Quarterly Newsletter of the Florida Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

15 March 2010

2010 Chapter Meetings Set

The next 2 APG-Florida Chapter meetings for 2010 have been set and the final meeting is tentatvely established:

1 May - Donna Moughty has booked Lakewood Ranch Town Hall, 8175 Lakewood
Ranch Boulevard, Lakewood Ranch FL, 34202 from 9:00 - 12:00.

Donna's directions : " It's quite easy to find, just a short distance off I-75 Exit 213 in Sarasota. Off the exit head east approx. 1 mile to Lakewood Ranch Blvd. Turn left and go about .5 miles - Town Hall is on your right."

Following the business meeting, Donna will preview the topic that she will be presenting at this year's PMC - "Expand Your Revenue: Produce and Sell Your Lectures in Video Format."

She also assures me that there are a number of good choices for lunch just across the parking lot from the Town Hall.

14 August - P.K. Yonge Library of Florida History at the University of Florida in Gainesville. Business Meeting at 9:30am - they will provide us a room - followed by a Library staff presentation on their holdings, what is coming online soon, etc. Following that will be a tour of their facility and holdings - and especially their newspaper operations.
Please note, though, that this is the 2nd Saturday in August rather than our traditional 1st - the first Saturday, August 7th, is U of F's summer graduation. Everyone will be notified of the building and room numbers as soon as they are provided by the Library's Curator.

November - Probably the 13th. Per tradition, this meeting will be held during the FSGS Conference, in the Conference venue.  The location has not been finalized, but it will be somewhere on the Southwest Florida coast, such as Sarasota, Bradenton, etc. Additonal info will be forthcoming when details are received.

Monday, March 22, 2010

6 February 2010

Brainstorming in Bartow

The first meeting of 2010 was held at The Polk County Historical and Genealogical Library in Bartow. The business meeting (see minutes below) ranged from a report on Chapter finances to the establishment of meeting dates and topics for the remainder of the year. 
The presentation scheduled for the period following the business meeting had been cancelled due to some timing conflicts, so Jack Butler led the attending members in an informal brainstorming session on ideas for making the Chapter more valuable to its members. Under this heading, the following points were discussed:
  • Increasing membership. The size of the state and the travel distance to meetings held at different locations is seen as one of the impediments to membership in the Chapter.  The success of meetings via teleconferencing during preparations for Chapter preparation for the FSGS Conference and the potential for remote meetings via webinar or "Go to Meeting" style software. The mechanics and cost of using such systems will be explored and discussed at future meetings.
  • Benefits of membership  - what they are and how to make these benefits known to potential members. Networking was counted as the number one benefit, followed by the expertise of colleagues and the potential for expanding one’s network of contacts.
  • More effective use of the Chapter website and blog-newsletter and better coordination between the two as communication arms of the Chapter. 
Much was discussed, but no final decisions were made. More investigation will be done.
APG Florida Chapter Meeting
              6 February 2010
The meeting began at 10:02 a.m. Jack Butler, president, presided over the meeting. Members in attendance included Shelby Bender, Alvie Davidson, Juanita Friedenburg, Amy Giroux, Bonnie Kohler, Patricia Rand, and Joe Spann.

Amy Giroux reported the current balance in the Chapter account of $624.33. She said 12 members had paid dues.

Jack wanted to get the meeting dates confirmed so that he could post them on the Chapter blog. The next meeting is scheduled for May 1, 2010, in Sarasota. Donna Moughty is expected to give a talk. Jack will discuss the date and place with Donna.

The third meeting for the year is scheduled for August 7, 2010, in Gainesville. There is a potential conflict with that date due to graduation activities at the University of Florida. Jack will contact the Smathers and P. K. Young Libraries to check on their availability and to determine the dates of UF graduation.

The possibility of employing Webinars for future meetings was discussed.

Due to lack of funds and lack of desire to raise funds, the Chapter will revisit the topic of partially funding the Friday luncheon at the FSGS Annual Conference in November 2010 at the May 2010 meeting.

Alvie recommended that Joe Spann give his presentation on the Florida railroads at the FSGS 2010 Friday luncheon.

It was suggested that the reservation and information forms for the Ancestor Road Show be included in the FSGS Annual Conference 2010 syllabus in order to facilitate the Road Show appointments.

Increasing membership in the APG Florida Chapter was discussed. Alvie mentioned that Kathy Hinckley could notify all of the Florida members of APG of the Chapter meetings. That includes the members of APG who have opted not to make their information public on the APG Website. Amy suggested the PDF format for meeting notices so they could be easily posted in different venues.

Benefits of membership in the Chapter were discussed. Networking was the number one benefit, followed by the expertise of colleagues and expanding one’s network of contacts.

Alvie will get the picture of the officers elected in 2009 and send it to Amy for posting on the Chapter Website.

Amy advised that Debbe Hagner remains in charge of membership. Amy suggested using Google Docs for sharing information between the treasurer and the membership chairperson.

Jack stated that he would like to make better use of the blog. He acknowledged that blog posts are subject to review by APG before posting. Alvie offered to assist with posting to the blog. Jack would like to link meeting notices in the blog to the Chapter Website.

Jack mentioned topics for discussion at future meetings could focus on (1) getting to know the strengths of the Chapter members, (2) advice on how to subcontract with other genealogists, and (3) sharing genealogical resources.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:50 a.m.

Bonnie Dunphy Kohler

Sunday, March 21, 2010

22 November 2009

The 2009 Florida State Genealogical Society Annual Conference was held at the Hilton Melbourne Place Hotel on 13-14 November. The APG Florida Chapter was everywhere to be found at this year's FSGS Annual Conference, both in its organized events and through the actions of our individual members:

FSGS President. conference host and speaker, Ann Mohr Osisek, is a chapter member and former chapter president. Other chapter members involved in the conference are Cindy Hineman Davis, Conference Chair, Pat Rand, Vendor Chair; C. Ann StaleyCG, CGL and Amy Larner Giroux, CG, CGL, served dual roles as Co-Chairs of the PioneerProgram, and as scheduled speakers; and Paul Enchelmayer and Pam Cooper were scheduled speakers. If we missed anyone, our apologies.

Ann Mohr Osisek Presenting Certificate of Appreciation to Ted Willows

Sponsored Luncheon
The Chapter partnered with the FSGS to sponsor the first on-site luncheon for Conference attendees. Our chapter made a cash donation to keep costs reasonable for attendees, and at least one chapter member sat at each table. A sign on each table held the APG and chapter logos and had the names of the members at the table. This allowed for table conversation about the APG, the Chapter, and their respective function.

Alvie Davis, Chapter President, acted as co-host of the luncheon, along with Cindy Davis in her role as Conference Chair. Jack Butler, Chapter Vice President was luncheon speaker.

The FSGS survey following the lunch revealed the event to be very successful and popular among the attendees. Despite being in a large room, the FSGS assured us that had more space been available, they could have sold more tickets. It seems likely that the Chapter may want to participate in such an event again at future conferences.

The Genealogy Road Show
Once again, the Chapter ran its Genealogy Road Show during the Conference. For any who might not know this concept, on Friday , Conference attendees completed an Appointment Request Form, complete with information about a specific genealogy question for which they were seeking help. They then registered for an appointment to meet with a consultant on Saturday to discuss the question. Consultants were given the Appointment Request forms appropriate to their research specialties on Friday night to allow at least minimal time to prepare.

Chapter members Alvie Davidson, Juanita Friedenber, Amy Giroux, Pat Rand, and Bonnie Kohler assisted with the registration of participants. Mebers Pam Cooper, Yolanda Campbell Lifter, Gladys Paulin, Debe Hagner, Donna Moughty, Pat Rand, and Jack Butler acted as consultants.

Jack Butler, this year's Roadshow coordinator reports that, while attendee participation was down by about 1/3 this year compared to previous Roadshows, the event would still have to be considered a success. There were some problems with our registration process because the hotel gave us a hat check closet half filled with stacked chairs from which to register participants. There was nowhere to place our identifying banner at or immediately next to the closet window without blocking traffic. It is suspected that these problems impacted the registration process and the lower than normal participation.

There were 26 participants, each of whom got a comment sheet at the end of their consultation. Only 14 comment sheets were returned, with results as follows:

Did you bring material related to your ancestor research problem?
           Yes - 13       No - 1
Did the session start and end on time?
            Yes - 14      No - 0
Did the professional genealogist appear to be knowledgeable in the subject area of research related to your research problem?
            Yes - 13     No - 0 (1 had neither answer circled)
Was the genealogist able to help you in your research?
            Yes - 13     No - 1
Did the professional genealogist offer suggestions for further research>
            Yes - 14     No - 0
Did the professional genealogist give you a completed Research Suggestion Form?
            Yes - 14     No  - 0
Would you meet again in a free session with a professional genealogist at a future conference. 
            Yes - 14     No - 0
Would you meet again with the same professional genealogist and be willing to pay a reasonable rate for services?
           Yes -  8       No - 2   (no answer on 2, and 2 maybes written in)  

"Thank you for this chance. I realize that without my documentation and coming in cold, I was asking a lot of the genealogist & 15 minutes is only a start! But I do go off with some new ideas to follow up & I thank him."

"Very helpful and I have lots of new ideas."

"I brought the same problem two years in a row and got no solution either time."

"I might be willing to meet for pay, if I follow through on her suggestions and find success."

"One of the best things to have at the conference. I came to the show the last two years and really appreciate the help that I have been getting."

Saturday, March 20, 2010

12 October 2009

APG Floria 2009 Officer Nominations

Submitted by Dick Robinson, Nominations Chair.

President: Jack Butler
Vice President: Cindy Hineman Davis
Treasurer: Pat Rand

Jack Butler – Presidential nominee
Jack Butler is professional genealogist who has been active in serious genealogical research for about 14 years. Also active in the genealogy community, Jack is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists and served as vice president of the Florida Chapter of the APG for the last two years. He has recently been nominated as a member of the board of the international APG for Southeastern U.S. in the coming term.

In addition to the typical combination of self-study and attendance at conferences and seminars, Jack’s genealogical education has come from completion of the National Genealogical Society’s American Genealogy course, Samford University’s Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research’s Advanced Methodology Course, and the National Institute of Genealogical Research program at the National Archives.

Prior to recently moving back to Central Florida, Jack was a member of the Tallahassee Genealogical Society where he served on the board and edited The Tallahassee Genealogist, the Society’s quarterly. Other genealogy related memberships include the Florida State Genealogical Society, where he has been a regular contributor to The Florida Genealogist, the New England Historic Genealogical Society and the National Genealogical Society.
Jack’s personal research had focused largely on the southeastern U.S., so when he created Southern Heir Ways and hung out his shingle as a professional genealogist, he expected to specialize in research in that region. While a majority of his work has been centered there, he has been happily surprised to have also completed substantial projects in New England, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Sicily.

Jack Butler holds university degrees in accounting and business. Prior to moving into full-time genealogy, however, his work-a-day life has been something of a series of mini-careers: six years as an Army officer, five years owning and operating restaurants, eleven years as a corporate accountant, six years as a college instructor and one year as bursar at a small university, and 14 years as a professional writer. [Jack is also nominated for 2010-2011 president of the Florida State Genealogical Society.]

Cindy Hineman Davis - Vice President nominee
Cindy Hineman Davis “retired” in January of 2001 after a 35-year career in the telecommunications industry. Not long for the retirement frame of mind, she decided to pursue her love of people and their stories by becoming a family historian. Through the pursuit of that passion she became a certified affiliate of Denis Ledoux, author of Turning Memories into Memoirs, A Handbook for Writing Lifestories. Then one day in early 2002, Cindy went to a program on oral history presented by the Indian River Genealogical Society (IRGS) in Vero Beach, Florida. She soon discovered the way to complete family history perpetuation is through genealogy! In 2003, Cindy was elected to the executive board of IRGS and has held various offices from corresponding secretary to president.

In her quest of genealogical education, Cindy enjoys attending local, state and national conferences, workshops and seminars on various genealogy topics. “My present path is to become a certified genealogist, so I joined a PROGEN Study Group in September of 2009, which will continue for 18 months,” says Cindy. Ms. Davis is also well known in genealogical circles as a motivational lecturer and educator to those who are new to researching their family history.

She maintains current memberships in the following organizations: Indian River Genealogical Society (currently vice president), The Genealogical Society of Palm Beach County, Florida State Genealogical Society (currently state conference chair), National Genealogy Society, Beaver County (PA) Genealogical and Historical Society, APG, and APG-Florida Chapter. Ms. Davis can be reached at home 561 626-7465, on her cell phone at 772 532-6288.or by E-mail:

Pat Wallis Rand - Treasurer Nominee
Before my recent retirement, I was a CPA/CFO for 35 years, and have served as treasurer of a great many organizations along the way. Currently, I am serving as vendor chair for the 2009 FSGS conference in Melbourne, and have been nominated for treasurer of the Florida State Genealogical Society [for 2010-2011].

I have been researching my Proudfoot family in Cleveland, Ohio for almost 20 years, and was elated to find that my new husband’s Rand family didn’t have a resident genealogist. We moved to Vero Beach from Virginia in 2003, where the first thing I did was to volunteer for Pam Cooper in the Genealogy Room of the Indian River County Main Library. She got me started in book indexing, and I have done a number of books for her and for other libraries in Florida and North Carolina. I now live in The Villages, and belong to The Villages Genealogical Society.

I have been doing family research for a number of clients the last several years. I enjoy it so much I’d almost pay these clients for the fun of researching their families! I have just started in the Pro Gen 4, a group of genealogists involved in an 18-month study of the manual Professional Genealogy, as the first step towards BCG certification.

15 August 2009

Setting our Senses on Pre-1850 Census

For our August meeting, we gathered at the Indian River Main Library at 1600 21st Street, Vero Beach, where Florida Chapter member Pam Cooper heads the Archive Center and Genealogy Department.

We did things in reverse order from our normal meeting - our speaker made her presentation first, followed by the business meeting.

The speaker, Debra S. Fleming, of the Pasco County research firm Ancestor Dective, LLC, spoke on "Census Analysis - Using Pre-1850 Census Reports."

Debra S. Fleming has been a practicing genealogist for nine years. She is the Genealogy Instructor for the University of South Florida OSHER Lifelong Learning Center where she has been teaching Genealogy Courses since early 2007. She is a graduate of Florida State University, where she majored in Creative Writing and minored in her passion, Religion and has attended the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR). She is currently a member of the Genealogical Speakers Guild (GSG), The Association of Professional Genealogists (
APG) and the International Society of Family History Writers and Editors (ISFHWE). You can learn more about Debra S. Fleming at

5 May 3009

A Gathering in Gainesville

The May meeting was held at the Alachua County Library District Headquarters in Gainseville. Anywhere else, this would probably be called the "main" library in the county library system. Alachua County, however, provides its library services through an independent special taxing district.

The library recognizes its growing genealogy clientele and strives to support with a developing genealogy collection. The primary focus of the library’s genealogical collection is information relating to the State of Florida, especially information pertaining to local families and history. Material dealing with the Southeastern area of the United States (Alabama, Georgia, Virginia, South Carolina, and North Carolina) is also considered a priority for collection development.

The business meeting (see meeting minutes below) was held in one of the library's conference rooms. Following the meeting, we had a guided tour of the library and its genealogical collections .


May 2, 2009
The meeting began at 9:30 a.m. in the conference room of the Alachua County Library in Gainesville, Florida. President Alvie Davidson presided.

The following members were present: Jack Butler, Juanita Friedenberg, Amy Giroux, Bonnie Kohler, Patricia Rand, and Ann Staley.

Minutes of the previous meeting on February 7, 2009, were reviewed and accepted.
Amy Giroux, treasurer, reported a current balance of $1,055.58.

Alvie spoke about efforts by the Records Preservation Access Committee (RPAC) in regard to New York City's current restriction of access to its contemporary death index. In addition, he encouraged members to write to their state representative in support of Preserving the American Historical Record (PAHR) bill HR2171. The bill would provide funds to archivists.
Juanita suggested making the information about dues and where to mail the check for dues more prominent on the APG Florida Chapter Web site.

Jack reported on his efforts to post the newsletter/blog on the Web.

Amy inquired about the status of the APG Florida Chapter banner. Alvie will follow up on getting a new banner made.

A motion was passed to spend $500 to partially fund a Friday luncheon at the November 2009 FSGS conference at the Hilton Melbourne Rialto Place hotel. Jack Butler agreed to speak at the luncheon. He will need a projector and screen.

Jack also agreed to be in charge of the Ancestors Road Show at the 2009 FSGS conference. Other members offered to assist him.

The next meeting will be in Vero Beach on August 1, 2009.

The meeting was adjourned at 10:56 a.m.

Bonnie Dunphy Kohler

7 February 2009

February Board Meeting in Bartow

The February meeting began at 9:25 a.m. in the 3rd floor conference room of the Polk County Genealogical Library and Historical Museum in Bartow, Florida.

President Alvie Davidson presided, and the following members were present: Cindy Davis, Juanita Friedenberg, Debbe Hagner, Bonnie Kohler, Marta Metcalf, and Gladys Paulin. Joseph E. Spann, Jr., Library Manager of the Polk County Historical &Genealogical Library, also attended the meeting.

Actions of the Records Preservation Access Committee were discussed. Alvie noted that Pennsylvania would be allowing public access to death records.

Alvie stated that Ann Staley suggested that the minutes of the APG Florida Chapter be sent to all members of APG who reside in Florida.

The next meeting of the Chapter will be held on Saturday, May 2, 2009, at 9:00 a.m. at the Indian River County Main Library, Genealogy Department, in Vero Beach. Alvie will contact Pam Cooper, the librarian, regarding the program and/or a tour of the library.

At the conclusion of Chapter business, Joe Spann presented "Florida Railroads, Historical and Genealogical Resources." During the presentation,the name of Seth Bramson, an authority on railroads in Florida and author of books about the history of the Jewish community in Miami Beach, was mentioned as a possible speaker for the Chapter meeting on May 2, 2009.
The meeting was adjourned at 11:30 a.m.