The Villages Genealogical Society
Welcome to The Villages
Genealogical Society
Promoting and stimulating knowledge and interest
in the study of genealogy
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Upcoming Monthly Program
June General Monthly Meeting (Virtual)
Wednesday, June 30 / 10:00 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.
Thomas MacEnteeSession 1 Topic 
Using Land Documents in Family History Research
Perhaps you know which county and community your ancestors lived in, but how cool would it be to know exactly where they owned land? Finding that information is easy if you know where to look. Join historian Dr. Josh Goodman from the State Archives of Florida for a virtual tour of common land records that can help you pinpoint where your ancestors once owned property, or uncover the history of your own property. This program also includes a tutorial on how to translate legal descriptions of land in deeds and patents into real locations on a modern map.
Session 2 Topic
Researching Ghost Towns in Florida
Have you ever passed a sign on the highway with the name of a town, but there was no town? Or maybe you've see a named place on a map and driven there only to find a crossroads and nothing more. "Ghost towns" such as these are a common feature of American geography. They form and falter for all kinds of reasons, but they share one aspect in common. There's almost always an interesting story behind each one.
About our Speaker
Josh Goodman is the Archives Historian for the State Archives of Florida in Tallahassee. He holds bachelor's and master's degrees in history from Florida State University, and a Ph.D. in history from Tulane University in New Orleans. As Archives Historian, Josh supervises the digitization of historical records for the award-winning Florida Memory website, and promotes the study of Florida history through community outreach and educational programs.
For more details, and to register, visit our Coming Events listing.


Upcoming Monday Evening Webinar
Live Webinar / August 9 – 7:00 to 8:00 pm
What's in a Name?
Featuring Guest Speaker:  Sara Cochran
Sara Cochran
Description: How much does spelling matter when we're dealing with historical records? Why are there so many variations, anyway? Have you ever wondered if that record for Abraham Miller is really for your Abram Mueller, or why you can't find an ancestor in the Springfield marriage records? This presentation takes a deeper look at how relying too much on spelling has the potential to trip up our research.
Presenter Info: Sara Cochran is a full-time professional genealogist with over twenty-five years of research experience. Her research has taken her into nearly every State in the USA and Ireland, Italy, Austria, and Britian. She holds a Boston University Genealogical Research Certificate, a Bachelor's Degree in Library Science, and is an alumnus of the ProGen Study Group. She especially enjoys breaking down brick walls for her clients, discovering the stories of black sheep ancestors, and helping individuals preserve their photographic legacy. She is currently the Registrar for the Aurantia Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution and volunteers at the National Archives, Riverside office. 
For more details, and to register, visit our Coming Events listing.

Admission to meetings of The Villages Genealogy Society is limited to
VGS members and paid guests.
You must be a resident of The Villages, FL for membership.

Monday, Jun. 28th
1:00 pm
Italian Special Interest Group Meeting
Monday, Jun. 28th
1:00 pm
Best Practices SIG Meeting
Wednesday, Jun. 30th
10:00 am
VGS General Monthly Meeting & Bonus Session
Monday, Jul. 5th
10:00 am
Jewish Genealogy SIG Meeting
Monday, Jul. 5th
1:00 pm
Italian Special Interest Group Meeting

Use family gatherings to collect stories or to interview the senior family members. Make audio or, even better, video recordings if possible.

Probate records refer to wills, inventories, letters of administration and guardianship. They are usually held at the county courthouse unless archived and they are indexed by the name of the testator.

When the head of the household is no longer listed, don't assume he/she is dead. It's possible that the former head of household is now living with one of the children.

National Personnel Records Center, St. Louis, MO., has U.S. military records for World War I or later. World War I draft registration cards are online, along with some of the World War II enlistment records. Some of the records in St. Louis were destroyed by fire, and they ask that you send the request for records back a second time since the first reply is computer-generated.
[Federal Records]

Digital copies, sometimes called "portable files", are copies of your original documents, family group sheets, notes, pedigree charts, etc.