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.

Ancestry DNA Study Group - Members Bonus Program
Bonus Program for Members!
27 March - 24 July, 4th Mondays at 7:00pm (ET) via Zoom
Includes optional mid-month support sessions via Zoom. 
Registration opens 1 January. (Space is limited)
This program is for members of Kinseekers and Pastfinders Genealogical Societies. It is offered as a thank you for your amazing support.
This five part program is designed to provide attendees the confidence and working knowledge to successfully leverage AncestryDNA® tools for family history reseach. Classes are 1.5-2 hours and include lectures, task work, and discussion.
Optional mid-month support sessions will by offered by society volunteers and fellow study group members. 
Details are in the January 1st and December 27th member emails.
Study Groupleader, Kelli Bergheimer, is a professional genetic genealogist and educator.She holds a Bachelor's in Biology, a Master's in Education: Curriculum and Instruction, and a Master's in Business Management. We are excited to have her leading this program. She is dynamic, engaging, and exceptionally skilled in explaining and demonstrating the practical application of genetic genealogy concepts and tools.
Please Log in to the Members Section of the website click on the "Registration and Zoom Link" tab to Register and Renew your Membership!
 Having issues loging in? 
 Please Email

 The Names NOT on the Wall -books are available for purchase.
John DOC Hutchings
Click HERE for prelimiary order form.
The Corpsmand and the Wall
Thirty-two years had come and gone. I needed to see my friends.  
I took a list, a few small gifts, and went to visit them.  
I was their "Doc" in Vietnam and silently recalled;
How their names had earned a resting place...
Engraved there on "The Wall"
My bag of gifts was personal- simple things I guess:
Florida sand, hot cocoa, and a pack of cigarettes.
I took my list to the "Lady in blue" to help me find them all. 
Soon I stood there moved to tears-
Staring at "The Wall". 
Slowly Approached the massive "Wall, my list of names in hand;
I touched each name; mourned them all;
and traced "Bud's" name with sand. 
"Did you know him well?" asked a lady's voice, whom I turned around to face. 
                  She was there to mour her fallend son - I saw it on her face.
                  "Was he family, or did you serve with him?" You know he's now at rest"
                  I smiled and held my palms toward her, "These hands were in his chest.
                  I was his Doc in Vietnam... couldn't sae the all."
                  Recalling my Field Med Instructor's voice, I turned back to "The Wall": 
Read the rest of the poem when you buy the book: 
The Names NOT on the Wall   by John "DOC" Hutchings ORDER FORM

Pastfinders Presents’

A Cultural & Genealogical Community Showcase

March 25, 2023 from 9am - 1pm At Cooper Memorial Library

(reservations are not required but suggested)  

Pastfinders Calendar of Events
Events are offered by virtual videoconference or in-person
at the Cooper Memorial Library.
Please review the format of the activity you select.
Pastfinders will introduce hybrid presentations as of 2023.
In order to attend a Special Interest Group Please send an Email to, identifying what SIG you would like to attend. You will recived an Email containg the Zoom link Several days prior to the Event date.
Monthly Meetings, Beginners Classes and Special Events require REGISTRATION.  You will find a REGISTRATION link in the description of the Event.  Just click on the REGISTRATION Link and provide your name and Email address.
Details for each Event are shown in the Event Calendar Tab.
To view all Events, click HERE
To View Monthly Member Meetings AND REGISTER TO ATTEND, click HERE
To View only Family Tree Maker SIG, click HERE
To View only the DNA SIG, click HERE
To View only the Irish SIG, click HERE
To view only Beginners Class, click HERE
To View Central Florida Genealogical Society Events, Click HERE
To View Kinseekers Genealogical Society Event, Click HERE

Special Interest Groups
will meet on Zoom
DNA SIG meets on the 2nd Wednesday each month at 1:30 PM
Carolyn Gornowicz host these sessions covering a range of DNA subjects
Irish SIG meets on the 3rd Monday each month at 10 AM
Peter Stauder is our Irish expert and he will help you discover where and how to research Ireland.
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.
Your host will maintain a SIG email distribution list.  You will recived an email several days prior to the meeting with your Zoom link. 
To join, send an Email with your Name, Email, Phone, City of Residence, Are you a member of Pastfinders? and How you heard about our Special Interest Group. Pleae put what the SIG you are intered in on the subject line and send to
Family Research in Beginning Genealogy meets in January, April, September and November. The class discusses research methods, online programs, and tips and strategies to search your ancestry.  These Classes are sometimes virtual or in-person please see our calendar for details. 
If you would like to start a special interest group, please contact us.  You do not have to be an expert, but if you have been researching a niche and are willing to share your special knowledge, we can start other SIGs.  German or British SIGs seem to be popular.

Excel Spreadsheet Basics class Video.
This class was held on December 4th 2021 for Pastfinders members and guests
Click HERE to view the Video.

Pastfinders Fund Raising Activities
Pastfinders members can provide financial support by using the products and services of our Affiliate Partners:
Pastfinders receives a 10% commission for the purchase of an AncestryDNA kit.
Pastfinders receives a 20% commission when you join
Further information and links are located at the Support Us menu button