The Villages Genealogical Society

Events of 2019

Speaker image banner
Some of the many local, regional and national speakers that we have provided for quality member education...
L-R: George Morgan, Ann Staley,  Alvie Davidson, Donna Moughty, Diahan Southard, Drew Smith & Kathy Stickney
We are often asked by new members, prospective new members and even by other genealogy societies about events and subject matter that we provide at our regular monthly meetings. Below is a list of activities for 2019.
Meeting Room Overview
September 19, 2019 General Meeting
Our September General Meeting was an encore presentation by Blaine Bettinger, PhD, JD, entitled "Introduction to DNA."  In today's presentation, we learned the fundamentals of DNA testing and was a "warm-up" for our February Annual Seminar. At our seminar, Mr. Bettinger will present 4 additional, more advance, DNA presentations to our attendees. Registration for the seminar has begun. Click on the link above for more information and a registration form.
The Webinar & Handout are online: "Members Only" > Webinar & Meetings
Meeting Room Overview
August 28, 2019 General Meeting
Vice-President Annette Burke Lyttle was out guest speaker for August 28th. She presented a very informative presentation titled: "Probate Records: Wills and a Whole Lot More."  Probate records can be some of the richest genealogical resources. Yes, they can contain wills, but often the best probate packets are for our ancestors who died without a will—or those who didn’t even have to die at all to make an appearance in a probate action. 
Depending on the state in which the probate court operates, the court may also be responsible for other kinds of proceedings, such as adoptions, guardianships—both of minor children and of adults who have been declared incompetent—and name changes.
The Handout is online: "Members Only" > Webinar & Meetings
June 2019
Our President & Vice President were our speakers for the June Monthly Meeting and they came prepared with lots of informative information during their presentations on "Four Free Resources for Improving Your Genealogy Skills."
The Four Resources are the FamilySearch Learning Center, The NGS Learning Center, YouTube and The VGS Website.
There were no handouts and the event was not recorded, however, their slides are available for download under:
"Members Only" > "Secure Downloads."
May 2019
Thomas MacEntee was our guest speaker, via live webinar, at our May general meeting.  His topic was "After You’re Gone: Future Proofing Your Genealogy Research."  A topic we all should be planning for now.
Tom said, "When it comes to your years of genealogy research and material, what plans have you made to ensure that it doesn’t die with you?  
Here’s some advice on creating a realistic plan to get your “genealogy affairs” in order so that the next generation of researchers can benefit from your years of hard work."
Handouts & Video recordings of this presentation is available in the "Members Only" section of our website.
April 2019
Speaker Image
April 17, 2019 General Meeting
Deborah A. Abbott, Ph.D. presented two presentations today at our April monthly seminar and afternoon workshop:  "Analyzing the United States Federal Census 1790-1940" and "Beginning Genealogy: Where Do I Start."  Dr. Abbott made learning about these two subjects very entertaining and enjoyable while being informative.  If you missed today's seminar, members will be able to see it under our members-only site on the VGS webpage.
Habdouts & Video recordings of both presentations are available in the "Members Only" section of our website.
March 2019
Officials with Presenter Image
March 27, 2019 General Meeting
Judy G. Russell, The Legal Genealogist, was our outstanding guest speaker at our March General Meeting.  Her topic was "Shootout at the Rhododendron Lodge: Reconstructing Life-Changing Events."  Judy went over the Who, What, When, Where, Why & How about this event and the process she used to reconstruct the event.  She discussed her research plan using the Genealogy Proof Standard and also the ethical considerations and constraints if any family members are still alive.
She also presented “Polls, Personality and Property- Using Tax Lists” in our afternoon workshop.
Video recordings of both presentations are available in the "Members Only" section of our website.
February 2019
Seminar Images
2019 Annual All-Day Seminar
David Rencher, Chief Genealogical Officer from FamilySearch, was a superb guest speaker at our 19th annual all-day seminar.  270 members listened intently during is four presentations that covered using all the features of FamilySearch, Tips & Tricks for their historical collections and various strategies for successful research.  Initial feedback from attendees was extremely positive with many anxious to go home and try some of his suggestions.
VGS Genealogy Cruise 2019
February 2nd to 9th, 2019
Aboard the Norwegian Cruise Line "EPIC" sailing from Port Canaveral, FL
Norwegian Epic
The Villages Genealogical Society sponsored on a “Genealogy Cruise” for our members and friends.
ANCHORS AWAY Travel Agency, here in The Villages, was in-charge of our cruise and cabin reservations.
January 2019
Animated Gig
2109 Family Tree Maker Conference
On a cold Thursday January 31, 2019, we had a wonderful visit from the folks at MacKiev Software, producers of Family Tree Maker 2017 Software.  Three - 3 hour sessions were full of eager members wanting to learn more about the software and other products that work along-side of Family Tree Maker.  Maureen Taylor, "the Photo Detective" was the keynote speaker.  Besides talking about different types of pictures that may be found of our ancestors, she talked about the photo darkroom that is part of Family Tree Maker 2017.  There were also presentations on using Family Tree Maker, using the Charting Companion 7 software and using the plug-in Family Book Creator. Many members left the conference with new software that was available for purchase at a discount.
Meeting Room Overview
January 2019 General Monthly Meeting
On Wednesday January 23, 2019, we had 325 members in attendance an another 50 tuning in via the internet. Today's guest speaker was Diahan Southard via a live webinar.  Here well received presentation was "3 Ways To Find Your Best DNA Matches"
  1. Mine Your Ethnicity Results For Clues
  2. Use The Genealogy Tools Provided
  3. Use The Shared Matches Tool
​She pointed out that your ethnicity results have three components: Reference Populations, Fancy Math, and Time.  That means that if a particular company doesn't have a good representation of the population you come from, they are going to have a difficult time providing a good result for you.
The Handout is now online and the Webinar will be available online soon. "Members Only" > "Webinar & Meetings"