May – Everyday Life of Our Ancestors


We are delighted to welcome Ann Staley to our May meeting. She is an instructor, consultant, trip leader and a lecturer at local, state and national conferences. In her spare time she serves as the Education Chairman and Webmaster for the Jacksonville Genealogical Society, Inc.; is the Secretary of the Genealogical Speakers Guild; a trustee of the Florida State Genealogical Society; on the faculty of The National Institute for Genealogical Studies; and has been an associate of the Board for Certification of Genealogists since 2000.

Raised in Mobile, AL, Ann has been researching her family since 1980 from Alabama, Mississippi, and Virginia to France, England, and Germany.

Ann will be presenting The Everyday Life of Our Ancestors . . .

We sometimes forget that our ancestors had flesh & bones & stories to tell. Our ancestors led lives, just like us – only different. Using our life as an example, how can we parallel it to theirs? They ate and drank, married and had families, dressed, had trades and occupations, practiced a religion, dabbled in the arts and sciences, participated in politics and economics, etc. Placing our ancestors into their historical context & adding the personal details takes time, but it can be done.

  • Placing our ancestor in a timeline.
  • Finding Historical Context
  • Homelife, Weather and the Farmer’s Almanac
  • Ancestral Photographs, Postcards, etc
  • What Did Your Ancestor Wear?
  • Court Records
  • Occupations
  • Events of the day and the times
  • And much more.

Join us on Saturday, May 20th, at the Southeast Branch Library located at 6670 US 1 South, St. Augustine, FL 32086. Check-in begins at 12:45pm and the meeting starts at 1:oopm. Society meetings are free and open to the public.

April Member Meeting

Picture This - Family Photos

Our next meeting is scheduled for Saturday, April 15th. We are delighted to have Lori Miranda presenting Picture This: Family Photos and Other Piles, and What I’ve Learned. Lori lives in Fernandina Beach where she is an architect and partner with her husband in their architectural firm. She is also a board member with the Amelia Island Genealogical Society and and a well-known speaker in this area.

A genealogist may run into several different types of photo collections during research, each with its own set of pros and cons.  “Picture This” is an introduction to the issues of which family historians should be aware when coming across such images.  The presentation will include an outline of the history of photography, different types of photographs, dating photos, analyzing images for clues, caring for these objects, and strategies to “make it rain.”  In addition, today’s technology can be a boon to sharing images and teasing out details of ancestors’ lives, but it can come at a cost to future generations.  Having exposure to the various ways of dealing with family collections can help the genealogist make appropriate decisions for how to process a stash.

Our April short course will begin after the speaker’s Q&A and a short break. This month’s subject is Automating Your Searches With Google Alerts. Learn how to create and save a search which Google will then run repeatedly on a schedule you determine. When results are discovered, Google will automatically notify you.

Join us on Saturday, April 15th, at the Southeast Branch Library located at 6670 US 1 South, St. Augustine, FL 32086. Check-in begins at 12:45pm and the meeting starts at 1:oopm. Society meetings are free and open to the public.

February – Land Records

Researching Land Records

We are delighted to have Jim Vearil with us for our February meeting. His program looks at how to use land records as part of your research. His presentation will explain why land records are useful and discuss the various types of land records – individual, state and public. He will also provide information on using surveys and maps.

Jim has worked for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers since 1974. He has a B.S.E. in Environmental Engineering and a M.E. in Environmental Engineering with a minor in Civil Engineering from the University of Florida. He took graduate courses in  History  at the University of North Florida (UNF) and is now enrolled in the UNF Senior Citizen Fee Waiver  Learning for a Lifetime Program. Jim is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), the engineering honor society Tau Beta Pi, the Army Engineer Association, Florida Historical Society (FHS), Jacksonville Historical Society (JHS), Florida State Genealogical Society (FSGS), Southern Genealogical Exchange Society (SGES), and Micanopy Historical Society.

Our meetings have moved back to the 1:00pm time slot and are now held on the third Saturday instead of the second. Society meetings are free and open to the public. They are held at the Southeast Branch Library located at 6670 US 1 South, St. Augustine, FL 32086.

North Florida Genealogy Conference

Registration is now open for the North Florida Genealogy Conference. You can register online or by mail. Cost of the conference is $25/person which includes a delicious box lunch. Visit the Conference Schedule page to select the sessions you want to attend. Submit your registration early to insure you get the sessions you want. SAGS members Paul Howes and Denise Olson are among the many presenters. You can also sign up to receive email updates about the conference. Stop by the conference site for the latest news and information.