St. Petersburg Times Online: Business

Weather | Sports | Forums | Comics | Classifieds | Calendar | Movies

Genealogy council is a boon to local rooters

© St. Petersburg Times
published July 24, 2003

The Pasco-Pinellas Genealogy Council is in full swing. Founded March 29 by the Pinellas Genealogy Society, the group wants to promote genealogy throughout the Pasco-Pinellas area, support activities of each member society, share ideas and resources, and sponsor seminars and other joint projects. Members include the Pinellas Genealogy Society, the Suncoast Genealogy Society, the West Pasco Genealogy Society, the Pasco Genealogy Society and the Jewish Genealogy Society of Tampa Bay.

Societies within the Pasco-Pinellas area are eligible for membership. Annual dues are $25. The next meeting is Aug. 30 in the conference room at the Largo Library.

Lesleigh Laite Butts, president of the Pinellas Genealogy Society, is the executive director of the Pasco-Pinellas Genealogy Council. E-mail her for details at or call 727 398-5378.

Volunteers will do lookups

Need a helping hand? Volunteers at the Genealogy Help List conduct free lookups at government entities near them or in books or other resources they own. Whether you're researching in this country or a foreign one, you might find a helping hand at Click on the pertinent state. Then choose a volunteer who does statewide research or one who concentrates on a particular county. Don't overwhelm them with requests.

Random acts of kindness

Thousands of volunteers at Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness conduct research in each state and in other countries for anyone who requests their help. Connect with them at The service is free. You will be asked to pay for duplicating fees and postage.

Ohio lookups

Got ancestors in Ohio? Robert Hoff has offered to do free lookups for people living in specific areas. He has has research material from Twinsburg, Ohio, from 1817-1917, including biographical sketches of 975 families who lived there during that period, and Arise Wild Land, a book published by the Wayne County Historical Society that focuses on Milton Township. Contact him via e-mail at

Indiana obituaries

You don't have to be from Indiana to take advantage of the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne. The facility offers a searchable obituary database that includes abstracts of obituaries published from 1841-1900 in Indiana. It also offers one-stop shopping for state and international genealogical contact information. Log on to and scroll to the bottom of the page. Click on Genealogy Gateway.

Choose a state or country.

Searchable databases in Illinois

It takes a bit of patience to get to the right spot, but once you do, you'll find a number of searchable databases sponsored by the Illinois State Archives.

Go to click on departments, then archives and finally genealogical research.

Once there, hit state and federal records. Choose from birth, death and marriage indexes. Or go to land transactions.

The site also gives helpful advice on researching in Illinois.

Take a look at this

Old photographs are posted at Consider contributing some.


If you have Mennonite or Amish roots, visit, where an index to 74,624 obituaries awaits. Sponsored by the Mennonite Church USA Historical Committee, the index applies to obituaries printed since 1864 in the Herald of Truth, Gospel Witness or the Gospel Herald. The decedents were primarily members of the main Mennonite or Amish religious groups. Other items include links to additional Mennonite genealogical sites.

Public and university libraries

Many people are surprised to learn that large public and university libraries maintain a good selection of genealogical material from other states. The Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library, for example, owns a huge collection of census records for states east of the Mississippi River, hundreds of books of compiled records and a small collection of city directories on microfilm.

- Read past Donna Murray Allen columns online at Write to Allen c/o Floridian, St. Petersburg Times, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731, or e-mail her at Her Web site:

© Copyright, St. Petersburg Times. All rights reserved.