...
L-R: George Morgan, Ann Staley,  Alvie Davidson, Donna Moughty, Diahan Southard, Drew Smith & Kathy Stickney
We are often asked by new members, prospective new members and even by other genealogy societies about events and subject matter that we provide at our regular monthly meetings. Below is a list of activities for 2015.
 
Guest speaker with officers
November 2015 General Meeting
L-R: VP Pat Adams, Guest Speaker Ann Osisek, Pres. Jim Lannin
Our November general meeting was held at the Savannah Center with over 200 members in attendance. Our guest speaker, Ann Mohr Osisek, presented "Chronological Logic - Timelines in Genealogical Research." 
Timelines are another tool in the family historians toolbox. They can be used to organize a families historical information. They also can be used to see gaps in your research or as a means to knockdown a brick wall.  By linking world events with family history events one can get a better understanding of the living conditions our ancestors may have had to deal with. If you plan on writing about your research they offer a means to structure and outline that family story.
 
Guest speaker
October 2015 General Meeting
Our October general meeting was held at the Savannah Center with a strong turnout to hear Diahan Southard speak about Autosomal DNA Testing. She asked "how many in the audience have had their DNA tested?" and she was surprised at the number who raised their hands; over three quarters of the attendees. One thing she wanted everyone to be aware of is that there are more relatives in online databases who cannot be found with just your test. If you get more people tested (siblings, cousins etc) then you increase your chances of finding all of your relatives.
 
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September 2015 General Meeting
Our September general meeting was held at the Savannah Center. We had a very good turn out for a September meeting with about 175 members in attendance.
14 of those were residents who became members today. Our guest speaker was Clyde P. Stickney and his presentation was "All Rise! Researching at the County Courthouse." He gave an overview of the types of records that can be found at the county court house. Members can log-in under "Members Only" to download a meeting handout.
  • Vital Records: Usually just marriage records, sometimes birth and death
  • Probate Records: For those who died with or without a will.
  • Property Records: Sales of real and personal property between individuals, businesses, etc.
  • Court Records: Both civil and criminal
 
Attendee Image
August 2015 Summer Workshop
Our August meeting workshop was held at the Eisenhower Recreation Center due to some additional renovation work at the Savannah Center. Our meeting rooms at the Savannah Center should be ready for us when we begin or regular monthly meetings in September.
 
Todays webinar featured Thomas Jay Kemp and his presentation was titled: “GenealogyBank – The Power of Finding Our Ancestor’s Stories.” For those of you not familiar with GenealogyBank, it is an online newspaper archive subscription service with over 6500 online newspapers.
 
Following the meeting, we received an email from one of our members who previously didn't have much success using GenealogyBank. She took the chance and signed up for a one year subscription when she discovered new newspapers from her research area had been added to their collection. Within a few hours, she was able to solve the mystery of a family story that had been handed down for many years. More details will be published on our August 29th blog posting.
 
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July 2015 Summer Workshop
LR: President Jim Lannin, Jack Hostetler
Our July meeting workshop was held at the Savannah Recreation Center with about 70 members present. The workshop meeting was a webinar presentation "Google Tips for Genealogy". Jack Hostetler won the door prize winning a copy of Lisa Louise Cook's "The Genealogist's Google Toolbox, 2nd Edition."
 
Meeting Room
June 2015 Summer Workshop
Our June 2015 meeting workshop was held at the Eisenhower Recreation Center due to renovations at the Savannah Center. The room was filled to capacity to watch a webinar about the "Hookers, Crooks and Kooks" among our ancestors. We all have them but finding information about our family secrets can be a challenge. Knowing where to look is the key to success.
 
May meeting pictures
May 2015 General Meeting
175 members were in attendance as Jim & Terry Willard presented "Family Photos as a Clue to Genealogical Research."
Jim pointed out that every photo has 5 "W's; who, what, when, where and why associated with it. However, we may be missing some of that information. Often the name of a person is missing or when it was taken for example. Their tips offered ways to determine the missing pieces. Also, as you take pictures now, make sure you include the 5 "W's" for future generations.
Members can download a copy ot their suggestions. Log into "Members Only" and select "The Willards" in the Secure Download menu selection.
 
Speaker & President
April 2015 General Meeting
Although many find census lectures somewhat dry, this speaker approached the topic from a personal family history research angle. By the end of the presentation we felt that we knew the family members whose lives were being reconstructed. The audience interest level was quite high. Many positive comments were made after the session. VGS Past President Will Hoehendorf attended and commented on how much the VGS has evolved over the years. Considering that we were not meeting at our normal location and that there had been some confusion in the pre-meeting publicity, it turned out to be a highly successful meeting.
 
8 picture animation
March 2015 General Meeting
235 members were on hand as our guest speaker, Gary Smith, presented "Organizing Your Genealogy Material." He offered his method for organizing files but stressed to use whatever method that was comfortable with you. He noted how important it was to source your material for later use and for using various free forms that are available online for the researcher. View more pictures...
 
February Annual Seminar 2015
239 registered attendees were present at our 15th Annual All-Day Seminar with our guest speaker "The Legal Genealogist" Judy G. Russell. Judy is a genealogist with a law degree and a great sense of humor that she expressed in her lectures that were well received by those in attendance. See pictures in our "Photo Gallery".
 
 
Dick Eastman Image
January 2015 General Meeting
Dick Eastman was our guest speaker for January. Over 350 members listened as he presented "Genealogy Apps for Mobile Devices" also know as "Keeping Granny in your Pocket. There are so many to choose from and Dick demonstrated his favorites.
Click HERE to view his online presentation. 
Read what he wrote about us.

Photos by John DeAngelo, Webmaster