Happy New Year!


Happy New Year and welcome to 2020! As we turn over the calendar, it’s time to take a brief pause after the rush of the holidays to look to the new year with optimism and anticipation. Will 2020 be the year you break through your own personal brick walls, start writing your family history, or entice your cousin, children or sibling to join the search? So as we focus ahead with clear 20/20 vision (I couldn’t help myself!), the FGS board is planning another year of meaningful programs to assist you in achieving your goals. We started 2020 with Donna Moughty’s presentation on immigration and in just a few weeks Drew Smith will discuss using AncestryDNA. The remainder of the year includes Thomas MacEntee, Maureen Taylor, Diahan Southard, Brianne Kirkland, and Crista Cowan. We are finalizing our seminar speaker, so check back to find out who it will be.

Speaking of goals, have your set your genealogical goals for the year? Did they include building your skills through an education plan? Did they include time to share your passions with your fellow genealogists and family historians? One of our goals is to expand our society’s engagements with new (and some old) programs. The Florida State Fair is coming up next month and we will soon be asking for volunteers to introduce fair-goers to the world of family history. Additionally, we are investigating new opportunities to better develop a sense of community within the society. As always, we solicit your feedback; feel free to leave a comment below or drop us a message using the form on the bottom of each website page.

As many of you may have heard, we are actively working with USF and the City of Tampa to help identify living descendants of those buried in the Zion Cemetery. Over the course of time, the Zion Cemetery was converted to housing and commercial property. The remains were supposed to be relocated, but were not. We are working together to bring closure to those descendants and correct this injustice. If you are willing to help, please contact our Volunteer Coordinator, Rosemarie Neville, at volunteer@fgstampa.org or sign up on our projects page.

Another effort is to begin sharing our knowledge, personal stories, and broader announcements via our blog and newsletter. We have a few writers who graciously volunteered to write articles for us, but we have room for you too. Initially, we are looking for articles on skill building, personal perspectives, family history writing, sources and records, DNA, ethnic or regional tips, and workflows and tools. Our initial goal is to publish 1 or 2 articles per month over time, but growing to more. Writing experience is helpful, but not required. We can assist anyone who is motivated to get started. Sign up on our projects page.

A new feature is coming to the website. We are going to start adding a periodic quiz to test your skills and knowledge or survey to gauge and share your experiences. We are looking for volunteers to help create these quizzes or surveys. How often we can release a new quiz or survey solely depends on the ability to generate the content. So please volunteer to help!

As you can see 2020 is going to be another exciting year full of quality speakers and presentations as well as new opportunities to grow and share your talents. We look forward to visiting with each of you at our meetings and events.


Your FGS Board

About Tammy Patascher

Tammy is the current President of the Florida Genealogical Society - Tampa. A member of the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG) and various other societies, she maintains a passion for discovering her family roots.

2 thoughts on “Happy New Year!”

  1. To promote a better sense of community, as mentioned above, maybe we could consider a quarterly casual pot luck lunch?
    Also, I’d be interested in participating in a forum or closed Facebook group where members can ask questions and offer tips to one another without the conversations being open to the general public.

    • I just joined FGS today. I’ve been a member of IPGS in Lakeland since 2013. I love the idea of a private Facebook group and also a quarterly group get together. I don’t know if I could make these get togethers due to my work schedule but think it’s a great idea! Hope to meet you all at a meeting soon.

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