Message from the President

We’re back!  I’m pleased to relate that over 20 members joined us in person on Saturday.  We had a super round table discussion (without the table!) about our personal genealogy interests.  

We were all struck by two things:

1 – the range of expertise we have within our own ranks, which is quite phenomenal

2 – the energy within the room as people renewed old acquaintances, listened intently to each other and then stayed on afterwards to discuss mutual interests further.

Both of these make the committee very optimistic for our future.  Thanks to everyone who came and participated.

Next meeting

Understanding that there may well be members who are reluctant to attend in person, our next meeting will be both in person and via Zoom.  The subject could not be more topical.  So please mark your diaries now for 1pm on April 9 for a presentation on the 1950 US Census by Ann Staley from Jacksonville.

Join us on Facebook for information about free stuff!

In the last few days we have posted messages to our new facebook group about:

– free access to immigration records on – finishes tonight

– a free presentation from the Guild of One-Name Studies on English Chancery court records, and how they can be used to further your understanding of your family structure

– a massive data dump of NEW YORK City birth, marriage and death records, now free to access, with more to come

– a free presentation from the New England Historic & Genealogical Society on researching Virginia records

To see these, and more, please join our facebook group at 

By the way, it is a Facebook Group.  Once you join, you are “free” to make your own posts in the group about genealogy matters, and respond to others’.  Have at it!

All the best


March 12 General Meeting

OK, folks.  We asked you to hold the date.  This is to confirm that we will be meeting next Saturday, March 12, at 1pm.   The location will be our traditional venue, the Southeast Branch of St Johns Public Library, 6670 US 1 South.  This will be a social meeting with light refreshments.  We have a variety of topics lined up to discuss, some of which will focus on the Society’s future.

We would like some estimate of how many people will come.  If you think you will be there, let us know by sending an email to!

Keep watching this space, please, for announcements about our meetings in April and May, also on the second Saturday of the month at 1pm.  We are working on booking a speaker for each meeting.  

I am very pleased to announce that, thanks to some sterling work by our Secretary, we have a new:

– Facebook page.  This is our outward facing page for public Society announcements

– Facebook group.  This is a group where members can interact with each other.

– Website

These are all set up to provide continuity in the event of a change of Society officials.

If you are currently subscribed to, or following, one of our existing Facebook groups or pages, we will be posting on these for a while, redirecting you to the new page and group.  Please like and follow our new page and group once you get there.

Our new website is:   Please tell your friends!

See you next Saturday, I hope.  Remember, let us know if you’re planning on attending.

Paul Howes


Save the Dates!

Thank you so much to the positive feedback we have had from members to our suggestion that we begin meeting in person again.  (I recently learned that we are not the only Florida society restarting in-person meetings)  We looked into a downtown location, so far without success.  So we have booked the South Library on each of the following dates: 

March 12 – Social meeting – Let’s get to know each other again!

April 9 – topic yet to be determined

May 14 – topic yet to be determined

Each meeting will begin at 1pm.  Please hold the dates and time.  

A couple of other points:

– We do want to be respectful of members’ different views towards in-person meetings.  If there are any members who would like to join us by Zoom, please do let me know.  It will be difficult to organize something for an informal social meeting, but for a formal speaker maybe we can set up a strategically placed camera if there is sufficient demand.  

– I propose too that interested members adjourn to a family restaurant after the meeting as we used to do in the past.  Doesn’t have to be Applebees!  So think about whether you’d like to join us and whether there are other good venues.  We will take numbers at the meeting.

Paul Howes, Acting President

A Message from the President

Hello everyone.  This is Paul Howes writing from the St Augustine Genealogical Society (SAGS) and, in particular, the members of our Executive Committee listed below. 

You will recall that over at least the past two years we have had occasional communications from the members of our Executive Committee (until recently, down to just three people) asking for volunteers to step forward so that the Society could continue.  Well, at or shortly after our Christmas lunch at Vilano Beach, three of us stepped forward.  We will do our best to kick some life back into things again.

In saying that, I mean no disrespect at all to Pat, Sue and Bob who have tried very hard to keep things going.  We all owe them a debt of gratitude.  The biggest impact on us and many other voluntary societies over the past two years has been the dreaded virus and the consequent restrictions on our movement, making it impossible for us to meet in person.   Zoom calls can only go so far in keeping people together – they are a poor substitute for real face-to-face contact.

The six of us met a few days ago to try to formulate a plan for the future.  We decided that:

  • Not much can be accomplished until we as a Society can meet in person again.  We need to prove to each other that interest still exists.
  • Given the low level of restrictions in force in Florida we felt that we might be able to hold an in-person meeting in a month or so.
  • We are currently looking for venues for a late February or early-March meeting, which will be an informal, social gathering.  We are considering one or two venues in downtown St Augustine as well as the branch library where we have met for some years.
  • Given the need for us to demonstrate value to you our members, so that you feel confident that it’s worth paying dues in the future, we decided to suspend dues for 2022 as well as 2021.  We hope you agree that this is “the right thing to do.”

As and when we have a firm time and place for our first in-person meeting we will write again.

We still need some volunteers for a full Committee.  The three of us will do what we can with continuation from the three current members for as long as they feel able and we hope that others will come forward as we progress.   

Again, we thank Bob, Sue and Pat for their recent efforts and we hope to see everyone together again soon.

Yours sincerely,
Your Committee

Paul Howes, Acting President       
Charles Tingley, Acting 1st Vice-President, Programs           
Georgia Horsley, Acting 2nd Vice-President, Membership
Bob Burns, Past President        
Sue DiDomenico, Treasurer                     
Pat Tanner, Secretary                         

February Member Meeting


Photos, letters and other memorabilia are a wonderful way to share the stories your research discovers. And, thanks to today’s technology, we can now easily duplicate our precious treasures without destroying the originals. It’s called scanning.

Scanning is an easy and affordable way to make copies of our treasures and then use those copies to share stories, include in our family histories and help the younger members of our families learn more about their ancestors.

We are fortunate to have David McFee of Lighthouse Archiving as the speaker for our February member meeting. We will get a look at various types of scanners and what you can do with them. There will also be opportunities for your own hands-on experiments to see how easy scanning can be.

Change In Meeting Date

This year is election year and the primaries get started in February. Because of this our February meeting has been moved up to Saturday, February 8th, but will begin at the usual time.

Join us on Saturday,  February 8th, at the Southeast Branch Library located at 6670 US 1 South, St.

Augustine, FL 32086. Check-in begins at 12:45pm and our meeting starts at 1:00 pm. Our society meetings are free and open to the public.

January Member Meeting

We are delighted to have Jim Vearil as our speaker this month. Jim will introduce us to Florida’s Spanish Land Grants, their impact on the state and what we can learn about those historic records and what they tell us.

Join us on Saturday, January 18th, at the Southeast Branch Library located at 6670 US 1 South, St.

Augustine, FL 32086. Check-in begins at 12:45pm and the meeting starts at 1:oopm. Society meetings are free and open to the public.

December Member Luncheon


Once again the St. Augustine Genealogical Society will end the year with a luncheon instead of a meeting. This year’s luncheon will be held at Beach’s Restaurant at Vilano Beach starting at 11:00am on Saturday, December 14th. The weather will determine whether we eat inside or outside, but either way it will be a delightful way to share the Christmas season with our members.

Watch our newsletters and Research Notes for more details.

June Member Meeting

DNA graphic

Jack Butler is returning with more DNA goodness for our June member meeting. Members are encouraged to bring their DNA questions. The June meeting is scheduled for June 17, 2017 at the Southeast Branch Library located at 6670 US 1 South, St. Augustine, FL 32086. Check-in begins at 12:45pm and the meeting starts at 1:oopm. Society meetings are free and open to the public.

April Member Meeting

Picture This - Family Photos

Our next meeting is scheduled for Saturday, April 15th. We are delighted to have Lori Miranda presenting Picture This: Family Photos and Other Piles, and What I’ve Learned. Lori lives in Fernandina Beach where she is an architect and partner with her husband in their architectural firm. She is also a board member with the Amelia Island Genealogical Society and and a well-known speaker in this area.

A genealogist may run into several different types of photo collections during research, each with its own set of pros and cons.  “Picture This” is an introduction to the issues of which family historians should be aware when coming across such images.  The presentation will include an outline of the history of photography, different types of photographs, dating photos, analyzing images for clues, caring for these objects, and strategies to “make it rain.”  In addition, today’s technology can be a boon to sharing images and teasing out details of ancestors’ lives, but it can come at a cost to future generations.  Having exposure to the various ways of dealing with family collections can help the genealogist make appropriate decisions for how to process a stash.

Our April short course will begin after the speaker’s Q&A and a short break. This month’s subject is Automating Your Searches With Google Alerts. Learn how to create and save a search which Google will then run repeatedly on a schedule you determine. When results are discovered, Google will automatically notify you.

Join us on Saturday, April 15th, at the Southeast Branch Library located at 6670 US 1 South, St. Augustine, FL 32086. Check-in begins at 12:45pm and the meeting starts at 1:oopm. Society meetings are free and open to the public.