Sunday, November 1, 2009

TCGS Meeting 11/17, Elmer Spear

From TCGS via Suzy Bromwell:
Elmer Spear, founder of Elmer’s Genealogy Library in Madison, Florida, will be the speaker at the Tuesday, November 17, Treasure Coast Genealogical Society meeting at 1:30 PM at the St. Lucie County Main Library in downtown Fort Pierce. Elmer’s Genealogy Library will merge with the Huxford Genealogical Library in Homerville, George in early 2010. It will be named the Folks Huxford and Elmer Spear Genealogical Library, will be managed by the Huxford Genealogical Society and will be located at City Municipal Complex in Homerville, GA. Website address is and telephone is 912-487-2310. Homerville is in southeast Clinch County, Georgia, between Waycross and Valdosta. After the merger, this new library will be the largest private genealogy library in southeastern United States. Elmer's is located in downtown Madison, FL, website address is; email to

All TCGS meetings are open to the public. TCGS volunteers are at the St. Lucie County Main Library in downtown Fort Pierce from 9 AM to 3 PM every Tuesday to help patrons with their genealogical research.

For more information, contact or or 772-467-1246.

NOTE: Not sponsored by the IRGS. This posting is provided as a courtesy to our members. Please check with the sponsoring organization for exact details and current information.

Friday, October 2, 2009


IRGS is now adding reCAPTCHA code to our Web site as a spam protection measure.

What is reCAPTCHA? You have probably encountered the process while using the Internet and probably didn't know the phrase. In simple terms, a CAPTCHA is a picture with a text box and you are asked to type the word or phrase you see into the text box before you are allowed to proceed. The idea is to add a challenge that a human can solve much better than a machine to stop the "bots" (roBOT code that scans the Internet looking for email addresses, places where spammers can insert a link, etc.)

This process has been around for a while and now someone came up with the great idea of having our interpretation actually accomplish something beyond just filtering man from machine. The reCAPTCHA program is using images from digitizing projects to get us to help with the transcription process. Currently, the project is digitizing old copies of the New York Times and certainly we know what that means to the genealogical community! Keep that in mind the next time you are fussing and fuming about having to decypher a blurry word - you might just be transcribing the key to breaking through one of your brick walls!

Of course that is a very simplified explanation and if you want to learn more, visit and see what the project is all about.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

IRGS Announces its Online Surname Registry

The Indian River Genealogical Society, Inc. announces the availability of its online Surname Registry to the general public. The registry contains over 550 entries of surnames being researched by members of the IRGS and is available to the general public at the Society's Web site:

The list may be browsed alphabetically or searched using your browser's search feature. Each entry has an associated link that leads to a query form that will be dispatched in private to the member associated with the entry. The method works for members who have email accounts and for our non-computing members.

With the wonderful facility at the Vero Beach Main Library, you can be sure the IRGS members have some well-researched information to share and we hope this facility will lead to some meaningful data exchanges.

Members of the IRGS may submit an additional 5 surname entries with their 2010 membership application and renewal time is here. New members joining in 2009 will automatically have their membership extended through Dec 2010 so don't delay, join today. See the IRGS Web site for membership information:

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Number 9, number 9 ...

More fun with dates; numerologists take note:

Coming up in a few short days is 09:09:09 09/09/09

BGS September meeting

BGS logo





9:30 A. M., Room 1

Central Brevard Library

308 Forrest Avenue

Cocoa, Florida

Visitors are welcome.

IRGS Fall program press release

Indian River Genealogical Society

P.O. Box 1850

Vero Beach, FL 32961


The Board of Directors of the Indian River Genealogical Society is happy to announce its schedule of programs for fall 2009.

September 16 – “How to do German Research”

October 13 – “Using Memorabilia, Artifacts and Heirlooms to Tell Your Family Story”

November 10 – “In Deed”, property records research

December 8 – “Compare Software”, for researching and storing genealogy information

All general meetings of the IRGS are free and open to the public. The society holds its general meetings at 9:30 AM in the large first floor meeting room of the Indian River County Main Library, 1600 21st Street, Vero Beach. With the exception of September’s meeting (that was scheduled to accommodate Labor Day weekend travelers), all general meetings are held on the second Tuesday of the month.

Visitors, whether novice or experienced researchers or just inquisitive about genealogy, are encouraged to attend meetings. Membership dues are $25 a year. For more information about IRGS, please check our website: It contains newsletters and announcements of upcoming events.

Since its founding in 1983, IRGS members have published two books: one listing the county’s cemeteries and the other, a local best seller, depicting Indian River County in vintage postcards. Each year the society hosts its Valentines Seminar featuring a noted genealogist and, throughout the year, members volunteer to help others with their families’ histories. Plus, the society provides numerous classes for beginning genealogy researchers. Please join us at a meeting soon!

Suzy Bromwell, Public Relations Chair

Thursday, August 20, 2009

IRGS Fact Sheet

A one page IRGS Fact Sheet has been added to our new About Us page on the Web site. Download and print a copy or two, keeping them handy for the next time someone asks you about our society. Bring along a membership form too and help us grow!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Nancy Sieck dedication ceremony, 9/13/09

To all,
The dedication ceremony to honor Nancy C. Sieck is scheduled for Sunday, 13 September 2009 at 4:30 P.M. in the Titusville Library. Naming of the Genealogy area as a memorial to Nancy and the display of her plaque will be part of the activities.
Additional information will be provided as obtained.
Patrick Bowers

Thursday, July 16, 2009

2009-10 programs and other Web site changes

Please visit the Web site to see the first cut at the program schedule for the 2009-10 meeting season. You will also notice that a new "About Us" page has been added, as well as a memorial page. Hopefully the slimmed-down front page will load a little faster for you now.

Also note that we have stopped mirroring all of the Web content at our old Rootsweb address. If you are still using the "flindigs" address, it is time to update your bookmarks!

I hope you are having a fun-filled summer of research.

Phil Wright, webmaster

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


Ponder this:

Just after midnight and just after noon on July 8, 2009 it will be ... 12:34:56 7/8/9

Happy Serial Day!

Monday, July 6, 2009

First Fall Meeting date shifted!

Hi everyone,

Our first fall meeting will be held on Wednesday, September 16, at 9:30 am in the large meeting room in the library. We hope to see you there. You will receive information later on about the program for that day.

Your IRGS Board

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Genealogy Game Show: May 12th

IRGS Membership Meeting
May 12, 2009
It’s Game Time Again!

By popular request, our May program will be another program of Genealogy
Jeopardy presented by Nancy and Tom Garvey. The audience will be divided
into three teams vying for genealogy related prizes. The three captains are
Marcia Eyberse, Maryellen McGarry and Tony Young. Marcia heads up the
Purple Team; Maryellen the Green Team and Tony, in his favorite team color,
will captain the Orange Team.

This time, the genealogy terms will be from many sources – legal, medical,
wills and occupations among others. Four possible answers will be presented.
While there is only one right answer, all four choices may look logical. These
are all words used by our ancestors but seldom found in today’s world. Many
have a very whimsical sound. All are a source of pure fun. We may learn a
little but mostly we’ll just have good competitive enjoyment.

After each quiz, the three captains will tally the number of correct answers for
their teams. Pete Kersey as The Master Scorekeeper will keep track of the
correct totals. The highest cumulative score determines the winning team.
Each member of the team with the highest number of winning answers will
receive a prize with special genealogy or historical remembrances. Look at
some of your old documents and even historical novels for clues! Come
prepared to win and have fun!

See our Web page at for details

Thursday, April 2, 2009

10 Genealogy Libraries to visit before you die

The Julian W. Lowenstein Archive Center & Genealogy Department at the Indian River County Main Library in Vero Beach, Florida ...

and, oh yeah, these other 9:

I didn't see the Godfrey Memorial Library listed ... what would you add to the list? Post a comment to let us know!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

George Branford Wilson, IRGS co-founder, passed away Mar 26th

Obituary, Press Journal, Wednesday, April 1, 2009

George Branford Wilson, 100, of Sebastian, Florida and former life long resident of Maryland, died Thursday, March 26th, while in rehab recovering from an earlier fall. Mr. Wilson was born in Hillsboro, Maryland the third and last child of George Lawrence and Louise Branford Wilson. He attended Washington College, Chestertown, Maryland and graduated from the Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore Maryland. Following his civilian retirement from the United States Army Chemical Corp Mr. Wilson developed an interest in genealogy, wrote and published several family histories and was a co-founder of the Indian River Florida Genealogical Society. He is survived by his sons: George Robert Wilson of Urbana, IL., John Bonifant Wilson and wife Anne (Brien) of Winston-Salem, NC, stepson Eric B. Larson and wife Ellen of Bethesda, Maryland and numerous grand and step grandchildren. Mr. Wilson’s ashes will be returned to Denton, Maryland for interment on June 15, 2009.

Local arrangements entrusted to Cox-Gifford-Seawinds Funeral Home and Crematory, Vero Beach, Fl. Condolences may be sent through

Friday, March 20, 2009

Michigan death records available

Research tidbit submitted by Marg Putzke, IRGS Member & Polish GIG leader

Million Record March

By Kris Rzepczynski, Library of Michigan | March 16, 2009

Introducing the Michigan Death Records Collection

Welcome to Seeking Michigan! As a partner in the site, The Library of Michigan is excited to make these Michigan death certificates for the years 1897 to 1920 freely available online. The years 1915 to 1920 are particularly significant, as a readily available statewide index did not exist previously.


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Polish GIG news from Marg

The Polish GIG will meet on Thursday, April 16th at 3:00 to discuss the latest and greatest technology aids. We will be implementing our very own Wiki to help us connect with our research friends.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Personal Ancestral File (PAF) Seminar

On Thursday, March 12, 2009 at 10:30 AM in the Large Meeting Room at the Library, we will present an overview of the popular genealogy software usually referred to as PAF. We'll show you how to enter your basic genealogy information and navigate around the program. PAF is the easiest, most user friendly but not the most comprehensive of the myriad of genealogy programs. Also, the price is right; it's FREE. Anyone who is working on their genealogy should use some genealogy program because it is a great assist in organizing your work, printing out standard genealogy forms and sharing your data with others. We'll cover multiple marriages, adoptions, linking pictures, citing sources, printing out a variety of forms and books, and backing up your data.

If you do not already have PAF on your computer, we strongly suggest you download it from; click on download PAF, provide your information, click on download English, and follow prompts. See you there!!!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

IRC Library collection now on

We have been waiting to tell the world what is in the Indian River County Main Library genealogy department. It has finally happened.

Due to a grant from the State of Florida, they have chosen several library collections in Florida to be added to which is really OCLC (Online Computer Library Catalog.) Due to the large expense, we never thought it would happen and is the reason why many small-town libraries are not included.

However, since only phase 1 of 3 phases has been completed, I would recommend using our ouline catalog at for a little while longer if you do not find what you want. I understand the whole process may be completed by the end of the month. is a wonderful tool and if you put in your zipcode, it will tell you the nearest library and how far it is from your home. It searches libraries from all over the world.

Try this example: Search for People of the Red Barns. Click on the title and you should see our library listed as number one and the next closest library is 128 miles away in Collier County. When you click on the library name, it will automatically take you to the catalog WITHIN the library and you can locate the call number.

Remember: our collection does NOT circulate. You have to come visit us, which makes us very happy!

Try it! I think you'll like it.

Pam Cooper, Supervisor of Archive Center and Genealogy Department
Indian River County Main Library, Vero Beach, Florida

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Keeping in touch...Facebook

Yes, Phil...they may say Facebook is for old foggies...but lots of genealogy goes on there past and present. I had lost touch with an online cousin and she found me on Facebook!! Not as good as your story and the IRGS members are gonna love it on Tuesday!! I am actually working on MY genealogy for a change the next few days and hope to get our family blog going!! Happy blogging everyone!

Why Facebook is for Old Fogies - TIME Magazine article

The article uses humor but in fact Facebook is a boon to reconnecting families, especially across generations and distances - I can personally attest to that! You may also find that distant cousin who just happens to be researching the family tree and has breached your brick wall or knows who those people in that photograph you have.

Click the post's title to read the article or use this link:,9171,1879169,00.html

Ontario GIG Update

The Ontario GIG (Genealogy Interest Group) sends the following calendar update:

Our Ontario GIG met today [3/3]. We had a great time, but we learned most of us are "snowbirds" so there will be NO Ontario GIG meeting in April or May. If we convene in the fall I will let you know in advance so you can publicize our meetings.

Thank you, Janice Sly

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Robert F Hutton, past GSSB president passed away

The Genealogical Society of South Brevard notes the passing of Robert F Hutton, a past president and contributing member. Visit to read Robert's obituary. The memorial service will be April 4th.

Monday, March 2, 2009

BGS announces their April program


Peter Brandish will present the program
“Finding Books on the Internet:
Paper Electronic”

Monday, April 13, 2009

9:30 a.m.

Central Brevard Library
308 Forrest Avenue
Cocoa, Florida

Visitors are welcome.

March 2009 newsletter now available online

The March 2009 IRGS newsletter is now available at the Society's Web site.

GSNB announces program schedule

Received from Patrick Bowers regarding the upcoming meetings for the Genealogical Society of North Brevard.

To all,

FYI - GSNB's 2009 program schedule to date. Due to scheduling conflicts, Tracy White's program is now scheduled for June and Michael Boonstra's program is now scheduled for May.

Mar 3 Johnna Meek "Creating Family History DVDs"

Apr 7 John Whitney "Family History Center Resources"

May 5 Michael Boonstra "Historical Homes of Rockledge, FL"

Jun 2 Tracy White "Florida Civil War History"

Jul 7 summer break

Aug 4 summer break

Sep 1 TBD



For more information, visit GSNB's Web site, linked on our links page at

Sunday, March 1, 2009

You may now add emergency contacts to your drivers license record

Forwarded to me by Suzy Bromwell.
This was checked out with the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles....It's legit......

You can go online and enter two (2) emergency contacts into your Florida Driver's License record. This information can only be retrieved by a police officer.

This came about as a result of one woman's teenage daughter being severely injured in a car accident and it taking over five hours for authorities to locate the mother to inform her.

This way, if you are in an accident, the police/sheriff's deputy can run your driver's license and have your emergency contact info ASAP.

Access to this opportunity is through the DHSMV website:

The link asks for your Florida Driver's License Number and then your birth date information for security verification. Notice the Secure Assurance seal.

Please consider forwarding this notice to family and friends in Florida. It's a vital link to your loved ones just in case anything happens.

I did this and advise you to do so as well. And I sincerely hope it will not be needed!

I too have verified this and it works but as always, be sure to follow safe computing guidelines.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Welcome to the IRGS Members Blog

Welcome to the Members Blog created for the membership of the Indian River Genealogical Society, Inc. of Vero Beach, Florida.

The Indian River Genealogical Society, Inc., is a Section 501 (C)(3) non-profit corporation, chartered by the State of Florida.

Our Mailing address is: PO Box 1850, Vero Beach, FL 32961-1850

Address your questions or comments to

Stay tuned for details.