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Genealogical Society of Sarasota Meetings:

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 Library      Parking Information

Meet for lunch with other Genealogists after the general meetings - Location of lunch will be announced at the meeting.



     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.

Meet for lunch with other Genealogists after the general meetings - Location of lunch will be announced at the meeting.

Selby Library Parking Information        Map for Selby Library



     SPEAKER: Ann Mohr Osisek
     PROGRAM:   "Dead Men (and Women) Do Talk”—Effective Cemetery Research

     DESCRIPTION:   A native of West Virginia, Ann has been a Central Florida resident for the past thirty-seven years and has served as Managing Instructor for the Genealogy Programs at the Disney Institute in Orlando, FL. She taught genealogy classes for the Orange County, FL Adult Education Program for nineteen years and was a computer lab genealogy instructor at the Seminole County, FL Community College. Ann has been a genealogical instructor in the Elderhostel Program in central Florida and teaches a week-long genealogy class at the John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, NC. Ann is a Past President of the Florida State Genealogical Society, a Past President of the Central Florida Genealogical Society. Ann has completed courses at Samford University’s Institute of Genealogy & Historical Research in Birmingham, AL and was a 1997 recipient of The Florida State Genealogical Society’s Outstanding Achievement Award in recognition of her contributions to the field of genealogical education. She has been published in the FGS Forum, the AP G Quarterly and numerous genealogical and historical society journals.



     SPEAKER:    Bryan Mulcahy
     PROGRAM:   Locating Female Ancestors

     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.


     SPEAKER: GSS Members
     PROGRAM:   "Genealogy Show & Tell"

     DESCRIPTION:   There will be an opportunity for interested members to share briefly some unique genealogy family treasures with other Society members. Ann Simmonds will do a reading from her children's book on the Fletcher family. Please contact Nancy Johnson ( if you would like to be a presenter.


GSS Board of Director Meetings:

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!
      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 following dates and times.
We will meet at the Fruitville Public Library. Map for Fruitville Library

      February 28, 2015, Saturday, 12:30 to 3:30        *** Note - Change in date and time - Saturday!!!!
      March 19, 2015, Thursday, 12 noon to 3:00
      April 16, 2015, Thursday, 12 noon to 3:00

If you have any questions, contact Marilyn Wethington

GSS DNA Special Interest Group:

A DNA Special Interest Group will start up this season!

Please note - As of Dec 29, 2914 the locations of the DNA SIG meetings were changed due to renovations at Gulf Gate Library.

Most meetings will be on a Tuesday evening at the Braden River Public Library in Manatee County at 4915 53rd Avenue East, Bradenton, Florida. Map for Braden River Public 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

       February 12, 2015,   Thurs. 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM,   Selby Public Library ***
       March 3, 2015,  Tues. 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM,   Braden River Public Library
       April 2015 - No Meeting
       May 5, 2015,   5:30 PM Braden River Public Library       

If you have any questions, contact Regina Negrycz

GSS Germanic Special Interest Group:

Everyone from beginners to experts are welcome!
Besides covering specific topics, there usually is plenty of time for questions and open discussion to help each other solve our genealogy problems.

Meetings will be held on the following Tuesdays at the Fruitville Public Library starting at 12:30 p.m.
Map for Fruitville Library

      February 17, 2015
      March 17, 2015
      April 21, 2015

If you have any questions, contact Karen Dwyer

GSS Republic of Ireland Special Interest Group:

The Irish SIG Group will be starting up again this season!

Meetings will be held on the 1st Saturday of the month. Most of the meetings will be at the Fruitville Public Library Meeting Room, 100 Coburn Road, Sarasota, FL 34240. Map for Fruitville Library

Note that the March meeting will be at the Braden River Public Library in Manatee County at 4915 53rd Avenue East, Bradenton, Florida. Map for Braden River Public Library

       February 7, 2015,  1:30 PM - 3:30 PM      Fruitville Library
       March 14, 2015,  3:00 PM                           Braden River Public Library, 4915 53rd Avenue East, Bradenton, FL
       April 4, 2015,  10:00 AM - 12 noon            Fruitville Library
       May 2, 2015,  12:00 PM - 2:00 PM             Fruitville Library

If you have any questions, contact Regina Negrycz

GSS Italian Special Interest Group:

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 Nancy Johnson

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 Fruitville Library

       February 5, 2015       First Thursday
       March 5, 2015
       April 2, 2015
       May 7, 2015

If you have any questions, contact Chuck Ford or Karen Dwyer

GSS United Kingdom Special Interest Group

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 of searching.

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 Fruitville Library

      27 January 2015
      24 February 2015

      31 March 2015

      28 April 2015

For questions, contact Susan Well or Jean Wallace

GSS Book Acquisition Committee:

Our Meetings held at Selby Library, upstairs in the Genealogy Section from 10:15am to 11:30am. Map for Selby Library

If you have any questions, contact Alex Morris

Genealogical Society of Sarasota, Inc.
P.O. Box 1917
Sarasota, FL   34230-1917

If you encounter any problems with this website, please email the WebMaster - Marilyn Wethington- no genealogy queries please.