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Pastfinders Newsletter Archive

These are the Pastfinder Newsletters that have been published under the editorship of Jody Close. Copies of older newsletters are available in the Special Collections Room at the Cooper Memorial Library in Clermont, FL.

2010 Newsletters

Volume 22 Number 2
May is rolling in and our northern friends are starting to roll out. Many have become an enjoyable addition to our genealogy family and we will miss them and that funny little way they pronounce their words. When it comes to genealogy we have much more in common than thought, we just express it with a different accent.

Volume 22 Number 3
Stepping outside of our comfort zone in genealogy can be hard. We have developed our own way of researching and sometimes we do the same things over and over again hoping to come up with a new clue. Frustration can set in and we get discouraged.

Volume 22 Number 4
THIS HAS BEEN SO MUCH FUN! Serving as your president for the past four years has been a privilege and I thank you for your support. A special thanks goes to the officers who served with me during this time, Dottie, Cynthia and Pennie.

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2011 Newsletters

Volume 23 Number 1
The Historical Society, The Friends of the Library, the Kiwanis, the Garden Club, the Woman's Club, and many other Clermont organizations, have ongoing programs that are "giving back" to our community, and they have many avenues open to them to do so. As Pastfinders we have a singular focus, but we too can give back to the community.

Volume 23 Number 2
As we do our research, we begin to personalize our ancestors. We see them in their lives, we admire their decisions, we rejoice at their successes and we ache for them when they suffer. I saw a poem once that mentioned “footprints on my heart”.

Volume 23 Number 3
As we break for summer, I like to think that you are all using this time to make great strides in your genealogical research, taking trips back to your roots. We hope when you return to us in August you will bring new stories of your discoveries. Have a wonderful Summer.

Volume 23 Number 4
With summer going by quickly and responsibilities lurking in the near future, we hope you have been able to use some of your time fine tuning or reorganizing your folders of odd notes and old research papers. That is what I intended to do after we got back from our trip. We had a wonderful time visiting family in Massachusetts, especially spending time with the most recent generation, our 16 month old great granddaughter.

Volume 23 Number 5
Genealogy is not for the faint of heart. Looking into other people’s lives, even if they are your ancestors, can play with your emotions like no other hobby. People who play sports experience highs and lows, anger and exhilaration.

Volume 23 Number 6
December is such a wonderful month. People of every culture acknowledge the end of one year and the beginning of a new year in their own particular way. Our “way - back” ancestors celebrated at Stonehenge and Newgrange and Mt. Olympus. While we no longer worship the sun as they did, we do have our own cultural celebrations all over our planet

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2012 Newsletters

Volume 24 Number 1
The fact that I can plant a seed and it becomes a flower, share a bit of knowledge and it becomes another's, smile at someone and receive a smile in return, are to me continual spiritual exercises. Leo Buscaglia

What a wonderful way to look at our journey through our time on this earth. I have added it to the sayings (and cliches) that I have relied upon over the years.

Volume 24 Number 2
Motivation has to come from within. Sometimes it just comes to you out of nowhere. Other times it is triggered by some incident you have seen or been involved in that makes you want to accomplish something good. What was it that motivated you to get involved in genealogy?

Volume 24 Number 3
Some of my fondest memories of our genealogy research explorations revolve around our summer vacations. Camping in the hills and valleys of New England in the spring allowed us to visit the areas of our ancestors very easily. We so enjoyed riding along old lanes that must have been traveled by our many time great grandparents.

Volume 24 Number 4
A few weeks ago, Joan Gathings gave me a few old photographs taken a number of years ago in the old Cooper Memorial Building. One picture was of Bonnie Ray indicating our whole genealogy library collection. There is also a picture of a member at the very first computer purchased by Pastfinders.

Volume 24 Number 5
With the holidays, we all have so many things to do, starting with Thanksgiving, rushing through the Christmas/ Hanukkah season and ending with celebration of the New Year. Most of it revolves around family. Whether you are hosting a whole group or may even be having dinner out, it is a time for remembering past family gatherings.

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2013 Newsletters

Volume 25 Number 1
Pastfinders of South Lake County was conceived in February of 1989. It began when research was still in precomputer mode. To get anything done, research had to be conducted as it had been for over 100 years - physically traipsing around old cemeteries, looking for records in dusty court houses, or archives with sour looking clerks who didn’t want to be bothered by genealogy research.

Volume 25 Number 2
I wear two colors on St. Patrick’s Day - green and orange. I love that I have ancestors from Northern Ireland and what is known today as the Republic of Ireland. In our 2 visits to Ireland, we were able to absorb the histories of both cultures.

Volume 25 Number 3
As our snow birds begin their annual migration northward, I hope you are all looking forward to a pleasant summer and that your plans include at least some research. Even a few hours in a research facility or wandering around a cemetery will help keep the genealogical juices flowing.

Volume 25 Number 4
Thank you all for a wonderful Open House! It was a lot of work but it is always a pleasure to help other people develop an interest in our favorite pastime. While we didn't have the attendance we were hoping for, everyone that came was happy that they did. I noticed that traffic in the library was also rather slow.

Volume 25 Number 5
Change comes to us usually as an uninvited event. We are forced to confront these changes that must be addressed. We are not unique in this aspect of our lives. Our ancestors reacted to the changes in their lives by adopting a new set of rules, by moving on when there were no alternatives remaining against insurmountable circumstances and by adapting to all new situations confronting them.

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2014 Newsletters

Volume 26 Number 1
Green is such a beautiful color and it signifies so many things. It is the bright green of new leaves in Spring, the deep green of the May birthstone, the exuberance of the Irish heart, the color of money, and a feeling that all is right with the world. At least 2 of us will be experiencing the happiness of new life. Emalea Gravatt is welcoming a grandchild and Bob & I am awaiting the birth of our 4th great grandchild.

Volume 26 Number 2
Sum-sum-summertime and freedom, at least from some responsibilities. Plans are floating through my mind about what I am going to do. However, what I want to do and what I can do are 2 different things. I would love to do some intensive research in Delaware but that isn’t going to happen.

Volume 26 Number 3
One of our responsibilities as family historian is to explain to future generations what it has been like to live in the 20th and 21st centuries. Have you ever come across a diary written by an ancestor who lived in the 18th or 19th centuries and found it fascinating to read about life at that time?

Volume 26 Number 4

Is Pastfinders a wonderful group of people or what??? My heart if full of thank you's for everyone who participated in our annual open house. We had some "newbies" who came through with flying colors. We had our 3 & 4 year veterans who never waiver in their dedication to whatever the group has done and they get better every year.

Volume 26 Number 5
This is the time that one door closes and another door opens. Fortunately there are no locks on our closed doors. Those of us who have gone before are still very active in the workings and preservation of Pastfinders. We have built upon a good foundation and will continue to do so.

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2015 Newsletters

Volume 27 Number 1
We tend to make New Year Resolutions and end up not keeping true to our resolution. Why is that, I wonder? My genealogy has been packed in boxes and it’s time to dust them off. So for this year My resolution is to get back to researching my genealogy. What is yours?

Volume 27 Number 2
February is Black History Month and in March we have St. Patrick?s day. As I think about the rich tradition of African American oral histories, passed down from generation to generation under the most dreadful of circumstances, I am in awe and admiration. The Irish too were great story tellers and their troubled history meant those oral sagas were often the only link to their past.

Volume 27 Number 3
The summer is now upon us and we will be hitting the roads to visit friends and relatives or do genealogical research. I wish you all safe travels and great research discoveries with some great stories to tell upon your return. Happy hunting!

Volume 27 Number 4
Greetings to all ! Many members have taken research trips this summer. For those who are just starting out, do not forget your cemetery research. It is a good idea to contact the cemetery you want to visit beforehand. They will mark graves if asked and/or give you a map of where your ancestor is buried.

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2016 Newsletters

Volume 28 Number 1
During my childhood, I did not realize that we ate differently from others nor was I aware of some of the Polish traditions, they were just the way we did things. It wasn't until I started on my genealogy that I became aware of such things. Spring is almost here and some of our most characteristic traditions will be on parade.

Volume 28 Number 2
It is that time again, election year for the U.S and for the Pastfinders. It seems the same people keep volunteering, some are getting tired and some have to run their loved ones to doctors. It's time for some fresh faces volunteering as an officer or for a committee . When you get the call to fill a vacant office, please step up and volunteer.