General Member Meetings: Meetings are on the 2nd Saturday morning of the each month, October through May.
Social time begins at 10:00 AM. The Meeting follows at 10:30 AM and concludes by 12:00 noon.
Library doors open at 10:00 AM.
For the lastest up-to-date information about GSS activities, check back here on our
Calendar of Events page!
Information about General Member Meetings is currently provided by the GSS President.
Meetings are at the Selby Public Library, 1331 First Street, Geldbart Auditorium, 1st
(main) floor, downtown Sarasota, 34236. Map for Selby LibraryParking Information
Meet for lunch with other Genealogists after the general meetings -
Location of lunch will be announced at the meeting.
The Genealogical Society of Sarasota is celebrating its 35th anniversary this year.
In place of our regularly scheduled monthly meeting in November, our
Board of Directors will celebrate this milestone with our membership and
key staff from The Selby and Venice Libraries at a luncheon on Saturday,
November 8, 2014, at The Selby Library auditorium at 11:30 a.m.. This is
a members-only event because we are using some of the Society funds to
help to subsidize the event. We encourage everyone to pay their dues so
that they can join the party! GSS Membership Application
Jean Wallace will serve as the Emcee at the event. If you have a funny genealogy
research experience and are willing to share it in a couple of minutes
at the celebration, please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lunch will be catered for the event. There will be door prizes,
remembrances from times past, recognition of some long-term volunteers,
and a great chance to get to know other members who share your passion.
You may use the link above to download a Reservation Form to print and send
it with your check. We have received several wonderful door prizes: a
subscription to genealogybank.com ($69.95 value), 2 Mocavo Gold
subscriptions ($80 value/sub), a Roots Magic 6 software program ($30
value), 2 subscriptions to MyHeritage, etc.
We ask that you cover the cost of your lunch ($15/member); the Society
will cover other expenses. All reservations and checks must be received
by Monday, October 20th, please. This is a reservations-only event due
to our use of a caterer. We cannot accept walk-ins on the day of the
If you have a genealogy book that you would like to donate to The Selby
Library or Venice library collections, please bring it/them to the
We look forward to seeing all members who are in town on the 8th of
SPEAKER: Drew Smith PROGRAM: Social Networking for Genealogical Researchers
DESCRIPTION: New technology tools provide exciting new ways to connect with other researchers. From blogs to wikis, Flickr to YouTube, social bookmarking to LibraryThing, and Facebook to Twitter, this
presentation will provide a grand tour of many different categories of social networking tools that can add power and fun to research.
Drew Smith is an Assistant Librarian with the USF Tampa Library. He is President of the Florida Genealogical Society of Tampa, and has previously served on the boards of the Federation of Genealogical Societies, the Association of Professional Genealogists, and the Florida State Genealogical Society. Drew is the co-host of The Genealogy Guys Podcast and together with George G. Morgan has produced over 260 one-hour episodes. He is the author of the book Social Networking for Genealogists, published in 2009 by Genealogical Publishing Company, and with George is co-author of the book Advanced Genealogy Research Techniques, published in 2013 by McGraw-Hill. Drew has written extensively for NGS NewsMagazine (now NGS Magazine), Genealogical Computing, and Digital Genealogist.
SPEAKER: Kim Garvey PROGRAM: "Baa Baa Black Sheep" will be a talk on non-paternal events and other family scandals.
DESCRIPTION: Kim Garvey is a historian and librarian. Her areas of genealogy expertise include US History and Historical Methodology as they apply to genealogy; genealogy technology; Irish, Jewish, African and Hispanic ethnic research; and research on cemeteries, funerals and death in society. She is a recipient of the 2009 Richard S. Lackey Scholar of the National Institute of Genealogical Research.
SPEAKER: Gary Smith PROGRAM: Punching Through That Brickwall
DESCRIPTION: So you’ve hit a brick wall in your research.
What to do to punch through?
We will discuss how to analyze the problem by answering these questions:
What have we found?
Where have we looked?
What assumptions have we made?
What is still missing?
Then, we’ll plan strategies for where to go next to find those missing pieces.
Gary M. Smith is Second Vice President and National Conference Coordinator of ISFHWE (International Society of
Family History Writers and Editors), President of the Genealogical Speakers Guild (GSG), and Founding Member of
Great Lakes Chapter of APG. He was also a lay volunteer at the Westlake Family History Center for more than twenty
years and speaks and writes for various organizations across the US and at sea, primarily regarding research
methodology and Internet subjects. He has been researching and speaking in family history for more than 20 years.
He has written for print and online publications including APG Quarterly, NGS Magazine, Genealogical Computing,
Digital Genealogist, and others. After concluding a career in teaching and marketing, he now dedicates his time to genealogy.
DESCRIPTION: Female ancestors have always presented research challenges for genealogists. One of the biggest problems involves the custom in many western cultures of adopting the last name of their husband. Researchers looking for female ancestors must take the time to learn the social norms unique to the culture or area and time period of study. This challenge is further complicated by the fact that until the latter part of the 20th century, women did not enjoy the same legal rights as men, especially when it came to land and personal property, civil rights, and inheritances. Hence, women tend to be listed less often than their male counterparts in genealogical records. Consequently, the number of records mentioning women dwindles as a family history is researched into earlier and earlier time periods. Once the researcher determines the time period and locality of residence for the female ancestor, they must become familiar with the common legal practices, especially those dealing with women’s rights and inheritances. Each state often had their own statutes governing the status of women which can further complicate the issues. This session will provide attendees with a variety of proven strategies and research options for overcoming these challenges.
Bryan Mulcahy has his MS in Library/Information Science and is currently the Reference Librarian for Lee County Library System and a part-time Reference Librarian for Hodges University (formerly International College) in Fort Myers. He also worked at the SW Georgia Regional library in Bainbridge, Georgia from 1984-1988; Ellen Payne Odom Genealogy Library in Moultrie, Georgia from 1988-1990; as well as the Florida State University Law Library from 1982-1984. Bryan is very active in genealogy research and has spoken at regional genealogy societies on a variety of subjects. He is most generous in sharing his research strategies and hand-outs with area society members.
Board meetings are held on the following Mondays at 10:15 a.m. in the second floor Selby
Library Conference Room.
For the 2014 - 2015 Season:
Note that the day of the week has been changed to Monday!
November 3, 2014
December 1, 2014
January 5, 2015
February 2, 2015
March 2, 2015
April 6, 2015
May 4, 2015
GSS Computer Special Interest Group:
Computers, the Internet, and other technology sure are useful tools for genealogical research!
We all have different experiences, use different technologies, and have different levels of knowledge.
There is always something new to learn and share! We welcome all genealogists with any level of experience!
Besides presentations, classes, question & answer times, show and tell, we may also do projects.
You can bring your own computers if you like.
Please contact Marilyn if you have any ideas for topics to cover.
The Computer SIG meetings will be held on the Thursday following the general meetings.
We will meet at the Fruitville Public Library starting at 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm.
Map for Fruitville Library
October 16, 2014
Note: This meeting is from 12:00 noon to 2:45 pm
November 13, 2014
January 15, 2015
March 19, 2015
April 16, 2015
A DNA Special Interest Group will start up this season!
Most meetings will on a Tuesday evening at
Gulf Gate Public Library, 8201 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34238
(inside Westfield Sarasota Square near JCPenney). Map for Gulf Gate Library
Note, that in February the meeting will be on Thursday evening at Selby Library, Gelbart Auditorium, 1331 First St.,
Sarasota, FL 34236 (downtown Sarasota).
Map for Selby Library
January 6, 2015, Tues. 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM, Gulf Gate Public Library
February 12, 2015, Thurs. 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM, Selby Public Library ***
March 3, 2015, Tues. 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM, Gulf Gate Public Library
April 7, 2015, Tues. 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM, Gulf Gate Public Library
May 5, 2015, 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM, Gulf Gate Public Library
We are seeking a volunteer to lead this SIG.
If you are knowledgeable on Italian genealogy and would like to help others find their Italian
roots, please contact
GSS New England Special Interest Group:
This new SIG will begin meeting in the fall to explore the numerous resources available for research in New England.
The New England SIG will meet the First Thursday of the month (except for January -2nd Thurs.), 1:00 - 2:30 PM.
We will meet at the Sarasota County Fruitville Library, 100 Coburn Road Sarasota, FL 34240. Map for
October 2, 2014
November 6, 2014
December 4, 2015
January 8, 2015
Note: Second Thursday
February 5, 2015
March 5, 2015
April 2, 2015
May 7, 2015
For researchers with ancestors in England, Scotland, Wales, and
Northern Ireland, learn new techniques and new websites. Then,
share your queries and triumphs with a group of genealogists at all stages
Meetings are held at the Fruitville Library, 100 Coburn Road Sarasota, FL 34240, on Tuesdays
from 10:15 a.m - 11:45 a.m. Map for
2 December 2014
27 January 2015
24 February 2015
31 March 2015
28 April 2015