Pastfinders of South Lake County
Genealogical Society

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Welcome to Pastfinders !

Welcome to the Pastfinders of South Lake County website.


We are located in the Gem of the Hills, Clermont, Florida The Cooper Memorial Library and the Genealogy Room is our base of operation with Monthly meetings, special help sessions, computer users meeting and other activities. Our goal is to help you find your roots, with weekly individual help sessions.

Pastfinders provides free help sessions to aid you in your search. Sessions are held in the Genealogy Room at the Library. No appointment necessary, see the Quick Look Calendar below for exact dates and times.

This Website is undergoing modifications and may not be 100% working correctly.

Pastfinders September Meeting is now history

Pastfinders and guests thoroughly enjoyed our guest speaker, Kathryn Knight, at our September meeting. She introduced us to the little known history of what is called "The Black Mayflower". She told us about her search and discovery of previously unknown facts about the children taken from their home in the Kingdom of Ndongo in Africa and put on a boat that was to take them to the silver mines in Mexico. The ship was captured by privateers and redirected to a small English settlement in Virginia near Jamestown. Ms. Knight's interest in this episode came about because she was researching her husband's genealogy. Through her search, she discovered that not only her husband was descended from one of the children but she was also a descendant. Through hard research and some serendipitous moments she has been able to correct some of the misinformation that had previously been published about the events. She is writing the story in 3 volumes as novels based on facts. She plans on another book in the future that will be more of a biography with all of the sources she used to find the true facts of this historical episode.

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Computers Users Group Meeting on September 21

The Computer Users' Group meets at 1 PM on the third Wednesday of the month in Room 221 at the Cooper Memorial Library. Our goal is to present information on using and maintaining computers, sites where genealogical information may be found and how to make the most of the marriage of computers and genealogical research. Since early August was the deadline for the Windows 10 FREE upgrade, it's time to review how to manuever through Windows 10. We will spend the first 45 minutes or so on Windows 10. If any attendee has not yet selected a Genealogy program, we will review a top ten list, looking at PROS and CONS. If not, we will move on to the basics of Family Tree Maker. If you are having issues/problems with Windows 10, your Genealogy Program, internet connectivity, please bring these issues to the meeting. We may not be able to answer it immediately, but we will find an answer.

Pastfinders Scanning Meeting on October 8
AND a Bonus: One-on-One Tutorials

Bring your photos, albums, documents to our Scanning meeting on an October Saturday Morning and we will scan your items and transfer them to a thumb drive that you bring with you. We have several scanners that will scan any flat item (so you do not need to remove items from an album or scrapbook). Many of us have old albums that now have permanent photos that can not be removed without being damaged. Well we can scan them. We will start at 9 AM on Saturday and finish at 12:30 PM, October 8 at the Cooper Memorial Library in the Genealogy Room on the 2nd floor. We may have to limit the number of items that we can scan for you depending on the size of the crowd.

We are also doing an introductory to computer genealogy research the same day and at the same times. Those interested should determine in advance what ancestor they would like to research and to write down all the information they have on that person. They will be helped to enter that information on an ancestral chart and then meet with a volunteer who will help them explore researching on the internet using, or any other sites that may be useful. We will be in the computer lab on the 2nd floor right next to the genealogy room.

Pastfinders October 13, 2016 Meeting

We are pleased to present author Mary L. Pan, a Clermont resident, as the speaker at our October meeting. Her topic will be her book Lily's Garden, a life journal of her mother who was born in Taiwan in 1915 and adopted by a wealthy family. When the family lost their fortune her life changed considerable. This is a very touching memoir of a different place and time. Ms Pan honors her mother with great feeling and compassion. Holder of a degree in zoology, Ms Pan has always felt a need to write. After her children were grown, she pursued her passion. She began writing in Chinese but has written Lily's Garden in English. It is delightful. Guests are welcome to join us for her presentation at 5 p.m.
Our general meeting is on Thursday, October 13, 2016. We meet in Community Room 108 in Cooper Memorial Library, 2525 Oakley Seaver Dr., Clermont from 5-7 p.m.

Pastfinders Holiday Dinner on December 8, 2016

The annual Pastfinders Holiday Dinner will be held on December 8, 2016 at the Sanctuary Ridge Golf Club Restaurant. The dinner cost is $15.99, Entrees choices are: Chicken Picatta, Lemon Dill Broiled Mahi Mahi, or NY Strip with caramelized onions. All are served with baked potato and green beans. The price includes beverage choice of lemonade, iced tea, or coffee.

For reservations, please contact Sandi O'Brien at

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Special Notices

Thanks to member Anjanette Mercer, Pastfinders now has a presence on Facebook.

There is the Facebook Public button that is open to all and can be used to publicize our events.

There is the Facebook Member button that is open to Pastfinder members only.

And a most special notice: Many thanks to Robert Dill for the 13 years that he served as the webmaster for Pastfinders. Thank You, Thank You, Thank You ! by RootsWeb

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To email the Webmaster, Stanley Wells, type the following address in your email program

Last updated 20 September 2016