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The Internet Archive (The Wayback Machine) volunteered in 2001 to archive what's on the web. Perhaps they didn't realize  how the web was going to grow. They now have archived 472 Billion pages and it has has archived the Pastfinders' web page 56 times since 2001, about a year after I started it. For a ride back in history, click here; and then use the arrows or boxes in the top right of each page to navigate forward or back. Links are live so click on whatever you want. Many images are not shown, so right click on a blank image to see if one is available. You can also click here to see our past regular meetings up to 2012.

Pastfinders provides free help sessions to aid you in your search. Sessions are held in the Genealogy Room at the Library. No appointment necessary.

Do you have trouble tracing your grandparents or great grandparents beyond where they lived? The questions you have to ask are “How did they get there?” and “What does the census tell me about
them?” Then, “Did they move from another state?” or “Were they from another country?”

You might be able to answer some of these questions but you need to work backward and keep asking the questions when you find the next generation.The migrations taken by our immigrant ancestors is interesting whether it was in 1620 or 1889. You need to start with what you know about where you first found your most recent ancestor who lived in Ohio, Kansas, Oregon, Texas, Illinois, or any of the mid-western, western, or southern states and trace them backwards through how they got there. This can be done by following known migration routes. Many of these routes began as Indiantrails, then mountain men, the quest for better farming land or gold. Eventually canals were built, railroads were built and the US government created the Homestead Act of 1862. New Englanders flocked to upstate NewYork and then to Ohio, Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin. Pennsylvanians moved into West Virginia and Kentucky or headed south on the King’s Highway to the Carolinas and Georgia. We have no scheduled help sessions from June to August but if you wish to talk with one of our docents about your family search, you may call Dotty at 352-242-9805 to schedule a meeting at Cooper Memorial Library.


 Special Notice
Pastfinders is now on Facebook. Thanks to member Anjanette Mercer
, Pastfinders now has a presence on Facebook. One account that is open to all can be used to publicize our events. It can be seen here A members only group page is available here:

Deaths in Clermont Area
1999 to 2013
Note: Some deaths in 2008 and 2009 are missing but may be found in the Obituary File at Cooper Memorial Library.

Books by Pastfinder Authors Updated October 26, 2004

Books in Special Collections



President, Esther Long; Vice president, Sandi O'Brien; Secretary, Rose D'Angelo;  Treasurer, Marlyse Lee;
Corresponding Secretary, Jody Close
Articles by Pastfinder Members

A journal of the life of Kneeland Munson, 1809 to 1897 written by his daughter, Delia and transcribed and indexed by Pastfinder member Sandra Oliver can be read here.

Regular Meetings
Computer Users' Group
Regular Meetings are held on the second Thursday of the month except for the months of June, July and August. We meet in the main conference room, Room 108 at the Cooper Memorial Library except in December when we meet at a restaurant. Subjects generally deal with history, genealogy, members experiences or other appropriate subject.

Last Regular Meeting

We were entertained by a group of Scottish Highland Dancers directed by Dr. Kathryn Austen of the Centre for Dance & the Performing Arts Studio in Oakland, fl. We saw solo dancers, pair and group dancing, all very well coordinated. Dress was the typical Scottish Plaid and very pretty. It was a very entertaining hour and well rceived by Pastfinders’ members and guests.

We then heard from Boy Scouts from troops, 20, 551, 784 ans 268 who have spent the last 6 weeks working to earn a genealogy badge. Presentations varied in content and manner of presentation. Some read about the family tree they had created, some had poster boards with the contents of what they had learned and there were on-screen computer presentations. Beside family tree presentations, there were details of records and what the records mean and how to use them.



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.

Last Meeting.
While Stanley Wells was away, the meeting on May 18, was split between Anjanette Mercer and Bob Dill. Unfortunately, only 2 members and 1 guest showed up.

Anjanette got Pastfinders on Facebook for which we are thankful and she showed us her skill as she took us on a tour through Facebook showing among many other things, looking for ancestors how she found relatives in Jamaica.

It's much too detailed to present here but her handout includes a page entitled How I Fell Into Social Media, Facebook Basics that you can get by clicking on it. It has links to 11 sites that will tell you everything you want to know. If that's not enough, go here to see Jackson State University's paper on Social Media Explained that Anjie handed out.

Bob started with a discussion of how serious Ransomware is becoming and he presented a list of places that have been attacked such as the House Information security site in Washington, DC and the Massachusetts Police Headquarters in Massachusetts. Going price now is $500 to get de-encrypted.

The handout explains what to do and how to do it.

It also covers Indexing your flash dives and SD cards and covers Cloud Printing where you can print from anything, anywhere on your home computer.

The handout can be obtained here

All  Previous   Meetings
Photo Template
Name Tmplate

Our member, Sandra Oliver has researched those interred in the Minneola Cemetery checking multiple records to learn all she can about them. See the results of her work, updated on June 8, 2015  here.

New Books

Pastfinders and the Library have purchased many new books and there have been donations by members, Click here to see the list of new books.



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.
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Last updated May 19, 2016