Friday, June 10, 2005

Volume 18- 2, Summer 2005: Programs & Events

9th Annual Central Florida Family History Conference

The 9th Annual Central Florida Family History Conference will be Saturday, Sept. 24, 2005 from 9AM-3PM at the same place, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 3001 Apopka-Vineland Rd., Orlando. There will be a box lunch available or attendees can bring their own lunches! The admission is FREE as usual! We are just now finalizing the speakers list and as soon as we have confirmation of the keynote speaker I will send you an official PSA.

Karen Jorgensen, Co-Chair.


The Southern Genealogist's Exchange Society, in Jacksonville, Florida Fall Genealogy Seminar
Saturday, October 8, 2005 8:45 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Registration fee $35.00 includes lunch

Location of seminar: Park Lane Baptist Church, 1480 Lake Shore Blvd. (corner of Radio Lane) on Jacksonville's Westside.
Speaker: Ann Mohr Osisek, from Maitland, FL.

Topics: "Backing Up To The Boat"- Immigration and Naturalization;
"Calico & Cornbread" - Finding Your Female Ancestor;
"The Paper Trail" - Ins and Outs of Courthouse Research;
"The Myths of Migration" - Concentric Circles in Census Records.

Contact: Jon Ferguson, SGES President
SGES Phone: 904-778-1000
Location of SGES Headquarters/Library: 6215 Sauterne Drive, on Jacksonville's Westside
Mailing Address of SGES: P.O. Box 2801, Jacksonville, FL 32203-2801
Information provided by Ed Murfin, SGES Public Relations



You can get help in finding the answers to these questions by registering with the Brevard Genealogical Society for the course in Beginning Genealogy.

There will be six classes, held each Thursday July 7th to August 11th, 2005, from 9:30 am to 12:00 at the Central Brevard Library, 308 Forrest Ave. Cocoa. Class size is limited to the first twenty students who register and send in the class fee of $20.00, which includes membership in BGS through the end of 2005.

For information and Summer Registration forms, visit our website at: or contact our treasurer,



Ada is a descendant of Col. Robert Lewis and Meriwether Lewis. She will show members how through research we can connect the family stories to the historical.


Program Title - Spreadsheets for the Genealogist - How to turn simple spreadsheets into a "Genealogist's Dream"

Program Description - The program will include a brief overview of workbook and spreadsheet functions; a review of spreadsheet basics including how to format cell colors and styles and how to use simple math calculations to summarize numerical data; the design and use of a census tracking workbook with multiple spreadsheets to graphically track and display the status of census searches for individuals; designing and using a research log; and how to use excel to build complicated forms such as census forms that can be used to document the transcription of census records.

Bio - TC Cottrell is relatively new to genealogy, having finally "caught the bug" from his wife after the deaths of his parents and only sibling. As a new genealogist he counts his blessings daily for the amount and quality of family records inherited from his mother and grandmothers. TC served as an Air Force pilot in his first career. During the latter part of this career he also served as the Chief of Safety at Plattsburgh AFB, NY, where he first encountered computers and learned to design and use large spreadsheets to calculate and display information. He is currently serving as the Corporate Safety Manager for a diverse company that supports government contracts worldwide. He continues to design and use spreadsheets in the business world, and more recently is using spreadsheets to provide additional tools to keep track of an ever expanding quantity of genealogical information.

(18- 2) President's Message

Hello Everyone,

Summer’s here and many of you will be traveling away from your home in Florida. Doing genealogy on-site can be more satisfying because you have the opportunity to see and touch the actual records. Keep this in mind if you do travel and plan your trip such that you can stop and do some research the "old fashioned way."

Our society has several projects underway. One is photographing the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station cemeteries are on hold until at least the fall. More on this if and when it progresses.

The on-line posting of cemetery tombstone pictures is moving along. We have the 4 cemeteries on the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge on our web site now and Cocoa Cemetery (which is much, much larger) is moving along nicely. Hopefully we'll announce its completion soon on the BGS Mailing List. The Hill Top Cemetery of course will follow.

A small project to locate and photograph certain small, private cemeteries is underway. Summertime is not a good venue for this but if you would like to participate, please let me know. We need help identifying where some are actually located and whether they actually exist. For example, City Point Cemetery exists and we know where it is. There is an alleged City Point black cemetery, the location of which is unknown, or, it might just be another name for a cemetery we already know about. Knowledge concerning what and where these small cemeteries are is needed. If you know of a small cemetery in Brevard County, or know someone who might have knowledge about any, please tell us.

Another project is to resurrect the pioneer and local family history files and a researcher index in our library. We've made the first step toward this goal but as it progresses we'll be needing some local knowledge to help us. More on this as it develops.

In the mean time, have a great summer!

Take care... Peter Bradish

(18-2) New Book on Copyright

Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., proudly announces the publication of Carmack's Guide to Copyright & Contracts: A Primer for Genealogists, Writers & Researchers.

Perhaps you've struggled with some of these questions:
  • Do I need permission to use something off the Internet?
  • Can I reproduce a newspaper obituary on my ancestor without permission?
  • How do I know whether something is in the public domain?
  • Does copyright protect my Web site?
  • Who owns the client report?
  • Can I publish my ancestor's diary without anyone's permission?
  • Is my lecture or lesson protected by copyright?
  • If I write something for my genealogical society as a volunteer, who owns the copyright?
  • Do I need permission to download GEDCOM files?
Now there is an easy-to-understand guide written for genealogists that answers these questions and more. In Carmack's Guide to Copyright & Contracts: A Primer for Genealogists, Writers & Researchers, APG member Sharon DeBartolo, Carmack uses her popular, conversational writing style to answer your questions. In simple language, she explains copyright, rights, and publishing agreements and how these apply to genealogists, writers, and researchers.

Sharon DeBartolo Carmack is a Certified Genealogist and one of the field's most prolific writers, having authored sixteen books and hundreds of articles, which have appeared in nearly every scholarly genealogical journal and popular publication. Visit her Web site at

Whether you're a genealogy hobbyist, genealogical society volunteer or officer, professional genealogist, instructor, writer, librarian, or speaker you need to know something about copyright. You have questions. Carmack's Guide to Copyright & Contracts has the answers.

Carmack's Guide to Copyright & Contracts
A Primer for Genealogists, Writers & Researchers
by Sharon DeBartolo Carmack
Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc. $19.95 ppd 119 pages, indexed, paper. Chairperson, 904-573-8686,

Submitted by Doug Burnett

(18-2) HICKHAM FIELD, December 7, 1941 [Part. 3] by Jim Fulton

All the 23rd bomb’s B-17’s had been destroyed, the fuselage broken right behind the bomb bay. At first we thought the Japs were super bombardiers; but later we realized that bullets from strafing Jap fighters had ignited the bank of “Very-pistol” signal flares mounted in clips on the wall of the radio compartment. The flares were made of magnesium, the same material used in incendiary bombs, and they burned right thru the fuselage.

Our 4th Recon B-18 never did get orders to take off, but three B-17’s led by Blondie Saunders made an attempt. When the first Japanese planes roared over his NCO quarters at Hickam, just across the fence from the Marine Barracks at Pearl Harbor, Staff Sgt. Bernardino O. “Turk” Tortora told his new bride, Helen, to get down on the floor in the center of their house, jumped into his new Olds and drove the half-mile to the flight line. Turk, who was flight engineer on Blondie Saunders’ crew, found their B-17 burned in half. For the next hour he worked with others getting aircraft to a dispersal area. They loaded and armed a B-17 belonging to the 72nd Sq. Blondie told Turk to round up a crew and get aboard this bomber; Co-Pilot “2nd Lt. Spencer Treharne, bombardier Pete Vasalie, Eng. and top gunner Turk, and make up members: side gunners S/SSgt’s Victor M. Klein, Ralph “ Joe” Stiles, and radio operator Harvey F. Schlotte (Sgt. Billie Smith was unable to go as he had burned his hand; above)

“Japanese planes were still strafing when our threeB-17’s taxied out for takeoff”, Turk said. “Blondie led, one plane aborted, leaving just Blondie and Maj. Brook Allen”. We searched south and then northwest, Sgt. Schlotte kept picking up messages from the Japs which he could not decipher. Off the island of Niihau, with a horrible overcast, we knew we were close but could not see. Blondie took us down to 50 feet, skimming the waves, but we never saw them. Running out of fuel we had to give up. We landed at 1800 hours, with what seemed like every gun on Oahu firing at us.

We flew patrols for about the next seven days, sighting whales that looked a lot like submarines at a distance. Helen had been evacuated – what a relief to finally see her! I was awarded the Silver Star for my part in getting that search off on Dec. 7th

(After completing his missions with the 19th Bomb Group in the South Pacific, Turk was assigned as Eng. Off. to the first B-29’s operating against Japan out of Burma. Along with Gen. Curtis LeMay, he was with the team that found B/G Blondie Saunders in the jungle after a B-25 crash which cost Blondie a leg. Very soon after Dec. 7th, 1941 Blondie had left the 23rd Sq. to take command of the 11th Bomb Group, sister to the 5th Group at Hickam. Turk retired as a Col. after serving as Director of Materiel, SAC. Jim Fulton)

When it seemed the attack was over, we were given permission to go back th the barracks. The Mess Hall in the center of the barrack wings had been hit by bombs. Many died there. I might have been among them if I hadn’t chosen dozing over eating. In our bay, a bomb had come thru the roof and exploded about ten yards from my bunk. When I pried open the door of my wall locker I found nothing but ashes in the bottom. Among those ashes was two years worth of pictures I had wrapped to mail home the next day. The camera my Dad had hauled around France during WWl was gone. I had nothing left. Going over into our other bay, I took a fifteen cent toilet kit from the foot locker of one of our guys who had been killed. I still use it. i went downstairs to the 72nd Bomb Sq. supply room. It was deserted and still burning, but in one corner I found a rare pair of 9 ½ EE garrison shoes, which I wore for years. A skull found under a bunk at the end of our bay caused a lot of concern until we learned it belonged to a Hawaiian warrior driven over the Pali by King Kamehameha over a century before. One of our guys had found it among the rocks below the Pali.

During the raid, on the parade ground across from our bay, some men had set up a .50 caliber machine gun where they had a clear shot at the Japs fighters that were strafing Hickam. This crew was quickly killed. On our trip to Hawaii on the transport “Republic” we recruits were under the charge of a “Previous service man” Jack Fox, who we considered to be an Army bum – he spent all his evenings at Hickam in the “Snake Ranch”. When Jack saw the men knocked off the gun on the parade ground, he gathered a few volunteers, ran out, set the gun up again, and died fighting the Japs.

The bombing of the “Snake Ranch” caused a lot of fellows pain. I mourned the burning of my handiwork, the gym/theater.

It wasn’t until a few years ago that I learned what the explosions over toward Ft. Kam that awakened me early that morning really were. Today, in our local Florida Chapter 14 of the Pearl Harbor Survivor’s Assoc. are two Navy fellows who were aboard the destroyer “Ward” which was patrolling the waters outside the entrance to Pearl Harbor that morning. Shortly after 2345 the night before, the crew of the Ward was called to battle stations because the sonar man heard submarine screws. They lost contact, but several hours later had another. About 0615 there was a radio alert as the aft lookout on the Navy supply ship “Antares” reported a periscope following her as she prepared to enter Pearl Harbor. The Ward prepared to ram. They spotted the conning tower of a Jap two-man sub and fired their Gun No 1, Al Sanford said. ”The red-hot brass casing came flying out to me. I caught it with my asbestos mittens and flipped it over the side. Later, when things calmed down, the crew scrambled around to find the casing of THE FIRST SHOT FIRED BY THE U.S. IN WORLD WAR ll. “When they learned I had thrown this souvenir overboard they threatened to throw me after it”

The Ward sank the sub at 0630, and by 0640 had sent an alert message to Pearl Harbor communications office. Their reply was: “ARE YOU SURE? PLEASE VERIFY.” No alarm was given before the Jap planes hit us an hour – and –twenty- minutes later. Probably hundreds of lives were lost because of this goof.

Our crew’s B-17 had been destroyed during the raid. Since we were to go out searching for the Jap fleet in the morning, we were given one of the B-17’s that had flown in from the States right into the middle of the Jap attack that morning – they had guns on board but no ammunition – we were at PEACE. This plane had squeaked onto a short dirt strip used by pursuit (fighter) planes up on the north end of the island. It was a newer “E” model, so we spent the afternoon checking it out. It had a pair of 50’s on the belly with a weird remote-controlled sight – you found your target in a mirror. That night, our enlisted crew members moved into the quarters of our crew chief, T/Sgt. Joe Anselmi, across the fence from the Marine barracks. It was dark early, so we were asleep by about 9pm when all hell broke louse! The guns firing from the Marine barracks roof sounded like they were on our roof. I rolled under my cot, pulling my mattress over me, and wondered whether the Jap planes were back, or the rumored invasion troops had landed. We had no communications. After awhile things quieted down. It wasn’t until we got back from our patrol the next afternoon, that we learned that a B-18 of the 23rd Bomb that had flown over to the Big Island on Saturday, had tried to land at Hickam after dark. Communications between the Services was unheard of in those days and the Marines figured, if it flew, it was Japanese. There were ten men aboard that little B-18 and they counted more that one hundred bullet holes in its fuselage, yet no one was hit. Our crew again tried to get some rest before our 4am takeoff. Monday 8 Dec.

One of the things I disliked about the military life was that they always thought they had to get up so early in the morning! A 4am takeoff meant getting out of your bunk about 2am. When we lifted off the runway, my memory is that it was still so dark that we couldn’t see the damage at Pearl Harbor clearly – just some fires still burning and many columns of black, oily smoke. It wasn’t till we returned from the flight in daylight that we were shocked with the realization of how badly the Japs had wounded us.


See the continuation of Jim’s story in our September newsletter “Travelers In Time”. It will be the final chapter of the Bombing of Hickam Field, and Jim’s story of the first few days of World War Two.

Coming Soon!

I have a article by Ralph Kinney Bennett, “PIGGYBACK HERO” sent to me by Jim telling the story of GLEN ROJOHN and his B-17 over Germany, Dec. 31, 1944. Capt Rojohn, recieved the DISTINGUISHED FLYING CROSS and PURPLE HEART.

(18-2) Important Updates!

SAVE YOUR EUROS, DOLLARS, and POUNDS. Another variant of the so-called Nigerian scam e-mail is making the rounds again and fooling some genealogists. The e-mail may appear to be sent by a barrister,(attorney) representing the estate of some long-lost relative you never knew you had (your last name may be inserted into the e-mail message) who perished along with his family in a car or airplane accident recently.

The scammer will claim to have gone to a lot of trouble to find you in order to give you a share of the (usually) millions of dollars available if you'll just forward your bank account information to him or send him some money. He may claim to have found you through RootsWeb. Do not respond to such scams.

The country involved is not always Nigeria. Ghana, South Africa and other West African states are sometimes mentioned. Occasionally the scam operates from other countries, such as the Netherlands (Amsterdam), the United Kingdom (London), Spain (Madrid), or Canada (Toronto).

The United States Federal Trade Commission has issued a consumer alert about this Nigerian scam. Americans who receive an offer via e-mail from someone claiming to need your help getting money out of Nigeria

There are myriad variants of this scam -- including "winning notifications" from a lottery company, fake charities, and fake church scams. Ignore them all. Save your money for genealogical research.

Previously published in RootsWeb Review: 25 May 2005, Vol. 8, No. 21.


RootsWeb now offers the most recent version of the Social Security Death Index (SSDI), which includes records through April 2005 This database contains several important bits of information on the more 75,163,608 persons whose deaths are on file with the U.S.'s Social Security Administration, including: social security number, date of issuance, state of issuance, date of birth, date of death, and last residence address of record.

Previously published in RootsWebReview: 25 May 2005, Vol. 8, No. 21

(18-2) Floridiana

Central Florida's Best Kept Secret?

As Square Dancers Lona and I never stop being genealogists. While attending the Florida State Square and Round Dance Convention in Lakeland we read an article in a local magazine about the Bartow Library. Since the article highlighted it's genealogical holdings we hopped in the car and went to explore. Bartow is only about 15 miles from Lakeland and is quite a beautiful little town. The library is located in the old 1910 courthouse building in the center of town and very easy to find.

Dorothy greeted us as we entered and had us register-they get funding based on usage. She then explained how the three story library operated and wished us luck as we started wandering through the stacks.

The focus of the genealogy collection is on the southeastern United States. There is also quite a collection of society publications. During Lona's browsing she was able to locate the date of her 4G's Grandfather enlistment date and place in the Revolutionary War.

If you are looking for a great overnight excursion I highly recommend visiting Bartow.

Doug Burnett


Ybor City, Cigar Capital of the World

I found something of which may be of interests to our members. The Park across from YBOR CITY MUSEUM, 1818 9th Ave, Ybor City, Tampa, Fl. has the names of the immigrants who came there by and after the 1890’s during the time that Mr. V. M. Ybor was building his 200 cigar factories. These are families from Cuba, Spain, Italy, Germany, and Key West, who arrived by boat, and walked the 2 miles to the new town.

Barbara Maloney