November – The Howes One-Name Study

In January 2018, the St Augustine Genealogical Society heard Paul Howes explain what a One-Name Study is. On November 17, he’ll give us a presentation on his very own one-name study into the Howes surname. Come and listen to why Paul does it, how he does it, and how he manages and organizes it. He’ll explain how he works with and connects with people around the world, and how he thinks about his one-name study like a business with customers. He’ll also include some of his fascinating stories about people in his database. Find out how Paul’s management and research skills can help you with your own genealogy search.

Twelve years ago in New Jersey, Paul Howes’ younger son came home with a class problem: trace your family tree. The school gave access to’s US data – totally useless for an immigrant family! “Don’t worry son. I’ll help ….” said Paul. You know how the story begins.

Having found three separate lines of ancestors named Howes, Paul’s interest in the surname was triggered. He now has a One-Name Study into the Howes name, an online database of nearly 130,000 people in reconstructed family groups and a small team of researchers in five countries working on extending it (

An actuary by profession before retiring five years ago and moving to Florida, Paul Howes was a senior partner in a global consulting firm. He has lived in six countries, and worked in over fifty. Paul speaks Dutch, French and German with smatterings of other languages, including Mandarin Chinese and Welsh. From 2015-2018, Paul was Chairman of the Guild of One-Name Studies (, a global organization of 3,000 genealogists, most of whom have chosen a surname to study.

Paul will be speaking at RootsTech 2019. He has also spoken at “Who Do You Think You Are Live?”, past RootsTech conferences, NEHGS (New England Historic Genealogical Society) and numerous other locations on either side of the Atlantic. In his other lives, Paul is an executive coach and a keen yachtsman.

Join us on Saturday, November 17th, at the Southeast Branch Library located at 6670 US 1 South. St. Augustine Genealogical Society member meetings are open to the public at no charge. Check-in begins at 12:45pm and the meeting will be called to order at 1:00pm.

October – Family History Faire


October is Family History Month. The St. Augustine Genealogical Society is celebrating with a family history faire.

Members of the genealogical society will be showcasing their research, family heirlooms and artifacts. SAGS has also invited local-area authors who have written their own family history books, as well as local societies that can aid you in your research.  Noted Ormond Beach author, Meredith Wayne Price, who wrote “Gretel’s Cross” and other genealogy related authors will be displaying their books and artifacts.  Organizations, such as the Daughters of the American Revolution will also be on-hand to tell you about their organization and how to become a member.

Please join us to get ideas and tips on how to conduct your own family ancestry campaign.

September – A Personal DNA Case Study

The September meeting is scheduled for Saturday, September 15th, at the Southeast Branch Library. Margaret Nicholson is our speaker. She is presenting a personal case study on how DNA can help find one’s roots.

You’ve done genealogy for years—and years, painstakingly, driving here and there, searching through dusty courthouse records, and traipsing across cemeteries with a camera.  Now everyone is talking about the role DNA can lay in finding ancestors or locating distant, or close but missing, relatives. You spit in a little tube and send your kit to Your results are back, now what?

Using her experience as a case study, she will demonstrate the software features useful for identifying unknown relatives and explain how to use DNA matches to confirm a lineage in a family tree.  Her story involved a surprise father, so more time and effort was required to find her paternal relatives and build a family tree. But the process is essentially the same, even if you don’t receive a surprise with your DNA results.

Margaret M Nicholson came to St Augustine from Harrisburg, PA, fifteen years ago, a move prompted by the birth of her grandchild. Creating a family tree for Noah sparked Margaret’s interest in genealogy. She says, “He’s almost sixteen and ignores me if I utter the words, ‘first cousin once removed,’ but he will look at the ship manifest showing the arrival of his maternal great-grandfather from Italy.”

After taking the plunge into DNA testing and discovering an unexpected birth father, Margaret stopped work on her 80,000-word travel memoir to begin writing My Ancestry Story and How to Find Yours (working title). She has become proficient at using’s DNA results and family tree hints and enjoys sharing her expertise with others. Margaret hopes her book about solving her mystery will provide help for many others. If all goes as planned, the book will be available in September.

St. Augustine Genelogical Society member meetings are open to the public at no charge. Check-in begins at 12:45pm and the meeting is called to order at 1:00pm.

August – Summer Break


SummerTrip.pngThere will be no August member meeting. The society will meet again in September at the Southeast Branch Library. Even if you are taking advantage of the last few weeks before school begins, you can still stay in touch wherever you are. Our weekly Research Notes newsletter will be delivered to subscribed members each Monday. Members can always drop by our Facebook group to request help, share eureka moments or just chat.

We’ll see you all again in September!