Pastfinders Genealogical Society of South Lake County

Welcome to Pastfinders!
Welcome to the Pastfinders of South Lake County‚Äč Website.
We are located in Clermont, Florida (From Gem of the Hills to Choice of Champions). The Cooper Memorial Library's (CML) Genealogy Room is our base of operation with monthly meetings, genealogy help sessions, computer users’ classes, Beginner Classes, and special events. 
Pastfinders mission is to educate the public on the art and science of preserving family history.  Learning about your roots, where you came from, and the struggles your family made to get you where you are today can open one’s eyes to what kind of pioneers our ancestors were. 
All the classes Pastfinders of South Lake County Genealogical Society conducts are open to the public and most are free to attend. Our meetings are held from September to May.
During the summer months the only scheduled activity is a weekly Summer Genealogy Chat at the library. 
Please see the event calendar on the menu bar for more detail or contact us by Email at for more information.

Thursday March 14 Hybrid Presentation
 Due to Spring Break (Library closes early at 6 PM)  our schedule has been changed.
Meet at the Library at 4:00 PM for Meet and Greet.
Meet on Zoom at 4:15 PM for introductions
Announcements will start at 4:35 PM 
Presentation by Tamara Hallo begins at 4:45 PM
Tamara Hallo, MLS, owner of Hallo Genealogy Services, LLC is an educator, librarian, & professional genealogist. Genealogy is her passion & a perfect complement to her repertoire. She has over 25 years of experience as an educator, holds a Master in Library Science degree, and a certificate of genealogical research from Boston University. Tamara presents genealogical topics to both in-person & virtual audiences & teaches genealogy classes throughout South Florida. She specializes in Southern United States and Miami, Florida research & is passionate about sharing genealogy with the community.
Topic: Getting Organized: Reducing the Amount of Paper in your Genealogy Workspace.
When researching your family history, it’s easy to get bogged down and overwhelmed with paper. The collection of vital records, record printouts, pictures, genealogy articles, just to name a few, can quickly become a storage nightmare. Learn how technology and simple computer programs, like Snagit and OneNote, can help reduce and manage the amount of paper in your genealogy workspace.

2024 MEMBERS Bonus Study Group
Using Family Book Creator® to Tell Your Family History
led by Rebecca Shamblin
Registration is now open to Pastfinders Members
in the MEMBER LOG IN section under the
Study Group Registration tab
Free Program opened to all active Members
Course Description, Led by Rebecca Shamblin:
Do you dream of turning all that research into an actual book? Let's do it together! During this workshop, I will hold your hand through the process of planning, writing, and producing your family history book. We will break everything down into manageable tasks and tackle them one at a time, until you are holding the book of a lifetime in your hands.
February 26 - "Laying the Groundwork: Planning & Research"
Our first step is deciding what type of book you want to create, who it will be about, and how you are going to bring it to life. We will talk about c
leaning up the applicable branches of your tree in Family Tree Maker before you begin, and fleshing out your research to find the images and stories that will provide context to your tree.
March 25 - "The Power of Family Book Creator: Getting Started"
Putting pen to paper is often the hardest part. Not anymore! I will hold your hand as you get started with Family Book Creator, choosing the settings you need to turn your data into an initial narrative with the click of a button. You can edit it, add to it, or just use it as a reference for your own writing.
April 22 - "Taking it a Step Further: Adding the Extras"
Now that your book has a foundation, you can go a little further with some optional add-ons to your book. I will show you how to add things like word clouds, maps, and other images. We'll also discuss incorporating your own writing (with pictures!) and design ideas.
May 27 - "Finishing Touches: Printing & Distribution"
Let's get this book off of your computer and onto your bookshelf. We will talk about finalizing your book and turning it into a PDF. Then we will step through the process of using print-on-demand publishing using Finally, we will talk about ways you can share this book with your family.
June 24 - "Student Showcase: Time to Celebrate!"
You did it! You created a family history book! It doesn't have to be perfect; the goal is to gain confidence with the process. During this session, we'll show our books (optional), celebrate everyone's progress, and share ideas for future projects. 
Study Group leader, Rebecca Shamblin, is the author of "Leaving a Legacy: Turn Your Famliy Tree into a Family Book." A genealogist, and professional photographer with a Master's degree in Communicative Arts, she is a dynamic, engaging, and exceptionally skilled educator.
Learn more about Family Book Creator HERE

Your Genealogical Journey Starts Here!
Learn how to proceed with virtual Family History Classes.
 January 2023 Classes will be on Zoom
Zoom Registration is required
Session 1 on January 3 - Register
Session 2 on January 17 - Register
Session 3 on January 31 - Register
Class 1:  Reasons for immigration, Basic Ancestry Research Plan, Exploration in Usage of Research Websites, and  Description of Research Software.
Class 2:  Digging into Vital Records, Uncovering Census Basics, Avoiding Research Errors, etc. 
Class 3:  Obituary Notes, The Naturalization Process, Government Website Sources.

Pastfinders Virtual
Special Interest Groups
Irish SIG meets on the 3rd Monday each month at 11 AM Eastern Time.
Peter Stauder is our Irish expert and he will help you discover where and how to research Ireland. To Join the Irish SIG list for the season please register here: REGISTRATION You will recive a reminder email in your inbox each month from Pete the program facilitator. 
Family Tree Maker SIG meets on the 3rd Tuesday each month at 2 PM
Stan Wells hosts the meetings and uses the FTM 2019 instruction manual to guide content. To join the FTM SIG please send your contact info, Name, City, State and Pastfinders membership status to with the Words FTM SIG on the Subject line. 
Your host will maintain an email distribution list.  You will receive an email several days prior to the meeting with your Zoom link. 
How about hosting a special interest group! Do you have a passion for a topic? You do not have to be an expert, just willing to share your special knowledge. We would love to have you host a SIG.  Things like DNA, German, British, Or a Research SIG would be fun.