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.

10 December 2008

Road Show Report From the FSGS Annual Conference

Cindy Davis, Roadshow Coordinator for 2008, reports that we had another successful program this year. This is from her report:

Ten APG-FL members participated: Jack Butler, Pamela Cooper, Alvie Davidson, CG; Cindy Hineman Davis, Amy Giroux, CG/CGL; Bonnie Kohler, Donna M. Moughty; Gladys Friedman Paulin, CG; and Richard Robinson, CG, and Ann Staley, CG.

38 conference attendees participated by making advance appointments and meeting with a professional genealogist-consultant.

Each Participant was given a chapter brochure and an evaluation form at the end of the session. 20 evaluations were returned. These are the results:

Question 1: Did you bring material related to your ancestor research problem?
Yes= 18 No= 2

Question 2: Did the session start and end on time?
Yes= 20

Question 3: Did the professional genealogist appear to be knowledgeable in the subject area of research related to your research problem?
Yes= 20

Question 4: Was the genealogist able to help you in your research?

Question 5: Did the professional genealogist offer suggestions for further research?

Question 6: Did the professional genealogist give you a completed Research Suggestion Form?
Yes=19 No=1

Question 7: Would you meet again in a free session with a professional genealogist at a future conference? Yes=20

Question 8: Would you meet again with the same professional genealogist and be willing to pay a reasonable rate for services?
Yes=17 No=1 ?=1 No response=1

The participatant's evaluation sheet also provided a section where additional comments could be added. These are those additional comments:

“Really appreciated time offered.”

“Pam was thorough and very pleasant, plus very knowledgeable. Her computer wouldn’t operate so we ‘winged it’, however I’ve many leads to follow I didn’t know of or think of.”

I look forward to this each year”

"Very good suggestions”

“Eagerly looking forward to suggested leads. Many thanks”

“Donna Moughty was very helpful. I look forward to contacting her.”

“Very helpful. Many fresh ideas and different approach to the problem. I feel that I have a good chance of solving this mystery. I am very encouraged and I intend to e-mail Ms. Davis of my accomplishments. Thoroughly enjoyed the session.”

“Thank you”

“He didn’t get a ‘eureka’ for me, but confirmed that my searches were on target’

“Pam Cooper did an excellent job”

‘I would have liked to have visited a little more…15 minutes is just not enough time when you hit a brick wall (maybe 20 minutes) I have to say I was impressed with the way it was done. It was done very tactfully, Kudos”

“I have a plan now”

“Good ideas and I will follow the clues. He said he would get back to me.”

“I did not bring any of my records as I did not know that this service was to be offered.”


A few suggestions were also made by the professionals who participated:

  • Be sure that the APG booth in the vendor area has a clear understanding of the sign up process. Several attendees went there before our scheduled Road Show sign up time and the vendor booth did not know the Road Show process.
  • The physical set up of the consultation area should include a place for the consulters to sit and fill out their evaluation before they leave. (This would prevent some of our evaluations getting mixed in with the end of conference evaluations. It would also ensure more evaluations are completed.)
  • During consultations, the check in table should not be in the same room. Perhaps a table outside the meeting room door would serve as the In/Out location.
  • Even though there was only one written comment about advance notice of our Road Show, several verbal comments were made that more ‘advance PR’ may have brought more participants.

My suggestion: When the attendees sign up for the conference, either a written or e-mailed notice could be sent announcing the Road Show. That way everyone could prepare what they need to bring for their consultation.

14 November 2008

APG Florida Chapter Annual Meeting

The meeting began at 12:03 p.m. in the Phoenix meeting room of the Sheraton Orlando-North Hotel in Maitland, Florida, during the 32nd Annual Conference of the Florida State Genealogical Society, Inc. President Alvie Davidson presided.

The following members were present: Jack Butler, Pamela Cooper, Cindy Davis, Juanita Friedenberg, Amy Giroux, Bonnie Kohler, Marta Metcalf, Donna Moughty, Gladys Paulin, Jackie Reiss, Dick Robinson, and Ann Staley. Sheryl was a visitor.

The minutes of the September 25, 2008, teleconference were discussed. A copy was not available, but members acknowledged receipt of copies prior to the meeting.

The need for a new APG Florida Chapter banner, due to the APG logo change, was discussed. Alvie will consult with Jean Kelley about getting a replacement banner.

Alvie Davidson reported that support of KGROW (Keeping Genealogical Records Open Work Group) has been taken up by the Association of Professional Genealogists national organization.
Dick Robinson resigned as the newsletter editor due to work demands. Jack Butler agreed to take over the duties of editor.

Meeting places for 2009 were discussed. The proposed schedule is February 7, Bartow, Polk County Library, Joe Spann to talk about the Florida Railroad; May 2, Vero Beach, Indian River County Main Library, topic to be decided; August 1, Gainesville, Gainesville Public Library, Bobby Powell to talk about the library collection and possible tour of the PKYonge Library.

Election of officers for 2009–2011 was held. Bonnie Kohler was elected Secretary; Juanita Friedenberg was elected Chapter Representative.

The meeting was adjourned about 12:30 p.m.
Respectfully submitted,

Bonnie Dunphy Kohler, Member

25 September 2008

APG Florida Chapter Teleconference Meeting

The APG Florida Chapter held its meeting on 25 September by teleconference.President Alvie Davidson arranged for and presided over the teleconference at 8:00 p.m. on Thursday, September 25, 2008.

The following members were present: Amy Larner Giroux, CG; Bonnie Kohler; Ann Staley; Cindy Davis; Debbe Hagner; Gladys Paulin; Juanita Friedenberg; and Dick Robinson.

The APG Florida Road Show for FSGS was discussed. Alvie stated that Ken Macomber, who had organized the Road Show in the past, had given him a file that contained the forms and procedures for the Road Show. In turn, Alvie distributed the file to the participants of the teleconference. Alvie described the Road Show and asked for someone to run it at the FSGS conference in November.

Gladys Paulin described the procedure as the patrons filling out a questionnaire for the Road Show on Friday and then being assigned a 15 or 20-minute time slot for consultation on Saturday. APG Florida Chapter member Road Show assistants assigned the patrons to the professionals.

Juanita offered to help. Cindy said she would organize the Road Show. Ann Staley said she was not available to help because she was assisting with organizing the conference.

Alvie said he would be available to staff the APG Florida Chapter booth most of the time. He said he needed a couple of other people to assist him. Juanita said she would help.

The APG Florida Chapter annual meeting/luncheon was discussed. The meeting will be held at the FSGS conference on Friday in one of the session rooms. Ann Staley said a session room would be available, as room availability was built into the conference contract. Alvie said he would make arrangements for the lunch.

Debbe stated that not everyone who desired a consultation at the Road Show could be accommodated last year. Cindy said that the Road Show booth could be available on both Friday and Saturday. Gladys reminded her that the consultants needed some time to prepare for some of consultations. It was agreed that the questionnaires would be filled out on Friday, and the appointments would be on Saturday.

Cindy stated that the consultations would be promoted on Friday, to facilitate more appointment slots being filled on Saturday.

Alvie said he would be available for genealogy research questions at the APG Florida Chapter booth.
Cindy will e-mail members about the Road Show arrangements.

Alvie will e-mail members regarding the lunch.

Amy stated that 26 members had paid dues. Gladys added that the dues were for year 2008.

Offices up for re-election in 2008 are Secretary and Chapter Representative.

Alvie asked for volunteers for the nominating committee. Bonnie, Dick, and Juanita volunteered. Bonnie was assigned chairman.

The deadline for nominations is 30 days in advance of the annual meeting. Consent of the nominees is required by two weeks prior to the meeting.

Returning to the topic of the Road Show, the following members offered to be consultants: Gladys, who said she would also relieve Alvie in the APG booth; Ann; Debbe; Dick; and Alvie.

Debbe asked if the consultants were permitted to attend any of the presentations. Ann replied that only those who paid to attend the sessions were permitted to attend.

Amy asked Ann if the lecture schedule had been set. Ann told Amy the times she would be speaking. Ann said that Ann Osisek would be publishing the lecture schedule.

Alvie said he would get some help with the APG Florida Chapter booth and that he would send details in e-mail.

Debbe commented that she didn't feel that anyone staffing the APG Florida Chapter booth should sell any of their products there. She thought it was okay if someone displayed their business card. The comment was made by Alvie and/or Gladys that our chapter did not have a tax exempt number, and there should be no selling at the booth.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:37 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Bonnie Dunphy Kohler

01 September 2008

Scheduling Problems Leads to Discussion of New Meeting Technologies

Difficulties in scheduling the regular August meeting led to consideration and discussion of alternative meeting technologies. Alvie Davidson suggested a video conference call using Skype video, or, failing that, a teleconference using Skype. Skype is a system that allows, after downloading the Skype software, free voice and video calling, IM and SMS on a wide range of operating systems and mobile devices.

Skype is a for-profit company, to be sure, but they have very cleverly introduced their VOIP communications system to the world of the internet by allowing free download of their software and free use of it to make Skype to skype calls. Their profits are made through the growing number of Skype to non-Skype phones and through their partnerships with companies such as Verizon, Panasonic, LG, and Samsung, among others. Unfortunately, too few members had the technology to allow its use for the meeting under discussion, but it looks worthy of consideration for future use.

Alvie Davidson, through his work with the Records Preservation And Access Committee, and Jack Butler, though his day job, have had extensive successful with meetings via teleconference, and Alvie suggested using that system for the meeting in September. Alvie will set it up and will email everyone with a telephone number and code to be entered so that members can join the conference call.

It seems likely that these technologies and others currently being developed or improved will eventually play a significant role in our business - routine communications, remote meetings, and even remote presentations/lectures. The technology train is picking up speed - it is time that we consider getting on board.

14 April 2008

NEXT MEETING: Electronic Genealogy

We will hear all about electronic genealogy in Tallahassee on Saturday, May 3. Deanna Ramsey, vice president of programs for the Tallahassee Genealogical Society, will give the presentation, "Gadgets for the Family [and Professional] Genealogist," at 10 a.m. in the Arts Learning Gallery (1st flooor) at the Florida State Library and Archives building.

Chapter Vice President Jack V. Butler, who will lead the meeting, says that this is the Chapter's first meeting in Tallahassee and hopes distant members will car pool to the event.

Jack will encourage Chapter members to join the Florida State Genealogical Society for its publications and annual meeting registration discount as well as interesting FSGS members in APG. If you would like to tour the Florida State Library and Archives, please let Jack know in advance so he can arrange a tour.

If you need more details about the meeting, contact Jack. He encourages meeting attendees to research at the facility and visit the Museum of Florida History on the ground floor. The state library and archives are open from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and the museum from 10 a.m. to 4:40 p.m. on Saturdays.

13 April 2008

Who's got a program and site idea for the next meeting?

President Alvie L. Davidson, CG, is taking ideas for a program and site for the next meeting, usually held the first Saturday in August.
Here are the 2008 meeting locations and dates:
  • Bartow (central Florida), Feb. 2;

Tallahassee (north Florida), May 3;

Open, possible Aug. 2; and

Chapter annual meeting during the Florida State Genealogical Society annual conference in Maitland (north of Orlando), Nov. 14-15.

13 April 2008

Chapter's shining project debuts: A national position paper on records access and ID theft

After months of work and review, the Florida Chapter's showcase position paper, "The Case for Open Public Records," was released on March 21. APG headquarters issued a press release, "Genealogists Push for Open Records," and the complete text of the paper. APG asserted, "There is no proof that open records significantly contribute to ID theft or terrorism."

The document was covered by major genealogical media, approved by the Records Preservation and Access Committee (of the National Genealogical Society and Federation of Genealogical Societies), and praised by APG President Jake Gehring.

Writing in the March issue of the APG Quarterly, Gehring said, "... let me congratulate and thank the members of the 'Keep Genealogical Records Open Workgroup' (KGROW) and the Florida Chapter of APG for their significant and speedy work this last year to draft a position paper on open public records. Their work has really improved our ability to respond effectively to legislative issues as they arise." The position paper was posted on the APG website and RPAC website.

The position paper was prepared by KGROW, made up of three Florida Chapter members and two other experts. They are: Jean Foster Kelley, CG, co-chair; Richard F. Robinson, co-chair; Alvie L. Davidson, CG, information officer; Melinde Lutz Sanborn, FASG, Greater Boston Area Chapter; and Fred E. Moss, JD, LL.M., a legal advisor to FGS. KGROW disbanded when its position paper was made publicly available.

13 April 2008

About our members....

Alvie Davidson, CG, and Ann Staley, CG, and others will attend the 30th NGS Conference in the States and Family History Fair in Kansas City, Missouri on May 14-17. Who else is going? Please post on the Chapter mailing list....

Member profiles will resume in the newsletter's next issue... Chapter members agreed at the Feb. 2 meeting to write a letter of support on behalf of the Polk County Historical Genealogical Society Library to Polk County commissioners. Librarian Joe Spann, a new member of the Chapter, reported that the library is in serious financial trouble. It is one of the largest regional research libraries on the East coast and has hosted several Chapter meetings.

Friday, March 19, 2010

8 February 2008

Florida APG Gets New-Logo, KGROW Document Gains Acceptance

At the February meeting, held at the Polk County Historical and Genealogy library in Bartow, Lake County, Florida, Chapter President, Alvie Davidson presented attendees with copies of the new APG logo and the new APG Florida logo. That new logo now adorns the top of this blog/newsletter.

Alvie and Jean Kelly passed along the news about the acceptance of our KGROW document by NGS, FGS, RPAC, and IAJGS. The indication is that Kathy Hinckley, Executive Director of APG is waiting for final approval by all APG Board members, following which the document will be published in a future issue of the APG Quarterly.

Following the business meeting ( see Minutes below), Jack Butler presented "Read all About it! Finding Kin in Early Newspapers."

Minutes of the 8 February Business Meeting:

The meeting was held at the Polk County Historical and Genealogical Library, Bartow, Florida. The business meeting began at 9:00 a.m.

The new Board was introduced. Officers present: Alvie Davidson, President; Jack Butler, Vice-President. Other members attending: Jean Kelley, Dick Robinson, Gene Bremer, Donna Moughty, Gladys Paulin. Joe Spann, Librarian of the Polk County Historical and Genealogical Library, attended as a guest.

The old minutes from 2007 were reviewed by Jean Kelley, including a review of the Board actions done via email for 2007. There were no Board meetings held in 2007, except for the annual meeting in November. The last Board meeting held, other than at the 2006 and 2007 annual meetings, was October 2006. Minutes of that meeting were approved by the Board via email vote on 1 November 2007.

Alvie Davidson handed out copies of the new APG logo and chapter logo designs and there was discussion of the new APG Florida logo.

The status of the KGROW document was reviewed. Alvie announced that the KGROW document has been approved by NGS, FGS, RPAC, and IAJGS. Kathy Hinckley, Executive Director of APG is waiting for final approval by all APG Board members. It will be published in a future issue of the APG Quarterly.

New Business: Alvie explained that because of budget cuts the Polk County Historical and Genealogical Library is in serious financial difficulty, and would like our help. He introduced Joe Spann, Librarian, to explain the situation which is as follows: The Library is a department of the Polk County, Florida government, and Joe and the other library employees are county employees. With recent tax cuts and the prospect of future tax decreases, the Board of Commissioners has ranked the library as "low priority." The Library's budget of $37,000 has been cut by $50,000, with the excess $13,000 coming out of the library's reserve. Joe is asking that APG Florida Chapter write a letter of support to the Chairman of the Polk County Commissioners, stating how important the library is to the professional genealogical community.

  • Joe gave the following facts about the library:
    With over 68,400 items, it is one of the largest regional research libraries on the eastern seaboard and the library collection is one of the strongest in the US for South Carolina research.
  • It has over 10,000 patrons per year, 20% Polk County residents, 80% from outside the county email correspondence is skyrocketing with the reasonable cost of obituaries, providing 2 to 3 per day.
  • It does not accept income directly for itself, all profits go into the Polk County general fund.
  • Joe Spann, head librarian has been there 17 yrs; there are 3 other full time staff, all with tenure over 10 years.
  • Alvie suggested APG FL write a letter of support as Joe requested, and those members present agreed. Jack Butler agreed to write the draft. Alvie will contact Ann Staley, Chapter Representative, to send it to APG HQ and PAC for approval before it is sent to the Commissioners.

Future meeting places and future programs were discussed:

Alvie announced that Yolanda Lifter has resigned as program chair, and he is filling that position at present. He stated he would like to have the next meeting on May 3rd at the State Library in Tallahassee, and Deanna Ramsey will be asked to give a technology presentation. Jack Butler will co-ordinate with the library, and Deanna.

Alvie then asked for suggestions for future meetings. Jean Kelley suggested that it could be beneficial if we could coordinate our meetings in conjunction with local genealogical society's conferences around the state. For example, the Tallahassee Genealogical Society is having Megan Smolenyak in for a conference on March 3. If it had been known ahead of time, we could have had today's meeting next month in Tallahassee. Donna Moughty began looking up state wide conferences on the internet to see what was already announced, little was yet posted on the FSGS website. Gladys suggested it was too much to have a meeting in Oct and the annual meeting in Nov. Jean suggested perhaps combining the August and October meetings into one in September. Donna mentioned this was when the Florida Genealogical Society (Tampa) has an annual conference.

Discussion ended.
Meeting ended.

The program portion of the meeting was held upstairs in the 2nd floor meeting room. Members present were: Alvie Davidson, Jack Butler, Gladys Paulin, Gene Bremer, Jean Kelley, Donna Moughty , Karen and Mitch Brown Dick Robinson. Guests were Juanita Friendenberg, Tampa; Doug Barnett and wife, Satellite Beach, and Joe Spann, Bartow.

Jack Butler gave a presentation titled "Read All About It" "Finding Kin in Early Newspapers.

After the program we had lunch together at Perkins restaurant.

7 January 2008

NEXT MEETING: Hear all about it

Jack Butler

You won’t “read all about it” here. Instead, you’ll have to come to our next meeting in Bartow on Feb. 2 to “hear all about it.” Vice President Jack Butler's presentation is “Read All About It! Finding Kin in Early Newspapers.”

The Saturday will start with our board meeting at 9 a.m., Jack’s talk at the general meeting at 10, followed by an option lunch with colleagues at a nearby restaurant. Members and guests are welcome to attend all three events. President Alvie Davidson asks members to bring ideas for programs and other chapter activities to the general meeting.

The board meeting and program will be held at the
Polk County Historical and Genealogical Library, 100 East Main Street, Bartow (Phone: 863- 534-4380). The Library promotes its genealogical and historical collections as one of the largest in the Southeast U.S. After lunch, you may want to do some research or looking around in the library. It is open until 5 p.m.

One of the little used sources in genealogy research is early American newspapers. "They not only tell us where our ancestors were born, married, and died, but also how they lived," said Butler.

Jack will tell us what we can find in the early newspapers and where to find the newspapers. As more old newspapers are digitized, they are much easier to search. He was selected to deliver a similar talk at the Florida State Genealogical Society annual conference in Orlando last November.

A former college instructor, Jack is publications coordinator and board member of the Tallahassee Genealogical Society and editor of its quarterly magazine, The Tallahassee Genealogist.

7 January 2008

Our president says: 'I want everyone to feel that our meetings are worthwhile'

By Alvie L. Davidson, CG

I first want to say that I deeply appreciate the membership electing me president of APG Florida. I promise I will do my very best to maintain the chapter as one of the best in APG and provide members with valuable networking and learning opportunities.

Everyone should try to attend our first meeting of the year on Feb. 2 at the Polk County Historical and Genealogical Library, 100 East Main Street, Bartow. Our new vice president, Jack Butler, will reprise his FSGS conference talk, “Read All About It.” This will give our members an opportunity to hear a very fine talk that they may have missed and to get to know Jack better. Bring any ideas you have for meetings or to improve our Chapter. Please see a previous article in this edition for more details on this meeting.

Secondly, I want to keep our meetings interesting so everyone will feel they were very worthwhile. I would also like to vary the locales of our meetings more. We have not had a meeting in Tallahassee, so I would like to have one there at the Florida State Library, possibly on 3 May. This might seem a bit far for some to travel, but we can arrange car pooling. What better way is there to network with colleagues, attend an informative meeting, and maybe do some research?

/ January 2008

Members hold annual meeting, Road Show consultations at FSGS conference in Orlando

Amy Giroux and Donna Moughty run our vendor booth while Dick Robinson and Yolanda Campbell Lifter (distant cousins) operate the desk at the Road Show
[Photos by Melody K. Porter (booth) and Ken Macomber (Road Show)]

You could find Chapter members everywhere at the Florida State Genealogical Society conference in Orlando last November. They were organizers, officers, speakers, attendees -- and even door prize donors. The Chapter also held its annual meeting during the conference and ran its APG Florida information booth.

But one of the most appreciated events was the Chapter's second annual Road Show, where 11 members helped attendees one-on-one with genealogical problems for free.

The four-hour show was another great success, according to its chairman, Ken Macomber, CG. He said the feedback was "extremely positive." All participants who completed feedback forms indicated they would like to attend the event again in the future. One person commented, "...this is a great thing to offer."
Members who provided advice were: Jack Butler; Pam Cooper; Alvie Davidson, CG; Sherril Erfurth; Amy Giroux, CG, CGL; Debbe Hagner, AG; Yolanda Campbell Lifter; Ken Macomber, CG; Donna M. Moughty; Gladys Friedman Paulin, CG; and Richard Robinson.

31 October 2007

Year's finale at FSGS conference

The last official gathering of the Chapter this year will be at the Florida State Genealogical Society (FSGS) conference in Orlando on 9-10 November.

We will hold our annual meeting, run our Ancestor Road Show consultation service, host a vendor booth, and champion four members who are conference speakers. Chapter Secretary Ann Mohr Osisek is president of FSGS and Chapter member C. Ann Staley, CG is the "retiring" conference chair. This is the biggest learning and networking Florida genealogical event of the year

The FSGS 31st Annual Genealogy Conference will be held at the Sheraton Orlando Downtown Hotel on beautiful Lake Ivanhoe (see links for details). Featured speakers are nationally-recognized experts Thomas H. Shawker, MD, who will speak on DNA in genealogy, and Patricia O'Brien Shawker, CG, who will talk on NARA records. Seven other speakers will present, including four Chapter members:

Osisek: "Out of the Census Into the Bookstacks: Using Library Resources Including State Archives" and "'Local Logic' -- Using Local and County Histories"

Alvie L. Davidson, CG: "Little Known Sources in the 20th Century" and "FLORIDA - The Original South"

Jack Butler: "Read All About It! Finding Kin in Early Newspapers" and "Finding Kin in the Territorial Records"

Donna M. Moughty: "Jumping the Pond: Finding the Origins of Your Immigrant Ancestor" and "Come Out, Come Out Wherever You Are! Hide and Seek on the Internet"

The Florida Chapter's annual meeting will be held at noon, Friday, 9 November. The agenda includes introductions, a short business meeting, and a few words from outgoing president Jean Kelley, CG. Visitors are welcome to attend. Pre-ordered lunches will be delivered to the meeting room. Details on the location of the meeting and ordering lunches will be posted/announced later.

1 November 2007

Helping solve "brickwall" problems

For the second year, Chapter members will help FSGS conference attendees solve their "brickwall" or other tough research problems.

The event, Ancestors Road Show, was very popular last year, serving 53 attendees.
Ken Macomber, CG, Road Show chair and Chapter vice president, says he could use more volunteers.

Consultants will assist three people an hour, each for 15 minutes. Macomber says the time was expanded to 15 minutes this year to allow for deeper consultations. Registration for the event will be Friday, Nov. 9 from 1:15-5 p.m. The consultations will be Saturday, Nov. 10 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The Chapter will also host a vendor booth at the conference. Contact Chair Alvie L. Davidson, CG, if you would like to help staff the booth.

31 October 2007

Election closes Oct. 31

Our officers standout from the crowd

Chapter members are now voting for a new president and vice president for the Chapter for 2008-2009. Ballots, mailed to all members, must be returned by Oct. 31 to Linda Perdue, elections co-chair with Jean Foster Kelley, CG.

Members running unopposed are Alvie L. Davidson, CG, Lakeland, for president; Jack Butler, Woodville, for vice president; and incumbent Amy Larner Giroux, CG, CGL, Orlando, for treasurer. A new Chapter representative to the parent organization will be appointed for the remaining year on the term of Davidson. Ann Mohr Osisek, Maitland, will complete her two-year term as secretary in 2008.

Biographical statements provided by the candidates follow:

President: Alvie L. Davidson, CG, Lakeland, Florida
Alvie L. Davidson, CG, retired from Naval Intelligence in the U.S. Naval Reserve after 22 years of service. Since then he has been a Florida state licensed private investigator, specializing in missing persons and genealogical applications of investigations. Alvie is a Certified Genealogist by the Board for Certification of Genealogists, Washington, DC. He is an alumni of the National Institute on Genealogical Research, Washington, DC (1998 & 2007); and the Institute of Genealogy & Historical Research, Samford University, Birmingham, Alabama (1999 and 2000). He is the founder (1981) and President Emeritus of the Imperial Polk Genealogical Society, Lakeland, Florida. Alvie currently serves as Chairman of the Polk County (FL) Historical Commission. Alvie is currently on the teaching alumni of Samford University’s IGHR classes each year. Alvie is author of “Florida Land - Records of the Tallahassee and Newnansville Federal Land Office 1826-1892” (Heritage Books, Bowie, MD 1988) and has published articles in The Genealogical Helper. He has lived most of his adult life in Central Florida, currently residing at 4825 North Galloway Road, Lakeland, Florida. Additional information can be found at Alvie is currently serving his third elected term on the Board of Directors of the Association of Professional Genealogists.

Vice President: Jack Butler, Woodville, Florida

Jack Butler is a former college instructor who is now a professional genealogist, lecturer, and writer. He is a member of APG, FSGS, ISFHWE, NGS, and NEHGS. He is a board member of his local Tallahassee Genealogical Society and is editor of its quarterly magazine. A frequent contributor to The Florida Genealogist, Jack is preparing his portfolio to submit to the Board for Certification of Genealogists.

Treasurer: Amy Larner Giroux, CG, CGL

Amy Larner Giroux, CG, CGL, is a professional genealogical researcher, lecturer and writer, specializing in New York City and the Lower Hudson Valley. She is an award-winning author with articles published in the National Genealogical Society Quarterly, the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society Record, the Association of Professional Genealogists Quarterly and other publications. Amy is a Trustee for BCG, faculty member of the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research, and treasurer of the Florida Chapter of APG. She is webmaster for BCG, APG, and the International Society for British Genealogy and Family History.

31October 2007

President's Column: My last…Already!

[EDITOR'S NOTE: Jean's two-year term as Chapter president comes to an end Dec. 31, 2007. On behalf of all Chapter members, thank you for your admirable service. She kept us organized and informed and initiated the KGROW project on identity theft and genealogy (see related article).]

Our chapter is gearing up for the second annual Ancestor Road Show. Last year was the premier, and it was very well received. We helped over 50 conference attendees discuss their “brick wall” problems with a professional. To make this year’s Road Show equally successful, we need more members to volunteer as consultants. Please contact Ken ( to volunteer.

In August I sent out emails asking for chapter members’ opinions on the new green logo design the national group was proposing. At the Board meeting in August, Ann Staley reported the response was resoundingly negative to the green design. Currently the issue is still under review, with no new information .

Our annual meeting will be Friday, November 9 at the FSGS conference in Orlando. Details are still pending. Watch the mailing list for updates.

Lastly, the chapter is holding elections for president, vice-president and treasurer through Oct. 31. I wish much success to the new board, a very accomplished group of professionals.

This will be my last President’s column. Thank you to all Chapter members for your support and help over the past two years. Best wishes to the new board.


31 October 2007

What's in it for me?

Our Chapter can help you...

prosper, and
grow in family history

Imagine yourself working as a professional genealogist... researching your own family or taking on clients for pay... getting paid for what you love to do... networking with colleagues... achieving your dreams!

Now, with the support of the Florida Chapter of APG, you can:

  • Grow and become more successful in genealogy researching, lecturing, writing or a related field

  • Advance your professional standing

  • Learn and develop skills

  • Achieve personal satisfaction

  • Get more job referrals and leads.

Chapter members enjoy:

  • Local and statewide meetings and programs

  • A quarterly online newsletter, The Sun

  • Online and printed membership directories

  • An e-mail list for news and networking.

Florida has some of the outstanding genealogists in the nation -- and they are members of the Florida Chapter. Envision yourself learning and sharing ideas with the masters....

31 October 2007

Dues are a bargain

Chapter Treasurer Amy Larner Giroux, CG, CGL, and Membership Chair Debbe A. Hagner, AG, are now collecting dues for 2008.

Member renewals are just $10. New members pay $20 for the first year only. Members who attend the FSGS conference in November started a tradition in 2005. They brought a check to pay the next year's dues. Be sure to bring one if you'll be at the conference in Orlando on Nov. 9-10 and give it to either Amy or Debbe. Don’t miss out associating with colleagues in the Sunshine State. Make out your check (payable to Florida Chapter of APG) right now.

30 October 2007

Genealogy groups applaud our position paper on identity theft

A Chapter-sponsored position paper (see THE SUN, JULY 2007) to gather support to keep genealogical records open is getting favorable comments from genealogical organizations that have informally reviewed it.

The paper, prepared by Keep Genealogical Records Open Workgroup (KGROW), has been reviewed by the major genealogical organizations. Based on suggestions, KGROW will revise the document and ask the organizations to formally support it.

Founding members of KGROW are Co-Chairs, Jean Foster Kelley, CG, Tampa, Florida, Richard F. Robinson, CG, Boynton Beach, Florida; and Information Officer Alvie L. Davison, CG, Lakeland, Florida; Melinde Lutz Sanborn, FASG, Derry, New Hampshire; and Frederick E. Moss, JD, LL.M., Plano, Texas.

Big annual networking roundtable 4 August

Genealogists love to network. Why? You can only learn so much from printed materials. So they grow and develop new skills by listening to tips and techniques from colleagues. Recognizing the value of sharing with others, the Chapter is again holding its Big Annual Networking Roundtable in Bartow, Florida on Saturday, 4 August.

The meeting promises to be chock full of ideas you can use to be a more effective researcher or break down brick wall problems, according to program chair Yolanda Campbell Lifter. She suggests that each member bring at least one item to tell the group.

The meeting will be held at 10 a.m., Saturday, 4 August 2007 at the Polk County Historical and Genealogical Library, 100 E. Main St., Bartow. It will be preceded by a Chapter board meeting at 8:30 a.m. and followed by an optional lunch at a nearby restaurant. Members and guests are welcome to attend all events. The library has one of the largest genealogical and historical collections in the Southeast, so you might want to fit in some research after lunch. The library normally closes at 5 p.m. But call ahead for any schedule changes at (863) 534-4380.

"Our roundtable discussions of professional issues, websites, resources, and other topics have been some of our most lively meetings with everyone participating," says Chapter president Jean Kelley, CG. Some of the tips given have been worth hours of driving to the meeting, other members have said.

Lifter suggest that you talk about tips, successes, and problems in areas such as conferences, classes, articles, books, databases, websites, research, organization, business, organizations, or goals. Or, she says tell us "How have you grown as a genealogist over the past year?"