You've researched your family history. Now what do you do with all that information?
Write a story that will entertain and educate relatives who didn't want any part of the research process.
Many folks who love to research are intimidated by the thought of facing a blank page. A genealogy journey begins with the researcher's own history; the written version might begin the same way.
Writing help is on the way: Sun City Center genealogist Joan Shalleck teaches a course that just might get you past the fear and the writer's block.
"Write Your Life Story" is an eight-session class scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. Sept. 10. The course is offered at the SouthShore campus of Hillsborough Community College, 551 24th St., Ruskin. Registration is $75.
Seating for this popular course is limited, so don't dawdle. To register online, go to tinyurl.com/26bbj4t and click on "Write Your Life Story." You'll get the registration page.
You also can register by phone, in person or by mail. Get details by going to tinyurl.com/2e8frc4.
If you aren't yet ready to write the family history, perhaps you need another research trip. The best one-stop destination is the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.
It can be daunting for a first-timer. Consider planning an assisted trip on your first foray to that heavenly genealogy facility. And there could be no better companion than a fellow Floridian who knows all the ropes.
Well-known Florida certified genealogist Ann Staley and her partner, North Carolinian Margo Fariss Brewer, working as Ann-Mar Trips, are ready to guide you through a monumental first trip or a return.
Ann and Margo plan to go Oct. 3 through 8, so now's the time to sign up. If that date doesn't work for you, visit their website in August when they'll announce dates for their 2011 trips.
Details on costs and what's included also are on their website at www.Ann-MarTrips.com.
We transplanted Floridians often joke that natives to this state are hard to find. But before they went west, many Carolinians and Georgians ventured into the Indian territory that would become Florida. Could one of those daring adventurers have been your ancestor?
My husband was shocked recently to learn that two ancestors he thought went straight to Alabama from the Carolinas actually had a three-decade layover in Gadsden County.
If you can document that your ancestor was in the territory before March 3, 1845, when Florida was admitted to the Union, you qualify for a Florida Pioneer Descendant Certificate from the Florida State Genealogical Society.
Certificate candidates must pay a $30 application fee (that covers multiple lines) and must join the society ($25 annual fee) before a committee reviews the application.
Those interested can download a 48-page workbook and other paperwork at the society's website at tinyurl.com/2elozel.
Certificates are awarded annually at the society's fall conference. Doing the research and completing the documentation is a time-consuming process. Although the deadline has passed for applications this year, now is a good time to start the process for 2011 or later.
Over the past few years, the National Archives has partnered with commercial companies to digitize federal records of interest to genealogists who can't get to Washington to access the originals. The digitized records have been a real boon to Ancestry.com and Footnote.com subscribers.
National Archives officials have become concerned about reports that some of the digital records are missing or not indexed. Researchers are being asked to help identify these by reporting problems at firstname.lastname@example.org. The report should include a URL and a description of the problem.
Officials have emphasized that they do not want misspelled names reported to the address.
Ancestry.com and Footnote.com are also working on the problem and have promised quick corrections to reported issues.