20 March 2021

Membership virtual show and tell. Since we can’t all get together and socialize, here’s your chance to share and tell us about your family! We have done this in past years in person, and it has been a lot of fun!

You can share any of the following:

  • Artifacts
  • Favorite finds
  • Heirlooms
  • Traditions
  • Family Secrets
  • Family Stories 

This will be a Zoom event open to all members to show or tell your genealogy related story.  There are a few requirements to participate (anyone can watch)

  • You must have a computer with a camera and reliable internet service
  • You must sign up in advance
  • Time is limited to 3 – 5 minutes
  • You may show photos and documents from your computer as long as you have tested it in advance.
  • Participants must attend a test meeting (date to be announced)  prior to the actual meeting so we can be sure that all technology is working properly.

To sign up, email:  [email protected]

Give your name, topic, and approximate time of your presentation ( 3 – 5 minutes)

20 February 2021


Brief Description: JGS recently received an interesting research request to look into the life and relationships of a young woman born in Jacksonville in 1899. The person requesting the research is a descendant of the son of the young woman in question. The son was born in Jacksonville, but after the death of his mother was adopted in California. The research takes us on a journey from Jacksonville to Atlanta, Alaska, and California. It is an interesting story because there are many sources of information AND many voids in the document trail. Along the way we find dead ends, supposition, and family stories — but also many important events for which we find solid evidence of steps in the life of this young woman and her son. Ultimately, we are left with as many questions as answers, but also with a sense of the lives of the people involved and the many interesting twists and turns they experience. After the presentation Society members are invited to suggest other steps we might take to find answers to our questions.

Speaker Bio: Joel Warner has been interested in genealogy from a young age. He still has a pedigree chart which he copied from his grandmother’s research at the age of 8, written in his third-grade penmanship. He spends much of his research time helping others get started in family history. He also likes to collect stories of those “coincidences” many genealogists experience when information comes together in the most unlikely circumstances. Joel and his wife Alzina are members of the Jacksonville Genealogy Society, The Southern Genealogist’s Exchange Society, and the planning committee of the North Florida Genealogy Conference. Alzina is a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution and the Daughters of the American Colonists.

21 November 2020

Speaker: C. Ann Staley, CG, CGL

Topic: Slave Narratives: Telling the Story of Slavery and Families

           — Virtual Meeting —
Please register for the presentation at
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Brief Description: The WPA Federal Writers’ Project (FWP) of the late 1930s provides us with more than 2,300 first-person accounts of former slaves. This collection provides autobiographical experiences of the slavery institution. But how can we use this rich resource? Can they be relied upon? The slave narratives, with their autobiographical accounts, can provide insight into the institution, and rich context and clues for family research.

Speaker Bio: Ann is an educator and consultant. Her specialties are Methodology, Research Sources, Computer Resources, Vital Records and their Sources, and Conference Planning. She is the author of several articles for the NGS Magazine and the co-author of the NGS Research in the States Series-Florida.

17 October 2020

Speaker: Michael John Neill

Topic: What it Does Not Say

Brief Description: Many times, a record only scratches the surface of what was going on when that record was created. This lecture looks at why a record was created and how state statute, common practice, economic situations, family issues, and other factors may be the “real story” behind any document. Also discusses how to determine (when possible) what those “unwritten” issues were.

Speaker Bio: Michael John Neill has been researching his genealogy since the early 1980s. His roots lie in most US states east of the Mississippi, as well as the Midwest, and includes Mayflower immigrants and more recent arrivals. He has written on genealogical topics since the late 1980s and has lectured nationally at a wide variety of local, regional, and national conferences and workshops. He maintains five blogs including Genealogy Tip of the Day, Genealogy Search Tip, and Casefile Clues. Michael leads annual research trips to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City and the Allen County Public Library in Ft. Wayne, Indiana. He is a community college mathematics instructor with a master’s degree in mathematics.

19 September 2020

Speaker: Judy Fambrough-Billingsley

Topic: “Researching, Writing and Publishing Your Family Legacy”

Description: Judy shares her experience searching for her roots. She will share what she has learned about leveraging resources when researching your family tree, whether found on the Internet or offline, and how to verify the information you discover. Participants interested in writing their own biography or family history will receive plenty of ideas to help them create their own unique story in a way that they will be proud to share it. Judy will also offer helpful publishing and marketing tips when choosing to make it public. The discussion will also cover how to prepare yourself emotionally for what you might unexpectedly discover while doing your research.

Bio: Judy was born in Germany shortly after the end of World War II and is the daughter of an African-American soldier and a German woman.  She was placed in an orphanage in Germany before being adopted by an American Couple.  Judy is the author of the book “Too Brown to Keep: A search for Love, Forgiveness, and Healing.”

15 August 2020

Speaker: Thomas MacEntee

Topic: Internet Archive: A Gold Mine for Genealogists

Place: Online 1:30 p.m. (EDT)

Brief Description: The Internet Archive (http://www.archive.org) is a free, on-line repository rich with genealogy source documents including census images and e-books. Learn how to navigate the Internet Archive and leverage the best search strategies to download a variety of materials including archived web pages, e-books, video, audio and more. 

Speaker Bio: 

What happens when a “tech guy” with a love for history gets laid off during The Great Recession of 2008? You get Thomas MacEntee, a genealogy professional based in the United States who is also a blogger, educator, author, social media connector, online community builder and more. Thomas has over 42 years of experience researching family history

Thomas was laid off after a 25-year career in the information technology field, so he started his own genealogy-related business called High Definition Genealogy. Currently Thomas shares many of his articles and videos for free at Genealogy Bargains.com!

Thomas describes himself as a lifelong learner with a background in a multitude of topics who has finally figured out what he does best: teach, inspire, instigate, and serve as a curator and go-to-guy for concept nurturing and inspiration. Thomas is a big believer in success, and that we all succeed when we help each other find success.

Please register for Internet Archive: A Gold Mine for Genealogists on Aug 15, 2020 1:30 PM EDT at:


After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. 

20 June 2020

Speaker: Daniel Horowitz

Topic: MyHeritage’s Unique Technologies

Place: Online 1:30 p.m. (EDT)

Brief Description: An advance review of new features and technologies on MyHeritage, the online family history service. Take full advantage of MyHeritage’s unmatched technologies to help you find long-lost relatives. The tree Consistency Checker, PedigreeMap, Theory of Family Relativity, Calendar and Events, Statistics, Pedigree Tree, Charts, Relationship Report, Surveys, and more.

Speaker Bio: Daniel Horowitz has over 30 years’ experience in genealogy and is the Genealogy Expert at MyHeritage. He lectures at genealogy conferences and events around the world. 

16 May 2020

Place: Webb Wesconnett Library, 6887 103rd Street, Jacksonville, Florida

Speaker: Peter Mullen

Topic:History of the Spanish Flu in the American South

Brief Description: 100 Year Anniversary of the 1918 – 1920 Pandemic. The toll of history’s worst epidemic surpasses all the military deaths in World War I and World War II combined, and it may have begun in the USA. Where were you or your ancestors in 1918 – 1920? Did any family members die during that time frame? Learn about the origins of influenza as a zoonotic disease resulting from the domestication of wild animals throughout the history of human civilization. Learn how the World Health Organization and the Center for Disease Control strive to produce a yearly influenza vaccine to protect us from another pandemic.

Speaker Bio: Peter Mullen is a native born Kentuckian and a graduate of the University of Louisville and Western Kentucky University earning degrees in Bachelor of Arts and Master of Science and currently living in Callahan, Florida where he is a retired professor at Florida State College at Jacksonville. He is a member of the Speakers Bureau for the Georgia Historical Society, Sons of Confederate Veterans, and Sons of Union Veterans; he lectures to professional and historical societies nation wide promoting history and culture of the South. He has been a member of the prestigious Sons of Confederate Veterans Sesquicentennial Society since April 21, 2014. Professor Mullen was commissioned by Governor Steven L. Beshear of the Commonwealth of Kentucky as a Kentucky Colonel on September 20, 2011 in the 220th year of the Commonwealth. He is a member of the Golden Alumni Society of the University of Louisville, a recipient of the Jefferson Davis Historical Gold Medal – the highest non-lineage honor bestowed by the United Daughters of the Confederacy, and notary in the State of Florida. He is currently the Program Education Coordinator for the West Nassau Genealogical Society, Callahan, Florida.