Monday, June 12, 2006

Volume 19, Issue 2, Summer 2006 - Programs & Events


June 12 Patrice Green Computer and Internet Tips

July 10 Work shop Brick walls

Aug. 14 Work shop Digitizing Photos

Sept. 11 Dr. Jim Ragusa Lessons Learned from Genealogy Research in Europe

Oct. 9, Diane Rice Young BLM Records

Nov. 13 Patti Kirk Organization by the Foot

Dec. 11 Christmas Party


The three genealogical societies of Brevard Co. are jointly sponsoring a seminar to be held Saturday, 27 January at Imperial's Hotel & Conference Center which is located at the intersection of I-95 and Wickham Rd. The speaker will be Jana Broglin, a Certified Genealogist who is a nationally-known lecturer and author. More details will be available at a later date. Mark your calendars NOW so as not to schedule a conflict. This is an event you will not want to miss!


GSNB, Inc.

Jul 4 Summer break No meeting scheduled

Aug 1 Summer break No meeting scheduled

Sep 12 Rich Shader Clans, Kilts, and Tartans

Oct 3 T C Cottrell Spreadsheets in Genealogy

Nov 14 Pete Bradish Mail lists, Message boards, Newsgroups

Dec 5 Michael Boonstra Recent Additions to Central Brevard Genealogical Library followed by our annual Christmas social.

We are hopeful that T C Cottrell's program will be presented as scheduled but it is subject to cancellation if last minute business travel by him is necessary.


George R. Carpenter is the new WEBMASTER . You may reach him at or his home email at


The Genealogy Society of South Brevard will meet Wednesday June 14th at the Melbourne Library, 540 E. Avenue. Social hour begins at 9:30 and the program starts at 10 am. Program is; "Organizing Our Methods of Researching" presented by Patti Kirk.

(19-2) The President's Message

Hello everyone,

We left a month ago heading west to join a caravan of motor coaches to Alaska. On the way we stopped in Salt Lake City to visit the Family History Library for research we hoped might break down a brick wall. We didn't break it but we understand the wall's construction better. How's that for optimism?

With the North and South Brevard societies joining with us to put on a genealogy conference in the coming January and the initiative by the Indian River society to bring five societies together for a sharefair/conference, we are all going to get the chance to meet and know members of the other societies around us in 2007. What a timely opportunity to find people with interests like yours and knowledge which could be of help in your research. Normally you have to travel quite a bit to find such a grouping but now we will have a couple of conferences almost on our back door step. Be sure to join in and have fun.

This summer the Federation of Genealogical Societies will hold its conference in Boston, the week before Labor Day. We've been to FGS conferences before and they put on an incredibly educational show, not to mention the vendors and other researchers you get to meet. If you plan to go, there is a significant discount for registering before July 1st. You can even register and pay online, see If you stay in the hotel it is a short walk each day. We cannot park our coach in downtown Boston and will be getting on a train every morning at 6 A.M. to arrive in time for the first sessions at 8 A.M. How's that for dedication?

Have a wonderful summer! Take care and enjoy life... Peter Bradish

(19-2) Committee Reports


Earlier this year the Central Brevard Library received a large donation of books and periodicals from Barbara Kurtz of Satellite Beach. These materials belonged to Barbara’s late husband, Maurice Kurtz who was a professor at FIT and an avid genealogist who specialized in Pennsylvania research with an emphasis on German families. The book portion of this donation consisted of 56 books on Pennsylvania, 21 on Kentucky, 25 books on New England states, 12 on Virginia and much more. There were also a large number of family histories on mostly Pennsylvania German families. Library volunteer Joan Bullard has been busy cataloging these items and most of them are now available to view in the genealogy department. While most of the donation consisted of materials the library does not currently own there were some duplicates. These books have been offered to the Titusville and Melbourne libraries to add to their genealogy collections. Michael has also compiled a listing of the books donated by state and title that is available at the library.



Dee Swink 1973

The indexing of the obituaries, death notices, and news articles concerning deaths from the Florida Today paper for the year 1973 has been completed. The index will be on our website soon. Thanks to the following people who helped me with this project by indexing articles, proofreading, checking dates, and scanning microfilm for missing articles: Pat Bowers, Ottilie (Artie) Bowers, Joan Bullard, and Betty Eichhorn.


Jim and Bonnie reported that they have completed the 1970 obituaries and have done 5 lookups for the month of May 2006.


Jodelle Wilson

April meeting had 69 members 7 guests

May meeting had 61 members with 2 guests

(19-2) 2006 Computer Survey Results

Summary by Patrice Green

The last BGS computer survey was in 2002. Only four members were using Windows XP at that time compared to 38 XP users now. We still have about eleven people using Windows 98 or ME and a couple using Windows 2000. And we still have at least one Mac user. The average amount of RAM has increased from 183 MB to 579 MB. Hard drives averaged 25 GB in 2002 and they now range from 8 GB to 250 GB, but most are in the 60 to 80 GB range.

The speed of our computers are now anywhere between 333 MHz and 2.8 GHz; most seem to be about 2 GHz. The average in 2002 was 758 MHz. Computers have come a long way in four years. Speed seems to be very important to most of us. Over 80% of our members are using either DSL or Cable to connect to the Internet. In 2002 only nine members were using a high speed connection.

In 2002 we didn't include ISPs or email programs in the survey. Here is the current breakdown: BellSouth – 12, AOL – 11, Roadrunner – 9, Earthlink – 3 and miscellaneous – 3. AOL is the number one email program with 8 users, followed by 7 using Outlook Express. BellSouth has 5, Yahoo – 4, Thunderbird – 3, and the rest only have one or two users. Browser preferences haven't changed much; about 85% use Internet Explorer and the rest use either Firefox or Mozilla. It looks like the Netscape people from 2002 just moved over to Firefox/Mozilla. The ratio is about the same.

Word still leads the pack in word processing programs with about 31 users, but 11 of those also use other programs as well. There are 11 for Works, 8 for Word Perfect, 3 still use Lotus and of course there is Apple Works. Word Perfect has dropped and Word has gained usage.

Please note some people use more than one genealogy program. Family Tree Maker still tops the list with 20 users, followed by PAF with 15 users (Thanks Frank for all the classes!), The Master Genealogist has 3 users and Roots Magic and Legacy were reported by 2 members. There were 5 other miscellaneous programs listed.

As a group we are very well protected against Viruses. The preferred Anti-Virus program was Norton with over 55% using it. McAfee was right behind with 18%, followed by Zone Alarm at 5%. Computer Associates and AVG had one user each. Most update automatically or daily. A few didn't know. Only 15 people have Firewall Programs. Six use Norton, two use Zone Alarm (Note: there is a free version of Zone Alarm that is HIGHLY recommeded), and the rest are scattered among several companies. Several members didn't know if they had a firewall.

But, boy oh boy, do we have scanners! From the answers there were only three people without a scanner and one person who has one but doesn't use it.

All but two responders can receive attachments. Five don't have Adobe PDF. When asked for a preference between receiving an attachment or a URL we were evenly divided. Plus three that don't care and four that didn't understand.

The 2002 survey asked for an experience rating between one and ten. The average was 5.58, just a few 10's brought the average up quite a bit. This year the rating was from one to five and the average was 2.7. There were 34 people that rated themselves higher than 2. I think we've come a long way in four years – right along with the computers.

(19-1) Bios

Diane Rice Young
President GSSB

I was born in Minnesota and spent the first thirteen years of my life in Wisconsin. In the early 1950's my family decided to relocate to Florida and we moved to Sarasota. Upon graduation from high school I entered nursing school at Gordon Keller School of Nursing in Tampa. A nice young man, Ron Young encouraged me to seek employment at Shands Teaching Hospital in Gainesville, where he was an engineering student. Less that one year later we were married. His engineering led us to Huntsville, Alabama and later to Melbourne. In all of these places I was employed as a Registered Nurse.

My interest in genealogy was fostered by my grandparents. When I was eighteen, Grandfather Arthur Rice gave me a Bible, his mother's wedding ring and thimble, several letters of the Civil War era and two musical instruments. I guess he knew then, long before I did, that genealogy would greatly interest me. My maternal Grandmother, Minnie Poferl, would tell me stories of her immigration from Germany and the hardships she endured in the 1880's through the 1930's. Once I retired in 1997, genealogy became a most avid hobby or should I say obsession! I joined the Genealogical Society of South Brevard, serving two terms on their Board and now am in my second year as it's President. Sharing the knowledge gained through family research is an important part of genealogy . The BLM records contain so very much genealogical information that a program on this should be beneficial to the attendees.

Dr. James M. Ragusa

Genealogy Interest:

Specialist in genealogy and historical studies of Italy (Sicily), Hungary, and Slovakia. Lectures on European Research, Ellis Island and Early Emigration, Visiting the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Keeping Research Records, and Italian Emigration and History. Has traced most European ancestors back to the late 1600s through Mormon records and visits to Chicago, New York, Sicily, Hungary, and Slovakia.


Retired NASA-Kennedy Space Center Engineer and Manager, Retired-Associate Professor, University of Central Florida (UCF), College of Business and College of Engineering, Orlando, Florida. Presently an Independent Consultant to the U.S. Army.


B.S. in Mechanical Engineering, University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, Illinois. M.S. and Doctorate in Business Administration, Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida.

Barbara Ann Ragusa (nee Williams)

Genealogy Interest:

Specialist in genealogy and historical studies of Wales and Slovakia. Jointly lectures with husband Jim on European Research, Ellis Island and Early Emigration, and Visiting the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. Has traced most Welsh and Slovak ancestors back to the late 1600s through Mormon records and visits to Chicago, Wales, and Slovakia.


Retired Music Teacher, Voice Soloist, Housewife


B.S. in Music Education, University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, Illinois.

Patrice Green

Patrice is our WEBMASTER, BGS LIST ADMINISTRATER and blogger. She also maintains eight other RootsWeb mailing lists, thirteen Message Boards, at least ten websites and too many blogs to count (including this one).