Aha! Seminars Now Offering Genealogy Webinars

Aha! Seminars

[Editor’s Note: the following press release was received from fellow genealogy colleague George Morgan of  The Genealogy Guys Podcast. It looks like he has some great genealogy webinars!]

Tampa, FL – February 1, 2010 Aha! Seminars, Inc., is pleased to announce the availability of remote electronic seminars for genealogical societies, effective February 1, 2011. Aha!’s principal and primary speaker is George G. Morgan, internationally recognized genealogy expert, lecturer, and the prolific author of 9 books and hundreds of print and online articles. Other speakers will be added at a future date.

All of Mr. Morgan’s one-hour genealogy lecture topics listed at the company’s website at http://ahaseminars.com are available as live online presentations using GoToMeeting®, a product of Citrix Systems, Inc. of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.  Citrix is a leader in providing online meeting and training solutions for businesses and individuals. GoToMeeting allows for principal George G. Morgan to deliver live virtual seminars to genealogical societies via the Internet. These online seminars allow you to bring this speaker to your society meeting without the travel and hotel expenses of having him travel to your location. The society’s sole expense is the seminar fee. George can present one or two seminars at a per lecture price.

Full details about the equipment and Internet connectivity requirements are explained in the Online Genealogy Seminars page at the company’s website. Please contact the company at aha@ahaseminars.com or at (813) 205-3032 for more information and to schedule your society’s first virtual genealogy lecture!

About the Company

Aha! Seminars, Inc., is a Tampa Bay-based company that has been providing professional training to library consortia, library personnel, and to genealogists since 1996. The company presents seminars, provides consulting services, and plans meetings and genealogical tours.

©2011, copyright Thomas MacEntee

ISGS Announces New Members-Only Website Section

Illinois State Genealogical Society

[Editor’s Note: the following press release was received from the Illinois State Genealogical Society announcing their new website.]

Includes Access to Illinois-related Genealogy Databases and Indices

February 1, 2011 – Springfield, IL. The Illinois State Genealogical Society (ISGS) announces the addition of a new Members Section to its recently revamped website at http://www.ilgensoc.org.

Active members of ISGS can now access various databases and indices created by ISGS members and volunteers including:

  • Civic and Fraternal Organization Lists: Indexes extracted from various sources such as annual reports, conference programs and more. Organizations include the Masonic Veterans Association of Illinois. Data includes names, membership dates, death dates, locations, addresses and more!
  • Professional Membership Lists: indexes extracted from various sources such as annual reports, bulletins, conference programs and more. Organizations include Illinois State Dental Society, Illinois Bar Association and others. Data includes names, membership dates, death dates, marriage information, locations, addresses and more!
  • School Alumni and Employee Lists: indexes extracted from various sources including reports, graduation programs, yearbooks and more. Many indexes also include school employees such as teachers, professors, accounting staff, janitorial staff and more. Data includes names, attendance dates, employment dates, death dates, locations, addresses and more!

In addition to its members-only databases, the ISGS Website contains a number of free databases with data on Illinois ancestors who fought in the Civil War, as well as World Wars I and II. In addition, the Certified Prairie Pioneers database lists over 3,000 early Illinois ancestors who helped settle the Prairie State.

Each week, ISGS members and volunteers are busy indexing data to create new indices and databases to help the genealogical community learn more about their Illinois ancestors.

Visit the ISGS website at http://www.ilgensoc.org and become a member today! Not only will you have access to valuable Illinois research data, but you’ll be part of a growing and vibrant genealogy organization working to preserve Illinois family history.

About Illinois State Genealogical Society

The Illinois State Genealogical Society (ISGS) was organized in October of the Illinois Sesquicentennial Year, 1968, and is a non-profit, educational organization. ISGS was established for the following purposes:

  • To stimulate an interest in the people who contributed to the establishment and development of the State of Illinois.
  • To seek, preserve, and make available data pertaining to individuals, families, and groups who lived in Illinois and to events which took place therein.
  • To inform people of the value of, and need for, preserving family and local history for posterity.
  • To encourage the formation of local genealogical societies and to coordinate and disseminate information.

The ISGS genealogical collection is located in the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library in Springfield and an administrative office is maintained in the Illinois State Archives. For more information visit http://www.ilgensoc.org.

Follow us on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/ILgensoc), Twitter (http://www.twitter.com/ILgensoc) and on our blog at http://ilgensoc.blogspot.com.

Disclosure:  I am currently the webmaster for the Illinois State Genealogical Society, as well as a Director, Publicity Chair and Death Records and Obits Chair. Please see Disclosure Statements for more information on my material connection with other genealogy vendors and organizations.

©2011, copyright Thomas MacEntee

PA Vital Records – Your Help is Needed


[Editor’s Note: we received this request for assistance from fellow genealogist Michael McCormick who is involved with the PaHR-Access organization]

Help is needed in promoting legislation for better vital records access. People for Better Pennsylvania Historical Records Access (aka PaHR-Access) is an organization of people like you taking an active role in promoting access to Pennsylvania’s records. Since it was founded in 2007 by spokesman Tim Gruber the focus has been to make death certificates 50+ years old public record.

This month begins the new 2011-2012 legislative session for Pennsylvania. Right before the end of the 2009-2010 session the vital records bill passed the Pennsylvania Senate committee on Public Health & Welfare. It was well on its way to being voted on by the Senate. In the previous 3 years PaHR-Access has significantly increased awareness of the vital records access issue. As of this writing 464 organizations have officially endorsed PaHR-Access by sending letters to the appropriate legislators. Many of these organizations are Historical Societies.

Senator Robert D. Robbins of the Pennsylvania Senate is preparing to reintroduce his vital records bill. Before that happens Senator Robbins will gather cosponsors for this bill from among his fellow Senators. 15 Pennsylvania Senators are now cosponsors. Next the bill we be assigned a number (last session it was SB 683). The bill will then work its way back through the committees and the usual legislative process. Your help is requested to impress upon legislators the importance and urgency of this issue.

The current situation in Pennsylvania is much worse than most other states for vital records access. Because the records are not legally considered “public” they can not be put online via images or index. Only Pennsylvania Department of Health employees are permitted to search the records. Genealogical requests will not be expedited according to the website and are only accepted by mail. The expected wait time is listed as 4 months. Genealogists can not order a certificate for a client unless a letter is attached expressly stating the client’s wish for the genealogist to do so. Make sure you send everything properly in your request or you will not only fail to receive the certificate, you will be out of the $9 to $34 you sent for the search. Besides all this you will not likely know it until 4 months later.

The bill being proposed will make death certificates over 50 years old and birth certificates over 100 years old public record. It also requires that these certificates be moved to the Pennsylvania State Archives. Many of you will know from experience the difference between working with an archive and a health department. Moving the records to the archive will remove a significant burden off of the Pennsylvania Department of Health in processing genealogical requests they are clearly not able to expedite. Making them public will mean that a public index could be made. They could eventually be put online. The options we genealogists are used to for accessing vital records would come into reach.

The support of genealogists everywhere is needed.

PaHR-Access ( http://users.rcn.com/timarg/PaHR-Access )

@Twitter ( http://twitter.com/PaHR_Access )

Facebook Group ( http://on.fb.me/PaHR-AccessFB )

©2011, copyright Thomas MacEntee