Tampa's Sacred Heart Catholic Church, is looking for descendants of its founding families as part of its 150th anniversary.
The founding members are listed on the church's Web site, www.sacredheartfla
.org. Click on Parish 150th Anniversary Celebrations. Descendants can contact the parish office at (813) 229-1595, or call Patrick Cimino at (813) 253-0612.
In the early 1850s, Hillsborough County commissioners donated land for a parish church at Ashley Drive and Twiggs Street. Nine years later, they agreed to trade the land for property at Florida Avenue and Twiggs. The congregation erected a little frame church that year, and a place of worship has been on that spot ever since.
In 1898 the congregation broke ground for a new church, which was dedicated in 1905 and called Sacred Heart.
An interesting summary of church history and a look at its parishioners is online at the Web site. Click on Parish History.
Most genealogists will go to any length to find information on their ancestors and cemeteries are one of the favorite places to explore.
However, many tombstones have not weathered time and acid rain, which have rendered their inscriptions very hard to read.
Someone told Sandra J. Smith that by visiting a cemetery at night and aiming her flashlight obliquely at each stones, she might be able to decipher the writing.
"Being a lady totally averse to exploring graveyards and cemeteries in the night, this method was not to my liking," she wrote recently to Ancestry's Weekly Discovery newsletter.
"Then I hit on the idea of taking a large travel blanket on my trips. By placing that over the tombstone and crawling beneath it, it was sufficient for me to use the oblique torch method to read faded inscriptions," she wrote.
It was a time-consuming process, what with balancing a blanket, flashlight and camera.
"I spent quite some time on my knees and I stood up groaning with the blanket draped over my head, just as a drunk came staggering down the churchyard path in the dusk," she wrote.
He "turned tail and ran and I doubt he ever touched a drop again."
Registration is open for the 2010 National Genealogical Society conference, scheduled April 28 through May 1 in Salt Lake City. Although the gathering is four months away, the conference hotel already is full. Those who plan to attend should make lodging arrangements as soon as possible. Nearby hotels with conference rates can be viewed at www.ngsgenealogy
National conferences always are worth the time and expense for researchers from raw beginners to experts. This year's conference, with a focus on researching in foreign countries, will be especially helpful to those who have completed their American pedigrees.
In addition to the usual array of lectures, the conference will offer Hispanic, Eastern European, Norwegian/Danish, Italian and Swedish workshops. Each workshop includes a prearranged lab time at the Family History.
Registration is online at www.ngs
Digging for treasure in land records
In property records lingo, a "link" is a unit of measurement. I'll talk about other links a researcher can find in land records. My lecture, "Finding Missing Links in Land Records" at the Florida Genealogical Society/Tampa meeting at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, will present evidence of illicit affairs, failed marriages, identification of children, migration trails and other personal details that languish in deeds books.
The society meets in the auditorium of the John F. Germany Library, 900 N. Ashley Drive, Tampa. There is no charge to attend.
Manasota society meeting
The Manasota Genealogical Society will kick off the new year with Lakewood Ranch's Donna Moughty speaking about "Putting Your Family Tree On-Line."
The society meets at 9:30 a.m. Jan. 5 at the Manatee County Central Public Library, 1301 Barcarrota Blvd., Bradenton.
For additional information, call Jean Morris at (941) 722-5156 or visit the Web site at www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~flmgs/.